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California Bookwatch

Volume 1, Number 6 August 2006 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Donovan's Picks Computer Shelf Transportation Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Art Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf
Music Shelf Metaphysical Shelf Science Shelf
Environmental Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Gardening Shelf
Homeowner's Shelf Architecture Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Literary Shelf Education Shelf World History Shelf
American History Shelf Cultural Issues Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
California Shelf Gaming Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Travel Shelf Photography Shelf Biography Shelf
Military Shelf True Adventure Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Consumer Shelf Reference Shelf Business Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Jobs/Careers Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Political Science Shelf Philosophy Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Library DVD Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Children's Shelf Fiction Shelf Summer Reading Shelf

Donovan's Picks

Birdmen, Batmen and Skyflyers
Michael Abrams
Harmony Books
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
1400054915 $23.95

BIRDMEN, BATMEN AND SKYFLYERS: WINGSUITS AND THE PIONEERS WHO FLEW IN THEM, FELL IN THEM, AND PERFECTED THEM is a unique survey of exotic aircraft in general and wing suits in particular: those who wear often hand-made creations which defy the use of wings. Here are 'birdmen' who have attempted flight with wings of feathers, iron, leather and more. While their stories are often part of general aviation titles, it's rare to have an entire book devoted to their history, written by one who himself has jumped out of planes with wings. This alternative history of human flight is one which has long needed feature - and which will reach both aviation fans and general-interest audiences alike.

From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow
Mark Monmonier
University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
0226534650 $25.00

FROM SQUAW TIT TO WHOREHOUSE MEADOW: HOW MAPS NAME, CLAIM, AND INFLAME is for any reader who is fascinated by geography and place name history. Here's a gathering of humorous place names and their origins which blends cartography with insights on how they got their names. Politics, geography, and language history blend in a fine account of world places, influences, and names which moves from regions to continents and even into the solar system.

Bathroom Readers' Institute
5880 Oberin Drive, San Diego, CA 92121

Hilarious, entertaining, and not to be missed are two wonderful ''Uncle John's Bathroom Reader'' classics put out by the Bathroom Reader's Institute. UNCLE JOHN'S GIGANTIC BATHROOM READER (1592236063, $14.95) is a bargain, with over seven hundred pages packing a second omnibus edition of humor and insight. Pieces are divided by length short stories to long ones and thus are suitable not only for bathroom pursuit but for moments when you have only a small amount of reading time. Topics? How about the origin of basketball, the blue moon phenomenon, stories of dumb crooks, homemade best-sellers, funny musicians and much, much more. EXTRAORDINARY BOOK OF FACTS AND BIZARRE INFORMATION (1592236057, $17.95) is also a winner, this focusing on outrageous, intriguing and entertaining fun facts condensed into digest form. Again, the focus on trivia, myths, weird and crazy science and facts and more guarantees entertaining reading. Both are top picks and neither should be limited to the bathroom alone.

Fight Club Politics
Juliet Eilperin
Rowman & Littlefield
4501 Forbes Blvd. $200, Lanham, MD 20706
0742551180 $19.95

The House of Representatives is supposed to be closest to the desires of ordinary citizens but in reality it's lost its way and in recent years are more fixed on power plays than consumer representation: that's the message of FIGHT CLUB POLITICS: HOW PARTISANSHIP IS POISONING THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Here's an important survey for any who would understand modern politics: it provides a history of the House, its actions, and how past decisions differ from modern times.

Developing Thinking in Statistics
Alan Graham
Open University/Sage Publications
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
1412911672 $35.95

Statistics is a key area of school math that directly relates calculations to the real world yet too often it isn't given enough real-world connections. Alan Graham recharges the excitement potential of statistical forces, offering teachers chapters that are designed to reinforce statistical ideas and approaches. From measurement and variation to randomness, tasks present exciting applications for secondary math teachers and students and promises a wide readership in its paperback edition, deserving of ongoing recommendation.

Derrick Jensen
Seven Stories Press
140 Watts Street, New York NY 100013
158322730X $18.95

ENDGAME V 1: THE PROGRAM OF CIVILIZATION is a recommended pick for college-level collections strong in cultural history and philosophy: here author Jensen meditates on the state of world species including humans and provides a blend of philosophy, psychological analysis, and insights into Western culture. One of the premises is 'the culture as a whole and most of its members are insane': chapters cover conflicting needs and values of the human and natural world and reflect on the 'endgame' humans are playing.

Kenneth Walton
Simon Spotlight Entertainment
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
1416907114 $21.95

In the early heyday of ebay bidders flooded the site willing to buy nearly everything among them art collectors who hoped to buy bargains and rarities from less educated listers. FAKE describes the actions of one Kenneth Walton, a lawyer who was not only seduced by an online con artist, but who become one himself. From his initial hobby as an online art-trading hobbyist to his entry into a world of fraud and selling fakes which would lead to a federal felony conviction, FAKE: HOW ONE MAN'S CON GAME CREATED AN INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL AND TRIGGERED A NATIONWIDE FBI HUNT tells of a hobby gone wrong and packs in all the detail and excitement of a true adventure read.

Dictator Style
Peter York
Chronicle Books
85 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
0811853144 $24.95

DICTATOR STYLE: LIFESTYLES OF THE WORLD'S MOST COLORFUL DESPOTS is a hard book to peg: pairing interior design with a funny look at history's alarming dictators, it blends a racy sense of humor with fun profiles of the inner sanctums of the terrifying. Sixteen such interiors largely bygone by now are featured along with dictator profiles and 'achievements': you don't know whether to laugh or cry but will probably wind up doing both.

G. Bruce Knecht
Rodale Books
733 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10017-3204
1594861102 $24.95

HOOKED: PIRATES POACHING AND THE PERFECT FISH promises much for a wide audience, from those interested in fishing to others researching modern-day pirating and the politics of the sea. The explosive world-wide demand for popular fish has all but fostered over-fishing and all but condoned seafood piracy: HOOKED combines culinary history with a world-wide chase to document the fading Chilean Sea Bass, a prehistoric-looking fish with the richness of tuna and the texture of butter. It's hard to place this rich text: part culinary history, part social inquiry, largely environmental exploration it also fits under 'True Adventure'. Many will find it compelling.

So Others May Live
Martha J. LaGuardia-Kotite
Lyons Press
Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
1592289312 $22.95

SO OTHERS MAY LIVE: SAVINGS LIVES, DEFYING DEATH WITH THE COAST GUARD'S RESCUE SWIMMERS provides a history of the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer, pairing this history with twelve stories which chronicle maritime rescues. Swimmers tell these stories of perilous rescue and while SO OTHERS MAY LIVE would also qualify to be featured in our 'True Adventure' section, it's featured here for additional value as a history of Coast Guard efforts overall.

New Yorker Book of Cartoon Puzzles and Games
Black Dog & Leventhal
151 West 19th Street, New York NY 10011
1579125530 $17.95

If you love crosswords and puzzle games and New Yorker complexity in particular, don't be without this oversized NEW YORKER BOOK OF CARTOON PUZZLES AND GAMES. All you need is a pencil and a mind to enjoy puzzles which are offered in a spiral bound large-format paperback lending to easier working than most puzzle books. Here are over eighty puzzles created by the puzzle writing company Puzzability: new blends rather than rehashes of old styles. Avid puzzle fans will find it delightfully fun.

How to Brew
John J. Palmer
Brewers Publications/Brewser's Association
736 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302
0937381888 $19.95

HOW TO BREW: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BREW BEER RIGHT THE FIRST TIME is more than another beer recipe book: it's a series of step-by-step processes perfect for the novice at brewing, explaining terminology, techniques, and even more intermediate processes. A 'crash course' in the basics leads to more extensive discussions of hop quality, fermentation processes, yeasts, and the later considerations of lagers and specialty brews. There are plenty of brewing books on the market, but this is the perfect place to begin, moving deftly from introduction to more advanced brewing.

The Computer Shelf

Pro Tools 7 CSI Master
Steve Thomas
Coolbreeze Systems
c/o Thomson Course Technology
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210
1598631462 $49.99

Learn the new tools of Pro Tools 7 not via book but through PRO TOOLS 7 CSI MASTER, a training cd-rom which offers hands-on computer training. Work through movie tutorials which teach by example, and learn how a DAW pro uses Pro Tools productively in typical real-life settings. The movie environment compares quite well with the book format, and allows for many more visual step-by-step examples than most books could provide.

Titanium Ebay
Skip McGrath
800 E. 96th St., Indianapolis, IN 46240
1592574335 $24.95

Readers with more than a basic knowledge of Ebay selling should take a look at TITANIUM EBAY: A TACTICAL GUIDE TO BECOMING A MILLIONAIRE POWERSELLER. Many Ebay sellers run a full time business listing millions of items daily and at these high PowerSeller levels there's big money to be made. But how? TITANIUM EBAY tells exactly how, and comes from a eBay PowerSeller since 1998 and a registered Trading Assistant. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to move up the ebay seller's ladder. Basic Ebay principles and seller's strategies come from solid experience and make for an impressive overview.

Understanding New Media
Kim Veltman
University of Calgary Press
2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
1552381544 $69.95

UNDERSTANDING NEW MEDIA: AUGMENTED KNOWLEDGE AND CULTURE surveys an area most commonly discussed in relation to the Internet's developments, but offers much more depth than most. Here are surveys of networked environments which blend technology with organizational and philosophical issues and changes, along with considerations of computing world evolution and how it reflects profound changes in other realms. Here also are surveys of cross-cultural effects of these advancements, which delves into world nations and their reactions and changing roles to such technology. A 'must' for any college-level audience interested in the digital revolution's long-ranging impact on society as a whole.

Charles River Media/Thomson
25 Thomson Place
Boston, MA 02210

IT administrators needing scripting skills should look at Bobby Malik's Practical Windows Administration Scripting (1584504617 $49.95), a practical reference which provides solid detail packed with over 300 complete scripts per chapter. Scripting is tailored for Windows administration and engineering tasks and uses Microsoft Scripting technologies: experienced Windows administrators and technicians receive a guide to the latest features, providing solutions to common configuration and maintenance issues, from printers and file management to modifying web sites and generating reports, Practical Windows Administration Scripting is a fine reference. All computer users need to consider Ian Barile's PROTECTING YOUR PC (1584504862, $39.95): it teaches where major hazards lie, how to prevent and fix them, and how to avoid common annoyances like pop-ups, spam, and more. From installing patches and backing up data to avoiding worms and trojans, PROTECTING YOUR PC teaches all the basics of computer security for home or business. Or look at Ankit Fadia's NETWORK SECURITY: A HACKER'S PERSPECTIVE, 2ND EDITION (1598631632, $49.99): it comes from an independent computer security consultant who is a cyberterrorism expert. Chapters are for any with some degree of networking experience and use real-world case studies to update a bestseller on loopholes for major platforms, criminal techniques used to break into networks, and more. Programmers should take note of two fine guides: Eric D. Grebler's 3D GAME PROGRAMMING FOR TEENS (159200900X, $29.99) teaches teens and beginners how to turn their programming ideas into real games. An accompanying cd includes a demo of 3ds Max, Blitz3D and more, while chapters walk through several small program demos which test new skills described. And the more complicated Allen Sherrod ULTIMATE GAME PROGRAMMING WITH DIRECTX (1584504587, $49.95) teaches the fundamentals of DirectX game development and graphics skills, packing in the math and physics insights needed to create basic graphic and animation schemes for games. The book relies on a first-person shooter game called Stranded and each chapter builds on how to add to the game. Users of the online photo sharing site Flickr will find HOW TO USE FLICKR: THE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY REVOLUTION (1598631373, $24.99) teaches how to organize, store, and use a site which is more than just a bandwidth of storage. Flickr is a community for any who use and share digital photos: chapters hold details for both newcomers and prior Flickr users on how to set up accounts, upload photos, organize and share them, and more.

EBay Income
Cheryl L. Russell
Atlantic Publishing Co
1405 SW 6th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34474-7014
0910627584 $24.95

EBAY INCOME: HOW ANYONE OF ANY AGE, LOCATION AND/OR BACKGROUND CAN BUILD A HIGHLY PROFITABLE ONLINE BUSINESS WITH EBAY is exactly as its title poses: an insider's view of the ins and outs of eBay. A basic introduction onto how eBay works is followed by chapters which walk you through the basics on creating either an auction or a store. Later chapters discuss advanced themes of merchandising, multiple sales, using PayPal and Google marketing. Any who would use eBay for the first time would do well to begin here.

1005 Gravenstein Hwy N
Sebastopol, CA 95472

Shauna Wright's DON'T GET BURNED ON EBAY: HOW TO AVOID SCAMS AND ESCAPE BAD DEALS (0596101783 $16.99) should be required reading of any would-be buyer or seller. It comes from an eBay expert who covers all the current scams and bad deals and teaches how to recognize and avoid them. From understanding differences in postal and online tracking systems to pros and cons of dealing with shippers, problems in uncovering fakes or switched merchandise, and packaging problems or damaged merchandise, DON'T GET BURNED ON EBAY provides protection for both buyers and sellers who would get the most without getting taken. David Pogue's IMOVIE 6 & IDVD: THE MISSING MANUAL (0596527268, $34.99) is for Apple users who want to delve into filmmaking: it covers all the powerful new tools for editing video and indeed should be purchased with the program for quick understanding. From the basics of film editing techniques to understanding DVD design, this 'missing manual' fills in all gaps. Chromatic works with Damian Conway and Curtis Poe in PERL HACKS: TIPS & TOOLS FOR PROGRAMMING, DEBUGGING, AND SURVIVING (059662741, $29.99) is for all levels of user of Perl, from novices to near experts. Each hack in PERL HACKS is actually a short lesson teaching skills, some with exercises and tests and others with examples that can be followed. Topics range from Productivity Hacks to Working with Modules and Debugging and provide plenty of detail for all kinds of projects. Jeff Webb & Steve Saunders' PROGRAMMING EXCEL WITH VBA & .NET (0596007663, $54.99) is for Windows programmers who want to understand the depths of Excel to customize a spreadsheet. From using Visual Basic and managing Excel's windows to accessing cell data and integrating other data types, PROGRAMMING EXCEL is detailed and recommended for programmers seeking to customize. Bruce Frey's STATISTICS HACKS: TIPS & TOOLS FOR MEASURING THE WORLD AND BEATING THE ODDS (0596101643, $29.99) provides techniques from statistical measurement and experimental research to help tackle and solve problems in business and games alike. From understanding and manipulating the odds in Texas Hold 'Em and other games to designing winnable bets, predicting game outcomes and spotting fraud data and break codes, STATISTICS HACKS blends math and statistical analysis. Cal Henderson's BUILDING SCALABLE WEB SITES: BUILDING, SCALING AND OPTIMIZING THE NEXT GENERATION OF WEB APPLICATIONS (0596102356, $39.99) imparts the tricks of the trade on applications which scale quickly without expensive proprietary programming and products. It comes from the lead developer of and offers plenty of detail on creating fast, popular sites which grow by themselves over time without constant tweaking. From understanding the software architecture behind an application to keeping data secure and clearing bottlenecks, BUILDING SCALABLE WEB SITES is for any programmer who wants to streamline operations and reduce expenses. Aviva Garrett's JUNOS COOKBOOK (0596100140, $54.99) is for JUNOS Networks programmers who know how complex the documentation and training can be. Shortcuts, tricks, and tips on JUNOS software is provided in a title authored by a documentor of Juniper Networks technologies who wrote the first JUNOS manuals, so it comes from a reliable and professional source and the book's been tested and tech-reviewed by field engineers. From security to routing protocols, JUNOS COOKBOOK holds it all. The 5th updated edition of Bill Burke,'s ENTERPRISE JAVAEANS 3.0 (059600978X, $49.99) covers the new EJB 3.0 and Java Persistence and is a pick recommended for prior Java users who want in-depth coverage on the new Java annotations and standards. Chapters cover development, entity beans relationships, mapping, and more, with code examples, descriptions of processes, tables, and tips on streamlining processes throughout.

Publish & Prosper: Blogging for Your Business
DL Byron & Steve Broback
New Riders
1249 8th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
0321395387 $21.99

Blogging isn't just for the chatty consumer: not with the appearance of PUBLISH & PROSPER: BLOGGING FOR YOUR BUSINESS. Here it turns into a viable approach for furthering business, coming from business owners who offer real-world techniques and ideas to blog to improve business. Learn how to start such a blog and build momentum and interest to promote a brand, products, or customer relations. The authors have extensive background in the blogging world and in business alike and have put their premises to the test, so this offers realistic ideas already applied to solid business pursuits.

The Transportation Shelf

A Century of London Taxis
Bill Munro
Crowood Press
Ramsbury, Wiltshire SN8 2HR, UK

One of London's most famous attractions isn't a structure at all, but its infamous taxis so a focus on their history as a London basic is long overdue. All major models, including unsuccessful prototypes, are reviewed in a survey which includes a centerfold of color photos and over 150 black and white images, many vintage and rare. This isn't a title for the tourist, per say, but more for the technical auto buff who will appreciate the technical specs of major models and the in-depth details. A top pick for automotive history holdings and fans of London history.

Street Smart
Gabriel Roth, Editor
Transaction Books
390 Campus Dr., Somerset, NJ 08873
0765803046 $59.95

STREET SMART: COMPETITION, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, AND THE FUTURE OF ROADS is a 'must' for college-level students of transportation and urban planning: it considers private, market-based alternative for road services both at the idea level and in practical application, considering the history of the private provision of roads before the railway age and how modern planning can look back at lessons from the past to plan for the future. Four different ideas for private services, from testing vehicles and drivers to managing road facilities and using franchise or private ownership, provide different avenues for solving many of today's road issues, from congestion and safety issues to high costs and politics.

Still Life With Cars
John L. Lumley
McFarland & Company
Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640
0786420537 $29.95

The price tag seems weighty for a standard paperback but nearly fifty photos are included and the author's memoir of a life spent obsessed with cars promises to reach a wide audience of leisure reading car buffs. From his childhood adventures with Nash, Hupmobile and Citroen cars to descriptions of rebuild challenges, Still Life With Cars comes from a professor of engineering at Cornell and is filled with vivid insights of the evolution of a auto buff.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Body After Baby
Jackie Keller
Avery/Penguin Group
375 Hudson, New York NY 10014
1583332510 $24.95

If you've had a baby and are ready to shed by 'baby weight', BODY AFTER BABY is for you: it comes from a celebrity nutrition and health coach and founder of NutriFit and provides her 30-day nutrition and workout program designed to help lose weight quickly. Easily-prepared meal plans, natural targeted exercises, and a structured workout routine are only a few of the tips and ideas here.

Tiny Titan
Ann Yurcek
Better Endings New Beginnings
6289 Brunswick Ave. N., Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
0963707272 $15.95

In 1989 the author's sixth child Becca was born with a rare genetic disorder, driving her parents into poverty as they struggled with medical bills and despair. Their journey for financial and health answers would lead to the adoption of five siblings separated in foster care, and a newfound battle for resources in mental health. TINY TITAN: JOURNEY OF HOPE will find many audiences and its autobiographical account of a struggle is truly inspirational.

Aging and the Meaning of Time
Susan H. McGadden & Robert C. Atchley, Eds.
Springer Publishing
11 W. 42nd St., New York NY 10036-8002
0826102654 $20.00

What has life meant and how long is it worth living for? These and other questions are answered in the multidisciplinary survey AGING AND THE MEANING OF TIME, a college-level text perfect for courses on philosophy and health alike. Chapters juxtapose the personal experience of aging with insights on philosophy, health, and metaphysics to provide an excellent survey. A top pick.

Chemistry, Medicine and Crime
Jose Ramon Bertomeu-Sanchez & Agusti Nieto-Galan, Eds
Science History Publications
Box 1240, Sagamore Beach, MA 02562-1240
0881352756 $52.00

Chemistry, Medicine and Crime: Mateu J.B. Orfila and His Times is a fine biography for any involved in medical history and science: college-level readers will appreciate the papers here, which grew from contributions to the international meeting of the same name held in 2004. Orfila's career reveals ideas and characteristics of 19th century medical chemistry and early forensic medicine, with chapters considering how his theories and experiments were applied throughout Europe. From how medical study was changed by his efforts to controversies surrounding medical chemistry and the new organic chemistry ideas, medical history comes to life in a survey of their historical interconnections and Orfila's contributions.

It's My Life Now
Meg Kennedy Dugan & Roger R. Hock
270 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10016
0415953251 $18.95

Meg Kennedy Dugan is Director of the Victim Assistance Program in New Hampshire and co-author Roger Hock is a Professor of Psychology: the two join forces and expertise to provide the updated second edition of IT'S MY LIFE NOW: STARTING OVER AFTER AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP OR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Life after getting out of such a relationship often continues to be a struggle, and IT'S MY LIFE NOW offers guidance to overcoming common pitfalls, blending worksheets with insights on self exploration and ongoing growth. From handling feels of loss to overcoming feelings associated with having loved an abuser, IT'S MY LIFE NOW continues to offer invaluable lessons.

The Art Shelf

Licensing Art 101, 2nd Edition
Michael Woodward
Box 1360, Nevada City, CA 95959-1360
0940899795 $23.95

The second updated edition of LICENSING ART 101: PUBLISHING AND LICENSING YOUR ARTWORK FOR PROFIT is a top pick for any artist who would understand how licensing works and how to protect and profit from artistic rights. Chapters not only focus on legal aspects but marketing strategies, business practices, presentations and more. It's the artist's tool kit for putting art out in the world effectively, as well as licensing.

Chinese Label Art
Andrew S. Cahan
Schiffer Books
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
0764323792 $39.95

Chinese label art has long been outstanding, so it's surprising that few coverages of Chinese ad art have revealed its history before. CHINESE LABEL ART 1900-1976 provides a fine survey of packaging and labels from the period, pairing stunning images from around China to beyond its borders into Hong Kong and Macau. From tea and medicines to foods, cigarettes, firecrackers and religious items, over 400 color images pair with an authoritative discussion of history and art from Andy Cahan, who has been collecting Chinese ephemera for most of his life.

W.W. Norton
500 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110

David Plowden's A HANDFUL OF DUST: PHOTOGRAPHS OF DISAPPEARING AMERICA (0393060330 $49.95) comes from a 1950s documentary photographer who has gathered images of changed scenes from the last five decades. Over seventy duotone photos revisit small towns, often rural, which Plowden once photographed and knew well: abandonment, more often than development, are the themes he finds in old houses and structures. H. Allen Brooks' THE PRAIRIE SCHOOL: FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND HIS MIDWEST CONTEMPORARIES (039373191X, $25.00) provides architecture collections with one of the most significant focuses of Lloyd's life and works, the Prairie school. The School was a movement which sought a new architectural perspective and designs characterized by angular forms and interiors. Unpublished material and original documents as well as interviews examine Lloyd and his contemporaries as they contributed to the movement and its changing styles. In fact, this is far more than another Lloyd focus: chapters discuss the idea of the Prairie School as a whole, and its influences on the evolution of modern architecture. Diagrams and photos pepper the coverage.

Dubai Architecture & Design
Sabina Marreiros, Editor
74 E 14 Suite 17-Z, New York NY 10003
3937718478 $49.95

Dubai is the hub of the modern Middle East: a growing city sporting the world's largest luxury hotel and more, but it's important to note that DUBAI: ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN is the first book published solely on its architecture and design. Any interested in Middle Eastern culture and arts should have this, from college-level art libraries to specialty collection on the Mid East: it charts the roots of modern Middle Eastern design, pairing full-page color photos with insights on architectural achievement and history. While it's a specialty item, its importance is unsurpassed for such holdings.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

40 Exchange Place #1308
New York NY 10005

The second volume of Alan Gross & Jerry Carr's Cryptozoo Crew is here, in full color blending adventure comics with jokes, puns, and action. The full-length story CALL OF THE THUNDERBIRD (1561634662 $12.95) sports lovely cover art by Frank Cho and promises fast-paced action and strong women throughout. Rick Geary's THE CASE OF MADELEINE SMITH (1561634570, $15.95) provides another volume in a series on a murder involving class in 19th century Scotland, where Madeline Smith is courted by a man below her station. Victorian romance and murder come to life in black and white drawings throughout.

You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons
Mo Williems
114 5th Avenue, New York NY 10011-5690
0786837470 $12.99

Before Mo Willems became a children's book author, he packed sketchbook and set out to explore the world. At the end of each day he drew a cartoon of a single event which stuck in his mind and his sketch diary YOU CAN NEVER FIND A RICKSHAW WHEN IT MONSOONS: THE WORLD ON ONE CARTOON A DAY is the result. Each page holds a full-page black and white panel blending humor with observation. An excellent choice for cartoon fans and travelers alike, a foreword by Dave Barry adds to the package.

7563 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

Craig Yoe's ARF MUSEUM: THE UNHOLY MARRIAGE OF ART & COMICS (1560977329, $19.95) comes from a cartoonist and designer with over fifteen books in the field. It appears in both black and white and full-page color with some striking comic renditions of museum and art world images, providing some powerful connections between the art and comic world and include everything from comic book covers and poster art to spoofs on famous museum art pieces. George Herriman's KRAZY AND IGNATZ: SHIFTING SANDS DUSTS ITS CHEEKS IN POWERED BEAUTY (1560977345, $19.95) captures in satisfying full color the classic strips of the comic from 1937-38. Perfect for fans of Krazy and Ignatz as well as newcomers, they capture a bygone era of comic art and this will prove a keepsake.

The Music Shelf

Rex Collections: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Marcus Hearn, Editor
Reynolds & Hearn/Trafalgar Square
PO Box 257, N. Pomfret, VT 05053
1905287070 $19.95 1-800-423-4525

In 1965 guitarist Hendrix signed with former Animals bassist Chandler and went to England, making a name for himself with his Jimi Hendrix Experience and returning to the U.S. several years later to become a star. REX COLLECTIONS: THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE gathers color photos to follow his career form his earliest London shows and 1967 tours to later years. Many of these photos are new to this book, most are full-page presentations, and the commentary provides a fine survey of Hendrix's life. A top pick for any dedicated Hendrix fan.

Backbeat Books
600 Harrison Street, San Francisco CA 94107

These outstanding new arrivals are top recommendations musicians will favor, offering solid information and useful details. Moses Avalon's CONFESSIONS OF A RECORD PRODUCER: HOW TO SURVIVE THE SCAMS AND SHAMS OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS (0879308745, $19.95) appears in a newly updated revised third edition and comes form an industry insider who's been a producer, engineer and consultant for decades. From ideas on breaking into the industry for newcomers to handling record deals from majors and independents and understanding the role and relationships of musicians to producers, chapters discuss typical deals, common fraud, and real services alike. Dave Hunter's ELECTRIC GUITAR SOURCEBOOK: HOW TO FIND THE SOUNDS YOU LIKE (0879308869, $24.95) provides an analysis of the different sounds which make up the guitar and surveys how they affect the overall sound of a production. Each chapter focuses on a guitar style and type, discussing strengths, weaknesses, and sound and including interviews with musicians and pros. Specific guitars are profiled in sidebars of information while discussions survey hardware pieces, add-ons, model specialties and devices, and more. Jesse Gress' GUITAR LICKS OF THE TEXAS BLUES-ROCK HEROES (0879308761, $19.95) provides a survey of the major blues-rock guitar players with a narrowed focus on their different solo styles. Over a hundred licks form players such as T-Bone Walker, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughn and more are explored by a performer and music educator who himself tours and records with Todd Rundgren. Each lick receives examples, tips, details on suggested accompaniment, and more. A cd rounds out the presentation. There are plenty of 'how to' guitar books on the market and lots of books for musicians; but these are some of the best we've seen for specific, narrowed topics.

Thomson Course Technology
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210

Heather Johnson's IF THESE HALLS COULD TALK: A HISTORICAL TOUR THROUGH SAN FRANCISCO RECORDING STUDIOS (1598631411 $29.99) examines the city's music recording history, covering studios which fostered all kinds of local music from blues and rock to soul and hip-hop. More than just another review of music trends and evolving styles, it focuses on the studios themselves and their roles in fostering such styles, creating a multifaceted survey of the San Francisco music scene as a whole. Orren Merton's GUITAR RIG 2 POWER! THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE (1592009735, $34.99) is for the electric guitar player seeking the perfect guitar amplification system: one which is flexible, works with all digital audio workstation systems, and can be used on and off stage. Yes, Guitar Rig 2 does all these things: but how can it be customized for individual pursuit? By choosing GUITAR RIG 2 POWER you're well on the way to such customization, with chapters covering all the basics of its interface, how to manage its settings and potential, and how to use its powerful sequencers.

Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture
Bruce Horner & Thomas Swiss, Eds
Blackwell Publishing
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148
0631212647 $39.95 1-800-216-2522

College-level music students will find these 18 original essays enlightening, considering the foundations of popular music and drawing on works from feminist, postcolonial and cultural studies as well as music studies and literature to consider key terms, usage, and meaning. Contributors from different disciplines consider gender, race, politics and technology's influence on popular music trends and objectives, providing a scholarly and involving set of analyses.

Hal Leonard
19 W. 21st St. Suite 201, New York NY 10010

Jay Warner's AMERICAN SINGING GROUPS: A HISTORY FROM 1940 TO TODAY (0634099787 $19.95) offer a fine history of pop vocal groups from Dion and the Belmonts to NSYnc. The A-Z group reference is organized by eras, from the 1940s to the 1950s, 60s and beyond so it helps to know the decade of your favorite group there's no index. These comments aside, there's lots to love here: author Warner is a record collector and music historian whose record collection is only surpassed by his knowledge of groups, songs, and more. Information for AMERICAN SINGING GROUPS comes from over a hundred artist interviews he did, and from his knowledge: there's nothing like it in print. Michael Kosser's HOW NASHVILLE BECAME MUSIC CITY USA: 50 YEARS OF MUSIC ROW (0634098063, $22.95) provides a history of Nashville and while it's a history of country music's rise, it's also, more unexpectedly, a history of Nashville's influence on American popular music as a whole. Elvis, Bob Dylan and others fostered their careers in Nashville, and since the 1930s the city has earned its reputation as a music mecca, fostering musicians, handling millions of fans, and becoming rich in the process. Michael Kosser lives in Nashville, is a senior editor at American Songwriter magazine, and is himself a recorded country songwriter: his history blends business, urban culture and music history alike.

W.W. Norton
500 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110

Readers interested in blues or rock history will find Rich Cohen's THE RECORD MEN: THE CHESS BROTHERS AND THE BIRTH OF ROCK & ROLL (0393327507 $13.95) an excellent survey. In the late 1940s two men one black, one white, both immigrants met and formed a music company that would change the nature of American music. It seemed an unlikely combination: a liquor store/club owner and a Mississippi blues singer but the two capitalized on the Southern blues sound, electrified it, and brought aboard more musicians the likes of Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Howlin Wolf and Little Water. Any who would understand the roots of blues or rock music must have this. Tomas Brothers' LOUIS ARMSTRONG'S NEW ORLEANS (0393061094, $26.95) tells of New Orleans at the turn of the century: a center of conflict, religion and most of all, of jazz music. Set against this backdrop is a young boy named Louis Armstrong, whose influence would change the nature of the New Orleans music scene, placing it on the music world map as a unique city. Thomas Brothers is an Armstrong scholar who creates something different here: he blends a history of New Orleans with a survey of music in general and Armstrong in particular, weaving together threads of experience, influence and social change. With its research foundations in autobiographical material, memoirs and interviews with Armstrong's family, a much more diverse, multi-faceted coverage of his roots is presented than in comparative biographical sketches.

Keep It Simple with GarageBand
Keith Gemmell
PC Publishing
Keeper's House, Merton, Thetford, Norfolk IP35 6OH, UK

KEEP IT SIMPLE WITH GARAGEBAND: EASY MUSIC PROJECTS FOR BEGINNERS offers ten easy music-making projects which require no prior skills or musical abilities to duplicate. From extending a tune or recording a voice-over track to adding instruments and recording them, KEEP IT SIMPLE WITH GARAGEBAND is one of the easiest, best we've seen for mastering the program and its musical potentials.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Red Wheel Weiser
65 Parker St. Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950

Any novice who finds most astrology books presume a good degree of prior insight will welcome the more bare-bones Douglas Bloch & Demetra George's ASTROLOGY FOR YOURSELF: A WORKBOOK FOR PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION (0892541229 $19.95). Here is the missing link between the art of astrology and interpretations that lend to new assessments of talents, abilities and strengths: a book which teaches how to use astrology as a foundation for exploring self. Chapters promote growth and change in the course of teaching astrology and how it may best be used. Joyce Levine's BREAKTHROUGH ASTROLOGY: TRANSFORM YOURSELF AND YOUR WORLD (1578633575, $21.95) is a fine survey not just of astrology, but how its information can be used to change a life pattern. New connections between the psyche and astrology are drawn in chapters that analyze common traits and whether they should be treasured or transformed. The approach is unique and helps direct the astrology chart on the path of transformation rather than mere acceptance.

New Page Books
Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417

Over four hundred photos and drawings accompany William G. Benham's standard reference The Benham Book of Palmistry: The Essential Work (1564145556 $17.99) for palmistry, and if the name sounds familiar, it's because this reprints a long-standing classic in the field to blend Benham's original text with new formatting and illustration. It originally appeared as THE LAWS OF SCIENTIFIC HAND READING and moved palm reading into the world of science with its approach: a hundred years later it still promises relevance for modern audiences. Denise Dumars' BE BLESSED: DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR BUSY WICCANS NAD PAGANS (1564148726, $12.99) provides Wicca and Pagan practitioner with everyday affirmations to be used throughout the daily routine. From simple prayers to be used any time illness strikes to writing your own meditation or understanding how prayers are answered, BE BLESSED is filled with easy devotionals and the keys for understanding them.

The Lost Civilization of Lemuria
Frank Joseph
Bear & Company/Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
1591430607 $20.00

Before Hurricane Katrina there was the destruction of Lemuria, a kingdom carried to the bottom of the sea. Joseph, editor of several other books on Atlantis, uses recent deep-sea archaeological studies, symbols and records to re-create the ancient civilization and its rare technological achievements. So what happened to the Lemurians? Other accounts presume all was lost: Joseph charts the course of survivors who journeyed to other parts of the world to disseminate their scientific skills to existing cultures.

Mapping Your Soul's Purpose
Anne Windsor
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
0738706736 $19.95

MAPPING YOUR SOUL'S PURPOSES: DISCOVER YOUR KARMA & DESTINY pairs new age with new technology offering a cd-rom which calculates life's purposes as it uses astrology as its foundation for change. Don't anticipate the usual astrology title filled with advanced ideas: beginners will find it way to begin a journey of exploration with no prior knowledge, making MAPPING YOUR SOUL'S PURPOSES perfect for beginners.

The Science Shelf

The First Scientific American
Joyce E. Chaplin
Basic Books
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
0465009557 $27.50

THE FIRST SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND THE PURSUIT OF GENIUS comes from a history professor at Harvard, who shows how Franklin's evolving status as a scientific genius lends to appreciating his works and the evolution of science as a whole. There have been many biographies of Franklin over the years; but this is the first to narrow the focus on his scientific investigations and how they led to his political prominence. All of his scientific research is considered, linking science works with problem-solving at the social and political levels. New research into documents from his early career and those of his colleagues lend to a unique discussion here.

View from the Center of The Universe
Joel Primack and Nancy Abrams
Riverhead Books
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
1594489149 $26.95

Leading scientists and journalists have already praised VIEW FROM THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE: DISCOVERING OUR EXTRAORDINARY PLACE IN THE COSMOS: so what does this mean to the average reader who likes science? Plenty: for one thing it comes from an esteemed scientist and a lawyer and writer, so it combines technical prowess with readability for lay readers. The idea here is that the concept of the universe as a vast, impersonal space is outdated: the perspective here offers a human-centered cosmology, using the latest findings in astrophysics to back up the new approach to human-centered symbolism and how the universe as a whole is emerging. Any who've read the usual cosmological survey will see how unusual an
idea is presented in VIEW OF THE UNIVERSE the approach changes everything.

Underwater to Get Out of the Rain
Trevor Norton
Da Capo Press
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
0306814877 $25.00

As a young boy author Trevor Norton was fascinated by water: a fascination which would continue into adulthood, and which serves as the foundation of experience of UNDERWATER TO GET OUT OF THE RAIN, a blend of natural history and memoir. Norton's fascination would lead him to travel oceans of the world, to study the science and history of oceans, and to probe both the surface of the ocean and the world of a submerged laboratory. UNDERWATER TO GET OUT OF THE RAIN is a joyous celebration as well as a scientific investigation and a fine leisure read.

After Dolly
Ian Wilmut & Roger Highfield
W.W. Norton
500 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
0393060667 $24.95

Ten years ago author Ian Wilmut shocked science and the general public when he revealed his team of researchers had cloned the first sheep from an adult cell. His revelation was to spark a controversy not just in science, but among consumers and the general public. AFTER DOLLY: THE USES AND MISUSES OF HUMAN CLONING continues the discussion, surveying the current state of the field of cloning, discussing the science behind Dolly's creation and its refinement since, and posing a strong statement on the moral necessity of cloning to cure disease. A pick for both general-interest collections and any who would understand the nature of human cloning issues today.

The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize
Peter Doherty
Columbia University Press
61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023-7015
0231138962 $24.95 1-800-944-8648 www.columbiaedu/cu/cup

In 1996 author Peter Doherty found himself receiving the Nobel Price for Physiology or Medicine from the king of Sweden an unlikely event for a boy who grew up in an Australian working neighborhood where his schoolmates ended up working in the local slaughterhouse. His journey from Australia, his evolving interest in immunology, and his eventual award-winning work are revealed in a memoir which surveys the life of a research scientist, discussing how scientific projects are selected, funded and organized. This approach makes this more than just a memoir of a prize-winner and important to any aspiring scientist.

Space and Spatial Analysis In Archaeology
Elizabeth C. Robertson,
University of Calgary Press
2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
1552381684 $60.00

Nearly forty contributions to Space and Spatial Analysis In Archaeology are based on papers presented at the 2001 conference AN ODYSSEY OF SPACE, on of the first meetings to focus on this area of archaeological research. College-level collections strong in archaeological research and history won't want to be without these papers, which survey studies undertaken in different archaeological settings and provide both method and theory to insights on spatial analysis processes. Elizabeth Robertson is a doctorate candidate in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Calgary: her focus blends with those of other candidates and postdocs to provide a detailed, scholarly scientific discussion.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Serve God, Save the Planet
J. Matthew Sleeth, MD
Chelsea Green
Box 428, White River Junction, VT 05001
1933392010 $25.00

SERVE GOD, SAVE THE PLANET: A CHRISTIAN CALL TO ACTION could've been featured in our religious shelf area but is reviewed here for its dual blend of spirituality and environmental sentiment. Five years ago the author had a great job, home, and comfortable married life with kids until he realized something was wrong as he saw increasing numbers of patients suffering from cancer, asthma, and chronic illness. His religious introspection led to a newfound path away from affluence and more in tune with a less materialistic, earth-friendly lifestyle and SERVE GOD, SAVE THE PLANET follows both his journey and the connections between Christianity and environmental thinking as a whole.

Island Press
1718 Connecticut St. NW #300, Washington DC 20009

Nancy Jack Todd's A SAFE AND SUSTAINABLE WORLD: THE PROMISE OF ECOLOGICAL DESIGN (1559637781) tells of a pioneering group who founded a small nonprofit research and education organization called the New Alchemy Institute to build a more sustainable world. Year later they would be joined by scientists, agriculturists, professionals and friends in a journey which would change lives. Nancy Jack Todd relates this journey and covers some of the leaders of the movement, describing the Institute's early work, its evolution, and its building of two bio-shelters. An inspirational guide indeed. Peter Friederici's NATURE'S RESTORATION: PEOPLE AND PLACES ON THE FRONT LINES OF CONSERVATION (155963085X) is a similar inspirational account: this focusing on ordinary citizens who are influencing how we think about nature, and how we plan for it in human environments. From entrepreneurial efforts to make environmentally conscious choices pay off better than the alternatives to individuals working to restore nesting habitats, the work of ecological thinking and restoration is charted in accounts that detail experiments and successes alike.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest
Andy Lamb and Bernard Hanby
Harbour Publishing
Box 219, Madeira Park, BC V0N 2HO, Canada
1550173618 $69.95

Author Andy Lamb is a marine naturalist and educator, Bernard Hanby an avid photographer and diver: the two pair their talents here in Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest: A Photographic Encyclopedia of Invertebrates, Seaweeds and Selected Fishes. Over 1,700 color photos cover some 1,400 species, providing the most in-depth photo gathering of Pacific Northwest marine life under one cover. And lest one think this means a coverage limited to scientists, fear not: Marine Life deserves a space on any public library or science library reference shelf alike.

Secrets of the Savanna
Mark & Delia Owens
Houghton Mifflin
222 Berkeley, Boston, MA 02116
0395893100 $26.00

The authors had the pleasure and trials of exploring one of the last wild places on earth, in the Luangwa Valley in Zambia and encountered both wild beauty and danger. Their story comes to life in SECRETS OF THE SAVANNA: 23 YEARS IN THE AFRICAN WILDERNESS UNRAVELING THE MYSTERIES OF ELEPHANTS AND PEOPLE. They lived with wild animals, observed similarities between their behaviors and those of humans, and here make additional social comparisons between animals and humans under stress. Travel, science, and social issues blend in a fine survey.

T.F.H. Publications
1 TFH Plaza, 3rd & Union Avenue, Neptune City, NJ 07753

If you own a pet and want to have it healthy through natural care routines, then Robert S. Goldstein & Susan J. Goldstein's THE GOLDSTEINS' WELLNESS & LONGEVITY PROGRAM (0793805457 $19.95) is for you. It's packed with natural treatments for common illnesses, tips on how to diagnose and handle feared diseases, and chapters on everything from skin care to cancer. The coverage of alternative vet therapies as well as home do-it-yourself natural care makes for a winning title. Tammy Gagne and Wayne Hunthausen, DVM's THE CHIHUAHUA (0793836328, $16.95) will delight chihuahua owners, offering a total care guide which uses sidebars, boxes and photos to easily impart the basics to owners. A training DVD comes with a guide covering everything from nail trimming and food to training and travel. Chris Brightwell's THE NANO-REEF HANDBOOK: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO REEF SYSTEMS UNDER 15 GALLONS (0893805724, $26.95) is a 'must' guide to any who would set up a nano-reef aquarium housing reef organisms, whether it be for school or home. From discussions of the components of such a system and its more complicated management to thirty recommended fishes and invertebrates for such an aquarium, hobbyists at all levels receive bright color photos and a wealth of practical 'how to do it' facts.

The Gardening Shelf

The Passionate Gardener
Rudolf Borchardt
McPherson & Co
Box 1126, Kingston, NY 12402
0929701739 $30.00

Plenty of books on the market survey flowers and gardening, but THE PASSIONATE GARDENER offers something different, being a handbook and memoir from a naturalist, philosopher, and poet who is as interested in the garden as a symbol as in gardening as a talent. His discourse on flowers, botanical history, and the act of planting blends literature and science with history and offers college-level readers a broad-based survey of the psychological sociological and botanical roots of landscape gardening.

The Homeowner's Shelf

Landscaping Earth Ponds
Tim Matson
Chelsea Green
Box 428, White River Junction, VT 05001
1933392029 $30.00

A pond adds value to a property, but many books which extol its virtues are mysteriously silent on just how to install and landscape for maximum benefit until LANDSCAPING EARTH PONDS: THE COMPLETE GUIDE. Tim Matson's proven methods and designs come from his background as an aquaculture consultant: he's been designing and restoring such ponds for over twenty-five years, and his tips update his prior EARTH PONDS with new details on everything from assessing and maintaining water quality to considering types of fill and handling embankments. Color photos throughout enhance the presentation.

Watson Guptill
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003

Pools from around the world and hot tubs are the focus of Vinny Lee's Cool Pools and Hot Tubs (0823006824 $35.00), a color guide which highlights the latest in pool technology and aesthetic design. Gone are the Olympic-style rectangles: in their place are eco pools which use plants to filter water, curvy designs which focus on atmosphere overall, lap pools which extend the home gym and home atmosphere, and more. Both indoor and outdoor pools are presented in a range of designs, using case studies both urban and rural to highlight options and innovative techniques. Lovely photos pack the survey and accompany notes on construction, atmosphere and options. Ann Stillman O'Lery's RUSTIC REVISITED: INNOVATIVE DESIGN FOR CABIN, CAMP, AND LODGE (0823046230, $39.95) shows how to use inspirational rustic patterns from nature in a house design. Primary and vacation homes alike are profiled, with natural, local materials creating a rustic impression. Thirty homes across North America are surveyed with notes on innovations, notable designs, and top architects' creations. Andrew Wellman's color photos pack displays of both interior and exterior settings. Anne Bold-Pryor and Donna V. Lacis' THE NAKED WALL: INSPIRING IDEAS FOR PAINT, UNIQUE FINISHES, WALL COVERINGS AND ART (0823031527, $21.95) provides both a display of notable walls and a how-to guide for transforming rooms by adding unusual murals, finishes, trompe l'oeil and more. From wallpapers to art works, chapters cover the types of changes which make a real difference, yet stay within the budget. 3D ideas, partial wallpapering, and more pack an inspiring, diverse display of images.

Gibbs Smith
Box 667, Layton, UT 84041

If you're trying to build a home without an architect, you're probably going about it the wrong way but working with an architect has its own demands, and Gerald Lee Morosco, AIA is the perfect person to tell how in HOW TO WORK WITH AN ARCHITECT (142360007X, $24.95). Chapters come from his own experience and cover all the criteria needed for the successful architect/client relationship, using the typical single-family residential design to survey the entire process. While the focus also includes an overview history of the architect's purposes and methods, it's the focus on the collaborative possibilities of client and architect that makes this so engrossing. Brian D. Coleman's WINDOW DRESSINGS: BEAUTIFUL DRAPERIES & CURTAINS FOR THE HOME (1586858165, $39.95) explores all kinds of choices in window decor using examples from across the U.S., created by some of the country's best designers. From elements of good curtain and drapery construction to details on decorating options, chapters pair fine color photo examples by William Wright with a blend of historical and design notes. Jennifer Roberts' GOOD GREEN KITCHENS (1586857002, $29.95) also comes packed with lovely photos and focuses on how to create a 'green kitchen' which is both lovely and functional as well as easier on the environment. From lightening a countertop's burden by using less square footage to recycling appliances and understanding better materials choices, GOOD GREEN KITCHENS is for any who would remodel their kitchen with more than style in mind. Michelle Kodis' ULTIMATE BACKYARD: INSPIRED IDEAS FOR OUTDOOR LIVING (1586857932, $39.95) provides dozens of ideas for redesigning backyard settings, whether they be urban, suburban or rural. The focus is on redos which help connect to the environment through architectural and design choices: chapters covers everything from an electric outdoor room to a sophisticated small yard transformation and an innovative, low-maintenance outdoor deck with water patterned into it. ULTIMATE BACKYARD is the ultimate in startling design choices and creative backyard style. Douglas Keister's MOBILE MANSIONS: TAKING 'HOME SWEET HOME' ON THE ROAD (1586857738, $24.95) examines all kinds of homes on wheels, from early camp cars to modern motorhomes and everything in between. Any RV fan will appreciate the history of the evolution of the camper car, which pairs historic photos and descriptions with surveys of elegant and ordinary alike.

Taunton Press
Box 5507, Newtown, CT 06470-5507

These excellent new guides from Taunton provide new ways of consider style, design, and home renovation projects. Jerremiah Eck's THE FACE OF HOME: A NEW WAY TO LOOK AT THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOUSE (1561587710, $40.00) focuses on five key features of good exterior design choices, from the link between site and house choice to harmony in materials and style. Over twenty such homes from across the U.S. are profiled to give examples of these choices, with chapters surveying instances where appropriate or innovative design has led to superior living space arrangement. From challenges to new ideas, THE FACE OF HOME provides plenty of commentary on what makes a superior exterior, and why. STONESCAPING IDEA BOOK by Andrew Wormer (156158763X, $14.95) tells how to incorporate all kinds of stone into an outdoor project, from paver steps to terraces and patios. Courtyards, outdoor rooms, retaining walls and decorative stone are displayed in numerous color photos throughout with commentary exploring how and why stone works. Julie Moir Messervy and Sarah Susanka's OUTSIDE THE NOT SO BIG HOUSE: CREATING THE LANDSCAPE OF HOME (1561587346, $34.95) comes from a noted landscape designer and writers, who tell how to work with rooms inside and outside to bring a harmonious link to both. Photos and drawings are vivid and numerous, teaching basic design concepts as they explore the idea of extending a house beyond its walls. Composition, flow, landscape and more contribute concepts and remodel ideas to an inspiring collection. Jim Tolpin's BUILDING TRADITIONAL KITCHEN CABINETS (1561587974, $24.95) has been completely revised and updated to provide the woodworker author's latest concepts on traditional kitchen cabinets and building techniques. Color photos and an easy step-by-step format teach readers the basics of using tools, designing, and building a complete set of kitchen cabinets for any type of kitchen. Anyone with a basic set of tools and knowledge will find this the item of choice for transforming a kitchen.

The Architecture Shelf

Creative Homeowner
24 Park Way
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458

Any planning a new home will find these Creative Homeowner titles packed with ideas. THE HOUSE PLANS BIBLE (1580113001, $14.95) is a virtual bible of house plans and at its price for a weighty paperback, a virtual bargain. Over six hundred plans for all kinds and sizes of houses range from vacation homes and ranches to modern and southwestern styling, with plans supplemented by tips for landscaping and remodeling. Narrow it further with BRICK HOME PLANS (1580113028, $11.95), which features over 400 home plans in color. CAD files are available for serious builders, but those just browsing design options will welcome these brick/stone oriented surveys of what's possible. VACATION HOME PLANS (1580113087, $11.95) tells of vacation home possibilities, packing in over three hundred home plans in color from top architects and designers across the country. For an idea book on interiors, look at 1001 IDEAS FOR COLOR & PAINT (1580112889, $24.95), which offers over 1,000 color palettes and photos for home decorating plans. Discussions of paint techniques blend with inspirational settings to offer plenty of tips for remodelers. DESIGN IDEAS FOR HOME STORAGE (158011301X, $19.95) tells how to make space by both banishing clutter and categorizing it into neat spaces. But HOME STORAGE is more than an organizational guide: it promotes an interior decoration strategy which embraces organization and open space alike, adding tips on how to preserve keepsakes and important documents and how to add appeal while adding storage. DESIGN IDEAS FOR CURB APPEAL (1580112900, $19.95) is a 'must' for any who would decorate a home for maximum resale attraction or personal value. It goes beyond interior decoration to discuss changes to architecture, landscape, and day and night interests alike, packing color photo examples with specific hints on how curb appeal may be fostered through a range of changes. From paint basics to first considerations, chapters offer a progressive series of home assessments for maximum results.

The Woodland House
Ben Law
Permanent Publications
East Meon, Hampshire, GU 32 1HR, England
1856230317 L14.95

Author Ben Law build a lovely home in the woods one of the most sustainable and lovely in Britain and here provides his experience on the whole process, completed under L28,000 with the help of volunteers and no crane, no waste, and no electricity from the grid. His home is an inspiration and was featured on the TV show 'Grand Designs': the book follows the step-by-step process of its construction with color photos all the way.

The Timberframe Way
Michael Morris & Dick Pirozzolo
The Lyons Press
Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
159228776X $22.95

Timberframe homes used to be known as post-and-beam homes: no matter what you call them, their popularity has only increased over the years and THE TIMBERFRAME WAY covers the elements of design and construction which lend to timberframe enjoyment. From design to decoration which enhances timberfame appearance, plenty of color photos pack a room-by-room assessment of specs, appearance, and decor.

Cliffhangers & Hillside Homes
E. Ashley Rodney
Schiffer Publishing
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen PA 19310
0764323873 $39.95

CLIFFHANGERS AND HILLSIDE HOMES isn't just your ordinary photolog of famous homes, but a gathering of some fifty lovely hillside settings located across the U.S. These buildings come from some thirty notable architects and designers who describe their work and compliment the lovely photo displays with interior decoration comments. From trim detailings to borders, views, and design options, CLIFFHANGERS AND HILLSIDE HOMES is packed with eye-catching interiors, exteriors and informative comments. A top pick.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

69 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197

Be prepared for a multi-volume drama, for Sean Williams's THE CROOKED LETTER (1591024382 $25.00) is subtitled 'Books of the Cataclysm One', promising more adventure ahead. Mirror twins Seth and Hadrian travel to Europe on holidays, but when Seth is murdered, both are introduced to other worlds on the other side of death, where parallel Earths and realities include afterlives. Of course, there are struggles, adventures, and conflicts between twin realms: struggles that provide well-rounded characterization and swift action. Chris Roberson's PARAGAEA: A PLANETARY ROMANCE (1591024447, $15.00) provides a fine time travel story of one Akilina, who finds herself thrown into another dimension from her 1964 world, where she meets another 'timelost' person from Earth's past. Chirikov, a rational Soviet cosmonaut, interprets her adventures with 1960s science as her only reference: her struggle to return home to report to her superiors makes for a moving drama, especially with romance thrown in as a twist.

Baen Books
Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471

Baen's new arrivals promise great summer reading, with quality authors paired with solid plot developments. David Weber's BOLO! (1416520627, $7.99) provides another cybernetic war story of humanity's warriors, who move from the role of artificial intelligences to comrades; Travis Taylor's WARP SPEED (1416520635, $7.99) tells of a physicist who wants to become an astronaut. Through his breakthrough he dreams of achieving his goal, until war breaks out and his warp drive technology is threatened by America's enemies. Andre Norton's MOONSINGER (1416520619, $25.00) combines under one cover the original novels MOON OF THREE RINGS and its sequel EXILES OF THE STARS: the first time both have appeared under one cover. An uninterrupted story is the satisfying result. John Ringo's EAST OF THE SUN WEST OF THE MOON (1416520597, $24.00) creates quite a drama with its story of a former slave girl who helps control the world-spanning computer network called Mother. Politics and strife will change her role as she is tapped as a replacement killer for a slaughtered team. Eric Flint works with Virginia DeMarce on 1634: THE RAM REBELLION (1416520600, $25.00), adding to his popular series about an alternate history and a Thirty Years War which continues to destroy 17th century Europe. The West Virginians from original Earth continue to fight to liberate peasants and try to avoid bloodbaths by using future knowledge.

The Ultramarines Omnibus
Graham McNeill
BL Publishers
1525 Hulse Road, Unit 1, Pt. Pleasant, NJ 08742
1844164039 $10.99

The Ultramarines represent loyalty and courage, fighting against the enemies of mankind: this premise fostered a trilogy of novels which here appear under one cover. It's a pleasure to see NIGHTBRINGER, WARRIORS OF THE ULTRAMAR and DEAD SKY here plus a new connected short story: under one cover the story flows smoothly and evenly.

Feeling Very Strange
James Patrick Kelly & John Kessel, editors
1459 18th St. #139, San Francisco CA 94107
189239135X $14.95

Advanced review galleys are not typically featured we usually only review from finished books but FEELING VERY STRANGE: THE SLIPSTREAM ANTHOLOGY is something unusual to watch for: a collection which helps define and identify the genre of fiction known as 'slipstream'. This category has long defied easy definition: blend literary avant garde elements with science and you begin to realize its boundaries. It embraces cognitive dissonance, ambiguity, and visionary oddities and the short stories by Aimee Bender, Kelly Link, Bruce Sterling and others provide diverse satisfying examples of how this is accomplished.

Black Pockets And Other Dark Thoughts
George Zebrowski
Golden Gryphon Press
3002 Perkins Road, Urbana, IL 61802
1930846401 $24.95

This is George Zebrowksi's first collection of horror stories, represents works gathered from his entire writing career, and displays an unusually powerful attention to characterization which makes for horror backgrounds the reader winds up caring about. Too often horror scenarios focus on the impossible with a nod to character: Zebrowski's focus on character development draws readers into compelling plots as in the dilemma of a woman who goes to sleep and wakes up elsewhere in 'Jumper', or 'I Walked with Fidel', a political horror story. Now, Zebrowski's no newcomer to writing: he has over forty books to his name including short story collections, essays and novels but this first collection of horror stories displays another edge to his creative talents one which should be satisfying to a large audience.

The Literary Shelf

American Bee
James Maguire
Rodale Press
733 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10017-3204
1594862141 $24.95

AMERICAN BEE: THE NATIONAL SPELLING BEE NAD THE CULTURE OF WORD NERDS follows the lives of five top spellers as they compete, but also provides a background history of world spelling efforts and the evolution of spelling over the centuries. From the strange and changing history of English spelling choices to the evolution of spelling bee contests, AMERICAN BEE is outstanding and detailed reading for leisure browsers as well as fans of literary history.

Our Fire Survives the Storm
Daniel Heath Justice
University of Minnesota Press
111 Third Ave. South #290, Minneapolis, MN 55401-2520
0816646392 $20.00

OUR FIRE SURVIVES THE STORM: A CHEROKEE LITERARY HISTORY uses the Chickamauga consciousness of resistance and Beloved Path of engagement to provide a different method of interpreting texts composed in English, revealing different nuances of Cherokee literary tradition in the process. With Daniel Health Justice's approach in hand, college-level students of Native American literature have a fine method of analyzing stories for strengths, purpose, and direction.

Romeo & Juliet
Marie Macaisa and Dominique Raccah
Box 4410, Naperville, IL 60567-4410
140220101X $14.95

Don't anticipate a dry account of the play here, for ROMEO & JULIET: BRINGING THE SHAKESPEARE PAGE TO LIFE is packed with visuals and interest, even including a cd of great scenes from the Renaissance Theatre production. Photos from notable productions and a compelling audio with narration by Sir Derek Jacobi bring the classic play to new life.

The Education Shelf

Teach Beyond Your Reach
Robin Neidorf
Information Today
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
0910965730 $29.95

Instructors interested in better meeting student needs through different teaching approaches will welcome TEACH BEYOND YOUR REACH: AN INSTRUCTOR'S GUIDE TO DEVELOPING AND RUNNING SUCCESSFUL DISTANCE LEARNING CLASSES, WORKSHOPS, TRAINING SESSIONS AND MORE. Distance learning is one of the fastest-growing learning options in the country, allowing individuals to earn degrees, certifications and gain skills without entering a classroom. TEACH BEYOND YOUR REACH covers the basics of a successful distance learning approach and shares practices and examples from successful teachers. A fine pick for any teacher entering the cyberworld.

Academic Collective Bargaining
Ernst Benjamin and Michael Mauer, Eds.
26 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New ork NY 10014-1789
0873529723 $22.00

Collective bargaining processes have long been the foundation of academic governance, enhancing improvements in working conditions: here to chart these struggles are contributors who survey the historical process. From this foundation of how academic collective bargaining evolved socially and politically to its processes and changing procedures, ACADEMIC COLLECTIVE BARGAINING provides perspectives seasoned educators will appreciate.

Teaching Literacy
Kieran Egan
Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
1412927889 $27.95

TEACHING LITERACY: ENGAGING THE IMAGINATION OF NEW READERS AND WRITERS is a fun, revealing guide for teachers interested in going beyond the textbook to add an atmosphere of fun to literacy. Acknowledging that this atmosphere of fun, familiar ideas and experiences encourage effective instruction, TEACHING LITERACY offers a new approach designed to present classroom teachers with intriguing, different activities. Chapters offer challenges for student and teacher alike and encourage lessons which are refreshingly different.

Approaches to Teaching Early Modern Spanish Drama
Laura R. Bass and Margaret R. Greer, Editors
26 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York NY 10004-1789
0873529952 $19.75

Performances of early modern Spanish drama have been more popular lately, requiring teachers to help students understand the major works of the period to appreciate underlying nuances, literary history and form: APPROACHES TO TEACHING EARLY MODERN SPANISH DRAMA helps teachers evaluate editions, anthologies, historical and critical works on the topic, and approaches to understanding. Drama teachers and literary teachers alike will find useful assessments of the theory, content and forms of Spanish plays and their influences, as well as surveys of how films capture and reflect these plays. A 'must' for any college-level collection strong in drama or Spanish culture.

The World History Shelf

National Geographic Expeditions Atlas
National Geographic
1145 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036-4688
0792276167 $40.00

The National Geographic Society was founded over a hundred years ago to foster geographic knowledge, and its latest EXPEDITIONS ATLAS reports on some of the most famous explorers of the 20th century who furthered knowledge of world geography including scientists and researchers. Hundreds of historic and modern photos and over sixty maps pack EXPEDITIONS ATLAS to trace the achievements, motivations and experiences of such famous explorers as diver Sylvia Earle and cartographer Bradford Washburn. These are adventurers who deserve every bit as much recommendation as the more famous Hillary, Lindbergh and Cousteau all names also included here and who deserve and receive the recognition. EXPEDITIONS ATLAS thus fosters a far greater set of insights into world exploration and discovery than the usual focus on adventurers alone.

Commemorating Trauma
Peter Starr
Fordham University Press
University Box L, 2546 Belmont Ave., Bronx, NY 10458
0823226034 $55.00

Peter Starr is a professor of French and Comparative Literature with an abiding interest in how cultures respond to traumatic events: his focus on the Terrible Year in modern France examines the effects of the French army's defeat at Sedan and the fall of the Second Empire in 1870, which was followed by the Prussian occupation of France and the first siege of Paris. Its college-level analysis uses recent scholarly work on cultural trauma to consider the lasting effects of the Terrible Year on Paris history and culture.

Spying for Empire
Robert Johnson
Greenhill Books/MBI
380 Jackson Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55101-3885
1853676705 $34.95

SPYING FOR EMPIRE: THE GREAT GAME IN CENTRAL AND SOUTH ASIA, 1757-1947 covers the struggle between Russia and Britain for influence over southern and central Asia. The British dispatched diplomats and agents to survey and map the area, discovering Russian military plans on the border of India and facing major problems as they tried to understand the nature of the Russian threat to the region. From British intelligence work to the politics of the times, SPYING FOR EMPIRE is a fine recommendation for either college-level world history collections or followers of early British history.

Harcourt Trade
15 E. 26th Street, New York NY 10010

Jonathan Wright's THE AMBASSADORS: FROM ANCIENT GREECE TO RENAISSANCE EUROPE, THE MEN WHO INTRODUCED THE WORLD TO ITSELF (0151011117 $26.00) provides an unusual survey of the first early ambassadors and their journeys. These individuals functioned as both diplomats and explorers, overcoming linguistic, cultural and social barriers to journey to other lands making pacts with leaders. From the Middle East to Asia and the West, chapters provide a backdrop of world history as experienced by early ambassadors to other countries. A rich, moving survey questions the origins of assumptions, encounters, and modern perceptions. Klaus Brinkbaumer nad Clemens Hoges' THE VOYAGE OF THE VIZCAINA: THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS'S LAST SHIP (0151011867, $26.00) comes from investigative journalists who were the first to pursue the story of the Nombre de Dios wreck, partially buried in Panama for centuries until a treasure hunter posted an announcement on the Internet claiming the wreck's remains were those of the lost Vizcaina, one of Columbus's final ships. The authors helped organize a team of divers and coordinated Columbus experts around the world to investigate: their saga blends archaeological and historical revelations with all the drama of a true adventure, which will involve many a casual reader as well as those involved in history or underwater archaeology.

The American History Shelf

Stephen Kinzer
Times Books/Holt
175 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
0805078614 $27.50

OVERTHROW: AMERICA'S CENTURY OF REGIME CHANGE FROM HAWAII TO IRAQ is a 'must' for any concerned about American influences overseas and at home: while the common idea is that America has a tradition of encouraging cooperative democracy, in fact Stephen Kinzer, NY Times foreign correspondent, argues the opposite: the tradition has been anything but benign, sponsoring 'regime change' operations to overthrow foreign governments as a matter of course, not a matter of exception. Chapters chart the politics and processes of these regime changes from Hawaii through the Civil War, in the Philippines, and on to the Middle East in a startling expose which documents the long-standing tactics of an aggressive diplomacy.

Dixie Betrayed
David J. Eicher
Little, Brown
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0316739057 $27.95

DIXIE BETRAYED: HOW THE SOUTH REALLY LOST THE CIVIL WAR analyzes the Confederate government and how its decisions caused it to lose the war. The Confederate politicians have long been applauded as fighters but in fact were divided by conspiracy and dysfunction. Previously unexplored sources are used to document in-house battles that even evolved to threats and physical violence. With military decisions coming more from political influence than skill and years of unresolved debates evolving over government setup, the South was doomed to lose.

Fields of Honor
Edwin C. Bearss
National Geographic Press
1145 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036-4688
0792275683 $28.00

FIELDS OF HONOR: PIVOTAL BATTLES OF THE CIVIL WAR is the first book gathered from Edwin Bearss' recordings of his battlefield tours, gathering the Civil War's history and offering details on fourteen pivotal battles throughout the war. Bearss has presents over six decades of battlefield study, and surveys strategies used by both sides: his is a fine survey which pairs over seventy black and white photos and nearly twenty maps with detailed descriptions of leaders, maneuvers, and conflicts. A 'must' for any avid Civil War student.

Creating the Big Easy
Anthony J. Stanonis
University of Georgia Press
330 Research Drive, Athens, GA 30602-4901
0820328227 $22.95

CREATING THE BIG EASY: NEW ORLEANS AND THE EMERGENCE OF MODERN TOURISM, 1918-45 is especially important today as the city struggles to rebuild and redefine itself. It's a survey of tourism-based development and the cultural and economic forces that transformed New Orleans from a port to a national tourist destination. Urban development, historic preservation and taxes along with the city's efforts to promote its cultural heritage to outsiders makes for an in-depth survey on how visitors are enticed by an image of an urban area's past and present. A 'must' for any who would understand the roots of modern New Orleans' development and the task at hand for rebuilding it.

The Cultural Issues Shelf

Words in a French Life
Kristin Espinasse
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743287282 $18.00

Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France could also have appeared in our travel or literary section, but is featured here for its intriguing cultural insights. The book comes form a popular blog and newsletter written by an American woman living in Provence with her French husband and 'Frano-American' kids. Her long love of all things French led to a fascination by words and phrases which she hadn't learned through schooling which then led to a lively blog about French culture, language and customs.

The Caged Virgin
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Free Press
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743288335 $19.95

THE CAGED VIRGIN: AN EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION FOR WOMEN AND ISLAM urges democracies to recommit to reason and makes a case for the freedom of women from Muslim oppression. It's her survey of Islam and its impact on the role of women and their rights, but does more than chart history: THE CAGED VIRGIN proffers a call to action from free women, and provides her own story of how author Ayaan Hirsi Ali evolved to become the leading voice for Muslim women around the world. An international bestseller, it's available here for the first time in English.

More Than a Music Box
Andrew Crissell, Editor
Berghahn Books
Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
1845450469 $27.95

MORE THAN A MUSIC BOX: RADIO CULTURES AND COMMUNITIES IN A MULTI-MEDIA WORLD gathers essays for college-level survey of world media formats and their competition for radio's position of importance. Essays consider digital broadcasting, the internet, and other competing media sources, analyzing radio's ongoing importance in competition with these alternative transmission choices. Andrew Crissel is a Professor of Broadcasting Studies with other books on radio and broadcasting to his name: his latest covers such topics as gay radio, Native American radio, public radio and documentaries and will prove a 'must' for any student of broadcasting.

University of Arizona Press
355 S. Euclid Avenue, #103, Tucson, AZ 85719

Three very different books offer excellent insights into other cultures. Robert J. Wolfe's PLAYING WITH FISH AND OTHER LESSONS FROM THE NORTH (0816524858, $15.95) comes from a cultural anthropologist whose twenty-year experience in Alaska documenting the traditional hunting and fishing practice of Alaskan Natives leads to essays on human nature and lessons from the Natives. These essays contrast the very different worlds of California and Alaska, from differences between cultures and ecology to perspectives on interpersonal relationships. Philip Garrison's BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE WINGS: STORIES OF MEXICAN IMMIGRANT LIFE (0816525250, $17.95) comes from an author who has spent over thirty years rotating teaching positions between the Pacific northwest and Mexico. His essays come from his experiences working and living with Mexican immigrants in Washington's Yakima Valley and survey their lives and cultures both at home and away form home, capturing both everyday experience and cultural insights. Lawney L. Reyes' BERNIE WHITEBEAR: AN URBAN INDIAN'S QUEST FOR JUSTICE (0816525218, $17.95) blends biography with Native American issues and insights as it tells of a man who began as an impoverished youth on a 1930s reservation and grew to a powwow organizer whose influence improved the lives of Indians across the country. When he died in 2000 Whitebear left a legacy of positive achievements, detailed here.

Rafael Perez-Torres
University of Minnesota Press
111 Third Avenue South, #290, Minneapolis, MN 55401-2520
0816645957 $20.00

MESTIZAJE: CRITICAL USES OF RACE IN CHICANO CULTURE will reach college-level audiences with a detailed survey of Chicano culture and the role race plays in modern expectations of such. Concepts of race, historical memory, and community have contributed to potentials for new multiracial identities, yet most Chicano studies focus on differences and conflicts. MESTIZAJE examines a quarter-century's worth of thinking to consider Chicano public art and its social and political representation.

The Sami People
Veli-Pekka Lehtola
University of Alaska Press
Box 756240, Fairbanks, AK 99775
1889963755 $27.95

THE SAMI PEOPLE: TRADITIONS IN TRANSITION covers a culture rarely given its own attention in books. In fact, the most focus on Sami traditions in recent years has been given because of the music of Mari Bonne and other so it's refreshing to see a culture-wide survey of the Sami, especially following its recent powerful changes. Black and white photos both vintage and modern accompany a history of Sami traditions in flux, from milestones in their background to their integration into the modern world. Veli-Pekka Lehtola is a senior research fellow in Finland with several surveys of the Sami already in print: her first book on the topic is a winner.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

The Modern Amazons
Dominique Mainon & James Ursini
Limelight Editions
512 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
0879103272 $24.95

You'd expect THE MODERN AMAZONS: WARRIOR WOMEN ON-SCREEN to be packed with photos of film details; what is more surprising is that these aren't just mainstream productions, but include plenty of cult and little-known, smaller films as well as images from television. From Uhura in the early Star Trek series and Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway in the later to the women in Batman scenes, Xenia the warrior princess and more, THE MODERN AMAZONS promises hours of captivating looking, trivia, insights about changing women's film roles, and much more. And it's packed with black and white photos from films on nearly every page.

The Academy Awards
Jim Piazza and Gail Kinn
Black Dog & Leventhal
151 West 19th Street, New York NY 10011
157912545X $19.95

If film, actors and the Academy Awards are of interest, THE ACADEMY AWARDS: THE COMPLETE UNOFFICIAL HISTORY must be part of any serious home or public lending collection. It's been revised and updated here and offers behind the scenes and documented film history - nearly eighty years of it complete with black and white and color photos throughout. Color sidebars of rich information include 'best of' roundups by year, and profile each actor or actresses' achievements. An outstanding keepsake edition documenting the Academy Awards' high points.

Michael Wiese Productions
11288 Ventura Blvd. #621, Studio City, CA 91604

Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D.'s THE MORAL PREMISE: HARNESSING VIRTUE & VICE FOR BOX OFFICE SUCCESS (1932907130 $24.95) explores how protagonist character and dilemmas become a foundation of a successful movie's entire structure and how filmmakers and writers can use this idea to generate great films. From a history of the Moral Premise and its use and techniques to specific instructions on how to include this in a screenplay, THE MORAL PREMISE offers insight and inspiration which any screenwriter should have. Steve Carlson's HITTING YOUR MARK: MAKING A LIFE AND A LIVING AS A FILM ACTOR (1932907122 $22.95) provides an important insider's view on what it takes to successfully work in Hollywood acting. Plenty of titles offer insights on breaking in, but too few discuss what to do when you've gotten there. HITTING YOUR MARK comes from a veteran of TV and film and its second edition discusses the everyday life of an actor, the actor's progress in the industry, and working on sets. It's these basics which discuss fundamental progress of an actor's evolving career which are unique to HITTING YOUR MARK, making it a top pick for actors who've landed their position and need to go on from there.

How I Broke Into Hollywood
Pablo F. Fenjves & Rocky Lang
10 East 53rd Street, New York NY 10022-5299
0060789646 $25.95

Major Hollywood stars had to work hard to break into the industry and make it big, but few places chart their stories under one cover. HOW I BROKE INTO HOLLYWOOD: SUCCESS STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES gathers dozens of Hollywood's greatest successes under one cover, including not just actors but writers, directors, designers and more to provide profiles of the best and how they worked to achieve their goals. Inspirational chapters profile nearly fifty such Hollywood success stories and will appeal to any interested in learning from experience.

The 30-Second Storyteller
Thomas Richter
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210
1598632264 $34.99

Imagine a job where you need work only 10 days a year to make $100K: one which requires no dress code, no regular hours, and world travel. Such a job is that of the commercial director but it's a difficult position to land and retain. THE 30-SECOND STORYTELLER: THE ART AND BUSINESS OF DIRECTING COMMERCIALS teaches filmmakers how to get such a job, and how to keep it. It's not just another guide to directing, but a survey of how to create a TV spot which keeps a career moving, covering such a production from start to finish and drawing on examples from successful commercials to illustrate its advice.

Acting is a Job
Jason Pugatch
Allworth Press
10 E. 23rd St. Suite 510, New York NY 10010
1581154380 $19.95

ACTING IS A JOB: REAL LIFE LESSONS ABOUT THE ACTING BUSINESS provides both humor and solid insights as it covers the basics of the acting world and uses interviews with other working actors, agents, and directors to fill in any gaps. From a review of lie theatre, film and TV opportunities and experiences to the basics of locating good-paying work and how to handle training programs, ACTING IS A JOB covers everything you'll need to know about the industry.

The Essential Chaplin
Richard Schickel, Editor
Ivan R. Dee
1332 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566637015 $16.95

Nearly thirty essays from film critic Richard Schickel deserve ongoing recommendation and mention for any Chaplain fan, whether newcomer or seasoned. Schickel gathers the best criticisms of Chaplin's life and works from contributors many of whom were his contemporaries and pairs them to assessments of Chaplin's films from start to finish. The idea is to place under one cover the very best writing about Chaplin from non-movie-reviewer writers: the result is an analysis of genius and methods rather than films alone, and one which holds up well against movie reviewer surveys or biographies alone.

The California Shelf

Heyday Books
Box 9145, Berkeley, CA 94709

With so many books covering the history of San Francisco, it's notable that one devoted to the epic story of Anza and the settling of California hasn't appeared before. Vladimir Guerrero's THE ANZA TRAIL AND THE SETTLING OF CALIFORNIA (1597140263 $16.95) is long overdue and deserves a place in any serious California history collection: it focuses on the leader of an expedition which sought to found a Spanish colony on San Francisco Bay, following politics, achievements, encounters with natives along the way, and more. Original translations, new documents and fifteen new trail maps blend first-hand sources with fresh insight to bring new life to an epic journey. Robert L. Allen's THE PORT CHICAGO MUTINY: THE STORY OF THE LARGEST MASS MUTINY TRIAL IN U.S. NAVAL HISTORY (1597140287, $14.95) could also have been featured in our Military History section but its importance to California readers is even more valuable. During the second world war Port Chicago, in the San Francisco Bay Area, was a segregated naval munitions base which required black seamen to load ammunition onto ships bound for the south pacific while white officers oversaw the operation. In 1944 an explosion killed over three hundred men, most black loaders, and while white officers were commended for heroism, their surviving black enlistee counterparts were sent to repeat the job on another ship. When they refused, fifty men were charged and convicted of mutiny. This is their story: one which should be a part of any serious California history collection as well as any holding on minority issues and history.

Arcadia Publishers
420 Wando Park Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
$19.95 Each

Arcadia's titles are high-quality presentations and more so than any other publisher, highlight the history and unique attributes of city neighborhoods. Recent arrivals covering San Francisco are no exception: they offer vintage photos culled from a variety of sources. The Japantown Task Force's SAN FRANCISCO'S JAPANTOWN (073853059X) deserves ongoing recommendation and mention as one of the few books to consider Japantown as a separate entity. Authored by an organization dedicated to preserving its cultural and history background, SAN FRANCISCO'S JAPANTOWN presents vintage photos from various societies and Japanese communities to rebuild the history of the neighborhood. Dr. William Lipsky's SAN FRANCISCO'S PANAMA-PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION (0738530093) comes from a city historian who shares an amazing gathering of early Pan-Pacific photos and memorabilia. These images many not to be found elsewhere recreate the amazing displays of a fair which lasted 10 months and covered nearly the entire Marina District of early San Francisco in 1915. Robert F. Oaks' SAN FRANCISCO'S FILLMORE DISTRICT (0738529885) surveys a district which has changed ethnically more than any other in the city, going from a large Jewish settlement and Japanese center to a redeveloped area (during which most residents were forced out, again changing the community). Also authored by a San Francisco historian, FILLMORE DISTRICT offers vintage images that trace these many changes. Christine Miller's SAN FRANCISCO'S FINANCIAL DISTRICT (0738529990) comes from a long-time city volunteer interested in city preservation and history, and follows the changes of one of the earliest city settlements. Nearly every type of commercial architecture is represented both in the district and in this book's images. Emiliano Echeverria and Walter Rice's SAN FRANCISCO'S POWELL STREET CABLE CARS (0738530476) tackles a topic which arguably has seen much coverage in other San Francisco titles: it comes from cable car historians who offer up over 200 vintage images to survey the twists and changes of the cable lines, politics, and development. All are essential picks any California collection should have.

California: America's High-Stakes Experiment
Peter Schrag
University of California Press
2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720-1012
0520244362 $24.95

From immigration to changing California politics and focus, Peter Schrag surveys the major issues affecting the state, providing an analysis of political, social and technological issues that are affecting California's livability and direction. Schrag was the editorial page editor of the Sacramento Bee for 19 years: his perspective provides a long-term analysis which takes into account past efforts and changing modern focuses alike, with a position near the state's capital offering many close inspections of politics and policy-makers. A fine survey of investment, dysfunction, and success evolves.

After the Ruins
Mark Klett, Michael Lundgren,
Fine Arts Museums SF
c/o Univiversity of California
2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720-1012
0520245563 $24.95

AFTER THE RUINS: 1906 AND 2006 REPHOTOGRAPHING THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE AND FIRE has been a century in the making, and deserves a spot on any collection purported to be even halfway authoritative about San Francisco or California history. Its purpose seemed simple: to capture the meaning and impact of the 1906 quake through juxtaposing 'before' and 'after' photos, right down to the very angle of original landscapes. The idea was to also document how the city's landscape changed because of and since the quake: black and white and duotone photos by photographer Karin Breuer compliment essays by Philip L. Fradkin and Rebecca Solnit, longtime writers on California history, compliment an outstanding survey. College-level holdings on urban planning and design also should make this a special pick: it's an important documentation of how urban disasters change urban landscapes.

The Gaming Shelf

Children of the Horned Rat
Robert J. Schwsalb
BL Publishing
1525 Hulse Rd. Unit 1, Pleasant, NJ 08742
1844163075 $29.99

Gamers familiar with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay will appreciate a companion volume with a narrowed focus on the ratmen race, the skaven. Enlarging upon themes are new details on the secretive rat race which gamers can use in their games, paired with new adventures and descriptions. Ingredients and casting time for new spells pair accompany new characters and roleplaying overviews.

Maran Illustrated Poker
Thomson Course Technology
25 Thomson Place
Boston, MA 02210
1592009468 $19.99

The Maran family specializes in illustrated, easily used coverages and POKER is one of its best: a gamer's guide with step-by-step instructions on all the basics to play all popular forms of poker. Tips include advice on everything from playing a casino cardroom to a friend's living room, and easily move from introductory beginner's choices to neo-professional poker plays. Color plays every step of the way add plenty of insight to this recommended pick.

90 Minutes
Robert Davies
49 West 24th Street, 8th Floor, New York NY 10010
1858943051 $35.00

90 MINUTES: THE GREATEST MOMENTS FROM THE WORLD CUP is a memoir and history any World Cup fan will find engrossing, capturing the sport's highlights in dramatic, artistic full-page color photos accompanied by a captain which cites details of the match portrayed. Soccer is played by millions around the world, so the potential audience for a keepsake edition like 90 MINUTES will prove vast.

Surfing's Greatest Misadventures
Paul Diamond, Editor
Casagrande Press/Wilderness Press, Dist.
3644 Albion Place North, Seattle, WA 98103
0976951606 $15.95

Readers with an interest in surfing will find much to like in the true stories here that provide unbelievable tales of big waves, sharks, tsunamis and disasters. These come from surf journalists, filmmakers, and everyday surfers who are committed to the wave: SURFING'S GREATEST MISADVENTURES: DROPPING IN ON THE UNEXPECTED simply excels in vivid 'you are there' dramas capturing surfing's most riveting moments.

Baseball Between the Numbers
Jonah Keri, Editor
Basic Books
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 01016
0465005969 $24.95

The Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts' BASEBALL BETWEEN THE NUMBERS: WHY EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT THE GAME IS WRONG comes from sports writers who challenge conventions, offering new insights and alternative analysis of baseball questions. The group of fans met with a common goal: to better understand the game and its plays. Ten years and eleven annuals later comes BASEBALL BETWEEN THE NUMBERS, an investigative guide to everything from averages to rotation choices and team trivia. Baseball fans will consider it a 'must' filled with fun and scientific fact alike.

The Cookbook Shelf

Gael Greene
Warner Books
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0446576999 $25.95

INSATIABLE: TABLES FROM A LIFE OF DELICIOUS EXCESS celebrates the food world like no other, blending a peppering of recipes with the author's observations of the growing world of exotic foods and culinary expertise. The unschooled Greene differs from the quasi-chefs who normally write modern chef's explorations these days: she's immersed in the New York food world but not a chef herself, revealing an undercurrent of snobbery in culinary circles which originally regulated her to the back rooms rather than the center of foodie circles. Her observations of culinary fame, sensual excess, and rich experience provides both a personal memoir and a series of connections to New York's food society, whether it be a gourmet restaurant or her work spearheading Citymeals-on-Wheels, a charity program for the elderly. It's her diverse experiences which set INSATIABLE apart from the many food surveys on today's market.

Alfred Knopf
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019

Kathryn Hughes' THE SHORT LIFE AND LONG TIMES OF MRS. BEETON: THE FIRST DOMESTIC GODDESS (0307263738, $29.95) provides an outstanding biographical key to an early housewife whose book of recipes and domestic advice evolved into a virtual bible of details for other women. Mrs. Beeton lived in a simple house in the suburbs and died at only 28, shortly after her book's publication, so she never saw how it exploded in popularity, reaching the newly affluent with advice on how to cook, clean, and cope with social mores. The widespread distribution of her book even led, decades later, to accusations of plagiarism and reflections on its lasting influence on cooking as a whole. Given all this, it's surprising to note that until now a detailed biography of Mrs. Beeton has not been widely available. This portrait is a 'must' for avid cooks who have familiarity with her receipts and style. Julia Child's MY LIFE IN FRANCE (1400043468, $25.95) is written with Alex Prud'homme, Paul Child's grandnephew, and focuses on Julia's years in France when she first experienced French cooking and discovered her affection for the process. Black and white photos and family snapshots pepper the story of her discoveries in the cooking world, her work with fellow chefs, and her evolution into a world-class cook and teacher. Any who hold an affection for Child's works will relish MY LIFE IN FRANCE and will come to consider it a 'must' read. Bill Buford's HEAT (1400041201, $25.95) is another fine guide for any with an affection for cooking. How is a serious cook made? HEAT (AN AMATEUR'S ADVENTURES AS KITCHEN SLAVE, LINE COOK, PASTA-MAKER, AND APPRENTICE TO A DANTE-QUOTING BUTCHER IN TUSCANY) follows the author to work in a professional kitchen, where his opportunity to train with a three-star New York chef reveals the fast-paced world of Babbo's kitchen. An evolving friendship between the two allows Buford to learn about Batali's own apprenticeship in Italy and to follow in his footsteps. It's hard to neatly classify HEAT: better place it among the new realm of cookbooks by novices-turned-cook, and add a healthy dose of humor to this mix.

Perfect Pairings
Evan Goldstein & Joyce Goldstein
University of California Press
2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720-1012
0520243773 $29.95

PERFECT PAIRINGS: A MASTER SOMMELIER'S PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR PARTNERING WINE WITH FOOD isn't for the casual cook: it's the item of choice for home cooks who are well beyond the basics and seek to understand the underlying logic of pairing foods with the wines available from around the world. Evan Goldstein is a restaurant industry veteran, as is his wife, so PERFECT PAIRINGS comes from a professional's point of view and offers the depth of perception on some twelve grape varietals paired with over fifty recipes by chef Joyce that other books couldn't touch in a wine analysis alone. Explanations of food and wine pairings focus on the elements which bring both to life with excellent pointers on other desirable pairings.

Adams Media
57 Littlefield Street, Avon, MA 02322

Over three hundred entrees, appetizers and side dishes suitable for potlucks were either gathered from cooks of all denominations across the country, or created by author Susie Siegfried in Church Potluck Carry-Ins And Casseroles (1593375492 $15.95). Any church-goer knows how many good cooks often reveal favorites at these potlucks and how many recipes are on the market. CHURCH POTLUCK CARRY-INS AND CASSEROLES: HOMESTYLE RECIPES FOR CHURCH SUPPERS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS\ strives to represent only the best, and dishes such as Crab-Mushroom Quiche, Corned Beef Salad and Oatmeal Cake won't appear in many competing casserole cookbooks. Nancy T. Maar's THE EVERYTHING GLYCEMIC INDEX COOKBOOK (1593375816, $14.95) bases its recipes on the Glycemic Index, a measuring tool for blood sure rise and fall: as such it's a diabetic's cookbook, but also handy for those wishing to lose weight. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks are designed to keep blood sugar levels from fluctuating, and include vegetarian and meat fare alike. From London Broil with Onions and Sweet Potato Sticks to Duck Breasts with Rum-Raisin Sauce for the holidays and Deviled Eggs with Capers, recipes are easy enough not to need photo embellishment.

Party Animal Cakes
Lindy Smith
David & Charles/F&W Publications
4700 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236
0715322079 $19.99

The eye-catching animal cakes featured on the cover and back of PARTY ANIMAL CAKES may look difficult to make, but with Lindy Smith's step-by-step, color photo enhanced directions in hand, it's a piece of cake to produce them. A base cake round, fondant, and icing along with a cutting template are usually all that's needed, and sidebars of materials and equipment lists assure cooks have everything they need right at hand. These aren't quick productions nor are they for baking beginners, but cooks with some experience will find this takes them the next step from average to extraordinary cake-making. Parents will appreciate the kid-friendly animal themes.

Chronicle Books
85 - 2nd Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco CA 94105

Christopher Hirscheimer and Peggy Knickerbocker's THE SAN FRANCISCO FERRY PLAZA FARMERS' MARKET COOKBOOK: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO IMPECCABLE PRODUCE PLUS 130 SEASONAL RECIPES (0811844625, $22.95) was inspired by the new San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, which evolved from the old Alemany Farmers Market located less centrally. The new market has become one of the best places in the country for obtaining fresh produce, with not only organic fruit and vegetable farmers selling their wares but fresh meats, artisan bakers, and gourmet restaurants and shops enhancing the culinary experience. The Ferry has become a foodie's shopping mecca and you'll find THE SAN FRANCISCO FERRY PLAZA FARMER'S MARKET COOKBOOK of equal attraction, offering seasonal listings of specialty items, color photos of produce, and recipes for unusually flavorful dishes. Fred Thompson's THE BIG BOOK OF FISH & SHELLFISH (0811849252, $19.95) is the perfect pick for any who love fresh seafood, pairing tips on selection and preparation with dishes which profile a range of cooking techniques, from poaching to grilling and roasting. Over two hundred recipes are organized easily by type of seafood lending to quick substitutions, while original innovations from chefs adapted for home kitchens assure no tired repeats. These are both top picks, highly recommended.

Real Life Entertaining
Jennifer Rubell
William Morrow
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
0060778474 $27.50 1-800-242-7737

REAL LIFE ENTERTAINING: EASY RECIPES AND UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM isn't for the party-giver who likes stress: it advocates a more carefree method of throwing a party whether impromptu or planned way ahead, foregoing fancy plans for budget-conscious convenience. Techniques for entertaining pair easy yet elegant recipes with ideas for festive themes. Color pictures throughout enhance the displays.

10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299

Victoria Gotti's HOT ITALIAN DISH: A COOKBOOK (0060851685, $27.95) pairs recipes with cooking hints and family stories from one who has become famous for her Italian cooking. Over a hundred recipes for festive occasions or family meals compliment family memories, humor, and culinary insights that introduce each section. No color photos, but the easy dishes don't need them. Whether you've seen her TV shows or not, journalist Victoria Gotti's collection is a fun overview of Italian meals paired with a dose of celebrity scoops. Ana Sortun's SPICE: FLAVORS OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (0060792280, $34.95) comes from the author's love affair with Turkish cooking as well as her own award-winning restaurant Oleana in Massachusetts, where she uses her interests in Mediterranean cuisine to create innovative new dishes. Lovely recipes are organized by spice rather than dish, allowing cooks an interesting opportunity to focus on the different effects of spices. A centerfold of gorgeous color photos lends well to a very different, original set of creations highly recommended for any fan of Mediterranean flavors.

Whitecap Books
351 Lynn Avenue, North Vancouver, BC, V7J 2C4, Canada

CREME BRULEE (1552857360, $12.95) is a slim but rich treatise on one of the world's most famous desserts, offering over forty recipes from the classic and best-known vanilla creme brulee to No-Bake Lemon, Sweet Pumpkin, Coffee and more. Color photos accompany each quick dessert. Tessa Kiros' TWELVE: A TUSCAN COOKBOOK (15528573289, $27.50) is simply packed with many traditional Tuscan dishes you might only find scattered among other Tuscan cookbooks. Color photos juxtapose nearly every dish, from Cherry Jam and Chicken in Lemon to Pumpkin Ravioli with Butter and Sage and Melon Jam. A simply gorgeous display makes up a weighty yet highly recommended pick which is a 'must' for any authoritative Italian cookbook collection.

Chef on Fire
Joseph Carey
Taylor Trade Publishing
4501 Forbes Blvd. #200, Lanham, MD 20706
1589793064 $18.95

If you could take any recipe and break it down into five easy steps, you'd be able to master different procedures, and CHEF ON FIRE: THE FIVE TECHNIQUES FOR USING HEAT LIKE A PRO does just this, presenting a technique-oriented book covering boiling, cooking with dry heat, and more. Recipes are couched within the method rather than being profiled as a reason for learning the method, putting the emphasis on learning techniques rather than recipes alone. And it's the techniques which will lead to 'making' the good cook.

The Golden Pear Cafe Cookbook
Keith E. Davis
Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's Press
5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
0312349718 $24.95

The Golden Pear Cafe is a popular brunch establishment in Southampton, so THE GOLDEN PEAR CAFE COOKBOOK comes from over twenty years of tradition, presenting almost seventy recipes from these years of experience. Apple Crumb Muffins, Country Cole Slaw, Southwestern Chicken Casserole and more provide a range of dishes and influences for brunch, providing dishes for all seasons and from a range of traditions.

Vintage Restaurant
Jeff Keys
Gibbs Smith
Box 667, Layton, UT 84041
1586857711 $34.95

VINTAGE RESTAURANT: HANDCRAFTED CUISINE FROM A SUN VALLEY FAVORITE comes from one who began his culinary career over thirty years ago, working in many restaurants before his Vintage Restaurant developed a blend of French cuisine and Western influence. VINTAGE RESTAURANT gathers these innovations for home cooks, offering up dishes that excel in unusual blends from a Szechwan Carrot Soup to Asian Mahogany Chicken Bowl and more. Color photos throughout add the finishing touch and flair to a title that home chefs will welcome for its original dishes.

Purchasing for Chefs
Andrew Feinstein & John Stefanelli
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
0471728985 $45.00

PURCHASING FOR CHEFS: A CONCISE GUIDE is a primer unlike competitors on the market: it's directed to busy chefs and avoids the usual theory approach of culinary purchasing guides in favor of a practical quick primer with directions which can be put quickly into place. The assumption that the reader is a busy working chef is solid, and pairs realistic kitchen situations with easy explanations of purchasing basics, terminology, and applications. From buying clubs to reduce costs to vendor selection criteria, PURCHASING FOR CHEFS holds many answers without the verbose structure of others.

The Travel Shelf

Wilderness Press
1200 5th Street, Berkeley CA 94710

Steve Miller's THE GRAND: THE COLORADO RIVER IN THE GRAND CANYON, A PHOTO JOURNEY (0899973671 $29.95) is for any traveler who would vicariously journey down the canyon, and comes from a river guide who offers up over three hundred photos from his 30 years of rafting the Grand. Numerous color photos on every page create a 'you are there' atmosphere with commentary on the land, geology and nature of the Grand Canyon. If you can't make a raft trip, this is the next best thing. Goldie Gendler Silverman's CAMPING WITH KIDS: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO CAR, TENT AND TV CAMPING (0899973612, $16.95) provides everything the family camper needs to know, gathering advice from kid and parent campers alike to show how to create the best camping style for a family's needs. Author Silverman is a long-time outdoorswoman: her tips offer parents and their kids a range of insights on kid-family experiences, from campfire enjoyment to sleeping outdoors in comfort. From finding a kid-friendly campground either public or private to assigning camp chores, CAMPING WITH KIDS provides all the small details to make the experience perfect.

Backpacker Tent & Car Camper's Handbook
Buck Tilson and Kristin Hostetter
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat way #201, Seattle, WA 98134
1594850119 $16.95

Whether you're camping via car, tent or a combination of both, the latest publication from the Backpacker magazine series TENT AND CAR CAMPER'S HANDBOOK is for you: it uses a visual design with black and white photos and sidebars of information to make it easy to access details, it covers all the basics from equipment to what to pack and it is packed with ideas on how to include the kids in a family camping trip. In fact, families and non-campers are the focus here, making it a delightful recommendation for those who have discovered competing books usually assume a foundation of camping knowledge.

Diamond Valley Company
89 Lower Manzanita Drive, Markleeville, CA 96120
$15.95 Each

Deserving of ongoing praise for any destination-oriented traveler to Hawaii are two 'Trailblazer' guides by Jerry and Janine Sprout to the byways of an outdoors adventure area. MAUI (0967007240) and OAHU (0767007283) each focus on hikes and outdoor areas and parks, packing in walks and wild places with tips on snorkeling, swimming, surfing, and exploring different island backroads and climates. Maps, photos, and a 'best of' section offer not just listings of places, but hand-picked, personally recommended highlights. If you pack either book and use it as a reference along the way, you're almost guaranteed a unique experience that is high-quality and perfect for independent travelers.

Backroads of Michigan
Robert W. Domm
Voyageur Press
380 Jackson, #200, St. Paul MN 55101
076032574X $19.95

Any destination-oriented visitor planning a road trip to Michigan as well as many a resident must have BACKROADS OF MICHIGAN: YOUR GUIDE TO MICHIGAN'S MOST SCENIC BACKROAD ADVENTURES. Domm is an outdoors writer who's already written several Michigan guidebooks, but BACKROADS goes further than others, following valleys, byways and old roads that display the best of the Michigan countryside. Color photos throughout

Spectacular Restaurants of Texas
Jolie Carpenter
Signature Publishing Group
13747 Montfort Dr. Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75240
0974574791 $39.95

You have to be either a Texas resident or a visitor to fully appreciate SPECTACULAR RESTAURANTS OF TEXAS: AN EXCLUSIVE SHOWCASE OF TEXAS' FINEST RESTAURANTS but any with a love of food and wine will appreciate the spectacular photography herein, which showcases establishments notable for their fine food and interiors alike. Full-page color photos accompany details of chefs, offerings, hours, and insights on how fine cuisine is developed. A gorgeous presentation goes beyond mere listing to appeal to a wide audience.

The Photography Shelf

Acting the Part
Lori Pauli, Editor
49 West 24th Street, 8th Floor, New York NY 10010
1858943280 $49.95

ACTING THE PART: PHOTOGRAPHY AS THEATRE could also have been featured in our 'Film and Stage' section, but is reviewed here for its fine history of staged photography as a genre. A sampling of such works range from the 1840s to modern times and pairs film stills and artwork with essays by Lori Pauli and others on the use of painting as inspiration, Surrealism and plays, narrative strategies and photographic effects, and more. As the first major history of staged photography, it deserves a spot in an authoritative art library collection as well as many a film library holding.

Glass Plates & Wooden Boats
Matthew P. Murphy
Commonwealth Editions
260 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915
188983372X $50.00

If you're interested in either boats or photography, GLASS PLATES & WOODEN BOATS: THE YACHTING PHOTOGRAPHY OF WILLARD B. JACKSON AT MARBLEHEAD, 1898-1937 is for you. It provides both a history of yachting and a history of the yachting photography of Jackson, with full-page black and white photos packed with classic sailing vessels gathered from an archive of over a thousand glass plates images. There's more than the 75 images Murphy has gathered, too: Murphy adds commentary noting nautical facts and history to round out the photos,

Digital Nature Photography And Adobe Photoshop
Kevin Moss
Thomson Course Technology
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210
1598631357 $39.99

Digital nature photographers are also travelers and naturalists, facing different challenges in capturing their image goals than other photographers. Here to address these special needs is an advanced guide to shooting, composition and editing results using Photoshop. Half the book focuses on computer equipment and camera gear; the second half surveys editing techniques so photographers get a healthy dose of both worlds and how they work together. Skills are revealed using a step-by-step focus that builds upon a foundation of knowledge. Add screen shots, color photo examples, and tips on image management and you have a all-in-one blend of field guide and computer tech teacher both geared to the nature photographer's unique needs.

The Biography Shelf

Let Every Nation Know
Robert Dallek and Terry Golway
Sourcebooks MediaFusion
Box 4410, Naperville, IL 60567-4410
140220647X $29.95

Here's a unique coverage: a political biography honed from John F. Kennedy's own words blending an audio CD with the insights of two notable historians. From issues ranging from Peace Corps politics to Kennedy's debates before his Presidency and his preparations for war, LET EVERY NATION KNOW proves far more compelling and provides far more insights than most.

Mr. Ambassador
Edward J. Perkins With Connie Cronley
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
0806137673 $39.95 1-800-627-7377

The memoir of Career Foreign Services Officer Edward J. Perkins, the first U.S. black ambassador to South Africa in 1986, comes to life in a hard-hitting memoir of politics and social change that will prove a 'must' for any seeking insights into South Africa under apartheid and after. Perkins came from a cotton farm in segregated Louisiana to join forces with the elite Foreign Service, becoming the first black officer to ascend to director general. But even these many achievements would be superceded by his work in South Africa and MR. AMBASSADOR: WARRIOR FOR PEACE tells it all.

The Stolen Prince
Hugh Barnes
Ecco Press
10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022
0066212650 $27.95

THE STOLEN PRINCE: GANNIBAL, ADOPTED SON OF PETER THE GREAT, GREAT-GRANDFATHER OF ALEXANDER PUSHKIN, AND EUROPE'S FIRST BLACK INTELLECTUAL is perhaps most startling for the final five words in its subtitle: a black intellectual in early Europe? Lost documents have been revealed to provide depth and understanding to this reconstruction of the life of Gannibal, creating a blend of history, travelogue and memoir which surveys the life and times of a young African slave in Constantinople in 1703 who claimed to be a prince stolen from Africa. Russia's tzar adopted the child and gave him the best education available, and thus Gannibal became a early soldier, diplomat and spy whose reputation and achievements would earn him a name through history.

Beau Brummell
Ian Kelly
Free Press
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York Ny 10020
0743270894 $26.00

BEAU BRUMMELL: THE ULTIMATE MAN OF STYLE comes from a biographer and actor who uses the memoirs, diaries and letters of Beau's friends as well as his own writings to provide an insider's look at the man who inspired the dandy. Despite his widespread fame, Brummell has not had his own serious biography until now: BEAU BRUMMELL delves into the man and his world, providing a racy and enlightening story of a famous public figure.

Now It's My Turn
Mary Cheney
Threshold Edns/Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
141652049X $25.00

Yes, Mary Cheney is daughter and top campaign aide to Dick Cheney so she's in the perfect position to provide an insider's view of presidential politics, as you'd expect from her biography. What is unexpected is a sense of humor throughout, personal details on her childhood and family, and insights on years of TV debates, national politics and campaigning. Any with an interest in Cheney or in political maneuvering must read NOW IT'S MY TURN: A DAUGHTER'S CHRONICLE OF POLITICAL LIFE.

The Military Shelf

Hide & Seek
John A. Cassara,
Potomac Books
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166-2012
1574889982 $27.50

HIDE AND SEEK: INTELLIGENCE, LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND THE STALLED WAR ON TERRORIST FINANCE is a 'must' for any who would understand one of the failures of the U.S. in 9/11. John Cassara is an expert in terrorist financing and money laundering and here surveys the lack of reporting requirements before 9/11, efforts since, and how the failures of law enforcement have helped foster terrorist efforts. HIDE AND SEEK could not have been written without an insider's knowledge of how foreign intelligence, domestic efforts, and international finance works: the fact that John Cassara has such knowledge lends authority and depth to a survey which encourages law to follow the unusual paths of international terrorism's money networks.

Women and War
Bernard Cook, Editor
Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911
1851097708 $185.00, 2 Vols,

WOMEN AND WAR: A HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA FROM ANTIQUITY TO THE PRESENT is a reference no collection should be without: from specialty military collections to general-interest public library holdings, WOMEN AND WAR offers the browser and researcher an A-Z compendium of facts organized by topic. Listings by both war and biographical sketch of individuals allow for easy cross-referencing, while listings often run several pages charting history, culture, and including bibliographic references at the end of each article. Small black and white photos, cross references within volumes for further follow up reading, and an attention to detail make WOMEN AND WAR a recommended pick.

Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South #806, New York NY 10016

Osprey's military titles are very subject-specific, allowing for a depth of focus most other general-interest surveys lack. Their latest titles are top picks military reference libraries will appreciate. Gordon L. Rottman's STRYKER COMBAT VEHICLES (1841769304, $15.95) covers the eight-wheeled armored vehicle developed in 2002 to provide a versatile deployment force. It covers the idea, evolution and deployment tactics of one of the most applauded AFVs in modern times. Richard Lowry's US MARINE IN IRAQ: OPERATION IRAQUI FREEDOM, 2003 (1841769827, $17.95) covers the deployment of Marines on the front lines of the major battle, covering their enlistment, training, and life in Iraq. Greg VanWyngarden's PFALZ SCOUT ACES OF WORLD WAR I (1841769983, $20.95) covers the third creation of the German fighter manufacturers in the first world war, surveying a less popular design which nonetheless achieved acclaim during the war. Thomas Withington's B-2A SPIRIT UNITS IN COMBAT (1841769932, $20.95) joins others in the 'Combat Aircraft' series to focus on the Spirit's ongoing importance in operations. From battles in Afghanistan and Iraq to future terrorism battles, the aircraft's costs, features, and performance are chronicled in an action-packed survey. Richard Brzezinski's POLISH WINGED HUSSAR 1576-1775 (184176650X, $17.95) surveys early fighting men: the Polish hussar, a dramatic soldier whose main offensive weapon was a lance. The history and origins of their tactics receives fine insights. H.W. and J.E. Kaufmann's FORTIFICATIONS OF THE INCAS 1200-1531 (1841769398, $16.95) covers early history during the biggest period of Incan empire growth. Chapters cover the Incan fortification process and how they struggled against the Spanish. Rene Chartrand's GIBRALTER 1770-83: THE GREAT SIEGE (1841769770, $18.95) covers the war between Spain and Britain in 1779, during which Gibralter was besieged by land and sea for four years. During this period British engineering ingenuity shined: strategies of forces and plans which would assure British victory make for a vivid reenactment of history. Will Fowler's BRITAIN'S SECRET WAR: THE INDONESIAN CONFRONTATION 1962-66 (184603048X, $15.95) charts confrontations between Malaysia and Indonesia in Borneo: battles which eventually involved over 20,000 British forces with air and naval support. Never heard of it? It's not surprising: it was a secret war' which served to train SAS forces on jungle tactics and it receives rare insights and revelations in this unusual study of soldier experiences. Philip Jowett and Brent Snodgrass' FINLAND AT WAR 1939-45 (184176969X, $17.95) covers a point of time where Finland faced two Soviet invasions within five years, fighting them off with a tiny army. While Finland bowed to some terms, it was never occupied by the Red Army: FINLAND AT WAR tells why. Nick van der Bijl's NO. 10 (INTER-ALLIED) COMMANDO 1942-45: BRITAIN'S SECRET COMMANDO (1841769991, $17.95) covers the least-known of all Britain's elite wartime Commando raiding units, No. 10, which was recruited from volunteers who fled to Britain after their own countries fell to the Nazis. A fine, in-depth survey of a unique fighting force.

Jet Age Photographer
Tim Kershaw
Phoenix Mill, Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 2BU UK
0750940093 $44.95

JET AGE PHOTOGRAPHER: THE AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY OF RUSSELL ADAMS tells of a photographer who not only shot the world's first jet aerobatic photo, but who continued to capture air-to-air photos of Britain's early jet fighters. His images appeared throughout newspapers overseas and home from the 1950s to the early 1960s: even today aviation press often carries them but until now no single volume has gathered all his photos under one cover. JET AGE PHOTOGRAPHER does so with style: it pairs full-page black and white photos with background history necessary to understand and appreciate them. Plenty of detail makes for a splendid coverage indeed.

To Dare & to Conquer
Derek Leebaert
Little, Brown
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0316143847 $29.95

TO DARE AND TO CONQUER: SPECIAL OPERATIONS ND THE DESTINY OF NATIONS, FROM ACHILLES TO AL QAEDA describes not just modern-day special forces operations but the history of special ops around the world, focusing on teams of soldiers who have created and destroyed nations and empires and examining how these events have taken place. From sparks to war to politics underlying special forces both internally and internationally, chapters provide an analysis of the impact of the commando force on history, and the strategies which made special forces strong.

Zenith Press
380 Jackson #200, St. Paul, MN 55101-3885

Any interested in Marine Corps sentiment and experiences must have Dick Camp's LEATHERNECK LEGENDS: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE MARINE CORPS' OLD BREED (0760321574 $24.95). Here soldiers tell their own stories of battles and the Marine Corp experience from World War I and II to Korea. There's plenty of history, experience, and true-life adventure packed into these oral history legends. Anonymous' HUNTING AL QAEDA: A TAKE-NO-PRISONERS ACCOUNT OF TERROR, ADVENTURE, AND DISILLUSIONMENT (076032252X, $24.95) documents one man's journey through hell as it follows the citizen soldiers of Beast 85 of the Green Berets, a group of civilians called to the front lines of the ear on terror by 9/11. The National Guard special forces were qualified Green Berets who answered the call of the high command to hunt, corner and capture some of the biggest terrorists in Afghanistan. Follow their experiences in a coverage that reads with all the drama of a novel and all the facts of the best military nonfiction in HUNTING AL QAEDA. Sidney Rogerson's TWELVE DAYS ON THE SOMME: A MEMOIR OF THE TRENCHES, 1916 (1853676802, $22.95) is a classic reintroduced on the 90th anniversary of the conflict, providing a first-hand account of life in the trenches of World War 1, where the author British soldier Sidney Rogerson struggled for survival. Scholar Malcolm Brown adds the introduction to this new edition which is as riveting as it was at its first publication.

American Women in World War I
Lettie Gavin
University Press of Colorado
5589 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite 206C, Boulder, CO 80303
0870818252 $23.95

Journalist Lettie Gavin first became interested in women's World War I experiences when she wrote an article back in 1978 about a retired Signal Corps woman denied veteran's status. She and other women had not been recognized for their service: AMERICAN WOMEN IN WORLD WAR I: THEY ALSO SERVED goes far in charting these stories, documenting the experiences and service of women during the first world war. By the time Gavin began interviewing survivors it was a race against time, as living veterans were dying off: her interviews together with her research from historical archives, diaries, letters and memoirs pair with some black and white photos to create a fine memoir.

88 Post Rd. West, Westport, CT 06881

Andrew McGregor's A MILITARY HISTORY OF MODERN EGYPT FROM THE OTTOMAN CONQUEST TO THE RAMADAN WAR (0275976012 $49.95) charts the evolution of one of the world's oldest civilizations and its military structure. Where other histories would survey Egypt's strategic location alone, this charts the nation's soldiers and their battles, surveying the history of their fighting at home and abroad and linking this history to developments in the region as a whole. With its roots in ancient and medieval culture, A MILITARY HISTORY OF MODERN EGYPT is packed with excellent detail and insights. Barry R. Schneider and Jim A. Davis' AVOIDING THE ABYSS: PROGRESS, SHORTFALLS, AND THE WAY AHEAD IN COMBATING THE WMD THREAT (0275990338) is a top pick for college-level audiences studying military and political history and social issues. Essays focus on arms control treaties, programs, deterrence concepts, and risk management alike as they gather essays written by experts in their fields to help readers understand the threat and containment efforts of WMD. From implications of stealth and counteroffensive practices to passive and active defenses and homeland security issues, AVOIDING THE ABYSS is a 'must' for any college-level reader. John F. Copper's PLAYING WITH FIRE: THE LOOMING WAR WITH CHINA OVER TAIWAN (0275988880) is the second recent title to document circumstances which are pointing to a future conflict with China. The country's growing military and economic powers translate to possibilities of global engagement and Taiwan represents the likely spark point of such conflict. PLAYING WITH FIRE compiles a history of recent decades to support the contentions of the author/expert, who has studied the region over thirty years and who here uses an interdisciplinary research appoint to assess the issues. For a comprehensive guide to homeland security principles a college collection needs James J.F. Forest's HOMELAND SECURITY: PROTECTING AMERICA'S TARGETS (0275987698, $300.00), a 3-volume weighty set adopting an interdisciplinary approach to homeland security issues. V. 1 covers borders and points of entry, examining where and how harmful people and substances enter the country. The focus on how national agencies work with private agencies to ensure security include sections on marine security, border patrols, immigration policies and deportation strategies, and issuance of visas. V. 2 covers public places and social institution security, surveying potential public vulnerability and how to address it. Chapters here include surveys of colleges and universities, major events such as the Super Bowl, and securing national monuments. V. 3 covers critical infrastructure protection: transportation, energy, communications systems and the economy. Viewpoints and strategies from other countries are integrated into assessments of policies, procedures, and protections. The in-depth coverage afford by the three volumes together prove indispensable for any serious college-level holding.

Lyons Press
Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437

Two excellent war story collections ("The Greatest Stories' titles by Iain C. Martin, $24.95 Each) are top picks for any who relish true military adventure experiences. THE GREATEST U.S. ARMY STORIES EVER TOLD (1592288588) offers stories from Joe Galloway, Mike Tucker, Chief Red Horse, and more gleaned from accounts since the U.S. Army's inception in 1776. Each 'you are there' story captures the sounds, sights and experiences of the battlefield and includes stories of generals as well as foot soldiers. THE GREATEST U.S. NAVY STORIES EVER TOLD (0592288596) achieves the same for the Navy, gathering stories from the decades of sailors' true tales of service. James Fenimore Cooper, John Paul Jones, and others provide fine insights and adventure. Alan Armstrong's PREEMPTIVE STRIKE: THE SECRET PLAN THAT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THE ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR (1592289134, $22.95) reviews the untold story of a secret plan which might have prevented Pearl Harbor and maybe even World War II had it been successful. The plan: to bomb Japan and destroy Japanese supply lines and communications. The plan and its eventual abandonment are surveyed in detail in chapters that analyze the nature, purpose and failings of preemptive maneuvers as a whole.

Armed Madhouse
Greg Palast
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014-3658
0525949682 $25.95

ARMED MADHOUSE: WHO'S AFRAID OF OSAMA WOLF, CHINA FLOATS, BUSH SINKS, THE SCHEME TO STEAL '08, comes from an award-winning journalist who has spent the last thirty years studying corporate con men and political hucksters. It's a funny collection of stories not allowed in The New York Times and comes packed with classified documents, confidential memos, and before which shed outrageous light on the War on Terror, Iraq's invasion, and more. A fine choice for any interested in political and military maneuvers behind the scenes.

Pen & Sword
47 Church St., Barnsley, S. Yorkshire S70 2AS, UK

Alastair Mars' UNBROKEN: THE STORY OF A SUBMARINE (1844153649, $14.99) is set in early 1942 when Rommel was moving towards Egypt and the only British sub operating in the Mediterranean was the tiny Unbroken. But what a ship: in a year it sank tons of enemy shipping, participated in four secret operations and survived over 400 depth charges: UNBROKEN tells of its many death-defying achievements and tells of the author's command of the series of successful sub maneuvers. Coming from its commander, it can't be beat. Basil Collier's HIDDEN WEAPONS: ALLIED SECRET OR UNDERCOVER SERVICES IN WORLD WAR II (1844153673, $21.99) comes from an author who worked in the underground ops room at Fighter Command throughout the Blitz. His insights and experiences expose all matter of underlying influence on Allied services during the ear, from the low priority given to intelligence operations between the wars to the failure to foresee the invasion of Normandy. HIDDEN WEAPONS is for students of the ear who want more depth and coverage than the usual casual history, with a focus on intelligence operations. Brian Todd Carey's WARFARE IN THE MEDIEVAL WORLD (1844153398, $39.99) explores how civilizations and cultures made war in the period between the fall of Rome and the start of the 30 years war. This was a period when warfare became sophisticated, with strategies including shock and missile tactics and involving approaches still used today. Tactical maps chart history while the introduction to the era use primary and secondary sources to reconstruct military history. All are strong picks for military history collections.

The Puppet Masters
John Hughes-Wilson
Wellington House, 125 Strand, London WC2R OBB
0304367109 $12.95

THE PUPPET MASTERS: SPIES, TRAITORS AND THE REAL FORCES BEHIND WORLD EVENTS covers intelligence around the world and its effect on major events in world history, from Cold War spying operations to the effects of intelligence on statesmen, politicians, and agencies of military and government alike. It draws strong connections between world history and legacies left by intelligence operations during war and peacetime alike, providing a fine survey of underlying rationale, historical events, and more. A lively read for both serious military history buffs and general-interest readers alike.

Soviet Secret Projects
Tony Buttler & Yefim Gordon
Midland/Ian Allen Publishing
4 Watling Drive, Hinkley, LE10 3EY England
1857802217 $44.95

Any reader of military history who wishes to follow the evolution of modern Soviet fighters must look at Soviet Secret Projects: Fighters Since 1945. It provides a powerful military aviation history of the achieved and proposed projects, including designs unknown to the West, and drafted as possible prototypes which never got off the ground. These projects were created by the former Union between 1945 to present and offer not only black and white photos and sketches of projects, but background history into the competition between projects.

Kathy Roth-Douquet & Frank Schaeffer
Collins/Harper Collins
10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022-5299
0060888598 $24.95

AWOL: THE UNEXCUSED ABSENCE OF AMERICA'S UPPER CLASSES FROM MILITARY SERVICE AND HOW IT HURTS OUR COUNTRY considers class and the military and how America's upper middle class members receive a different type of military experience and sometimes none than their less favored peers. Military service used to be part of good citizenship and all classes served equally. Today there's a class division that affects not only the quality of service, but whether there's service at all. AWOL surveys the history, nature, and military policies that contribute to the military experience, arguing that the lack of connection between the military and the ruling elite is becoming a serious issue.

Columbia University Press
61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023-7015
1-800-944-8648 www.columbiaedu/cu/cup

Geoffrey Zubay,'s AGENTS OF BIOTERRORISM: PATHOGENS & THEIR WEAPONIZATION (0231133464 ) will reach college-level readers and any concerned about bioterrorist opportunities and tactics, examining pathogens from all three categories and surveying thirteen disease-causing agents and how they might be used. Each pathogen's history, biology, pathology, weaponization potential and defenses are surveyed in this important discussion of bioterrorist threats and how to prepare for and respond to an attack with vaccines and treatments. An important, scholarly study covers the realities of military applications of pathogens. Bruce Hoffman's INSIDE TERRORISM (0231126999) covers the history of terrorism, its changing tactics, and the terrorist way of thinking. If the title sounds familiar, it's because this is a revised, expanded edition of a classic and reconsiders terrorist cases, analyzing new motivations and tactics of recent years. Any collection strong in terrorist literature and military history will find Hoffman's analysis of ongoing importance.

The True Adventure Shelf

Lapping America
Claude Clayton Smith
Burford Books
32 Morris Avenue, Springfield, NJ 07081
1580801390 $16.95

2006 marks the 50th anniversary of the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate Highways and marking the occasion is LAPPING AMERICA: A MAN, A CORVETTE, AND THE INTERSTATES which follows Smith's cross-country journey. Travel writing and adventure at its best, LAPPING AMERICA provides both a history of these highways and their conception and development with realities of travel, making for a vivid 'you are there' memoir celebrating both.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Poisoned Pen Press
6962 East First Avenue, #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

History and intrigue blend in a fine manner in Ann Parker's IRON TIES (1590582624, $24.95), a Silver Rush murder mystery set in a Colorado boomtown, where Inez Stanner observes a railroad's promises and arrival and faces changes in her saloon partnership business. Her possible re-confrontation with murder and abduction will change her life and bring her face to face with others who also have ties to the past and future. Aileen G. Baron's THE TORCH OF TANGIER (1590582217, $24.95) features an archaeologist investigator and is set during the Second World War. Lily finds the war has stuck her in Tangier awaiting clearance for her latest dig. Recruited into the OSS she becomes part of a mission to gain control of French Morocco and faces a murder mystery in the process. Margaret Dumas' HOW TO SUCCEED IN MURDER (1590582608, $24.95) tells of one newlywed heiress Charley whose new life is threatened by her husband's investigation of a suspicious death at a San Francisco software company. When she and her theater company go underground to try to find a killer, trouble evolves not only professionally but in her marriage. John McEvoy's RIDERS DOWN (1590582586, $24.95) tells of a Chicago columnist for a national racing newspaper who investigates the strange death of Chicago's oldest active bookmaker. Add race course deception and intrigue and you have a fast-moving survey fans of Robert Parker and others will relish. Sandra Parshall's THE HEAT OF THE MOON (159058256X, $24.95) tells of a young vet turned investigator when a small child's cry unearths a nightmare from the past. Her search for answers uncovers secrets and puzzling memories and danger. Kerry Greenwood's COCAINE BLUES (1590582365, $24.95) provides another Phryne Fisher story, this set Australia, where Lady Phryne decides to become a lady detective. Her plate includes poisoned wives, smugglers, and more as she faces a host of problems.

Blinding Light
Paul Theroux
Houghton Mifflin
215 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10003
0618711961 $14.95

BLINDING LIGHT tells of a writer who's lost his muse, and who sets out for the Ecuadorian jungle with an ex-girlfriend in search of drugs and inspiration. He finds his drug and his inspiration, but it leaves him periodically blind a condition he's willing to chance in the search for the completion of his novel. The next year will challenge his perceptions and change his life in this powerful novel of introspection and hallucination.

The Consumer Shelf

Scam-Proof Your Life
Sid Kirchheimer
AARP/Sterling Publishing
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
1402730411 $19.95

SCAM-PROOF YOUR LIFE: 377 SMART WAYS TO PROTECT YOU & YOUR FAMILY FROM RIPOFFS, BOGUS DEALS AND OTHER CONSUMER HEADACHES isn't your usual compendium of tips, but comes from a 'scam alert' expert who has gathered information from all kinds of industry insiders, from doctors to home repair experts and bankers. Thus, you'll receive bankers' tips on protecting your accounts, profiles of typical repair con-men, coverage of common car repair scams, and much more. Since nearly every consumer is at risk for one or more of these scams, SCAM PROOF YOUR LIFE is an essential reference for everyone.

The Reference Shelf

The World Almanac World Atlas 2006
c/o Langenscheidt Publishing Group
PO Box 979, Spring House, PA 19477
0843709375 $24.95 1-888-773-7979

'Another atlas?' many will sigh but wait, this is something far different. For one its plastic spiral binding assumes it'll be used for easy lay-flat access, lending it to quick consultations without the restraints of the usual atlas binding. For another, it provides a satisfying blend of geography facts with an atlas format, pairing the World Almanac data with maps and 3-D shading. Yes, HAMMOND WORLD ALMANAC 2006 WORLD ATLAS will prove a shelving challenge for libraries: but it lends exceptionally well to home reference and will prove an eye-catching display item.

The Business Shelf

The Restaurant Dream?
Lee Simon
Atlantic Publishing Co
1210 SW 23rd Place, Ocala, FL 34474-7014
0910627835 $21.95

There are plenty of books on the market on how to open your own restaurant, and cooking stories from professional restaurateurs; but relatively few provide a first-person survey of the experience of developing a restaurant concept from the ground up. Enter THE RESTAURANT DREAM? AN INSIDER LOOK AT RESTAURANT DEVELOPMENT, FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY, which fills the gap on restaurant operations and realities. Chapters cover everything from leases to design options and budgeting, surveying everything from project overruns and delays to the realities of menu development. If ever a business book on the industry were needed, it's THE RESTAURANT DREAM, which defines common obstacles and how to overcome them.

235 Montgomery, Suite 650, San Francisco, CA 94104-2916

Charles C. Poirier,'s THE WALL STREET DIET: MAKING YOUR BUSINESS LEAN AND HEALTHY (1576753816 $27.95) provides a fine formula for business success, using a diet metaphor to provide an approach to making a business lean, mean and effective. The foundation for such a diet plan is the TEO method (total enterprise optimization), which can be applied to quality control, outsourcing choices, and the bottom line alike. Chapters discuss everything from productivity profiling to target gains processes to understanding and moving beyond cultural roadblocks in the process. Bob Seidensticker's FUTUREHYPE: THE MYTHS OF TECHNOLOGY CHANGE (1576753700, $15.95) is recommended reading for any who think that the internet has changed the pace of life and resulted in revolutionary breakthroughs in how it's lived. Author Bob Seidensticker is a high-tech industry veteran who refutes such notions, using dozens of examples to debunk ideas about technological change, product marketing, and consumer reactions. Among the most startling: new products don't arrive faster than before, and the Net doesn't really change much. You just have to read his arguments in FUTURE HYPE to find out the logic behind his statements.

Harvard Business School Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163

If you're a business owner or manager, or a college-level business library, you can't ignore the importance of the message in George S. Day & Paul J.H. Schoemaker's PERIPHERAL VISION: DETECTING THE WEAK SIGNALS THAT WILL MAKE OR BREAK YOUR COMPANY (1422101541 $29.95). It's easy to ignore subtle signals which indicate change, future trends, and problems: PERIPHERAL VISION outlines such signals and how to recognize them as opportunities for advancement, offering five steps for improving such vision and broadening organizational flexibility. Less than 20 percent of firms have such vision: to stay ahead, you need it which means you need PERIPHERAL VISION to show how. Peter H. Daly and Michael Watkins work with Cate Reavis in THE FIRST 90 DAYS IN GOVERNMENT: CRITICAL SUCCESS STRATEGIES FOR NEW PUBLIC MANAGERS AT ALL LEVELS (1591399556, $24.95). If you've just been promoted to a government leadership position for the first time, run don't walk to the bookstore for this next step in the process: it provides a proven framework for leadership, from clarifying expectations of the job and developing a successful strategy to clarifying short- and long-term priorities and goals and building a team. Many a private sector will find this equally useful, but the tips specific to public sector operations make it simply invaluable.

Wiley Publishing
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030

These fine new real estate titles are top picks offering investors real scenarios and formulas for realizing profits. David Finkel's THE REAL ESTATE FAST TRACK: HOW TO CREATE $5,00 TO $50,000 PER MONTH REAL ESTATE CASH FLOW (0471728306, $19.95) is about more than just how to buy investment properties: its focus narrows on how to make these properties work most efficiently by creating cash flow. Neither is this one person's formula: true stories gathered from various people's strategies serve to outline the basics of successful investing, making it a valuable resource for any who would improve cash flow. John M. Peckam III, CCIM, CIPS, RECS's A MASTER GUIDE TO INCOME PROPERTY BROKERAGE, 4TH EDITION (047174915X, $29.95) offers a newly updated guide to the modern world of selling commercial and income properties, bringing up to current times a classic which has been the major broker resource for over thirty-five years. Chapters provide new ways to use technology to close deals, new examples, updated information, and insights on internet marketing, so professional brokers will consider it a major resource to replace an aging 'bible' of the industry. Thomas J. Lucier's THE NO-NONSENSE REAL ESTATE INVESTOR'S KIT (0471756539, $19.95) offers a set of investment strategies and a set of formulas for choosing the right one, based on the author's long-time experience selling residential and commercial properties in the Tampa, Florida area. From operating a real estate business and understanding local and federal statutes to negotiating deals, finding deals, and closing deals, here's a toolkit beginners will relish. All are top picks.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Jerry Wallace
Cameo Publications
478 Brown's Cove Road, Ridgeland, SC 29936
0977465918 $24.95

Many will want to learn from DEALMAKER: A BILLIONAIRE'S BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS: it comes from billionaire real estate pro Jerry Wallace, who offers insights into the strategies, goals, and deal-making achievements which have led to his wealth. From locating suitable real estate investments and attracting good investors to negotiating terms, DEALMAKER focuses on the 'win-win deal' which makes wealth hard easy to achieve.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Impact Publications
9104-N Manassas Drive, Manassas Park, VA 20111-5211

Ron and Caryl Krannich, Ph.D.s have written many career guides, but their RESUME, APPLICATION, AND LETTER TIPS FOR PEOPLE WITH HOT AND NOT-SO-HOT BACKGROUNDS: 185 TIPS FOR LANDING THE PERFECT JOB (1570232407, $17.95) is not to be missed, with its fine 10-step program for identifying key design and production methods to attain a winning, job-getting resume and application. The 10-step process helps avoid common writing errors, shows how to change potential negatives to positives, and tells about red flags and how to address them. Daniel Porot and Frances Bolles Haynes' WINNING LETTERS THAT OVERCOME BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT: 12 QUICK AND EASY STEPS TO LAND JOB INTERVIEWS (1570232547, $17.95) surveys the letters a job searcher needs to write at different points in the search letters often under-estimated by searchers but identified by many employers as one of the keys to gaining a foot in the door. Chapters survey the whole process of producing a well crafted, professional letter. Both are highly recommended picks job seekers need.

Your Career in Animation
David B. Levy
Allworth Press
10 East 23rd Street, New York NY 10010
1581154453 $19.95

If it's an animation career you're aiming for, don't set your sights without consulting YOUR CAREER IN ANIMATION: HOW TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE. Animation is now a big-ticket industry to be in offering big opportunities for new artists but conversely, it offers far more complexities than in the past. 100 professionals from the industry provide their tips and experiences through interviews with an award-winning filmmaker, creating a comprehensive guide that follows a career from school to the real world. From networking tactics to unemployment and learning on the job, YOUR CAREER IN ANIMATION is the perfect item of choice for any who dream of breaking into the business.

100 Bullshit Jobs and How to Get Them
Stanley Bing
Collins/Harper Collins
10 E 53rd Street, New York NY 10022-5299
0060734795 $19.95

What is a 'bullshit' job? One which pays perks, a big paycheck, but requires very little effort. You know or have heard of those who hold such positions but where are they, and how do you get one? Read 100 Bullshit Jobs and How to Get Them for enlightenment: it blends humor with insights and analysis of selected 100 of those available, from Cheese Artisan to infomercial spokesperson. Pros, cons, famous examples and details on money range and perks make for a splendid coverage.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Brazos Press
Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49517-6287

Matthew Dickerson & David O'Hara's FROM HOMER TO HARRY POTTER: A HANDBOOK ON MYTH AND FANTASY (1587431335 ) links the modern-day Potter to ancient biblical narrative, Greek mythology, and literary legends alike, considering how myth and fantasy offer insights into Christianity. Any who believe that myth and biblical tradition are incompatible should consider this uplifting survey: it draws some important connections between the two and offers a Christian-oriented guide to contemporary fantasy and its traditions, blending in a computer science professor's attention to scholarship and detail. M. Craig Barnes' SEARCHING FOR HOME: SPIRITUALITY FOR RESTLESS SOULS (1587431823, $15.99) uses Dante's pilgrimage as a parallel for our own search for paradise, blending philosophy, literary quotes, and surveys of the 'journey home' on different levels. From pilgrim and searcher to those who have arrived at a comfortable place with God, chapters cover modern Christianity and its implications for modern man.

The Social Issues Shelf

This Land
Anthony Flint
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
0801884195 $25.00

THIS LAND: THE BATTLE OVER SPRAWL AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA charts the evolution of development in America: a process which holds political, social and economic clashes and influences throughout the process. From the roots of the anti-sprawl movement in the 1960s to issues of property and personal rights, developer rights, finances and more, THIS LAND comes from a journalist who covered planning and housing for the Boston Globe for sixteen years. His background lends to a wide-ranging survey of defenders and contenders of sprawl.

Grove/Atlantic Monthly Press
841 Broadway, New York NY 10003

For over a quarter century U.S. foreign policy has based itself in encouraging democratic processes around the world but why? Should it indeed hold such world influence? John Dunn is England's leading political theorist and his DEMOCRACY: A HISTORY (0871139316 $24.00) explains the background of democratic principles in the past and why they remain so important today. Chapters cover the various interpretations given democracy, its evolution through the centuries, and how it rose and fell around the world. It's accessible to college-level students and general-interest readers alike. Steven Poole's UNSPEAK: HOW WORDS BECOME WEAPONS, HOW WEAPONS BECOME A MESSAGE, AND HOW THAT MESSAGE BECOMES REALITY (0802118259, $23.00) provides a compelling set of phrases and words representing attempts by politicians, interest groups and others to maintain position without argument by coining phrases as facts. UNSPEAK examines and documents these efforts then considers how vocabulary is used in public debate, how it's changed over the decades, and how it influences minds. While UNSPEAK could also have been featured in our Literary section, it's reviewed here for its immense importance in understanding social issues.

He Talk Like a White Boy
Joseph C. Phillips
Running Press
125 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-4399
0762423994 $22.99

HE TALK LIKE A WHITE BOY: REFLECTIONS ON FAITH, FAMILY, POLITICS AND AUTHENTICITY comes from an actor, writer and social commentator best known for his role on the Cosby Show, who is tired of the limits impose on black individuality and the pessimistic vision of black America. He's not a politician or an academic, but a father, an actor, and a conservative black man: his opinions, observations and reflections paint quite a different view of the black male in modern America than many titles and provides many candid assessments a wide audience will appreciate.

Poverty in America
Amy K. Glasmeier
270 Madison, New York NY 10016
0415953367 $34.95

POVERTY IN AMERICA: ONE NATION, PULLING APART 1960-2003 is an essential atlas which should be a part of any college-level collection strong in sociology or American history: it charts poverty in the U.S. from the Great Society ideas to modern times, offering dozens of color maps compiling the demographic dimensions of poverty across the country. The cd in back allows readers to take advantage of computerized mapping tools, while the atlas comes from a professor of geography at Penn State University.

Identity Crisis
Jim Harper
Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
1930865856 $13.95

IDENTITY CRISIS: HOW IDENTIFICATION IS OVERUSED AND MISUNDERSTOOD comes from a director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute and examines how people's privacy can best be protected by resisting the demands for identification. How? By using authorization and credentialing technologies which allow individuals to decide how much identity information they wish to reveal. Such a process would protect liberty more than the government system we have in place today, Harper mains: chapters tell how.

Edens Lost and Found
Harry Wiland and Dale Bell, with Joseph D'Agnese
Chelsea Green Publishing
Box 428, White River Junction, VT 05001
1933392266 $25.00

EDENS LOST & FOUND: HOW ORDINARY CITIZENS ARE RESTORING OUR GREAT AMERICAN CITIES is the companion title to the PBS series and details how urban changes may be made not by big business or government alone, but by the common man. Chapters take four major cities to use as examples and focus on ways in which teams changed their neighborhoods into sustainable urban oases. An inspirational 'must' for any who would do the same.

The Political Science Shelf

The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Mark W. Smith
Regnery Publishing
1 Masschusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
0895260271 $14.95

THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF TH VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY: THE ARGUMENTS YOU NEED TO DEFEAT THE LOONY LEFT THIS ELECTION YEAR appears in a revised, updated 2006 election year edition to provide right-wing readers and would-bes with arguments debunking common liberal myths. Hot issues receive pointed arguments and insights covering everything from the war in Iraq and immigration to gay rights, promising to be another best-seller.

The Philosophy Shelf

Unfinished Dialogue
Isaiah Berlin & Beata Polanowska-Sygulska
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591023769 $28.00

Nearly fifteen years of discussion both in person and by letter between the famous British philosopher Isaiah Berlin and Dr. Beata Polanowska-Sygulska of Poland lends to a college-level read which gathers their correspondence from 1983-97 and blends in interviews Berlin gave in 1991 with transcripts of recorded conversations from 1986 and 1995. The blend of autobiographical insights with philosophical reflection makes for a fine survey of the minds of this century's finest thinkers.

The Audiobook Shelf

Random House Audio
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Alex Berenson's THE FAITHFUL SPY (0739333607, $29.95) receives John Heffernan's voice which also powers the NHL and NFL network as it provides a thrilling novel of the only American CIA agent to penetrate al Qaeda. A failed strategy, a near retirement, and a spy mission sets the stage for a blend of intrigue story and modern-day probe into terrorism in this story which translates well to audio. Lisa Unger's BEAUTIFUL LIES (0739324284, $29.95) receives Jenna Lamia's Broadway experience as it tells of Ridley, whose life is a beautiful lie and perfect until it changes completely one day. A mysterious envelope will lead her to question everything she knows in this fast-paced thriller. David Mitchell's BLACK SWAN GREEN (0739332481, $44.95) receives Kirby Heyborne's award-winning acting background as it tells of a teen in a sleepy village in 1982. Thirteen chapters set the tone for short stories revolving around this village's inhabitants and the changing course of their lives in the 1980s.

Audio Editions
Auburn, CA 95604

Jim Fergus' ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN: THE JOURNALS OF MAY DODD (1572705256, $44.95) receives Broadway actress Laura Hicks' smooth and convincing narrative style as it tells of a 1954 peace conference where Native chief Little Wolf asks for 1,00 white women as brides for his warriors. The real story serves as the setting for this imaginative story of one May Dodd and the pioneer women who travel to the Native worlds to intermarry. A vivid story of courage, romance and cross-cultural relations evolves. Donna Leon's THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY (1572705395, $31.95) pairs actor David Colacci's voice which also has spiced many an audio production to date with the story of one Commissario Brunetti and his assistant who face violence, politics, and murder. Poetic clues may seem unlikely possibilities for solving crime, but in THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY they work well. WHOSE FREEDOM? THE BATTLE OVER AMERICA'S MOST IMPORTANT IDEA by George Lakoff (1572703555, $29.95) provides an excellent survey of freedom, one of the most controversial concepts in the world. The focus here is on American freedom: how its notion has divided the nation, directions it's going, and how it will continue to be debated unless more progressive ideas still the conflicts surrounding it. Lakoff provides a convincing argument for citizen engagement and honest government and tells how this could be achieved. Agatha Christie's APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH (1572705234, $27.95) enjoys veteran Hugh Fraser's voice which again compliments a fine Hercule Poirot mystery. Here his vacation in the Holy Land is interrupted by death in Petra and he has only 24 hours to gain evidence before the suspects are released. Hugh Fraser also deftly narrated two other Christie mysteries: TAKEN AT THE FLOOD (1572705333, $27.95), about a newlywed tragically killed in the London blitz leaving his new wife in charge of the family fortune, and THE MYSTERIOUS MR. QUIN (1572705296, $31.95), providing twelve complete short mysteries revolving around one Harley Quin, a man with a supernatural flair for problem-solving. Plenty of intrigue here. The Christie story HALLOWE'EN PARTY (1572705357, $29.95) is narrated by John Moffatt, who lends a fine London stage background to his narration of the story of a mystery writer who chaperones a Halloween party for a group of teens, only to face murder. Three excellent Rex Stout audios are also top picks, all narrated by veteran Michael Prichard, whose voice lends a professional, satisfying uniformity to the tales. IF DEATH EVER SLEPT (1572705310, $27.95) tells of a millionaire who wants to prove his daughter-in-law is no good. Archie volunteers to gain the inside information needed, but murder injects a somber aside to his venture. THE RUBBER BAND (157275272, $29.95) provides an unusually messy investigation for the seasoned Nero Wolfe: one which moves quickly from simple larceny to murder. Add cross-cultural complexities and you have a charged, involving story. MURDER BY THE BOOK (1572705364, $29.95) tells of the suspicious death of a law office clerk who has drowned in the river: murder or accident? Only two people have read a manuscript involved in the death and they too are suddenly found dead. It's up to Nero Wolf to uncover motivations, and Archie to set the trap.

Well Go USA
990 N. Bowser Rd. #700, Richardson, TX 75081
$14.95 Each

Two excellent fitness workout DVDs are important views for any who would develop a home exercise routine. Harvey Walden IV's FIGHTING FIT, FIGHTING FAT comes from a gunnery sergeant whose workout is pleasingly easy to follow. Too easy perhaps? No: Walden helped Young MC lose 38 pounds in a hundred days using this same program, and now home viewers will find a structured program which stars with an eight-minute warm-up to stimulate energy followed by 45 minutes of exercise presented in three parts; each holding fifteen exercises done in thirty-second increments. Penny Lancaster's HOTLEGS WORKOUT isn't just for the fit and young despite an appealing female on its cover: Lancaster was a young fitness instructor before she became a supermodel, and today is mother of Rod Stewart's newest baby. Her routine consists of six segments that can be customized and adjusted: each focuses on a different area for improvement and include warm-up routines, floor work, and workouts based on both high and low-impact sequences.

Broker in Training
Mortgage Broker Training Corp
No ISBN CD $99.95

Potential mortgage brokers won't want to miss this CD, which provides details on the mortgage brokering process for any who would organize a real estate mortgage career. Many a home buyer will find useful the 28 chapters on cd, which provide easy introductions to the industry and organizes information into 28 chapters for quick reference. Industry terms are defined and given clear illustration while processes are reviewed.

Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417

Adults and teens alike will relish Book 7 in the 'Pendragon' series by D.J. MacHale, THE QUILLAN GAMES (1597372854, $29.95), which enjoys an unabridged presentation, a reading by William Dufris, and a dramatic audio story bringing to life the world of Quillan, whose people struggle to survive with their only chance at a better life involving playing the Quillan Games. To win is everything but to lose is to die. Bobby Pendragon must play a must deadly game, with stakes involving either learning a truth or changing his world. Daniel Judson's THE DARKEST PLACE (1423304233, $26.95) receives veteran narrator Dick Hill's smooth voice as it tells of strange drowning deaths and a local college professor's involvement. Is Kane connected to the victims or a victim himself? Lee Child's THE HARD WAY (1423306384, $26.95) also enjoys Hill's smooth and exceptional voice as it tells of one Jack Reacher, alone in New York and involved in a kidnapping and ransom investigation. For Reacher is the best man hunter going, and his involvement will change lives and purposes. Gayle Lynds' THE LAST SPYMASTER (1597376124, $26.95) receives a fine recording by veteran reading David Colacci as it provides a modern espionage story of one Charles Tice, a spy's spy who is a legend throughout international intelligence circles even as he acts as a traitor. When he vanishes from a maximum security prison, a female CIA operative/hunter is called in to track him down. Laura Dave's LONDON IS THE BEST CITY IN AMERICA (1423320069, $24.95) enjoys Renee Raudman's warm, inviting voice as it tells of one Emmy, who has been hiding on Rhode Island since a failed engagement. When she learns her brother may also be running away from marriage, she is forced to face her own flight to help him. Harlan Coben narrates his own engrossing PROMISE ME (1597376337, $26.95), the powerful story of entertainment agent Myron Bolitar, who finds his life about to change because of a promise. A missing girl, Myron's implication in the case, and a promise turned bad leads him into a bind. Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes join in FULL SCOOP (1597376914, $24.95), which receives narrator Lorelei King's wonderful and involving style as it tells of trouble in South Carolina predicted by a resident psychic/astrologer. A secret past, ex-romances, and trouble marks a wild adventure which holds many twists and turns of plot.

The Library DVD Shelf

Family Disaster Preparedness: Terrorism Awareness
Total Source Inc.
1510 Poole Boulevard, Yuba City, CA 95993
0974432512 $19.95

For a family coverage of preparing for terrorism, don't miss this 2-disc DVD with CD-ROM Disaster Preparation Kit, which pairs a step-by-step survey with a plan of action families can easily use. From communication plans to cover all kinds of scenarios to organizing disaster supplies and knowing how and when to either shelter in place or run, any family concerned with emergency preparedness must see this.

ADV Films
1413913873 $19.98

Blend a futuristic setting with sexy space vixens and Japanese high drama and you have a Tokyo pop production which may not be suitable for every library collection, but will delight any interested in high-tech plots and Japanese modern action. VERMILION PLEASURE holds fancy twists and turns of plot and lots of erotica. Any interested in artistic modern stories will find it intriguing, unusual, and compelling. THIS UGLY YET BEAUTIFUL WORLD ($29.98) provides the new anime series by studio GAINAX, which produced Neon Genesis and others. This is the first of three projected volumes and include powerful anime characters, romance and action, and all the drama you'd expect from a solid anime production. AREA 88 ORIGINAL OVA ($29.98) is the original version of the anime classic first released in Japan in 1985: its release led to a popular video game and the TV series, and influenced a generation of anime production. It's wonderful to have this original classic for a new generation of anime fans with a new English dub.

Cancer and Diet
John Sherman, N.D.
Blazam Media
PO Box 50261, Eugene, OR 97405
NO ISBN DVD $19.95

CANCER AND DIET: USING FOOD TO ELIMINATE CANCER AND PROMOTE RECOVERY may be only 36 minutes long, but its basic details are essential to cancer survivors, outlining the basics to a naturopathic diet doctors use to prevent and remove cancer. From the foundations of cancer's development to how diets affect it, Dr. John Sherman's background treating cancer lends to a clear explanation of how and when diet can help.

Bayview Entertainment

Bayview's wonderful Pilates and Yoga exercise videos are excellent picks for both libraries and home use, offering step-by-step exercise moves in DVD for any who would follow routines at home. CLASSICAL PILATES TECHNIQUE WITH CONSIDERATION OF THE NECK & BACK features Alycea Ungaro and Classical Pilates founder Peter Fiasca, who focus on applying Pilates to physical therapy exercises for neck and back areas. Each exercise includes the name and number of repetitions on screen to aid exercises as they work. CLASSICAL PILATES: KIDS AND YOUNG ADULTS will reach ages 5-17 with workouts that require no equipment and produce choreographed exercises demonstrated by kids. Workouts for pre-young adult and teen alike provide routines to help body image, weight management, flexibility and balance. Exercise routines are almost all in English in this country, so it's satisfying to see a set in Spanish with YOGOBICA. The set provides three videos ($19.99 each) to address three different exercise levels: BASICO, AVANZADO and INTERMEDIO. YOGOBICA blends yoga with aerobic fitness routines of about 50 minutes long: programs designed by Christi Idavoy, who has over twenty years experience teaching both. The presentation for Spanish-speaking viewers will delight.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

A Guide Book of United States Coins
R.S. Yeoman
Whitman Publishing
3101 Clairmont Road, Suite C, Atlanta, GA 30329
0794820395 $16.95

2006 marks the 60th anniversary of the Yeoman GUIDE BOOK OF UNITED STATES COINS, and this new edition edited by Kenneth Bressett assures the classic coin collector's reference remains a hit with its annual analysis of the coin market. Over 6,000 coins with over 30,000 individual values are listed in a resource conveniently pocket-sized in stature for easy take-along on coin hunts. Over 700 new color photos and updated mintages and values based on auction records keep the reference alive and well and more useful than weightier titles meant as desk references alone.

The Children's Shelf

Hodder Children's Books
Trafalgar Square, Dist.
PO Box 257, N. Pomfret, VT 05053
$4.99 Each

The slim paperback animal 'talk' books are fine introductions for kids learning about pets. PONYTALK (0340903058) discusses how to make friends with a pony and how to understand a pony's needs and non-verbal language; KITTENTALK (034893761) tells how to talk to a kitten and make friends, and PUPPYTALK (0340903066) tells how to understand a puppy's needs. Each paperback features a colorful cover and black and white drawings inside to accompany tips on '50 ways to make friends'.

The Fiction Shelf

Jeanette Winterson
Bloomsbury USA
175 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
1582349193 $16.95

Something frightening is happening to time: a 'time tornado' rips through London and a house called Tanglewood, home to eleven-year-old Silver and her aunt, are at the heart of the disturbance. For the clock known as the Timekeeper in their house controls all time a clock Silver has guarded until its disappearance. Silver's journey to regain the clock before it ends the world results in a compelling adventure nearly impossible to put down.

Farrar Straus Giroux
19 Union Square West, New York NY 10003

Judith Heide Gilliland's STRANGE BIRDS (0374372756, $17.00) tells of a pre-teen facing terrible news: her parents have been lost at sea, and a cold aunt arrives to care for her, changing her life. Only a secret Anna has long kept about her house will help, pushing her to embark on a journey of discovery with her new friend Sam. Colby Rodowsky's THAT FERNHILL SUMMER (0374374422, $16.00) tells of teen Kiara, who has long known about only one side of her family. When she discovers the grandmother she never knew might die at any moment, Kiara finds herself heading to Baltimore on a journey to discover her mother's secret past. Humor blends with family insights in a moving story of adjustments and changes.

William Lavender
525 "B" Street, #1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495
0152058826 $17.00

Readers ages 12 and older will find this a moving story of Jessie, daughter of a prominent San Francisco physician whose determination to become a doctor against all odds goes against even her father's wishes. Her discovery of a shameful family secret happens against the backdrop of the great earthquake of 1906: both events will change her world and her dreams in this vivid story of early San Francisco and a young girl's determination.

Veronica Bennett
Candlewick Press
2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
0763629944 $15.99

In 1814 poet Percy Shelley seduces young Mary, who flees with him to Europe against her family's wishes. With family and society against her actions, Mary becomes haunted by visions and finds them evolving into her all-too-real world in ANGELMONSTER, a complex and original story recommended for advanced teen readers.

Tales of Terror
Edgar Allan Poe
Knopf/Random House
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0375833056 $15.95

Michael McCurdy provides the grim black and white illustrations to mark Poe's most famous work, presented in dramatic unabridged writings which include a cd reading as well. McCurdy's wood engravings perfectly fit these tales, which will intrigue kids in grades 5-8 with a vivid set of short favorites from the master of horror.

The Summer Reading Shelf

Last Dance
Lurlene McDaniel
Darby Creek Publishing
7858 Industrial Parkway, Plain City, OH 43064
158196031X $4.99

Rachel loves to dance and dreams of being a professional someday and an invite to dance in New York seems to begin her dream, until an incurable illness threatens everything she's worked for. LAST DANCE considers career, life, and the unexpected changes ill health can bring as well as the new lease on life it can offer.

Fat Camp
Deborah Blumenthal
NAL JAM/Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0451218655 $9.99

Nutritionist Deborah Blumenthal provides a fun summer story of a super-sized girl who is sent to an unusual camp: it's a camp for the overweight, and Cam is sent there to eat controlled portions, exercise, and change. She misses food and her best friend and with humor relates a celery-toasting campfire and smuggled forbidden foods from home. FAT CAMP is a fine story about unwilling changes and fun.

Looking for Alibrandi
Melina Marchetta
Alfred Knopf/Random House
0375836942 $8.95

Josephine Alibrandi is smart and funny and has no idea who her father is. It's always been her mother's side of the family in her life, but as she enters her last semester in a wealthy Catholic high school she faces strict nuns, the interest of two very different boys, and questions about the father she's never known who has returned to her life. A fine story of a determined survivalist emerges.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

Diane C. Donovan, Editor & Senior Reviewer
12424 Mill Street, Petaluma, CA 94952
phone: 1-707-795-4629

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