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Major Tom Schueman, author
Zainullah Zaki, author
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
9780063260610, $29.99, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: In August of 2021, just days shy of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, America ended its longest war. The speed of
the Afghanistan's fall was so stunning that thousands of Afghan citizens who had helped American forces over the course
of two decades (and had been promised visas in return) were suddenly stranded, in extreme, imminent danger.
As the world watched the shocking scenes of desperation at the Kabul airport in the final two weeks of August, Maj. Tom
Schueman fought (both behind the scenes and through a social media campaign) to get his friend and former Afghan
interpreter, Zak, out of Afghanistan before he and his family were discovered by the Taliban. When Zak and his family
finally took off from the airport mere days before the US left the country, the years-long effort to get Zak to America
culminated in two simple words on Instagram: "Wheels up."
With the publication of "Always Faithful: A Story of the War in Afghanistan, the Fall of Kabul, and the Unshakable Bond
Between a Marine and an Interpreter", Tom and Zak tell the full story of the divergent paths that led them to Afghanistan,
the dangerous road they walked together in service to America, and how their commitment to each other ended up saving
them both. Brilliantly told in Tom's and Zak's alternating first person voices, "Always Faithful" also tracks the parallel
lives of these two men who each spent their childhoods in fear, peril, and poverty, and turned to war in attempt to build a
meaningful future. On an inevitable course towards each other, their lives dovetail in Afghanistan's deadly Helmand
Valley, where they formed a brotherhood that transcends even the most overwhelming of odds, eventually culminating in
Zak's harrowing, eleventh-hour rescue.
The end result is an intensely personal and uniquely ground-level account of Tom and Zak's experience, Always Faithful
gives readers a 360-degree view of the war. At once provocative and heart pounding, their stories together form a
microcosm of the complicated and lasting effects of America's longest war. Through their eyes and their experiences, they
challenge readers to explore the legacy of the war for American and Afghan citizens alike, as we all collectively seek to
understand whether twenty years of war was worth the price.
Critique: A unique dual memoir, "Always Faithful: A Story of the War in Afghanistan, the Fall of Kabul, and the
Unshakable Bond Between a Marine and an Interpreter" is an inherently fascinating read from cover to cover. A prized and
unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library 21st Century American Military
Biography & Memoir collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Always Faithful" is also available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $15.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798200974931,
Editorial Note #1: Major Tom Schueman served in Afghanistan for sixteen months, including the single bloodiest battle of
the war in Afghanistan as a platoon commander with the Third Battalion, Fifth Marines in Helmand Province. Schueman
redeployed to Afghanistan as a JTAC and advisor to the Afghan National Army while he was a member of First
Reconnaissance Battalion. Schueman went on to get his master's in English literature at Georgetown University and teach
English literature at the United States Naval Academy. He is currently a student at the Naval War College and remains on
active duty. He is also the founder of the nonprofit Patrol Base Abbate.
Editorial Note #2: Zainullah "Zak" Zaki is one of nine children and was raised by a subsistence farmer in eastern
Afghanistan. Zak served as an interpreter for the U.S. forces during the war in Afghanistan with the Third Battalion, Fifth
Marines in Helmand Province beginning in 2010, and later worked for the U.S. government in Kunar Province from 2012
to 2014. After more than six years battling bureaucracy with Major Tom Schueman as his advocate, Zak successfully
immigrated to America with his family in 2021. He is currently awaiting a final ruling on his immigration status and
working in construction in San Antonio, Texas.
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
Horwitz Publications, Pulp Fiction and the Rise of the Australian Paperback
9781839982453, $125.00, HC, 254pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Horwitz Publications, Pulp Fiction and the Rise of the Australian Paperback", author
Andrew Nette offers the first book-length study of Sydney-based Horwitz Publications, the largest and most dynamic
Australian pulp publisher to emerge after World War II.
Although best known for its cheaply produced, sometimes luridly packaged, softcover books, Horwitz Publications played
a far larger role in mainstream Australian publishing than has been so far recognised, particularly in the expansion of the
paperback from the late 1950s onwards.
"Horwitz Publications, Pulp Fiction and the Rise of the Australian Paperback" examines the authorship, production,
marketing and distribution of Horwitz pulp paperbacks. It also includes ground-breaking material on the conditions of
creative labor: the writers, artists and editors involved in the production of Horwitz pulp. This seminal study also explores
how Horwitz pulp paperbacks acted as a local conduit for the global modern: the ideas, sensations, fascinations,
technologies, and people that came crashing into the Australian consciousness in the 1950s and 1960s.
Critique: Informative enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an Introduction (Pulp Jungles in Australia and Beyond),
numerous Figures, a fourteen page Bibliography, and a seven page Index, "Horwitz Publications, Pulp Fiction and the Rise
of the Australian Paperback" by Andrew Nette is highly recommended reading for anyone with an interest in the history of
paperback publishing. Offering a wealth of detailed historical information, "Horwitz Publications, Pulp Fiction and the
Rise of the Australian Paperback" would well serve as a template or example of similar studies of American paperbacks as
that segment of the publishing industry has evolved over time. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital
book format (Kindle, $30.49), "Horwitz Publications, Pulp Fiction and the Rise of the Australian Paperback" is
unreservedly recommended as a unique addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Publishing
Editorial Note: A writer of fiction and non-fiction, a researcher, a reviewer and a pulp scholar, Andrew Nette has a
dedicated website at https://www.pulpcurry.com/about-pulp-curry
The Education Shelf
The Best 388 Colleges, 2023
Robert Franek, et al.
The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
9780593450963, $24.99, PB, 880pp
Synopsis: Comprised of 388 in-depth school profiles based on candid feedback from 143,000 students, covering
academics, administration, campus life, and financial aid, "The Best 388 Colleges, 2023" offers insights on unique college
character, social scene, and more. Of special note are the direct quotes from students about their school's professors,
campus culture, career services, and more.
Also featured are lists of the top 25 colleges in 50 categories based on students' opinions of academics, campus life,
facilities, etc. There are even ratings for every school on Financial Aid, Selectivity, and Quality of Life.
Of special note is the "Inside Word" on competitive applications, test scores, tuition, and average indebtedness, along with
comprehensive information on selectivity, freshman profiles, and application deadlines at each school.
Plus there is free access to 2 full-length practice tests online (1 SAT and 1 ACT) to help aspiring college applicants to prep
for the important admissions-exams part of their admissions journey.
Critique: The Princeton Review's college rankings started in 1992 with surveys from 30,000 students. Over 30 years and
more than a million student surveys later, they stand by their claim that there is no single "best" college, only the best
college for a particular student and their families, and that this new and updated edition for 2023 is the ideal reference
guide that will help them to find it! Simply stated, every highschool guidance counselor and community library should
have a copy of "The Best 388 Colleges, 2023" for the benefit of their students and patrons.
Editorial Note: The experts at The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com) have been helping students, parents,
and educators achieve the best results at every stage of the education process since 1981. The Princeton Review has helped
millions succeed on standardized tests, and provides expert advice and instruction to help parents, teachers, students, and
schools navigate the complexities of school admission. In addition to classroom courses in over 40 states and 20 countries,
The Princeton Review also offers online and school-based courses, one-to-one and small-group tutoring as well as online
services in both admission counseling and academic homework help.
The Cookbook Shelf
The Slow Cooker Bible
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9780753734926, $24.99, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Slow Cooker Bible: Super Simple Feasts for the Whole Family, Including
Delicious Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes", even the most novice of family chefs can now get the most out of their slow
cooker with this culinary compendium of 150 easy-to-assemble recipes (including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and
lighter options) for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.
From light bites to hearty mains, "The Slow Cooker Bible" has the perfect recipe for every meal. Whether it's setting your
slow cooker to wake you up with a hearty breakfast or having a healthy dinner ready for the family when you get home
from work, slow cooking makes meal prep easy.
The recipes comprising "The Slow Cooker Bible" are deftly organized into seven major sections: Brilliant Breakfasts;
Lighter Meals and Sides; Warming Soups; Hearty Stews and Casseroles; Meat and Fish Dishes; Spicy Flavors; Sweet
Including a wide range of recipes to suit everyone's taste, this ultimate collection of slow cooker recipes features
plant-based vegan and vegetarian meals, gluten-free dishes, lighter options; plus delicious chicken, beef, pork and fish
recipes. Of special note is the inclusion of a handy introduction to slow cooking, plus troubleshooting tips and advice will
ensure you get the most out of your slow cooker for delicious results every time.
Critique: Next to the microwave, arguably the most resorted to kitchen appliance for today's busy family cooks is the slow
cooker. "The Slow Cooker Bible: Super Simple Feasts for the Whole Family, Including Delicious Vegan and Vegetarian
Recipes" is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to family, personal, and community library cookbook
collections -- and a 'must' for utilizing a slow cooker to its maximum meal preparation potential. It should be noted that
"The Slow Cooker Bible: Super Simple Feasts for the Whole Family, Including Delicious Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes"
is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note: Pyramid publishes books on a wide range of popular subjects including cookery, reference, mind body
spirit and gift. Beyond its new books, Pyramid is known for its titles drawn from the extensive Octopus archive and its
custom publishing expertise.
Give My Swiss Chards to Broadway: The Broadway Lover's Cookbook
Gideon Glick, author
Adam Roberts, author
Justin Robertson, illustrator
The Countryman Press
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9781682687185, $25.00, HC, 200pp
Synopsis: Good food and trivia and authors who sing -- these are a few of our favorite things! With the publication of
"Give My Swiss Chards to Broadway: The Broadway Lover's Cookbook", Tony-nominated actor Gideon Glick and food
writer Adam Roberts have teamed up to write the ultimate cookbook for theater lovers. This collection of musical-inspired
recipes includes dishes like Yolklahoma!, Clafoutis and the Beast, Yam Yankees, Dear Melon Hansen, and more. And
while readers are sure to be charmed by the names, the recipes themselves will have them sticking around for the food,
Thoughtfully assembled by two veritable Broadway experts, each featured dish comprising "Give My Swiss Chards to
Broadway" comes with a brief history of the show that inspired it, a summary of the plot, and "Listening Notes" chock-full
of behind-the-scenes trivia. Complete with lively illustrations from celebrated theatrical illustrator Justin "Squigs"
Robertson, "Give My Swiss Chards to Broadway" makes every meal feel like a night at the theater.
Critique: With an entertaining proclivities for puns, "Give My Swiss Chards to Broadway: The Broadway Lover's
Cookbook" deftly combines show tunes with recipes. The result is a unique, palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen
cook friendly compendium of dishes and contexts for them that will delight food lovers and theatre goers alike. While
highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Contemporary Cookbook Collections, it should be
noted for personal and professional lists that "Give My Swiss Chards to Broadway: The Broadway Lover's Cookbook" is
also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note #1: Gideon Glick (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1921376/) is a Tony-nominated actor who has starred in
To Kill a Mockingbird, Spring Awakening, and more.
Editorial Note #2: Adam Roberts (https://www.linkedin.com/in/adam-roberts-a4ba31249) is a food writer and author of
The Amateur Gourmet and Secrets of the Best Chefs.
Taste of Home Fall Baking
Taste of Home, author
Trusted Media Brand
9781621458289, $19.99, PB, 320pp
Synopsis: Showcasing more than 275 recipes of creating impressive cakes, snackable cookies, holiday pies, impressive
tarts and all the buttery breads, "Taste of Home Fall Baking" deftly combines easy-to-follow instructions with mouth-
watering full color photographs of the finished bake goods. The dozens of kitchen cook friendly how-to photos and
step-by-step instructions as well as baking hints and tips from Test Kitchen pros will easily enable even the most novice of
bakers to turn out professional quality baked goods.
Of special note are the additional QR codes linked to handy how-to videos and collections of free recipes. There is even a
special Bonus Chapter offering savory potpies, bubbling casseroles and other oven-fresh entrees sure to warm the chilliest
Critique: Targeting for the Fall/Autumn season, but good eating all year round, "Taste of Home Fall Baking" is a culinary
treasure to plan memorable menus with and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition and DIY resource for personal,
professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted for personal use, especially when planning
menus for Thanksgiving Dinners, Holiday Cooking, and Wine Tasting Events, that "Taste of Home Fall Baking" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
Editorial Note: There is a complete listing of Taste of Home cookbooks at
Taste of Home Boards, Platters & More
Taste of Home, editor
Trusted Media Brand
9781621458302, $24.99, PB, 208pp
Synopsis: "Taste of Home Boards, Platters & More" is comprised of 56 easy-to-assemble boards as well as the recipes that
go with them! In addition to striking wine and cheese boards, there are DIY instructions for preparing garden-fresh veggie
platters, a taco-night board, pancake and waffle boards, a chocolate tray, a fondue board, a movie-night platter, a snackable
Superbowl stadium and so many others. Even the most novice of kitchen cooks will learn the culinary secrets to building
their own charcuterie specialties, impress guests with holiday-themed boards and serve up the sort of appetizers and
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full color photography throughout, "Taste Of Home Boards, Platters &
More: 219 Party Perfect Boards, Bites & Beverages For Any Get-Together" will prove to be a prized and popular addition
to personal, professional, and community library collection. Of particular appeal to those with an interest in party planning,
appetizers, meal garnishings, it should be noted that "Taste Of Home Boards, Platters & More" is also available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Editorial Note: There is a complete listing of Taste of Home cookbooks at
Latin American Street Food
Sandra A. Gutierrez
University of North Carolina Press
116 South Boundary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3808
9781469608709, $39.95, HC, 368pp
Synopsis: From tamales to tacos, food on a stick to ceviches, and empanadas to desserts, with the publication of "Latin
American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina", Sandra A.
Gutierrez takes us on a tasting tour of the most popular and delicious culinary finds of twenty Latin American countries,
including Mexico, Cuba, Peru, and Brazil, translating them into 150 easy recipes for the home kitchen. These exciting,
delectable, and accessible foods are sure to satisfy everyone.
Sharing fascinating culinary history, fun personal stories, and how-to tips, Gutierrez showcases some of the most
recognized and irresistible street foods, such as Mexican Tacos al Pastor, Guatemalan Christmas Tamales, Salvadorian
Pupusas, and Cuban Sandwiches. She also presents succulent and unexpected dishes sure to become favorites, such as
Costa Rican Tacos Ticos, Brazilian Avocado Ice Cream, and Peruvian Fried Ceviche.
Critique: With compellingly beautiful full color photographs of finished dishes, "Latin American Street Food: The Best
Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina" is thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in
organization and presentation which includes a list of sources for the ingredients of each featured dish. A remarkable and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections, it
should be noted that "Latin American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from
Mexico to Argentina" is also available in a paperback edition (9781469672564, $25.00) and in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Sandra A. Gutierrez (https://www.facebook.com/sandralatinista/) is a food writer, culinary instructor, and
recipe developer. She is also the author of The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes That Bring Together the Bold and
Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South.
Jernard A. Wells
9781637741504, $26.95, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: After growing up in Mississippi, Jernard Wells brought the familiar dishes and bold flavors of the South along
on his culinary journey to becoming a chef, a restaurateur, and a TV host. With the publication of "Southern Inspired:
More Than 100 Delicious Dishes from My American Table to Yours", Jernard continues his journey by retracing the steps
of generations of African American cooks whose creations contributed to global kitchen tables since slavery.
Southern food defines American food at large, and Jernard takes it to a whole new level while still honoring its roots.
Jernard also brings in flavors from the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, always with his signature Southern
"Southern Inspired" shares 100 recipes that are appropriate for both beginners and the more experienced cooks alike. Here
there are dishes for busy weekdays, backyard barbecues, slow-paced dinner parties, indulgent brunches, and holiday feasts
with recipes that range from Blackened Catfish with Smoked Gouda Grits; Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken; Creamy
Collard Green Dip and Crostini; and Over-the-Top Lime BBQ Shrimp Tacos; to Fried Green Tomatillos; Chicken
Cheeseburger Eggrolls; Georgia Peach Hot Chicken Sandwiches; Cranberry Whiskey Glazed Pork Ribs; and Mason Jar
Raspberry Chocolate Trifles.
Accompanied by beautiful color photography, Southern Inspired showcases Jernard's American food: fresh, personal
recipes packed with traditions and heartwarming family stories from an African American chef's perspective.
Critique: A simple culinary pleasure to browse through and plan memorable menus with, "Southern Inspired: More Than
100 Delicious Dishes from My American Table to Yours" with its palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook
friendly recipes is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library
cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Southern Inspired: More Than 100 Delicious Dishes from My American
Table to Yours" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Jernard A. Wells (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6264141/) is the host of New Soul Kitchen and New
Soul Kitchen Remix on CLEO TV and is best known from numerous Food Network shows. Wells is also a contributor on
The Best Things I Ever Ate on Cooking Channel and Food Fantasies on Oprah Winfrey Network. He has been featured
on/in TODAY, People magazine, The Steve Harvey Morning Show, Rickey Smiley Morning Show, ESSENCE, Daily
Blast Live, Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, HLN, and more. This James Beard House Honored Chef is a 2-time Telly Award
winner and Taste Award winner. Wells is affectionately called "The Family Chef."
Cast Iron Cooking
Ashley Billey, et al.
c/o Lone Pine Publishing
9781990534003, $19.99, Spiral Bound, 160pp
Synopsis: For centuries, cast iron cookware was the most common type of cookware in the world. Long before ovens were
invented, heavy 3-legged cast iron cauldrons, utensils, kettles, and all shapes of pots hung over fires inside at hearths or
outside over campfires. As other less expensive and lighter forms of cookware became more widely available, cast iron
pots and pans dropped in popularity. But today they are making a comeback and retaking their rightful place in kitchens
around the globe.
Cast iron is renowned for its ability to retain heat and for its durability. When properly cared for, cast iron cookware can be
the kitchen workhorse for generations, turning out mouth-watering steaks, sizzling fajitas, beautifully browned cornbread
and so much more. But cooking with cast iron is a little different than cooking with stainless steel or aluminum pots and
With the publication of "Cast Iron Cooking", culinary experts Ashley Billey, Jean Pare, Wendy Pirk, and James Darcy has
chosen some of their favorite meals to cook in cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens. They have also provided detailed
information on how to properly care for your cast iron cookware. This impressive collection of prized and favorite recipes,
along with helpful tips scattered throughout, will become your go-to resource for all things cooked with cast iron.
Critique: Enhanced with full page color photos of finished dishes, "Cast Iron Cooking" is organized into two major
sections: Skillet and Dutch Oven. Along with an informative Introduction, a section on How to Roast Coffee and another
on 'Outdoor' recipes, and a three page Index, "Cast Iron Cooking" is spiral bound so as to lay out flat on a table or counter.
Very highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections, and the newest
addition to Canadian publisher 'Company's Coming' series, "Practical Gourmet: Company's Coming: Cast Iron Cooking is
an extraordinary cookbook and ideal for planning memorable menus with and will enable even the most novice of cast iron
kitchen cooks to expertly prepare meals for any and all dining occasions.
Editorial Note: Started by Jean Pare in 1981, Company's Coming quickly became Canada's largest publisher of
Japanese Home Cooking
Chihiro Masui, author
Hanae Kaede, author
Annabelle Schachmes, photographer
Firefly Books Ltd.
9781770856066, $39.95, HC, 280pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Japanese Home Cooking", kitchen cooks will appreciated how the techniques and
ingredients of Japanese cuisine are explained clearly, thanks in great part to the many step-by-step photos. This
compendium of recipes for delicious and authentic Japanese cuisine omits nothing, from cooking rice to dressing a
"Japanese Home Cooking" is the ideal guide for cooks new to Japanese cuisine, as well as those with experience with
features that include: The Japanese approach to food; Step-by-step photographs for all recipes that require more than the
most basic skills; Final dish presentation; Technique and important detail (such as slicing fish and vegetables in the
traditional Japanese manner); Dashi stock base (a symbol of Japanese cooking); Notes on the history of Japanese regional
cooking and the influence of foreigners; and the distinctive Japanese table.
"Japanese Home Cooking" has six sections with more than 90 recipes plus variations for everyday dishes and for gourmet
cuisine for special occasions. For example: Starters (Cucumber and wakame Sunomono; Prawns with pickled egg and
kimi-zu); Bowls and Soups (Red miso soup with clams asa ri; Clear soup dumpling and crab wakame); Vegetables and
Tofu (Pumpkin in chicken broth soboro; Seaweed hijiki; Sweet daikon with miso); Fried and Grilled (Teriyaki salmon;
Breaded shrimp tonkatsu; Tamago-yaki omelette); Rice and Noodles (Rice with five favors; Asa-zuke of cabbage,
cucumber, carrots and Brussels sprouts; Yakisoba fried noodles); Sweets: Soy milk creme caramel; Hortensia cake;
Ukishima (floating island).
For hard-to-find ingredients, "Japanese Home Cooking" also includes a resource section and tips on generally available
Critique: More than just a simple collection of ethnic recipes, "Japanese Home Cooking" offers a complete and
comprehensive instructional course in understanding and preparing palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook
friendly authentic Japanese cuisine. While also available in a paperback edition (9780228103684, $24.95), "Japanese
Home Cooking" will be an elegant and prized addition to any personal, professional, or community library cookbook
Editorial Note #1: Born in Japan, Chihiro Masui is the author of more than 20 cookbooks published in Japan and
Editorial Note #2: Hanae Kaede has worked as a pastry chef in Michelin-starred restaurants. She returned to Japan to
obtain a diploma in Japanese cuisine.
Editorial Note #3: Annabelle Schachmes is a food journalist for the French daily newspaper France Soir. As a
photographer, she has worked for various culinary publications and chefs' books.
The World History Shelf
Medieval Bridges of Southern England: 100 Bridges, 1000 Years
Marshall G. Hall
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781914427138, $59.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Throughout history rivers have been a hub for human settlement and have long been a key part of local
livelihoods, history and culture, as well as still playing a present-day role in providing services and leisure to people who
live around them. It is no coincidence that all four of the earliest human civilizations were formed on great rivers: the Nile,
Euphrates, Indus and Yellow rivers all saw great human aggregation along them. The most ancient and vital architectural
structures in human history are linked to the use of rivers are bridges.
There are a wide range of medieval bridge structures, some very simple in their construction, to amazing triumphs of
design and engineering comparable with the great churches of the period. They stand today as proof of the great
importance of transport networks in the Middle Ages and of the size and sophistication of the medieval economy. These
bridges were built in some of the most difficult places, across broad flood plains, deep tidal waters, and steep upland
valleys, and they withstood all but the most catastrophic floods. Yet their beauty, from simplistic to ornate, remains for us
"Medieval Bridges of Southern England: 100 Bridges, 1000 Years" by Professor Marshall G. Hall has been organized
geographically into tours and covers the governmental regions of Southwest England, London, and Southeast England.
There are exactly 100 bridges included. There is an introduction and background information about the medieval period of
English history at the beginning and there are beautiful full color photographs throughout the book.
Critique: A seminal work of original and informative scholarship that is impressively enhanced throughout with full color
photography, "Medieval Bridges of Southern England: 100 Bridges, 1000 Years" is a unique, extraordinary, and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library Medieval History collections
and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers
with an interest in the subject that "Medieval Bridges of Southern England: 100 Bridges, 1000 Years" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.49).
Editorial Note: Marshall G. Hall is a retired UK university professor of Socio-Anthropology who has held a lifelong
interest in travel, exploration, linguistics, architecture, and adventure. He originally moved from the University of
Cincinnati to England to teach for the American College in London and 33 years later still calls the UK home. Today
Marshall writes, teaches the occasional university class as a guest lecturer, does public speaking, and tends to his
Try Not to Be Strange
9781771964159, $18.95, PB, 302pp
Synopsis: On his fifteenth birthday, in the summer of 1880, future science-fiction writer M.P. Shiel sailed with his father
and the local bishop from their home in the Caribbean out to the nearby island of Redonda -- where, with pomp and
circumstance, he was declared the island's king. A few years later, when Shiel set sail for a new life in London, his father
gave him some advice: Try not to be strange. It was almost as if the elder Shiel knew what was coming.
With the publication of "Try Not to Be Strange: The Curious History of the Kingdom of Redonda", by journalist and
author Michael Hingston tells, for the first time, the complete history of Redonda's transformation from an uninhabited,
guano-encrusted island into a fantastical and international kingdom of writers.
With a cast of characters including forgotten sci-fi novelists, alcoholic poets, vegetarian publishers, Nobel Prize
frontrunners, and the bartenders who kept them all lubricated while angling for the throne themselves, Michael Hingston
details the friendships, feuds, and fantasies that fueled the creation of one of the oddest and most enduring micronations
ever dreamt into being.
Part biography, part literary history, part travelogue, part quest narrative, "Try Not to Be Strange" is cautionary tale about
what happens when bibliomania escapes the shelves and stacks is as charming as it is peculiar -- and blurs the line between
reality and fantasy so thoroughly that it may never be entirely restored.
Critique: An inherently fascinating read from first page to last, "Try Not to Be Strange: The Curious History of the
Kingdom of Redonda" will have a special and particular appeal to readers with an interest in travel humor and unusual
biographies. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Try Not to Be Strange" is unreservedly recommended
for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Try Not to Be Strange" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note #2: Matthew Phipps Shiell (21 July 1865 - 17 February 1947), known as M. P. Shiel, was a British writer.
His legal surname remained "Shiell" though he adopted the shorter version as a de facto pen name. Wikipedia:
He is remembered mainly for supernatural horror and scientific romances. His work was published as serials, novels, and
as short stories. The Purple Cloud (1901, revised 1929) remains his most often reprinted novel.
Editorial Note #2: Michael Hingston (http://michaelhingston.com) is also the author of "Let's Go Exploring" and "The
Dilettantes". His journalism has appeared in National Geographic, Wired, and the Washington Post.
The Political Science Shelf
The Hidden History of Neoliberalism
Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
1333 Broadway, Suite 1000, Oakland CA, 94612
9781523002320, $17.00, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: With four decades of neoliberal rule coming to an end, America is at a crossroads. In this powerful and
accessible book, Thom Hartmann demystifies neoliberalism and explains how we can use this pivotal point in time to
create a more positive future.
With the publication of "The Hidden History of Neoliberalism: How Reaganism Gutted America and How to Restore Its
Greatness", author Thom Hartmann traces the history of neoliberalism (a set of capitalistic philosophies favoring free
trade, low taxes on the rich, financial austerity, and deregulation of big business) up to the present day.
Hartmann explains how neoliberalism was sold as a cure for wars and the Great Depression. He outlines the destructive
impact that it has had on America, looking at how it has increased poverty, damaged the middle class, and corrupted our
America is standing on the edge of a new progressive era. We can continue down the road to a neoliberal oligarchy, as
supported by many of the nation's billionaires and giant corporations. Or we can choose to return to Keynesian economics
and Alexander Hamilton's "American Plan" by raising taxes on the rich, reversing free trade, and building a society that
works for all.
Critique: Critically important, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and unreservedly recommended for personal,
community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science & Economic Theory collections and
supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political
activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Hidden
History of Neoliberalism: How Reaganism Gutted America and How to Restore Its Greatness" is also available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Thom Hartmann (https://www.thomhartmann.com) is a four time winner of the Project Censored Award.
He has authored more than thirty books, and is America's #1 progressive talk radio show host for more than a decade. His
show is carried on SiriusXM and radio stations nationwide and simulcast as television on Free Speech TV.
War and Peace
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, author
Alex Prichard, editor
Paul Sharkey, translator
370 Ryan Ave #100, Chico, CA 95973
9781849354684, $30.00, PB, 625pp
Synopsis: "War and Peace: On the Principle and Constitution of the Rights of Peoples" by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was
originally published in 1861, and still remains one of the only extended accounts of anarchist international theory -- and is
one of the earliest in the history of socialist thought.
It is a profound contribution to the traditions of 'jus gentium' and just war theory, that puts force and power at the centre of
analysis. Alex Prichard's introduction describes both its specificity and the multiple lines of influence "War and Peace" had
on thinkers as diverse as Tolstoy, Sorel, French sociology more broadly, and post-1945 Anglo-American International
Critique: This new paperback edition of "War and Peace: On the Principle and Constitution of the Rights of Peoples" from
AK Press is ably translated into English for an American readership by Paul Sharkey and is an especially and unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Political Science collections. Of special
note to readers with an interest in Anarchism, Class Theory, and Social Theory that "War and Peace: On the Principle and
Constitution of the Rights of Peoples" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.49).
Editorial Note #1: A French politician, philosopher, economist and the founder of mutualist philosophy, Pierre-Joseph
Proudhon (15 January 1809, Besan‡on - 19 January 1865, Paris) was one of Europe's most well-known socialists during
his lifetime. His complete works span over sixty volumes. From his opening salvo on the social origins of the Sabbath, to
the claim that "all property is theft!", to his final writings on international relations, federalism, and the political capacity of
the working class, his works shaped European socialism for a generation, and continue to act as the intellectual spine of
Editorial Note #2: Alex Prichard (https://politics.exeter.ac.uk/staff/prichard/) is Associate Professor of International
Relations at the University of Exeter. He has written widely on Proudhon's thought and on the political theory of anarchy.
His most recent project is Anarchic Agreements: How to Build Groups and Coalitions with PM Press. He resides in
Editorial Note #3: Paul Sharkey is one of the most well-known and highly respected translators of anarchist writings of the
past thirty years. He has translated works by Kropotkin, Malatesta, Proudhon, and many more. He lives in Ireland.
The General Fiction Shelf
The Time Between Us
c/o Head of Zeus
9781801104425, $15.95, PB, 416pp
Synopsis: Normandy, 1937. Sixteen-year-old Elise embarks on a whirlwind romance with a young American man, which
transports her from the drudgery of her everyday life caring for her mother. But neither she nor William is prepared for the
war that will threaten to tear them apart...
Boston, 2009. Lucy has been left reeling by the death of her beloved grandfather. They had always planned to visit France
together after her college graduation; now, still aching from his loss, Lucy decides to take the trip alone.
As Lucy traces the steps of her grandfather through the French countryside where he once served as a GI, a powerful story
of love, loss and destiny emerges -- but can the truth about her family's past unlock her future? Or are some scars too deep
Critique: With a very special appeal to readers with an interest in wartime and historical multi-generational romance
novels, "The Time Between Us" by author Marina McCarron is one of those deftly crafted and original stories that will
linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book is finished and set back upon the shelf. While unreservedly
recommended for community library Historical Fiction and Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "The Time Between Us" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99) and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Bolinda Audio, 9781867587477, $29.99, MP3-CD). She has a dedicated website at
Editorial Note: Currently residing in London, England, Marina McCarron has worked as a reporter, a freelance writer, a
reader for a literary scout and was a sales rep for a major publisher. The Time Between Us is her debut novel.
Rare Machines Book
c/o The Dundurn Group
9781459748071, $17.99, PB, 336pp
Synopsis: Josephine is obsessed (or possessed!) by an unrequited love for a younger man who doesn't promise anything,
but who gives her a taste of intimacy that puts her on the brink of losing her mind. Oscillating between her elusive lover
and her older former partner, stuck in the hell that is working in a cubicle, and obliged to tend to her destructive, senile
mother, Josephine feels trapped.
After a work assignment promises to deliver distraction, Josephine makes a decision to visit a former quarantine island in
the Adriatic Sea, where she meets an enigmatic, beautiful man with a haunting story. What follows is intimate and
Critique: With a special appeal to readers with an interest in dark humor, sexual obsession, mental illness, and the
supernatural, "Possessed" by Jowita Bydlowska will prove to be a riveting and fascinating read from cover to cover. While
also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49), "Possessed" is a deftly crafted,
memorable, and recommended addition to community and academic library psychological thriller fiction collections.
Editorial Note: Jowita Bydlowska was born in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to Canada as a teenager. She has published
two bestselling books: the memoir "Drunk Mom" and a novel, "Guy", as well as dozens of short stories in various
magazines and journals. Jowita lives in Toronto and has a dedicated website at https://www.jowitabydlowska.com
The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern
Rita Zoey Chin
9781612199863, $17.99, PB, 400pp
Synopsis: Born in a carnival trailer, Leah Fern begins her life as the "The Youngest and Very Best Fortuneteller in the
World," taking strangers' hands and feeling the depths of their emotions. Her mother Jeannie Starr is a captivating
magician, but not always an attentive mother, and when Leah is six, Jeannie upends their carnival life with an unexpected
exit. With little fanfare and no explanation, she leaves her daughter at the home of Edward Murphy, a kindly older man
with whom Leah shares one fierce wish: that Jeannie Starr will return to them.
After fifteen years as a small-town outcast, Leah decides to end her life on the occasion of her twenty-first birthday. But
the intricate death ritual she has devised is interrupted by a surprise knock on her door. Her mysterious neighbor, the
curmudgeonly and reclusive art photographer Essie East, has died and left Leah a very strange inheritance. Through a
series of letters, Essie will posthumously lead Leah on a journey to nine points on the map, spanning from an island in
Wisconsin to an island in the Arctic Circle -- a journey that, the first note promises, will reveal the story of Leah's
Driven by a ferocious resurgence of hope, Leah embarks on this bizarre treasure hunt, Essie's ashes in a jeweled urn in the
passenger seat of her truck. Along her way, she visits islands, libraries, diners, and defunct ice cream parlors, meeting a
charming cast of eccentric characters and immersing herself in wonders of the natural world.
Critique: With a very special appeal to readers with an interest in stories of friendship and set in rural communities and
small towns, "The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern" by Rita Zoey Chin is a deftly crafted, quite unique, and compelling
read that showcases the author's impressive storytelling talents as a novelist. While an unreservedly recommended addition
to community library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The
Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Rita Zoey Chin (https://ritazoeychin.com) is the author of the widely praised memoir, "Let the Tornado
Come". She also holds an MFA from the University of Maryland and is the recipient of a Katherine Anne Porter Prize, an
Academy of American Poets Award, and a Bread Loaf waiter scholarship. She has taught at Towson University and
teaches at Grub Street in Boston, as well as at retreats and conferences near and far. Her writings have also been published
by Guernica, Tin House, and Marie Claire.
Please Join Us
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781982159245, $27.00, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: At thirty-nine, Nicole Mueller's life is on the rocks. Her once brilliant law career is falling apart. She and her
husband, Dan, are soon to be forced out of the apartment they love. After a warning from her firm's senior partners, she
receives an invitation from an exclusive women's networking group, Panthera Leo. Membership is anonymous, but every
member is a successful professional. It sounds like the perfect solution to help Nicole revive her career. So, despite Dan's
concerns that the group might be a cult, Nicole signs up for their retreat in Colorado.
Once there, she meets the other women who will make up her Pride. A CEO, an actress, a finance whiz, a congresswoman:
Nicole can't believe her luck. The founders of Panthera Leo are equally as impressive. They explain the group's core
philosophy: they're a girl's club in a boy's club world.
Nicole is all in. And when she gets home, she soon sees dividends. Her new network quickly provides her with clients that
help her relaunch her career, and a great new apartment too. The favors she has to provide in return seem benign. But then
she's called to the congresswoman's apartment late at night where she's pressed into helping her cover up a crime. And
suddenly, Dan's concerns that something more sinister is at play seem all too relevant. Can Nicole extricate herself from
the group before it's too late? Or will joining Panthera Leo be the biggest mistake of her life?
Critique: A wonderfully original and dedicated cliff-hanger of a read from cover to cover, "Please Join Us" is especially
commended to the attention of readers with an interest in carefully crafted suspense-thriller fiction. Highly recommended
for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Please Join Us" is also available in a
paperback edition (9781982159252, $17.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), and as a complete and unabridged
audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797142166, $39.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Catherine McKenzie is the author of numerous bestsellers including I'll Never Tell and The Good Liar. Her
works have been translated into multiple languages and Please Join Us, I'll Never Tell, and You Can't Catch Me have all
been optioned for development into television series. She can be visited her at www.CatherineMcKenzie.com or followed
on Twitter @CEMcKenzie1 or Instagram @CatherineMcKenzieAuthor
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
9781640606715, $24.00, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: Following the runaway success of her first novel, Chase Harrington is hiding out in Manhattan. Assuming the
visions from her past are behind her, Chase takes an assignment that lands her in the center of a new mystery surrounding a
mansion known as Briarcliff Manor and deceased millionaire Sebastian Winthrop.
A letter, left by Sebastian, reveals three secrets surrounding the mansion where Chase is now living. Silent messages begin
to appear, urging her to help those closest to her who are now in peril, including a deaf child shut away from the world and
a war veteran still haunted by his past.
With her handsome boyfriend, Gavin, and faithful dog, Scooter, at her side, Chase must unlock the secrets of Briarcliff,
help those she has come to love and face the surprise ending not even she saw coming.
The latest Chase Harrington adventure, "Chasing Manhattan" is a simply riveting read in which novelist John Gray deftly
combines romance, kindness, mystery, with a series of astounding twists and turns. Especially and unreservedly
recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collection, it should be noted for personal reading lists
of Christian Romance Fiction that "Chasing Manhattan" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.45).
Editorial Note: John Gray is an Emmy Award-winning television journalist and columnist in upstate New York. He is also
the author of three popular children's books, God Needed a Puppy, Keller's Heart, and Sweet Polly Petals. His Chase
Harrington novels are: Manchester Christmas, Chasing Manhattan, and Chasing Rome.
A Hundred Other Girls
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
9781728247953, $16.99, PB, 304pp
Synopsis: Noora's life is a little off track. She's an aspiring writer and amateur blogger in New York -- which is a nice way
of saying that she tutors rich Upper East Side kids and is currently crashing on her sister's couch. But that's okay. Noora
has Leila, who has always been her rock, and now she has another major influence to lean on: Vinyl magazine. The pages
of Vinyl practically raised Noora, teaching her everything from how to properly insert a tampon to which political ideology
she subscribes to.
So when she lands a highly coveted job as assistant to Loretta James, Vinyl's iconic editor-in-chief, Noora can't believe her
luck. Her only dream is to write for Vinyl, and now with her foot firmly in the door and the Loretta James as her mentor,
Noora is finally on the right path -- or so she thinks.
Loretta is an unhinged nightmare, insecure and desperate to remain relevant in an evolving media landscape she doesn't
understand. Noora's phone buzzes constantly with Loretta's bizarre demands, particularly with tasks Loretta hopes will
undermine the success of Vinyl's wunderkind digital director Jade Aki. The reality of Noora's job is nothing like she
expected, and a misguided crush on the hot IT guy only threatens to complicate things even more. But as Loretta and the
old-school print team enter into a turf war with Jade and the woke-for-the-wrong-reasons digital team, Noora soon finds
herself caught in the middle. And with her dream job on the line, she'll need to either choose a side or form her own.
Critique: A deftly crafted fun read from first page to last, "A Hundred Other Girls" is particularly recommended to readers
with an interest in contemporary women's fiction set within the framework of the publishing industry -- and all the more
impressive when considering that it is author Iman Hariri-Kia's debut as a novelist. While highly recommended for
community library Contemporary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Hundred Other
Girls" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.39) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone
Audio, 9798212004510, $31.95, CD)
Editorial Note: Iman Hariri-Kia (https://www.imanharirikia.com) is the sex and relationships editor at Bustle magazine.
She also writes a monthly column for Man Repeller and is a digital contributor to Teen Vogue. She has worked as a sex
and dating advisor for Elite Daily and a lifestyle writer for Bustle and has promoted her work on the Today Show, CBS,
NY1 News, DailyMail TV and other media. And while this novel is entirely fictitious, she did begin her career as assistant
to the editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue. She's passionate about advocacy, elevating the narratives of Middle Eastern women,
and writing about her personal life on the internet (much to her parents' dismay).
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
Something in the Heir
c/o St. Martin's Press
120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271
9781250842527, $16.99, Trade PB, 352pp
Synopsis: Emmeline and William Pershing have enjoyed a perfectly convenient marriage for eight years. Their relationship
is a seamless blend of their talents and goals. They've settled into separate, well-ordered lives beneath the same roof, and
are content to stay that way -- or so Emmeline thinks. And if William has secretly longed for a bit more from the woman
he adores, he's managed to be content with her supreme skills as a hostess and planner, which has helped him advance his
Then when Emmeline's grandfather, the reclusive Duke of Welshire, summons them both for his birthday celebration and
demands they bring their two little angelic children, William is stunned to discover that his very proper wife invented not
one, but two heirs to fulfill the agreement for living at Winnover. But surely if Emmeline and William team up and borrow
two cherubs to call their own, what could go wrong? Enter George, age 8, and Rose, 5 -- the two most unruly orphans in
As the insanity unfolds, their careful, professional arrangement takes some surprisingly intimate turns as well. Perhaps it
takes a bit of madness to create the perfect happily ever after.
Critique: With a very special and particular appeal to fans of Regency Romance & Comedy novels, "Something in the
Heir" by author Suzanne Enoch is a fun and memorable read from first page to last. Deftly crafted with great wit and a
genuine flair for originality, "Something in the Heir" is especially recommended as an addition to community library
Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Something in the Heir" is also available as
a mass market paperback (9781250889966, $8.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99), and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212014915, $31.95, CD).
The Bride of Blackfriars Lane
P.O. Box 719, 1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
9781636092683, $15.99, PB, 320pp
Synopsis: Detective Jackson Forge can hardly wait to marry the street-sly swindler who's turned his life upside down. Kit
Turner is equally excited to wed the handsome detective, and what better way to show her love than providing him with a
gift any man of the law would love? She determines to bring to justice the men who years ago maimed his brother despite
Jackson's warning to leave the past in the past. As she digs into the mystery of what happened, she unwittingly tumbles
into her own history and endangers her future happiness with Jackson.
Critique: As an author, Michelle Griep is a master of the historical Christian romance genre as demonstrated by her newest
novel "The Bride of Blackfriars Lane". A fun and compelling read from cover to cover, and available for the personal
reading lists of all Michelle Griep fans in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) ans as a complete and unabridged audio
book (Oasis Audio, 9781640919648, $37.99, CD - 9 CDs, 11 Hours), "The Bride of Blackfriars Lane" will prove to be an
enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Romance collections..
Editorial Note: Michelle Griep (https://michellegriep.com) has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and
Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride,
The Innkeeper's Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood's Ward, A Heart Deceived, and
Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the
Frying Pan. If you'd like to keep up with her escapades, she can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Kill Them with Canvas
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781639101047, $29.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Chloe Abbington and her sister, Izzie, are enjoying huge success running Paint with a View, their paint party
business in the tranquil western New York lakeside town of Whisper Cove. Now, their aunt Constance (president of the
local chapter of the Chautauqua Sisterhood) has hooked them up with a gig hosting a Halloween painting party. The guests
will be painting a local ghost legend, the Lady of Chautauqua Lake, who died a hundred years earlier and rises from the
lake every October to haunt anyone who dares venture out on All Hallows' Eve.
The event seems to be going off without a hitch, until Chloe overhears an argument between Constance and Viola
Finnwinkle, the Sisterhood director, about the fate of the local chapter. Both women leave and the sisters finish their
painting. But the next morning, Viola's body is discovered floating face down near the town ferryboat dock, her long red
hair spread around her. Eerily, the image is an exact replica of a painting Chloe and Izzie had discovered at the event the
What's more, the police find Constance's purple knit hat lying on the ground near the crime scene. Constance pleads
innocence, saying the hat mysteriously went missing during the event. Frantic that she might be charged with murder, she
begs Chloe and Izzie to help her. The sisters believe their aunt is innocent, but if so, who's the real killer -- and when will
the next victim turn up?
Critique: "Kill Them With Canvas" is the second novel in author Bailee Abbott's cozy mystery series 'A Paint By Murder
Mystery'. A beautifully constructed and original 'whodunnit' that is especially and unreservedly recommended for
community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Kill Them With Cavas"
is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape
Media, 9781666616651, $22.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Bailee Abbott is a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. She also writes
the Sierra Pines B&B mystery series under the name Kathryn Long and has an online Author's Page at
Live and Let Grind
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781639101122, $28.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Laid-off journalist Lana Lewis is thriving as the proprietor of Perkatory, a coffee shop on quirky Devil's Beach
island, Florida. She's juggling a relationship with police chief Noah Garcia, enjoying the company of her best friend, Erica,
and relishing the companionship of her golden Shih Tzu, Stanley. Only problem is her neighbor, Gus, who incessantly uses
his leaf blower, disturbing everyone in the neighborhood. Lana has learned to tune it out, but Erica's rage boils over and
she confronts Gus.
Then Gus is found dead, killed when his leaf blower explodes. Erica immediately becomes suspect number one. But there
are plenty of other candidates as well: Gus's soon-to-be ex-wife, Honey Bailey, who thinks she'll be written out of his will;
Mickey Dotson and Doug Beck, who were scalded financially after purchasing a pirate-themed tourist cruise business from
Gus; and plenty of angry neighbors who've had run-ins with him.
As the clock ticks down will Lana get someone to spill the beans on the killer so she can clear her friend's name, or will
Erica go to jail for a crime she didn't commit?
Critique: For true devotees of the cozy mystery genre, "Live and Let Grind" is the latest entry to novelist Tara Lush new 'A
Coffee Lover's Mystery' series. A fun 'whodunnit' read from first page to last, while "Live and Let Grind" is highly
recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Live and Let Grind" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666616620, $22.99, CD).
Editorial Note: A fan of vintage pulp-fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, and 1980s fashion, Tara Lush is a Rita Award
finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and a George C. Polk Award winning journalist. For the past decade, she's been a
reporter with the Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary
romance set in tropical locations. She has a dedicated website at https://taralush.com
Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking
Raquel V. Reyes
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781639101061, $28.99, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: Fall festivities are underway in Coral Shores, Miami. Cuban-American cooking show star Miriam
Quinones-Smith wakes up to find a corpse in her front yard. The body by the fake tombstone is the woman that was kicked
out of the school's Fall Festival the day before.
Miriam's luck does not improve. Her passive-aggressive mother-in-law puts her in charge of the Women's Club annual
gala. But this year, it's not canapes and waltzes. Miriam and her girlfriend-squad opt for fun and flavor. They want to spice
it up with Caribbean food trucks and a calypso band. While making plans at the country club, they hear a volatile argument
between the new head chef and the club's manager. Not long after, the chef swan dives to his death at the bottom of the
Was it an accident? Or was it Beverly, the sous chef, who is furious after being passed over for the job? Or maybe it was
his ex-girlfriend, Anastasia?
Add two possible poisonings to the mix and Miriam is worried the food truck fun is going to be a major crash. As the
clock ticks down and the body count goes up, Miriam's life is put in jeopardy. Will she connect the dots or die in the deep
freeze? Foodies and mystery lovers alike will savor the denouement as the truth is laid bare in this simmering stew of rage,
retribution, and murder.
Critique: A 'must read' for mystery buffs with an affinity for cozy mysteries and amateur women sleuths, "Calypso,
Corpses, and Cooking" is another addition to author Raquel Reyes 'A Caribbean Kitchen Mystery" series. An original and
fun read from cover to cover, "Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking" is unabashedly recommended addition to both personal
reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "Calypso, Corpses, and
Cooking" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book
(Dreamscape Media, 9781666619812, $22.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Raquel V. Reyes writes stories with Latina protagonists. Her Cuban-American heritage, Miami, and
Spanglish feature prominently in her work. Mango, Mambo, and Murder, the first in the Caribbean Kitchen Mystery series,
won a LEFTY for Best Humorous Mystery. It was nominated for an Agatha Award and optioned for film. Raquel's short
stories appear in various anthologies, including The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2022. Find her across social
media platforms as @LatinaSleuths and on her website www.LatinaSleuths.com
Canter with a Killer
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781639101801, $28.00, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Mallory Martin left her marriage and her unfulfilling job to move back to her hometown of Hillspring, Arkansas,
and start a horse rescue. It's everything she's been missing, with paddocks of happy horses and one very quirky donkey. But
when her cantankerous neighbor and longtime critic, Albert Cunningham, is found murdered in his fancy show barn,
Mallory becomes suspect number one. Since Sheriff Grady Sullivan is ignoring all good sense and focusing only on
Mallory, she decides to take matters into her own hands.
Aided by her best friend, Lanie, and rescue volunteer Tanner, Mallory races headlong into the investigation in search of the
real killer. But horses and murder aren't the only thing on her mind when she meets Albert's handsome son, Braydon.
Sparks fly, and soon she's got a new boyfriend. But there's a case to be solved, and she redoubles her efforts to learn the
The suspects mount quickly. There's Albert's girlfriend, Kathleen, who was on the farm when he was murdered; organic
farmer Heather Rogers, who accused Albert of contaminating her creek; and Philip Atwood, who'd been trying for a
right-of-way across Albert's farm. None of the evidence is holding up though, and Mallory learns that she'll need to take
the reins on this investigation if she's going to clear her own name.
Critique: Featuring a veritable parade of inherently well crafted and memorable character, "Canter with a Killer"
demonstrates author Amber Camp's impressive flair for originality and roller coaster plots with all manner of twists and
turns. With a complete master of the cozy mystery genre, "Canter with a Killer" is especially recommended for community
library mystery collections featuring female amateur detectives. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of
dedicated mystery buffs that "Canter with a Killer" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a
complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666616590, $22.99, CD).
Editorial Note: A member of Sisters in Crime, Amber Camp writes cozy mysteries that reflect her love of animals and
quirky small towns. A lifelong lover of books, she started writing her own stories as a teenager and found she loves to
write as much as she loves to read. She has a dedicated website at https://www.ambercampauthor.com
When the Saint Burns in their Hands
Austin Macauley Publishers
9781398444997, $16.95, PB, 264pp
Synopsis: Sicilian crime lord, Michele La Barbara, has taken revenge on his wife's assassin, only to discover that he has
opened the door further to a world of murder and treachery from within and outside his own family.
Summoned to New York City by the Calabrese family, Michele is caught up in a game of cat and mouse with sinister
underboss Benito Calabrese. Now aware that Capo Alberto Calabrese was grieving over the death of his youngest son,
Amadeo, who had been shot and killed outside a church on his wedding day in Sicily, Michele is left wondering if he had
indeed murdered his wife's killer, or whether he remains at large.
"When the Saint Burns in their Hands" by author Franco Rainey is a powerful and gripping story, which delivers
atmosphere and tension from the opening page. With a tale of heartbreak and revenge, a twisted sequence of events unfold
that leads to a gripping and disturbing climax.
Critique: With a special appeal to fans of organized crime fiction, "When the Saint Burns in their Hands" is the stuff from
which block-buster movies are made. With a genuine flair for engaging, riveting, and original storytelling, novelist Franco
Rainey's new Mafia novel is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library collections. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that "When the Saint Burns in their Hands" is also available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Franco Rainey began his writing career covering the life of organized crime in the US, focusing on New
York City's most powerful mafia families. Having worked as a proofreader and editor for almost ten years, he then
dedicated his time to writing fictional crime stories. He has a dedicated website at https://francorainey.ampbk.com
Line of Darkness
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781608094523, $27.95, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: When a German businesswoman in 1979 San Francisco hires ex-con PI Colleen Hayes to find a missing relative,
supposedly in town to visit, she thinks it's a simple job. But she soon discovers that the "nephew" is linked to an
international vigilante group hunting down ex-Nazis. Then the body of a mysterious woman turns up on San Francisco's
Municipal Railway, mirroring a murder committed the week before in Buenos Aires where the "nephew" had just
Colleen's search uncovers a World War II banknote and the 1942 SS ID of a German officer long thought dead. When
Colleen fails to heed warnings to stop her investigation, her pregnant daughter is attacked.
The so-called nephew is nowhere to be found. The German business woman has fled town. Colleen's search leads her to
Italy where the infamous Vatican Ratlines helped escaped ex-Nazis forge new identities around the globe. Deep in the
Italian Alps, she uncovers a secret project hatched in a concentration camp. Colleen has no choice but to push ahead if the
killing is to stop and justice prevail.
Critique: Another deftly crafted and original mystery from the mind and imagination of author Max Tomlinson, "Line of
Darkness" is the latest addition to his 'Colleen Hayes Mystery' series. A suspense thriller of a read from first page to last,
"Line of Darkness" is especially recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. Having a special
appeal to fans of women sleuths and private eye fiction, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Line of
Darkness" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).
Editorial Note: Max Tomlinson's published work includes a crime series set in South America, an international espionage
series, and now the USA Today best-selling Colleen Hayes Mystery Series, set in 1970s San Francisco. While all of the
novels in the Colleen Hayes Mystery Series stand on their own and can be read in any order, the publication sequence is:
Vanishing in the Haight; Tie Die; Bad Scene; Line of Darkness; Night Candy (coming 2023).
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781496451897, $26.99, HC, 416pp
Synopsis: On the family's Brazos River Ranch in Texas, Avery Elliott helps run her grandfather's commercial construction
business. Raised by Senator Elliott, Avery has never doubted her grandfather is the man of integrity and faith she's always
believed him to be -- until the day she finds him standing with a gun over the body of a dead man. And to make matters
worse, Avery's just discovered a billing discrepancy for materials supposedly purchased for construction of the Lago de
Desperate for answers, Avery contacts FBI Special Agent Marc Wilkins for help. As Marc works to identify the dead man
Avery saw, threats toward Avery create a fresh sense of urgency to pinpoint why someone wants to silence her. With a
hurricane approaching the Texas coast and the structural integrity of the Lago de Cobre Dam called into question, time is
running out to get to the bottom of a sinister plot that could be endangering the lives of not only Avery and her loved ones
but the entire community.
Critique: A great and compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover, "Concrete Evidence" by novelist DiAnn Mills
is a non-stop combination of mystery and suspense that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly welcome addition to
community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated Christian oriented
suspense/thriller fiction fans that "Concrete Evidence" is also available in a paperback edition (978-1496451903, $15.99)
and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Editorial Note: DiAnn Mills (https://diannmills.com) combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create
action-packed, suspense-filled novels. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy
Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Carol award contests.
DiAnn is also a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a former director of Blue Ridge
Christian Writers, and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in
Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She shares her passion for helping other writers be successful by teaching
writing workshops around the country.
William Kent Krueger
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781982128715, $28.00, HC, 400pp
Synopsis: The ancient Ojibwe healer Henry Meloux has had a vision of his death. As he walks the Northwoods in solitude,
he tries to prepare himself peacefully for the end of his long life. But peace is destined to elude him as hunters fill the
woods seeking a woman named Dolores Morriseau, a stranger who had come to the healer for shelter and the gift of his
Meloux guides this stranger and his great niece, Cork O'Connor's wife, to safety deep into the Boundary Waters, his home
for more than a century. On the last journey he may ever take into this beloved land, Meloux must do his best to outwit the
deadly mercenaries who follow.
Meanwhile, in Aurora, Cork works feverishly to identify the hunters and the reason for their relentless pursuit, but he has
little to go on. Desperate, Cork begins tracking the killers but his own skills as a hunter are severely tested by nightfall and
a late season snowstorm. He knows only too well that with each passing hour time is running out. But his fiercest enemy in
this deadly game of cat and mouse may well be his own deep self-doubt about his ability to save those he loves.
Critique: "Fox Creek" is another terrific cover to cover read from the skilled imagination and narrative driven storytelling
talents of William Kent Kruger. With a very special appeal to readers with an interest in Private Investigator Mysteries in
general, and Native American themed literary fiction in particular, "Fox Creek" is unreservedly recommended for
community library Contempoary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the
legions of William Kent Kruger fans that "Fox Creek" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a
complete and unabridged audio book (Recorded Books, 9798212155168, $41.95, CD).
Editorial Note: William Kent Krueger (www.WilliamKentKrueger.com) is the author of "This Tender Land", "Ordinary
Grace" (winner of the Edgar Award for best novel), as well as nineteen acclaimed books in the Cork O'Connor mystery
series, including "Lightning Strike" and "Desolation Mountain".
The Rope Juggler
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
9781951473884, $15.95, PB, 238pp
Synopsis: Milo Fyrish is the super in his apartment building, where he lives in aimless ease, more concerned with booze,
carpentry and his cat than with his future. His friends and some of his enemies pass him off as a naive fool. He has a loving
and witty girlfriend, but secretly Milo is infatuated with Miranda, a mercurial high fashion model who lives on the top
One night, after a drunken fight and a trip to the ER, Milo is late for his tryst with Miranda. He finds her on the floor of her
apartment, tied up and dead. He feels delirium coming on. Before passing out, he tells his girlfriend to call the police, but
then something else gets in the way!
Critique: "It was the afternoon before the night when Miranda got killed. And later I wondered if something in the day,
maybe some little detail, had anything to do with it..."
So begins "The Rope Juggler" the crime fiction novel by Judson Bale about how one night's gruesome violence conceals a
darker intent, perversity and deeper cruelty winding out of a past that no one wants revealed.
A truly compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover, "The Rope Juggler" by Judson Blake will have a special
appeal to readers with an interest in a deftly crafted murder mystery by a master of the genre. While highly recommended
for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated crime
fiction fans that "The Rope Juggler" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).
Editorial Note: For several years Judson Blake directed and acted on stage in New York, from Shakespeare to Pinter, along
with stand-up comedy and improv. "Perversion", his bitter political satire, ran for five weeks in the West Village. His
fiction has appeared in 2019 American Emerging Writers Series, Bewildering Stories, The Literary Yard, Freedom Fiction
Literary Periodical, The Loch Raven Review, Ariel Chart, Whistling Shade and others.
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Sisters of Sorcery
9781839081651, $16.95, PB, 368pp
Synopsis: Deep in the Dark Dimension, the tyrant Umar the Unrelenting craves the Power Cosmic to expand her realm into
new dimensions. When she kidnaps the cosmic being Ardina to make a grim battery of her powers, she draws the attention
of Clea, her estranged daughter and mighty user of the mystic arts. Clea knows her mother will stop at nothing to conquer
the whole of the Splinter Realms, imperiling all of reality. To defeat her, Clea must ally herself with three powerful
sorceresses, each with their own unique powers, traverse dimensions, and free Ardina and the entire Archipelago of
Anguish and Redemption before Umar consumes it all.
Critique: A superbly crafted, impressively original, and thoroughly fun read from cover to cover, "Sisters of Sorcery" by
Macy Rockwell is a mystical adventure novel and part of the 'Marvel Untold' series from Aconyte Books. Unreservedly
recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for the personal reading
lists of the legions of dedicated Marvel fans that "Sisters of Sorcery" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Marsheil (Marcy) Rockwell (https://marsheilarockwell.com) is an award nominated tie-in writer and poet.
Her novels include SF/H thriller 7 Sykos, as well as The Shard Axe series, set in the world of Dungeons & Dragons
Online. She has published two collections, and has written dozens of short stories, poems, and comic book scripts.
Assassin's Creed: The Magus Conspiracy
9781839081675, $16.95, PB, 336pp
Synopsis: London, 1851 - When Pierrette, a daring acrobat performing at the Great Exhibition, rescues the mathematician
Ada Lovelace from a gang of thugs, she becomes immersed in an ancient feud between Assassins and Templars. But
Lovelace is gravely ill, and shares her secrets with Pierrette, sending the acrobat in search of a terrible weapon which she'd
been developing for a shadowy figure known as "the Magus". Pierrette's only ally is Simeon Price, Lovelace's childhood
friend, who belongs to a Brotherhood devoted to free will. With Simeon's aid, they uncover a startling web of political
assassinations destabilizing Europe. As they race to foil the Templars' deadly plot, murders and bombs are everywhere they
look, but hope is nowhere in sight.
Critique: Set in the Victorian era, "Assassin's Creed: The Magus Conspiracy" by Kate Heartfield is the latest entry to the
ongoing series about the seemingly endless war between Assassins and Templars in a new science fiction action/adventure
thriller of a read that expandes the Assassin's Creed universe. An absolute 'must read' for the legions of Assassin's Creed
fans, "Assassin's Creed: The Magus Conspiracy" is unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction &
Fantasy collections and is available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).
Editorial Note: Kate Heartfield (https://kateheartfield.com) is the Aurora Award-winning author of "Armed in her
Fashion", and the historical fantasy novel "The Embroidered Book. Her novellas, stories, and games have been finalists for
the Nebula, Locus, Crawford, Sunburst and Aurora awards.
Matt Smith, author
Cliff Wise, author
Dorrance Publishing Company
585 Alpha Drive, Suite 103, Pittsburgh, PA 15238
9781649570321, $25.00, PB, 428pp
Synopsis: While the novel "Dragon Sky", stands alone, it is only one half of a much larger story. The core of the book
focuses on the struggles of three strangers: Crystal, Alicia, and Assan. All three undergo growth in their own way.
Crystal begins as a point of calm in a world of chaos. Is she the only one who has answers to unanswerable questions? But
over time her companions learn the truth that they must come to trust their own insights. And Crystal sees that she can't
stand alone. Separately, Crystal, Alicia, and Assan, create three elemental beings.
While the setting could be referred to as post-apocalyptic, there are many aspects of it that make it unique. What had
caused the Apocalypse is still present, lurking in the background: a constant threat more felt than consciously aware of.
The "Shades," as they are known, are incarnations of pure terror and only become more terrifying the more the characters
Critique: An original, seminal and unique work by co-authors Matt Smith and Cliff Wise, "Dragon Sky", while a fun and
entertaining read from cover to cover, also has the underlying message that perseverance can see you through anything and
everything -- especially if you surround yourself with people who will support and inspire you. A veritable saga of a novel,
"Dragon Sky" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Dragon Sky" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Graphic Novel Shelf
Rooster Fighter 1
9781974729845, $12.99 pbk / $7.99 Kindle
Synopsis: Giant demonic monsters wreak havoc and level Japanese cities! While the citizens flee in terror, it's up to one
brave rooster to stand his ground!
In a world where terrifying monsters walk the earth, one heroic rooster is destined for greatness. When giant demons
threaten the innocent, he's going to show them who's boss!
The neighborhood cock of the walk is more than just an ordinary rooster - he's humanity's greatest defender! His opponents
may be ten stories tall, but nothing is bigger than his stout heart and his fearsome battle cry - cock-a-doodle-doo!
Critique: Rooster Fighter 1 kicks off a riotously squawking black-and-white manga series in which a lone, wandering
rooster fights to destroy demonic humanoid kaiju (giant monsters) in Fist of the North Star-style battles! Although Rooster
Fighter can be interpreted as a parody of both the "wandering warrior" and kaiju genres, the story is told quite seriously.
Rooster Fighter is especially appealing to high-octane action fans first and foremost! Volume 1 of Rooster Fighter does an
excellent job of showcasing the titular rooster, the horrific giant monsters he battles, and the "wandering warrior"
storytelling style. Volume 1 consists of self-contained stories; there is no suspenseful cliffhanger at the end, only a promise
of more rooster fury in future volumes. Highly recommended! It should be noted that Rooster Fighter is intended for
older teens and adults due to violence (the kaiju battles are very gory) and sexual situations involving intimacy between
The Liminal Zone
9781974726448, $19.99 hc / $10.99 Kindle
Synopsis: Three-time Eisner Award winner Junji Ito presents brand-new nightmares!
What destiny awaits them after the screaming?
After abruptly departing from a train in a small town, a couple encounters a "weeping woman" - a professional mourner -
sobbing inconsolably at a funeral. Mako changes afterward - she can't stop crying! In another tale, having decided to die
together, a couple enters Aokigahara, the infamous suicide forest. What is the shocking otherworldly torrent that they
One of horror's greatest talents, Junji Ito beckons readers to join him in an experience of ultimate terror with four
transcendently terrifying tales.
Critique: Three-time Eisner Award winning creator Junji Ito presents four new black-and-white horror manga (Japanese
comics) collected into one hardcover volume in The Liminal Zone. In these stories, a professional mourner suddenly can't
stop crying; a couple enters the infamous "suicide forest" of Aokigahara to discover an inexplicable phenomenon; a
religious girls' school conceals gruesome secrets and a shocking supernatural power; and an unfortunate man finds himself
beset by horrifying memories of murders he did not commit... or did he? The Liminal Zone is highly recommended, and a
"must" for connoisseurs of masterful horror storytelling! It should be noted that The Liminal Zone is intended for
older teens and adults due to violence.
The Audiobook Shelf
A Million Dreams
Dani Atkins, author
Rosie Akerman, narrator
9781690586586, $22.99, CD (10 Discs, 12 Hours 16 Minutes)
Synopsis: Izzy's eight-year-old son Noah is her whole life. With his long eyelashes, mischievous grin and boundless
energy, he's got her husband Pete's sunny outlook and Izzy's curious mind. When they receive a surprise phone call from
the fertility center that helped them have Noah, it's surely nothing to worry about.
But what they learn from that call sends their dreams for their son crashing down around them. Eight years ago, someone
made a terrible mistake at the center, and there's a possibility that precious Noah isn't actually their child.
Izzy and Pete know that they will fight to keep their beautiful boy at any cost... but if Noah's parents are out there
somewhere, is it right to keep them from their son? When a shocking diagnosis brings things to a head, Izzy must decide
what's right for Noah, even if it means sacrificing the person she loves most in the world.
Critique: Professional voice over actor and narrator Rosie Akerman brings to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience
"A Million Dreams", the deftly crafted and original novel by Dani Atkins. The complete and unabridged audio book from
Dreamscape Media is highly recommended, especially as an addition to community library audio book collections.
Editorial Note #1: Dani Atkins is an award-winning author whose work has been translated into sixteen languages. The
author of four bestselling novels, she is the recipient of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. She has a website at
Editorial Note #2: Rosie Akerman is a professional and committed voiceover artist who has narrated several audiobooks in
multiple genres. In addition to audiobooks, she has also lent her voice to eLearning tapes, online commercials,
documentaries, and telephony systems. She has a website entry at https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4681344
A Simple Wedding
Leigh Duncan, author
Karissa Vacar, narrator
c/o Dreamscape Media
9781974944453, $24.99, CD (7 Discs, 8 Hours 52 Minutes)
Synopsis: Jenny always dreamed of getting married at Heart's Landing. But when she finally visits the charming small
town, she's there to make wedding arrangements for someone else: her cousin, who also happens to be her boss and a
famous movie star. To keep the event secret and avoid a media circus, Jenny pretends she's the one getting married.
Nick is intrigued by this bride-to-be who starts visiting his bakery every afternoon for sweet treats and conversation. He
has to keep reminding himself that she's already spoken for.
As Jenny deals with her cousin's ever-changing demands, she tries to hide her attraction to Nick. Planning this wedding
couldn't be more complicated...and what will happen once the truth comes to light?
"A Simple Wedding" is a funny, heartwarming romance that includes as a welcome bonus for the reader a free original
recipe for the best-ever Lemon Bars.
Critique: With the superbly executed narrative performance of Karissa Vacker bringing author Leigh Duncan's comedic
romance novel to life! "A Simple Wedding" is an extraordinarily fun and highly recommended addition to both personal
and community library audio book collections.
Editorial Note #1: Novelist Leigh Duncan has written over two dozen novels, novellas and short stories. Leigh lives on
Central Florida's East Coast where she writes complex, heartwarming, and emotional stories with a dash of Southern sass.
She has a website at https://leighduncan.com
Karissa Vacker is a multiple Earphones award-winning narrator and actress whose audiobook credits include romance,
young adult fiction, and mystery thrillers. A graduate from Southern Methodist University, she performed in regional
theaters across the country before moving to Los Angeles, where she has guest starred in network television shows and
films and continues to work on screen, on stage, and behind the mic.
The Case of the Missing Firefly
Chris McDonald, author
Stephen Armstrong, narrator
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781399124319, $43.95, MP3-CD (1 Disc, 3 Hours)
Synopsis: The notoriously hard-drinking, backstabbing Stonebridge Radio crew are having their Hallowe'en party on
Winkle Island, rumoured to be the most haunted place in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, Adam and Colin are there, too,
having accepted an easy pay day from Colin's event-organising mother.
At dinner, a shocking announcement is followed by an even more shocking murder, and the theft of a priceless Firefly
necklace. To top it all, thanks to a raging storm, everyone is trapped on the island. Now, faced with devious radio
presenters, a strange tour guide and a rampaging murderer, Adam and Colin are back in business.
Critique: The truly impressive narrative skills of voice over actor Stephen Armstrong brings mystery novelist Chris
McDonald's "The Case of the Missing Firefly" into a true 'theatre of the mind' experience for the listener. This flawless,
complete and unabridged Isis Audio production of "The Case of the Missing Firefly" will prove to be an immediately
welcome and enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book
Editorial Note #1: Chris McDonald grew up in Northern Ireland before settling in Manchester via Lancaster and London.
He is the author A Wash of Black, the first in the DI Erika Piper series, as well as the forthcoming second - Whispers In
The Dark. He has also recently dabbled in writing cosy crimes, as a remedy for the darkness. He has an author's page on
the Amazon website at https://www.amazon.com/Chris-McDonald/e/B083VRLYPM
Editorial Note #2: An accomplished and professional voice over actor, Stephen Armstrong has a web page at
The Music CD Shelf
Only Elephants Know Her Name
So Long Seven
$TBA CD / $7.92 MP3
The music group So Long Seven presents Only Elephants Know Her Name, an album that draws upon jazz, classical,
blues, and folk music from around the world. The extraordinarily talented performers include Neil Hendry on steel string,
nylon string, electric guitar, and bass guitar; Tim Posgate on five-string banjo and gourd banjo; William Lamoureux on
violin, viola, guitar, and bass; and Ravi Naimpally on talla, dumbek, udu, and percussion, as well as guest contributions.
Both original compositions and arrangements for string quartet are present, in this multifaceted showcase worthy of a
grand concert. Only Elephants Know Her Name is a treasure for personal and public library music collections, highly
recommended. The tracks are Mazimhaka, Kenojuak, Only Elephants Know Her Name, L'unique etoile de la tolerance,
Mara, Frolic of the Monsoon Frogs, World Now (We're Old), and Ghost Ocean.
Back in Business Again
The Hooten Hallers
$14.98 CD / $20.98 vinyl / $8.99 MP3
Touring trio The Hooten Hallers have reunited to create Back in Business Again, an all-original music album from the
American Midwest. The songs draw from jazz, blues, ragtime, and country; all are treasures inspired the heartland. Back in
Business Again is an adventurous celebration, highly recommended. The tracks are Back in Business Again, The Cobbler's
Children, Show Me, Now That I Know, Cat Scrap, Vankiller, Broke the Spell, Heal It, Straight Down the Line, and Even
the Blues Get the Blues.
Rakesh Chaurasia and Purbayan Chatterjee
$TBA CD / $3.99 MP3
Saath Saath is a music album by Indian sitar player and composer Purbayan Chatterjee and flautist Rakesh Chaurasia. A
showcase of sitar, flute, and classical cultural traditions, Saath Saath has been crafted to reflect the passage of day and
night; the music evolves from gentle morning ragas to a crescendo of late night ragas. Inspired and enlightening, Saath
Saath is a worthy contribution to international music collections, highly recommended. The tracks are Lalit, Shuddh
Sarang, Madhuvanti, Yaman Madhya Laya, Yaman Drut, Pahadi, and Bhairave.
$TBA CD / $8.99 MP3
Rumba is an original album by Cuban pianist and composer Rafael Zaldivar that resonates with an eclectic fusion of Afro-
Cuban music and jazz. An extraordinary array of emotional and evocative creations, Rumba is a worth addition to both
personal and public library world music collections. The tracks are Eleggua, A Pray, Interlude, Balla Mi Changui, Guajiro,
Two Words, Short Blues, Dolor de Amar, Alma, Crying for Cuba, Tiempos de Amar, and Obbatala.
Walls Made of Glass
Three Pines Records
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3
Featuring Gentiane MG on piano, Levi Dover on bass, and Luis-Vincent Hamel on drums, Walls Made of Glass is a
captivating instrumental work showcasing transformative Canadian jazz. Multifaceted and dynamic, Walls Made of Glass
is a treasure for connoisseurs of instrumental jazz, highly recommended. The tracks are Prologue, Flowers Laugh Without
Uttering a Sound, Walls Made of Glass, The Moon the Sun and the Truth, Mesanges, Un pied en dehors du nid,
Contemplating Joy, Little Tree, Burning Candle, and Epilogue.
Tardif / L'appel du vide
Brulez les meubles
Two improvisational jazz masters from Quebec, Louis Beaudoin-de la Sablonniere and Eric Normand, have collaborated
as Brulez les meubles to release two new albums: Tardif and L'appel du vide. Tardif is a quartet album with Jean Derome
(alto saxophone and flute) and John Hollenbeck (drums), while L'appel du vide is a trio album with Tom Jacques (drums).
Both are extraordinary compositions that flow as beautifully as the French names of their tracks, and both are smooth,
engrossing soundscapes that will especially appeal to contemporary jazz connoisseurs. Highly recommended!
The Christian Studies Shelf
The Hunger for Home
Matthew Croasmun, author
Miroslav Volf, author
Baylor University Press
One Bear Place, #97363, Waco, TX 76798-7363
9781481317665, $17.99, HC, 114pp
Synopsis: What do the fields, rivers, and streams that provide food have to do with the God who created them? How do we
become at home in this world where so many hunger for food, for companionship, or for the presence of God?
"Scripture is also a feast." As an invitation to feast at the table of God's word, "The Hunger for Home: Food and Meals in
the Gospel of Luke" by Matthew Croasmum and Miroslav Volf explores the deepest human longings for home through the
simple ingredients of bread, water, wine, and stories.
The authors read the meals of the Gospel of Luke as stories of God eating with God's people. By making a common home
with us in this way, God turns all our meals into invitations to eat in God's home -- a home with a seat open for all who are
No longer is breaking bread simply fuel for getting through the day, but it is also a call to be present to the agricultural
workers, grocers, chefs, friends, and strangers with whom food connects us: everyone God is calling to the banquet. As
Croasmun and Volf show, the Gospel of Luke gives us an image of creation at home by bringing God into the home, as it
was always meant to be.
Critique: Of special and particular interest to readers focused on the subjects of Christian Eschatology, Christian
Meditation, Christian Worship/Devotion, and New Testament Studies, "The Hunger for Home: Food and Meals in the
Gospel of Luke" is an informative, thought-provoking, and ultimately inspiring study that is especially and unreservedly
recommended for personal, clergy, seminary student, and academic library Christian Studies collections.
Editorial Note #1: Matthew Croasmun (https://www.matthewcroasmun.com) is Associate Research Scholar and Director
of the Life Worth Living Program at the Yale Center for Faith & Culture.
Editorial Note #2: Miroslav Volf (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miroslav_Volf) is the Henry B. Wright Professor of
Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School and the Founding Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture.
Love Him Ever More
Fr. Joe Laramie, SJ
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
9781646801541, $16.95, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Love Him Ever More: A 9-Day Personal Retreat with the Sacred Heart of Jesus", Fr.
Joe Laramie, (the North American director of the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network) offers a nine-day retreat that draws
on the wisdom of Ignatian spirituality and the Sacred Heart devotion to help you know God's love and desires for you.
Love Him Ever More is a powerful encounter with the Sacred Heart of Jesus that will help you encounter Christ in the
world today deepen your personal relationship with him.
Laramie leads you to reflect on your own heart, your wounds, and God's healing mercy. He takes you on a journey of
reflection on the Incarnation, the ministry of Jesus, and God's call for each of us today. This personal retreat allows you to
engage in Ignatian contemplation by using your imagination and five senses to encounter Jesus in the gospels and
reflecting on your heart, the heart of Christ, and all hearts.
Each day begins with a quotation from the Spiritual Exercises and a grace to pray for, a personal story from Laramie, and
contemplation on a gospel scene, and ends with reflection questions and a prayer.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Love Him Ever More: A 9-Day Personal Retreat with the Sacred Heart of Jesus" is a life-
changing, life-enhancing, life-celebrating, spirituality developing instructional resource and guide that is especially
appropriate for clergy, seminary students, and members of the Roman Catholic community. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Love Him Ever More: A 9-Day Personal Retreat with the Sacred Heart of Jesus" is also readily available
in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Fr. Joe Laramie, SJ, is national director of the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer)
and the author of Abide in the Heart of Christ and Love Him Ever More.. He previously served as a campus minister at St.
Louis University, where he earned his undergraduate and master's degrees in communications. He studied at
Kenrick-Glennon Seminary prior to joining the Jesuit novitiate. Laramie earned master of divinity and licentiate degrees at
Boston College. He was ordained a priest in 2011 and has a dedicated website at https://www.joelaramiesj.com
The Judaic Studies Shelf
Rabbi Joshua Stanton, author
Rabbi Benjamin Spratt, author
9781681150895, $24.95, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: Why are mainstream religious organizations on the decline? What changes have caused many of them to lose
touch with modern spiritual needs? What does it take to remain relevant in today's world? With the publication of
"Awakenings: American Jewish Transformations in Identity, Leadership, and Belonging", Rabbis Joshua Stanton and
Benjamin Spratt take on these and other critical questions facing religion today. And they have answers that are frank and
yet surprisingly upbeat.
Nearly every facet of American Jewish life (and of American religious life in general) faces both disruption and great
prospects for renewal. In every corner of our community, Jewish identity, wisdom, ritual, and power are being remixed and
reimagined. As centralized authority declines, American Judaism moves and grows in a multitude of directions.
As technology reduces the importance and restrictions of geographic boundaries, new opportunities for connection and
new modes of exercising power emerge. New mixtures of ancient Jewish practice and modern needs are beginning to
shape the renewal of American Judaism, widening access to Jewish wisdom and ritual, transforming Jewish consumers
into Jewish co-creators, and building new networks of Jewish belonging.
The initial purposes that inspired much of the American Jewish infrastructure are now falling victim to their own success.
As is an emphasis on nostalgia and authenticity encouraging us to mythologize the past and narrow our awareness of the
present. A focus on buildings and centralized power by much of American Judaism reflects the realities of a century
In understanding what keeps these organizations mired in the past, we can unearth a new purpose to unify the American
Diaspora and guide it toward a new golden age.
Critique: Deftly organized into four major sections (Purpose Petrified; Transformations; Renewing; The Unfolding
Awakening), and informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of two Appendices (A Call to Action; A Brief
History of Jewish Awakenings); twenty-five pages of Notes; and a five page Index, "Awakenings: American Jewish
Transformations in Identity, Leadership, and Belonging" is especially and unreservedly recommended to personal,
synagogue, community, and academic library Contemporary Judaic Studies collections. It should be noted that
"Awakenings: American Jewish Transformations in Identity, Leadership, and Belonging" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $17.09).
Editorial Note #1: Rabbi Joshua Stanton (https://www.clal.org/team/joshua-stanton) is the Spiritual Co-Leader of East End
Temple in New York and Senior Fellow of CLAL, the National Center of Learning and Leadership. Together with Rabbi
Benjamin Spratt he writes a column for Religion News Service.
Editorial Note #2: Rabbi Benjamin Spratt (https://rodephsholom.org/rabbispratt) is Senior Rabbi of Congregation Rodeph
Sholom in New York City.
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
The Female Archangels Oracle
Marie-Joe Fourzali, illustrator
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
971644115800, $25.00, Card Deck, 176pp
Synopsis: The first oracle to focus on the female Archangels, "The Female Archangels Oracle: A 44 Card Empowerment
Deck and Guidebook" includes 44 full-color cards to help you partner with the Archeiai, the female twins to the male
Archangels. The stunning illustrations intimately transmit the unique frequencies of each Archangel and are embedded
with vibrational keys of angelic energy, sacred geometry, crystalline Light-codes, and alchemical fires, bringing the angels
to life and creating a direct bridge into their consciousness. The deck includes 17 female Archangel cards, 17 male
Archangel cards, and 10 cards with universal, powerful symbols.
In the accompanying guidebook angel author Calista explores who the Archeiai are, why they have come now, how they
work in cooperation with their male counterparts, and how they can help us. She introduces the Archangel or symbol of
each card, along with an angel message, a blessing, an expanded card meaning to aid interpretation, a reverse card meaning
that serves as a divine wake-up call, and a "Rise Like an Angel" experience to integrate the angels' energies into your
She also details how to use the cards in connection with her high-vibration Angel Healing system and shares practices to
help you embody the virtues of each Archangel and integrate their angelic frequencies, practices such as healing
techniques, guided journeys, creative exercises, energetic attunements, and angel rituals. The guidebook includes a
download link for a free attunement audio track from Calista.
Offering a hands-on tool to connect with the female Archangels and taking you beyond divination into divine knowing,
this oracle will help you accelerate your path of Ascension, manifest your dreams, heal your heart, and fill it with
Critique: Of special and particular appeal to anyone with an interest in Angles, Spirit Guides, Divination, and
Parapsychology, the ethereally beautiful artwork of Marie-Joe Fourzali with perfectly complements the cards and
commentary of Calista comprising ""The Female Archangels Oracle: A 44-Card Empowerment Deck and Guidebook", an
original and highly prized oracle deck that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional,
community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections.
Editorial Note: Currently residing in Perthshire, Scotland, Calista is an author, speaker, and pioneer of spiritual Ascension.
As a former cancer research scientist, she blends the seen and unseen realms into her certified modalities, Angel
Healing(R) and Unicorn Healing(R), which are taught worldwide. The author of several books, including The Female
Archangels, Calista also has a dedicated website at https://www.calistaascension.com
The One World Tarot: A Deck and Book Set
Lena Rodriguez, Seanna Rose, June Rifkin, authors
Alexandra Filipek, illustrator
St. Martin's Essentials
c/o St. Martin's Press
9781250809315, $32.00, Card Deck, 304pp
Synopsis: The tarot dates back to the 15th century, with the modern form developed by Arthur Waite and Pamela Colman
Smith in the early 20th century. Since then, tarot has evolved and grown in popularity over the years due to its continuous
appeal as an informative and inspiring tool.
"The One World Tarot" takes a fresh and contemporary approach to the deck and the meaning of the cards. It is intended
for up-and-coming tarot readers and practitioners of any age. Traditional tarot decks are very medieval and Anglo-Saxon in
their look and feel. In contrast, the book and the card art of "The One World Tarot" have been created to encompass many
centuries and cultures, embrace our global diversity, and apply to all genders.
Critique: Written by seasoned tarot experts, Lena Rodriguez, Seanna Rose, and June Rifkin, "The One World Tarot"
features the eloquent and beautiful artwork of Alexandra Filipek as it takes a modern, global approach to established and
increasingly popular tarot cards. Enhanced with the addition of a 304 page instruction book, "The One World Tarot" is
especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical
Studies & Resource collections in general, and Tarot card collections in particular.
Editorial Note #1: Currently residing in Queensland, Australia, Lena Rodriguez holds a PhD in Sociology/Anthropology at
Newcastle University and produces a YouTube channel called Tarot Down Under which now has upward of 5.5 million
views. She haks a dedicated YouTube website at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2LjMIFNNIJxIdiNLgUPffA
Editorial Note #2: Seanna Rose is the owner/operator of Seanna Rose Metaphysical in Alberta, Canada, where she
practices Reiki, tarot, and mediumship for clients. She has been active on YouTube since 2018, doing livestreams and
pre-recorded tarot readings. She has a dedicated website at https://seannarose.com
Editorial Note #3: June Rifkin is the coauthor of several books, including The Complete Book of Astrology, The One
World Tarot, and Signature for Success: How Handwriting Can Influence Your Career, Your Relationships, and Your Life.
She has a dedicated website at https://www.junerifkin.com
Editorial Note #4: Alexandra Filipek is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts and does a broad range of illustration. She
has a dedicated website at https://alexandra.filipek.us
Sacred Geometry of the Starcut Diagram
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644114308, $40.00, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Sacred Geometry of the Starcut Diagram: The Genesis of Number, Proportion, and
Cosmology", author Malcolm Stewart presents a lavishly illustrated study on the simplesquare figure of the Starcut
diagram (created only with circles), that has extraordinary geometric properties.
This figure allows you to make mathematically exact measurements and build perfectly true level structures without a
computer, calculator, slide rule, plumb bob, or laser level. Sharing his extensive research, along with hundreds of detailed
diagrams and technical illustrations, the author shows how the Starcut diagram was the key to the building of humanity's
first cities and how it underlies many significant patterns and proportions around the world.
Using circles drawn from the vesica piscis, Stewart explains how to create the Starcut diagram and shows how this shape
was at the foundation of ancient building and design, illustrating the numerous connections between the diagram and the
creation of mandalas and yantras, stained glass windows, architectural ground plans, temples and other sacred buildings,
and surveying methods. He also shows how the Starcut diagram reveals ancient geometric knowledge of pi, the Fibonacci
sequence, Pythagorean shapes and seals, the golden ratio, the power of 108 and other sacred numbers, and magic
Exploring the Starcut diagram's cosmological and theological implications, Stewart explains how it contains knowledge of
the Tree of Life and the Kabbalah. He examines how it relates to the Tetraktys, the key teaching device of Pythagoras, and
other cosmograms. Demonstrating the ancient relationships existing between number, geometry, cosmology, and musical
harmony, the author shows how the simple shape of the Starcut diagram unifies the many threads of sacred geometry into
one beautiful mathematical tapestry.
Critique: An absolute 'must' for students and practitioners of Geometry, Toplogy, Cosmology, "Sacred Geometry of the
Starcut Diagram: The Genesis of Number, Proportion, and Cosmology" is beautifully and profusely illustrated in full color
throughout. This coffee-table style (8 x 1.3 x 10 inches, 1.69 pounds) volume is certain to be a treasured and unique
addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Sacred Geometry and Metaphysical Studies
collections. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"Sacred Geometry of the Starcut Diagram: The Genesis of Number, Proportion, and Cosmology" is also available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $26.99).
Editorial Note: Currently residing in Tilford, Surrey, England, Malcolm Stewart is an author, musician, and designer who
has created mosaic, stained glass, landscape, and interior designs for a range of secular and sacred environments. He is also
a former priest, a BBC television producer, a UN project director, and an administrator for the refugee relief charity
Ockenden Venture. He has lectured widely throughout the UK, Europe, the US, and Canada. He is on
Hermetic Philosophy and Creative Alchemy
Marlene Seven Bremner
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644112885, $40.00, HC, 376pp
Synopsis: Drawing on ancient Egyptian and Greek cosmogonies and essential Hermetic texts, such as the Corpus
Hermeticum, the Emerald Tablet (Tabula Smaragdina), and the Nag Hammadi codices, with the publication of "Hermetic
Philosophy and Creative Alchemy: The Emerald Tablet, the Corpus Hermeticum, and the Journey through the Seven
Spheres", Marlene Seven Bremner offers a detailed understanding of Hermetic philosophy and the art of alchemy as a
foundation for a psycho-spiritual creative practice.
Offering examples from traditional alchemical art and her own intricate esoteric paintings, Bremner examines the
foundational principles of Hermeticism and alchemy and shows how these traditions are a direct means for accessing
higher consciousness and true self-knowledge, or gnosis, as well as a way to extract the essence of one's own creative
As an author and artist, Bremner takes the reader on a Hermetic journey through each of the seven traditional planets
(Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon) exploring their mythological, philosophical, alchemical,
Qabalistic, magical, astrological, and energetic natures and offering meditative discourses that reach past the rational mind
to speak directly to the intuitive soul. She also relates the seven planets to the esoteric anatomy of the human body,
specifically the seven chakras, and shows how the planets can offer understanding and experience of archetypal energies
and patterns in the body, in one's life, and in the creative process.
A profound synthesis of magical and occult teachings as well as an initiation into the alchemical opus, "Hermetic
Philosophy and Creative Alchemy" reveals how to integrate and apply Hermetic and alchemical principles to awaken inner
knowing, liberate the imagination, and live a mystical, creative, and truly inspired life.
Critique: Informatively illustrated, impressively informative, expertly written, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in
organization and presentation, Marlene Seven Bremner's "Hermetic Philosophy and Creative Alchemy: The Emerald
Tablet, the Corpus Hermeticum, and the Journey through the Seven Spheres" is an extraordinary and unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections. Of
special relevance to readers with an interest in Hermetic Philosophy and Alchemy, it should be noted that "Hermetic
Philosophy and Creative Alchemy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.99).
Editorial Note: Marlene Seven Bremner (https://marlenesevenbremner.com) is a self-taught oil painter, writer, and teacher
who has spent more than 20 years exploring esoteric and spiritual traditions, including Hermeticism, alchemy, surrealism,
symbolism, tarot, psychology, magic, astrology, shamanism, and mythology. She developed her career as an artist in the
Pacific Northwest and now spends her time painting and writing in the New Mexico desert.
Spells for Good Times
Kerri Connor, author
Krystle Hope, contributor
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738770468, $15.99, PB, 232pp
Synopsis: Featuring a variety of simple spells, rituals, meditations, and more, "Spells for Good Times: Rituals, Spells &
Meditations to Boost Confidence & Positivity" is a practical guide that will help you and your community raise positive
energy and create the loving, compassionate world you desire.
"Spells for Good Times" will bring out the best in yourself and others with its more than fifty activities, such as a spell to
cope with loss and a ritual to heal a community divide. "Spells for Good Times" also covers how to nourish your body,
mind, and spirit with wholesome self-care recipes, like revitalizing shower steamers and lavender rose hot chocolate.
Filled with tools that can be used throughout the day, "Spells for Good Times" is a cheerful compendium of rituals, spells
and meditations that will enable readers and practitioners to achieve the joy-filled life they deserve.
Critique: An easily portable (4.9 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches) paperback volume, "Spells for Good Times: Rituals, Spells &
Meditations to Boost Confidence & Positivity" will prove to be a welcome and prized addition to personal, professional,
community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for those with an interest in the
Wiccan Religion, Occultism, and Spiritual Healing that "Spells for Good Times: Rituals, Spells & Meditations to Boost
Confidence & Positivity" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note #1: Kerri Connor (https://www.kerriconnor.com) is the leader of The Gathering Grove (a family-friendly,
earth-based spiritual group) and has been practicing her craft for over thirty-five years. She is the author of several books,
including Spells for Tough Times, and her writing has appeared in several Pagan magazines.
Editorial Note #2: Krystle Hope (https://direct.me/krystlehope) is the coauthor of Conjuring with Cannabis and a
contributing writer for Spells for Good Times. She is the treasurer of The Gathering Grove and runs her own business
called Crescent Sapphire.
Gemstone and Crystal Magic
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781637480076, $18.95, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: The energy contained within stones is a mysterious and invisible power as old as the earth itself. It is also an
energy that, when properly harnessed, can enable a person to create powerful magic and reconnect with energies that
animate the natural world.
"Gemstone and Crystal Magic: A Modern Witch's Guide to Using Stones for Spells, Amulets, Rituals, and Divination" by
Gerina Dunwhich is both a practical and a comprehensive guide to the magical world of crystals and gemstones, including
both precious and semiprecious stones.
Written by a modern witch with firsthand knowledge of the occult properties of stones, "Gemstone and Crystal Magic" is
comprised of numerous spells and rituals, folklore, and magical correspondences. It also explores gemstone curses and
cures, and the many ways in which gemstones can be utilized as amulets for magical workings, as oracles for revealing the
future, and as tools for healing one's body, mind, and spirit.
With the aid of "Gemstone and Crystal Magic", readers will learn how to properly cleanse and charge stones, and also how
to make homemade gemstone elixirs. Additionally, they will discover the secrets of using stones to increase wealth,
facilitate clairvoyant abilities, invoke deities, ward off bad luck and evil influences, draw love into their lives, and so much
Critique: This edition of "Gemstone and Crystal Magic: A Modern Witch's Guide to Using Stones for Spells, Amulets,
Rituals, and Divination" from Weiser Books was previously published in as "Dunwich's Guide to Gemstone Sorcery:
Using Stones for Spells, Amulets, Rituals, and Divination" by New Page Books in 2003. A now recognized classic in the
field of Wiccan based usage of gemstones and crystals in magic, "Gemstone and Crystal Magic: A Modern Witch's Guide
to Using Stones for Spells, Amulets, Rituals, and Divination", while unreservedly recommended for community and
academic library Metaphysical Studies collections, it also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Gerina Dunwich (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerina_Dunwich) is a professional astrologer and occult
historian, best known for her books on Wicca and various esoteric subjects. She is also involved in paranormal research
and is the founder of the Paranormal Animal Research Group, which investigates cases of alleged hauntings by animal
The Business Shelf
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
9781264846245, $26.00, HC, 272pp
Synopsis: No matter what your role or title is at work, selling is an important part of what you do -- whether you're selling
a product, an idea, or a new way of doing things. But, before you can sell any of those things you have to sell yourself.
Creating your own personal brand (and promoting it in all you do) is essential to achieving your professional goals and
getting ahead in life.
With the publication of "Sell Yourself: How to Create, Live, and Sell a Powerful Personal Brand", renowned sales and
leadership expert Dr. Cindy McGovern guides you through the process of intentionally creating, living, and selling your
own personal brand.
Even those who don't view themselves as being "in sales" will quickly agree that everyone has a personal brand -- whether
they know it or not. Throughout this instructive and informative volume, Dr. Cindy reveals the secrets to selling yourself
(your vision and ideas) in a way that's thoughtful, active and deliberate. You will learn about how to apply the most
effective selling strategies to your personal brand, and how these strategies can help you create and live a personal brand
that will be easy to sell.
Comprised of time-tested strategies and real-world anecdotes to help you visualize how to put these powerful ideas into
practice, "Sell Yourself" goes far beyond showing you why it's so important to create your personal brand. It helps you
embrace the notion that that everyone sells, and anyone can sell better; especially when the idea you're selling is you. And
once you believe in you, the rest of the world will, too.
Critique: Basically a comprehensive 'how to' manual for succeeding both on and off the job, "Sell Yourself: How to Create,
Live, and Sell a Powerful Personal Brand" is exceptionally well written, deftly organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly'
in presentation. The next best thing to sitting front row center in a Cindy McGovern workshop, "Sell Yourself" is
especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Business Sales &
Marketing collections. It should be noted that "Sell Yourself" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Dr. Cindy McGovern (https://drcindy.com) is the founder of Orange Leaf Consulting, which helps
organizations, entrepreneurs, and individuals create dynamic and robust sales processes. Before launching her business,
McGovern was a college professor of communication as well as a successful sales professional. She has worked with
hundreds of organizations of all sizes and specialties across the globe and is now one of the most sought-after business and
Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
9781264703326, $28.00, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: In 2008, Touraj Parang's award-winning startup, Jaxtr, had 10 million users, raised nearly $20 million from
top-tier Silicon Valley investors, and seemed poised to sail straight through the Great Recession. But, by January of 2009,
Jaxtr's only hope for survival was to find a buyer -- sadly, it was too late for that.
With the publication of "Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game", Touraj draws upon and shares the lessons learned
from that chaotic experience and the extraordinary successes that followed once he (and the entrepreneurs he advises)
made creating and executing an exit strategy a top priority. For too long entrepreneurs have been failing to establish the
requisite relationships and properly prepare for the most important milestone in their life cycle: a sale to an acquirer. But in
today's hyper competitive and interconnected business world, that is no longer an option.
In this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive guide, you will discover the surprising reasons few startups succeed while many fail
-- and you'll learn that implementing an exit strategy early will empower you to take charge of your startup's ultimate fate,
maximizing its potential for success while mitigating the risks of failure.
Arranged in four sequential parts, "Exit Path" walks you through actionable steps to devise and execute an effective exit
strategy, starting with a fresh new perspective on the critical importance of creating a viable sale option for your startup.
You'll learn why creating your exit strategy is necessary well before you're contemplating an exit, regardless of the stage of
your startup. You'll also discover how to create your own exit plan, how to make your plan a reality through personal and
business relationships, and how to approach and negotiate with acquirers for an outcome best aligned with your values and
ambitions should the need arise.
Critique: What must be considered mandatory reading by all entrepreneurs with successful start-ups, "Exit Path: How to
Win the Startup End Game" will be of particular and special value to readers who are investors and company advisors as it
provides expert and experienced 'real world practical' advice and insights on managing a startup's destiny and unlocking its
strategic potential and options over time. Deftly organized into four major sections (A New Perspective on Exit Planning;
Creating Your Exit Strategy; Playing the Long Game; Mastering the Short Game), ten pages of Notes, and a nine page
Index, "Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, corporate,
community, college, and university library Entrepreneurship and Business Management collections. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" is also available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Touraj Parang (https://builtin.com/authors/touraj-parang) is a veteran Silicon Valley insider. He is a
seasoned entrepreneur, investor, adviser, and M&A expert who has sat in almost every seat around the table in Silicon
Valley since late 1990's, including as a corporate attorney at legal powerhouses Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and
O'Melveny & Myers. Touraj has been a founder, executive, and trusted adviser to several fast growing technology startups
with exits to LinkedIn, Instacart, Vistaprint, Postmates, and Amplify among others. He has also spent nearly a decade on
the acquirer side of M&A deals as a corporate development executive at Webs and GoDaddy.
The Unicorn Within
Linda K. Yates
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633698680, $35.00, PB, 336pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Unicorn Within: How Companies Can Create Game-Changing Ventures at Startup
Speed", Mach49 founder and CEO Linda Yates shows large companies how to beat startups at their own game -- to build a
pipeline and portfolio of new ventures to drive meaningful growth. How? With a teachable, repeatable, scalable method
focused 100 percent on execution across the spectrum of venture creation from Ideate to Incubate, Accelerate, and Scale.
She also offers keys to managing the Mothership and seizing the Mothership advantage to ensure your ventures reach
escape velocity and thrive.
Yates also lays out her blueprint for building a Venture Factory capable of becoming your company's growth engine for
years to come.
The next Unicorns don't have to come from Silicon Valley. Regardless of your company's industry, geography, or history,
they can come from you. Whether you're the CEO, a member of the C-suite, or an internal entrepreneur, you can help your
company grow. With "The Unicorn Within: How Companies Can Create Game-Changing Ventures at Startup Speed"
proven method, you can unleash the Unicorn within yourself and your company.
Critique: Informatively illustrated throughout, "The Unicorn Within: How Companies Can Create Game-Changing
Ventures at Startup Speed" is enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of two pages of Notes and an eight page Index. An
inspirational, aspirational, and 'real world practical' combination of instruction guide and 'how-to' manual that is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99), "The Unicorn Within: How Companies Can Create Game-Changing
Ventures at Startup Speed" is a 'must read' choice for every corporate executive and entrepreneur seeking to compete and
grow their company in today's rapidly evolving and change driven economy.
Editorial Note: Linda Yates (www.mach49.com) is the founder and CEO of Mach49, the growth incubator for global
businesses with clients including Goodyear, Gundersen Health, Hitachi, Intel, Pernod Ricard, Schneider Electric, Shell,
and many more. She is a seasoned CEO and board member with over thirty years of experience bridging Silicon Valley
and the Global 1000, creating global strategy, building companies, and driving innovation for large multinationals
The Sports Shelf
The University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
9780813195537, $29.95, HC, 346pp
Synopsis: When Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew retired from racing in 1978 to stand at stud at Spendthrift Farm, no one
could be certain he would be a successful sire. But just four years later, his dark bay daughter Landaluce won the
Hollywood Lassie Stakes by twenty-one lengths -- a margin of victory that remains the largest ever in any race by a
two-year-old at Hollywood Park.
California horse racing had a new superstar, and Slew was launched on a stud career that would make him one of the most
influential sires in North America. Like her father, Landaluce soon became a national celebrity, and was poised to become
the next American super-horse. But those dreams ended when the two-year-old died in her stall at Santa Anita four months
later, the victim of a swift and mysterious illness. Today, with her "I Love Luce" bumper stickers long gone, the filly has
been largely forgotten.
With the publication of "Landaluce: The Story of Seattle Slew's First Champion", author Mary Perdue tells the story of a
horse whose short but meteoric career could have changed racing history forever. Sparking comparisons to Ruffian,
Landaluce helped elevate California horse racing to the national stage and could have been the first filly to ever win the
In telling this story, Perdue also explores the lives and careers of Landaluce's breeders, owners, and trainer, D. Wayne
Lukas, as well as her famous sire Seattle Slew -- and shows not only how one filly captured the imagination of racing fans
across the country, but also set the stage for another filly turned super-horse, Zenyatta, in the decades to come.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressively informative, and inherently fascinating, "Landaluce: The Story of Seattle
Slew's First Champion" by Mary Perdue (who is a freelance turf writer and a winner of the Equus WINNIE award) will
have a very special attraction to readers with an interest in horses and horse racing. While also available for personal
reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.49), "Landaluce: The Story of Seattle Slew's First Champion" will prove
to be an enduringly popular addition to community library 20th Century American Horse Racing History collections.
Racing with Roger Penske
Sigur E. Witaker
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476687865, $49.95, PB, 280pp
Synopsis: Auto racing legend Roger Penske began as a successful sports car driver before transitioning to owning a race
team and opening a car dealership. Within eight years, Team Penske won the Indianapolis 500. Today, the team boasts
more than 580 victories, including an unparalleled 18 Indianapolis 500 wins and two at the Daytona 500.
Penske's efforts on the track have been intertwined with his business ventures. Penske Corporation, with $32 billion in
revenues, includes Penske truck leasing and rentals, retail automotive centers and logistics. In 2019, he bought the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway and related assets, including IndyCar, and led both through the coronavirus pandemic, when
racing continued with no fans in the stands.
"Racing with Roger Penske: A History of a Motorsport Dynasty" by Sigur E. Whitaker chronicles more than 50 years of
Roger Penske's racing history, with an overview of his business career, including the turnaround of Detroit Diesel.
Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a thirty-six page Bibliography, forty-two pages of
Notes, and a three page Index, "Racing with Roger Penske: A History of a Motorsport Dynasty" is an extraordinary
combination of biography and automotive racing history. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book
format (Kindle, $22.49), "Racing with Roger Penske: A History of a Motorsport Dynasty" is a welcome and unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Motor Sports History and
Contemporary American Biography collections.
Editorial Note: Sigur E. Whitaker (http://sigurwhitakerbooks.com), is the great-great-niece of James Allison,
one of the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Biography Shelf
King Fisher: The Short Life and Elusive Legend of a Texas Desperado
Chuck Parsons, author
Thomas C. Bicknell, author
University of North Texas Press
1155 Union Circle #311336, Denton, TX 76203-5017
9781574418613, $29.95, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: America's Wild West created an untold number of notorious characters, and in southwestern Texas, John King
Fisher (October 1853 - March 11, 1884) was foremost among them.
To friends and foes alike, he insisted he be called "King". He found a home in the tough sun-beaten Nueces Strip, a lawless
land between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande. There he gathered a gang of rustlers around him at his ranch on
Pendencia Creek. For a decade King and his gang raided both sides of the Rio Grande, shooting down any who opposed
them. Newspapers claimed King killed potential witnesses -- he was never convicted of cattle or horse stealing, or
King's reign ended when he was arrested by Texas Ranger Captain Leander McNelly. In no uncertain terms he advised
Fisher to change his ways, so King became deputy sheriff of Uvalde County. But his hard-won respectability would not
last. On a spring night in 1884, King made the mistake of accompanying the truly notorious gambler and gunfighter Ben
Thompson on a tour of San Antonio, where several years prior Thompson shot down Jack Harris at the latter's saloon and
theater, the Vaudeville. Recklessly, King Fisher accompanied Thompson back to the theater, where assassins were waiting.
When the smoke cleared, Fisher was stretched out beside Thompson, dead from thirteen gunshot wounds.
Critique: The stuff of which western legends are made, "King Fisher: The Short Life and Elusive Legend of a Texas
Desperado" is a meticulous and scholarly historical biography that reads with all the drama of a Max Brand novel.
Informatively enhanced with numerous illustrations, seven Appendices, forty-six pages of Notes, a ten page Selected
Bibliography, and a fifteen page Index, "King Fisher: The Short Life and Elusive Legend of a Texas Desperado" is
unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library American Western History & Biography
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "King Fisher: The Short Life and Elusive Legend of a Texas
Desperado" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).
Editorial Note #1: Chuck Parsons (https://untpress.unt.edu/authors/parsons-chuck/) is the author of Captain John R.
Hughes and The Sutton-Taylor Feud and coauthor of A Lawless Breed, a biography of John Wesley Hardin. He lives in
Editorial Note #2: Thomas C. Bicknell (https://untpress.unt.edu/authors/bicknell-thomas-c/) is the co-author (with Chuck
Parsons) of Ben Thompson: Portrait of a Gunfighter. His research and articles have appeared in various periodicals
including True West and Wild West.
Cinder Girl: Growing Up on America's Fringe
Holly Thompson Rehder
c/o Post Hill Press
9781637581209, $26.00, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Growing up on welfare, food stamps, and Greyhound buses, Holly Thompson Rehder quit school at fifteen to
help take care of her mother and younger sister after a devastating car accident. Getting married and pregnant soon
thereafter, like so many other young girls caught in the poverty-cycle, Holly decided that the life she had been born into
was not what she intended to give her child.
But unlike others who wind up mired in a lifetime of poverty, dysfunction, and despair, Holly used her resourcefulness,
faith, and sheer stubborn American grit to fight her way out of the gutter.
Two decades later she was a successful businesswoman. And today, she is a rising political star who serves as an
inspiration to young women across the state of Missouri (and indeed, the entire nation) all while never forgetting where she
came from. She worked her butt off to help so many others born into seemingly helpless circumstances.
As a rare lawmaker who speaks candidly from raw personal experience, in "Cinder Girl: Growing Up on America's
Fringe", Rehder rises above standard political prose to provide an unvarnished look inside the worst of American poverty
from the perspective of those living in the margins. Rehder challenges us to recall the plight of those far less fortunate,
who struggle without the opportunities most of us take for granted.
Critique: Every once in awhile there is a memoir of such deftly crafted and engaging candor and life story drama that it
will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book has been finished and set back upon the shelf. "Cinder
Girl: Growing Up on America's Fringe" by Holly Thompson Rehder is just such an autobiography. While also available for
personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Cinder Girl: Growing Up on America's Fringe" is an
especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary American
Editorial Note: State Senator Holly Thompson Rehder (https://www.senate.mo.gov/mem27) is a known voice in the fight
against opioid addiction and the stigma of mental illness. Holly brings a unique perspective to the poverty cycle in
America. A conservative Republican who speaks candidly from personal experience as someone who lived it as a child,
got out as a teen, only to see her daughter caught in it, is an informative and thought-provoking anomaly.
The Art Shelf
Go with the Flow Painting
Ohn Mar Win
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780760377727, $24.99, PB, 128pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Go with the Flow Painting: Step-by-Step Techniques for Spontaneous Effects in
Watercolor - Create Expressive Flowers, Animals, Food, and More", author and artist Ohn Mar Win offers beginner-friendly techniques, tips, and step-by-step lessons that show how to get the most out of
these mediums and paint confidently in this captivating style.
With "Go with the Flow Painting", aspiring artists will discover a new visual language that renders subjects with soft edges
and luminous color. Capture just enough detail to suggest familiar flowers, animals, and objects and allow a unique
expression and style to flourish.
Aspiring artists will begin with essential supplies and learn the key characteristics of loose watercolor. Practice basic
techniques that lay the foundation for this style, such as working wet-on-wet, creating color gradients, layering, and
creating shapes. Learn the best way to use brushes, and explore easy methods of working with pen and ink to add striking
linework and details.
Step-by-step lessons show how to capture the essence of a subject without worrying about perfectly executing every detail.
Learn how to paint captivating hot air balloons, tiger lilies, French macarons, a colorful chameleon, and more. Embracing
this flowing approach to watercolor allows you to develop a freer style and create artwork that's alive and exciting, instead
Critique: Beautifully and effectively organized and presented, "Go with the Flow Painting: Step-by-Step Techniques for
Spontaneous Effects in Watercolor - Create Expressive Flowers, Animals, Food, and More" is an ideal combination of
instructional guide and 'how to' manual that will be of immense interest and value to aspiring artists wanting to work with
watercolors. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in presentation, "Go with the Flow Painting: Step-by-Step Techniques for
Spontaneous Effects in Watercolor - Create Expressive Flowers, Animals, Food, and More" is especially recommended for
personal, professional, community, and academic library Watercolor Painting instructional reference collections.
Editorial Note: Ohn Mar Win (www.ohnmarwin.com) is an artist, illustrator, designer, and teacher whose career spans
more than 20 years. She's known for her expressive watercolors, and she regularly shares her vibrant sketchbook work with
her followers on Instagram. She is a top teacher on the online education platform Skillshare, where she has more than 20
watercolor and illustration classes and over 80,000 students. Ohn Mar has done work for such companies as Unilever,
BBC Worldwide, and Cost Plus World Market. She can be followed on Instagram: @ohn_mar_win
Generations: The Sobey Family and Canadian Art
Goose Lane Editions
9781773102689, $55.00, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: For over three generations, the Sobey family of Nova Scotia has demonstrated their discerning and enthusiastic
commitment to Canadian art. Accompanying a major exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and timed to
coincide with the 20th anniversary of the prestigious Sobey Art Award, "Generations: The Sobey Family and Canadian
Art" tells the story of a visionary family and their engagement with Canadian and Indigenous art.
This sweeping survey encompasses works by the beloved leaders of Canadian 20th-century art (the Group of Seven, Tom
Thomson, David Milne, and Emily Carr) as well as offering a rich display of works by Cornelius Krieghoff, the Quebec
Impressionists, Automatiste painters Jean Paul Riopelle and Paul-Emile Borduas, and Ukrainian Canadian artist William
Kurelek, before moving onward to showcase leading contemporary artists. Among them are international artist Peter Doig,
whose works draw on the legacies of Canadian art, and Indigenous artists Brenda Draney, Ursula Johnson, Kent
Monkman, and Brian Jungen.
Featuring more than 200 full-color images, "Generations: The Sobey Family and Canadian Art" includes an introduction
by McMichael Chief Curator Sarah Milroy, essays by McMichael Executive Director Ian A.C. Dejardin, art historians
Jocelyn Anderson, John Geoghegan, and Michele Grandbois, and an interview with contemporary artist Kent
Critique: A beautifully produced coffee-table style (10.25 x 1 x 11.25 inches, 3.25 pounds) volume, each individual work
of art is flawless reproduced and is accompanied by an instructive commentary providing an informative context for the
painting and the artist. Of particular interest to art students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in
Canadian Art History, "Generations: The Sobey Family and Canadian Art" is an especially recommended addition to
personal, professional, community, college, and university library Art History collections and supplemental curriculum
Editorial Note: Sarah Milroy is Chief Curator at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. A highly respected art critic and
exhibition curator, she has contributed to more than a dozen books on art, including Mary Pratt, From the Forest to the
Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia, and David Milne: Modern Painting. She has a website at
The Theatre/Cinema Shelf
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476687421, $39.95, PB, 237pp
Synopsis: The horror genre mirrors the American queer experience, both positively and negatively, overtly and
subtextually, from the lumbering, flower-picking monster of Frankenstein (1931) to the fearless intersectional protagonist
of the Fear Street Trilogy (2021).
With the publication of "Queer Screams: A History of LGBTQ+ Survival Through the Lens of American Horror Cinema",
historian Abigail Waldron provides an historical survey of the queer experiences of the horror genre's characters,
performers, authors and filmmakers.
Offering a fresh look at the horror genre's queer roots, "Queer Screams" documents how diverse stories have provided an
outlet for queer people (including transgender and non-binary people) to find catharsis and reclamation. Freaks, dolls,
serial killers, telekinetic teenagers and Final Girls all have something to contribute to the historical examination of the
American LGBTQ+ experience.
Ranging from psychiatry to homophobic fear of HIV/AIDS spread and, most recently, the alienation and self-determination
of queer America in the Trump era, "Queer Screams" is a fearless inquiry into how terror may repair a shattered queer
Critique: Of special and particular interest to the LGBTQ+ community, film historians, and movie buffs, "Queer Screams:
A History of LGBTQ+ Survival Through the Lens of American Horror Cinema" is a unique and informative cinematic
history that is exceptionally informative and highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and
university library Cinematic History and LGBTQ+ Studies collections and curriculum syllabus. It should be noted for
students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Queer Screams: A History of
LGBTQ+ Survival Through the Lens of American Horror Cinema" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Abigail Waldron (https://horrorpress.com/author/abigailwaldron) is an American historian who specializes
in LGBTQ+ history and media representation. She earned her MA in American Studies and a Certificate in Museums &
Communities from Trinity College. She is a contributing writer for Horror Press, and her other work can be found on Rue
Morgue, Gayly Dreadful, and Hear Us Scream.
The Feminist Film Guide: 100 Great Films to See
Mallory Andrews, author
Bea Crespo, illustrator
Smith Street Books
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
9781922417664, $19.95, HC, 208pp
Synopsis: The people listed in "100 Greatest Movies Ever Made," or "100 Films to See Before You Die" are almost all
men. With so much incredible cinema to choose from, there's only so many movies you can watch about bunch of white
guys struggling with their daddy issues, right?
With the publication of "The Feminist Film Guide: 100 Great Films to See (That Also Pass the Bechdel Test)" by Mallory
Andrews it is time to push past the male gatekeepers of what makes a movie "great" or "culturally significant" and get a
broader view of what's out there.
This comprehensive volume is a careful and knowledgeable curated selection of great films spanning whole eras and
genres ranging from the overlooked female trail-blazers of the silent era and the iconic triple-threat performers of classic
Hollywood, to the gun-toting rebels of the '80s and '90s and the funny women absolutely dominating comedy in the new
"The Feminist Film Guide" offers a fresh take on what defines great cinema and lends a long needed acknowledgement of
the female creators and characters who have defined the art form of cinema.
Critique: With the film title, release date, director, writer, listing of actors, genre, and country of origin listed on the left
page with a informative and descriptive commentary (include 'Behind the Scene' and 'Extra Credits') on the right hand
page, "The Feminist Film Guide: 100 Great Films to See (That Also Pass the Bechdel Test)" is a delight for all dedicated
film buffs to simply browse through one elegant page at a time. Perfect for planning feminist oriented movie nights with
family and friends, "The Feminist Film Guide: 100 Great Films to See (That Also Pass the Bechdel Test)" is a unique,
special, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library
Cinematic Studies & History collections and supplemental curriculum lists.
Editorial Note #1: Mallory Andrews (https://malloryandrews.com) is a cultural critic, writer, educator, and a founding
member of the cleo editorial board based in Toronto, Canada. She works to uplift diverse voices, with a focus on BIPOC
and LGBTQIA+ communities, and to foster a new generation of female and nonbinary writers and editors in film and
Editorial Note #2: As an artist, Bea Crespo has a dedicated website at https://beacrespo.es
PO Box 71426, Albany, GA 31708
9781629339573, $39.00, HC, 232pp
Synopsis: Long before there were the film festivals of SUNDANCE, TRIBECA, and TORONTO, there was CHICAGO
and a young kid from Chicago's West Side named Michael Kutza. He decided that his city needed to see what it was
missing around the world in international cinema and the glamor of Hollywood. So, the founded the Chicago International
Film Festival in 1964, with the help of silent screen star Colleen Moore and legendary film director King Vidor.
What followed was a roller-coaster ride that lasted for better than half a century, with Kutza presiding over a gathering that
throughout the decades hosted a veritable Who's Who of the film world - from Harold Lloyd to Clint Eastwood, Bette
Davis to Viola Davis, Steven Spielberg to Spike Lee, Guillermo del Toro to Jodie Foster, Lauren Bacall to Al Pacino. At
the same time, the festival introduced a plethora of new talent that would go on to revolutionize the movie business, from
Martin Scorsese on.
"Starstruck: How I Magically Transformed Chicago into Hollywood for More Than Fifty Years" is Kutza's rollicking,
provocative, racy, colorful, irreverent show business memoir culled from his decades rubbing elbows with the giants of
film at both the Chicago Festival and numerous other festivals around the globe. It includes many of the lowlights as well
as the highlights of a life lived just off-screen.
Critique: Absolutely fascinating, impressively informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Starstruck - How
I Magically Transformed Chicago into Hollywood for More Than Fifty Years" by Michael Kutza will have a particular
attraction to readers with an interest in cinematic history and the film industry in terms of actors, directors, writers and
producers. Especially and unreservedly recommended as an essential addition to personal, professional, community,
college, and university library collections, it should be noted for film students and movie fans that "Starstruck - How I
Magically Transformed Chicago into Hollywood for More Than Fifty Years" is also available in a paperback edition
Editorial Note: Michael Kutza is a graphic designer, filmmaker, film critic and podcast co-host who founded the Chicago
International Film Festival in the mid-1960s. He ran the festival and served as its artistic director until stepping down in
2018. Kutza remains CEO Emeritus of Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival. He has a page on
Wikipedia at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Kutza
The Needlecraft Shelf
Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies
The GMC Group
9781784946357, $24.99, PB, 144pp
Synopsis: "Crocheted Bees Bugs and Butterflies" by needlecraft expert Vanessa Mooncie is a stunning collection of 10
exquisite crochet projects including moths, beetles, butterflies and other insects.
Each individual project includes clear step-by-step instructions and stunning full color photography. "Crocheted Bees Bugs
and Butterflies" also includes an extensive and beautifully illustrated techniques section explaining everything you need to
know to embark on these wonderful projects. Once completed the projects can either be worn as an accessory, such as a
brooch or hair decoration, or they can be mounted in a frame or bell jar for display.
Made using various yarns, metallic and nylon threads, these projects incorporate beads and sequins to give astounding
results. The legs are wired and the designs use a variety of crochet stitches and embroidered details.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and step-by-step presentation, "Crocheted Bees Bugs and Butterflies" is
a fun, fabulous and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft/Crocheting
instructional guides and 'how-to' manuals.
Editorial Note: Vanessa Mooncie spent many happy hours as a child sitting with her mother and grandmother learning to
knit and crochet. She went on to study fashion and textile design and became a children's wear designer, illustrator and
interior designer. Vanessa now specializes in silkscreen work (www.vanessamooncie.com) and designing crochet jewellery
through her company Kissy Suzuki (www.kissysuzuki.com). She lives with her family in a rural village in the south of
England. Vanessa has written many successful books for GMC Publications, including Animal Hats, Crocheted Wild
Animals, Sew Adorable, And Sew to Bed and Crocheted Sea Creatures. She is also a regular contributor to other craft
books and magazines.
Editorial Note: Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse (https://sharonwegscheidercruse.com) is a family therapist, businesswoman,
and founder of Onsite Training and Consulting. She is the author of twenty-three books, including five bestsellers,
translated into thirteen languages, most notably Another Chance: Hope and Health for the Alcoholic Family, Learning to
Love Yourself, and Choicemaking.
10,000 Knitted Hats
The GMC Group
9781784946319, $29.99, Spiral Bound HC, 80pp
Synopsis: Compiled, created, and presented by Jo Allport, "10,000 Knitted Hats: Discover Your Own Unique Design
Combinations" is an interactive knitting book contains photographs of different hat brims, bodies and crowns that can be
combined in a total of 10,626 ways to create unique hat patterns. Once you've chosen your design, turn over the pages for
the correct written pattern for that combination of parts. You can then use the handy embellishments section to add any
extra features to the basic design.
The hat brims, bodies and crowns use many stitches, some familiar and others new. Find color work, both easy and more
challenging, along with slipped-stitch patterns, cables, lace and texture, all explained clearly in the handy techniques
Aimed at all ability levels, "10,000 Knitted Hats" has something for everyone -- and you will never need another hat
Critique: "10,000 Knitted Hats: Discover Your Own Unique Design Combinations" is a fun and clever flip-page
instruction and 'how to' book that is specifically for designing and building your own unique headwear creations. Unique
and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "10,000 Knitted Hats" is a knitter's delight and unreservedly
recommended for personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.
Editorial Note: From UK knitting magazines to big international yarn brands, you can find Jo Allport's knitwear designs in
many places. She also teaches knitting face to face, online and via tutorials. A lover of all crafts and a prolific writer on the
subject, she is a regular contributor to Knitting magazine and Let's Knit. She has a dedicated website at
A Masterclass in Needle Felting Wildlife
Hubble & Hattie
9781787117471, $23.99, PB, 128pp
Synopsis: The art of needle felting can produce endless possibilities of hyper-realistic, almost taxidermic results. With a
little know-how, some needles, wool and a few inexpensive accessories, you can learn to needle felt like a professional
with Cindy-Lou Thompson's "A Masterclass in Needle Felting Wildlife".
A complete course of illustrated step-by-step instruction, "A Masterclass in Needle Felting Wildlife" will take your needle
felting to a whole new level to create a range of lifelike British wildlife as world class felting master Cindy-Lou Thompson
of Chicktin Creations takes you through the steps.
Covering four different British wild animals, with her illustrated step-by-step instructions, Cindy guides you through the
process of creating different body shapes, proportions, armatures, coats, and blending, as well as realistic finishing touches
such as eyes, nails, ears and detailing.
You will also learn how to achieve a professional finish that you will be proud of with different textured coats, blending,
clipping, and adding shape and giving a realistic finishing touch with a variety of mediums and methods, some of which
Cindy has designed and developed herself.
Critique: The next best thing to taking a workshop course in felting from Cindy-Lou Thompson and also available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), "A Masterclass in Needle Felting Wildlife" will prove to be a treasured addition to
personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections. Also very strongly
recommended to dedicated needlecrafters from Cindy-Lou Thompson is "A Masterclass in Needle Felting Dogs"
(9781787113831, $23.99 PB, $11.99 Kindle, 128pp).
Editorial Note: Cindy-Lou Thompson's needle felting journey began with needing something to occupy her during a slow
medical recovery. Now self-taught Cindy has become world class in this addictive craft of needle felting --
The Wine Shelf
Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2023
Margaret Rand, editor
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784728434, $17.99, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: "Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2023" is the essential reference book for everyone who buys wine - in
shops, restaurants, or on the internet. Now in its 46th year of publication, it has no rival as the comprehensive,
up-to-the-minute annual guide for both amateur and professional wine connoisseurs.
It provides clear succinct facts and commentary on the wines, growers and wine regions of the whole world. It reveals
which vintages to buy, which to drink and which to cellar, which growers to look for and why. "Hugh Johnson's Pocket
Wine Book" also gives clear information on grape varieties, local specialities and how to match food with wines that will
bring out the best in both.
This latest edition of Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book for 2023 includes a color supplement: How Wine Ages (And
Why), which covers questions such as whether aged wine is necessarily better wine and how to store wine to ensure it ages
Critique: Reliable, comprehensive, informative, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Hugh
Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2023" is completely and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community
Wine/Beer/Spirits collections. It should be noted that "Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2023" is also readily available in
a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).
Editorial Note #1: Hugh Johnson is the world's pre-eminent writer on wine. First published in 1977, his Pocket Wine Book
sells hundreds of thousands of copies a year. Its winning formula of insight, critical appraisal of the world of wine, plus
valuable vintage news and wine recommendations has been often-imitated but never bettered. He has a Wikipedia page at
Editorial Note #2: Margaret Rand (https://www.decanter.com/author/MargaretRand/) has been general editor of Hugh
Johnson's Pocket Wine Book for some 15 years and now, with Hugh's retirement, has taken over the hot seat. The book's
mix of personal insight and informed recommendations have made it the world's best-selling annual wine book. Her books
include Grapes & Wines and 101 Wines to Try Before You Die. She also writes regularly for The World of Fine Wine,
timatkin.com and winesearcher.com
The Crafts Shelf
The Beginner's Guide to Friendship Bracelets
1010 B Street, Ste 350, San Rafael, CA 94901
9781681988610, $24.95, PB, 144pp
Synopsis: Friendship bracelets aren't just for summer camp anymore. They have exploded in popularity as a creative and
thoughtful way to share a connection with loved ones, even from far away. With the publication of "The Beginner's Guide
to Friendship Bracelets: Essential Lessons for Creating Stylish Designs to Wear and Give", Masha Knots demonstrates that
she is the go-to friendship bracelet expert who has amassed a following on YouTube and Instagram for her colorful,
creative designs and her easy-to-follow instructions.
Now, with "The Beginner's Guide to Friendship Bracelets" Masha is sharing all her bracelet tips and tricks as well as her
favorite designs. Featuring an array of patterns from simple to more advanced, Masha covers all the basics needed to get
started, including the best materials to use, knotting techniques, and easy embellishments and customization tricks for
adding your own flair.
Critique: It is no exaggeration to proclaim that whether creating a one-of-a-kind gift for a friend or stylish accessories for
yourself, "The Beginner's Guide to Friendship Bracelets" will make even the most novice of bracelet makers be able to
successful turn out truly memorable bracelets for friends, family, and colleagues. Profusely and informative illustrated in
full color, "The Beginner's Guide to Friendship Bracelets" is enthusiastically recommended for personal, professional, and
community library DIY Crafts collections. It should be noted that "The Beginner's Guide to Friendship Bracelets" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Masha Knots (the pseudonym of Maria Makarova) is a handmade crafter and online content creator based
in London. With over a decade of experience in making friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss, Masha creates video
guides on her YouTube channel explaining the ins and outs of bracelet making. Her online tutorials range from simple
bracelets explained step by step for beginners to more advanced friendship bracelet techniques and designs for the more
experienced. Masha is on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/mashaknots
The Gardening Shelf
Hardy Apples: Growing Apples in Cold Climates
Bob Osborne, author
Beth Powning, photographer
Firefly Books Ltd.
9780228103189, $35.00, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: "Hardy Apples: Growing Apples in Cold Climates" by Bob Osborne is both a practical guide and a loving tribute
to the wonderful abundance and diversity of apple cultivars available to the northern gardener and orchardist. Full of tips,
facts, beautiful photographs by Beth Powning, and fascinating stories about apples both popular and obscure, "Hardy
Apples: Growing Apples in Cold Climates" is inherently fascinating and impressively informative.
Drawing on over 40 years of experience propagating and selling apple cultivars from his nursery in Corn Hill, New
Brunswick, author Bob Osborne walks you through the basics of how an apple tree grows and the ideal conditions needed
to cultivate a successful crop. Osborne also includes vital information about planting, pruning, harvesting, storing and
propagating apples, and he devotes an entire chapter to preventing and dealing with the pests and diseases that plague so
many growers, plus the challenges of hard winters and unpredictable weather.
Of special note is that following the section on growing apples there is an extensive catalog of over 90 apple cultivars.
Critique: An absolute 'must' for the personal reading lists of novice and professional fruit growers, "Hardy Apples:
Growing Apples in Cold Climates" is impressively comprehensive, well written, beautifully and profusely illustrated with
full color photography, exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, and unreservedly recommended as
a core addition to personal, professional, and academic library Gardening & Horticulture collections.
Editorial Note #1: Bob Osborne is the owner of Corn Hill Nursery in New Brunswick, Canada. He is a gardening author, a
columnist on CBC radio and a member of several horticultural organizations.
Editorial Note #2: Author and photographer Beth Powning has photographed four previous books, including "Hardy
Roses" with Bob Osborne. She has a dedicated website at https://www.powning.com/beth
The Parenting Shelf
Raising Emotionally Strong Boys
David Thomas, LMSW
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton Road, Ada, MI 49301
9780764240713, $28.99, HC, 189pp
Synopsis: About those meltdowns, blowups, and one-word answers from your son. Some say that's just how boys are --
prone to outbursts or sullenness. But what's behind these and other issues? Drawing from twenty-five years of counseling
boys and working with parents, with the publication of "Raising Emotionally Strong Boys: Tools Your Son Can Build On
for Life", David Thomas sheds light on common emotional struggles, including anger, anxiety, and depression, and shares
practical ways you can help your son be: Resourceful (equipped to work through his emotions in constructive ways; Aware
)so that he better understands himself, including his strengths and weaknesses); Resilient (having the capacity to cope and
feel competent); Empathetic (able to understand the feelings and experiences of others).
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Raising Emotionally Strong Boys: Tools Your Son Can
Build On for Life" will also prove helpful also for grandparents, teachers, caregivers, and anyone else who has a boy in
their life. A combination instructional guide and 'how to' manual, "Raising Emotionally Strong Boys: Tools Your Son Can
Build On for Life" shows how a strong emotional foundation leads to a Christ-like sense of masculinity that will serve him
well his whole life.
Editorial Note: David Thomas, LMSW, is the director of family counseling at Daystar Counseling in Nashville, TN, and
the coauthor of eight books, including the bestselling Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys and Are My Kids on
Track?. He speaks regularly around the country and is a frequent guest on national television and podcasts, including his
own called Raising Boys and Girls. He has also been featured in publications like The Washington Post and USA Today.
He has a dedicated website at www.raisingboysandgirls.com
The Self-Help Shelf
Health Communications, Inc.
3201 S.W. 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
9780757324352, $15.95, PB, 288pp
Synopsis: Communication is more than an exchange of information. Words can inspire, teach important lessons, and
woven together offer a legacy to those that we love for generations to come. With the publication of "Storytelling Legacy:
Everyone Has Stories--What Are Yours?" author, family therapist, and co-founder of the National Association of Children
of Alcoholics, Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse, invites her readers to join her as she recounts her remarkable life.
Included are tales of celebrity, culture, humor, history, questions, relationships, surprises, spirituality, traditions, and
travels. She then invites readers to then go deep within, to realize the wonder of their own life experiences, and to craft
their own legacy of stories. Everyone has a story -- what is yours?
Critique: Part memoir, part expression based self-help guide, and with just a touch of a "how-to" manual for anyone
thinking about writing out their own life story whether it's a form of DIY personal cathartic therapy and for publication
with the intent to help others, "Storytelling Legacy: Everyone Has Stories--What Are Yours?" is especially and
unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, counseling center, college, and university library
Motivational Self-Help collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Storytelling Legacy: Everyone
Has Stories--What Are Yours?" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Reference Shelf
Great Lakes Nature Guide
James S. McCormac, author
Krista Kagume, author
Lone Pine Publishing
9781774511855, $21.95, PB, 240pp
Synopsis: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with museum quality full color illustrations, "Great Lakes Nature Guide" by
the team of James S. McCormac and Krista Kagume is a fascinating and informative guide that features over 400 species
of plants and animals most commonly encountered in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan,
Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
Critique: Deftly organized into two major sections (Animals and Plants), the "Great Lakes Nature Guide" is informatively
enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a one page listing of References, a seven page Glossary, and a twelve page
Index. Simply stated, the "Great Lakes Nature Guide" is an especially and unreservedly recommended high value addition
to personal, professional, community and academic library collections.
The Criminology Shelf
A Lovely Girl
Deborah Holt Larkin
c/o Pegasus Books
9781639362448, $29.95, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Deborah Larkin was only ten years old when the quiet calm of her California suburb was shattered. Thirty miles
north, on a quiet November night in Santa Barbara, a pregnant nurse named Olga Duncan disappeared from her apartment.
The mystery deepens when it is discovered that Elizabeth Duncan (Olga's mother in-law and a deeply manipulative and
deceptive woman) had been doing everything in her power to separate Olga and her son, Frank, prior to Olga's
From a forged annulment to multiple attempts to hire people to "get rid" of Olga, to a faked extortion case, Elizabeth
seemed psychopathically attached to her son. Yet she denied having anything to do with Olga's disappearance with a
But when Olga's brutally beaten body is found in a shallow grave, apparently buried alive, a young DA makes it his
mission to see that Elizabeth Duncan is brought to justice. Adding a wrinkle to his efforts is the fact that Frank (himself a
defense attorney) maintained his mother's innocence to the end.
How does a young girl process such a crime along with the fear and disbelief that rocked an entire community? Decades
later, Larkin is determined to revisit the case and bring the story of Olga herself to light. Long overshadowed by the
sensationalism and scandal of Elizabeth and Frank, "A Lovely Girl: The Tragedy of Olga Duncan and the Trial of One of
California's Most Notorious Killers" by Deborah Holt Larkin seeks to reveal Olga as a woman in full. Someone who was
more than the twisted family that would ultimately ensnare her.
Critique: Exceptionally well written and an inherently fascinating read from cover to cover, "A Lovely Girl: The Tragedy
of Olga Duncan and the Trial of One of California's Most Notorious Killers" will have a very special appeal to readers with
an interest in the subjects of True Crime Memoirs. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal,
professional, community, and academic library Criminology collections, it should be noted for students, academia, and
non-specialist general readers that "A Lovely Girl" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99) and as a
complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212231510, $45.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Deborah Larkin (https://deborahholtlarkin.com) holds a bachelor's degree in American History and
Literature from the University of California at Davis, and she studied creative writing at the University of California at San
Diego. She has a master's degree in the Education of Exceptional Children from San Francisco State University. She has
spent more than three decades teaching students with special needs before becoming an elementary school principal.
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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