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Infomaniac: Become an Expert in an Hour
440 Park Avenue South, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10016
9781472392381, $17.99, 384pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Infomaniac: Become an Expert in an Hour" is divided into four main chapters: Battles
& Wars; Science & Inventions; Crime & Punishment; Wings, Wheels & Rails, As informative as
it is fun to simply browse through, "Infomaniac: Become an Expert in an Hour" is comprised of
4,500 succinctly presented facts and curiosities.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and thoroughly absorbing read from first page to last,
"Infomaniac: Become an Expert in an Hour" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in format and
presentation, making it very highly recommended for both personal and community library
Not Really Gone
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781504905244, $28.99, 276pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In every family there is a rock-the person that keeps things together. In Blaire Sharpe's
family, that rock was her grandmother. As she shares the inspiring story of her relationship with
her grandma in the pages of "Not Really Gone", Blaire expands on the notion of what it really
means to be loved. When she was just an infant, Blaire's troubled parents divorced. Since both
parents were incapable of raising Blaire and her siblings, the children were slated for foster
care-until their grandmother, Eleanor, stepped in to raise them as her own. As Eleanor valiantly
struggled against a family legacy of alcoholism and depression, she modeled strength and
wisdom to endure the most challenging of times. Still, Blaire's life was not perfect. As she
matured into adulthood, she battled addictions that eventually led her into recovery, just as
Eleanor's health began to decline. When she found herself sandwiched between two generations,
each increasingly needy, Blaire poignantly reveals how she discovered the true meaning of love
and commitment, and the essence of what it means to be a mother. "Not Really Gone" is the story
about the undying love a grandmother gave her granddaughter-a love that inspired her to carry on
and become the rock in her own family.
Critique: An absorbing and inherently fascinating read from beginning to end, "Not Really Gone"
is one of those memoirs that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself is
finished and set back upon the shelf. Very highly recommended for community library
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Not Really Gone" is also available
in a paperback edition (9781504905237, $19.95) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).
Walking in Grace with Grief
Button Rock Press
9780996387804, $14.95, 126pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Part memoir and part meditation guide, "Walking in Grace with Grief" combines Della
Temple's personal story of loss with teachings of energy awareness, mindfulness, and conscious
living. Filled with stories of hope and profound confidence in life after life, providing comfort
and nurturing for anyone dealing with loss.
Critique: Impressively well written, exceptionally candid, inspired and inspiring, "Walking in
Grace with Grief" is an uplifting read that is enthusiastically recommended for personal reading
lists and community library collections. It should be noted that "Walking in Grace with Grief" is
also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
The Social Issues Shelf
There Is Still Time
Peter Seidel & Gary Gardner
360 Degree Editions
9780578155432, $15.00, 212pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Irrefutable evidence makes it clear that we are headed for massive human misery as
our planet's health rapidly worsens, yet we fail to respond in a rational, meaningful way. "There
Is Still Time: To Look at the Big Picture...and Act" shows us how we can fix this. We must look
at the big picture. This means facing and dealing with the basic cause of most of our problems,
ourselves. "There Is Still Time" pulls all of the issues we need to deal with together, and looks at
how they affect one another. Part One of "There Is Still Time" looks at us as individuals, how we
work together as a society, and at the way our governments and businesses operate, and suggests
things we can do to change direction. Part Two of "There Is Still Time" gives a concise but
comprehensive overview of the state of our planet today. There is, looming ahead of us, a point
beyond which there is no return. But it can be prevented and "There Is Still Time" will put us
firmly on the road to how.
Critique: A critically important counter to the well financed and politically motivated climate
change deniers, "There Is Still Time: To Look at the Big Picture...and Act" is a vitally necessary
and essential addition to both community and academic library collections. Exceptionally well
written, organized and presented, "There Is Still Time" is especially commended to the attention
of the non-specialist general reader with concerns about the future of our society, our country, the
global economy, and the planet upon which we live.
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Escape from Netherworld
Word Association Publishers
9781595719942, $16.95, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Escape from Netherworld" is a thrilling tale by David Kuklis about a group of friends
whose simulated war games go awry one weekend, sending them into an alternate realm from
which there appears to be no escape. The friends go from playing the game to living the game, as
they become the characters that they created. Readers will travel along with these friends as they
embark upon one harrowing adventure after another, befriending druids along the way and
battling ogres and orcs with the help of an array of magic weapons, and trying to outwit the evil
wizard who seems determined to keep them in this alternate world.
Critique: A wonderfully imaginative and original action/adventure fantasy novel from beginning
to end, "Escape from Netherworld" is a thoroughly enjoyable and compelling read. Very highly
recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Escape from Netherworld" is also available in a Kindle edition
B. G. Preston
Magic Glass Publishing
9780986147708, $15.95, 418pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Four friends simply planned to kick back and relax -- until half of a fish was found on
Jim Carson's carpet. Their simple discovery leads the group on an exciting quest. Have they
uncovered a means of instantaneous transportation? They may have stumbled upon a whole new
technology with astounding implications. Could it change the course of world economics and stir
up a lot of trouble in the process? Soon, the race is on to discover the source of a special rock
formation as they enter into an adventure of a lifetime. Their explorations and travels lead the
group into unexpected intrigue as they seek out a secret cave in Hawaii, the source of the
Critique: Deftly crafted and wonderfully entertaining, "Obsidian Portal" is the first volume in B.
G. Preston's 'In The Mack's Journals' series and will leave the reader looking eagerly toward the
release of 'Portal Lost', the next book in the series. Very highly recommended for community
library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Obsidian Portal" is also
available in a Kindle edition ($8.99).
Michael R. Nardo
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781480816732, $35.95, 274pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In June of 2012, two young shepherds tend their sheep in Basra, Iraq, west of Sumer.
Bored, the two siblings ignore their parents' warning to stay out of Sumer and the Mound of
Tiamat. It's said that Sumer and Tiamat are mystical and spiritual places, the home of the
ancients who come from the heavens. Soon, the children are in the midst of an amazing and
deifying encounter, one they never spoke of again. But, someone else was watching, one of the
most powerful national security agencies on earth. Intelligence determines that not only is there
enemy involvement in that area, but evidence points to some kind of extraterrestrial event. Navy
Seals are deployed to investigate, and what they discover makes them question everything they
thought they knew. "The Beginning" is a science fiction thriller that explores the origin of man
and the existence of alien life in the universe and its connection to earth and the origin of man. It
tells the story of how a top-secret, quasi-government committee consisting of members from
powerful corporations, intelligence agencies, scientists, and the President of the United States are
involved in numerous cover-ups of close encounters throughout history.
Critique: A deftly written science fiction novel, "The Beginning" is an inherently fascinating read
from beginning to end and very highly recommended to the attention of all science fiction fans
and enthusiasts. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Science
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Beginning" is also
available in a paperback edition (9781480816725, $17.99) and in a Kindle format ($5.99).
Last of the Tasburai
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781497471382, $13.10, 366pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The kingdoms of Avantolia are in trouble but they don't know it yet: war is brewing
amongst them, while their ancient enemies, the Magrog demon-masters, are poised to invade.
The legendary Tasburai warriors once guarded the kingdoms, but now their elite order triggers
more fear than respect. Grandmaster and elite swordfighter Suri-Yi must come to terms with the
ghosts of her past and find the courage to revive the Tasburai as a force for good, not a tool of
persecution. Along with her gifted but volatile apprentice Adan, she must rebel against the
tyranny of her one-time masters and liberate the people from oppression. She and Adan must stop
the Avanist Republic exporting revolution to the kingdoms and along the way come to the aid of
a spoilt princess, a feisty young thief and an army captain with no self-belief. Redemption for
past evil calls - but it may have to wait until present evil is defeated. Time is running out.
Critique: "Last of the Tasburai" is an impressive heroic fantasy action/adventure saga that clear
establishes author Rehan Khan as an imaginative and gifted master of the genre. A thoroughly
entertaining and absorbing read from beginning to end, "Last of the Tasburai" is very highly
recommended for community library heroic fantasy collections. For personal reading lists it
should be noted that "Last of the Tasburai" is also available in an inexpensive Kindle edition
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Frank E. Maldonado
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781502855534, $15.95, 428pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Blood, fear and mayhem are served up in generous portions as love turns to murder in
Frank E. Maldonado's "Chimera Murders". In this page-turner of a psychological thriller it's a
race against time as two good friends fight to stop an unseen evil that penetrates into the very
depths of terror!
Critique: A deftly crafted work of absorbing suspense from first page to last, "Chimera Murders"
is a compelling and thoroughly entertaining read that will prove to be an enduringly popular
addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For personal reading lists it should
be noted that "Chimera Murders" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.00).
Still Night in L.A.
Three Rooms Press
9781941110331, $15.95, 220pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Michael Shepard, a detective with his own set of problems, is hired one morning by a
fashionable young woman at her Hollywood apartment. Soon he's embroiled in a murder
investigation that may shed light on a nearly forgotten tragedy. A divorced father wondering how
to set his son on a better course in life, the detective gets into deepening trouble as he negotiates
a vivid panorama of the town's modern-day beautiful and damned. Author Aram Saroyan blends
the hard-boiled styles of such classic private eyes as were produced by Chandler, Hammett, and
Ross MacDonald into a contemporary tale of information age intrigue. The text of "Still Night in
L.A." is supplemented with cell phone photos taken by Saroyan in the same environs in which
the story unfolds.
Critique: A superbly crafted mystery from first page to last, this is a cliff-hanger of a read that
will please any and all hard-boiled private eye enthusiasts. Highly recommended for community
library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Still
Night in L.A." is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).
Black & White & Dead All Over
9780986413025, $12.99, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: What happens when the Internet service provider in a small town spies on his clients'
cyber-lives and blackmails them for gifts and services? Murder; that's what happens. Penelope
Trigg moves to Lost Hat, Texas to open a photography studio and find herself as an artist. Things
are going great. She's got a few clients, some friends, even a hot new high-tech boyfriend. But
when Penny submits some nude figure studies of him to a contest, she gets hit with a blackmail
letter in her inbox. "Do what I want or your lover's nudie pix get splattered across the Internet."
The timing couldn't be worse, so Penny is forced to submit to the blackmailer's demands. Then
people start dying and all the clues point to her. She has to rattle every skeleton in every closet in
Lost Hat to keep herself out of jail and find the real killer.
Critique: "Black & White & Dead All Over: A Lost Hat, Texas Mystery" by Anna Castle is a
deftly crafted mystery thriller replete with unexpected twists and surprising turns. A solid
entertainment for mystery fans from beginning to end, "Black & White & Dead All Over" is a
terrific read that will leave her readers looking eagerly toward the next 'Lost Hat, Texas' mystery
novel. Highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Black & White & Dead All Over" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($3.99).
Come And Take It
Trinity River Press
9780986173103, $16.95, 294pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the early morning of March 6, 1836, the Mexican army storms the Alamo and kills
every one of the defenders except William Barret Travis's young black slave named Joe.
Although General Santa Anna vows to keep him alive, a fearful Joe escapes away in the night
carrying a prize far more valuable than anything inside the creaky Spanish mission. Fast forward
to September 2013. Joe's modern descendant, a 93-year-old World War II veteran living alone in
Brewton, Alabama is dying after being attacked by intruders. With his last breath, the old man
defiantly shouts, "Come and take it!" And with his demise, the last living person who knows
about Joe's prize is gone forever. While investigating the old man's death, grandson Nat uncovers
clues about a long-hidden secret dating back to the Alamo. With the help of a beautiful history
professor named Renee, Nat begins to unravel the mystery of his grandfather's murder, and in the
process discovers another mystery of far greater scale -- the long lost treasure of the Alamo.
Critique: "Come and Take It: Search for the Treasure of the Alamo" is a compelling and
inherently absorbing novel from beginning to end, and one that clearly showcases author Landon
Wallace's truly impressive talents for original storytelling. Very highly recommended for
community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Come And Take It" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99).
9780692211588, $16.03, 314pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Three popes have died within a year; foul play has not been eliminated. The Vatican is
in total chaos. Cloistered for more than two months, the conclave of cardinals is gripped by
discord and indecision. But, on the seventy-ninth day, white smoke finally appears above the
Sistine chapel. For the first time in one thousand years, a layman (from the United States) will
lead the church. Before the smoke clears, it is obvious the papacy, and the world, will never be
the same. "Conclave Conspiracy" carries readers into the heart of the Vatican, and around the
world, to follow the inspirational celebrity Pope James as he shatters long-held positions and
fundamentally transforms the image of the Bishop of Rome. But not everyone is happy. Cardinal
Manoles Sicoli, a fundamental doctrinaire who has long had his own eyes on the Papacy, fears
James will end the Catholic Church as he knows it and concludes the new pope is the antichrist.
Sicoli will stop at nothing to terminate James's reign. A suspense thriller, both timely and
relevant, "Conclave Conspiracy" will appeal to those who hope for change in the church, and
those intrigued or perplexed by the Catholic Church's present position and image.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel replete with unexpected plot twists and surprises that thoroughly
engage the reader's complete attention from beginning to end. "Conclave Conspiracy" showcases
author Burnham Philbrook's impressively exceptional storytelling talents and is very highly
recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it
should be noted that "Conclave Conspiracy" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
David Myles Robinson
52 Tuscan Way, Ste 202-309, Saint Augustine, FL 32092
9781604521009, $19.95, 244pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After one of Hawaii's most beloved celebrities is murdered, Pancho McMartin gets an
unexpected call from Judge Makena, the administrative judge. The good judge, short of court
appointed attorneys, wants Pancho to represent a young, homeless black man, Jackson Steele,
accused of the murder. But not only has the famously tolerant Aloha State erupted in racial
tensions at outrage over the loss of Hawaii's iconic performer, the evidence against Jackson is
compelling. As Pancho reluctantly goes to work for his new client, he and his lead investigator
and best friend, Drew Tulafono, find themselves immersed in some of the darker underbellies of
this tropical paradise. The problem? There are many on the island with reasons to keep the
secrets of the murder just that -- a secret. Even if it means an innocent young man goes to
Critique: A riveting mystery from beginning to end, "Tropical Judgments" continues the
adventures of Pancho McMartin who was first introduced to the reading public in author David
Myles Robinson's debut novel "Tropical Lies" (9781604520941, $19.95 PB, $5.99 Kindle,
264pp). A deftly constructed and thoroughly entertaining novel from beginning to end, "Tropical
Judgements" is very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Tropical Judgments" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($5.99).
Redeye Fulda Cold
Cold War Publications
9780996478601, $29.99, 422pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Redeye Fulda Cold" by Bill Fortin is set in 1969 West Germany. During his induction
into the US Army Rick Fontain is given an aptitude test. The test results change the path of his
life forever. He is encouraged to become an officer but the extra time, in addition to his two
years, is a no go for Rick. He opts for training on the Redeye, the first ever hand held surface to
air missile system designed for close combat for the infantry. What Rick doesn't know is that he
is being watched from afar. His progress is being scrutinized and he is being evaluated for
recruitment into the CIA. Rick and his team would become one of the greatest deterrents to an
invasion from Mother Russia.
Critique: Although a work of compelling fiction, in "Redeye Fulda Cold" author Bill Fortin pays
close attention to historical detail and background that gives his novel an impressive 'reality' that
will hold his reader's rapt attention from beginning to end. Terrifically entertaining, "Redeye
Fulda Cold" is very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For
personal reading lists it should be noted that "Redeye Fulda Cold" is also available in a
paperback edition (9780578164854, $16.15) and in an inexpensive Kindle format ($0.99).
"First, the 'Saturday People', and then the ..."
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781505990201, $13.95, 322pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "First, the 'Saturday People', and then the ...," by Bruce Portnoy is a geopolitical thriller
that quickly transports readers from the Midwestern United States to the Middle East. While
exchanging innocent e-mails with the son of a Lebanese diplomat; Abbie, a seemingly ordinary
wife, mother, and teacher learns of a brewing terror plot, years in the making. This breach will
result in devastating consequences for her family, and eventually force her husband, Jon, to form
an alliance with G.P. Mehmet, a retired FBI agent of Palestinian descent. Together, they will
gradually untangle a web of terror and deceit before exposing the man responsible for
coordinating a nuclear action targeting Jerusalem's Temple Mount. Along the way, Jon and
Mehmet will come to terms with the prejudice each man holds towards the other. Time and
again, the vulnerabilities of Israel are brought to the forefront, while Mehmet wrestles with
reservations about whether the Jews are worth the risks his actions are placing upon his daughter,
Malak and grandchild, Eryn. Yet, a reverberating Holocaust question from young Eryn,
ultimately pushes him onward.
Critique: A riveting read from first page to last, "First, the 'Saturday People', and then the ..." is
exceptionally well written with all manner of plot twists and turns. Clearly establishing author
Bruce Portnoy as a novelist of considerable originality and story telling skills, "First, the
'Saturday People', and then the..." is very highly recommended for community library General
Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "First, the 'Saturday People',
and then the..." is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
Jon Martell & Jamie McCormick
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781501035777, $12.99, 412pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When an ordinary husband and wife visit a rural medieval German tower while on
vacation, they become separated and then her body is later found inside that ancient building.
Unraveling the mysterious circumstances of the woman's death take require a complex and
romantic exploration that encompasses a journey covering some thirty years and two continents.
What really happened in the tower? Ultimately the reader must decide.
Critique: The collaborative work of the husband and wife team of Jon Martell and Jamie
McCormick, "Katya" is a riveting novel of romance and mystery. Exceptionally entertaining and
an fully absorbing read from beginning to end, "Katya" is very highly recommended as an
enduringly popular addition to community library collections. For personal reading lists it should
be noted that "Katya" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
The Hard Times
Russell Scott, author
Russell Scott Anderson, editor
China Grove Press
9780985267131, $25.00, 230pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Taken from the news, declassified CIA documents, and personal experiences in Africa
and Namibia, "The Hard Times" by Russell Scott is a fictional story superimposed on a factually
based account of what's happening in the illegal diamond trade, today. It begins in Mississippi.
Ray Moffett is an ER doc and Ray is facing an abyss. When his best friend and former partner
comes into the Emergency Department dead, six weeks after his retirement party, Ray finds
himself thrown into a search for some semblance of meaning in his own life. His conclusions are
For all practical purposes, a white coat is all he has left. Everything else, fallen away, and while
medicine is a good thing and medicine is a fine thing, medicine is not a substitute for a life. His
marriage gone, he d left his wife, Lisa, for Anne, a young nurse he had thought he was in love
with. His children gone, grown, with lives of their own and no time for a father determined to
play the fool. And Anne, was gone too, fled when he'd told her he loved her and asked her to
leave her husband. She's simply quit her job and moved to another state without a word. Not
really the reaction Ray had expected. All Ray had left was work. Work, punctuated only by the
occasional round of golf. And that wasn't enough to fill the days he had left until he took his own
trip to the grave.
A chance meeting with an African hunting guide, Fritz Dietrich, shows Ray a door. A way to
fulfill the adventures he'd dreamed about as a boy. Dreams fueled by the books he d always
loved, the stories he d grown up reading. Written by men like Hemingway, Ruark, and Capstick.
Unfortunately, Fritz isn't exactly what he seems. His past accomplishments include murder, theft,
and running guns across international borders. Wanted in several neighboring countries, Fritz is
out of prison only because his older brother, Manfred is the head of security for Namibia s
national mining consortium. But, Manfred has problems of his own. He needs to find a way to
hide two hundred million dollars worth of illegal diamonds out of Zimbabwe from the United
Nations inspectors... and he's just been diagnosed with lung cancer. Manfred needs Fritz to move
the diamonds and Fritz is prohibited from entering the Restricted Zone because of his criminal
Critique: A complex and deftly crafted novel, "The Hard Times" is impressively well written and
documents author Russell Scott as a novelist of considerable storytelling talent. Thoroughly
absorbing and exceptionally entertaining from beginning to end, "The Hard Times" is
recommended for personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections.
The Fiction Shelf
Elizabeth R. Joseph
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781515376392, $9.99 pbk / $2.99 Kindle, 168pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When Vera and Mark step through a portal in search of Karrie, the missing camp
director, neither of them expect to find themselves in a maze, a magical mirror maze, with power
that can benefit anyone who merges with it, a goal Missena, the queen, is trying to achieve.
Meanwhile, Leina, Vera's best friend, tries to find her. The maze's passages are the least of the
problems. As Vera and Mark travel through, its magic ensnares them further, pulling them
elsewhere until their paths all collide, and their lives change.
Critique: A wonderfully entertaining read from beginning to end, "Twin Reflections" by
Elizabeth R. Joseph is particularly impressive when considering that it is debut effort of a fourteen year old writer. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library
collections for young readers, it should be noted that "Twin Reflections" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($2.99).
9780993758638, $16.31, 388pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A tragic accident on Mount Everest changes everything for Roberto Sanchez, a loving
48-year-old husband to Monique, and father to Jenny. As a professional mountain climber and
motivational speaker, he had reached the summit of many mountains and helped others reach
theirs. Now facing the toughest climb of his life, Roberto is troubled by his own ideals and
morals. As his family life tumbles through turbulent events, he is no longer the giver of service
but the recipient - a shift that instills anger and pushes away the people he loves most. When
Jenny receives her father's private journal (the one he promised as her inheritance, once he was
dead) it is a race against time for her to get to him before it's too late.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel and an absorbing read from beginning to end, "because" is a
compelling and thoroughly entertaining novel that documents author Jack Langedijk's truly
exceptional storytelling skills. Very highly recommended for community library General Fiction
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "because" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($6.99).
Meant To Be
9781941020029, $16.99, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: From the sun-drenched beaches of Ocean City, Maryland to the snow capped
mountains of Afghanistan, "Meant To Be" is tale of espionage and intrigue that takes its readers
on a spellbinding journey into the secret lives of our nation's quiet heroes. Two young people
thought it was just the beginning when they had a chance encounter on the beach, but 24 hours
later, Lauren Cantrell and Michael "Rad" Radcliff said goodbye, not knowing if they would ever
see each other again. Yet, fate had another unexpected meeting in store for them, exposing the
covert lives neither had revealed. "Meant To Be" recounts the dedication of our military, the
honor and sacrifice of our soldiers, and a relationship that is tested and sustained by the powerful
forces of love, courage, and resolve.
Critique: Expertly crafted from beginning to end, "Meant To Be" is a truly extraordinary read and
would prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction
collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Meant To Be" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($2.99).
Alan M. Weber
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781511631273,$10.99, 132pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Wedge", by Alan M. Weber is a deftly crafted novel of political allegory, insight
and intrigue. It centers on Steven Wellstone, a political scientist who becomes so frustrated with
his efforts to expose the deceit and corruption in the political system that he decides to do the
unthinkable. Only things don't quite work out as he had planned.
Critique: An absolutely absorbing read from beginning to end, "The Wedge" is a story that could
be tomorrow's headlines news given the corporate corruption that is the hallmark of our
congressional system today. Impressively well written with unexpected twists and turns, "The
Wedge" is highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For personal
reading lists it should be noted that "The Wedge" is also available in a Kindle edition
The Artemis Connection
David Di Paolo
SDP Publishing Solutions Inc.
9780990559634, $15.99, 284pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: She doesn't believe in ghosts. She doesn't believe in witches or curses or spells. The
doctor doesn't believe in anything that science can't explain, but Diana Valleverde is about to
learn that knowledge is an evolving proposition. Her research into brain function is uncovering
secrets within the mind, but none like the one kept hidden from her since before she was born.
When her brother, a curator at the university museum, gives her a family keepsake from their
recently deceased grandmother, Diana begins a journey that will take her from Pennsylvania to
Milan and the Italian Alps, to discover what lies hidden inside and what has caused her recent
affliction by what she knows must be sleep paralysis attacks, a frightening condition in which she
awakens, unable to move or cry out, with the overwhelming sense something unseen is
suffocating her. There must be a medical explanation for these attacks. There must be.
Critique: An original and deftly constructed story, "The Artemis Connection" showcases the
extraordinary storytelling skills of David Di Paolo as a novelist who holds his reader's fully
absorbed and entertained attention from beginning to end. Highly recommended for community
library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Artemis
Connection" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
c/o Yellow Pear Press
9780990537021, $16.95, 375pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Catarina's Ring" by Lisa McGuinness interweaves the stories of four generations of
strong, vibrant women and has created characters both idiosyncratic and adventuresome. Born at
the end of the Nineteenth Century and nestled in South Western Italy, Catarina Pensbene's life in
Perdifumo is full of sun-drenched olive orchards, lush grape vines, delicious peasant food, family
and love. Because of an unexpected plunge into an untenable situation, Catarina decides to take a
huge risk to become a mail order bride and sets out across the ocean.
Critique: A deftly constructed novel, "Catarina's Ring" is extraordinary and original story that
will hold the reader's thoroughly absorbed attention from beginning to end. Solidly entertaining
from first page to last, "Catarina's Ring" is highly recommended for community library General
Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Catarina's Ring" is also
available in a Kindle edition ($7.19).
Fire In The Water
James Alexander Thom
Blue River Press
2402 N. Shadeland Ave., Suite A, Indianapolis, IN 46219
Cardinal Publishers Group, distributor
9781935628569, $25.95, 376pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Paddy Quinn, the boy who ate rattlesnakes, and lost a hand to a cannon blast during the
Mexican War, returns as a famous Civil War correspondent and battlefield sketch artist in James
Alexander Thom's new novel, "Fire in the Water" The central action in this novel is the tragic
explosion and burning of the paddlewheel steamboat Sultanta near Memphis in the last days of
the Civil War, killing some 1,800 homebound Yankee survivors of the hellish Andersonville
prisoner-of-war camp in Georgia. But the undercurrent of "Fire In The Water" is the national
mourning for assassinated President Lincoln, whose corpse was en-route on his funeral train to
Springfield, Illinois at the time of the disaster.
Critique: An impressively well written and solidly entertaining novel, "Fire In The Water" with
its laudable attention to historical detail is very highly recommended and certain to be an
enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Historical Fiction
Sovereignty Betrayed: Imperium Proditum
Richard T. Morrison & R. Stephanie Good
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781496915153, $29.95, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A great secret lies hidden within our Constitution that five great statesmen took an
oath to conceal. They knew that once revealed, that secret would turn jurisprudence on its head,
and likely divide our Nation as never before. Do not make light of what you will read in the
pages of "Sovereignty Betrayed: Imperium Proditum ". Oft times, our history borders on a thin
line between fact and fiction. So does this novel by the collaborative team of Richard T.
Morrison and R. Stephanie Good. While "Sovereignty Betrayed: Imperium Proditum" was
penned as historical fiction, its premise is one to be taken very seriously. For written within these
covers are self-evident truths that constitutional scholars will be debating for years to come. In
today's volatile and all-too-often corrupt political environment, what was once fiction could all
too readily become fact.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, "Sovereignty Betrayed: Imperium Proditum " is an
iconoclastic novel of the first order and very highly recommended for personal reading lists and
community library Historical Fiction collections.
9780692376362, $9.95, 216pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Not satisfied with the limits on human endurance, the government's Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has created the Excelsior program to break athletic
performance barriers. Dr. Evan Galloway, a brilliant physiologist from MIT, has been tasked
with developing Nan Airs to achieve the agency's goal. But can the government be trusted to use
Nan Airs responsibly? The ultimate performance enhancer, Nan Airs consists of artificial red
blood cells that have the capacity to deliver 236 times more oxygen than red cells. With a single
Nan Airs injection, a person could sprint for 15 minutes on a single breath.
When Nan Airs becomes a reality, billionaire Jack McKnight announces a grueling new
ultra-triathlon being held in Greece. The Aletheia race (consisting of distances 5 times greater
than the Ironman) is considered impossibly dangerous. Athletes must swim 12 miles across the
Aegean Sea, bike 560 miles over punishing terrain, and then run 131 brutal miles to Athens. The
winner has the honor of appearing in the opening ceremony of the Olympics, scheduled to begin
at the conclusion of the ultra-triathlon. Evan, who has a personal vendetta against McKnight,
enters the triathlon out of vengeance.
However, his motivation to compete intensifies when he learns that Luke, his adrenaline-junkie
brother fresh out of jail, plans to race as well. Remembering his dying father's wish that he look
out for Luke, Evan is determined to keep his reckless brother out of trouble. Knowing that fellow
competitor McKnight plays dirty and seems likely to illicitly use Nan Airs to gain a competitive
advantage, Evan throws himself into a rigorous training regimen led by disgraced former
Olympian, Lucian Atticus. His goal is to not only beat a competitor with a superior advantage,
but to also protect his brother from danger. Characterized by epic power struggles, malicious
backstabbing, and scandalous behavior, the Aletheia demonstrates how far people are willing to
go for athletic glory.
Critique: Impressively well written, "Without Limits" is a compelling action/adventure thriller of
a read from beginning to end -- and clearly establishes author Dustin Grinnell as an imaginative
storyteller of the first order. A very highly recommended novel, "Without Limits" will prove to
be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections. For personal
reading lists it should be noted that "Without Limits" is also available in a Kindle edition
Edwin W. Biederman, Jr.
1939 Old Homestead Road, Oakland, OR 97462
9781934956700, $19.95, 138pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Improbable Future picks up where Edwin Biederman's "Beyond All Human
Probability" (Amazon Digital Services, B00PECBO18, $2.99 Kindle) left off, with Ken James
returning from Moscow after his visit with the Russian President. He returns to find that he is
now a person to be watched and also to find that his "power broker" lady friend has received
threats in his absence. Ken's journey towards possible president candidacy leads you through the
nation's immigration problems, geological exploration, the national problems associated with
riots, the high cost of college, and Russia's interest in the outcome of the American presidential
races. Ken concludes that the technical and scientific worlds have moved swiftly ahead, leaving
the presidential candidates behind. Ken believes that the person who is destined to be the US
president should have a background that allows him or her to ask probing questions dealing with
unintended consequences and he knows the perfect man for the job.
Critique: "Improbable Future" continues to showcase author Edwin Biederman's abilities as an
action/adventure novelist with many a deftly crafted plot twist and unexpected turn -- all leading
to an unforgettable climax! A solid entertainment from beginning to end, "Improbable Future" is
very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library General Fiction
The Spear of Longinus
Reynold J. Levocz
9780989446303, $14.90, 428pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: An enthralling tale set against the pageantry and decadence of first-century Rome,
"The Spear of Longinus" by Reynold J. Levocz chronicles youthful tragedy, the quest for
revenge, hard-fought military campaigns, and burgeoning love, as well as the mysterious
prophecies that haunt Tiberius Longinus who is noted in Christian legendry as the Roman
centurion who speared Jesus of Nazareth on his cross of sorrows. Unfolding throughout the
far-flung reaches of the Roman Empire, this sweeping epic ranges from the imperial reign of
Augustus to that of Vespasian and is a riveting saga of the adventures of Longinus and his pursuit
of the love of Helena Rufinus who was his beguiling childhood sweetheart and the heroine of
Critique: A deftly crafted, impressively written, and absolutely riveting novel from beginning to
end, "The Spear of Longinus" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists as well as
community and academic library Historical Fiction collections.
Silver Leaf Books
P.O. Box 6460, Holliston, MA 01746
9781609751241, $17.95, 216pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Desmond Fairweather, a young musician whose creative efforts are hampered by fears
he may possess destructive magical powers, is swept up in a world of mystery and intrigue as he
helps his tabloid writer friend Jake Brenner, who is on the hunt for a big supernatural story.
Skeptical of the validity of the stories Jake hunts, Des reluctantly accompanies his friend on his
latest adventure with the promise that Jake can help him secure an audition with the city
symphony, a break Des desperately needs. This latest story brings the two out to the country to
investigate some talking flowers at the Snowden estate. While investigating the flowers of
Christine Snowden, a startlingly beautiful young woman appears to Des who claims to be
magical. She is Kalida, a mysterious creature who has escaped from the people of the Caverns
and renounced their evil ways. However, her people have found her and are pressuring her to
return to their world. "Butterfly Waltz" captures the pure essence of two friends as they struggle
with their own problems while trying to help out each other. It blends adventure, intrigue,
mystery, and the allure of supernatural and inexplicable phenomena, all wrapped together in a
delightful symphony that will capture the hearts and minds of readers.
Critique: An absorbing and unfailingly entertaining read from beginning to end, "Butterfly
Waltz" showcases a genuine storytelling talent in author Jane Tesh's original and terrifically
creative novel. Very highly recommended for community library General Fiction and Fantasy
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Butterfly Waltz" is also
available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
Orphan in America
Nanette L. Avery
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781495433405, $21.99, 626pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Orphan in America" is a compelling saga that follows three generations across vast
distances and the impact of a dark and unfamiliar episode of America's past -- the Orphan Train.
Set in the 1800s, This fictionalized odyssey begins with Alex, an innocent young boy, living in
the slums of New York. Like thousands of other children who were transported from
overcrowded cities on the Eastern Seaboard during the mid-1800s, Alex is removed from a life of
poverty, put on the Orphan Train, and sent to start a new life in America's heartland. But despite
the best intentions of a project meant to improve children's lives, Alex's world is forever changed
as he is snatched away from his loving yet impoverished parents. Alex is quick to see the
advantages of adapting to the ways of the rugged pioneers of Missouri -- at least on the outside.
His personal life is intertwined with the tale of Will and Libby Piccard's flight from rural
England and their relationship with the powerful Cambridge family of Baltimore. Murder,
intrigue, and misfortune collide, unraveling the relentless efforts by Alex's father to reunite his
family and the young boy caught up in a scheme of deception. Avery's expressive language and
fully realized staging enrich this literary work with an authenticity that brings the saga to life.
Unforgettable characters engage readers in a quest to discover more details about the mysterious
threads of this complex fictional tapestry.
Critique: A major literary effort, "Orphan in America" is a deftly constructed novel of impressive
complexity that absorbs the reader's rapt attention throughout. "Orphan in America" clearly
documents author Nanette L. Avery's impressive storytelling talents as a novelist of the first
order. Very highly recommended for community and academic library Literary Fiction
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Orphan in America" is also
available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
River Sanctuary Publishing
P.O. Box 1561, Felton, CA 95018
9781935914471, $15.95, 244pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Love, Alba" is a charming novel about love, romance, high society, and art theft from
the perspective of a wise and witty, little cat Alba, who has her own feline affairs. Lorna, now
over 60, has just fallen horribly, head-over heels in love-with a younger man; and worse, he's
involved with her best friend, Nikki, and now Nikki, an art conservator, is caught up in
international art theft, prison, and other events of everyday life in Washington, D. C. Underneath
this light-hearted romp lie serious issues of aging, sexual desire, friendship, sacrifice, and
glimpses into the spiritual realm, for which author Sophy Burnham, the visionary behind the
angels phenomenon, is best known.
Critique: An inherently absorbing and absolutely entertaining novel from beginning to end,
"Love, Alba" showcases author Sophy Burnham's wit and skills as an original storyteller of the
first rank. Very highly recommend for community library General Fiction collections, it should
be noted for personal reading lists that "Love, Alba" is also available in a Kindle edition
It's a Sin to Be Boring
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781503560055, $29.99, 212pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "It's a Sin to Be Boring" is a biographical-historical fiction that unravels the
complexity of a family, where the actions of one touch the lives of others. The main character,
Rebelle Palatine, born in Ohio, marries her high school sweetheart during World War Ii. While
she yearns for the war to be over, she achieves her perfect job-modeling at a major department
store in New York City. Only one thing throws a roadblock to her happiness-specifically the
Battle of the Bulge. The contemporary political influences that constrain and mold the
environment burrow like worms into the everyday workings of life. The family story unfolds.
The Progressive movement, a political cancer that eats away at the American dream of liberty
and freedom, runs parallel to the actions of those individuals who understand and protect the
Constitution. Through the shadows of destruction rises a life of success, self-reliance,
responsibility, and love. "It's a Sin to Be Boring" opens a window on history and a reminder that
actions have consequences.
Critique: An exceptionally original and entertaining novel, "It's a Sin to Be Boring" as an
unusually talented author able to weave fact and fiction into a riveting story that holds the
reader's fully entertained attention from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for
community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"It's a Sin to Be Boring" is also available in a paperback edition (9781503560062, $19.99) and in
a Kindle format ($3.99).
Koho Pono, LLC
15024 SE Pinegrove Loop; Clackamas, Oregon 97015-7629
9781938282164, $14.95, 254pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Heart Land: A Place Called Ockley Green" by Caroline Miller is a fictional memoir of
a bright and reckless boy growing up in rural Ohio in 1939, at the close of the Depression and
before America's entrance into World War II. Sleepy farming community, Ockley Green, is a
place where a kid with an active imagination is as likely to try to convince his younger brother
that monsters do live under their beds as he is to learn from the men who gather at the local diner
to talk crops and politics. In this Norman-Rockwell-type world, Oliver creates mischief, makes
mistakes, and learns about taking responsibility -- important lessons in the making of a man.
Instruction begins when Bodacious Scurvy, the town's notorious alley cat, crosses Oliver's path
and gives him an idea. Author Caroline Miller has a painterly eye for details and imbues her
storytelling with fire side warmth.
Critique: "Heart Land: A Place Called Ockley Green" is deftly crafted and immensely
entertaining from beginning to end. Showcasing author Caroline Miller as a gifted novelist of the
first order, "Heart Land" is an exceptionally entertaining read and certain to be a popular addition
to community library General Fiction collections. A truly memorable story from first page to last,
it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Heart Land" is also available in a Kindle edition
My Townie Heart
Post Hill Press
275 Madison Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10016
9781618688910, $21.00, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Laura DiStefano is torn between dreams of a new counter-cultural life and the
undertow of a dysfunctional family. She has flunked out of the University of Massachusetts just
as the counterculture reaches its peak in the 1970s. Reluctantly, Laura returns to live back home
with her parents and sister in the blue collar town she so hoped to escape. But she soon learns
that her sister, a fierce survivor of a childhood attack who has rather foolishly gotten pregnant,
needs Laura's help when she unexpectedly falls for a local guy. Even though the school offers to
reinstate Laura's scholarship, leaving home again suddenly gets harder. As the conflicts in her
threaten to drag her under, Laura becomes agoraphobic. How can she reconcile her divided
loyalties and find her genuine life?
Synopsis: Exceptionally well written and an inherently absorbing read from first page to last,
"My Townie Heart" clearly showcases author Diana Sperrazza's considerable talents as a
novelist. Solidly entertaining and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community
library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Townie
Heart" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Heroine Next Door
Book Venture Publishing LLC
1000 Country Lane, Suite 300, Ishpeming MI 49849
9781942703280, $24.93, 154pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The emotionally-wounded survivors of the 9/11 attacks include a fifty-year old, South
African Muslim scientist, Leila, who lost her fiancee, Khalid, on that fateful day. She is the
narrator of a story threading together the lives of four South African Muslims navigating a
technologically advanced and increasingly-complicated world. Initially tentative in pursuing her
dream to aid patients with HIV/AIDS and other diseases (following deaths of loved ones to these
illnesses) in the face of adversity encountered as a US immigrant, Leila finally asserts herself in
middle age to carve her own identity and provide possible solutions to the management of
diseases rampant in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Critique: Impressively well written and an exceptionally absorbing novel from first page to last,
"The Heroine Next Door" is a riveting read that showcases the impressive storytelling skills of
author Zeena Nackerdien. "The Heroine Next Door" is certain to be an enduringly popular
addition to community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be
noted that "The Heroine Next Door" is also available in a paperback edition (9781941736241,
$9.73) and in a Kindle format (6.99).
James E. McTeer II
Hub City Press
186 West Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306
9781938235115, $24.95, 230pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Minnow" is an otherworldly story of a small boy who leaves his dying father's bedside
hunting a medicine for a mysterious illness. Sent by his mother to a local druggist in their coastal
town, Minnow unexpectedly takes a dark and wondrous journey deep into the ancient Sea
Islands, seeking the grave dust of a long-dead hoodoo man to buy him a cure. With only a
half-feral dog at his side, Minnow's odyssey is haunted at every turn by the agents of Sorry
George, a witch doctor who once stirred up a fever that killed 52 men. Meanwhile, a tempest
brews out at sea, threatening to bring untold devastation to the coastal way of life.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, "Minnow" by James E. McTeer II is all the more impressive
when considering that it is the author's debut as a novelist. A deftly crafted and entertaining read
from beginning to end, "Minnow" is very highly recommended for community library General
Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Minnow" is also available
in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Relationship Shelf
Mark B. Borg
Central Recovery Press
3321 North Buffalo Drive, Suite 275, Las Vegas, NV 89129
9781942094005, $16.95, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Irrelationship: How We Use Dysfunctional Relationships To Hide From Intimacy" is
an important and transformative guide that addresses the protective, yet dysfunctional dynamic
where couples avoid genuine connection with an unsatisfying pattern of false intimacy. Drawing
on their extensive clinical experience, the authors of "Irrelationship" look at "song and dance"
behavioral routines repeatedly performed by couples in irrelationships and delve into the most
difficult emotions and actions to help readers achieve personal breakthroughs. Explicitly
designed to enable nons-specialist general readers to understand unhealthy patterns and how to
change them, "Irrelationships" will help readers develop interpersonal skills, creating a new
opportunity to heal and restore loving relationships.
Critique: The collaborative work of Mark B. Borg, Jr. (a community psychologist and
psychoanalyst, and a supervisor of psychotherapy at the William Alanson White Institute), Grant
H. Brenner (a board-certified psychiatrist in private practice, specializing in treating mood and
anxiety disorders and the complex problems that may arise in adulthood from childhood trauma
and loss), and Daniel Berry (who has practiced as a Registered Nurse in New York City since
1987 and has worked for almost two decades in community-based programs), "Irrelationship:
How We Use Dysfunctional Relationships To Hide From Intimacy" is as informed and
informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Practical, accessible, exceptionally well
organized and presented, "Irrelationship" is ideal for the non-specialist general reader and would
prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community and academic library
Self-Help/Self-Improvement and Human Relationship reference collections. For personal reading
lists it should be noted that "Irrelationship" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.49).
The Self-Help Shelf
Journey Beyond Hardship
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781504329101, $16.99, 236pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Journey Beyond Hardship: A Practical, Hopeful Guide For Getting Through Tough
Times", author Greg Pacini (a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Group
Psychotherapist with 35 years experience) offers a down-to-earth and compelling manual for
making your way through difficult times. You may be fighting with all your might to leave an
abusive relationship or to recover from an addiction. Your body may be altered by illness or
injury, and the adjustment may seem more than you can bear. Miscarriage may have you
mourning more than you imagined possible. You may be picking up the pieces of your life after a
natural disaster. You may be heartbroken. You may be a target of prejudice. You may be in terror
at the news of a diagnosis. You may be struggling after months without work. Your life may feel
empty for some clear reason or no reason at all. Whatever the source, if something continues to
be hard for you, then it is hardship. Difficult thoughts and feelings come with difficult times. As
a guide for these tough times, "Journey Beyond Hardship" not only provides a road map for the
trip, it offers concrete tools for making your way. One technique called Reading the Edges allows
you to experience emotions without being overwhelmed by them. Hope can be hard to come by
during times of trauma and tragedy. "Journey Beyond Hardship" introduces a science-based
means for generating hope.
Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Journey
Beyond Hardship: A Practical, Hopeful Guide For Getting Through Tough Times" is a practical
and thoroughly 'reader friendly' instructional guide that will prove to be an enduringly useful
source inspiration and guidance for non-specialist general readers seeking to cope with difficult
personal circumstances of all kinds. Highly recommended for community library Self-Help/
Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Journey Beyond
Hardship: A Practical, Hopeful Guide For Getting Through Tough Times" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($7.99).
Idyll Arbor, Inc.
39129 - 264th Avenue SE, Enumclaw, WA 98022
9781611580440, $18.00, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Clinical research provides scientific evidence that our thoughts have physical
consequences that can 'make us, or break us.' "The Solution: A Blueprint for Change and
Happiness" offers efficient and effective information distilled from years of research and proven
results. Dr. William Matta writes about clinical modalities found to be extremely helpful. He
notes four specific laws, including the Law of Attraction, which pertain to the pursuit of
happiness. These laws produce quick, long-lasting, positive results. With it's modern,
stimulating, easy-to-read format "The Solution" will inspire its readers to take charge of their
lives and implement permanent change.
Critique: Drawing upon his more than twenty-five years of experience and expertise, Dr. William
Matta (a psychotherapist in private practice for over 25 years, and who has also been a college
psychology professor for over 30 years) has written an impressively informed and informative
self-help instruction guide and manual that is especially commended to the attention of the
non-specialist general reader seeking to improve the emotional and social quality of their lives.
Very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "The Solution" is also available in a Kindle edition
The Biography Shelf
Lafayette: His Extraordinary Life and Legacy
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781491758472 $27.95 www.iuniverse.com
Synopsis: Lafayette was a charming French soldier who became like a son to George Washington
and rose to lead troops in Virginia during the American Revolution. But what happened to him
upon his return to France? Donald Miller presents the most complete biography in English of an
aristocrat who was "the hero of two worlds" - fighting to free England's colonies and then
returning home to reject tyranny in France.
Critique: Lafayette: His Extraordinary Life and Legacy is the unforgettable saga of a wealthy
aristocrat who battled tirelessly for the common man in two nations. Expertly researched, vividly
descriptive, and accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Lafayette: His Extraordinary Life and
Legacy is a worthy addition to personal and public library biography collections.
Blue River Press
2402 N. Shadeland Ave., Suite A, Indianapolis, IN 46219
Cardinal Publishers Group, distributor
9781935628484, $14.95, 215pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Proud postmodern consumer and card-carrying member of the "I Hate Nature" Club,
Michael Gurnow is content in his role as American literature professor at a Midwest college.
Everything changes once he gets done reading Thoreau's masterpiece "Walden". Realizing he has
been living a life of quiet desperation, it suddenly occurs to him that even though it's his job to
teach tales of other people's adventures, he hasn't lived any of his own. Without a second thought,
Gurnow hands in his resignation before driving to the nearest state park and applies to be the
wilderness equivalent of a construction worker. "How hard can trail maintenance be?" he asks
himself. "It's a minimum-wage job." He quickly learns there's a difference between book smarts
and common sense. In this mile-a-minute comedy of errors, Gurnow discovers why it's a bad idea
to get into a fistfight with a mudslide, horny hornets are a force to be reckoned with, being able
to identify poison ivy is a grossly undervalued skill, and you can't outrun deer--even if you're
naked. With a tie-dye cast of characters, Gurnow compresses several hard-won years in the
wilderness into four side-splitting seasons. With his newly minted critical eye toward consumer
culture, he reveals the surprisingly complex world of trail maintenance while taking the reader on
a guided, philosophic tour of the nature classics.
Synopsis: A uniquely fascinating personal story and a thoroughly absorbing read from first page
to last, "Nature's Housekeeper" is a deftly written memoir replete with wit and wisdom, insights
and all-too-human foibles. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community and
academic library collections, It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Nature's
Housekeeper" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.49).
I Was Only Nineteen: A Memoir
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781452527635, $14.99, 190pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It was a different world in 1966. Considered a social and moral outrage to have a baby
out of wedlock, babies were taken from single mothers because they didn't have husbands. In "I
Was Only Nineteen: A Memoir", author Raewyn Harlum tells her personal story of how she
relinquished a baby to whom she had just given birth. At the time, nineteen-year-old Raewyn was
homeless and sleeping on the floor of people she'd known four days. Destitute, her possessions
filled one suitcase. She had no family or friends in Australia and her partner already had a wife.
When she went into labor, her partner left her at the hospital telling her she couldn't keep the
baby. If she did, he'd disappear with their two-year-old son. In this heartbreaking memoir, she
shares her story that includes the reunion of the birth parents with the baby after she'd grown into
a beautiful young woman. It was not a love-conquers-all meeting; the young woman doesn't
understand why her birth parents gave her up and then had more children.
Critique: Candid and inherently fascinating, "I Was Only Nineteen: A Memoir" is a thoroughly
absorbing read from beginning to end -- and one that offers a kind of 'window' into a time now
long past but which had repercussions down to the present day. "I Was Only Nineteen: A
Memoir" is highly recommended for community library American Biography collections. For
personal reading lists it should be noted that "I Was Only Nineteen: A Memoir" is also available
in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
Running with the Hounds
Charles Gillies, Publisher
9780615272795, $15.00, 136pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Running with the Hounds offers the reader a window into the lingering effects of Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder on a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. David Wingfield's personal
story is both unique and universal. For 30 years he hunted cougar and bear with hounds in the
mountains of Oregon, but once he had his prey cornered, he would rarely kill. He is unaware that
his refuge, the wilderness, is also the stage upon which he will relive the past. His story is tragic,
rich, and redemptive. "Running with the Hounds" speaks to the burdens of memory that veterans
of every war keep to themselves.
Critique: Impressively well written with candor and insight, "Running with the Hounds" is a
thoroughly absorbing read from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for personal
reading lists, as well as community and academic library collections, it should be noted that
"Running with the Hounds" won first place of the Writer's Digest Press 'Self Published
307 Verde Meadow Drive Franklin TN 37067
9781942557265, $14.99, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Imagine coming of age in a place with every type of abuse possible (mental, physical,
sexual) all from those who should have protected you. Imagine thinking you had overcome the
hurts from your past, finding Prince Charming, and birthing your first perfect baby -- only to
push away the love of your life, then hear a doctor pronounce a death sentence for that child.
Imagine silently facing your own health challenges while trying to keep it together for everyone
else. Shellie Nichol didn't just imagine it. She lived it. In "Destination Hope: A Guide Through
Life's Unexpected Journeys", Shellie shares how she fought through tremendous mental, physical
and spiritual pain on the road of life and survived. Yet she didn't just survive, she thrived. And
her spirit soared as she found hope and joy on her journey. Invite Shellie along for the ride and
"Destination: Hope" will help you navigate the road of your own life's journey, even when you
experience flat tires and sudden detours, hitchhikers and pit stops. Better yet, Shellie will
encourage you to enjoy the scenery even as you learn to accept God's grace.
Critique: Impressively candid, exceptionally well written, and an thoroughly absorbing read from
beginning to end, "Destination Hope: A Guide Through Life's Unexpected Journeys" is a
compelling memoir and very highly recommended for both community and academic library
Contemporary American Biography collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that
"Destination: Hope" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
The Holocaust Studies Shelf
Fighting Fascism And Surviving Buchenwald
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781503572577, $29.99, 216pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Fighting Fascism And Surviving Buchenwald : The Life and Memoir of Hans Bergas"
is the remarkable 1946 Buchenwald memoir of Hans Bergas. This riveting account of Bergas'
turbulent life as a highly secular German Jew, was first known to Bension Varon as the
brother-in-law of his wife's uncle. Far transcending genealogical interest, Varon's painstaking
research has revealed the many identities of Hans Bergas: an impassioned Social Democrat, who
battled both fascist and communist threats to Germany's fledgling, interwar democracy; a
member of the anti-Nazi Resistance in France, who aided other escapees of the Nazi regime; a
victim of capture and savage torture by the Gestapo; a years-long "political" inmate in
Buchenwald, active in the camp resistance; and a gifted chronicler of life in Buchenwald and the
detail of Nazi depravity. In "Fighting Fascism And Surviving Buchenwald", Bergas emerges like
a lost treasure from history's attic, precious both in itself and for what it reveals about its troubled
Critique: An inherently fascinating and informative read from beginning to end, "Fighting
Fascism And Surviving Buchenwald : The Life and Memoir of Hans Bergas" is an invaluable
and much appreciated addition to the growing library of World War II Biographies and Holocaust
Studies. Enhanced with the inclusion of five appendices and a twenty-three page Select
Bibliography, "Fighting Fascism And Surviving Buchenwald" is very highly recommended for
both community and academic library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted
that "Fighting Fascism And Surviving Buchenwald" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781503572560, $19.99) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
A Bestiary of East Tennessee: Illustrated in Felt
David J. Keffer, et al.
Poison Pie Publishing House
9781516965366, $11.99, 62pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "A Bestiary of East Tennessee" presents an encyclopedia of the creatures, mundane
and exotic, dwelling in East Tennessee. Illustrated in felt by the Keffer family, "A Bestiary of
East Tennessee" is filled with felt finger puppets and photographs from wild places. "A Bestiary
of East Tennessee" is intended for both children and adventurous adults.
Critique: A unique and highly recommended work, "A Bestiary of East Tennessee" is a delight to
page through and is suitable for readers of all ages. The finger puppets are especially wonderful
for playfully interacting with young children while educating them about the natural world.
Think Piece Publishing
433 S. 7th St. #2016, Minneapolis, MN 55415
9780986360787, $14.95, 234pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: At twenty-two, Julie Barton collapsed on her kitchen floor in Manhattan. She was one
year out of college and severely depressed. Summoned by Julie's incoherent phone call, her
mother raced from Ohio to New York and took her home. Psychiatrists, therapists and family
tried to intervene, but nothing reached her until the day she decided to do one hopeful thing:
adopt a Golden Retriever puppy she named Bunker. "Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me
From Myself" captures in beautiful, elegiac language the anguish of depression, the slow path to
recovery, and the astonishing way animals can heal even the most broken hearts and minds.
Critique: An inherently fascinating read from beginning to end, "Dog Medicine: How My Dog
Saved Me From Myself" will prove to be of special interest to anyone who has had a canine
companion of their own. Impressively well written from first page to last, "Dog Medicine" is
very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections. For personal
reading lists it should be noted that "Dog Medicine" is also available in a Kindle edition
The Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Idolatry of Blood: Religion for a Post-Modern World
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781490753829, $30.74, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The preponderance and influences of religions in our world need not be established.
Religions are largely represented in two categories of fundamental beliefs regarding the deity:
those who claim monotheism and polytheists. If there is a single common thread between all
religions, it is that they are all founded on at least some elements of beliefs that defy logic. Those
unexplainable beliefs are accepted as faith by their devotees. If this observation is correct, one
has to reflect on a few basic questions. If intelligent supernatural forces created humans, they are
also the creators of logic. This suggests that the religions of our world should not be short on
logic, but a simple analysis of their beliefs appear to show otherwise. The same could be said of
the monotheist God; why does he expect a person's faith to be founded on elements lacking
sound logic? "Idolatry of Blood: Religion for a Post-Modern World" answers the question in a
rather surprising way. The lack of logic is only due to human interference in the affairs of God.
The divine system designed to regenerate love originally created in the human heart has been
corrupted beyond recognition. "Idolatry of Blood" is a search for God's rational plan of action to
help humans grow true love in their hearts.
Critique: Impressively written and exceptionally well organized and presented, "Idolatry of
Blood: Religion for a Post-Modern World" is a thoughtful and thought-provoking work that
readers will find inherently absorbing, a bit iconoclastic, and thoroughly absorbing from
beginning to end. Highly recommended for community and academic library
Religion/Spirituality reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Idolatry of Blood" is also available in a paperback edition (9781490753805, $20.74) and in a
Kindle format ($3.99).
Heaven's Consciousness: A Near-Death Experience With Relevant Poetry
Rhonda Nell Dooley
Ingram Spark Publisher
9780996939102, $14.99 softcover, 182pp
9780996939119, $3.99 ebook
Synopsis: "Heaven's Consciousness: A Near-Death Experience With Relevant Poetry" is a kind
of invitation to Heaven!" for those who ever never had the privilege of a metaphysical or
near-death experience of the spiritual realm. In "Heaven's Consciousness" Rhonda Nell Dooley
takes her readers back in time to the center of creation and the origin of their lives. Rhonda
answers life's greatest questions with relatable insights using scientific-studies in a way that we
all can understand. She describes how our consciousness is in connection with our Heavenly
families. Visit the center of creation where Heaven is orchestrated by music. Spiritual
experiences are often difficult to articulate and represent on the mortal plane through ordinary
language, but Rhonda has done an outstanding job of translating her experiences, perceptions,
and experience for the benefit of the non-specialist general reader.
Rhonda Dooley is a Life Spiritual Coach. In her twenties, she worked five years as a full-time
missionary caring for orphans and the homeless. Thirty years ago, Rhonda spent forty minutes in
Heaven. She shared these experiences with her closest friends through poetry and painting. They
finally convinced her to express her Heavenly insights in writing. The result is "Heaven's
Consciousness: A Near-death Experience: 40 Minutes in Heaven". Rhonda's tour through levels
of Heaven time travels and encounters beings both dark and light. She ventures through the white
light into Paradise to merge with her higher self. After her detailed life review, together, Rhonda
and her Holy Spirit explore areas of the cosmos communicating with much larger celestial light
beings. She expresses intimate details of her perceptions in each transformation.
Arriving in the center of Creation in her celestial body, she articulates how we who are spiritually
alive on earth are eternally interconnected with our celestial families. In reading "Heaven's
Consciousness", readers will embark upon a very special journey through levels of Heaven,
including a tour Rhonda's mansion towering over the Garden of Life where our friends and pets
are watching and waiting. They will enjoy learning of our souls value in Heaven and our purpose
here on earth. The cares of this life are understood with a new sense of happiness. All this and
Critique: A compelling and inherently fascinating read from beginning to end, "Heaven's
Consciousness: A Near-Death Experience With Relevant Poetry" is impressively well written,
exceptionally well organized, thoughtful and thought-provoking. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in
tone, commentary and presentation, "Heaven's Consciousness" is an extraordinary and highly
recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies and
Religion/Spirituality reference collections. "Heaven's Consciousness" is available both in softcover (9780996939102, $14.99) and as an ebook (9780996939119, $3.99).
The Health/Medicine Shelf
The Daily Breath
Scott A. Morofsky
9780692258002, $14.95, 386pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: We have all been given the gift of breathing. "The Daily Breath: Transform Your Life
One Breath at a Time" is geared toward using this blessing in all its magnificent ways. Scott
Morofsky, author of "Wellativity: In-Powering Wellness Through Communication" (Westbow
Press, 9781449798376, $33.95 HC, $17.95 PB, $3.99 Kindle), emphasizes in "The Daily Breath"
that your physical health, spiritual connection, mental clarity, and overall well-being are just
some of the areas in which you'll receive great benefits with daily readings. The text constantly
brings you back to conscious breathing through the use of several techniques. Practical breathing
exercises, references to life experiences, prayer, fitness tips, and recovery applications are at the
core of these pages. Most people will agree that their breathing is often less than full and easy.
This damaging condition, to a large degree, has been embedded within us. However, "The Daily
Breath" provides a method for us to easily recondition our breathing by simply reading the
passages on a regular basis. This ultimately improves our oxygen levels, which support all
functions in our bodies. With absolute certainty you will transform your life one breath at a time!
So Breathe It.
Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Daily
Breath: Transform Your Life One Breath at a Time" is an impressively well written and 'reader
friendly' instructional guide that will prove to be a very popular addition to personal,
professional, community, and academic library Alternative Medicine reference collections and
supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted that "The Daily Breathe" is also available in
a Kindle edition ($3.99).
The Environmental Studies Shelf
1572 Blue Lupine Lane, Victor, MT 59875
9780977859993, $19.95, 152pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Whether traveling with Marty Essen and his wife, Deb, in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico, or going solo with Marty in the Everglades, readers will
experience nature's vulnerable wildlife and wilderness areas in a way few others have -- all while
laughing and learning along the way. In addition to Marty's entertaining stories, "Endangered
Edens: Exploring the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica, the Everglades, and Puerto
Rico" also features more than 180 stunning color pictures in a merging of the genres of wildlife
photography, adventure travelogues, and environmental education into one unforgettable
Critique: The sequel to Marty Essen's "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven
Continents" (Encante Press, 9780977859979, $24.95 PB, $7.99 Kindle), "Endangered Edens:
Exploring the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica, the Everglades, and Puerto Rico" is
impressively informative and a lot of fun. Ideal for the armchair traveler and certain to be an
enduringly popular addition to community library collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Endangered Edens" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
The Business Shelf
Social Media Marketing Workbook
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781517380236, $8.25, 204pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Small businesses and large businesses alike can leverage social media for amazing free
marketing opportunities with the help of Jason McDonald's "Social Media Marketing
Workbook", a step-by-step do-it-yourself guide on how to market your business on social media.
"Social Media Marketing Workbook" offers an easy explanation of what social media marketing
really is, and how to "think" about social media marketing, including: Facebook Marketing;
LinkedIn Marketing); Twitter Marketing; YouTube Marketing; Pinterest Marketing; Yelp / Local
- Marketing (via Yelp, Google+) and other local review sites; as well as Snapchat and Instagram.
"Social Media Marketing Workbook" covers posting strategies, content sharing, and features free
social media marketing tools. A practical hands-on book, with links not only to free tools but to
step-by-step worksheets, "Social Media Marketing Workbook" will result in a social media
marketing plan that is ready for any business, including specific plans for each medium that
makes sense for you with respect to a given product or service.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' from beginning to end, "Social Media Marketing Workbook"
is a complete course of practical instruction under one cover and essential for any business
person or entrepreneur wanting to take advantage of social media to promote and market their
business on-line. It should be noted that "Social Media Marketing Workbook" is also available in
an inexpensive Kindle edition ($0.99).
Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday
Spyglass Publishing LLC
9780996726801, $24.09, 174pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It's not enough to play by the old rules of marketing anymore. The domestic and global
marketplaces have changed for good. In today's volatile, competitive, and interlinked world, even
some of the most steadfast and iconic mega-brands are stumbling as they fail to recognize that
we've moved into a new future. We've got educated consumers, brilliant technological
advancements, and more informational channels than ever before. In "Marketing for Tomorrow,
Not Yesterday", author and industry futurist Zain Raj has scripted a guidebook full of wit and
hard-won wisdom that shows how truly understanding your core customer and getting back to
basics is the way that you can conquer complex problems and learn to thrive in this Cambrian era
of marketing. With powerful first-hand stories, "Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday" has
answers to questions about how to cut through the noise of big data, how much should (or
shouldn't) be invested in social media, and how to craft marketing and brand-building strategies
that net loyal customers and a long and happy shelf life.
Critique: Impressively well written, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Marketing for
Tomorrow, Not Yesterday" is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and
thought-provoking. As practical as it is 'reader friendly' from beginning to end, "Marketing for
Tomorrow, Not Yesterday" is very highly and very useful reading for entrepreneurs and business
managers alike. Indeed, "Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday" is strongly recommended for
corporate, community, and academic library Business Studies reference collections and
supplemental reading lists.
The Christmas Shelf
The Midwife of Bethlehem
Shad Driggs, author
Diane Lucas, illustrator
9780990878001, $14.99, 32pp, www.amazon.com
A unique and welcome addition to the growing canon of Christmas literature, "The Midwife of
Bethlehem" is deftly written by Shad Driggs and beautifully illustrated by Diane Lucas. "The
Midwife of Bethlehem" is the a graceful telling of the Christmas nativity as seen through the eyes
of the women who may have come to help Mary give birth to the baby Jesus.
Critique: Shad Driggs is a businessman who lives in Naperville, Illinois. He and his wife, Darla,
and their six children dedicate many hours in service to their church and community. After very
unexpected heart surgery in 2014, he was determined to share the beautiful Christmas story that
had formed in his head. "The Midwife of Bethlehem" is his first book. "The Midwife of
Bethlehem" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, church, and community
library Christmas picture book collections.
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Love Incarnate Books
9781511937917, $17.95, 232pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "My soul walks this planet -Earth, housed in every cell of my physical body. It is a
living being. It breathes. It thinks. It speaks. It sees through my eyes, and it hears through my
ears. And it remembers." So begins Leslie Brooks' description of her soul, which speaks with
breath-taking wisdom and beauty about faith, forgiveness, guilt, grief, intimacy, and the soul
itself, in a loving discourse with its "person of this lifetime". "Soul Writer" is a groundbreaking
work that gives readers an intimate look into the soul and its role in our lives.
Critique: Impressively well written, exceptionally well presented and organized, "Soul Writer" is
an extraordinary read from beginning to end that is as insightful as it is informative, as thoughtful
as it is thought-provoking. Very highly recommended for community and academic library
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Soul Writer" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($6.99).
My Reincarnations: Time Traveler
Earle W. Hanna Sr.
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781490757346, $23.99, 262pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "My Reincarnations: Time Traveler" is a record of the reincarnations of Earle W.
Hanna Sr.. Like many people he remembers having past lives living here on earth. Hanna has
sometimes been someone famous and that you may have read about in your history books, while
other times he was just your average man on the street (which he really prefers). If you remember
past lives or you have friends or relatives that remember past lives you will find "My
Reincarnations: Time Traveler" of enormous and relevant interest as it explains just how and
where some of us go after we die and how we return to earth. If you remember doing things that
you have not done in your entire life and can't explain it, "My Reincarnations: Time Traveler"
will prove to be a very useful study.
Critique: Candid, personal, inherently fascinating, and a seminal contribution to Metaphysical
Studies in general, and Reincarnation Studies in particular, "My Reincarnations: Time Traveler"
is very highly recommend for community library collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "My Reincarnations: Time Traveler" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781490757353, $13.99) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).
The Photography Shelf
Moab, Utah By Day & Night
9781935694137, $18.95, 120pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The landscape around Moab, Utah is of indescribable beauty. It contains a labyrinth of
canyons carved out by the Green and Colorado Rivers and their tributaries. Sheltered within
these canyons, or sitting high above, are an immense array of arches, balanced rocks, spires, and
fins that have been sculpted out of sandstone. To the east of Moab rise the La Sal Mountains,
which provide a stunning backdrop to the canyon country. In "Moab, Utah By Day & Night"
renowned photographer Grant Collier has captured images of the iconic spots around Moab,
along with many remote and seldom-visited natural wonders. He has photographed the land
through all of the changing seasons and has spent countless nights taking photographs beneath
the moon, planets, and stars. He has also flown high above Moab to capture the scenery from a
captivating new perspective. In the process, he has created a portrait of this amazing landscape
unlike any that has been seen before.
Critique: Beginning with a succinct author biography, photographer's notes, and an informative
introduction, "Moab, Utah By Day & Night" is a compilation of impressively beautiful,
flawlessly reproduced, full color, captioned images that are a delight and wonder to browse
through. Grant Collier has an photographer's eye and uses his camera lens with all the skill and
imagination of an artist would with paint and canvas. "Moab, Utah By Day & Night" is very
highly recommended for students of nature photography at its best and would prove to be an
enduringly popular addition to community and academic library American Photography
The Science Shelf
The Brain: An Illustrated History of Neuroscience
Shelter Harbor Press
603 W 115th Street, Suite 163, New York, NY 10025
9780985323080, $24.95, 168pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Brain: An Illustrated History of Neuroscience" is the essential guide to the human
brain, an authoritative reference book and time line that examines the three pounds of matter
inside our heads that does all our thinking for us. With 100 billion nerve cells joined by
thousands more to every corner of the body, the brain is wired together with 100 trillion
connections. That makes each and every human brain a contender for the most complex system
in the universe, endowing us with an intellect that far outstrips any other creature. However, one
difficult question remains: Are we intelligent enough to understand our own brains? Follow the
journey as history s greatest brains, including Avicenna, Thomas Willis, Charles Darwin, and
Paul Broca, try to figure it out by linking structure to function. How does the brain control the
body, make sense of our surroundings, and allow us to understand, empathize with, and love
other people and their brains? And how does it create that most mysterious feature of the
universe, consciousness? "The Brain" is comprised of 100 chronological articles telling the story
of neuroscience from the dawn of history to the present day; features an authoritative text,
exciting imagery, and helpful diagrams accompany each of the steps along the way; includes the
biographies of great neuroscientists and a functional map of the brain boost the content for all
readers; is simple but effective guide to neuroscience that draws together current understanding
and sets out the basics of the field; features a 24-page removable foldout concertina neatly
housed at the back of the book that includes a 12-page Timeline History of the Brain and 12
pages of optical illusions that demonstrate how our view of the world comes entirely from the
brain which can sometimes be fooled.
Critique: Impressively well written, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughly 'user friendly'
in presentation, "The Brain: An Illustrated History of Neuroscience" is profusely illustrated and
ideal for students and non-specialist general readers alike, making it very highly recommended
for personal, school, community, and academic library science collections.
The Education Shelf
Choose Your College Major In A Day
Meyer & Meyer Sport
Cardinal Publishers Group, distributor
9781782550679, $12.95, 280pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Understanding your direction, your personality type and your strongest skills will help
guide you in making that all important decision for a college major. "Choose Your College Major
In A Day" will help you determine your personality type by administering an assessment that
identifies majors for each type of personality. Included in "Choose Your College Major In A
Day" is a checklist of skills to help you understand your strengths and a checklist of common
high school courses to identify your favorites. It helps you locate the majors that dominate the list
by asking you to make a top five list. Each major is defined with a description of how it relates to
high school courses, specializations, a list of common course requirements, a typical career path,
a list of related occupations, personality type skill, and economic information for related
Critique: Impressively 'user friendly' throughout, "Choose Your College Major In A Day" is
reliably informative and very highly recommended for college and university students struggling
to identify a major that will suit both their interests and their ambitions. Very highly
recommended, it should be noted that "Choose Your College Major In A Day" is also available in
a Kindle edition ($7.49).
The Gun Shelf
Showdown: The Looming Crisis Over Gun Control
9781631770050, $24.95, 196pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Americans no longer need to be confused about the Second Amendment and how it
affects them in modern times. In "Showdown: The Looming Crisis Over Gun Control", firearms
attorney Lenden Eakins Showdown presents the solution. In easy-to-understand language, Eakin
takes an exacting look at the facts and law on both sides of the volatile gun controversy. After
practicing the law and studying the cases, he offers a clear explanation of the Second
Amendment. The common defense portion of the Second Amendment The events that gave rise
to and the passage of modern gun control laws The history of the US militia Pictorial history of
commonly used military and militia weapons Recommendations on firearms, accessories and
training for civilians and much more!
Critique: "Showdown: The Looming Crisis Over Gun Control" will prove to be a much
appreciated, informed and informative contribution to our on-going national dialogue over guns
and control. Very highly recommended for community and academic library Social Issues
reference collections in general, and Gun Control Policy supplemental studies reading lists in
particular, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Showdown: The Looming Crisis
Over Gun Control" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Jobs/Careers Shelf
Super Job Search IV
Peter K. Studner
9780938667063, $26.95, 456pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Now in an expanded, revised, and interactive fourth edition, "The Complete Manual
for Job Seekers and Career Changers" is a 'how to' instruction guide that has helped more than
300,000 men and women learn the secrets behind a successful career change. Whether you re
about to embark on your first job search, are in mid-career, or are seeking to re-enter the job
market, Super Job Search IV will help you land the best of all possible jobs with a 7-Step
Program will show you how to: Evaluate what you want to do and in which kind of environment;
Organize your accomplishments to easily market your skills; Write a knockout resume that gets
past the screeners and highlights your most impressive skills and attributes; Discover ALL the
places where jobs are found, including the hidden job market; Write broadcast and cover letters,
answer advertisements, and work with recruiters; Prioritize your job search to maximize your
time; Obtain job leads and research companies on the internet; Become a great networker (even if
you have never done it before) using LinkedIn, Twitter Facebook and other online resources. Get
interviews by telephone, e-mail, and social and professional networks; Interview so that you can
guide any discussion to focus on your most important skills; Successfully manage phone,
one-on-one, group, and competitive interviews; Negotiate to get the salary you deserve.
Critique: As comprehensive, informed and informative as it is practical and 'user friendly' in
organization and presentation, "Super Job Search IV" is very strongly recommended for personal,
community, and academic library Jobs/Careers instructional reference collections. It should be
noted that "Super Job Search IV" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99).
The Christian Studies Shelf
Altar'd: Faith Building Evidence Leading to New Life
Carpenters Son Publishing
307 Verde Meadow Drive, Franklin, TN 37067
9781942587101, $13.99, 169pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Why do you believe what you believe? If someone were to ask you that question, do
you have, and could you respond with, a compelling answer? The Bible says Jesus died on a
cross to forgive men of their sins. Why did He have to die, and why does His death forgive us?
How can we know if what the Bible says is true? Altar'd provides inspiring, historic,
faith-building evidence, revealing how God fulfilled His own rules and master plan to restore his
people to relationship with Him through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus. Many powerful forms of
evidence are displayed that will help fan into flame the faith of all who read. Many people
believe faith is some type of mystical thing that one simply believes "because they believe." The
truth is that many people we care about need evidence, which can then lead to real, lasting faith.
Altar'd provides evidence that reveals God is real, the Bible can be trusted, and that He has a plan
for your life. Jesus offered his all on the cross, and our proper response is to offer our lives as "a
living sacrifice" to him. This is what it means to be "Altar'd". Have you Altar'd your life?
Critique: "Altar'd: Faith Building Evidence Leading to New Life" by Jay Cavaiani (a Pastor of a
Christian Non-Denominational Church in Wisconsin) offers biblical insights that will prove to be
invaluable and inspiring for all members of the Christian community regardless of their
denominational affiliation. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and church
library collections, it should be noted that "Altar'd: Faith Building Evidence Leading to New
Life" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Judaic Studies Shelf
A. Robert Neurath
9780615852690, $62.00, 434pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Newcomers' Accomplishments: Jewish Immigrants from Upper Hungary/Slovakia
(1806-1953)", author Robert Neurath deftly describes the life stories and accomplishments of
successful emigrants (covering the period between 1806 and 1953) from the territory of the
present Slovak Republic who settled in one of the following countries: United States, Israel
(Palestine), England, Australia, Canada, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Spain,
Norway, South Africa and Argentina. "Newcomers' Accomplishments" covers a wide ranging
diversity of fields including: Literature, Architecture, Religion, Visual Arts, Photography,
Cinema, Performing Arts, Music, Sciences, Medicine, Business, Law and Politics. Portraits of
the individuals are shown, as well as selected images (if applicable) of their works and lists of
published books and movies, musicals and stage presentations (as applicable).
Critique: Impressively researched, exceptionally well organized and presented, remarkably
informed and informative, singularly comprehensive in scope, "Newcomers' Accomplishments:
Jewish Immigrants from Upper Hungary/Slovakia (1806-1953)" will prove to be a unique and
enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and academic library Judaic Studies and
Judaic History reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
The Travel Shelf
Italian Survival Guide, revised edition
Elizabeth Bingham, Ph.D.
World Prospect Press
PO Box 253, Waverly, IA 50677
9780970373403 $19.95 pbk / $4.99 Kindle
Synopsis: This book contains a lot of vocabulary, basic grammar instruction, and a healthy dose
of cultural information, all in one slim volume. "Look inside the book" and see for yourself all
that is covered and how. (Pair with Italian Dictionary with Phrases for Travelers for more
complete language preparation.) [Note: Readers wanting to dig into Italian grammar and
vocabulary should consider the paperback edition for easier reference between sections.]
Italian Survival Guide is a down-to-earth, bare-bones introduction to Italian that aims to make a
trip abroad as smooth and enjoyable as possible. This information-packed mini-course
concentrates on preparing readers to travel in Italy in a limited time by focusing on what is most
useful or interesting to travelers and cutting out unnecessary vocabulary and grammar.
This Survival Guide helps readers communicate in the Italian language and culture. It prepares
travelers for what to expect and how to deal with it, what to say and when to say it. It's like three
books in one--a phrase book (so you know what to say), a grammar book (so you know how to
say it), and a culture book (so you understand daily social expectations)--all focused on a
Critique: Now in a revised edition, Italian Survival Guide: The Language and Culture You Need
to Travel with Confidence in Italy is a "must-have" for both tourists and business travelers.
Paring a basic introduction to the Italian words, phrases and grammar a visitor is most likely to
need with a crash course in Italian culture, Italian Survival Guide is an invaluable resource from
cover to cover. Simple exercises for practicing one's fundamental Italian round out this superb
resource, ideal for preparing for the trip of a lifetime! Also highly recommended is the author's
previous book in the survival guide series, "French Survival Guide" (9780970373458, $19.95
pbk / $5.99 Kindle).
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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