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A Promise To Break
Memory House Publishing
9780997334722, $14.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "A Promise to Break: Love, Faith, and Politics in the 1930s" by Kathryn Spurgeon is
the story of Sibyl Trimble, who makes a promise to her father when she is a young girl that she
will support a socialist political movement to change the world. From a wealthy banking family
in Shawnee, Oklahoma, she is comfortable with fashionable clothes, cruising in a new Chrysler,
and dancing at the local speakeasy. Even the Depression cannot put a damper on her comfortable
lifestyle. By 1932, the timing seems right to fulfill her promise. Then she meets a handsome,
blue-eyed, down-on-his-luck hobo and her life is turned upside down. The more she gets to know
him, the more she learns about her world, her purpose, and God. Her love for him opens her eyes
to a different way of life than she has ever known. Based on a true story, this novel follows Sibyl
through some difficult choices. She must dig deep within herself to find the strength to face her
upbringing and determine which, if any, of her past beliefs can be salvaged. She must decide
which is most important, love or duty.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, making it a consistently compelling read from beginning to
end, "A Promise To Break" is one of those rare stories that will linger in the mind and memory of
the reader long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. "A Promise To
Break" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library
Alpha Beta Zero to Zillion Word Codes for Numbers
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781504995092, $30.51, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: For centuries, people have been attracted to the idea of converting numbers to words.
One of the major advantages of this is that people would be able to find meaningful word names
for phone numbers, passwords, pin numbers, log-in numbers, access codes, etc. Other advantages
include the ability to generate prospective number codes based on any words of your choice.
Numerous other advantages and uses are elaborated in "Alpha Beta Zero to Zillion Word Codes
The ABZZ word code system is a method that can be used to convert any given number to word
code equivalents. With this method, any given number from zero to zillion can be converted to
word codes. The principles of this method are explained in by Godwin Lekwuwa in "Alpha Beta
Zero to Zillion Word Codes for Numbers". Also features is a thesaurus that gives two examples
of easily derivable and meaningful word code equivalents of every number from 0 to 9,999. It is
a forerunner to a proposed online thesaurus that would list word code alternatives of every
number from zero to one billion (0-1,000,000,000).
Word code systems for numbers devised over the centuries have been cumbersome and difficult
to use. This has limited their use in everyday life. The ABZZ word code system introduces a new,
simpler, and user-friendly system of converting any given numbers to words and vice versa. The
principles of the system can be mastered in a few minutes. Regular usage would ingrain it as one
of our basic thinking processes.
Critique: Godwin Lekwuwa is a consultant clinical neurophysiologist based in the United
Kingdom. During his medical school days, he developed special interest in the neurological
sciences, the human mind, and the nature of man. The ideas presented in "Alpha Beta Zero to
Zillion Word Codes for Numbers" have been nurtured, incubated, and refined since his medical
school days. The memory aspects of these techniques were quite handy for examinations and
won him almost all the prizes available in his medical school graduation year. The methods
elaborated in "Alpha Beta Zero to Zillion Word Codes for Numbers" are the basis for his
encyclopedic knowledge of medical literature. An inherently fascinating, informative, thoughtful
and thought-provoking read from beginning to end, "Alpha Beta Zero to Zillion Word Codes for
Numbers" is an especially recommended edition for community, college, and university library
collections. For students and non-specialist general readers it should be noted that "Alpha Beta
Zero to Zillion Word Codes for Numbers" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781504995085, $18.24) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).
It Ain't Rocket Science
Susan C. Cooper
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781530232413, $5.99, PB, 64pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Unlike other IT consultants who happily line their pockets by telling clients what they
want to hear, Susan Cooper believes that identifying root causes of problems, and then tackling
them head-on instead of blaming the software, better serves both clients and IT consultants.
Drawing upon her impressive body of more than twenty years of experience and expertise, Susan
has written with both wit and wisdom an incredibly useful instructional guide. Having worked
with Fortune 500 companies dealing with a extraordinary collection of technology-related
problems and roadblocks experienced by most organizations, Susan writes about the elephant in
the room, while empowering C-level officers and managers to confront these issues and find
Written in plain, easy-to-grasp English by a professional and seasoned consultant who has truly
seen it all, "It Ain't Rocket Science" will material aid in identify and fix the self-defeating
behaviors that consistently stymie your efforts at successful IT projects and operations; identify
what a great CIO means to a business; and provide the practical confidence to deal with the
technological issues faced by any organization.
Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "It
Ain't Rocket Science A Common-Sense Guide to Making IT Projects Work" fully lives up to the
promise of showing 'How to find and fix the underlying people, process, and business problems
that cause the majority of technical issues'. While unreservedly recommended for community,
corporate, and academic library collections, it should be noted for students, IT professionals, and
non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "It Ain't Rocket Science" is also
available in a Kindle format ($2.99).
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
From the Errors of Others
Rebecca M. Lyles
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781480828476, $42.95, HC, 394pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "From the Errors of Others: How to Avoid Embarrassing Mistakes in Writing and
Speaking" is an informative collection of crisp, witty, and slyly informative essays for grownups
with a sense of humor by technical writer and editor Rebecca M. Lyles. The focus is on
communication including the good, the bad, and the patently bizarre. "From the Errors of Others"
is as entertaining a read as it is informed and informative as aspiring writers and speakers learn
how to: keep a professional tone; avoid awkward writing and speech habits; communicate clearly
without being pretentious; detect deception; and use a writing comfort zone.
Critique: Impressively well written, organized and presented, "From the Errors of Others: How to
Avoid Embarrassing Mistakes in Writing and Speaking" is an extraordinary compendium of
insight, experience, advice, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' commentary. While very highly
recommended for community and academic library Writing & Speaking instructional and
reference collections, it should be noted for students, aspiring writers, novice speakers, and
non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "From the Errors of Others" is
also available in a paperback edition (9781480828469, $23.99) and in a Kindle format
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Malcolm Carruthers, MD
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781514465677, $39.92, HC, 182pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Testosterone Resistance: Fighting for the Men's Health Hormone" by Dr. Malcolm
Carruthers (Founder and Chief Medical Consultant to the Centre for Men's Health and Adjunct
Professor at the Alzheimer's and Aging Department, Edith Cowan University, Western
Australia.) is an informed and informative account of why, because of the barriers to testosterone
action in the body, men can have normal levels of testosterone but still have life-, love-, and
health-wrecking symptoms of testosterone deficiency which need treatment. The deficiency is
increasingly being linked to common and serious medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes,
heart and circulatory disorders, and even Alzheimer's disease. This has clearly been shown by Dr.
Carruthers' pioneering research publications as well as those of other colleagues and researchers
worldwide. However, in the majority of cases, they are often denied this because of the lack of
understanding of the medical profession and other authorities regulating the treatment.
"Testosterone Resistance" is a wake-up call to both doctors and patients alike to treat the
symptoms of testosterone deficiency and related conditions with what the author argues is the
most effective, safest, and economic form of preventive medicine of the twenty-first century.
Critique: Controversial, iconoclastic, exceptionally well researched, reasoned, written, organized
and presented, "Testosterone Resistance: Fighting for the Men's Health Hormone" is
unreservedly recommended for community, college, university, and medical school library
Health/Medicine collections in general, and Male Testosterone supplemental studies reading lists
in particular. For medical students and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the
subject it should be noted that "Testosterone Resistance" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781514465660, $23.28) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).
The Biography Shelf
Life as I Lived It: Small Town Country Living
Richard W. Block
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781491787762, $22.95, PB, 404pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A deeply personal memoir, "Life as I Lived It: Small Town Country Living" by
Richard W. Block is comprised of a series of 122 short stories that reflect the times he lived
through, the people he knew, and offer 'windows in time' to a small town world that is rapidly
disappearing from the American scene. Of special note are the memoir-based short stories 'The 4
Handgun Hunting Rules'; 'U.F.O's'; and 'Woodland Lore with Dad.
Critique: An inherently fascinating read from first page to last, "Life as I Lived It: Small Town
Country Living" is a consistently compelling autobiographical and descriptive narrative of small
town life and one man who lived through 'interesting times'. While very highly recommended for
community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography collections, it
should be noted for personal reading list that "Life as I Lived It" is also available in a Kindle
Killing the Market
9781492756361, $14.95, PB, 88pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Robert Warne Wilson (November 3, 1926 - December 23, 2013) was an American
hedge fund manager, philanthropist and art collector. Arguably one of the greatest investor of all
time. Wilson turned $15,000 into $800 million (all without partners) between 1958 and the year
2000. Then in the last decade of his life Wilson became one of the most important philanthropist
in America by giving away $700 million before his death in 2013. "Killing the Market :
Legendary Investor Robert W. Wilson" by Roemer McPhee is an extraordinary account of an
extraordinary man with the extraordinary ability to make money by investing and then be equally
extraordinary in deciding how to give most of what he made away for the purpose of making the
world 'a better place for everyone'.
Critique: An inherently fascinating read from beginning to end, "Killing the Market : Legendary
Investor Robert W. Wilson" is highly recommended for community and academic library
Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Killing the Market" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.95).
The Gardening Shelf
The Sustainable-Enough Garden
Shade Garden Press
9780692570500, $21.95 pbk / $2.00 Kindle, 160pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Rebecca Warner is a suburban weekend gardener in Newton, Massachusetts, gardening
on a one-third-acre lot. She is an avid amateur ornamental gardener with thirty years' experience
working toward more sustainable gardening practices. In "The Sustainable-Enough Garden" she
draws upon her experience and expertise to show other gardeners who have limited time, energy,
and budgets for their gardening activities, that it is necessary to make compromises. "The
Sustainable-Enough Garden" offers an honest account of Warner's struggles to achieve her
environmental gardening goals without giving up her day job or breaking the bank. In doing so,
she offers a road forward that balances idealism with practicality in making choices that work for
each individual's own gardening landscape and lifestyle.
Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, organization and presentation, "The Sustainable-Enough
Garden" covers such fundamental gardening issues, concerns, and practices as: Composting;
Sustaining soil; Dealing with a grass lawn; Incorporating native plants; Contending with invasive
plants; Coexisting with pests; Sourcing materials; and Watering. Offering realistic solutions that
are better for the ecosystem and more in tune with natural processes; the nitty-gritty details of
how Warner came to her decisions; applying the latest scientific information; giving detailed
descriptions of new techniques she tried; and following up on how they worked.
Critique: A reader-friendly guide from cover to cover, "The Sustainable-Enough Garden" is very
highly recommended and practical reading for novice and experienced gardeners alike. While an
ideal addition for community library gardening collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "The Sustainable-Enough Garden" is also available in an inexpensive and
budget-friendly Kindle format ($2.00).
The Travel Shelf
Carmel, Monterey & Pacific Grove
David Vokac & Joan Vokac
9780930743338, $8.95, PB, 107pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The only place in the country where three of the 100 Great Towns of America (Carmel,
Monterey & Pacific Grove) adjoin is on the Monterey Peninsula. No surprise, given the
combination of a spectacular coastline; a climate as ideal for human habitation as it is for lush
landscapes; and natural constraints that slowed urban land development long enough for political
sentiments to take over the role of protecting this unique natural setting from rampant growth.
With incomparable beauty, there is plenty for visitors to enjoy year-round. A hike/bike path
connects Monterey and Pacific Grove with flowery seascapes to within a block of famed historic
Cannery Row; and the Seventeen Mile Drive is one of America's most picturesque scenic roads.
Everyone should take time to stroll among storybook cottages in downtown Carmel, and marvel
at how roads always yield rights of way to noble trees. Kayaking, hiking, fishing, boating and
other sports are delightful in world-class land-and-sea settings from the Peninsula through Big
Sur bounding the region on the south. The Monterey Aquarium is one of the finest in the nation.
Lush landscapes and romantic settings have spawned sybaritic spas and romantic retreats in all
three towns. Wineries and affiliated tasting rooms abound, as does gourmet food in all styles and
price levels. Weather is hospitable most of the year.
Critique: The collaborate project of David and Joan Vokack, "Carmel, Monterey & Pacific
Grove: Getaway Guide to California's Monterey Peninsula" is an especially effective,
informative, and highly recommended resource for planning trips that will help visitors and
locals to discover the marvels of this remarkable area. Each of the three communities are
described and provided with basic information including weather, attractions, restaurants,
lodgings, and more.
The Fiction Shelf
The Boy Who Wanted Wings
James Conroyd Martin
Hussar Quill Press
9780997894509 $14.99 pbk / $5.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: Aleksy, a dark-complexioned Tatar raised by a Polish peasant family, holds in his heart
the wish is to become a Polish hussar, a lancer who carries into battle a device attached to his
back that holds dozens of eagle feathers. As a Tatar and as a peasant, this is an unlikely quest.
When he meets Krystyna, the daughter of the noble who owns the land that his parents work, he
falls hopelessly in love. But even though she returns his love, race and class differences make
this quest as impossible as that of becoming a hussar. Under the most harrowing and unlikely
circumstances, one day Aleksy must choose between his dreams.
On the eve of September 11, 1683, a massive Muslim Ottoman horde was besieging the gates of
the imperial city of Vienna and had been doing so since the previous July. Now, however, they
were just hours from capturing this capital of the Holy Roman Empire. The Turks' intent was to
bring Islam to all of Europe, and this city was seen by East and West alike as the gateway. With
the window of time closing for Vienna, the walls were about to be breached on September 12
when the vastly outnumbered Christian coalition, led by Polish King Jan III Sobieski and his
famous winged hussars, descended Kahlenberg Mountain to engage the Turks in an attempt to
lift the siege. As crucial and consequential as the 1066 Battle of Hastings, the ensuing battle
changed the course of European history.
Critique: History comes alive in this captivating saga of a desperate war to stave off conquest and
extermination. A young man with dreams of greatness is swept up amid the deadly clash, but will
he have to sacrifice love itself to become an elite defender of his homeland? The Boy Who
Wanted Wings is a powerful, emotionally moving story, highly recommended. It should be noted
for personal reading lists that The Boy Who Wanted Wings is also available in a Kindle edition
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781504911238, $36.99, HC, 477pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A work of historical fiction, "Rekindled" by Teresa Irizarry is the story of how Roger
Williams becomes the original architect of the separation of church and state in the American
colonies. Williams must survive the men that intend to silence him in order to engineer and
demonstrate a new society structure that will protect people voicing ideas and heartfelt
convictions while keeping civil peace. If he fails, the tragedy of needless loss of life and
livelihood will continue unabated on both sides of the Atlantic. Roger Williams obtained the first
charter for the colony of Rhode Island in 1644, as an explicit experiment in the separation of
church and state. "Rekindled" is also the story of Miantonomoh, an Algonquian prince from the
elite line of Native Americans called the Steward rulers. He must prove himself a competent
general, diplomat, and family man to lead the Narragansett and other Algonquian. If none like
Miantonomoh succeeds cruel English puppet prince Uncas will rule but rapidly lose
Critique: With a laudable attention to historical detail, "Rekindled" is a deftly woven,
consistently compelling, inherently fascinating read and a novel that showcases author Teresa
Irizarry's impressive knack for storytelling. A riveting entertainment from beginning to end,
"Rekindled" is enthusiastically recommended for community library Historical Fiction
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Rekindled" is also available in a
paperback edition (9781504911245, $14.95) and in a Kindle format ($7.99).
Sail into Treachery
Gary R. Bush
Forty Press LLC
427 Van Buren Street, Anoka, MN 55303
9781938473166, $16.95, 302pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In 1803, Jamie Sharpe, is a cocky Boston boy who has graduated top in his class from
Bullard's Academy. Hoping to become a ship's captain like his father, Jamie has worked every
odd mariner job and even sailed his own sloop to Halifax. However, his dreams are shattered
when Captain Cutts, a wealthy slave trader, demands payment on a note he holds on the Sharpe
family fortune. To satisfy the note, Jamie must travel across Massachusetts to get money from his
grandfather. During the return trip, Jamie is ambushed and taken aboard a slaver bound for
Africa. Jamie will need to grow up quickly if he intends to survive!
Critique: "Sail into Treachery" is a simply riveting read. a deftly crafted adventure story from
beginning to end, "Sail into Treachery" clearly documents author Gary R. Bush as an
extraordinary novelist of the first order. "Sail into Treachery" is enthusiastically recommended
for personal reading lists and would prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community
library Historical Fiction collections.
After the Dam
Red Hen Press
P.O. Box 40820, Pasadena, CA 91114
9781597097536, $16.95, PB, 344pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Undone by motherhood, judged by her husband, thirty-two-year-old Rachel Clayborne
flees with her baby in the middle of the night for the one place on earth that's been her refuge: her
grandmother's lakehouse in northern Wisconsin. Hoping to reconnect with a former, healthier
self, she instead faces a confused and dying grandmother, her ever-present nurse who seems bent
on thwarting each of Rachel's desires, and a changed ex-boyfriend, who was her first and most
passionate love. As a constant rain threatens the nearby dam, Rachel struggles to discern what's
happened to the past, who she's become, and what kind of a life she will make for herself now --
one that clings to ghosts or opens bravely to a wild new geography.
Critique: A consistently compelling and deftly crafted novel with an underlying message about
the transformative power of motherhood, "After the Dam" reveals author Amy Hassinger as an
impressively skilled storyteller of the first order. This is a novel that will linger in the mind and
memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. "After the Dam"
is strongly recommended for personal reading lists and community library General Fiction
The Lost Deposition of Glynnis Smith McLean
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781491782569, $16.95, PB, 220pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It is early 1912 when teenage newlyweds Ian and Glynnis McLean decide to immigrate
from Ireland to San Francisco. Slated to depart as first-class passengers on an American-owned
ship, their plans suddenly change when that voyage is canceled due to a coal strike. After the
McLeans trade in their tickets for second-class accommodations aboard the Titanic, they
unknowingly transform the course of their lives forever. Only one of them will survive that frigid
April night. In her possession is her beloved diaries -- the only things she saves besides
In diary entries that begin in 1903, Glynnis details a childhood filled with cooking and sewing
lessons, and a secret admiration for the neighbor boy, Ian. Glynnis records their journey together
as Ian first rejects her advances and then eventually proposes marriage. As life leads them to step
aboard the Titanic, fate intervenes, leaving Glynnis the survivor of one of the greatest tragedies
ever known. But what she does not know is that when she provides testimony after the event, it is
never entered into the record. Fifty years later, the truth is finally revealed through a lost
deposition and excerpts from her cherished diaries.
Critique: Exceptionally well written and a consistently compelling read from first page to last,
"The Lost Deposition of Glynnis Smith McLean, Second-Class Survivor of the Rms Titanic" is a
deftly crafted historical novel that underscores the truly impressive storytelling skills of author
Scott Stevens. A work of remarkable execution from beginning to end this unique and
memorable work of fiction is very highly recommended for community library collections. It
should be noted for personal reading list that ""The Lost Deposition of Glynnis Smith McLean,
Second-Class Survivor of the Rms Titanic" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.99).
The Frayed Ribbon
R. W. Hart
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781491784297, $14.95, PB, 202pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Gail Rollins is in the hospital with a high-risk pregnancy under doctor's orders for bed
rest when several car crashes cause the Er to be overrun with severely injured victims. In an
effort to help, Gail befriends a lonely young girl named Lexie. Gail cares for Lexie and even
calms her screams at night. They become attached, especially when Lexie's parents
In an effort to comfort the now panicked Lexie, Gail gives her a dog ornament to cuddle while
she sleeps. Soon, though, Gail is released from the hospital -- a birthday gift from her doctor. She
comes back later to check on Lexie only to find the little girl gone. She tries desperately to locate
Lexie but runs into privacy laws and red tape.
For years, every one of Gail's birthdays act as a reminder of the girl she failed to protect. Having
exhausted all avenues that might lead her to Lexie, her hope hangs on a puppy decoration and a
prayer. Lexie is never far from Gail's mind. Will she discover what happened to the lonely child,
or will Lexie become another lost face in the desolate crowd?
Critique: A deftly crafted story, "The Frayed Ribbon" is a consistently compelling read from
beginning to end and clearly demonstrates author R. W. Hart as an original storyteller and master
novelist. While "The Frayed Ribbon" is very highly recommended for community library General
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that it is also available in a
Kindle format ($3.99).
Unconventional Love Affair
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781514482889, $29.99, HC, 334pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When twenty-five-year-old Brad Wilson returns to the United States from three years
of combat duty in Iraq, he meets recently divorced thirty-seven-year-old Linda Wallace who has
just enrolled at State University to complete her last two years of college. At the same time,
Linda's eighteen-year-old daughter, Diane, will be starting freshman year at Stanford. Brad and
Linda meet at a required class, where Linda initially thinks Brad will be a good find for Diane.
However, within a short time, they become intimate and initially try to hide their relationship
because of the age difference. This results in many unpredictable and humorous situations. Their
relationship is put to a test in December. Linda's parents move in with her after her father retires,
Diane unexpectedly shows up, saying she is dropping out of Stanford, and Linda's ex-husband is
divorcing his wife and wants to remarry her. This leads to many serious detailed discussions
concerning the future for Brad and Linda.
Critique: Well crafted and memorable characters combine with a deftly woven plot of
unexpected twists and surprising turns, "Unconventional Love Affair" is a consistently
compelling read and underscores author Robert Miller as an extraordinarily skilled novelist.
While enthusiastically recommended for community library fiction collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Unconventional Love Affair" is also available in a paperback
edition (9781514482872, $19.99) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).
A Strange Boy
John L. Jewell
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781504993364, $41.19, HC, 398pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "A Strange Boy" by John L. Jewell is the compelling story of Leslie's journey from a
small boy to his mid-teens; it reveals tragedies, cruelties, and the losses he suffers, but as he
grows, he acquires special skills and uses them to fight his many demons. The skills he acquires
lead him to important discoveries, some dreadful and others joyful. His sister, Mary, aids his
journey whilst concealing her own skills from him, until a serious brain operation forces them to
trust in each other and open up. Leslie constantly searches for answers, in particular, the truth
regarding his father's disappearance in the 1950s, and thanks to the combined skills of him and
his sister, Leslie is able to enlist the help of a local newspaper editor and one of his reporters who
eventually discover the truth for him.
Critique: A blending of mystery, the supernatural, and harrowing adventure, "A Strange Boy" is
an extraordinary novel and showcases author John L. Jewell's truly impressive storytelling skills.
While highly recommended for community library fiction collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "A Strange Boy" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781504993388, $24.34) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).
Neil A. White
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781524606749, $13.99, PB, 200pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Closure" by Neil A. White is a moving coming-of-age tale that follows three young
boys through adolescence into adulthood, each trying to make sense of a world turned upside
down in Poland (1939). The German army sweeps across Poland intent on the destruction of an
entire people. In a small Polish town, ten-year-old Piotr Kowalczyk's idyllic world will be forever
destroyed. Croatia (1944) Young Dino Mitak flees to the freedom of the West as the
communist-led Partisans move ever closer to Zagreb. Australia (1980) A small boy, already
struggling to cope with the loss of a parent, is confronted by a gruesome murder. From the
tranquil foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in southern Poland, to the Balkans and a
simmering feud centuries in the making, to the streets of inner-city Melbourne where histories
collide. These events, generations and worlds apart, are interwoven in a poignant story of grief,
hatred, revenge and finally, closure.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, consistently compelling, deftly crafted with memorable
characters with unexpected twists and turns, "Closure" is a riveting read from beginning to end.
While very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Closure" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.99).
Alternative Book Press
2 Timber Lane, Suite 301, Marlboro, NJ 07746
9781940122281, $19.99, PB, 408pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: While on his way to apply for a teaching job in Harlem, Vincent DeRosa saves a young
boy from being mauled by a runaway pit bull. Looking on in horror, the boy's mother watches as
the white man is in turn attacked and nearly killed. It is only later, under very different
circumstances that Vincent and Desiree meet again and fall in love. But their love is challenged
from a number of angles, not least of which is Desiree's ex- boyfriend, Rosco, a notorious drug
dealer and dogfighter who has decided to re-enter the life of his young son.
Critique: "Ghetto Dogs" by Steve Romagnoli is a biracial love story seen through the violent
prism of dogfighting and drug dealing. It is interesting to note that Romagnoli teaches Ethics and
Creative Writing at the Bedford Hills Maximum Security Prison for Women and Literature at
Fordham University. Clearly his has deftly drawn upon his years of experience and expertise to
pen a remarkably realistic and consistently compelling novel that will hold the reader's riveted
attention from beginning to end. While very highly recommended for community library General
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ghetto Dogs" is also
available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Write to Die
Thomas & Mercer
9781503937611 $15.95 pbk / $4.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: Hollywood's latest blockbuster is all set to premiere - until a faded superstar claims the
script was stolen from her. To defend the studio, in steps the Harold Firm, one of Los Angeles's
top entertainment litigation firms and as much a part of the glamorous scene as the studios
themselves. As a newly minted partner, it's Rory Calburton's case, and his career, to win or
But the seemingly tame civil trial turns lethal when Rory stumbles upon the strangled body of his
client's general counsel. And the ties that bind in Hollywood constrict even tighter when the
founder of the Harold Firm is implicated in the murder. Rory is certain the plagiarism and murder
cases are somehow connected, and with the help of new associate Sarah Gold - who's just
finished clerking for the chief justice - he's determined to get answers. Will finding out who
really wrote the script lead them to the mastermind of the real-life murder?
Critique: Exciting and suspenseful, Write to Die is a mystery-thriller that leads the reader down a
twisting corridor of intellectual theft and corruption. Author Charles Rosenberg, a practicing
lawyer, has put his legal background to use crafting Write to Die with exacting procedural
accuracy. Highly recommended, especially for connoisseurs of the genre! It should be noted for
personal reading lists that Write to Die is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
The Fragrance Shed by a Violet, second edition
9781942545170 $15.75 pbk / $7.19 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: After her series of articles is awarded three Pulitzer Prizes, investigative reporter Kate
Townsend is haunted by the knowledge that her new-found fame has been purchased at too high
a price. She is certain that McCall, an internationally acclaimed cardiologist, researcher, and a
2002 nominee for the Nobel Prize for Medicine, is not guilty.
Texas governor Greg Bell hires former homicide detective and criminal defense attorney Rich
Jansen to fix the escalating problems at the Huntsville Prisons recently inflamed by a lawsuit
against infamous inmate Dr. Lindsey McCall. When Jansen's skills quickly result in the
resignation of an incompetent prison medical director, he realizes that this strange saga is just
Mark Twain wrote that forgiveness was the fragrance shed by a violet upon the heel of the boot
that has crushed it. This medical mystery weaves together the lives of two sisters, Lindsey and
Paula, with those of strangers as each copes with loss, betrayal, jealousy, and the exquisitely
painful journey to forgiveness.
Critique: A fine balance between suspense and emotional character development, The Fragrance
Shed by a Violet is a murder mystery that reaches deep into a primal fear - cold, premeditated
death striking victims at their most vulnerable, in an institution meant for healing. A page-turner
to the end, The Fragrance Shed by a Violet is a "must-read" for connoisseurs of the genre. It
should be noted for personal reading lists that The Fragrance Shed by a Violet is also available in
a Kindle edition ($7.19).
Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
9781503935860 $14.95 pbk/ $3.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: All eyes are on famous prosecutor Teodor Szacki when he investigates a skeleton
discovered at a construction site in the idyllic Polish city of Olsztyn. Old bones come as no shock
to anyone in this part of Poland, but it turns out these remains are fresh, the flesh chemically
Szacki questions the dead man's wife, only to be left with a suspicion she's hiding something.
Then another victim surfaces - a violent husband, alive but maimed - giving rise to a theory:
someone's targeting domestic abusers. And as new clues bring the murderer closer to those
Szacki holds dear, he begins to understand the terrible rage that drives people to murder.
From acclaimed Polish crime writer Zygmunt Miloszewski comes a gritty, atmospheric
page-turner that poses the question, what drives a sane man to kill?
Critique: A gripping thriller by Polish author Zygmunt Miloszewski, expertly translated into
English by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Rage is an intense exploration of the brutal consequences of
domestic violence. Dire straits escalate into a grisly series of murders, in this tense crime novel
of hatred and revenge, sure to fascinate connoisseurs of the genre. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that Rage is available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
Castle Gate Press
9780990439934, $14.95, 263pp, www.castlegatepress.com
Synopsis: A top-secret agent on a high-profile assignment Lady Anne is paid to be paranoid --
and she's good at her job. So good, in fact, that she singlehandedly stops an assassination attempt
at the White House. When newspapers splash her photo over the front page for saving King
Ahmad-a Muslim recently converted to the Christian faith, not only is her cover in jeopardy, but
the secrets of her enhanced strength and the entire agency are revealed. Then she's given another
assignment. She must escort King Ahmad to a NASCAR track.
At the age of 33, Stuart Jackson is at the peak of his career as the reigning Cup Champion of
NASCAR. Stuart has everything anyone could want-fame, fortune, success. But after he's nearly
blown up by a bomb at the White House, his achievements lose their allure. Nor can he forget the
mysterious Lady Anne.'
Sinister forces are at work that will intertwine the ultimate fate of Lady Anne and Stuart
Critique: Deftly crafted with memorable characters and a roller-coaster ride of unexpected plot
twists and turns, "Peril" is a fast-paced read that demonstrates author Suzanne Hartmann as a
master of the suspense thriller genre. A consistently compelling read from beginning to end,
"Peril" is very highly recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Peril" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.99). Also very highly
recommended from the pen of Suzanne Hartmann and featuring NASCAR champion Stuart
Jackson is her suspense thriller novel "Conspiracy" (9780990439950, $14.95 PB, $3.99
Whistle Blower and Double Agents
R. J. Anderson
The Peppertree Press
1269 First Street, Suite 7, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781614933885, $28.95, HC, 247pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: An Atomic Energy Commission nuclear scientist found that the safeguards program of
his agency was ineffective and allowed for nuclear material to be stolen from within the nuclear
plant and passed on to other countries. He found evidence of this during a visit to the CIA on a
safeguards inquiry. Deeply alarmed, he reported this finding to the AEC, and later to the U.S.
Congress and the President. The AEC Chairman meets and falls in love with a beautiful woman
CIA operative, who is assigned to his agency to get away from the White House, visits the lab at
Fermilab in Chicago, and then to the mountains of Maunkea in Hawaii where he met with the
astronomers. Although a work of fiction, author Ruth Anderson draws on her real life
experiences having served with several Congressional and cabinet-level officials, and various
federal agencies, to great a truly riveting espionage-based thriller based on a true historical
Critique: All the more impressive considering that "Whistle Blower and Double Agents" is her
debut novel, this riveting read is enthusiastically recommended for community library General
Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Whistle Blower and Double
Agents" is also available in a paperback edition (9781614933878, $17.95) and in a Kindle format
Sixty Seconds to Armageddon
Dorrance Publishing Company
585 Alpha Dr. Suite 103, Pittsburgh, PA 15238
9781480924741, $24.00 hc / $9.99 Kindle, 230pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Roman Hawk, a tall, rugged agent for the CIA, and Rina Kol, the gorgeous but deadly
chief operative for Israel's Mossad, have been given the mission of saving a nation from nuclear
While on a mission in Moscow to retrieve stolen records of the Army's new sophisticated rifle,
Roman overhears a conversation between the Chairman, head of the Russian mafia, and militsiya
General Levshinsky discussing plans to produce and detonate a 210-kiloton nuclear bomb
somewhere in Israel. After receiving word of what Roman has recently overheard, the General
assembles an all-out manhunt for his capture.
Can Roman escape the clutches of the Russian mob while helping Mossad Director Aaron Levy
prevent a nuclear attack on Yom Kippur? With Rina Kol by his side, Roman tracks the shipment
of the bomb as it makes its way to Tel Aviv in attempt to thwart the attack-Armageddon. -- With
time working against them, will they find it in time?
Critique: Exceptionally well written and a consistently compelling read from beginning to end,
"Sixty Seconds to Armageddon" clearly showcases author Richard Asner's impressively
storytelling talents as a novelist. While highly recommended for community library General
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sixty Seconds to
Armageddon" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
Death of a Thug
c/o Buy Books On The Web
1094 New Dehaven Street, #100, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713
9781495808500, $23.95 PB, 420pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Death of a Thug" by Koffi Hallman is a rags to riches tale about a phenomenal two
sport athlete who is hailed as the number one pick in both the NFL and NBA drafts. But a
motorcycle accident a month before the draft destroys his sports future. Then he meets his
cousin's best friend and his life goes 180 degrees from the bright lights of fortune and sports fame
to a life in the hood as a drug dealer and the tough choices he must make simply to survive.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel that is a consistently compelling read, "Death of a Thug" clearly
establishes author Koffi Hallman as an original and talented storyteller. "Death of a Thug" is a
riveting crime story that keeps the reader in suspense to the very end! While very highly
recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Death of a Thug" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.95).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
The Kingdom of Oceana
9780692508411, $9.99, PB, 213pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Kingdom of Oceana" by Mitchel Charles takes place some five centuries ago on
the island of Hawaii in a kingdom that was filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.
When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and
uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy
their tropical paradise.
As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival
sorcerers that threatens to erupt--just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his
ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must
overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures
brought forth by the tiki's spell.
Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future
king of Oceana? Especially when there are two brothers -- but only one can rule!
Critique: An inherently interesting and consistently compelling novel from first page to last, "The
Kingdom of Oceana" clearly demonstrates the exceptionally skillful storytelling talents of author
Mitchell Charles. A thoroughly entertaining read, "The Kingdom of Oceana" is highly
recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General
Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Kingdom of Oceana"
is also available in a Kindle format ($5.99).
Portal To Erytheum
Robert B. Goos
3101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607-5436
9781483440972, $34.99, HC, 295pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Teddy Cordova had survived the Vietnam War. With the wounds of Posttraumatic
Stress Disorder embedded deep within, life falling apart, he is pushed over the edge when he
meets a young soldier just returned from Afghanistan. Alcohol fueled desperation drives him to
the mountains he has loved and with a gun to his head, a shimmering blue light opens a portal
transporting him through space and time to Erytheum, a parallel world replicating Earth -
including the Vietnam of his nightmares. Confused, but in his youthful, prewar self, he finds this
world to be nothing like the one he has left. An advanced, but agrarian civilization, the people of
Erytheum value peaceful coexistence. Despite these cosmic shifts, Teddy maintains the painful
memory engrams of his previous existence. In this new world, the healing of his shattered soul
ensues, helped along by a shaman, a physicist, and a beautiful young woman. It seems that one
last battle must be fought -- and the souls of many a warrior and friend hangs in the balance.
Critique: Although a deftly crafted work of science fiction, "Portal To Erytheum", the presence of
post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of war is accurately portrayed by author Robert
B. Goos who before writing this truly outstanding novel spent almost ten years as a psychiatrist
with the Veterans healthcare Administration enabling him to pen an accurate and compelling
allegory for the agony war induced trauma can have on a human being. A consistently
compelling read from beginning to end, "Portal To Erytheum" is highly recommended for
community library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Portal to Erytheum" is also available in a paperback edition (9781483440958, $19.99) and in a
Kindle format ($8.99).
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781514441510, $24.99, HC, 290pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: With the outside world simply crawling with dangerous, blood-thirsty creatures, that
crave for the hunger of human flesh, the walled city of South Head is dwindling down to
extinction. Teenager, Jessica Windal, is given the chance to leave for a better life in the capital.
She leaves with her new friend, Georgia Bankgrove and together they embark on the perilous
journey beyond the city's walls, where every step could certainly be their last. But the outside
world exposes secrets the girls never expected. Finding themselves tangled amongst these secrets
leads Jessica and Georgia down a new path, one that could potentially change the future of the
Critique: An original and impressively well crafted story, "Amadons Outside" clearly reveals
author Alexander Galati as a exceptionally skilled storyteller and skilled novelist. A terrifically
entertaining and engaging read from beginning to end, "Amadons Outside" is enthusiastically
recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. For personal reading
lists it should be noted that "Amadons Outside" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781514441503, $17.73) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).
The Vampire Girl in London
PO Box 91, Reno, NV 89504
9780692724910, $14.95, PB, 286pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In Richard Arbib's debut fantasy novel "The Vampire Girl Next Door", Mark fell in
love with Sylvia, the beautiful, but quirky girl next door, not realizing that she was a vampire
who killed his last neighbor. Now, in "The Vampire Girl in London", the two of them fly from
Mark's San Francisco to Sylvia's London where they tangle with terrorists, are shadowed by a
CIA agent, and find themselves pursued by a vampire-hunting cult. Even more challenging, they
must cope with living in a mansion full of Sylvia's vampire friends -- some of whom she can't
really trust. And Mark still has to deal with Sylvia's sexual hijinks. Will Mark and Sylvia's love
be enough to survive it all?
Critique: Exceptionally well written and impressively original, "The Vampire Girl in London" is
a consistently compelling read from beginning to end. A 'must' for all vampire story enthusiasts,
"The Vampire Girl in London" once again showcases author Richard Arbib's mastery of this
fantasy genre and is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and
community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections!
A Darker Magic This Way Comes
c/o Galaxy Media USA
978920829654, $30.00, PB, 490pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Carmel Niland's "A Darker Magic This Way Comes" is the first in the series of five
books revealing Merlin's Secrets in a new series featuring a compelling magical mix of mystery
and Arthurian legend. In this debut novel, a portal between modern day and Arthurian Britain
inexplicably opens bringing a handsome young magician and all his ancient knowledge into the
life of teenager, Emily Hughes. Emily is a bright and headstrong high school student in Exeter,
England. Though she doesn't know it, she is believed to be the 'Chosen One' sort out by the
malevolent Morgana and the Prince of Darkness, Moloch. In their efforts to combat the evil
shape-shifting sorceress and satanic Moloch the teens travel through the realms of space and time
and develop an intense and uncanny bond. Together they can reverse their destiny.
Critique: Original and exceptional, "A Darker Magic This Way Comes" is a consistently
compelling read from beginning to end and reveals author Carmel Niland to be a master of the
action/adventure fantasy genre. An absolute 'must read' for dedicated fantasy fans, "A Darker
Magic This Way Comes" is very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular
addition for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. For personal reading lists
it should be noted that "A Darker Magic This Way Comes" is also available in a Kindle format
The Poetry Shelf
A Multicultural Song that I Sing Alone
Bo Kyung Kim
c/o America Star Books
PO Box 151, Frederick, MD 21705-0184
9781491832226 $14.95 / $3.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: With lyricism and a chord of ontological idealism, the book, A Multicultural Song that
I Sing Alone releases the hopeful poetry drastically to the readers of the world with all kinds of
enthusiasms and dreams, not only affecting and encouraging but also securing endless beauty. In
her writing, she absorbs many artistic facts and expresses into her poetic field ambitiously and
positively with a refined mind, a pure image and sincere language.
Critique: A Multicultural Song that I Sing Alone is a beautiful, free-verse poetry expression of
both the joys and the laments of everyday life. Poet Bo Kyung Kim also offers her own inquiry
into the nature of multiculturalism, as well as references to and glimpses of Korean culture. An
enlightening, thoughtful read, highly recommended especially for poetry connoisseurs. "In One
Spring Morning": Because the late coldness is very vigorous / I yelled 'you' / Then, suddenly a
magnolia flower got scared, / And cried and shed a tear / And just bung-gut* smiled.
[*'bung-gut': to open mouth and smile. The state of a flower blooming. Korean mimetic
Tapestries of Life's Poetries
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781469187013, $46.72, HC, 118pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Tapestries of Life's Poetries" is an impressive compendium of poetry by the late
Anthony Urzia who puts words and phrases onto paper the way a Renaissance artist put paint
onto canvas. The subject matter for many of the poems comprising "Tapestries of Life's Poetries"
are drawn directly from the life experiences of the poet and range from teen depression, to drug
abuse, to mental illness. Written with a keen insight and a compelling need to communicate,
"Tapestries of Life's Poetries" is successful in engaging the reader's fascinated and riveted
attention from first page to last. '
Critique: A compelling and deftly crafted body of verse, "Tapestries of Life's Poetries" is one of
those all to rare volumes of poetry that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long
after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While strongly recommended
for community and academic library Contemporary American Poetry collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Tapestries of Life's Poetries" is also available in a paperback
edition (9781469187006, $26.87) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).
The Graphic Novel Shelf
Steven John Fuchs
Volume 1: 9780986067617, $8.95, 84pp
Volume 2: 9780986067624, $8.95, 78pp
Volume 3: 9780986067631, $16.95, 158pp
Synopsis: After sunspot activity threatens the orbit of the International Space Station, Corporate
Cosmonaut Elizabeth Flod is assigned to the Russian mission to save the outpost. But terrorists, a
crippling solar storm, and scientific fraud all serve to turn her rescue flight into a journey of
intrigue and mystery. "Soyuz Blue" is a vividly illustrated tale that puts the reader into the cockpit
of the venerable Soyuz spacecraft as it lifts off on an odyssey of discovery and adventure.
Critique: "Soyuz Blue" is an illustrated graphic novel science fiction adventure series that ranges
from the steppes of Kazakhsan to the International Space Station. Deftly written and illustrated
by author and graphic designer Steven John Fuchs, "Soyuz Blue" combines action/adventure
cliff-hanger action with a genuine flair for original storytelling. The result is a consistently
compelling and entertainingly engaging read that will prove to be especially attractive for science
fiction fans in general, and graphic novel enthusiasts in particular.
Lost Cactus: The First Treasury
9780996506755, $21.99, 181pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Lost Cactus: The First Treasury" is a compendium of John Hopkins' Lost Cactus
comic strip. In addition to over 170 3-panel and Sunday Lost Cactus comics, this first-in-a-series
of beautifully printed full-color treasuries contains an eclectic mix of science fiction short stories,
witty essays, and conceptual artwork joined by a plethora of related trivia, artist commentary, and
interactive quizzes. This framework is woven together into this vividly designed comic strip
anthology. John Hopkins brings to his comic strip a distinctly original perspective on
ever-evolving technologies, current events, and pop culture--blended with his keen interest in
science fiction, conspiracy theories, paranormal, and urban myths, thereby providing the grist for
the comic strips, stories, and essays that are Lost Cactus.
Critique: Although the interactive aspects of "Lost Cactus: The First Treasury" do not lend itself
to community library collections, it will prove to be a 'must' for the legions of Lost Cactus fans
and will prove to be an effective introduction for anyone new to the strip. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Lost Cactus: The First Treasury" is also available in a Kindle format
($4.99). Also very highly recommended and now available to the public is "Lost Cactus: The
Second Treasury" (9780996506748, $24.00, PB, 230pp).
The Social Issues Shelf
Love and Stigma The Outcast System
Adolphus O. M. Ekejiuba
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781514408278, $22.99 hc / $3.99 Kindle, 164pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Outcast System occurs in Africa and India. In Nigeria, outcasts are called Osu. As
freeborn, Adolphus O. M. Ekejiuba was brought up to see the outcast as lower class humans. His
freeborn culture made it an abomination to have any relationships with the Osu. Adolphus was
forbidden from marrying from their stock. They could not hold some traditional titles and were
never appointed Traditional Rulers. Adolphus departed from this tradition when he saw a blood
donation being made by an outcast. The thoughts as to who would use the blood that Osu
donated bothered Adolphus. After some reflections and applying Scientific, Religious and
Sociological knowledge, Adolphus concluded that the Outcast System is baseless, instituted in
ignorance and being perpetuated in ignorance. To illustrate, Adolphus tells the pitiable story of
what would happen if a freeborn tries to marry an outcast. "Love and Stigma The Outcast
System" will make the readers worldwide abandon the Caste System without coercion or force of
Critique: Impressive well written, exceptionally well organized, and ably presenting the necessity
for abolishing caste systems wherever they may be found, "Love and Stigma The Outcast
System" is an extraordinary read from beginning to end. While strongly recommended for
community and academic library Social Issues collections in general, and Caste System
supplemental studies lists in particular, it should be noted for students and non-specialist general
readers with an interest in the subject that "Love and Stigma The Outcast System" is also
available in a paperback edition (9781514415221, $15.99) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).
The Architecture Shelf
The Slate Roof Bible, third edition
Joseph Jenkins Inc.
9780964425828, $49.00, HC, 374pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Joseph Jenkins climbed on his first slate roof in 1968 as a roofer's helper, and
proceeded to worked on over a thousand slate roofs in the course of his roofing career. Jenkins is
founder and executive director of the nonprofit Slate Roofing Contractors Association of North
America, Inc., which is itself a member of the Germany-based International Federation for the
Roofing Trades. In this newly updated and expanded third edition of "The Slate Roof Bible:
Everything You Need to Know About the World's Finest Roof", Jenkins effectively draws upon
his many years of experience and expertise to provide a thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction
manual regarding the craft of slate roof installation. Expanded sections include slate siding,
eyebrow dormers, turrets, soldering, flashings, international slate, American slate history, slating
styles, installation and repair tips, and trade secrets. Dozens of new color photographs have been
added, as well as step-by-step illustrations and line drawings.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, illustrated, organized and presented, ""The Slate Roof
Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the World's Finest Roof" is especially
recommended to the attention of architects, roofers, slate roof owners, architectural consultants,
architectural history buffs, and anyone involved with the roofing industry. Professional,
community, and academic libraries should consider this new third edition of "The Slate Roof
Bible" to be an essential, core addition to their Architecture collections in general, and slate
roofing supplemental studies reading lists in particular.
The Political Science Shelf
The European Union and the End of Politics
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
9781780999500, $26.95, PB, 322pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Even though Europe is in a state of social, economic, and political crisis, the European
Union just gets stronger. Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland have all been told that they must
submit their budgets to EU-appointed bureaucrats. The 'soft coup' that put EU officials in charge
of Greece and Italy shows that the Union is opposed to democracy. Instead of weakening the
European Union, the budget crisis of 2012 has ended up with the eurocrats grabbing new powers
to dictate terms. Over the years the forward march of the European Union has been widely
misunderstood. In "The European Union and the End of Politics" James Heartfield explains that
the rise of the EU is driven by the decline in political participation. Without political contestation
national parliaments have become an empty shell. Where once elites drew authority from their
own people, today they draw authority from the European Union, and other summits of world
leaders. The growth of the European Union runs in tandem with the decline in national politics.
As national sovereignty is hollowed out, technocratic administration from Brussels fills the void.
"The European Union and the End of Politics" is an account of the rise of the European Union
that includes a full survey of the major schools of thought in European studies, and a valuable
guide to those who want to take back control.
Critique: Very highly recommended for community and academic library Political Science
collections in general, and European Union supplemental studies lists in particular, "The
European Union and the End of Politics" seems prophetic with Britain's newly resolved policy of
seceding from the EU. It should be noted for students and non-specialist general reading with an
interest in the subject that "The European Union and the End of Politics" is also available in a
Kindle format ($18.99).
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781491747483, $29.95 HC, 280pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The fundamental premise of "Upside Down: How We Can Avoid Becoming the
United States of China" by Dan Meyer (who describes himself as being an imperfect Christian
who knows this is not the time to turn the other cheek) is that economically and politically
speaking, we Americans have had it pretty good since the end of WWII. So good that our
remarkable prosperity has resulted in our collective apathy toward the corrupt progression of
what once were 'Servants of the People' into life-long office holding "career politicians" in
Washington, D.C. who have evolved to become an elite political ruling class. Adhering to that
classic maxim that 'Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely', today in our United
States we have an all-powerful central government enabled by a subservient media propelling our
nation toward the kind of living hell so aptly described in George Orwell's "1984". Where truth
cannot be found-where freedom does not exist. "Upside Down" clearly defines the immediate
action "We the People" can and must take to restore what used to be our government of, by, and
for the people. If we choose to continue to sit on the sidelines and not get involved, we will
transition from apathy to dependence and out of that dependence will come the bondage from
which we rose some 239 years ago.
Critique: Impressively well reasoned, written, organized and presented, "Upside Down: How We
Can Avoid Becoming the United States of China" is as informed and informative as it is
consistently compelling. While a critically important contribution to our current national political
dialogue, and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Political
Science collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for students and
non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Upside Down" is also available
in a paperback edition (9781491747476, $19.95) and a Kindle format ($3.99).
Political Straight Talk
H. John Lyke
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781491787748, $22.95, PB, 323pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In writing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, our Founding Fathers
established a democratic republic with a solid political basis. What they wrote was the political
map that future representatives would need to follow to conduct the people's business in an
efficient and effective manner. As long as they faithfully carried out the people's will, our
democracy and republic would function in a way congruent with our forebears' wishes. -- So
what in the world happened to make our government as dysfunctional as it is today and what can
be done about it by ordinary citizens?
In "Political Straight Talk: A Prescription for Healing Our Broken System of Government", H.
John Lyke, (a board-certified psychologist and Professor Emeritus at Metropolitan State College
of Denver) maintains that ever since George Washington retired as captain of our ship of state,
subsequent presidents and members of Congress have failed to use the sailing chart of the
Constitution. Instead, they've chosen to pursue their own and their political parties' self-interests.
Professor Lyke then uses psychological principles to explore the reasons why our government
has fallen so low, and in the voice of a kind but determined therapist, he offers simple and viable
solutions to get us back to following our political road map for a free and democratic
Critique: An enormously, relevant, and timely treatise given our current political climate,
"Political Straight Talk: A Prescription for Healing Our Broken System of Government" is a
critically important read for politicians, political activists, and non-specialist general readers
wanting to understand what's gone wrong and what it will take to make it right again with
reference to our national government in general, and our American political system in particular.
Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Political Straight Talk" is unreservedly
recommended for community, college, and academic library Contemporary American Political
Science collections. For the personal reading lists of political science students and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject it should be noted that "Political Straight Talk" is
also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).
The American Idea of Freedom
Gary J. Quinn
4900 LaCross Rd, North Charleston, SC 29406
9781482661057, $9.95 PB, $3.99 Kindle, 200 pp., www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The American Idea of Freedom: How Liberty Depends on Property Rights and
General Education" describes the early American and Constitutional concept of liberty as
understood by the nation's Founders and relates it to current notions of freedom in this country.
The book shows that much of the political and cultural turmoil that surrounds us today can be
traced to a faulty understanding of freedom. Whereas popular ideas today center on the pursuit of
individual advancements and the rights of self-expression, early Americans viewed independence
much more in terms of private property rights and genuine educational opportunities. The
Founders laid heavy emphasis on these two fundamentals because Constitutional liberties are
built on them and are threatened by inattention to their importance. The framework of
government they created foresaw many of our current political and social difficulties and was
designed to prevent them. They knew that the freedom they envisioned could be achieved and
maintained only by vigilant attention to property rights and quality general education of the
citizenry. We are slowly losing contact with their idea of liberty and are moving toward some
undefined form of social and political life not in keeping with our American constitutional
heritage. The unique spirit of freedom known in America since its beginnings is being seriously
threatened by these recent developments. If we want that spirit to survive we must become aware
of the implications of these developments, and then recover and act upon the principles of
freedom so well articulated by early American leaders.
Critique: Exceptionally well reasoned, deftly written, informed, informative, thoughtful, and
thought-provoking, "The American Idea of Freedom" is an insightful and valued contribution to
our national dialogue concerning the nature and maintenance of a viable democracy here in the
United States. "The American Idea of Freedom" is highly recommended reading and an
important addition to academic and community library Political Science reference collections and
supplemental reading lists.
Communism: The Great Misunderstanding
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781533082893, $17.99, PB, 278pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the pages of "Communism: The Great Misunderstanding", Gennady Ermak (who
was born and raised in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Los Angeles California)
demonstrates that, in contemporary (especially American) society, communism is confused with
"bureaucratic collectivism". On the other hand, what some intellectuals now call "trekonomics"
or "postcapitalism" is actually communism. For centuries, this social, political and economic
force has been terribly misunderstood by "communists" and "anti-communists" alike.
"Communism: The Great Misunderstanding" effectively analyzes why communism has been so
misunderstood, where we are now, and where the world will go from here. "Communism: The
Great Misunderstanding" offers a vivid description of the philosophy and history of communism,
along with a thorough analysis of the nature of Marxist views, the failure of self-proclaimed
"communist" governments and the quiet success of Western socialist nations. "Communism: The
Great Misunderstanding" demonstrates that communism cannot be installed by virtue of our
wishes, but can only arise as the result of economic advancements.
Critique: Impressively well written and argued, "Communism: The Great Misunderstanding" is
an interestingly informed and informative study that is as thoughtful as it is thought-provoking. A
valued and exceptionally well organized and presented contribution to our national dialogue,
"Communism: The Great Misunderstanding" is unreservedly recommended for community,
college, and university library Political Science collections in general, and Communism
supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for students and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "Communism: The Great Misunderstanding" is
also available in a Kindle format ($14.90).
The World History Shelf
Black Africa's Largest Islamic Kingdom Before Colonialism
John Edward Phillips
New World African Press
PO Box 7071, Porter Ranch, CA 91327
9781945172526, $49.95, 159pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Black Africa's Largest Islamic Kingdom Before Colonialism: Royal Ribats Of Kano
And Sokoto" by Professor John Edward Philips (Department of International Society, College of
Humanities, Hirosaki University, Japan) is a history of the use and purpose Islamic ribats as
interpreted by Muhammed Bello. A ribat is an Arabic term for a small fortification as built along
a frontier during the first years of the Muslim conquest of North Africa to house military
volunteers, called the murabitun. These fortifications later served to protect commercial routes,
and as centers for isolated Muslim communities. Ribats were first seen in the 8th century. The
ribats played an important role in settling the Fulani herders. The sedentarization and
consequence was one of the most important changes in Fulani society in that Islam was used to
unite both the Hausa and Fulani into a single group organized around the ribats use for military
defense, warfare, expanding territory and acquiring slave. "Black Africa's Largest Islamic
Kingdom Before Colonialism" is organized into four major chapters: Ribats and Caliph
Muhammad Bello; Wurno: Muhammad Belio's Personal Ribat; Takai: Kano's Royal Ribat; The
Significance of Royal Ribats. Of special note are the commentaries on 'Ribats Before the Jihad'
and 'Ribats and Worship'.
Critique: Impressively well researched, written, organized and presented, "Black Africa's Largest
Islamic Kingdom Before Colonialism: Royal Ribats Of Kano And Sokoto" is an exceptionally
informed and informative work of seminal and meticulous scholarship making it unreservedly
recommended as an invaluable and seminal contribution to college and university library Islamic
History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
Moral Education in America
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9780595319916, $15.95 PB, $6.99 Kindle, www.amazon.com
Moral Education in America: Its Future in an Age of Personal Autonomy and Multiculturalism is
a hard-hitting Christian essay intended especially for educators, counselors, parents, and anyone
else involved in teaching and administrative roles. Questioning the loss of moral principles that
affect learning and behavior in modern education and society, Moral Education in America
reflects Christian principles and spirituality but also comes to grips with serious practical
questions. Chapters address ethical skill-training, biblical understanding of the human soul,
balancing anima, animus, and spiritus, the limits of intuition in a world of reason and authority,
and much more. Scriptural quotation and a reasoned understanding of practical ethical problems
complement one another in this welcome discourse of reclaiming moral and spiritual rectitude as
Critique: Impressively well reasoned, organized and presented, "Moral Education in America: Its
Future in an Age of Personal Autonomy and Multiculturalism" is especially recommended
reading for anyone considering or already engaged in the field of education. Simply stated,
"Moral Education in America" is a critically important and highly recommended addition to
college and university Teacher Education & Policy Development collections in general, and
supplemental studies reading lists in particular.
The Photography Shelf
Lens On Syria
Just World Books
PO Box 5484 Charlottesville, VA 22905
9781682570746, $49.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Thousands of remarkable monuments and relics fill the land of Syria from the coast of
the Mediterranean to its desert borders, dating back to the dawn of human history. The sites
include: Bronze Age ruins, Roman temples and necropolises, churches and monasteries from the
early Christian and Byzantine eras, Muslim forts and mosques, Crusader castles, and many more.
When conflict broke out in 2011, these treasures were put at great risk and in subsequent years,
many were destroyed in battles - some were even the intentional targets of extremists. From 2006
- 2009, American photographer Daniel Demeter traveled broadly throughout Syria, documenting
the country's warm and kindhearted people, vibrant markets, exciting landscapes, archaeological
sites, historic monuments, and religious architecture. In seven chapters organized by region,
"Lens on Syria" offers a unique visual experience of pre-war Syria and serves as an invaluable
record of the country's long history, rich heritage, and diverse culture.
Critique: An impressive compendium of full color photographic images of Syria's historic
architectural treasures, it is a sad realization that Islamic terrorists in a sustained fit of religious
heretical zeal has destroyed a great many of them so that Daniel Demeter's photographs are the
only way future generations will be able to see them. Of special note are the informative captions
give to each photograph. While unreservedly recommended for community, college, and
university library Photography collections in general, and Syrian Cultural History supplemental
studies reading lists in particular, it should be noted for students and non-specialist general
readers with an interest in the subject that "Lens On Syria" is also available in a paperback
edition (9781682570074, $29.99).
The Self-Help Shelf
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781630477349, $16.95, PB, 198pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Doug Kisgen is a serial entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, and personality expert. He
wrote "Rethink Happy: An Entrepreneur's Journey Toward Finding Authentic Joy" specifically
for any entrepreneur of person in business who considers themselves to happy. Those who have
experienced business success and wondered if there is something more. Anyone who thinks they
have figured out how to be successful at home as well as in business. Men and women who find
themselves struggling with finding time to think. Everyone who has learned how to make sense
of setbacks and "bad things happening to good people". Who believe that having money and cool
cars and freedom is fun -- but ultimately discover that happiness is not a result of accumulating
Told in a compelling parable format, "Rethink Happy" challenges readers to redefine authentic
joy as they embark on a journey through three key principles of old-school philosophy and
new-school science toward understanding the secrets of living authentic joy.
Doug Kisgen hit rock bottom in the early 2000s when the business he was trying to grow took on
so much debt that he and his family could barely make ends meet. It was then Doug realized that
success and happiness has less to do with him and his ego and more to do with something much
more profound. Since then, Doug has built and sold an INC5000 Fastest Growing Company and
built a consulting business with clients in fifteen states across the US.
"Rethink Happy" is Doug's latest entrepreneurial venture, and the concepts he teaches through a
parable format combine old-school philosophy with a little new-school science to help readers
learn how to achieve authentic joy.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, "Rethink Happy: An Entrepreneur's Journey Toward
Finding Authentic Joy" is as insightfully informed and informative, as it is engagingly thoughtful
and thought-provoking. A kind of "Pilgrim's Progress" for today's generation of entrepreneurs
and aspirational millennials, "Rethink Happy" is very highly recommended for personal,
corporate, community, and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should
be noted for personal reading lists that "Rethink Happy" is also available in a Kindle format
Power Over Pain
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781504344395, $28.95, HC, 94pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Pain doesn't have to be a four-letter word. Millions of men and women find themselves
having to deal with chronic pain each and every day and believe there is no end in sight. Most
have tried every pill, potion, or procedure to cure it, and many haven't gotten anywhere. What if
the pain was a result of underlying emotions-hidden feelings-from events and circumstances that
were never fully resolved? What if your pain was being charged by those feelings rather than by
physical means? What if you could change your emotions and the pain would go away?
Dr. Michelle DiBiase, a graduate of Georgia State University and Life College of Chiropractic,
has been in private practice with her husband since 1999. Through the years, they have helped
thousands of sufferers feel better again and adopt healthy lifestyle habits for whole body healing.
When confronted with chronic pain patients, Dr. DiBiase discovered that clinical findings did not
always match the patient's symptoms and that hidden, deep rooted emotions were often involved.
From that discovery, she developed the POP Method, a simple, step-by-step approach that
anyone could use to address those hidden, anchored feelings and relieve their pain.
Critique: In "Power Over Pain: The POP Method for Whole-Body Healing", Dr. Dibase clearly
and accessibly lays out her entire program in a manner that is thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone,
commentary, organization and presentation. While very strongly recommended for community
and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement and Health/Medicine collections, it should be
noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest
in the subject that "Power Over Pain" is also available in a paperback edition (9781504344371,
$11.99) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).
The Four Gates
True Directions / iUniverse, Inc.
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781491773086, $21.95, PB, 311pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Erhard Vogel has guided people toward realizing their highest potential for more than
forty years. Regularly invited to teach among the Himalayan sages, he is recognized around the
world as a Master Teacher of Self-realization. "The Four Gates: A Saga of the Human Being on
the Path from the Pit of Despair to the Realm of Fulfillment, from Confusion to Clarity,
Culminating in the Deepest " is his third full-length publication.
Do you long to live a meaningful and fulfilling life, beyond the material pursuits of the American
dream? Have you worked hard to achieve success, only to find it leaves you feeling empty? Do
you have negative behaviors from which you want to free yourself? In this unique work we are
privileged to finally have secret teachings revealed in a way by which they reverberate within,
guiding us to live in harmony and achieve fulfillment in Self-Realization.
In "The Four Gates" Dr. Vogel tells an evolutionary tale about a wanderer who lives in a world of
despair but is inspired by a vision of a life of joy and meaning. He gains the courage to climb out
of the pit of despair and travel to that luminous realm. There he meets a guide who helps him
unlock four gates. He advances through the realms of Knowledge, the Science of Self, the
Meditation of Action, and Love and Devotion, to the Inner Court, the ultimate goal. "The Four
Gates", derived from a spontaneous talk given by Dr. Vogel at the Nataraja Yoga Ashram in
1986, includes detailed points of knowledge that guide you on the path to fulfillment by living
according to your true identity and thereby freeing yourself from the self-imposed limitations that
curtail human lives.
Critique: An inherently fascinating, consistently compelling, deftly written, thoughtful and
thought-provoking read from beginning to end, "The Four Gates" is especially commended to the
attention of non-specialist general readers with an interest in the metaphysical aspects of
self-help, self-improvement, and self-realization. While certain to be an enduringly popular
addition to community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The
Four Gates" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
The Philosophy Shelf
The Pursuit of Wisdom
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478743729, $29.95, HC, 428pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Like many others, Dean Chavooshian gave the origin and meaning of life a great deal
of thought in an effort to live it fully-with grace and intelligence. In the process, he discovered
that theological/philosophical discussions on reality are empty without the consideration of
scientific inquiry as they inform each other on the nature of human existence. A basic premise of
his philosophical study "The Pursuit of Wisdom: A Chronological Inquiry of the World's Most
Influential Seekers of Wisdom In the Fields of Theology, Philosophy and Science" is that we can
benefit immensely from the great minds chronicled in its pages and that have dramatically
changed the world, helping man imagine himself in it-leading to our own self-discovery. "The
Pursuit of Wisdom" addresses such issues and questions as: In theology Is the soul immortal?; Is
reincarnation possible?' Islam's holiest shrine in Mecca was built by the founding father of the
Jewish nation; One man uprooted 1500 years of Roman Catholic domination with a simple
document; Is the world pre-determined with orderly harmony or governed by man's free will?; Is
knowledge gained solely from experience and reasoning-or is it innate?; How the self-awareness
of existentialism allows one to live an authentic life; How 9th century Muslim scholars
contributed to the foundation of modern civilization; What makes all physical matter stable?;
How does matter reproduce itself?' Isaac Newton described gravity's effect, but it was Einstein
who showed how it originated; Did man evolve or was he created?; The search for a unifying
theoretical basis of all the sciences.
Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, ""The Pursuit
of Wisdom: A Chronological Inquiry of the World's Most Influential Seekers of Wisdom In the
Fields of Theology, Philosophy and Science" is an extraordinary and occasionally iconoclastic
read from beginning to end. While strongly recommended for community, college, and university
library collections, it should be noted for students and non-specialist readers with an interest in
philosophy, theology, and science, that "The Pursuit of Wisdom" is also available in a paperback
edition (9781478743255, $16.95) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).
The Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Imperience: Understanding the Heart of Consciousness
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781504344494, $30.95 hc / $3.99 Kindle, 139pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Erik Knud-Hansen became devoted to spiritual practice in 1972, beginning years of
intensive meditation, monastic training, and helping to establish several retreat centers. As a
teacher in the Buddhist lineage since 1985, he shares ways of awakening reflecting the primary
traditions in which he trained-namely Buddhism, Taoism, and Advaita Vedanta. In "Imperience:
Understanding the Heart of Consciousness" Erik presents a brief, contemporary version of
timeless spiritual knowledge and intuitive insight into supreme being. It does not, however,
endorse any particular supreme being or spiritual tradition-including any rites, rituals, beliefs,
dogma, or intercession-as essential to enlightenment. Whether we are persons of faith or no faith,
spiritual practitioners or not, we can benefit from understanding the fundamental nature of mind
and matter and the core principles that govern them. This understanding supports us to look
within our own minds to see firsthand what is true.
To clarify the aim of spiritual practice, Erik offers a secular view of absolute reality - God by any
name or no name - to help the reader develop a sense of the nondual nature of divine
consciousness and all beings within it. Because consciousness itself has no material reality, it
cannot be experienced objectively, only imperienced directly within our own being. Imperience is
how we sense conscious awareness and awaken intuitive insight into the dharma (truth) of
nonduality and the very heart of consciousness.
We regard profoundly wholesome qualities like love, compassion, and moral conscience as
matters of the heart, and when they are awake in us, we imperience them throughout our body
and being. The depths of these feelings reflect their source in divine consciousness, which we are
able to sense most directly and personally in our blood-independent of our brain. Because our
blood is most concentrated in our chest, this is where we feel love and empathy most
prominently, and why we consider these qualities to be matters of the heart.
Critique: An erudite, knowledgeable, insightful, thoughtful and thought-provoking study,
"Imperience: Understanding the Heart of Consciousness" is an inherently interesting and
consistently compelling read from beginning to end. An extraordinary contribution to the
complex mind/body/spirit relationship, "Imperience: Understanding the Heart of Consciousness"
is very highly recommended for community, college, and university library collections. It should
be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an
interest in the subject that "Imperience: Understanding the Heart of Consciousness" is also
available in a paperback edition (9781504344470, $13.99) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).
The Holocaust Studies Shelf
We're In America Now
Holy Cow! Press
PO Box 3170, Mount Royal Station, Duluth, Minnesota 55803
c/o Consortium (distribution)
9780986448027 $18.95 amazon.com
Synopsis: These compelling stories form a riveting memoir that begins with the author's birth
during the rise of Hitler in 1930s Germany. He and his surviving family soon escape to Holland
and sail to America where they encounter many challenges as immigrants in a new world. This
country truly becomes a land of opportunity where one can build a new life and become more
than a "Holocaust survivor."
Fred Amram is a retired University of Minnesota professor of communication and creativity. He
spent his early years in Hanover, Germany, where he experienced the Holocaust from its
inception in 1933. He witnessed Kristallnacht and the Gestapo invading his home. He watched
the British bombers from his balcony when Jews were banned from air raid shelters. The loss of
uncles, aunts, a grandmother, and many more relatives has motivated him to share his
experiences in hopes of ending genocide everywhere.
Critique: We're In America Now: A Survivor's Story is an unforgettable memoir, not only of
isolation and genocide during the Holocaust of World War II, but also of hope and commitment
to social justice. His escape to Holland, and voyage to America, led to his determined effort to
build a new life and a lasting legacy. "The Hebrew word mitzvah refers to a good deed. Mitzvah
also translates as a commandment. To do good deeds is a commandment. Perhaps intimate
images of the Holocaust and its after-effects have provided my family extra incentive to lead a
life of mitzvah. I hope that this memoir has the same effect on my readers." We're In America
Now is highly recommended for public and university library Holocaust Studies collections, as
well as for personal reading lists.
The Business Shelf
9780578024134, $19.95, PB, 188pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Bob Reiss has been involved in 16 start-up companies. He is a graduate of Columbia
University and Harvard Business School. His company R&R/Valdawn was named to the INC
500 list of America's fastest growing companies three years in a row. Two of his companies have
been the subjects of Harvard Business School cases. One of the cases is included in this book to
show real life Bootstrapping. He is a frequent speaker to Entrepreneurship classes at many of the
major business schools. In "Bootstrapping 101: Tips to Build Your business with Limited Cash
and Free Outside Help" he draws upon his years of experience and expertise to write one of the
best introductory 'how to' books on being an entrepreneur on a 'shoestring/no-string' budget.
"Bootstrapping 101" is specifically designed to help novice small business owners improve their
odds of success in any highly competitive business environment. "Bootstrapping 101" shows
entrepreneurs how to grow their business with less money than they thought they needed and
steers them to free quality advice. His tips are based on practical experience in the trenches.
Topics covered in the book include: Cash Free Ideas on Barter, Publicity Advertising, Internet,
Selling, Outsourcing, Networking, Factors; Acquiring and Keeping Customers; Places to Find
Free Quality Help; Maximizing Profits through Correct Pricing; Creating and Understanding a
Cash Flow Statement; Non-traditional Ways to Get Money; Key Factors for Entrepreneurial
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Bootstrapping 101" will prove to
be an enduringly valued, practical, and thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction manual that should
be considered a 'must read' for anyone venturing into any form of business endeavor for the first
time. While absolutely and enthusiastically recommended for community, college, and university
library business instructional reference collections, it should be noted for students and the
non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject that "Bootstrapping 101" is also
available in a Kindle format ($9.95).
The Nautical Shelf
Craig P. Howard
River Grove Books
9781632990907 $17.95 / $8.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: In Hard Rivers, author Craig P. Howard recounts the harrowing journey of La Salle:
Expedition II, a reenactment of the 1681-82 voyage of La Salle from Montreal to the Gulf of
Mexico. The crew, made up of sixteen teenage boys and seven adults led by one charismatic
teacher, launched their canoes on August 11, 1976, and arrived at the Gulf on April 9, 1977 -
3,300 miles later. Lake Michigan and Midwest rivers froze solid in the historic cold, forcing the
teens to march 500 miles, first from Chicago to St. Joseph, Michigan and then across Indiana and
Illinois. Despite temperatures of twenty-seven below and wind chills of seventy-eight below,
near fatalities outside Green Bay, and a truck accident near Hebron, Indiana that hospitalized
four, they achieved something that had never been done before and will never be done again.
Critique: Hard Rivers: The Untold Saga of La Salle: Expedition II tells the true-life adventure of
the teenagers and adults who braved plunging temperatures and one hazard after another to
re-enact the historic 1681-82 voyage of La Salle from Montreal to the Gulf of Mexico. A vividly
detailed chronicle that takes the reader on an incredible, harrowing journey, Hard Rivers is
exciting to the very end, and especially recommended for armchair travelers with a nautical bent!
It should be noted for personal reading lists that Hard Rivers is also available in a Kindle edition
The Money/Finance Shelf
Graduate from College Debt-Free
9781630060688 $16.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: With college graduates earning over a million dollars more than high school grads will
earn during the course of their lifetime, getting a college degree is incredibly important.
However, the cost of college keeps rising and navigating the maze of financial aid options grows
more challenging every year. This book is a comprehensive guide to saving for college,
scholarships, financial assistance and more.
You will discover how to use the net price calculator to figure out the school's actual cost;
creative strategies to minimize your college debt; loan forgiveness programs to reduce college
debt after you graduate; options for cutting college costs; what scholarships are available and
how to apply for them; which tax credits can be used by students and their parents; how to
complete the FAFSA and PROFILE financial aid applications; and more.
Critique: A college degree has become an invaluable asset to learning a living wage, yet the costs
of earning a degree have soared. Graduate from College Debt-Free is a resource that pays for
itself at least a hundred times over, and an absolute "must-read" for any young person planning
their education and career. Succinct, accessible, and enhanced with a glossary and index,
Graduate from College Debt-Free is highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading
lists that Graduate from College Debt-Free is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
What To Expect When Adopting a Dog
9780985769048 $14.99 pbk / $4.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: What to Expect When Adopting a Dog is a guide to successful dog adoption and pet
parenting for every family. Anyone considering a new dog has questions, particularly when
thinking about adopting a shelter dog. What to Expect When Adopting a Dog offers expert
advice from rescue specialists and organizations, veterinarians, dog parents, and pet business
owners. The book offers links to the best, most relevant articles from pet professionals along
with some useful products, making it a one-stop shop for the most asked dog-related questions,
before, during, and after adoption.
In five modules, Certified Humane Education Specialist and award winning author Diane
Rose-Solomon leads the reader through all the steps they should take to decide on a dog, the
adoption process, and lifelong care. And, with the shorter lives of animals, she delivers a heartfelt
chapter on saying goodbye to a pet.
Critique: What To Expect When Adopting a Dog is an ideal guide for any individual or family
considering a new dog. Chapters address how to determine whether one's household is a good
"fit" for a dog, what to expect at shelter/rescue organizations, how to prepare one's home, how to
integrate a new dog into one's life, and much more. "While some dogs have a strong prey drive
and cannot live with cats, many are fine with and even love them... If any pets show aggression
be sure to separate them and reintroduce them slowly. Always consult a trainer if you have
questions or concerns. Never leave your pets home alone together unless you are sure there is no
aggressive behavior at all." What To Expect When Adopting a Dog is an excellent,
reader-friendly resource, also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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