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California Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 6 June 2017 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Gun Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Technology Shelf Education Shelf
Travel Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Terrorism Studies Shelf Cookbook Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fiction Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Self-Help Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Intuition on Demand
Lisa K., PhD
Findhorn Press
9781844097197, $15.99,

What if intuition were not a fleeting thing, but a talent that, like any other, could be nurtured and developed? What if it were a constant in life: a talent that could be honed to be consistent and integral to one's decision-making process? Intuition on Demand: A Step-by-Step Guide to Powerful Intuition You Can Trust focuses on how to foster intuition and make it a reliable adjunct to one's life, surveying real intuition's characteristics, how 10 simple tools can help strengthen intuitive processes, and how to apply them to everyday life. Is it possible to train one's brain to produce intuition not sporadically but 'on demand'? Sure, it is. Author Lisa K. clearly provides a program to achieve these results. Coming from an author with a scientific background in psychobiology and engineering who has spent years researching her subject, it's far more authoritative and concrete a game plan than most.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
9781536948370, $17.95 PB, $9.95 Kindle,

How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically should be on the reading lists of anyone interested in gaining and, even more important, using book reviews. It informs both self- and traditionally-published authors of the ins and outs of getting and utilizing reviews; but most importantly, it discusses some of the tips and tricks for doing so - and reveals many approaches to avoid. From making the most of the best review from the most authoritative source to knowing what to do if the review process goes awry, this outlines the entire process of media promotion in the course of explaining the difference between a good and bad review, how they can be effectively utilized, and what to avoid. Very highly recommended!

The Gun Shelf

Blue Book of Gun Values, 38th edition
S.P. Fjestad
Blue Book Publications
8009 34th Avenue South, Suite 250, Minneapolis, MN 55425
9781936120901, $54.95,

Gun dealers, antiques collectors, and any interested in the history and values of firearms will want to include the weighty thirty-eighth edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values in their collections. It packs in some 2,500 pages of the latest values and historical information for a range of modern and antique firearms, covering all the new makes and models for 2017 as well as over 1,700 manufacturers and their trademarks. Some 23,000 models are listed and described, along with expanded serialization charts and a color Photo Percentage Grading System which has been revised for this latest edition. Perhaps the most important feature of this book lies in its complete revision of gun prices, which will prove essential to any involved in the sale or assessment of guns past and present.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104

Four new audiobooks are recommended picks for any audiobook listener, and feature a combination of professional readers, unabridged recordings, and topics which are involving, especially in audio. Tiger Woods and Lorne Rubenstein's The 1997 Masters: My Story (9781478971566, $35.00) is narrated by Scott Van Pelt and includes an introduction read by Tiger Woods as it presents his story of the 1997 Masters Tournament in which twenty-one-year-old Tiger set a record that still stands out today. From how he prepared for this tournament to how he moved from amateur to professional status, Woods provides a sweeping account that moves from autobiography to golf insights, media encounters, and more. Laini Taylor's Strange the Dreamer (9781478913054, $30.00) is read by Steve West, who lends a smooth and compelling voice to the story of a war orphan long obsessed with a mythical lost city of Weep, who undertakes a journey with a band of warriors. Two hundred years ago, Weep was cut off from the world. What happened - and what do Lazlo's dreams have to do with the past and present? The compelling story of his adventure comes alive in audio and is hard to stop listening to. Jean Hanff Korelitz's the Devil and Webster (9781478934868, $30.00) is narrated by Kate Burton, who adds a smooth, evocative voice to the story of Naomi, the first female president of Webster college who faces the Fall with campus activists who protest a professor's denial of tenure. Naomi admires their convictions and her daughter's own determination to join them even though she seems to now be on the other side of student activism, until a Palestinian student becomes their leader and the nature and tone of the protest changes. A powerful saga emerges where special interests and personal values clash. John C. Maxwell's No Limits (9781478924401, $30.00) is narrated by Chris Sorensen, whose approach brings to life the story of how to generate personal wealth through a better understanding of the nature of capacity. This account identifies the kinds of choices that make up capacity and set limits and boundaries upon its realization, offering assessments of how to change attitudes, convictions, and beliefs. The result is a financial advisor that is especially easy to absorb in audio format.

The Technology Shelf

Third Networks and Services
Mehmet Toy and Hakki Candan Cankaya
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781630811754, $169.00,

Third Networks and Services provides college-level engineering and professional collections with a survey of applications of the Metro Ethernet Forum's Carrier Ethernet structure, and covers the basics of building systems using a variety of third network services. New use case examples and new specifications and applications are included in a technical survey that details the pros and cons of these technologies and their possible applications. Chapters packed with equations, charts and graphs introduce different Ethernet systems and alternative technologies, discuss network protocols and architecture, consider current and future applications, and survey router types, various informational modeling services for EMS and NMS, modules and managed objects, maintenance entities and more. It's a 'must' for any technical engineering reference collection.

The Education Shelf

Feedback That Moves Writers Forward
Patty McGee
Corwin Literacy
c/o Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781506349923, $30.95,

Too often teachers get into 'correcting mode' which stymies student creativity rather than fostering it. How can a teacher stifle the impulse to fix and encourage the impulse to praise and guide? Feedback That Moves Writers Forward offers concrete insights on how to use tone and language adjustments to encourage kids to discover their own innate writing skills and styles, and offers examples of how to not only modify teaching behaviors, but use printable forms and feedback to more effective, encouraging purpose. Chapters identify common obstacles to such success, then show how to fix these problems for maximum results. Measurable improvements are discussed in a feature highly recommended for any writing teacher working with students on any level.

The Travel Shelf

The Disneyland Encyclopedia, third edition
Chris Strodder
Santa Monica Press
P.O. Box 850, Solana Beach, CA 92075
9781595800909, $19.95,

The third updated edition of The Disneyland Encyclopedia provides an unofficial, unauthorized history of all the attractions, restaurants, and shopping opportunities to be found in Disneyland, and includes over fifty new entries and 300 new photos in this latest edition. Lest travelers think this is for destination visitors only, it does include a complete history of the park from its birth to modern times, and it also explores not just the landmarks of the park, but the people affecting its growth and evolution. The original edition held some 500 entries: this latest holds over six hundred, including new structures, upgrades, exhibits and more. Disney fans will find it a powerful survey indeed.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Joyce Rupp: Essential Writings
Selected by Michael Leach
Orbis Books
Price Building, Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
9781626982338, $22.00,

Joyce Rupp: Essential Writings joins others in Orbis' 'Modern Spiritual Masters' series, presenting works by Rupp which have been selected by Orbis publisher Michael Leach. It blends Christian thinking and philosophy with autobiographical elements as it explores how planter and spiritual midwife Joyce Rupp, a lifelong Catholic, has taught a blend of theology and psychology to people of all faiths. Personal battles with ego and self, spiritual reflection and self-help, and keys she applied to changing her own psyche and raising her spiritual consciousness make for enlightening, engrossing reading.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Quartztherapy: The Medicine of the Future
Klaire D. Roy
Jill Capri, translator
Fondation Poor-na-Jnana Yoga Inc
9781896523835, $47.90,

Quartztherapy is recommended for new age and alternative health and healing collections, and reflects the author's therapy practice and long-time teachings on how to use crystals and minerals for mental and physical health. Color photos accompany instructions on how to use these stones - but this isn't just another guide to understanding how crystals are therapeutic. It considers the science behind the therapies and treatments and tells how to get the most out of various therapeutic applications with quartz. The result is a powerful assessment of quartz stones applications that considers whether they are alive, what they do, and how to properly consider their benefits.

The Terrorism Studies Shelf

Anatomy of Terror
Ali Soufan
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393241174, $27.95,

Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of Bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State blends in-depth research with personal insights into the world's terror organizations in its effort to provide an introduction that goes beyond headline news and world reports to consider the major terrorist groups, their ideologies, and their key leaders and contentions. Anyone interested in the issue of terrorism needs this book: it provides an examination of how international policies influence terrorist processes and developments and it provides a blend of history and social and political inspection that lends authority and insights into the entire topic.

The Cookbook Shelf

Weeknight Paleo
Julie and Charles Mayfield
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
9780062419651, $29.99,

Weeknight Paleo: 100+ Easy and Delicious Family-Friendly Meals features meals that contain no gluten, no grain, and no dairy, and come from Paleo professionals who have two prior bestselling cookbooks on the subject. This one differs in its focus on family-friendly dishes produced by busy home cooks, including international influences as it features Thai Fish Cakes, One-Pan Fajitas, Warm Curry Chicken Salad, and more. Color photos abound, making it easy to see and duplicate the finished results. Newcomers to Paleo as well as those who have done some cooking in this area will find this an excellent basic guide.

Salt Fat Acid Heat
Samin Nosrat
Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781476753836, $35.00,

Salt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking comes from a chef who is a regular contributed to the New York Times food section, and who has been hailed as a powerful cooking teacher on par with Alice Waters and Julia Child. What does this mean for the average home cook? Plenty: because this book pairs art by Wendy MacNaughton to appeal to home books who may not understand the relationships between salt, fat, acid and heat; all of which determine how delicious a meal will be. Consider this: most cookbooks offer recipes and those tested recipes contain basic elements that are not thoroughly explored. This book, by offering recipes and in-depth discussions that explain exactly how and why they work, provides the cook with far more tools for branching out and exploring their own creative potential - and that makes it a standout.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

Two excellent mysteries stand out from the crowd and are recommended picks for anyone who enjoys a good mystery read. Emily Brightwell's Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong (9780399584206, $16.00) is a Victorian mystery steeped in British flavor as it tells of Thomas, who is murdered by his own walking stick in a London hotel. Inspector Witherspoon's investigation reveals he's an unlikely victim, but Mrs. Jeffries and the hotel staff discover that in fact the victim had far more insidious connections than they first anticipated. A fine Mrs. Jeffries mystery joins others in the series and will delight mystery readers looking for British atmosphere and characters. Carolyn Hart's Walking On My Grave (9780451488534, $26.00) presents a Death on Demand mystery to add to the series and tells of Annie's friend, a fellow shop owner who is wealthy and whose will stands to benefit several people after she's dead. The only problem is that she's not, although she will soon be if an accident and a disappearance are any indicators of foul play. Annie and her husband are forced to confront a dangerous situation if they have any hopes of saying anyone. A fine, tense saga emerges.

The Fiction Shelf

Harold Hardscrabble
G.D. Dess
Lone Wolf Books
9780998558912, $16.95,

Harold Hardscrabble is a literary novel which requires a degree of philosophical and social inspection from its readers as it presents the story of quiet Harold, who lives in a world occupied largely by his own thoughts. How this wandering dreamer connects to the material world and how he evolves to become something more than a quiet loner makes for a powerful novel that considers how luck plays a role in Harold's success and just as strongly leads to change. The contagious energy of one K and the influences that lead him to change course are well detailed in a story that is powerfully evocative and hard to predict.

The Ridge
John Rector
Thomas & Mercer
9781503943933, $15.95,

Megan and Tyler move to an isolated housing development happy to escape the big city of Chicago for something simpler and quieter, but trouble and chaos follow them when they uncover a deadly secret about their new quiet, suburban home which threatens them and defies their quest for peace. All it takes is an angry neighbor to begin a nightmare firmly rooted not in dreams, but in reality. As Megan finds herself trapped in a dangerous game, events move towards a dangerous revelation in this gripping thriller which evolves from a simple premise and search for quiet into something dark and deadly.

Bonnie & Clyde: Resurrection Road
Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall
Pumpjack Press
9780997411331, $15.95, PB, 308pp,

Bonnie & Clyde: Resurrection Road is anything but a staid thriller or historical re-invention: it's a thought-provoking if not fantastic story of actions, consequences, and the driving forces that turn the chaos of youth into a measured effort to achieve redemption in adulthood. As the 'good fight' changes and Bonnie and Clyde realize that their past efforts pale in comparison to this task, so readers receive a healthy dose of introspection to ice the cake of action. Thriller fans seeking an engrossing read that continually twists history to provide thought-provoking new outcomes will relish the blend of action and psychology that make Bonnie & Clyde: Resurrection Road an exceptional re-working of the past.

Understanding the Alacran
Jonathan LaPoma
Almendro Arts
9780998840307, $18.95,

Understanding the Alacran's young protagonist William thinks that a world of beaches and relaxation will be his ticket to a better life; but in reality, they serve as one of the magnets for a force that has always been present in his world, no matter where that place may be. A different approach might have produced a singular response from William and a predictable plot, but Jonathan LaPoma takes time to create a sense of people, place, and why situations evolve; not just how - and these elements are what gives the story added value and impact as the landscapes of Mexico and William's psyche immerse readers in the mental and physical atmosphere of the story. Given the latest state of affairs between the U.S. and Mexico, its undercurrent of social understanding and issues mixed with psychological examination makes it an especially relevant, timely read.

White Ash: The Story of Joaquin
Robert Lockridge
Friesen Press
P.O. Box 7, Neche, ND 58265
9781460211885 (Hardcover), $35.99
9781460211892 (Paperback), $22.99
9781460211908 (eBook), $3.99

In many ways, White Ash is a quintessential Western saga of a cowboy's unusual roots as he comes of age on the frontier and makes a life for himself. In other ways, it's quite the departure on any anticipated theme as he becomes immersed in another culture, develops abilities that are fated to become outdated, and finds a place for himself in unexpected manners. But perhaps the most striking aspect of White Ash lies in its ability to incorporate cross-cultural understanding, a dash of romance, and a lone cowboy's evolving world into the bigger picture of changes that affect the Western environment over the decades of his life. Readers of Westerns who seek deeper inspections than frontier drama alone will find White Ash a fine synthesis of compelling visual and psychological treat that eschews the formula of high-octane confrontation for the more realistic and thought-provoking observance of a frontier life well lived despite the many changes buffeting its progress.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Flying Geese
Linda Baxter Lasco, Editor
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781683391067, $24.95,

Flying Geese: New Quilts from an Old favorite provides offerings from a popular National Quilt Museum's annual contest, and if this sounds familiar, it's because the pattern is very traditional and the contest very popular. The purpose is to take an old traditional pattern and revitalize it: chapters collect the most innovative quilts of the contest and offer projects that allow fellow quilters to recreate the results, interviewing the quilters to learn how they produced their inspiring results. The abundance of full-size and small, good-quality color photos throughout lends to a survey that will delight quilters looking for new inspiration and projects.

The Splendid Sampler
Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson
Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604688092, $27.99,

The Splendid Sampler: 100 Spectacular Blocks from a Community of Quilters focuses on 6" blocks created by some 80 top designers, and demonstrates a wide range of quilting designs and techniques from patchwork and applique to embroidery. Needleworkers who enjoy working on various projects receive blocks presented in two colorways, with clear tips on materials, assembly, and how to create exceptional blocks from scratch. Good-sized photos of finished blocks accompany smaller drawings that clearly explain how to create the blocks and how to assemble them for maximum impact. Anyone working with blocks needs this fine exploration of many possibilities.

The Self-Help Shelf

Success Through Pickss
Muthuswamy N
15951 Los Gatos Blvd., Ste 16, Los Gatos, CA 95032
9781370826827, $8.99

Success Through Pickss comes from a management consultant with decades to his name, but it represents an investigation into a thinking process more than a strategy for business achievement, and promotes a level of inquiry and thought that goes beyond formula economics to delve into the realm of positive action in the face of diminishing resources. This approach isn't limited to the business world alone, but moves into personal lifestyles and choices as it surveys how basic principles of energy relate to both business management and personal lives, and how to best harness limited energy for maximum returns and results. Chapters support the Pickss system, which is based on the laws of energy, and provide a step-by-step formula for achievement which surveys applications of the "Seven M's" of resources (Method, Materials, Money, Machine, Men, Material, Mosphere) and discusses why only a fraction of these are typically used in management styles. Readers with a prior interest not in guidelines but in following wider-ranging systems that require a revised perception of the world and what constitutes success will find Success Through Pickss weighty, thought-provoking, and filled with examples and insights that reach beyond business concerns alone.

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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