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The Lady and the Mountain Man
c/o The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.
9781493045921, $19.95 pbk / $17.57 Kindle
Synopsis: Isabella Bird was a proper Victorian lady, a minster's daughter, a writer who traveled
the globe. She was expected to marry a man of means and position instead she was drawn to a
gruff mountain man, a desperado named Jim Nugent.
The unlikely pair met in Estes Park, Colorado in 1873. Jim was enchanted by Isabella and she
was infatuated with him. In a published version of Isabella's letter to her sister, she said of Jim
that "he was a man any woman might love but no sane woman would marry." On a climb to the
top of Longs Peak their friendship blossomed into more than expected.
This book reveals the true story of Bird's relationship with Nugent as they traveled through the
dramatic wilderness of the Rocky Mountains.
Critique: The Lady and the Mountain Man: Isabella Bird, Rocky Mountain Jim, and their
Unlikely Friendship is the extensively researched, true-life account of how two people with
tremendously different backgrounds and temperaments shared a mutual love of a wild land.
Isabella Bird was a well-to-do woman, an author and a traveler with dreams, expected to marry a
man of means and position. Yet she became infatuated with the gruff desperado Jim Nugent
("Rocky Mountain Jim") in Estes Park, Colorado in 1873. Their unlikely friendship bloomed
over the course of a climb to the top of Longs Peak. Extensive notes, a bibliography, and an
index round out his in-depth examination of a journey and a relationship that would transform
both Isabella and Jim of them for the rest of their lives - although Isabella was ultimately
destined to have a much longer life than Jim. A thoroughly captivating slice of history, The Lady
and the Mountain Man is highly recommended especially for public library Western History
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Lady and the Mountain Man is
also available in a Kindle edition ($17.57).
Editorial Note: Chris Enss is a New York Times best selling author who has been writing about
women of the Old West for more than twenty years. She has penned more than forty published
books on the subject. Her work has been honored with five Will Rogers Medallion Awards, an
Elmer Kelton Book Award, an Oklahoma Center for the Book Award, and was a Western
Writers of America Spur Finalist. Her book The Pinks: The First Women Detectives, Operatives,
and Spies with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency has been optioned by NBC is currently
in development to become a television series. Enss's most recent work is According to Kate: The
Legendary Life of Big Nose Kate Elder, Love of Doc Holliday.
The Book of Casey Adair
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
9780299333546, $18.95, PB, 232pp
Synopsis: In the fall of 1980, young Casey Adair begins a year of postgraduate theater research in
Spain, then on the verge of a military coup. As he attends plays and dinner parties, visits gay
bars, and becomes increasingly involved in protests, Casey's correspondence reveals intimate
confessions and new understandings. He falls in love with a man named Octavio, gets a role in a
major theatrical production, and revels in the awakening of his own sexuality and social
consciousness. Then, a visit from his college friend Poppy leads to an emotionally charged
evening that changes their lives forever.
Three years later Casey is an educator in Boston, trying to balance finding his voice as an AIDS
activist, dealing with an intolerant headmaster, and rebuilding a relationship with his daughter.
As dear friends fall ill to the virus, he struggles to understand how his many identities (father,
teacher, caretaker, dissident, lover, husband) can coexist. In a world that asks so much of us,
what is our responsibility to others and ourselves?
Critique: A deftly crafted and emotionally revealing novel by an author with a genuine flair for
narrative storytelling involving social, cultural, and personal struggles of being gay, "The Book
Of Casey Adair" is an especially an unreservedly recommended for community, college, and
university library Contemporary American Literary Fiction collections in general, and LGBTQ
Fiction collections in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Book Of
Casey Adair" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.49).
Editorial Note: Ken Harvey is the author of the memoir "A Passionate Engagement" and the short
story collection "If You Were with Me Everything Would Be All Right", which won the Violet
Quill Award for Best Gay Fiction of the Year.
The End of an Era: Diverse Thoughts From 100+ Years of Living
John H. Manhold
Newman Springs Publishing, Inc.
9781636925639 $19.95 pbk / $9.95 Kindle
Investigative scientist, world lecturer, sculptor, USCG Captain with Master's Papers, and WW II
and Korea Veteran John H. Manhold presents The End of an Era: Diverse Thoughts From 100+
Years of Living, a thoughtful cross-examination of the activities and mores of the United States
during the past century. Chapters compare and contrast how the tremendous changes of the
Industrial Revolution, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, modern-
day digital revolutions, the proliferation of the internet, and astonishing developments in artificial
intelligence. At once both sweeping in its survey and offering the measured viewpoint of a man
who personally lived through the entire previous century's upheavals, The End of an Era is an
utterly fascinating read from cover to cover, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that The End of an Era is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.95).
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
Supply Chain 20/20
Polished Publishing Group
9781988971490, $30.00, PB, 284pp
Synopsis: There is no better description of the origin and purpose of Supply Chain 20/20: A
Clear View on the Local Multiplier Effect for Book Lovers" than that given by its author, Kim
Staflund. She writes:
In 2018 and 2019, I was blogging, email marketing, and publishing books regularly. My Amazon
author ranking was rising each month. I was confidently on my way to joining the ranks of the
Amanda Hockings and Mark Dawsons of this world, all while helping other authors accomplish
Then I was sucker punched in early 2020, along with so many others, when our governments
announced a lockdown of all non-essential businesses. With my principal income at risk, I had to
let my side hustle go. I stopped living and quickly switched to survival mode. Was I an essential
employee at an essential business? So much of it was out of my hands, but I showed up every day
to prove my worth. And I prayed every night.
Only hindsight has been able to show me that 2020's worldwide wake-up call was actually a
hidden gift we all needed to unwrap. It isn't about individual success online. If your local
community is suffering, you'll never thrive in the long run. If any one link is broken, the whole
supply chain suffers.
Allow me to introduce you to a new and improved book supply chain that can help us all work
more efficiently while earning both local and international profits simultaneously. We can protect
ourselves by helping each other. In fact, we can thrive! Does that sound farfetched? Read this
book, and you will see just how realistic it is. It already exists. Now we just have to utilize it
Critique: Simply stated, "Supply Chain 20/20: A Clear View on the Local Multiplier Effect for
Book Lovers" must be considered essential, mandatory reading for every aspiring author,
published author, small press entrepreneur wanting to be financially successful and survive (even
prosper) in a publishing industry (including bookstores and libraries) having to deal with today's
pandemic impacted economy. A unique, effective, invaluable, 'real world practical', exceptionally
well written, organized and presented DIY instruction manual and guide, "Supply Chain 20/20: A
Clear View on the Local Multiplier Effect for Book Lovers" is unreservedly and unquestionably
recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library
Writing/Publishing collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that a version of
"Supply Chain 20/20: A Clear View on the Local Multiplier Effect for Book Lovers" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.00).
Editorial Note: Kim Staflund is a bestselling author and TESOL certified sales coach for authors
with 25 years' experience in the North American English book publishing industry (in both the
traditional and contemporary markets), She routinely shows aspiring authors how to write,
publish, and sell their book(s) using all the effective traditional and online tricks of the
The Environmental Studies Shelf
Earth Spirit: Healthy Planet
John Hunt Publishing
9781789048308, $24.95, PB, 416pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Earth Spirit: Healthy Planet: Global meltdown or global
healing", environmentalist Freed Hageneder offers a clear and concise overview of the global
ecological crisis that humanity has brought upon itself, and what options we still have to save a
benevolent climate, to restore biodiversity, reduce pollution, and heal the ecosphere of this
planet, including ourselves.
Since well before the Covid-19 crisis the United Nations have been emphasizing that only a
healthy planet can support healthy people. The degradation and pollution of nature also poisons
our own bodies. Climate breakdown and the global loss of biodiversity also threaten the human
species. But what is a "healthy planet"? How does it work, how much do we disrupt the planet's
life support systems, and what changes are overdue?
We have all the necessary means at our disposal, though just patching up the worst symptoms
won't do anymore, we have to address the underlying causes, including our habits, values, and
paradigms. We are at a crucial crossroads, and time is running short. If we act fast enough, a
dignified and truly sustainable healthy future awaits.
Critique: A clarion call to action, "Earth Spirit: Healthy Planet: Global meltdown or global
healing" is impressively informative, organized and presented -- making it an ideal and essential
addition to professional, community, college, and university library Environmental Issues,
Climatology, and Ecology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be
noted for students, academia, governmental policy makers, environmental activists, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Earth Spirit: Healthy Planet: Global
meltdown or global healing" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Currently residing in Llandeilo, Wales, Fred Hageneder is a leading author in the
ethnobotany of trees, a founding member of the Ancient Yew Group (AYG) in the UK, and a
member of the Ecocentric Alliance, a global advocacy network for ecocentrism and deep green
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
The Animals In Our Lives
Catherine Lawton, compiler
9781945099274, $17.99, PB, 210pp
Synopsis: Our animal companions inspire our awe, entertain us, help us, teach us, play with us,
mourn with us, even work with us in our daily lives. Compiled and edited by dedicated animal
lover Catherine Lawton, "The Animals In Our Lives: Stories of Companionship and Awe" is
comprised of 43 winsome, varied, and personal stories recount experiences with dogs, cats,
sheep, horses, backyard birds, woodland deer, and many other creatures. The encounters and
adventures of people and animals include childhood memories, family experiences,
contemplative moments, and wilderness explorations. A celebration of companionship with
animals both domestic and wild, in good times and hard times.
Critique: An absolutely 'must read' selection for anyone who has every had a beloved animal
companion of their own, "The Animals In Our Lives: Stories of Companionship and Awe". A
truly memorable, engaging, heartwarming, entertaining anthology that is especially and
unreservedly recommended for community library Pets/Wildlife collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "The Animals In Our Lives: Stories of Companionship and Awe" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).
The Martial Arts Shelf
Martial Arts and the Mirror Image
Blue Snake Books
c/o North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781623176440, $19.95, PB, 200pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Martial Arts and the Mirror Image: Improve Your Form,
Build Strength, and Increase Flexibility with Psychology and Qigong Principles", martial arts
champion and teacher, Phillip Starr draws upon his more than sixty years of experience and
expertise to introduce the Mirror Image Technique -- a method that recognizes the reinforcing
nature of body and mind. Our self-image expresses in how we stand, move, and hold ourselves in
the world; and in martial arts, the way we move reflects the way we think on the mat, in practice,
and when sparring.
In the pages of "Martial Arts and the Mirror Image: Improve Your Form, Build Strength, and
Increase Flexibility with Psychology and Qigong Principles", Starr pulls from Self-Image
Psychology and Qigong to offer martial arts students a unique set of physical exercises that can
be applied to any martial art tradition -- as well as our personal lives. Like two mirrors facing
each other, the physical body both reflects and changes the mind, and vice versa: our physical
movements become more than just the consequence of our intentions or thoughts. As we adjust
the way we move, we adjust the way we think: about ourselves, our lives, and our
Unlike other self-help books that consider the mind as the sole gateway to change, the Mirror
Image Technique shows that cognitive transformation starts with the body. Starr takes martial
arts students through: Demonstrating key principles of Qigong with exercises like The
Unbreakable Arm and The Unliftable Body; Improving the stance; Increasing the strike force; As
well as insights into the mindset for breaking boards (tameshiwari).
Intended to enhance growth and personal development, the techniques in Martial Arts and the
Mirror Image lead to a renewal of confidence and enthusiasm for one's particular practice.
Critique: Expertly illustrated with black-and-white photography throughout, "Martial Arts and
the Mirror Image: Improve Your Form, Build Strength, and Increase Flexibility with Psychology
and Qigong Principles" is exceptionally well written, organized and presented, making it an ideal
and thoroughly 'user friendly' DIY instruction manual and guide for novice and experienced
martial arts students alike. While highly recommended for Dojo, community, college, and
university library Martial Arts collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Martial Arts and the Mirror Image: Improve Your Form, Build Strength, and Increase Flexibility
with Psychology and Qigong Principles" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Phillip Starr began his training in the martial arts in 1956, beginning with judo.
Within a year, he received instruction in traditional kung fu in the basement of a small Chinese
grocery store. He continued his training, also earning black-belt grades in two styles of Japanese
karate (third dan in Kyokushin, first dan in Shito-ryu). His primary kung fu teacher was W. C.
Chen, a direct disciple of one of China's best-known masters, Zhang Zhaodong. From Master
Chen, Starr learned taijiquan (tai-chi chuan), xingyiquan, baguazhang, and a form of
shaolinquan. He began teaching Chinese martial arts in 1967 at Parsons College in Fairfield,
Iowa. After spending several years in law enforcement, he opened his first full-time martial arts
school in Ottumwa, Iowa. He entered competitions and earned the title of U.S. National
Champion five times, the last time when he was sixty-three years old. He was named to the
National Rules Committee of the United States Karate Association and became the kung fu
chairman. Later, he was named to the list of the Rocky Mountain top ten competitors. Starr has
gone on to train in Arnis, becoming a certified instructor under Tuhon Leo Gaje and Jeet Kune
The Business Shelf
The Effective Presenter
Ryan J. Warriner
c/o John Hunt Publishing
9781789047950, $17.95, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: "The Effective Presenter: The Winning Formula for Business Presentations" by
communications expert Ryan J. Warriner effectively services serves as a business presentation
resource for everyone from interns to executives in the private sector.
"The Effective Presenter" centers around a proprietary presentation framework and outlines the
complete formula to preparing, designing and delivering an effective professional presentation.
Combining information, research and first-hand experiences to offer unique insights and outline
common misconceptions of professional presentations, "The Effective Presenter" provides a
blend of practical skills and advice to supplement the optimal presentation formula and build
Critique: Exceptionally well written, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and
presentation, "The Effective Presenter: The Winning Formula for Business Presentations" is an
ideal DIY instructional guide and 'how to' manual that is especially recommended for
entrepreneurs, business managers, and corporate executives. While a strong contribution to
community, corporate, college, and university library Public Speaking, Communication Skills,
and Business Management collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The
Effective Presenter: The Winning Formula for Business Presentations" is also readily available in
a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Ryan Warriner is a Professor of Communication, as well as the Director and
Executive Coach of Professional Presentation Services. With over a decade of professional
speaking experience and expertise, Ryan has mastered the art and science of enhancing
communication. Throughout his career, Ryan has performed thousands of professional
presentations, while designing hundreds more. He has developed a compassionate, strategic,
highly effective approach to navigate professional communication. He believes in systematic
skill development to improve confidence, optimize messaging, and enhance overall delivery.
Positioning for Advantage
Kimberly A. Whitler
Columbia Business School Publishing
c/o Columbia University Press
61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023-7015
9780231189002, $29.95, HC, 264pp
Synopsis: Most corporate officers and business managers have an intuitive sense of superior
branding. Consumers prefer to purchase brands they find distinctive and that deliver on some
important, relevant dimension better than other brands. These brands have typically achieved
positional advantage. Yet few marketing professionals have had the formal training that goes
beyond marketing theory to bridge the "theory-doing gap" -- understanding the specific
techniques and strategies that can be used to create brands that attain positional advantage in the
"Positioning for Advantage: Techniques and Strategies to Grow Brand Value" is a
comprehensive how-to guide for creating, building, and executing effective brand strategies. by
Professor Kimberly A. Whitler who identifies essential marketing strategy techniques and moves
through the major stages of positioning a brand to achieve in-market advantage.
Introducing seven tools (from strategic positioning concepts to strategy mapping to influencer
maps), Professor Whitler provides templates, frameworks, and step-by-step processes to build
and manage growth brands that achieve positional advantage. "Positioning for Advantage"
presents real-world scenarios, helping readers activate tools to increase skill in creating brands
that achieve positional advantage. Brimming with insights for students and professionals alike,
"Positioning for Advantage" helps aspiring marketers and entrepreneurs to understand not only
what superior branding looks like but also how to make it come to life.
Critique: Comprehensively detailed, well organized, thoroughly 'user friendly' in presentation,
"Positioning for Advantage: Techniques and Strategies to Grow Brand Value" is a complete DIY
instructional guide and manual with respect to branding a service of product in today's highly
competitive market places. While strongly recommended for professional, corporate, community,
college, and university library Business Management & Marketing collections, it should be noted
for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, corporate officers, and entrepreneurs
that "Positioning for Advantage: Techniques and Strategies to Grow Brand Value" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.65).
Editorial Note: Kimberly A. Whitler is the Frank M. Sands Sr. Associate Professor of Business
Administration at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. She has published in
Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and a number of academic journals. She
is a senior contributor to Forbes, having published more than 350 articles. She previously worked
for companies including Procter & Gamble, Aurora Foods, David's Bridal, and PETsMART,
holding positions such as general manager and chief marketing officer.
The Pit of Success
Dave Jennings, author
Amy Leishman, author
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781631953828, $17.95, PB, 218pp
Synopsis: Business leaders must routinely face challenges that are beyond their experience. In
this space they feel lost, confused, and overwhelmed. These doubts are shared by leaders across
the globe but many fear it is not "leader-like" to discuss such issues. Yet, leaders are not in their
job because they have all the answers. They are in the job to find answers. By learning to
navigate The Pit of Success leaders gain confidence, find answers, and deliver results faster and
with less anxiety.
"The Pit of Success: How Leaders Adapt, Succeed, and Repeat" by the team of Dave Jennings
and Amy Leishman provides business managers and corporate executives with the mindset and
skillset to do things they do not know how to do. It gives them principles for managing
progressively difficult challenges throughout their career. It also gives them peace of mind that
they are not the only ones experiencing these doubts.
No longer do leaders need to wonder if they are good enough to face the challenges in front of
them. What they need to do can be learned -- and "The Pit of Success" shows them how they are
fully capable to succeed in their demanding situation. The concept of "The Pit of Success" has
already changed 1000s of leader's lives around the world.
Critique: Expertly written, impressively organized, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in presentation,
"The Pit of Success: How Leaders Adapt, Succeed, and Repeat" is an ideal DIY instruction
manual and guide for novice and experienced entrepreneurs, business managers, and corporate
executives. While highly recommended for business, corporate, community, college, and
university Business Management and Leadership Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it
should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, corporate executives,
business entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"The Pit of Success: How Leaders Adapt, Succeed, and Repeat" is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $8.49).
Editorial Note #1: Dave Jennings is a leadership and organizational change consultant. He has
guided leaders from across the globe to navigate The Pit of Success for themselves, their teams,
and their company. He has worked with such organizations as Salesforce, Microsoft, Intel,
Oracle, Deloitte, Exxon/Mobil, Schneider Electric, Myriad Genetics, Kaiser-Permanente, Alaska
Airlines, and the FBI. He has been a featured speaker at leadership conferences in twenty-two
countries. He is author of Catapulted: How Great Leaders Succeed Beyond Their Experience, and
his articles and commentary have been relied on by the Washington Post, Forbes, and
TheStreet.com. He is an adjunct instructor for Kenan-Flagler Business School's Executive
Development program at the University of North Carolina. He earned his PhD researching
change resilience. Readers can learn more online at his two websites:
www.learnablesolutions.com and www.davejennings.com
Editorial Note #2: Amy Leishman is an executive coach, retreat facilitator, and researcher. With
a focus on resilience and leadership, she empowers individuals to influence, problem solve, and
set direction for the challenges they face. Additionally, her research interests include women in
leadership, the triple bottom line, and sustainable social impact. She has helped leaders succeed
in non-profit, small business, and Fortune 500 organizations. She has led market research around
the globe, including work in Italy, India, Mauritius, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Nigeria, Thailand,
and New Zealand. Her MBA was focused on Strategy and Social Innovation from Marriott
School of Business. Amy maintains informative websites at www.learnablesolutions.com and
The Money/Finance Shelf
Secrets to Successful Property Investment
c/o John Hunt Publishing
9781789048186, $16.95, PB, 128pp
Synopsis: A recent financial study and survey found that 88% of people cannot afford to buy
their own home and will always rent a property. With the publication of "Secrets to Successful
Property Investment", journalist and property investor, Deborah Durbin teaches you how to start
your own successful property business.
Taken from her seven years' experience which began with her knowing nothing about property
investment to creating a multimillion-pound property portfolio, "Secrets to Successful Property
Investment" will guide you step-by-step to creating your own property empire.
"Secrets to Successful Property Investment" is informative guide will covers: How to generate
deposits; How to get a mortgage; Renovations; Dealing with contractors; Dealing with bad
tenants; How to grow your portfolio.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Secrets to Successful
Property Investment" is a comprehensive, 'real world practical', and 'field tested successful'
combination of informative guide book and how to manual for financially investing in and the
management of property for profit. Highly recommended for community library Money/Finance
and Property Investment collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Secrets to
Successful Property Investment" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Currently residing in Somerset, UK, Deborah Durbin has over 20 years'
experience working in print media for national magazines and newspapers as a freelance
journalist and feature writer. She writes regularly for all the MBS magazine titles, Chat it's Fate,
Take a Break, and other UK & US magazines.
The Christian Studies Shelf
Saint Isaac the Syrian and His Spiritual Legacy
Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev
9780881415261, $30.00 pbk / $14.99 Kindle
Synopsis: St Isaac the Syrian, also known as St Isaac of Nineveh, was a Christian hermit of the
seventh century, living in present-day Iraq. His writings are so widely revered that he is venerated
as a saint by both the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches. While his writings and influence
are universally acclaimed by Christian theologians today, precious little has been written in
English about this towering figure of the Syrian Christian tradition. Gathering together many of
the world's authoritative voices on St Isaac (including Sebastian Brock and Metropolitan Hilarion
Alfeyev), this volume represents the papers delivered at the inaugural International Patristics
Conference held in Moscow, 2013.
Critique: St Isaac the Syrian, also known as St Isaac of Nineveh (613-700) was a Christian hermit
and theologian who lived in what is present-day Iraq. Well-known for his written works on
Christian asceticism - choosing to live in abstinence of physical pleasures, in pursuit of spiritual
goals, St Isaac has influenced centuries of philosophy and tradition. St Isaac the Syrian and His
Spiritual Legacy gathers the papers presented by a diverse assortment of authors and delivered at
the International Patristics Conference situated in Moscow, 2013. Individual writings examining
St Isaac's works include "The Arabic Version of Saint Isaac the Syrian", "Angelology of St Isaac
the Syrian", "The Ritual of Tears in Isaac of Nineveh", "Isaac of Nineveh and Dostoyevsky's
Work", and much more. St Isaac the Syrian and His Spiritual Legacy is a "must-have" for
Christian church libraries and theology collections, highly recommended. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that St Isaac the Syrian and His Spiritual Legacy is also available in a
Kindle edition ($14.99).
Editorial Note: Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate
Department for External Church Relations, is well known throughout the Orthodox Church as a
leading theologian, writer, and musical composer. He holds a doctorate in Philosophy from
Oxford University and a doctorate in theology from St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in
Enjoying the Old Testament
Eric A. Seibert
c/o InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
9781514001202, $26.00, PB, 248pp
Synopsis: Christians know they are supposed to read the Old Testament. Yet many struggle to do
so. They often find it confusing, theologically troubling, or just uninteresting. Professor Eric
Seibert understands this dilemma and, with the publication of "Enjoying the Old Testament: A
Creative Guide to Encountering Scripture" provides a solution. His goal is to help people learn to
love the Old Testament and actually want to read it.
Professor Seibert demonstrates how this part of the Bible is extremely valuable for Christians and
offers dozens of practical suggestions and creative activities for hands-on interaction with the
biblical text. Equipped with a variety of tools and approaches, readers discover how even the
most seemingly dry passages can come to life.
With "Enjoying the Old Testament", readers of all ages will be inspired to pick up the Old
Testament over and over again.
Critique: An ideal choice for individual, small group, or Sunday School classroom Old
Testament studies, "Enjoying the Old Testament: A Creative Guide to Encountering Scripture"
by Professor Eric A. Seibert is strongly commended as an addition to personal, church, seminary,
community, college, and academic library Biblical Studies collections and supplemental
curriculum reading lists. It should be noted for students, academia, clergy, seminary students, and
non-specialist general readers throughout the Christian community that "Eric A. Seibert (PhD,
Drew University) is a professor of Old Testament and has served as the president of the Eastern
Great Lakes Biblical Society. His most recent books are The Violence of Scripture: Overcoming
the Old Testament's Troubling Legacy and Disarming the Church: Why Christians Must Forsake
Violence to Follow Jesus and Change the World" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $24.70).
Editorial Note: Eric A. Seibert (PhD, Drew University) is a professor of Old Testament and has
served as the president of the Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society. His most recent books are
The Violence of Scripture: Overcoming the Old Testament's Troubling Legacy and Disarming
the Church: Why Christians Must Forsake Violence to Follow Jesus and Change the World.
Christopher T. Baglow
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
9781646801077, $14.95, PB, 160pp
Synopsis: Was creation a fantastic series of actions by God that long ago set the universe in
motion? Or is creation an eternal flowing forth from God that even now causes all things to
With the publication of "Creation: A Catholic's Guide to God and the Universe", Christopher
Baglow writes from within the deep well of Catholic tradition and his personal love of both
science and faith to provide probing yet lively and often-humorous answers to the foundational
questions of human existence.
Christian doctrine sees creation not as a one-time event but rather as an eternal outpouring of
divine merciful love. In the pages of "Creation: A Catholic's Guide to God and the Universe",
Baglow explores how the doctrine of creation addresses the why of the universe, making it
perfectly open to science, which helps us to answer how the universe came to be and continues to
Baglow also deftly weaves together the lessons of scripture, the Church's long tradition of
scientific inquiry and theological development, and cultural icons such as Douglas Adams's The
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the inhabitants of C. S. Lewis's Narnia series to create a
concise and spirited guide for Catholics wanting to better understand the doctrine of creation
without abandoning what science teaches us.
"Creation: A Catholic's Guide to God and the Universe" also helps to neutralize the unnecessary
conflict between faith and science that often runs rampant among people of faith. It provides an
excellent guide for curious Catholics, and an expert resource for teachers in Catholic schools,
parish leaders, campus ministers, and RCIA teams, helping those exploring foundational
questions of faith dive into the meaning of creation and what it tells us about who God is, who
we are, and how we are to live.
Critique: Within the framework and context of Roman Catholic Theology, and also readily
available for personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general
readers throughout the Christian community in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49), "Creation:
A Catholic's Guide to God and the Universe" is especially and unreservedly recommended for
community, seminary, college, and university library Creationism, Science & Religion
Editorial Note: Christopher T. Baglow is the director of the Science and Religion Initiative in the
McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, where he also serves as a
professor in the theology department. He is the author of the textbook Faith, Science, & Reason,
and his work has been featured by the Word on Fire Institute and in That Man is You, Crux, and
Church Life Journal. He is also a consultant for the USCCB Committee on Catechesis and
Evangelization and his thirty-year career in Catholic education has spanned high school,
undergraduate, graduate and seminary teaching.
On Retreat with Henri Nouwen
Chris Pritchett, author
Marjorie J. Thompson, author
1 Montauk Ave #200, New London, CT 06320
9781627856140, $19.95, PB, 176pp
Synopsis: The late Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen (January 24, 1932 - September 21, 1996) was a
Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian. His interests were rooted primarily in
psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice and community. Over the course of his
life, Nouwen was heavily influenced by the work of Anton Boisen, Thomas Merton, Rembrandt,
Vincent van Gogh, and Jean Vanier.
After nearly two decades of teaching at academic institutions including the University of Notre
Dame, Yale Divinity School and Harvard Divinity School, Nouwen went on to work with
individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the L'Arche Daybreak community
in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
With the publication of "On Retreat with Henri Nouwen: Engaging Life's Big Questions" by the
team of Chris Pritchett and Marjorie J. Thompson, a Christian readership is treated to a unique
retreat experience encourages them to profoundly reflect on five essential, timeless, and
In the pages of "On Retreat with Henri Nouwen: Engaging Life's Big Questions" will be found
connections to contemporary life, points for reflection, prayer-pauses for contemplation, and
prompts for engaging in a personalspiritual quest -- whatever shape that quest may take.
Among the extensive writings that have made Henri Nouwen a treasured spiritual guide for
years, "On Retreat with Henri Nouwen: Engaging Life's Big Questions" is one of the most timely
and compelling books for today's believers and seekers alike.
Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, informative and insightful, inspired and inspiring,
"On Retreat with Henri Nouwen: Engaging Life's Big Questions" is an extraordinary and
unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, community, seminary, college, and university
library Philosophy & Religious Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading
lists of clergy, seminary students, academia, and non-specialist general readers throughout the
Christian community who have an interest in spirituality and personal growth that "On Retreat
with Henri Nouwen: Engaging Life's Big Questions" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $18.99).
Editorial Note: Dr. Chris Pritchett serves as Senior Pastor of Mount Olympus Presbyterian
Church in Salt Lake City, Utah, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Henri Nouwen
Society. Marjorie J. Thompson is an author and spiritual director, and a member of the Board of
Directors for the Henri Nouwen Society.
You're Only Human
Kelly M. Kapic
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9781587435102, $24.99, HC, 272pp
Synopsis: Work. Family. Church. Exercise. Sleep. The list of demands on our time seems to be
never ending. It can leave you feeling a little guilty -- like you should always be doing one more
Rather than sharing better time-management tips to squeeze more hours out of the day,
theologian and academician Kelly Kapic takes a different approach with the publication of
"You're Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God's Design and Why That's Good News".
Professor Kapic offers a better way to make peace with the fact that God didn't create us to do it
Professor Kapic explores the theology behind seeing our human limitations as a gift rather than a
deficiency. He lays out a path to holistic living with healthy self-understanding, life-giving
relationships, and meaningful contributions to the world. He frees us from confusing our
limitations with sin and instead invites us to rest in the joy and relief of knowing that God can
use our limitations to foster freedom, joy, growth, and community.
Readers will emerge better equipped to cultivate a life that fosters gratitude, rest, and faithful
service to God.
Critique: An inherently fascinating, impressively informative, life changing, and spirituality
enhancing read throughout, "You're Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God's Design and
Why That's Good News" will have a particular appeal for academicians, clergy, seminary
students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Christian Spiritual Growth
Christian Theological Anthropology. While highly recommended for community, church,
seminary, college, and university library Contemporary Christian Studies collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "You're Only Human" is readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $17.99).
Editorial Note: Kelly M. Kapic (PhD, King's College, University of London) is a professor of
theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, where he has taught for
twenty years. He is an award-winning author or editor of more than fifteen books, including
Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering, winner of a Christianity
Today Book Award. Kapic, a popular speaker, has been featured in Christianity Today and The
Gospel Coalition, has worked on research teams funded by the John Templeton Foundation, and
contributes to the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care and various other journals.
The Church and the Dark Ages (430-1027)
Phillip Campbell, author
Mike Aquilina, editor
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
9781646800353, $17.95, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: It is a commonplace assumption that the fall of the Roman Empire only resulted in
those centuries of violence, ignorance, and barbarism in Europe referred to as The Dark Ages.
But that's not all that happened during that time! The period between the fall of the Roman
Empire and the High Middle Ages also was characterized by institutional, spiritual, and cultural
advancements such as the rise of monasticism with St. Benedict of Nursia and the first
encyclopedia by a Christian writer, St. Isidore of Seville.
In "The Church and the Dark Ages (430-1027): St. Benedict, Charlemagne, and the Rise of
Christendom", author Phillip Campbell explains that the Dark Ages were not only a period of
great political and cultural transition but also an era of great transformation in the Catholic
Church. Campbell highlights key personalities of the Dark Ages such as St. Gregory the Great,
Charlemagne, King Alfred the Great, St. Patrick, and St. Brigid.
"The Church and the Dark Ages (430-1027)" reveals that: Benedictines were responsible for
technical and scientific advancements such as the mechanical clock, human flight, and
eyeglasses; The Dark Ages was a period of great evangelization throughout Europe; Christianity
elevated the status of women, particularly through mutual consent in the Sacrament of Marriage;
The Church preserved literacy (and literature) throughout the chaotic centuries of early medieval
Critique: Informed and informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The
Church and the Dark Ages (430-1027): St. Benedict, Charlemagne, and the Rise of Christendom"
is an inherently fascinating and impressively enlightening history that brings a greater
understanding to what was happening in Europe upon the demise of the Roman Empire and the
emergence of the Roman Catholic church to religious dominance over its former territories.
While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, church, seminary, college, and
university library History of Christianity and Medieval Studies collections, it should be noted for
the personal reading lists of students, academia, seminary students, clergy, and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Church and the Dark Ages (430 - 1027):
St. Benedict, Charlemagne, and the Rise of Christendom" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $13.49).
Further Up and Further In
Edith M. Humphrey
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
9780881415971, $28.00, PB, 301pp
Synopsis: Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 - 22 November 1963) was a British writer
and lay theologian. He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University
(Magdalen College, 1925 - 1954) and Cambridge University (Magdalene College, 1954 - 1963).
He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of
Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere
Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain. (Wikipedia)
Drawing on C. S. Lewis' broad corpus, both his beloved classics and his less well-known
writings, with the publication of "Further Up and Further In : Orthodox Conversations with C. S.
Lewis on Scripture and Theology", Edith M. Humphrey (who is the William F. Orr Professor of
New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the author of seven books on the Bible
and Orthodoxy) brings C. S. Lewis into conversation with Orthodox thinkers from the ancient
past down to the present day, on subjects as diverse and challenging as the nature of reality,
miracles, the ascetic life, the atonement, the last things, and the mystery of male and female.
Critique: Informatively insightful, thoughtful and thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring,
"Further Up and Further In : Orthodox Conversations with C. S. Lewis on Scripture and
Theology" is compelling and inherently fascinating reading throughout. While highly
recommended for community, church, seminary, college, and university library Religious
Literature and Christian Orthodoxy collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of
academia, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject
that "Further Up and Further In : Orthodox Conversations with C. S. Lewis on Scripture and
Theology" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
Witness at the Cross
9781791021122, $17.99, PB, 176pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Witness at the Cross" by Professor Amy-Jill Levine, Christian
(and Jewish) readers can experience Holy Friday from the perspective of those who watched
Jesus die: Mary his mother; the Beloved Disciple from the Gospel of John; Mary Magdalene and
the other women from Galilee; the two men, usually identified as thieves, crucified with Jesus;
the centurion and the soldiers; Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Jews and Romans, friends
and strangers, the powerful and the powerless, the hopeful and the despairing.
The story of Jesus's death is not something we just read: we think about it, and we experience it;
we hear the taunts of the soldiers, the priests, and the passersby even as we hear the famous
"seven last words" from the cross.
In the pages of "Witness at the Cross", Professor Levine shows how the people at the cross each
have distinct roles to play. Each Evangelist presents a distinct picture of the death of Jesus. Each
portrays different individuals and groups of people at the cross, each offers different images and
dialogues, and so from each, we learn how those meanings and messages cross the centuries to
any who would come to the cross today.
Each Gospel has its own story to tell, all the witnesses have their own memories, and every
reader comes away with a new insight. The witnesses at the Crucifixion watch Jesus die, and we
watch with them, and we watch them. And we come away transformed.
Critique: As informed and informative as it is thought-provoking and inspirational, "Witness at
the Cross" is especially recommended to the attention of clergy, seminary students, and non-
specialist general readers throughout the Christian community. While also available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $9.99), it should be noted that there are additional components available for
a six-week study including a DVD featuring Dr. Levine and a comprehensive "Witness at the
Cross Leader Guide" (9781791021146, $14.99 PB, $9.99 Kindle, 64pp).
Editorial Note: Amy-Jill Levine ("AJ") is the Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler Distinguished Professor
of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Hartford Seminary and University Professor of New
Testament and Jewish Studies Emerita, Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies Emerita,
and Professor of New Testament Studies Emerita at Vanderbilt University. Professor Levine is
also the author of numerous books including The Difficult Words of Jesus: A Beginner's Guide
to His Most Perplexing Teachings, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a
Controversial Rabbi, Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner's Guide to Holy Week, Light of
the World: A Beginner's Guide to Advent, and Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner's Guide to the
Kingdom of Heaven. She is also the coeditor of the Jewish Annotated New Testament. Of special
note is that Professor Levine is the first Jew to teach New Testament at Rome's Pontifical
Biblical Institute. In 2021 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor Levine describes herself as an unorthodox member of an Orthodox synagogue and a
Yankee Jewish feminist who until 2021 taught New Testament in a Christian divinity school in
the buckle of the Bible Belt.
In All the Scriptures
Nicholas G. Piuotrowski
c/o InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
9781514002186, $32.00, PB, 304pp
Synopsis: Hermeneutics is the theory and methodology of interpretation, especially the
interpretation of biblical texts, wisdom literature, and philosophical texts. Hermeneutics is more
than interpretative principles or methods used when immediate comprehension fails and includes
the art of understanding and communication.
No one reads the Bible without some interpretive principles, or hermeneutics, in place. The
question every student of Scripture needs to ask, then, is this: Are your interpretive principles and
methods legitimate and ethical?
"In All the Scriptures: The Three Contexts of Biblical Hermeneutics" by Nicholas G. Piotrowski
is an accessible introduction to biblical hermeneutics, utilizing an approach that explores three
layers of context: literary, historical, and christological. Because no text exists in the abstract,
interpreters must seek to understand a passage's ecology: the flow and argument of the entire
biblical book, the world of the original author and audience, and the movement of redemptive
history that culminates in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Piotrowski argues that careful interpretation is both a science and an art, as well as having
powerful implications for what we believe and how we apply God's Word. Featuring numerous
examples, further reading lists, and a glossary, "In All the Scriptures: The Three Contexts of
Biblical Hermeneutics" equips students, pastors, and thoughtful readers to build a solid
foundation for interpreting the Bible.
Critique: Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "In All
the Scriptures: The Three Contexts of Biblical Hermeneutics" is an ideal and highly
recommended DIY instructional resource for both seminary students and non-specialist general
readers embarking upon a biblical studies program or curriculum. Also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $23.99), "In All the Scriptures: The Three Contexts of Biblical
Hermeneutics" is a welcome and highly recommended addition to community, church, seminary,
college, and university library Biblical Studies, Exegesis & Hermeneutics collections and
supplemental curriculum studies textbook lists.
Editorial Note: Nicholas G. Piotrowski (PhD, Wheaton College) is the president and academic
dean at Indianapolis Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he also teaches
hermeneutics and New Testament studies. Piotrowski is also the author of "Matthew's New
David at the End of Exile".
The Judaic Studies Shelf
Pondering The Past
Gefen Publishing House
c/o Storch 255 Central Ave #B-206, Lawrence, NY 11559
9789657023235, $14.95, PB, 193pp
Synopsis: "Pondering The Past. The Tragic Story of Lithuanian Jewry" by Dr. Meir Pinski
surveys the rich history of Lithuanian Jewry from the turn of the first millennium to its
devastating conclusion during the Second World War, when the Lithuanian Jewish communities
were totally wiped out by the Nazis and their collaborators.
The participation of many Lithuanians in the persecution of their local Jewish neighbors is a
topic that is hardly popular in the modern independent state of Lithuania. "Pondering the Past"
counters Lithuanian historians' attempt to justify the mass murder. Archival materials disprove
various false accusations and myths that the Lithuanians fabricated against the Jews.
Dr. Pinsk has traveled to Lithuania many times, both to the major cities and small towns. The
war monuments and killing pits serve as a constant reminder of the tragedy of the Jews on
Lithuanian soil. These emotional visits inspired him to reflect on the past and the present of
Lithuania, whose Jewish population today numbers merely four thousand individuals.
In the pages of "Pondering the Past" Dr. Pinsk surveys the enduring anti-Semitism of this country
and relates the story of several hundred brave Lithuanians who saved some Jews and describes
the new generation of Lithuanians.
Critique: An informed and informative history of the Jewish population, with a special emphasis
on the Lithuanian holocaust at the hands of non-Jewish Lithuanians and the lingering anti-
Semitism that continues to the present day, "Pondering The Past. The Tragic Story of Lithuanian
Jewry" is a highly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library
Jewish History & Holocaust collections. It should be noted for the reading lists of students,
academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Pondering The
Past. The Tragic Story of Lithuanian Jewry" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Dr. Meir Pinsk was born in Lithuania and at the age of six was deported to
Siberia for thirteen years with his family. In 1971, he earned his doctorate in physics at St.
Petersburg Pedagogical University. He worked in the Soviet Union as a researcher and lecturer in
higher education. In 1979, Dr. Pinsk made aliyah to Israel, where he worked as a researcher at the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and later taught physics in high schools and colleges.
The Buddhist Studies Shelf
Zen Is Right Now
David Chadwick, editor
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-4544
9781611809145, $14.95, HC, 160pp
Synopsis: Shunryu Suzuki (May 18, 1904 - December 4, 1971) was a Soto Zen monk and teacher
who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States, and is renowned for founding the first
Zen Buddhist monastery outside Asia (Tassajara Zen Mountain Center). Suzuki founded San
Francisco Zen Center which, along with its affiliate temples, comprises one of the most
influential Zen organizations in the United States. A book of his teachings, "Zen Mind,
Beginner's Mind", is one of the most popular books on Zen and Buddhism in the West.
The teachings of Shunryu Suzuki have served for innumerable people as the gateway to Zen
practice and meditation. In "Zen Is Right Now: More Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of Shunryu
Suzuki", devoted student and biographer David Chadwick sheds new light on Suzuki's presence
and teachings through selected quotes from his lectures and a variety of stories told by his
"Zen Is Right Now" offers a joyful bounty of anecdotes and insights, revealing a playful and
deeply wise teacher who delighted in paradox and laughed often. Each of the stories and quotes
presented here is an example of the versatile and timeless quality evident in Suzuki's teaching,
showing that the potential for attaining enlightenment exists right now, in this very moment.
Critique: An extraordinary, thought-provoking and highly recommended addition to personal,
professional, community, college, and university library Zen Buddhism collections and
supplemental curriculum reading lists, "Zen Is Right Now: More Teaching Stories and Anecdotes
of Shunryu Suzuki" must be considered essential reading for all students and practitioners of Zen
Buddhism. It should be noted that "Zen Is Right Now: More Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of
Shunryu Suzuki" is also available for personal study in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: David Chadwick began his Zen study under Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in 1966.
Ordained as a Zen priest in 1971, he later wrote Suzuki's biography, "Crooked Cucumber", as
well as "Thank You and OK!: An American Zen Failure in Japan". With a great deal of help,
Chadwick is poo-bah of Cuke Archives, preserving the legacy of Shunryu Suzuki and those
whose paths crossed his -- and anything else that comes to mind. He has two informative web
sites: www.cuke.com and www.shunryusuzuki.com.
The Islamic Studies Shelf
The Islamic Interfaith Initiative
John Andrew Morrow
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
9781527573314, $109.84, HC, 475pp
Synopsis: When ISIS emerged in Islamic communities in the last decade, God had already
prepared a "vaccine" against the contagion of extremism that created it: the re-discovery of the
Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Peoples of the Book, which firmly place the
actions of groups like ISIS under the curse of God and His Prophet.
This was largely due to the exhaustive scholarship of Dr John Andrew Morrow, leading to the
publication in 2013 of "The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the
World". Not only was this a scholarly triumph, but it also inaugurated an international, interfaith
movement throughout the Muslim world known as the Covenants Initiative, which culminated in
the acquittal of the Christian woman Asia Bibi on charges of blasphemy by the Pakistani
Supreme Court in 2018. It is particularly notable that the book was quoted by the justices in their
"The Islamic Interfaith Initiative: No Fear Shall Be Upon Them" is volume of speeches, articles
and interviews that serves as a chronicle of the first, activist phase of the Covenants Initiative,
proving that socially committed scholarship is alive and well in the twenty-first century.
Critique: A particularly timely publication given the current and continued activities of such
Islamic terrorist organizations as ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda, and other state
sponsored terrorist groups and offshoots operating in Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, and
elsewhere, "The Islamic Interfaith Initiative: No Fear Shall Be Upon Them" is an especially and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, governmental,
college, and university library Islamic culture, 20th & 21st Century Islamic History,
Contemporary Islamic Political Science, and Anti-Islamic Terrorism collections and
supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: John Andrew Morrow received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the
University of Toronto. An academic, author, educator, and administrator, as well as an
international activist and global lecturer, his works include The Messenger of Mercy, Shi'ism in
the Maghrib and al-Andalus, Finding W.D. Fard, The Most Controversial Qur'anic Verse, Islam
and the People of the Book, Restoring the Balance, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad
with the Christians of the World, Religion and Revolution, and the Encyclopedia of Islamic
Herbal Medicine, among many others.
The General Fiction Shelf
The Blue Moth Motel
9781550819113, $21.95, PB, 224pp
Synopsis: Ingrid and Norah have an unconventional upbringing -- growing up in a motel, raised
by their mother and her female partner. The girls' grandmother, Ada, who owns the Blue Moth
motel, has always kept them at a distance. But when she buys a piano for the motel, that all
Years later in England, training to be a soloist, Ingrid loses her voice and must decide what to do.
She hears from Norah, who's reviving a party that began during their childhood to celebrate the
arrival of mysterious and elusive blue moths.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of
narrative driven storytelling that holds the reader's fully entertained attention from beginning to
end, "The Blue Moth Motel" by Olivia Robinson is framed against a background of family
dynamics, grief, and the concept of home. While highly recommended for community library
Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of
those with a special interest in novels featuring LGBTQ family life that "The Blue Moth Motel"
is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.39).
The World Played Chess
Lake Union Publishing
9781542029377, $24.95, HC, 400pp
Synopsis: In 1979, Vincent Bianco has just graduated high school. His only desire: collect a little
beer money and enjoy his final summer before college. So he lands a job as a laborer on a
construction crew. Working alongside two Vietnam vets, one suffering from PTSD, Vincent gets
the education of a lifetime. Now forty years later, with his own son leaving for college, the
lessons of that summer (which was Vincent's last taste of innocence and first taste of real life)
dramatically unfolds in an original story about breaking away, shaping a life, and seeking one's
Critique: Deftly combining elements of friendship, the trauma of war with what is basically a
coming of age novel, "The World Played Chess" By Robert Dugoni is an inherently engaging,
impressively entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking read. While very strongly
recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "The World Played Chess" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781542029391, $15.95), in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99), and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781713601999, $24.99, MP3-CD).
Addison & Highsmith
c/o Histria Books
9780980116434, $29.99, HC, 220pp
Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Dakota Buchannan is determined not to be the messed-up, orphaned
teenager with an over the top imagination the media describes her as.
After her father's accidental death at Jennings oil refinery, she finds out that she has a much older
half-brother and moves to Houston, Texas, to live with him and his young daughter, Savannah. It
doesn't take long for Dakota to settle in and capture the heart of a young man. Life seems to be
going quasi-normal until CEO Jake Jennings breaks into Dakota's home to confront her. In his
narcotized state, he assaults her while incoherently apologizing for something his late father did,
of which she has no recollection.
She eventually escapes, and Jake is charged. Released on bail, he returns to his penthouse, and
Dakota's boyfriend takes her away for the weekend to clear her mind, but on their return, the
front page of the local newspaper confirms 'Jake Jennings plummets to his death.' Dakota's half
relieved the man is dead, but the other half replays in her mind what he was trying to tell her that
terrifying night and whether or not he actually killed himself or did someone push him off his
Feisty and determined, Dakota never loses sight of hope or the importance of family and
friendships. She navigates her new life with her moral compass -- reconciling the past and
seeking answers while discovering secrets and lies.
Critique: In a deftly crafted and original novel that blends romance with action/adventure,
"Dakota" by author Sarah Patt is a simply riveting read that will have special interest for women
readers. An inherently fascinating and entertaining read from first page to last, "Dakota" is an
especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists and community
library General Fiction collections.
Coco at the Ritz
9781643138411, $25.95, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Though her name is synonymous with elegance and chic, the iconic Coco Chanel had a
complicated dark side, and in late August 1944, as World War II drew to a close, she was
arrested and interrogated on charges of treason to France.
Many of the facts are lost to history, partly through Chanel's own obfuscation, but this much is
known: the charges grew out of her war-time romance with a German spy, and one morning two
soldiers from the French Forces of the Interior (the loose band of Resistance fighters, soldiers and
private citizens who took up arms in the wake of the Liberation of Paris) led Chanel from her
suite at the Ritz Hotel in Paris to an undisclosed location for questioning.
What transpired during her interrogation, who was present, and why she was set free when so
many other women who'd been involved with German men (willingly or otherwise) had their
heads shaved or were imprisoned, remains a mystery.
"Coco at the Ritz" is a brilliantly insightful and deftly crafted novel by Gioia Diliberto that
fictionally explores the motivations of this complex woman and portrays the gripping battle of
wits that could have been her interrogation. Was Chanel truly a collaborator?
By turns raw and vulnerable, steely and flawed, Chanel emerges from these pages as a woman
who owns her decisions, no matter the consequences. Although a fictional biography, "Coco at
the Ritz" is drawn from history and laced throughout with emotional truths. "Coco at the Ritz" is
ultimately a story about the choices one woman made when the stakes were the highest. In
today's world, it is also a cautionary tale about the necessity of standing against evil when it
stares you in the face.
Critique: An inherently fascinating, skillfully crafted, thought-provoking and entertaining read
from cover to cover, "Coco at the Ritz" is a very highly recommended novel for community
library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Coco at the
Ritz" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).
In Women We Trust
N. H. Sakhia
c/o Acrobat Publishing Group
9781735453507, $29.99, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: "In Women We Trust" by novelist N. H. Sakhia is an intense story of an uneven
conflict where Sardar Timur Barlas, an almighty, powerful and influential landlord in a remote
town in Pakistan goes against Zara Bibi & her husband Shams -- his lowly, poor and helpless
While trying to protect her master's interest, Zara Bibi opens up gates of hell for her only son Gul
when she discovered him holding Timur's young daughter Farah in an unholy embrace in the
presence of a crowd she had gathered.
Gul accidentally walks into undesired and untimely adolescence which his own mother turns into
a deadly mine field for him. All powerful Sardar Timur calls for a facade of a trial with
unspeakable consequences for the poor family. Mullah Aziz, the leader of the town's largest
mosque, renowned for his firebrand sermons and radical idealism, is called forth to gather a jury
of sorts, along with a morally conflicted journalist Turab to provide legal cover for Sardar
Timur's vigilante justice.
The predetermined sentence for Gul, regardless of his guilt or innocence, would deprive him of
the essence of a male child. Zara Bibi and her husband are offered a horrendous choice to present
their only daughter Noor to accept the grave punishment in place of her brother so he can remain
a whole man. The very men of the home Zara Bibi and Noor looked for their protection are
forced to ask that their women sacrifice themselves so their 'maleness' can be saved.
In this heart-wrenching account of hellish circumstance made all the more believable with the
discriminatory treatment of women in such fundamentalist Islamic nations as Afghanistan and
Saudi Arabia, "In Women We Trust" critiques the issues of patriarchy, misogyny, unequal
treatment, the mistreatment of women, debate about female empowerment perceived to have run
amok and a debased and regressive society-all with an insurmountable compassion for its people,
the culture, and an unrelenting hope for a just and better life.
Critique: Showcasing the evils of a religious back patriarchy and the assignment of females to be
little more than the property of males, "In Women We Trust" is a timely novel that although a
work of fiction is firmly grounded in the real world realities of so many Islamic (but not limited
just to Islamic nations) today. While highly recommended for community library Contemporary
General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "In Women We
Trust' is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).
Editorial Note: Naim Haroon Sakhia is a California Attorney-at-Law with a long history of
successfully representing the client's interests under the law in various legal forums,
administrative agencies, and courts. He published multiple Urdu language short stories in the
early '90s in Pakistan's leading magazines, before moving to the USA. After a long hiatus from
writing, he penned his debut English novel 'In Women We Trust', which was inspired by real and
unfortunate events that keep occurring in the name of the informal and corrupt parallel justice
system, serving the whims and interests of the powerful at the expense of their dominated
subjects, in many places across the globe.
9781771964272, $16.95, PB, 280pp
Synopsis: Middle-aged, married, but living on his own, Prin has lost his way. Desperate for
money and purpose, he moves to small-town Indiana to work for an evangelical millionaire who's
building a theme park inspired by Dante's Inferno. He quickly becomes involved in the difficult
lives of his co-workers and in the wider struggles of their opioid-ravaged community while trying
to reconcile with his distant wife and distant God. Both projects spin out of control, and when a
Black teenager is killed, creationists, politicians and protesters alike descend. In the midst of this
American chaos, Prin risks everything to help the lost and angry souls around him while
searching for his own way home.
Critique: Showcasing the author's genuine flair for the kind of narrative storytelling style that is
as thought-provoking as it is intimate and entertaining, "Dante's Indiana" by author Randy
Boyagoda is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary
General Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of those with a
special affinity for Christian Fiction & Satire that "Dante's Indiana" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009) was one of the most influential figures in
American public life from the Civil Rights era to the War on Terror. His writing, activism, and
connections to people of power in religion, politics, and culture secured a place for himself and
his ideas at the center of recent American history.
Amir Tsarfati, author
Steve Yohn, author
c/o Harvest House Publishers
PO Box 41210, Eugene, OR 97404-0322
9780736985208, $15.99, PB, 368pp
Synopsis: Nir Tavor is an Israeli secret service operative turned talented Mossad agent. Nicole le
Roux is a model with a hidden skill. A terrorist attack brings them together, and then work forces
them apart -- until they're unexpectedly called back into each other's lives.
But there's no time for romance. As violent radicals threaten chaos across the Middle East, the
two must work together to stop these extremists, pooling Nicole's knack for technology and Nir's
adeptness with on-the-ground missions. Each heart-racing step of their operation gets them closer
to the truth and closer to danger.
The first book in the new 'Nir Tauda Mossad Thriller' series by authors Amir Tsarfati and Steve
Yohn, "Operation Koktan" draw on true events as well as tactical insights Amir learned from his
time in the Israeli Defense Forces.
Critique: For believers in God's life-changing promises, "Operation Joktan" is a deftly crafted,
action packed, suspense-filled, compulsive page-turner of a read the entertains as well as
illuminates the blessing Israel is to the world. Very highly recommended for community library
Contemporary General Fiction collections, "Operation Joktan" is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99) and will be of special interest for readers who enjoy Christian Mystery,
Suspense, and Romantic Action/Adventure novels.
Editorial Note #1: Amir Tsarfati is a native Israeli and former major in the Israeli Defense
Forces. He is the founder and president of Behold Israel -- a nonprofit ministry that provides
Bible teaching through tours, conferences, and social media. It also provides unique access to
news and information about Israel from a biblical and prophetic standpoint.
Editorial Note #2: Steve Yohn is Senior Writer and Editor for Behold Israel. Previously, he
served as pastor of a church in Strasburg, Colorado, for ten years. He has co-authored four thriller
novels and has ghost-written five other works.
853 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
9781641291651, $27.00, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: Michael and Wendy Mixner are a Brooklyn-based couple whose marriage is failing in
the wake of a personal tragedy. Michael, a Wall Street trader, is meanwhile keeping a secret: he
lost the couple's life savings when a tanking economy caused a major market crash. And Wendy,
a digital marketing strategist, has been hired onto a data-mining project of epic scale, whose
mysterious creator has ambitions to solve a national crisis of mass unemployment and reshape
America's social and political landscapes. When Michael's best friend is murdered, the evidence
leads back to Wendy's client, setting off a dangerous chain of events that will profoundly change
the couple -- and the country.
Critique: Set in an economic dystopia that's the last two decades have made frighteningly
plausible, "Sensation Machines" by novelist Adam Wison involves such timely and continuingly
relevant issues as unrestrained greed, automation, universal basic income, wearable tech,
revolutionary desires, and a broken justice system. What may turn out to be a prophetic work of
fiction that accurately reflects real-world conditions, "Sensation Machines" is especially and
unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It
should be noted for the personal reading lists of those with an interest in novels about City Life,
Jewish Literature & Fiction, as well as Comedic Dramas & Plays, that "Sensation Machines" is
also readily available in a paperback edition (9781641292863, $17.00) and in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Adam Wilson is the author of the short story collection What's Important is
Feeling and the novel Flatscreen. His stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Tin House, and
The Best American Short Stories, among other publications, and Flatscreen (which was a
National Jewish Book Award finalist ) and an Indie Next Pick and was translated into German
and Italian. Wilson has taught in the creative writing programs at Columbia and NYU. Adam
maintains an informative website at www.adamwilsonwriter.com
The Historical Fiction Shelf
Saving Mrs. Roosevelt: WWII Heroines
Candice Sue Patterson
P.O. Box 719, 1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
9781636090894, $14.99, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: Shirley Davenport is as much a patriot as her four brothers. She, too, wants to aid her
country in the war efforts, but opportunities for women are limited. When her best friend Joan
informs her that the Coast Guard has opened a new branch for single women, they both enlist in
the SPARs, ready to help protect the home front.
Training is rigorous, and Shirley is disappointed that she and Joan are sent to separate training
camps. At the end of basic training, Captain Webber commends her efforts and commissions her
home to Maine under the ruse of a dishonorable discharge to help uncover a plot against the First
Shirley soon discovers nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust? Why do the people she loves
want to harm the First Lady? With the help of Captain Webber, it's a race against time to save
Mrs. Roosevelt and remain alive!
Critique: Deftly blending elements of history, romance and mystery, "Saving Mrs. Roosevelt" by
talented and original novelist Candice Sue Patterson is a inherently compelling and fully
entertaining read from first page to last. While certain to be an immediately welcome and
enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Saving Mrs. Roosevelt" is also readily available for personal
reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio
book (Oasis Audio, 9781640917439, $39.99, CD). Librarians should also be aware that there is a
Library Binding edition available as well (Center Point Pub, 9781638081791, $37.95).
The Literary Fiction Shelf
The Last Professional
Ed Davis, author
Colin Elgie, illustrator
9781951122256, $15.95, PB, 278pp
Synopsis: "The Last Professional" by Ed Davis is a story of America. Lynden Hoover, a young
man on the brink of a new beginning, cannot embrace it without confronting the traumas of his
past. Help comes from The Duke, an old loner who calls America's landscape his home. He
clings to an honor code, but in fleeing from Short Arm, his merciless enemy, his code is being
At the end of the 20th century few Knights of the Road still cling to their vanishing lifestyle. The
Duke mentors Lynden, enlisting old traveling friends to keep himself and his apprentice just
ahead of Short Arm's relentless pursuit. When two of those friends are murdered, the stakes
become life or death.
Bonds are formed, secrets exposed, sacrifices made, trusts betrayed - all against a breathtaking
American landscape of promise and peril. Three unforgettable characters, hurtling toward a
spellbinding climax where pasts and futures collide, and lives hang in the balance.
Critique: An innately fascinating and extraordinarily memorable read in the literary tradition of
Jack Kerouac, "The Last Professional" by novelist Ed Davis will prove to be a welcome and
enduringly appreciated addition to personal, community, college, and university library Literary
Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Last Professional" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
Editorial Note: Ed Davis began his writing career over forty years ago, pausing in boxcars, under
street lamps, and in hobo jungles to capture the beats and rhythms of the road as he caught freight
trains and vagabonded around the Pacific Northwest and Canada. "The Last Professional" began
in a boxcar. His short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals. He is also has a
novella, "In All Things", and a collection of travel pieces, "Road Stories". Ed's death row thriller,
"A Matter of Time", was written in real time, twenty-four hours, as the last day of the hero's life
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
Angela Ruth Strong
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780825447105, $15.99, PB, 272pp
Synopsis: In a world full of happily-ever-after love, Meri Newberg feels like the last young
woman on the planet to be single, at least in her Christian friend group. So when she's handed a
strange present at the latest wedding (a 1950s magazine article of "ways to get a husband") she
decides there's nothing to lose by trying out its advice. After all, she can't get any more single,
Her brother's roommate sees the whole thing as a great opportunity. Not to fall in love -- Kai
Kamaka has no interest in the effort a serious relationship takes. No, this is a career jump start.
He talks Meri into letting him film every silly husband-catching attempt for a new online show. If
it goes viral, his career as a cameraman will be made.
When Meri Me debuts, it's an instant hit. People love watching her lasso men on street corners,
drop handkerchiefs for unsuspecting potential beaus, and otherwise embarrass herself in pursuit
of true love. But the longer this game goes on, the less sure Kai is that he wants Meri to snag
anyone but him. The only problem is that he may not be the kind of husband material she's
Critique: A masterpiece of comic timing, unbeatable chemistry, and a zany but relatable cast of
characters, with the publication of "Husband Auditions" author Angela Ruth Strong has created a
heartfelt look at the reality of modern Christian dating that her readers will both resonate with
and fall for. A wholesome, engagingly entertaining, witty, deftly crafted, and truly memorable
read from cover to cover, "Husband Auditions" is an especially recommended addition to
community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated
contemporary romance fans that "Husband Auditions" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note: Angela Ruth Strong is an expert on Write that Book, blogs on Inspyromance.com
and How to Write a Novel, and is the founder of IDAhope Writers. She is also the author of the
Resort to Love series and the CafFUNated mysteries. Angela maintains an informative and
interesting website at: www.angelaruthstrong.com
Tracie Peterson, author
Kimberley Woodhouse, author
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton Road, Ada, MI 49301
9780764232527, $15.99, PB, 352pp
Synopsis: On the surface, Whitney Powell is happy working with her sled dogs and welcoming
the new additions to her family through her sisters' marriages and an upcoming birth. But her life
is full of complications, including an estranged father, that have her on the edge of losing control.
Growing up, she was the strong sister, and she can't give that up now.
When villagers in outlying areas come down with a horrible sickness, Dr. Peter Cameron turns to
Whitney and her dogs for help navigating the deep snow, and they become close while
ministering to the sick together. Peter has long recognized her finer qualities but is troubled by
the emotions and secrets she keeps buried within. He wants to help but wonders if she is more of
a risk than his heart can take.
As sickness spreads throughout Nome and another man courts Whitney, she and Peter will
discover that sometimes it is only in weakness that you can find strength.
Critique: A beautifully crafted novel in the Christian Historical Romance Fiction genre, "Ever
Constant" by the writing team of Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse is as compelling a
read as it is engagingly entertaining from cover to cover. A welcome and unreservedly
recommended addition to community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Ever Constant" is also readily available in a digital book format
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
In My Dreams I Hold a Knife: A Novel
9781728229881, $26.99 hc / $8.57 Kindle
Synopsis: Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to her
southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her
wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see - confident, beautiful, indifferent.
Not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather Shelby's murder fractured
everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she'd been closest to since freshman
But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not
everyone can let Heather's murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to
make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what
happened that night - and the years' worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep
Critique: In My Dreams I Hold a Knife: A Novel is a tautly written work of suspense about six
friends who split apart in the wake of a horrific murder. Ten years later, the six are reunited, and
one of them is determined to make the guilty pay. Yet each of the six has their own dark secrets.
Will the innocent be forfeit alongside the guilty - or are any of the six truly "innocent" at all? In
My Dreams I Hold a Knife is a gripping page-turner that keeps the reader second-guessing all the
way to the end, highly recommended for public library collections and connoisseurs of
psychological suspense. It should be noted for personal reading lists that In My Dreams I Hold a
Knife is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.57).
John MacLachlan Gray
Douglas & McIntyre
c/o Harbour Publishing
9781771622776, $24.95, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: "Vile Spirits" is spellbinding sequel to author John MacLachlan Gray's riveting
mystery, "The White Angel" (9781771621465, $29.95 HC, $22.95 PB, $9.99 Kindle), that once
again captures the spirit of Vancouver in those gritty, gin-soaked days, as the city was remaking
itself between wars.
Alcohol is once again legal in Vancouver after the failed experiment of prohibition, but
pro-temperance sentiments remain strong. Politicians like Attorney General Gordon Cunning
attempt appeasement by establishing the Liquor Control Board, which oversees supply, from the
lofty circles of power down to bleak public drinking factories called "beer parlours."
But when Cunning is found deceased, an empty martini glass at his side, quickly followed by
Mrs. Harlan Crombie, the wife of a prominent bureaucrat, who falls dead after an afternoon book
club meeting, suspicions are raised. Is it pure coincidence that the deceased were both drinking
the same brand of "tonic"? Or is it a spillover from American prohibition, where deliberately
tainted booze is killing thousands?
Fans of "The White Angel" will be delighted by the return of straight-shooting constable Calvin
Hook, frustrated poet-cum-reporter Ed McCurdy and unpredictable, eavesdropping telephone
operator Mildred Wickstram, as they pool their skills in order to get to the truth.
The result is a clash between temperance activists, the Ku Klux Klan, the Liquor Control Board
and global events on the mean streets of Vancouver -- a rough little city on the edge of
Critique: A riveting thriller of a read from first page to last, "Vile Spirits" once again showcases
author John MacLachlan Gray's genuine flair as a novelist for the kind of narrative storytelling
style that hooks the reader total and fascinated attention. While highly recommended for
community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists
of fans for such films and TV series as 'The Untouchables', Gray's "Vile Spirits" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781608093458, $26.95, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: When PI and ex-con, Colleen Hayes, learns that a local neo-Nazi group is talking
about shooting the mayor, she thinks it's just another rumor -- until her source, a humble street
newspaper vendor, winds up in SF General, beaten to a pulp.
To add to her grief, she discovers that her runaway daughter, Pamela, might have joined a
shadowy religious group, building a church in South America near a volcano that is about to
erupt. Death is the path to perfection according to the charismatic young preacher -- and the date
is fast approaching.
Colleen is desperate to find a way to stop her daughter from making the ultimate mistake before
she (along with hundreds of others) lose their lives.
Critique: The stuff of which blockbuster movies are made, "Bad Scene" is a riveting read from
cover to cover that showcases novelist Max Tomilinson's impressively imaginative storytelling
talents for the genre of noir style mystery/suspense thrillers. The third in the author's 'Colleen
Hayes Mystery Series', "Bad Scene" will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly
popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the
personal reading lists of Max Tomilinson fans that "Bad Scene" is also readily available in a
paperback edition (9781608095001, $16.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).
As Time Unfolds
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781631957420, $18.95, PB, 294pp
Synopsis: Advertising agency owner, Bethany Miller, inherits an ancestral home from the
biological mother she never knew. Inside a grandfather clock named The Timekeeper, she
discovers a treasured family journal. Generations of first daughters each wrote one entry, sharing
family secrets, chronicling courageous acts, the freeing power of forgiveness and more.
Reading the women's stories and timeless wisdom, Bethany begins to reassess her busy life and
contemplates taking a chance on romance, but she can't forget an alarming encounter with a girl's
soul-piercing eyes. They shot her a dire warning -- right before she disappeared. Those eyes
cause Bethany's past, present and future to collide.
Is history right on time to save a girl's life?
Critique: A deftly crafted combination of Christian Mystery & Suspense Romance, "As Time
Unfolds" by novelist Barbara Zerfoss is a special kind of family saga style historical fiction -- and
one that is as inherently fascinating as it is enduringly entertaining from cover to cover. While
very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "As Time Unfolds" is also readily available in a digital book format
J. L. Doucette
She Writes Press
9781647422196, $16.95, PB, 304pp
Synopsis: In the pages of author J. L. Doucette's new novel, "Unknown Assailant", Dr. Pepper
Hunt and Detective Beau Antelope team up again to investigate a tragic murder/suicide in a
prominent ranch family in the small town of Farson, Wyoming. As they explore events leading
up to the night of the disturbing crime they are drawn into the dark heart of a troubled family
touched by a legacy of trauma.
Critique: A deftly crafted psychological suspense thriller of a mystery, "Unknown Assailant" is
the third title in novelist J. L. Doucette's 'Dr. Pepper Hunt Mystery series and will send satisfied
readers looking for "Last Seen" and "On A Quiet Street" -- the first two titles in this outstanding
series. A ripping great read for all dedicated mystery buffs, "Unknown Assailant" is a strongly
recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections and readily available
for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).
The Wilkes Insurrection
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
9781626348882, $24.95, HC, 360pp
Synopsis: Just outside Omaha, Nebraska, the relative calm at Offutt Air Force Base is suddenly
shattered when commercial Flight 209 crashes down onto its runway. From the flaming
wreckage, Major Tamika Smith must try to rescue survivors and make sense of the tragedy. But
this was no accident. In a time of national unrest and division, a shadowy mastermind is tearing
down the United States from the inside out, moving pawns in an orchestrated plan and playing
law enforcement like puppets. The deadly attacks continue and authorities have no leads. Barely
any clues. Trails that start hot suddenly go cold. With thousands dying and the strikes becoming
increasingly personal, Major Tamika Smith must answer a fundamental question: How far would
you go to save what you love?
Critique: With a skillfully written and original plot that could well have been drawn from today's
contemporary extremist politics and conspiracy theories, "The Wilkes Insurrection" by Robbie
Bach is a compelling read that deftly combines action/adventure with unexpected plot twists and
memorable characters. While also readily available for the personal reading lists of suspenseful
thriller fans in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "The Wilkes Insurrection" is especially and
unreservedly recommended as an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community
library Mystery/Suspense collections.
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781982187453, $27.99, HC, 432pp
Synopsis: The Fairway Players, a local theatre group, is in the midst of rehearsals when tragedy
strikes the family of director Martin Hayward and his wife Helen, the play's star. Their young
granddaughter has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and with an experimental
treatment costing a tremendous sum, their fellow cast mates rally to raise the money to give her a
chance at survival.
But not everybody is convinced of the experimental treatment's efficacy -- nor of the good
intentions of those involved. As tension grows within the community, things come to a shocking
head at the explosive dress rehearsal. The next day, a dead body is found, and soon, an arrest is
made. In the run-up to the trial, two young lawyers sift through the material (emails, messages,
letters) with a growing suspicion that a killer may be hiding in plain sight. The evidence is all
there, between the lines, waiting to be uncovered.
Critique: A deftly crafted, engagingly clever, and inherently compelling read from cover to cover,
"The Appeal" by novelist Janice Hallett is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended for
community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the
personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "The Appeal" is also readily available in
a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone
Audio, 9781797135694, $44.99, CD).
Live, Local, and Dead
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643859453, $26.99, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: In a fit of anger, radio DJ Jaye Jordan blows a snowman's head off with a
Revolutionary War-style musket. But the corpse that tumbles out is all too human. Jaye thought
life would be quieter when she left New York City and bought a tiny Vermont radio station. But
now, Edwin Anger (the ranting and raving radio talk show host who Jaye recently fired) lies dead
in the snow. And the Edwin Anger fans who protested his dismissal are sure she killed him.
To clear her name, Jaye must find the real killer, as if she doesn't have her hands full running the
radio station, DJing her all-request love song show, and shuttling tween daughter Ryan to and
from school. It doesn't make matters easier that the governor (Jaye's old crush) arrived on the
scene before the musket smoke cleared. Fortunately, Jaye has allies -- if you count the flatulent
moose that lives in the transmitter shack, and Neptune, the giant gray cat that lives at the
If Jaye can turn the tables on the devious killer, she and the governor may get to make some
sweet, sweet music together. But if she can't, she'll be off the air -- permanently!
Critique: A rollicking fun read from first page to last, "Live, Local, and Dead" showcases author
Nikki Knight full and complete mastery of the Cozy Mystery genre. Memorable characters,
original storyline, unexpected plot twists, memorable characters, "Live, Local, and Dead" has it
all and is not only recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, but
available for the personal reading lists of all dedicated cozy mystery fans in a digital book format
(Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media,
9781666534092, $22.99, CD).
A Dash of Death
Michelle Hillen Klump
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643859378, $26.99, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Samantha Warren, a plucky Houston, Texas, reporter has lost her job and her fiance in
rapid succession. But Sam has a way of making lemonade out of the bitterest of lemons. At a
meeting of the local historical-homes council, she serves up the homemade bitters that she made
as gifts for her wedding party. She intends to use that as her "in" to become an in-demand party
mixologist. But the party's over for one of the council members, who keels over dead soon after
he sips the bereft bride's bitter brew.
It turns out that the victim, Mark, was poisoned -- his drink spiked with oleander. Since Sam
mixed the drink that Mark imbibed right before his demise, she finds herself at the front of the
suspect line. Now, she'll have to use all of her reporter's wisdom and wiles to clear her
Who could have wanted Mark dead? His wife, Gabby? His girlfriend, Darcy? Someone who
wanted his seat on the council? Or another citizen of this sweet Texas town that holds some
Job hunting, building her mixology business, and fending off late-night phone calls from her
nearly betrothed don't leave much time for sleuthing. But if Sam can't "pour" over the clues to
find the killer, it may soon be last call for her!
Critique: Launching a brand new 'cozy mystery' series called 'A Cocktails and Catering Mystery'
by novelist Michelle Hillen Klump, "A Dash of Death" is an impressively fun mystery read that
is clever, deftly scripted, and a memorable read for all dedicated mystery buffs. While also
available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), "A Dash of Death"
is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for any and all community library
Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections.
Brian T. Seifrit, author
Hudu Creek Publishing
9781777316945, $15.95 (publisher), $11.34 (Amazon), PB, 307pp
Synopsis: "Absolute Anger" by novelist Brian T. Seifrit is an artfully scripted story of intrigue
and suspense revolving around Detective Tyler O'Brien. Promoted to lieutenant since he and his
crew of brash detectives captured the man responsible for four brutal and deranged killings, the
trial conviction and sentencing of the murderer should have ended the crime spree -- but that was
just the beginning!
Critique: Showcasing author Brian Seifrit's genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative
driven storytelling that holds the reader's full attention from first page to last, "Absolute Anger"
is strongly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It
should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Absolute Anger" is
also readily available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).
St. Martin's Press
120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271
9781250274250, $27.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Beautiful, wild, and strange -- Meroe Island is a desolate spot in the middle of the
Pacific Ocean with a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder.
It's the perfect destination for the most adventurous traveler to escape everything... except the
Six stunning twentysomethings are about to embark on a blissful, free-spirited journey -- one
filled with sun-drenched days and intoxicating nights. But as it becomes clear that the group is
even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself
is closing in, sending them on a dangerous spiral of discovery.
When one person goes missing and another turns up dead, the remaining friends wonder what
dark currents lie beneath this impenetrable paradise -- and who else will be swept under its
Critique: A spellbinding novel that showcases author Rachel Hawkins storytelling skills,
imaginative originality, and blending of memorable characters with unexpected plot twists,
"Reckless Girls" is a riveting and entertaining read from cover to cover. While highly
recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Reckless Girls" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book
(Macmillan Audio, 9781250835574, $39.99, CD).
Death To The Dealers
9781948068109, $14.95, PB, 333pp
Synopsis: When a man finds his deceased wife's secret phone, her list of contacts sends
him on quest to uncover who caused her death. As he navigates his way into the dreary,
drug-dealing world, danger holds a constant presence. The one bright spot in his life is his
growing attraction for his canine patient's owner, Sergeant Corinne Aleckson. But it's a
relationship that will not blossom as he had imagined.
Critique: The 9th book in author Christine Husom's 'A Winnebago County Mystery' series,
"Death To The Dealers" continues to showcase this novelist's genuine flair for, and mastery of,
the suspense thriller and police procedural crime genre. While also readily available for the
personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99), it
should be noted for community library Mystery/Suspense collections that "Death To The
Dealers" is an especially and unreservedly recommended and immediately and enduringly
Hansjorg Schneider, author
Mike Mitchell, translator
Bitter Lemon Press
9781913394622, $15.95, PB, 234pp
Synopsis: The second novel in the police procedural mystery series featuring Basel police
inspector Peter Hunkeler, "Silver Pebbles" is the story of an elegant young Lebanese man
carrying diamonds in his bag who is on the train from Frankfurt to Basel -- a drug mule on the
At the Basel train station, Hunkeler is waiting for him after a tipoff from the German police. The
courier manages to get to the station toilet and flushes the stones away. Erdogan, a young Turkish
sewage worker, finds the diamonds in the pipes under the station. To him they mean wealth and
the small hotel he always wanted to buy near his family village. To his older Swiss girl-friend
Erika, employed at a supermarket checkout counter, the stones signify the end of their life
together. She knows that Erdogan has a wife and children in Turkey.
For the courier, finding the stones is a matter of life and death. His employers are on their way to
"tidy things up". For Hunkeler the stones are the only way to get to the people behind the drug
trade. They turn out to include not only the bottom-feeding drug gangs but bankers and
politicians very high up the Basel food chain.
Critique: Of special note is that no one gets killed in "Silver Pebbles", an unusual and compelling
story of ordinary people accidentally caught in a vortex of crime. A riveting read throughout, and
ably translated into English for an American readership by Mike Mitchell, "Silver Pebbles" by
Hansjorg Schneider is especially recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense
collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated crime fiction fans, "Silver Pebbles" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Dark Horse: An Orphan X Novel
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
9781250252302, $28.99, HC, 432pp
Synopsis: Evan Smoak is a man with many identities and a challenging past. As Orphan X, he
was a government assassin for the off-the-books Orphan Program. After he broke with the
Program, he adopted a new name and a new mission -- The Nowhere Man, helping the most
desperate in their times of trouble. Having just survived an attack on his life and the complete
devastation of his base of operations, as well as his complicated (and deepening) relationship
with his neighbor Mia Hall, Evan isn't interested in taking on a new mission. But one finds him
Aragon Urrea is a kingpin of a major drug-dealing operation in South Texas. He's also the patron
of the local area -- supplying employment in legitimate operations, providing help to the helpless,
rough justice to the downtrodden, and a future to a people normally with little hope. He's
complicated -- a not completely good man, who does bad things for often good reasons.
However, for all his money and power, he is helpless when one of the most vicious cartels
kidnaps his innocent eighteen year old daughter, spiriting her away into the armored complex that
is their headquarters in Mexico. With no other way to rescue his daughter, he turns to The
Now not only must Evan figure out how to get into the impregnable fortress of a heavily armed,
deeply paranoid cartel leader, but he must decide if he should help a very bad man -- no matter
how just the cause.
Critique: A riveting action/adventure from first page to last, "Dark Horse" by Greg Wuritz is a
deftly scripted novel that will have special appeal for fans of vigilante style justice. The stuff of
which block buster movies are made, "Dark Horse", the seventh title in the author's 'Orphan X'
series, is a truly memorable read and highly recommended for community library collections. It
should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated assassination and conspiracy fans that
"Dark Horse" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781405942713, $10.99) and in a
digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
9781641290982, $27.00, HC, 456pp
Synopsis: Over a decade has passed since the ant queen began her apocalyptic war with the
humans. In the aftermath, she leaves behind a strange legacy: a race of uplifted animals, the
queen's conscripts in the war effort, now trying to make their way in the world they destroyed.
While the conflict has left deep scars, it has also allowed both sides to demonstrate feats of
courage and compassion that were never possible before. And now, after years of bloodshed, the
survivors have a fleeting chance to build a lasting peace.
But peace always comes with a price. The holy city of Hosanna (where animals and humans form
a joint government) finds itself surrounded by wolves who are determined to retake the land. A
powerful matriarch has united the rival wolf packs, using a terrible power harnessed from the
Soon, the looming violence pulls in those who sought to escape. The war hero Mort(e) suspects a
plot to destroy Hosanna from within, and recruits a team of unlikely allies to investigate. Falkirk,
captain of the airship Vesuvius, must choose between treason and loyalty to save the city. And
D'Arc, sailing aboard the al-Rihla, learns that the wolves may have triggered a new cycle of life
for the Colony, bringing a final reckoning to animal and human alike. Once reunited, the three
outcasts begin a journey into wolf territory to face the last remnant of the queen's empire.
But while destiny has drawn them together, it may destroy them as well, for even love, courage,
and honor may not be enough to stop the forces of destruction set to be unleashed on the
Critique: A deftly scripted and inherently fascinating dystopian novel, "Malefactor" by author
Robert Repino (and the third and final title in his 'War With No Name' trilogy) is essentially a
romantic fantasy played out against the background of a Post-Apocalyptic world. While highly
recommended, especially for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should
be noted for personal reading lists that "Malefactor" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $14.99).
The Sports Shelf
Trail Running Illustrated: The Art of Running Free
Doug Mayer, author
Brian Metzler, author
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
9781680515664, $24.95, PB, 272pp
Synopsis: Running through pastures and forests, hopping over rocks, and splashing through
streams: trail running is humanity's original form of play -- and an activity the human race has
been doing for millions of years. Today, adventurous runners of all ages, shapes, and sizes are
leaving the pavement behind and seeking new challenges. More popular than ever, trail running
is growing rapidly around the world.
"Trail Running Illustrated: The Art of Running Free" covers everything a trail runner needs to
know from training to racing. "Trail Running Illustrated" offers clear, concise advice on how to
get started. Created by the team of Doug Mayer and Brian Metzler (two longtime trail runners
with a passion for the sport), "Trail Running Illustrated" is a practical and informative key to
unlocking a lifetime of exploration and challenges, whether running in a local park or through
some of the world's most remote regions.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Trail Running Illustrated: The
Art of Running Free" is a comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide and
manual that will be of enduring value for anyone of any age or background wanting to engage in
a health physical activity. While highly recommended for community, college, and university
library Running & Jogging collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Trail
Running Illustrated: The Art of Running Free" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Doug Mayer has been climbing and trail running in mountain ranges around the
world for three decades. The founder of the tour company Run the Alps, he is also a contributing
editor for Trail Runner magazine. Brian Metzler is an author and freelance journalist who covers
running, running gear, and related sports. He is the founding editor and associate publisher of
Trail Runner and Adventure Sports magazines.
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
The Big Book of Tarot Meanings
Rock Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780760373057, $26.99, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: Interpreting card meanings is the most exciting aspect of reading tarot. However, it is
also the most challenging for beginners. For example, basic tarot interpretation would have you
understand that The Lovers card has to do with relationships -- but what if your question had to
do with career or health? How are you left to interpret the meaning?
"The Big Book of Tarot Meanings: The Beginner's Guide to Reading the Cards" by Sam
Magdaleno offers an exciting new approach to beginner tarot. Rather than a one-size-fits-all
strategy, this comprehensive guide divides each tarot card interpretation into specific meanings
for all the most-queried categories. No longer will you have to vaguely extrapolate meaning and
insight for diverse questions from the same generic description often given in other beginner
tarot books. These carefully chosen categories give you greater scope to use your intuition when
interpreting the tarot, and enables you to apply these interpretations to the card positions of any
tarot spread, be it the much-loved classic Celtic Cross or one you have created for yourself.
With "The Big Book of Tarot Meanings" as a DIY instruction guide and manual, even the most
novice of beginners will never have to struggle with to understanding how the cards are
Critique: Beautifully illustrated, accessibly comprehensive, informed and informative, "The Big
Book of Tarot Meanings: The Beginner's Guide to Reading the Cards" provides an ideal
introduction to the science and art of Tarot reading and is a very highly recommended resource,
as well as proving an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional,
community, college, and university library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Tarot
Reading studies lists in particular.
Editorial Note: Sam Magdaleno is a professional witch and tarot reader. Creatrix of the popular
Instagram handle, Sam the Cosmic Witch, Sam offers resources on witchcraft and tarot, as well
as a monthly membership centered around working with moon magick. She specializes in
demystifying witchcraft, and making it practical and applicable to everyday life. Having grown
up visiting Wiccan shops and collecting crystals with her mom, Sam experienced the positive
influence that witchcraft had on her life, and is dedicated to helping others live in alignment with
their inner witch.
The Ultimate Guide to Channeling
Fair Winds Press
Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780760371770, $26.99, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: Channeling is the ability to communicate with angels, spirit guides, ascended masters,
and beings in spiritual realms.
With the publication of "The Ultimate Guide to Channeling: Practical Techniques to Connect
With Your Spirit Guides ", channelng expert and Spirit School founder Amy Sikarskie teaches
you how to develop this advanced intuitive skill with precision and safety.
"The Ultimate Guide to Channeling covers: The different styles of channeling; How to connect
with your personal group of guardian angels and spirit guides; The different chakras and clair
senses; How to use your natural intuitive abilities to perceive spiritual messages with accuracy;
How to integrate other divinatory tools such as oracle cards and sound into your channeling
"The Ultimate Guide to Channeling" also presents valuable tools and techniques for energetic
hygiene so that channeling can be done safely and accurately, plus enabling you how to discern
rogue and imposter spirits and clear energy after a channeling session.
Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout, "The Ultimate Guide to Channeling: Practical
Techniques to Connect With Your Spirit Guides" is and essential and thoroughly 'user friendly'
instruction guide and manual for anyone aspiring to communicate with supernatural and
extraterrestrial beings. Highly recommended for community library Metaphysical Studies
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Ultimate Guide to Channeling:
Practical Techniques to Connect With Your Spirit Guides" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $20.49).
Editorial Note: Amy Sikarskie is a Licensed Vocational Nurse, Past Life Hypnotherapist, Reiki
Master, Channel, and the owner of Spirit School, an online school for psychic and energetic
training and development.
The Chintamani Crystal Matrix
Johndennis Govert, author
Hapi Hara, author
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644113141, $29.99, PB, 384pp
Synopsis: Space, time, intention, matter, and consciousness all entangle in crystals. Nowhere is
this more evident than in the ancient gem archetype of the Chintamani, the wish-fulfilling jewel
known in legends around the world as the stone that grants your heart's desires. As authors
Johndennis Govert and Hapi Hara reveal, with the publication of "The Chintamani Crystal
Matrix: Quantum Intention and the Wish-Fulfilling Gem", the Chintamani's "tachyolithic"
technology of wish-granting and spiritual enlightenment creates a vehicle for positive
transformation. They show how the Chintamani energy matrix can be accessed using tangible
crystals and gemstones, meditation, yoga, and the powerful science of intention.
Exploring the many Chintamani myths and legends from East and West, "The Chintamani
Crystal Matrix" explains how there are three types of Chintamani: the mythical gemstone, the
power crystals of history, such as the Koh-i-Noor diamond, and the multidimensional field of
light, energy, and consciousness that forms a network of all gems in what is known as "the jewel
net of Indra" in Hinduism and Buddhism. Activating this crystal energy matrix provides a way to
manifest your intentions and help you create the subtle diamond body.
"The Chintamani Crystal Matrix" details specific gems and crystal spiritual technology that can
affect material reality and trigger profound spiritual growth. It provides a number of simple
practices with crystal grids and meditation to help you access the Chintamani matrix and become
aware of the interconnected jewel net of consciousness. "The Chintamani Crystal Matrix" also
examines the science of intention, which provides a basis for connecting to gemstones and
crystals, and shares advanced meditations to realize and activate your innermost heart's
Critique: Illustrated with full color photography, "The Chintamani Crystal Matrix: Quantum
Intention and the Wish-Fulfilling Gem" is a unique and inherently fascinating volume that will be
of special and particular interest for metaphysical studies involving the properties and uses of
crystals. Impressively informative, exceptionally well presented, "The Chintamani Crystal
Matrix: Quantum Intention and the Wish-Fulfilling Gem" is an ideal and recommended addition
to personal, professional, and community library collections. It should be noted that "The
Chintamani Crystal Matrix: Quantum Intention and the Wish-Fulfilling Gem" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.99).
The Self-Help Shelf
Let It Be Easy
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608687572, $17.95, PB, 304pp
Synopsis: Susie Moore knows that all too often stress is self-created and bogs us down, and she
knows that we can just as easily create peace and power. Susie doesn't deny the reality of
suffering but instead, with the publication of "Let It Be Easy: Simple Ways to Stop Stressing &
Start Living" shows how to pivot toward a life-changing way of processing pain, grief, loss, and
anxiety. Her poignant stories and wise and witty words deliver nuggets of real-life wisdom to
help you defuse reactive triggers and recast failures into successes with simple-yet-powerful
Critique: Exceptionally and impressively well written, organized and presented, "Let It Be Easy:
Simple Ways to Stop Stressing & Start Living" is a kind of blueprint for avoiding stress, and
dealing with stress if it cannot be avoided. Written with humor, candor, insight, and practicality,
"Let It Be Easy: Simple Ways to Stop Stressing & Start Living" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $9.15) and strongly recommended for personal, professional,
community, college, and university library Stress Management and Self-Help/Self-Improvement
Editorial Note: A native of England, she now lives and works in Miami, Susie Moore is a life
coach and advice columnist for some of the world's biggest media outlets. A former sales director
and adviser for start-ups in Silicon Valley and New York, she reaches her audience online and in
person with workshops, newsletters, and podcasts.
7-Minute Productivity Solution
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800741389, $29.99, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: Productive days don't just happen. They are the direct results of upending the habits
that aren't working for us and developing ones that will. With the publication of "7-Minute
Productivity Solution: How to Manage Your Schedule, Overcome Distraction, and Achieve the
Results You Want", productivity expert John Brandon reveals how to radically reduce digital
distractions and revamp your routines for better focus, efficiency, and outcomes by using his
proven 7-minute framework.
"The 7-Minute Productivity Solution" shows how to: Start your day; Manage your schedule; Stop
obsessively checking email; Take effective breaks; Create compelling presentations -- and so
much more! It only takes 7 minutes to transform your days from mindlessly reacting to whatever
comes your way to mindfully structuring your time for maximum impact.
Critique: A thoroughly 'user friendly', informative, and 'real world' practical instructional guide
and DIY manual for achieving maximum personal and professional time management benefits,
"7-Minute Productivity Solution: How to Manage Your Schedule, Overcome Distraction, and
Achieve the Results You Want" is an ideal and highly recommended addition to personal,
professional, community, corporate, college, and university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement
collections in general, and Time Management reading lists in particular. It should be noted that
"7-Minute Productivity Solution" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: John Brandon is a reporter and columnist for Inc. magazine, Fox News Network,
Christianity Today, Relevant magazine, and many others. For ten years, he worked as a corporate
manager in the Information Technology field. He then became a writer and has since published
over twelve thousand articles in seventeen years. Over ten million people have read his
thought-pieces on leadership, productivity, mentoring, and technology for Inc.com.
The Graphic Novel Shelf
The Silent Invasion: Dark Matter
Larry Hancock, author
Michael Cherkas, illustrator
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
9781681122830, $16.99, PB, 144pp
Synopsis: Walter Sinkage's quiet suburban life is shattered when he witnesses several UFOs flash
past in the sky. His search for the truth about the UFOS and the suspicious disappearance of his
brother Matt, leads him to an alien abduction support group and confrontation with the Church of
Cosmic Enlightenment. When Walter also vanishes, police detective Eddy Dime finds himself
stymied while trying to uncover the truth behind what happened to the two brothers and other
victims of what he believes may be an alien conspiracy that reaches into the highest and murkiest
echelons of government power.
Critique; A riveting science fiction mystery in a black-and-white graphic novel format, "The
Silent Invasion: Dark Matter" by the team of author/storyteller Larry Hancock and
artist/illustrator Michael Cherkas is an inherently entertaining read from cover to cover, and
unreservedly recommended for personal and community library graphic novel and science fiction
collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction fans that
"The Silent Invasion: Dark Matter" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Audiobook Shelf
CharlieN. Holmberg, author
Khristine Hvam, narrator
9781713604310, $14.99, MPW-CD
Synopsis: When a star dies, a new one must be born -- even at the cost of the mother's life in a
world where along with human beings there are Gods, Demi-Gods, and Godlings.
The Sun God chooses the village of Endwever to provide a mortal womb. The birthing of a star
is always fatal for the mother, and Ceris Wenden, who considers herself an outsider, sacrifices
herself to secure her family's honor and take control of her legacy. But after her star child is born,
Ceris does what no other star mother has: she survives. When Ceris returns to Endwever,
however, it's not nine months later -- it's seven hundred years later. Inexplicably displaced in
time, Ceris is determined to seek out her descendants.
Being a woman traveling alone brings its own challenges, until Ceris encounters a mysterious
(and desperate) godling. Ristriel is incorporeal, a fugitive, a trickster, and the only being who can
guide Ceris safely to her destination. Now, as Ceris traverses realms both mortal and beyond, her
journey truly begins.
Together, pursued across the Earth and trespassing the heavens, Ceris and Ristriel are on a path
to illuminate the mysteries that bind them and discover the secrets of the celestial world.
Critique: A unique and fabulous fantasy novel by Charlie N. Holmberg, "Star Mother" is a
complete and unabridged audio book edition from Brilliance Audio is deftly narrated by Kristine
Hvam. Providing a true 'theatre of the mind' experience for dedicated fantasy fans, "Star Mother"
is an extraordinarily entertaining addition to personal and community library audio book
collections. (8 Discs, 9 Hours 54 Minutes).
We Shall Rise
John Ringo & Gary Poole
9781713655947, $29.69, MP3-CD
Synopsis: The world has been brought to its knees by the "zombie virus". Nations have fallen,
cities have been overrun by the infected, and the human race has come perilously close to
extinction. But with the first winter come and gone, the infected have been reduced to not much
more than a background nuisance, and survivors around the world are taking stock and vowing to
rebuild and rise up stronger, better, and unafraid.
These are the all new short stories compiled and edited by John Ringo & Gary Poole's science
fiction anthology "We Shall Rise" featuring zombie themed tales from Kevin J. Anderson;
Brendon DuBois; Jody Lynn Nye; Michael Z. Williamson; Kacey Ezell; Mike Massa;
Christopher L. Smith; Lydia Sherrer; Jason Cordova; Brian Trent; Patrick Vanner; and Jamie
Critique: Ably and dramatically narrated by the vocal talents of Tanya Eby and Tristan Morris,
this complete and unabridged edition of "We Shall Rise" is highly recommended and fully
guaranteed to be a popular and appreciated addition to personal and community library Science
Fiction & Fantasy audio book collections. (1 MP3-CD, 11 Hours, 59 Minutes).
Bell, Book, and Key
Rysa Walker, author
Eric G. Dove & Kate Rudd, narrators
9781713607915, $14.99, MP3-CD
Synopsis: CHRONOS historians Madi, Tyson, and Katherine and their cohorts are on the
enemy's trail, fixing the mess that sociopath Saul Rand has made of history -- and of the
Temporal Dilemma rules. Another time shift is on the horizon, and this time, it's one that reflects
Saul's twisted vision.
When the shift hits, it plunges the United States into a modern dark age where superstition
trumps science and seventeenth-century witch hunts are no longer a thing of the past. But Saul
has added a new hurdle to this insane reality: he's hunting the Sisters of Prudence.
Clones of Katherine's daughter, the Sisters are pawns to be sacrificed on Saul's time travel
chessboard -- unless the team can track him down at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and erase
him first. Saul is calling the shots, so he's ahead of them every step of the way. With the clock
ticking, this could be the endgame for CHRONOS and, if they fail, for reality itself.
Critique: Creating a coherent time travel novel is a very difficult science fiction subgenre but
with "Bell, Book, And Key", novelist Rysa Walker has fully succeeded. The third volume and
concluding volume in the author's Chronos Origins series, and ably narrated by the team of Ric
G. Dove and Kate Rudd, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "Bell, Book, And
Key" is an inherently fascinating, fully entertaining, 'theatre of the mind' experience and is very
highly recommended for both the personal lists of dedicated time travel science fiction fans, and
community library Science Fiction & Fantasy audio book collections. (17 Hours, 3 Minutes,
The Music CD Shelf
Welcome to Florida
Artikal Sound System
Control Substance Labs Records
$15.00 CD / $9.49 MP3
Welcome to Florida is the latest album by reggae-rock band Artikal Sound System. The lyrics are
so bold as to be categorized explicit (one song is expressly titled "You're an Asshole"). A strong
sense of zest for life, dance, and vivacious excitement permeates this choice pick for fans of the
genre. Welcome to Florida celebrates the real and the surreal combined into an unforgettable
listening experience, highly recommended. The tracks are Stayed, One With You, Too Soon,
When I Wanna, Dissolve, Spiritual Broadcaster, Cops and Robbers, Pull Me Close, You're Not
There, You're an Asshole, Happy, and Bald Tires.
Lost Love Songs
The Pine Hearts
Inspired by travels to as far away as the South Pole, Lost Love Songs is roots music that stirs the
desire to dance. The core trio of Joey Capoccia on guitar, Derek McSwain on mandolin, and
Dean Shakked on bass with banjo player Lob Strilla and fiddler Bevin Foley have created a get-
up-and-move celebration, enthusiastically recommended especially for fans of the genre. The
tracks are Mary the Night's on Fire, Wouldn't You Know, Darling Don't the Sunlight in Your
Eyes, Ocean in Your Vision, Losing You, Sugareane, Unrequited Days, Oceans and Limousines,
Bones of the Vineyard, Running in Place, Long Gone Crazy, Burn that Bridge, and Unit of
The Biography Shelf
One Man in His Time...
Douglas & McIntyre
c/o Harbour Publishing
9781771623001, $29.95, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: Freedom rider. Student radical. Academic. Social activist. Residential developer.
Museum builder. Grizzly bear protector. Michael Audain has been all of these things and more in
a colorful life spanning eight decades, three continents and five careers. Born into a branch of the
legendary BC Dunsmuir clan that had lost its wealth and social status, little was expected of
Audain. A lonely teenager plagued by insecurities, he was a dismal failure in the classroom and
on the playing field. Yet Audain would become one of the most prominent home builders in
British Columbia and a well-known philanthropist in support of the visual arts and wildlife
Along the way, Audain did time in a Mississippi prison for participating in the Freedom Rider
movement. He started the Nuclear Disarmament Club at the University of British Columbia and
was a founder of the BC Civil Liberties Association. He advocated for the radical Sons of
Freedom Doukhobor sect on their protest march from the Kootenays to Vancouver. He proudly
displayed a photograph of the communist revolutionary Fidel Castro at the founding convention
of the New Democratic Party until Tommy Douglas persuaded him to take it down.
Audain worked for an airline in the Arctic, became a probation officer and a farm appraiser, was
arrested in Ireland under suspicion of terrorism, and sought wisdom from a Buddhist monk in
Thailand. In 1980, he took the most unexpected turn of all and became a developer in Greater
Vancouver's volatile housing market. As chairman of Polygon Homes Ltd., he has been
responsible for the construction of over 30,000 homes.
With the publication of his memoir, "One Man in His Time...", Audain reveals the story of his
life's unplanned twists and turns, victories and defeats -- all recounted with characteristic wit and
candor. His life story is a tale of adventure and perseverance that will inspire many seeking to
find their own place in the world.
Critique: Exceptionally well written and presented, "One Man in His Time..." is a simply
fascinating memoir of an extraordinary man who lived through extraordinary times. "One Man in
His Time..." by Michael Audain is particularly and specifically recommended for personal
reading lists, as well as community, college, and university library Contemporary Canadian
Editorial Note: Currently residing with his wife, Yoshiko Karasawa, in Vancouver, BC., Michael
Audain is the founder and chairman of Polygon Homes Ltd., an officer of the Order of Canada
and a member of the Order of British Columbia.
Joni: An Unforgettable Story
Joni Eareckson Tada
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310364191, $18.99, PB, 224pp
Synopsis: On a hot July afternoon in 1967, Joni Eareckson Tada's life was dramatically altered in
a split second. A reckless dive into shallow water took an athletic young woman from health and
success to life as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. In the forty-five years since the release of her
memoir (which has more than five million copies in print in over forty languages) Joni's earnest
struggle to find hope has resonated with millions of readers around the world. The hard-earned
truths she shares in this special edition reveal the power of God's love to transform, as well as the
triumph of faith over pain and suffering.
Joni's message has inspired people facing all types of challenges, helping them overcome their
own limitations with a determined smile. In this updated edition, you will discover how to stay
satisfied in God through disappointment and affliction. Filled with practical insights, Joni will
help you find hope in every hardship.
This commemorative 45th anniversary edition features updated photos, as well as an all-new
afterword in which Joni describes her current battle against two different cancers, her daily
struggle with chronic pain, and the joys of leading a global outreach to people living with
Critique: A unique, inspiring, and inherently interesting life history, Joni's personally updated
edition of "Joni: An Unforgettable Story" is especially and unreservedly recommended for
community, middle school, high school, college, and university library Contemporary American
Biography & Memoir collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Joni: An
Unforgettable Story" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Joni Eareckson Tada and her husband Ken live in Calabasas, California. Joni is
also the founder and president of Joni and Friends, an organization accelerating Christian
outreach in the disability community which numbers 550 million people worldwide. She is an
artist and author of numerous best-selling books, including Diamonds in the Dust, Heaven - Your
Real Home, and When God Weeps..
These Walls Between Us
She Writes Press
9781647421670, $16.95, PB, 328pp
Synopsis: In the mid-1950s, a fifteen-year-old African American teenager named Mary White
(now Mary Norman) traveled north from Virginia to work for twelve-year-old Wendy Sanford's
family as a live-in domestic for their summer vacation by a remote New England beach. Over the
years, Wendy's family came to depend on Mary's skilled service -- and each summer, Mary
endured the extreme loneliness of their elite white beachside retreat in order to support her
As the Black "help" and the privileged white daughter, Mary and Wendy were not slated for
friendship. But years later, each divorced, each a single parent, and Mary now a rising officer in
corrections and Wendy a feminist health activist, they began to walk the beach together after
dark, talking about their children and their work, and a friendship began to grow.
Based on decades' worth of visits, phone calls, letters, and texts between Mary and Wendy,
"These Walls Between Us: A Memoir of Friendship Across Race and Class" chronicles the two
women's friendship, with a focus on what Wendy characterizes as her "oft-stumbling efforts, as a
white woman, to see Mary more fully and to become a more dependable friend."
The memoir examines obstacles created by Wendy's upbringing in a narrow, white, upper-class
world; reveals realities of domestic service rarely acknowledged by white employers; and draws
on classic works by the African American writers whose work informed and challenged Wendy
along the way.
Though Wendy is the work's primary author, Mary read and commented on every draft -- and
together, the two friends hope their story will incite and support white readers to become more
informed and accountable friends across the racial divides created by white supremacy and to
become active in the ongoing movement for racial justice.
Critique: A treasured contribution to the growing numbers of African-American biographies, and
a timely, valued, and recommended addition to community, college, and university Race
Relations and Contemporary American Biography & Memoir collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "These Walls Between Us: A Memoir of Friendship Across Race and
Class" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Editorial Note: Wendy Sanford grew up in an upper-middle-class white suburban family in
Princeton, New Jersey, and attended private schools throughout her life. During the socially
turbulent time of the 1970s, she became a feminist, a lesbian, and a Quaker. A founding member
of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Wendy coauthored and edited many versions of
the women's health and sexuality classic Our Bodies, Ourselves from 1973 to 2011. In seminary
at Harvard Divinity School in the '80s, she began to read works of women of color as "devotional
reading," to remedy her previous exclusive exposure to white and mostly male authors. She
served for nearly a decade in campus ministry in the Boston area. In her fifties, she began reckon
with her own white skin and the benefits that came to her through being white. In 2003, she
earned an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. She is grateful to Mary Norman for partnering
with her to create this book.
The Gaming Shelf
Counting at Bridge
Master Point Press
9781771400657, $17.95, PB, 167pp
Synopsis: Dianne Aves is a retired math teacher and professional bridge teacher who has long
felt that counting is the most useful skill she can instill in her bridge students, but that most
books on playing bridge approach the subject at too high a level. But now with the publication of
"Counting at Bridge: The Easy Way to Improve Your Game ", she introduces the concept of
counting for newer players, and helps them to begin acquiring a skill that is critical to their
becoming better players.
Critique: Master Point Press is the premier publisher of 'how to' instructional books on all aspects
of the card game known as Bridge. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and
community library card game collections, "Counting at Bridge" is an ideal guide and manual
recommended for all new or even experienced bridge players wanting to improve their
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Weight Loss for Life
Lawrence J. Cheskin, author
Kimberly A. Gudzune, author
The Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21218
9781421441948, $29.95, HC, 400pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Weight Loss for Life: The Proven Plan for Success", by
Lawrence J. Cheskin and Kimberly A. Gudzune (two experts from the Johns Hopkins Healthful
Eating, Activity & Weight Program) provides you with all of the information you need on your
weight loss journey. They bring together leading experts in behavioral health, nutrition, exercise,
and nursing to help you develop a plan that works best for you -- and that is not focused on just
restricting calories or certain foods. Anyone struggling with unwanted weight gain or obesity will
find this program to be helpful, compassionate, and clear.
A central feature of the program is a Personal Plan of Action to help you set up reachable goals,
plan your meals, and make time for movement. All the recommendations are customizable based
on your personal health and needs. You'll enjoy the interactive features, too, with surveys
throughout asking you to reflect on your own eating habits as well as barriers to success. And
unlike other weight loss books on the market, "Weight Loss for Life" covers it all: supplements,
prescription medications, med spas, and surgical options. If you struggle, it can help you get back
on track. Throughout, testimonials from others who have followed the program along with
hundreds of photographs and drawings will help educate and keep you motivated along your
weight loss journey.
Critique: A part of the Johns Hopkins Press Health Book series, "Weight Loss for Life: The
Proven Plan for Success" is a thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide to the science and art
of achieving and maintaining a healthful weight regardless of gender or age. While especially and
unreservedly recommended for professional and community library Health & Medicine
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Weight Loss for Life: The Proven
Plan for Success" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.45).
Editorial Note #1: Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD, is an adjunct professor of medicine at Johns
Hopkins School of Medicine and a professor and the chair of nutrition and food studies at George
Mason University. He is also the author of "Healing Heartburn and Losing Weight for Good:
Developing Your Personal Plan of Action".
Editorial Note #2: Kimberly Anne Gudzune, MD, MPH, is an associate professor of medicine at
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she is the director of Johns Hopkins Healthful Eating,
Activity & Weight Program.
The Computer Shelf
Windows 11 For Dummies
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781119846475, $24.99, PB, 464pp
Synopsis: Windows 11 promises to be the fastest, most secure, and most flexible version of the
Microsoft operating system yet. "Windows 11 For Dummies" by Windows expert Andy
Rathbone gives you that speed, security, and flexibility by getting you up to date with the latest in
The introductory tour of Windows 11 starts with the Start menu and ends with how to
troubleshoot when things go wrong. In between you find out how to find files on your hard drive,
connect with friends and colleagues on Microsoft Teams, transfer photos from your phone to
your hard drive, or switch between your desktop and laptop.
Additional topics include: Navigating the Start menu; Finding where your files are hiding;
Adding separate user accounts to keep your kids out of your business; Connecting to a WiFi
network; Customizing your widgets; Switching to a laptop or tablet.
You know what you want to get done. Keep Windows 11 For Dummies by your desktop, laptop,
and tablet, and you can open it at any time to find out how to get your Windows computer to do
what you need.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Windows 11 For Dummies" is an
essential and comprehensive instructional guide and should be considered a 'must' for both the
novice and the more experienced Windows 11 users. While highly recommended for community,
college, and university library Computer Science collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Windows 11 For Dummies" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Andy Rathbone began writing the Windows For Dummies series in 1992. His
books have been translated into more than 30 languages worldwide.
The Philosophy Shelf
Dave Chappelle and Philosophy
Mark Ralkowski, editor
c/o Carus Books
9781637700020, $19.95, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: David Khari Webber Chappelle (born August 24, 1973) is an American stand-up
comedian and actor. He has received numerous accolades, including five Emmy Awards and
three Grammy Awards as well as the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He is known for
his satirical comedy sketch series Chappelle's Show (2003 - 2006). The series, co-written with
Neal Brennan, ran until Chappelle quit the show in the middle of production of the third season.
After leaving the show, Chappelle returned to performing stand-up comedy across the U.S. By
2006, Chappelle was called the "comic genius of America" by Esquire and, in 2013, "the best" by
a Billboard writer. In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked him No. 9 in their "50 Best Stand Up Comics
of All Time". (Wikipedia)
Dave Chappelle has been praised as "an American folk hero" for his ability to communicate
across lines of race, class, and culture at a time when Americans are more polarized than they
have ever been. Expertly compiled and edited by Mark Ralkowski, "Dave Chappelle and
Philosophy: When Keeping It Wrong Gets Real" is comprised of twenty-five chapters by
philosophers of diverse backgrounds and varying points of view, each of whom examine closely
the hilarious, annoying, exhilarating, upsetting, and thought-provoking aspects of Chappelle's
wonderfully rich output. "Dave Chappelle and Philosophy: When Keeping It Wrong Gets Real"
serves as an invitation to think about some of the most urgent moral and political questions of
Critique: An absolute 'must read' selection for the legions of David Chappelle fans, "Dave
Chappelle and Philosophy: When Keeping It Wrong Gets Real" is an unreservedly recommended
addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Popular Culture,
Political Humor, Contemporary Social Issues, and Philosophy collections.
The Cookbook Shelf
9781526615978, $18.00, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: Gelato is a frozen dessert of Italian origin. Gelato in Italy generally contains 6-10%
butterfat, which is lower than other styles of frozen dessert. Gelato typically contains 70% less air
and more flavoring than other kinds of frozen desserts, giving it a density and richness that
distinguishes it from other ice creams.
Offering a impressive palette of ice cream recipes, "Gelupo Gelato" by restauranteur and chef
Jacob Kenedy presents a rainbow spectrum of simple, sophisticated gelato recipes from tangy
Lime Sherbet to fruity Peach & Blood Orange, creamy Marron Glace, and decadent Chocolate &
"Gelup Gelato" also includes definitive recipes for a classic granita (like grown-up slushie),
barely-melting semifreddo, ice cream cake, profiteroles, ice cream cones and brioche buns - as
well as the only chocolate sauce any aspiring chef or family cook will ever need, as well as an
invaluable tip sheet for pairing flavors.
Critique: Impressively 'family cook friendly' in organization and presentation, offering a wealth
of DIY recipes for truly memorable gelato desserts and aperitifs, "Gelupo Gelato" is especially
and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library cookbook
collections. It should be noted for the persona use of all dedicated gelato fans and enthusiasts that
"Gelup Gelato" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: When Jacob Kenedy graduated from St John's, Cambridge, England, he was
already a chef at Moro in London, and he continued to flit between the kitchens there and those
at Boulevard in San Francisco, until taking a year out to travel round Italy. There he ate a great
deal, and learned to make gelato at Gelatauro. He opened Bocca di Lupo in a hidden backstreet in
Soho's underbelly in 2008, and it has since been twice named London's best restaurant. In 2010
he opened Gelupo, a gelateria and delicatessen in the same street. He is also the author of Bocca
and the co-author of The Geometry of Pasta.
The Wine/Beer/Spirits Shelf
Claridge's - The Cocktail Book
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784728007, $29.99, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: Comprised of more than 500 cocktail recipes drawn from London's legendary hotel,
"Claridge's - The Cocktail Book" is a true connoisseurs guide containing a wealth of DIY drinks
suitable for the cocktail hour and any other time of day. Whatever your tastes and wherever your
location, "Claridge's - The Cocktail Book" is a new bartender's bible will enable even the most
novice of cocktail makers to share the magic of Claridge's with family and friends from their own
Co-authored by Denis Broci (Director of Bars) and Nathan McCarley-O'Neill (Director of
Mixology), "Claridge's - The Cocktail Book" is handsome volume that encompasses classics
from drawn from every period in Claridge's history, and includes new inventions that reflect the
evolution of the art of drink-making and drinks of every style from every elegant space within
this grand institution. Whether you prefer something sparkling, sweet, stirred, complex, sharp,
refreshing, bracing or sour, an inviting glass awaits in the beautifully illustrated pages of
"Claridge's - The Cocktail Book".
Critique: A pleasure to simply browse through one inspiring page at a time, "Claridge's - The
Cocktail Book" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional,
community, college, and university library Wine/Beer/Spirits collections. It should be noted for
all dedicated cocktail fans and bar tenders that "Claridge's - The Cocktail Book" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).
Editorial Note: Since first opening its doors Claridge's has been the destination for fashionable
London. Bought in 1854 by Mr and Mrs William Claridge, the hotel received the ultimate
accolade in 1860 when Queen Victoria visited Claridge's to see her friend Empress Eugenie of
France. This was the beginning of a tradition of royal visits, which continues to this day.
Throughout the twentieth century Claridge's has also been the home of the great and the good of
the worlds of film, fashion, art, and finance.
The Criminology Shelf
Queen of the Con
The Kent State University Press
1118 Library, P.O. Box 5190, Kent OH 44242
9781606354292, $24.95, PB, 320pp
Synopsis: "Queen of the Con: From a Spiritualist to the Carnegie Imposter " by historian and
author Thomas Crowl tells the true story of Cassie Chadwick, a successful swindler and "one of
the top 10 imposters of all time", according to Timemagazine. Born Betsy Bigley in 1857 in
Canada, she first operated as Madame Devere, a European clairvoyant, and in 1890 was arrested
for defrauding a Toledo bank of $20,000. In the mid-1890s, while working as a madam in a
Cleveland brothel, Cassie met and married a widowed physician with a coveted Euclid Avenue
At the dawn of the 20th century, Cassie borrowed $2 million (worth roughly $50 million today)
throughout northern Ohio, Pittsburgh, New York, and Boston by convincingly posing as the
illegitimate daughter of wealthy industrialist-turned-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
When the fraud collapsed in 1904, it was a nationwide sensation. "Yes, I borrowed money in
very large amounts," she told reporters, "but what of it? You can't accuse a poor businesswoman
of being a criminal, can you?" Carnegie, who never responded to the claim, merely joked that
Mrs. Chadwick had demonstrated that his credit was still good.
A meticulously researched study, "Queen of the Con: From a Spiritualist to the Carnegie
Imposter" is the first full-length account of the notorious career of this fascinating woman, the
forerunner to more recent female scammers like Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes or fake
heiress Anna Sorokin, the "Soho Grifter".
Crowl's engaging storytelling also leads readers to consider aspects of gender stereotypes, social
and economic class structures, and the ways in which we humans can so often be fooled.
Critique: A true crime biography that reads with all the inherent and fascinated interest of a deftly
crafted novel, "Queen of the Con: From a Spiritualist to the Carnegie Imposter" will prove to be
an immediate and welcome addition to community, college, and university library True Crime
History & Biography collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated
true crime fans that "Queen of the Con: From a Spiritualist to the Carnegie Imposter" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.99).
Editorial Note: Thomas Crowl is an avocational historian who has published two previous books,
Murder of a Journalist (published by Kent State University Press) and Opdycke's Tigers in the
Civil War. His articles have appeared in Timeline, Echoes, History Magazine, and the Central
States Archaeological Journal.
Street Gangs Throughout the World
Herbert C. Covey, Ph.D.
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62704
9780398093723, $52.95, PB, 282pp
Synopsis: Now in a newly expanded third edition, "Street Gangs Throughout the World" by
Herbert C. Vovey (who is the deputy director of human services for Adams County, Colorado,
and a part-time instructor at the University of Colorado - Boulder) provides an update on what is
known about street gangs throughout the world and summarizes some of the major works on
street gang phenomena. This new edition of "Street Gangs Throughout the World" focuses on
those countries that have a greater presence in the literature.
Chapter 1 introduces the reader to the topic of street gangs throughout the world.
Chapter 2 identifies some of the challenges faced by scholars when studying gangs in different
Chapter 3 reviews some of the basic research on street gangs in the United States and
Chapter 4 covers what is known about street gangs in Europe and Russia.
Chapter 5 reviews the literature on street gangs in one of the hottest areas of the world for gangs,
Central America. In addition, this chapter examines South American and Caribbean gangs. Street
gangs in Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, Trinidad, and
other countries are covered. The presence of street gangs and gang violence in these and other
countries ! has been identified as a major factor in the mass migration of refugees to the United
Chapter 6 reports on the street gangs of Africa. Research on gangs in South Africa goes back
decades and the country has a unique history on how gangs evolved. Other countries, such as
Egypt, Nigeria, and Kenya are developing a body of literature that highlights the distinctive
nature of gangs and gang members in these countries.
Chapter 7 addresses street gangs in Asia, including China, India, Hong Kong (post-reunification),
Japan, and other countries. This chapter provides rare glimpses of gangs in China, a relatively
secretive country. Although different in many ways from gangs in Asia, information is also
included here about gangs in Australia and New Zealand.
Practitioners in the criminal justice and juvenile justice fields will find this 3rd edition of "Street
Gangs Throughout the World" to be a valuable and timely resource.
Critique: Expertly organized and presented, this newly updated and expanded third edition of
"Street Gangs Throughout the World" is a unique, critically useful, and unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library
Contemporary Criminology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Kraby: The Dark Secrets Behind a True-Crime Murder
9781934980149, $15.00, PB, 178pp
Synopsis: A single shotgun blast pierced the starless autumn night, and Officer Paul Kraby
crumpled to the cold pavement, killed instantly by the the deadly shot aimed at his head. The
murder of the well-liked police officer rocked the Wisconsin town which was already staggered
by the depths of the Great Depression and the corruption of bootlegging. Who killed Paul Kraby
and, more importantly, why? As three young reporters begin unraveling the facts, Stoughton,
Wisconsin's dark secrets slowly begin to emerge in the pages of "Kraby: The Dark Secrets
Behind a True-Crime Murder" by Steve Fortney.
Critique: Written with all the dramatic flair of a novel, "Kraby: The Dark Secrets Behind a
True-Crime Murder" is the real life investigation of an actual homicide. A compelling and deftly
presented account that will hold the reader's total attention from first page to last, "Kraby: The
Dark Secrets behind a True-Crime Murder" is highly recommended, especially for community
library True Crime collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated true
crime enthusiasts that "Kraby: The Dark Secrets Behind a True-Crime Murder" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).
Editorial Note: Steve Fortney has called Stoughton, Wisconsin, his home since 1961. His varied
working career include jobs as a high school teacher, newspaper reporter, and member of the
Stoughton city council. Since retiring, Fortney enjoys fishing, hunting, and writing at his cabin in
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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