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Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine
National Academies Press
500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
9780309669825, $75.00, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The delivery of high quality and equitable care for both mothers and newborns is
complex and requires efforts across many sectors. The United States spends more on childbirth
than any other country in the world, yet outcomes are worse than other high-resource countries,
and even worse for Black and Native American women.
There are a variety of factors that influence childbirth, including social determinants such as
income, educational levels, access to care, financing, transportation, structural racism and
geographic variability in birth settings. It is important to reevaluate the United States' approach to
maternal and newborn care through the lens of these factors across multiple disciplines.
"Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice" reviews and evaluates
maternal and newborn care in the United States, the epidemiology of social and clinical risks in
pregnancy and childbirth, birth settings research, and access to and choice of birth settings.
Critique: A comprehensive and exceptionally well organized and presented study, "Birth Settings
in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice" is unreservedly recommended as a core
addition to professional, college, and university Pediatrics Medicine Marriage & Family
Sociology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the
personal reading lists of medical students, pediatric and midwife practitioners, and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality,
Access, and Choice" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $59.99).
My Life With Helen
Diane S. Nine
9781950544097 $28.00 hc / $8.69 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: There's no denying that Helen Thomas was a larger-than-life personality, but more
importantly, she was a trailblazer for women in journalism. Professionally, she reported on more
presidential administrations than anyone in history, and she rightfully earned her place--front
row, center--as the Dean of the White House Press Corps. However, later in her life, Helen made
some regrettable comments that subsequently ended her illustrious career and tarnished her
From her rise to the top of the political journalism ladder to her unceremonious downfall, there
was one constant and that was Diane Nine. She was by Helen's side through thick and thin as her
literary agent and her close friend for more than 30 years.
In My Life With Helen, readers learn for the first time what was going on behind the scenes after
Helen's fall from grace and how Diane struggled to come to terms with the media frenzy that
followed. Maybe things do happen for a reason. That's for the reader to decide. There's no
denying that Helen was a force to be reckoned with, but more importantly, she was human, flaws
Critique: My Life With Helen: The Dean of the White House Press Corps Through Her Agent's
Eyes is a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of White House journalism. Author Diane
S. Nine worked as the agent of legendary female journalist Helen Thomas from 1988 through
2010; chapters detail the ups and downs of turbulent decades, intense politics, ultra-formal
dinners, books and speeches, travels, devastating illness, controversies, Helen's resignation, and
more. An absolutely captivating insider's tell-all, My Life With Helen is highly recommended for
both personal and public library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that My
Life With Helen is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.69).
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Covid-19: Resources For Coping With The Pandemic And Beyond
Sam Mayhugh & Brian Mayhugh
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781973692874, $27.95, PB, 80pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Covid-19: Resources For Coping With The Pandemic And Beyond" by clinical
psychologist Sam Mayhugh and psychologist and healthcare executive Brian Mayhugh provides
persons living under the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic with many resources including; help,
crisis, and information lines, as well as tips and recommendations about dealing with anxiety and
depression, and building resiliency. The medical, social, and financial conditions of this current
pandemic provide a cascade of stresses on everyone -- but genuine opportunities for personal
assessment and support are provided throughout "Covid-19: Resources For Coping With The
Pandemic And Beyond".
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Covid-19: Resources For Coping
With The Pandemic And Beyond" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended
addition to the personal reading lists of non-specialist general readers concerned about Covid-19,
as well as an immediate and enduringly valued contribution to health clinic, community, college,
and university library Contemporary Health & Medicine collections.
Editorial Note: Dr. Sam Mayhugh maintains an informative website at:
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
You Talkin' to Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue
Linda Seger & John Ralney
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615933136, $19.95, PB, 260pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Unlike the chitchat of everyday life, dialogue in stories must express character,
advance the story, suggest a theme, and include a few memorable lines that audiences will be
quoting for decades to come.
The best stories have dialogue that sparkles, but it's easy for inexperienced writers to fall into
common pitfalls like creating dialogue that's wooden or too on the nose. Other writers end up
with exposition awkwardly inserted into conversations, actors tripping over unnatural phrases, or
characters who all speak exactly the same way.
In "You Talkin' to Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue", professional screen writers Linda Seger
and John Winston Rainey have written a complete course of instruction that deal with all the
dialogue problems that aspiring writers commonly encounter. In each chapter, "You Talkin' to
Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue" explores dialogue from a different angle and discuss
examples of great dialogue from films and novels. To cap it all off, each chapter ends with
examples of poor dialogue, which are annotated by Linda and then rewritten by John, so readers
don't just learn how to recognize when it's done well -- they also learn how to make dialogue
Whether writing fiction or nonfiction, for the screen or for the page, "You Talkin' to Me?: How
to Write Great Dialogue" show aspiring screen writers how to get their characters talking -- and
their audiences fully engaged in listening to what's being said.
Critique: Simply stated, "You Talkin' to Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue" should be
considered mandatory reading for any author involved with screen writing and considered an
essential, core addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library
Performing Arts, Film & Video, and Screen Writing instructional reference collections. It should
be noted that "You Talkin' to Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $18.71).
Editorial Note: Linda Seger created and defined the career of script consultant in 1981. She is the
most prolific author in the area of screen writing. Two of her nine screen writing books, "Making
a Good Script Great", and "Creating Unforgettable Characters" remain staples for writers and
many universities use them as textbooks in screen writing classes. She has consulted on over
2,000 scripts including over 50 produced feature films and over 35 produced television projects.
She has given seminars in over 30 countries around the world. Linda has earned 3 MA degrees
and a ThD including one in drama and one in Religion and the Arts.
John Rainey has been involved in the dramatic arts since 1975 and has been a script consultant
since 1989. He has a B.A. and an M.F.A. in acting and directing. He acted and directed
professionally for a decade before turning his attention to screenwriting in 1987. He has written
10 scripts for production companies located in Japan, Morocco, India, Russia, Colombia,
Canada, and the United States, three of which have been produced and three more currently in
some phase of production. He has also written 15 spec scripts, many of which have been
optioned several times, and innumerable shorts. He has directed one short that is in
post-production. Currently, he is developing a dramatic webisode series.
Actually, the Comma Goes Here
9781647399221 $12.99 pbk / $8.99 Kindle
Synopsis: No one's ever said that learning punctuation is fun - until now. Actually, The Comma
Goes Here takes a lighthearted yet highly informative approach to ensuring you never misplace a
Whether it's semicolons or exclamation points, this primer has you covered with chapters that
dive deep into the correct use for each and every piece of punctuation. You'll find plenty of fun
(and funny) examples of proper writing while also learning how punctuation has changed
Actually, The Comma Goes Here includes:
A complete crash course - Keep things simple with chapters that progress from the most basic
punctuation (like periods) to more advanced or uncommon punctuation (like brackets).
Memorable advice - Never mix your clauses up again thanks to easy-to-remember breakdowns,
handy mnemonics, and entertaining sample sentences.
Matters of style - Discover a quick reference chart that details the differences between the most
common style guides, including the Chicago Manual of Style and Associated Press.
Perfect your punctuation with the help of this comprehensive guidebook.
Critique: Actually, the Comma Goes Here is a thoroughly accessible punctuation guide for
writers of all skill and experience levels. Periods, semicolons, commas, brackets, clauses, and
much more are all explained in straightforward terms with examples and more than a dash of
witty humor. Actually, the Comma Goes Here is a "must-have" especially for aspiring and
practicing professional writers, from columnists to novelists! Highly recommended. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that Actually, The Comma Goes Here is also available in a
Kindle edition ($8.99).
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Monsters of the Deep
Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy Rd., #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
9781578597055, $19.95, PB, 366pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Water takes up 70 percent of Earth's surface, with countless lakes, rivers, ponds,
streams, seas and oceans covering much of the land, but what lurks beneath the water? For
centuries, sightings have been made of huge, marauding monsters swimming the world's oceans
and lakes. They include Scotland's legendary Loch Ness Monster; the United States' equivalent,
Champ, of Lake Champlain; and Canada's long-necked denizen of the deep known as Ogopogo.
These, and many more, famous monsters of the world below us also include giant squid, massive
octopi, and even the fabled Kraken and the fabled mermaids of millennia long-gone. Possibly,
too, there survive populations of marine reptiles that were assumed to have gone extinct millions
of years ago, in the Jurassic period, such as the plesiosaur.
Whether scaly or slithery, massive prehistoric dinosaurs or mutant serpents, in "Monsters of the
Deep", author Nick Redfern catalogs nearly 100 accounts of eels, alligators, reptiles, giant squids,
snakes, worms, deadly fish, and cold-blooded creatures of all manner and ilk. "Monsters of the
Deep" also reveals the astonishing extent to which lake monsters and sea serpents have surfaced
throughout history to terrify, perplex, and amaze those who have crossed paths with these
monsters of the unknown.
Critique: Nicely enhanced throughout with black-and-white illustrations, "Monsters of the Deep"
is an inherently fascinating and inherently informative read from first page to last. Also available
for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.95), "Monsters of the Deep" will
prove to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library Aquatic Wildlife
collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
Editorial Note: Nick Redfern works full time as an author, lecturer, and journalist. He writes
about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including UFOs, alien encounters, government
conspiracies, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster.
The American History Shelf
Fort Union and Fort William
Michael M. Casler, author
W. Raymond Wood, editor
South Dakota Historical Society Press
900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SC 57501-2217
9781941813270, $29.95, PB, 131pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Fort Union and Fort William: Letter Book and Journal, 1833-1835 " offers a window
into the fur and bison robe trade of the early 1830s, building upon the previous work of editors
W. Raymond Wood and Michael M. Casler in their publication "Fort Tecumseh and Fort Pierre
Chouteau: Journal and Letter Books, 1830-1850", which was also published by the South Dakota
Historical Society Press in 2017. The documents Wood and Casler have compiled and annotated
include newly transcribed letters from Robert Campbell and William Sublette, providing two
sides of the extraordinary story of the fur trade on the Northern Great Plains.
Critique: An impressively informative work of original historical scholarship, "Fort Union and
Fort William: Letter Book and Journal, 1833-1835" will prove to be a prized addition to
personal, professional, community, college, and university library 19th Century American
History collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists.
Editorial Note: Michael M. Casler, a former park ranger with the National Park Service, currently
works as an independent historical researcher. Casler is the author of Steamboats of the Fort
Union Fur Trade (1999) and editor of The Original Journals of Charles Larpenteur (2007). He
has also written numerous articles on the Upper Missouri fur trade.
W. Raymond Wood has a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Oregon and taught
anthropology at the University of Missouri for nearly four decades. Among his many publications
are Prologue to Lewis and Clark (2002), Twilight of the Upper Missouri River Fur Trade (2008),
and A White-Bearded Plainsman: The Memoirs of Archaeologist W. Raymond Wood (2011). He
is also the co-author of Fort Clark and Its Indian Neighbors (2011).
The Frontiersmen Who Couldn't Shoot Straight
9780870046315, $18.95, PB, 375pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The years between 1815 and 1845 were marked by a comparative dearth of Indian
Wars. It was a time when the Army became professional, and when it learned that the
frontiersmen, not the Indians, were the greater enemy. It was a time when the Government
expanded its role as regulator and welfare provider; when some frontier people became terrorists;
when our gun culture blossomed; when our racism, bigotry, and xenophobia exploded; when our
anti-intellectualism soared; when the populist common man seized the political scene; and when
our conception of American exceptionalism took root, based on the creation of the heroic
"The Frontiersmen Who Couldn't Shoot Straight: The Army vs. the Pioneers 1815-1845" by
historian Gregory Michno is an intriguing interpretation of western history that deftly
deconstructs several American foundation myths while linking the past with the present in many
thought-provoking vignettes. "The Frontiersmen Who Couldn't Shoot Straight" reminds us that
times do not shape people -- rather it is the people shape the times.
Critique: An iconoclastic and inherently fascinating history, "The Frontiersmen Who Couldn't
Shoot Straight: The Army vs. the Pioneers 1815-1845" will prove to be an extraordinary and
important contribution to our understanding the roots in American popular and political culture
that, as a cultural foundation, has eventually given rise to the current polarization of the
American citizenry on such diverse political and social issues as gun control, populism, and
militia movements. Impressively detailed and profusely documented, "Gregory F. Michno is a
Michigan native and the author of three dozen articles and ten books dealing with World War II
and the American West, including Lakota Noon; Battle at Sand Creek; The Encyclopedia of
Indian Wars; The Deadliest Indian War in the West; The Settlers War; A Fate Worse Than
Death; and Circle the Wagons. Greg helped edit and appeared in the DVD history The Great
Indian Wars: 1540-1890" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community,
college, and university library 19th Century American History collections and supplemental
curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: Gregory F. Michno is the author of three dozen articles and ten books dealing
with World War II and the American West, including Lakota Noon; Battle at Sand Creek; The
Encyclopedia of Indian Wars; The Deadliest Indian War in the West; The Settlers War; A Fate
Worse Than Death; and Circle the Wagons. Greg also helped edit and appeared in the DVD
history The Great Indian Wars: 1540-1890.
The Civil War Shelf
The Cavalries in the Nashville Campaign
Dennis W. Belcher
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476675992, $45.00, PB, 382pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Nashville Campaign (September 18 to December 27, 1864), culminating with the
last major battle of the Civil War, is one of the most compelling and controversial campaigns of
the conflict. The campaign pitted the young and energetic James Harrison Wilson and his Union
cavalry against the cunning and experienced Nathan Bedford Forrest with his Confederate
"The Cavalries in the Nashville Campaign" by American Civil War historian Dennis W. Belcher
provides an analysis of contributions made by the two opposing cavalry forces and provides new
insights and details into the actions of the cavalry during the battle. This campaign highlighted
important changes in cavalry tactics and never in the Civil War was there closer support by the
cavalry for infantry actions than for the Union forces in the Battle of Nashville.
The retreat by Cheatham's corps and the Battle of the Barricade receive a more in-depth
discussion than in previous works on this battle. The importance of this campaign cannot be
overstated as a different outcome of this battle could have altered history.
The Nashville Campaign reflected the stark realities of the war across the country in December
1864 and would mark an important part of the death knell for the Confederacy.
Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout with period photographs, maps and charts, "The Cavalries
in the Nashville Campaign" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a twelve page
Bibliography, thirty-eight pages of Notes, and a six page Index. An impressive work of
meticulous, detailed, and original scholarship, "The Cavalries in the Nashville Campaign" will
prove to be an invaluable and informative addition to the growing body of American Civil War
histories. While unreserved recommended for both community and academic library collections,
it should be noted for the personal reading lists of American Civil War buffs that "The Cavalries
in the Nashville Campaign" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Dennis W. Belcher is the author and/or editor of eight books on the Civil War. He
has also been published in the North & South Magazine, and made many presentations on
aspects of the Civil War. In 2016, he contributed "The Judicial Ouster Ordinance of 1865" in the
book - Missouri Law and the American Conscience. His eighth book, "The Cavalries in the
Nashville Campaign" was published in May 2020.
Mary A. DeCredico
The University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
9780813179254, $50.00, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Richmond, Virginia was the pride of the founding fathers and the doomed capital of
the Confederate States of America.
Unlike other Southern cities, Richmond boasted a vibrant, urban industrial complex capable of
producing crucial ammunition and military supplies. Despite its northern position, Richmond
became the Confederacy's beating heart -- its capital, second-largest city, and impenetrable
citadel. As long as the city endured, the Confederacy remained a well-supplied and formidable
But when Ulysses S. Grant broke its defenses in 1865, the Confederates fled, burned Richmond
to the ground, and surrendered within the week.
"Confederate Citadel: Richmond and Its People at War" by Professor Mary A. DeCredico offers
a detailed portrait of life's daily hardships in the rebel capital during the Civil War. Here,
barricaded against a siege, staunch Unionists became a dangerous fifth column, refugees flooded
the streets, and women organized a bread riot in the city.
Drawing on personal correspondence, private diaries, and newspapers, Professor DeCredico
spotlights the human elements of Richmond's economic rise and fall, uncovering its significance
as the South's industrial powerhouse throughout the Civil War.
Critique; Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of twenty-six pages of Notes, a sixteen page
Selected Bibliography, and a ten page Index, "Confederate Citadel: Richmond and Its People at
War" is a masterpiece of meticulous and deftly presented scholarship. While especially and
unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library American Civil War
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of American history students, faculty,
Civil War buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"Confederate Citadel: Richmond and Its People at War" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $31.49).
Editorial Note: Mary A. DeCredico is the Professor of History at the United States Naval
Academy and the author of numerous publications, including Mary Boykin Chesnut: A
Confederate Woman's Life and Patriotism for Profit: Georgia's Urban Entrepreneurs and the
Confederate War Effort.
The General Fiction Shelf
Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
9780062975973, $28.99, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In May 1875, Elizabeth Todd Edwards reels from news that her younger sister Mary,
former First Lady and widow of President Abraham Lincoln, has attempted suicide.
Mary's shocking act followed legal proceedings arranged by her eldest and only surviving son
that declared her legally insane. Although they have long been estranged, Elizabeth knows Mary's
tenuous mental health has deteriorated through decades of trauma and loss. Yet is her suicide
attempt truly the impulse of a deranged mind, or the desperate act of a sane woman terrified to be
committed to an asylum? And (if her sisters can put past grievances aside) is their love powerful
enough to save her?
Maternal Elizabeth, peacemaker Frances, envious Ann, and much adored Emilie had always
turned to one another in times of joy and heartache, first as children, and later as young wives
and mothers. But when Civil War erupted, the conflict that divided a nation shattered their
family. The Todd sisters's fates were bound to their husbands' choices as some joined the Lincoln
administration, others the Confederate Army.
Now, though discord and tragedy have strained their bonds, Elizabeth knows they must come
together as sisters to help Mary in her most desperate hour.
Critique: An impressively original and exceptionally entertaining work of historical fiction by an
author with an eloquent narrative storytelling style, "Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters" by Jennifer Chiaverini
is a compelling and unreservedly recommended addition to community library collections. It
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters" is also readily available in
a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99). Librarians should note that "Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters" has a
large print paperback edition (HarperLuxe, $30.99), as well as being available in a complete and
unabridged audio book format (Blackstone Publishing, 9781094159805, $39.99, CD).
A Quiet Cadence
Naval Institute Press
291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402
9781682475065, $29.95, HC, 392pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Family and friends know Marty McClure as a kind, peaceful man. They aren't aware
that when he was young, he plumbed the depths of terror, hatred and despair with no assurance
he'd ever surface again. Now he needs to reveal what happened in Vietnam and how, with the
help of Patti, his wife, Corrie Corrigan, a disabled vet, and Doc Matheson, a corpsman turned
trauma surgeon, he made peace with the ghosts that have visited his dreams all these years.
With the perception and reflection of a man on the cusp of retirement from a career teaching high
school kids, Marty recalls the relentless intensity of prolonged combat as a teenage Marine
machine gunner facing booby traps and battles in a war with few boundaries.
Arriving in Vietnam, he is appalled by the savagery of his fellow Marines as they hunt an enemy
indistinguishable from the villagers he believes they are there to protect. But as friends are
crippled or killed over the ensuing months, Marty has to fight not only the enemy but the vicious
darkness growing in him.
Wounded and sent back to the U.S., he struggles to make sense of all he has lost in a war his
country abandoned. He works to become a good husband, father and teacher while he fights to
bury the war and rails against friends' enthusiasm for the Memorial and the Welcome Home for
Vietnam Veterans planned in D.C. Only if he accepts help from his wife and his friends will he
find real peace.
Critique: Although a work of deftly crafted fiction, "A Quiet Cadence" by Mark Treanor reveals
a larger truth so commonly experienced by ordinary young men suddenly thrust into the caldron
of war and then brought back into a civilian life that still carries with it the mental and emotional
echos of the violence that was once their daily fare. A compelling read from cover to cover, "A
Quiet Cadence" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading
lists, as well as community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: Mark Treanor, a Naval Academy graduate, was a Marine rifle platoon leader in
Vietnam, an artillery battery commander, and leadership instructor and later served on the boards
of the National Defense University and the Naval Academy. A lawyer, corporate executive, and
leadership coach, he has participated in national security fact-finding missions in Iraq, Yemen,
Africa, and the Caucasus.
Louisiana State University Press
338 Johnston Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
9780807172674, $29.95, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It's summertime, and son Theo is away at camp. Feeling frisky, free, and tired of living
vicariously through nighttime trysts with erotic novels, Penelope can begin phase two of her
postdivorce life. First on the agenda is a date with the mysterious Fitzwilliam Darcy, who lives in
a mansion with his snobbish cat, Algernon, and who spends his spare time painting massive nude
Meanwhile, back at the trailer park office, Penelope's boss, Missy, has become obsessed with
getting rid of Dimwit, the backwoods interloper who may be stealing personal items from female
residents. A sting operation to catch him in the act is planned, something so kooky and ill
advised that only a legendary goofball such as Missy could set it into motion.
Throw in a bully trainer at Penelope's new gym, plus an infestation of skunks that requires the
services of a wildlife expert and homespun mystic known as the Critter Catcher, and it becomes
clear that Penelope's two weeks off from parenting won't be as relaxing and incident free as she
Critique: Building on the comedic characters created by author Inman Major's previous novel,
"Penelope Lemon: Game On!", his newest book, "Operation Dimwit", once again showcases the
challenges of being a single, middle-class working mom after a divorce. A deftly crafted and
memorably fun read from first page to last, "Operation Dimwit" is especially and unreservedly
recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be
noted for the legions of Penelope Lemon fans that "Operation Dimwit" is also readily available in
a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
The Western Fiction Shelf
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444844115, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Arriving in Temple Rock to visit his brother John, Brent Kelf is greeted with a shower
of bullets. John's ranch is under attack, his animals stolen, and his family in danger - but with his
leg broken, it falls to his brother Kelf to find the culprit. Following the tracks of the rustled stock,
he rides straight onto the land of local ranch owner Abel Stratton, whose tough crew control
almost everyone in the town. Kelf soon realizes that to stop the violence, he must take the law
into his own hands. -- Then there is Stratton's unpredictable, attractive, and lethally dangerous
Critique: "Stranglehold" by Corba Sunman is one of those very special action/adventure western
novels where you can practically smell the gun smoke rising from the pages. A riveting and
original story with more plot twists and turns than the Colorado River, this is the stuff of which
John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies used to be made. This large print edition of
"Stranglehold" is unreservedly recommended for community library Western Fiction collections -
- and a 'must' for any and all dedicated western novel buffs.
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444844092, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Cheyenne cowboy Gat Hammer has decided to use his savings to buy a ranch in Dodge
City. Arriving with the cattle drive and depositing his wages in the town bank, he rents a room in
the Deluxe hotel, unaware that outlaw Emmett Holt's gang have been hired to rob the bank by no
less than the man who owns the bank itself! It seems that nothing can stop the merciless band of
lethal outlaws until Hammer realizes that his own savings have also been stolen -- and when he
and trail boss pal are gunned down in the dark. But despite his injuries, the Cheyenne cowboy
rides into action with guns blazing and against all odds!
Critique: Simply stated, "Cheyenne Cowboy" is that paradox of being a unique action-adventure
novel with all the traditional elements of a shoot-out western. A solidly entertaining read from
beginning to end, this large print edition of "Cheyenne Cowboy" is very highly recommended for
both the personal reading lists of dedicated western buffs and community library Western Fiction
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444844405, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It is almost two years since Custer's defeat at the Little Bighorn and apart from those
few who have followed Sitting Bull into Canada, the Sioux have been chased out of the Black
Hills and are now subjugated by life on a reservation. But rumours of unrest and a renewal of
hostilities are causing concern among the people of the northern settlements.
The arrival of a buckskin-clad stranger with eagle feathers affixed to his hat and the mane of his
pony is greeted with curiosity and caution by the people of Palmersville. The violence that ensues
when he voices sympathy for the plight of the tribes people might have been avoided if his
attackers had first learned his name. For the stranger is wagon train scout Wes Gray, known
throughout the west as Medicine Feather, brother of the Arapaho and friend of the Sioux.
Wes was summoned to the town by long-time friend Crackaway - and is surprised to learn on his
arrival that not only is Crackaway dead, but he has a daughter, Jenny. Jenny reveals that her
father was killed because he'd discovered a dangerous secret. What was it, and why did he want
Wes's help? Searching for the truth could cost Wes his life!
Critique: A compulsive page-turner of an action/adventure western novel with cliff-hanger plot
twists and turns throughout, Will DuRey's "Crackaway's Quest" is everything a dedicated western
fan will want. This large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library is an
emphatically and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists and community
library Western Fiction collections.
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781608093885, $26.95, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In 2011, Will Parker, the young prodigy CEO of a big tech company makes a coding
mistake that costs a college student her life. To assuage his guilt, Will pursues a career in the FBI
Now, Special Agent Will Parker is called to investigate a murder scene at a Comic Con event in
the Midwest, where the victim has ties to a radioactive quantum computer that Will was working
on before he left his gig as CEO.
Working with smart local homicide detective Dana Lopez and FBI stuffed-shirt Thomas Decker,
Will discovers the victim was holding an auction for the computer on the Dark Web - and the
bidding is still live.
With bidders including a legendary Chinese hacker, Russian criminals sent by the Kremlin, and a
corporate executive desperate to escape a scandal, Will once again finds a life in his hands when
the victim's daughter is taken hostage. A trail of blood and high-tech breadcrumbs leads Will
deeper into mystery, danger, and a race against time to keep unlimited power out of the wrong
Critique: A deftly crafted and simply riveting police procedural thriller, "Broken Genius" clearly
demonstrates novelist Drew Murray's complete command of the genre. While especially and
unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Broken Genius" is also readily available in an inexpensive
digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
The Shaman of Karres
Eric Flint & Dave Freer
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781982124564, $25.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Captain Pausert just can't catch a break! First, he became the mortal enemy of his
fiancee, his home planet, the Empire -- and even the Worm World, the darkest threat to mankind
in all of space. All because he helped rescue three slave children from their masters. Of course,
these three young women were the universally feared Witches of Karres. But how was he to
And after he defeated the Worm World (with the help of the witches, of course), the Empress
herself had sent him on a secret mission to stop a nanite plague that was raging across the galaxy.
But an enemy had somehow convinced the Imperial Fleet that he was actually a wanted criminal,
so after a battle leaving his ship in urgent need of repairs, Puasert and the witches of Karres
joined an interstellar traveling circus in order to save the galaxy.
Now in "The Shaman of Karres", Pausert and the witches of Karres roam the spaceways again,
this time dealing with a slaver-culture that somehow makes slaves happy to be in servitude, and a
quest for a long-lost alien pet, during which the youngest witch, The Leewit, begins to come to
her full powers as a healer -- and of course generates chaos in her wake. For Pausert, it's all in a
day's work. But would it be too much to ask for a vacation?!
Critique: The fourth volume of authors Eric Flint and Dave Freer's simply outstanding science
fiction action/adventure 'Witches of Karres' series, "The Shaman of Karres" is another thoroughly
entertaining novel that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to
community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal
reading lists of the legions of 'Witches of Karres' fans that "The Shaman of Karres" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Literary Studies Shelf
Book of Awesome Women Writers
9781642501223, $19.95, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Book of Awesome Women Writers: Medieval Mystics, Pioneering Poets, Fierce
Feminists and First Ladies of Literature" is essentially an impressive timeline of the greatest
From the first recorded writer to current bestsellers, in its pages Becca Anderson takes us through
time and highlights women who have left their mark on the literary world. This expansive
compilation of women writers is a chance to delve deeper into the lives and works of renowned
authors and learn about some lesser known greats, as well. Some of the many women writers you
will love learning about are: Maya Angelou, Jane Austen, Judy Blume, Rachel Carson, Nadine
Gordimer, Margaret Mead, Joyce Carol Oates, and many, many more.
The works of these awesome women writers vary greatly -- each is as unique and significant as
the women who penned them. With the help of writers, editors, librarians, booksellers, and more,
Anderson has crafted a must-read book for women of every background.
"The Book of Awesome Women Writers" is a beacon of literary brilliance from a feminist
perspective -- making it perfect for artists, intellectuals, and anyone who seeks to be inspired by
words and profound lives. Most of all, it is a celebration of the journeys and accomplishments of
women who have worked to have their voices heard in black and white letters across the
Critique: An absolute 'must read' for anyone thinking that centuries of literature being almost
exclusively dominated by men, "The Book of Awesome Women Writers: Medieval Mystics,
Pioneering Poets, Fierce Feminists and First Ladies of Literature" should be a part of every
personal, community, college, and university library Literary Studies and Feminist History
collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, feminists, and
non-specialist readers with an interest in the subject that "Book of Awesome Women Writers:
Medieval Mystics, Pioneering Poets, Fierce Feminists and First Ladies of Literature" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.49).
Editorial Note: Becca Anderson comes from a long line of teachers and preachers from Ohio and
Kentucky. The teacher side of her family led her to become a woman's studies scholar and the
author of The Book of Awesome Women. An avid collector of affirmations, meditations, prayers
and blessings, she helps run a "Gratitude and Grace Circle" that meets monthly at homes,
churches and bookstores in the San Francisco Bay Area where she currently resides. The author
of Think Happy to Stay Happy and Every Day Thankful, Becca Anderson shares prayers and
affirmations, inspirational writings and suggested acts of kindness at
https://thedailyinspoblog.wordpress.com. She also blogs about Awesome Women at
https://theblogofawesomewomen.wordpress.com @AndersonBecca_ on Twitter
@BeccaAndersonWriter on Facebook @BeccaAndersonWriter on Instagram
The Poetry Shelf
The Collected Poetry and Prose of Lawrence Fixel
Gerald Fleming, editor
Sixteen Rivers Press
9781939639240, $22.00, PB, 576pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The late Lawrence Fixel (1917-2003), was a prose poet, a parablist, a verse poet, and a
widely-respected and innovative writer based in San Francisco. His many books influenced prose
poets across the United States and in Europe.
Deftly edited and with an informative introduction by Gerald Fleming, "The Collected Poetry and
Prose of Lawrence Fixel" is a fitting memorial that showcases this cutting-edge prose poet's
"The Collected Poetry and Prose of Lawrence Fixel" is further enhanced for the reader with the
inclusion of essays by Peter Johnson, David Lazar, Sharon Coleman, Christina Fisher, Donald
Soucy, and Peter Money.
Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a two page Publication History, a sixteen
page Index of First Lines/Phrases, and a four page General Index, "The Collected Poetry and
Prose of Lawrence Fixel" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
community, college, and university library American Poets & Poetry collections and
supplemental curriculum reading lists.
The Biography Shelf
Traces: A Memoir
American University in Cairo Press
200 Park Avenue, Suite 1700, New York, NY 10166
9789774169533, $25.00, PB, 246pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Gamal al-Ghitani (9 May 1945 - 18 October 2015) is one of Egypt's greatest writers.
He was educated as a tapestry-maker in rural Cairo. He wrote his first work when he was sixteen
and became a war reporter at the age of twenty-three. He has written thirteen novels and six
collections of short stories, including his best known work, Zayni Barakat (AUC Press, 2004)
and The Zafarani Files (AUC Press, 2009). Ghitani's many honors include the Egyptian State
Prize for the Novel, the French Chevalier de l'Order des Arts et des Lettres, the Egyptian State
Prize for Literature, and Egypt's Nile Award in Literature.
"Traces: A Memoir" is a haunting literary memoir that written ten years before al-Ghitani's death
and weaves together a series of vignettes in a style that mimics the uneven, discontinuous nature
of memory itself.
These fragments are summoned from across the span of a singular lifetime. We read of his
childhood adventures, his erotic awakenings, his time as a political prisoner, and his reports from
the battlefront in Iraq and the corridors of power in Syria. Vivid passages capture fleeting glances
of strangers through car windows, flavors and scents of delicacies savored, dreams and sorrows
of neighbors in the apartment blocks of Cairo before Nasser, as well as chance conversations at
points of transit, in cafes, on elegant streets, and with unnamed paramours.
These memories, and al-Ghitani's musings on memory's own finitude and mutability, make
Traces both a memoir and a meditation on memory itself, in all its inscrutable workings and
Critique: An inherently engaging, deftly written, and fascinatingly informative read throughout,
"Traces: A Memoir" will prove to be a welcome and enduringly valued addition to personal
reading lists for Gamal Al-Ghitanani literary studies lists, as well as community, college, and
university library Essays, Middle Eastern Literature, African Literature, and Contemporary
The Art Shelf
The Art of Symeon Shimin
Symeon Shimin, et al.
Mercury Press International
9780999034224, $39.39, HC, 156pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Recognized as an award winning illustrator of more than 50 children's books, two of
his own authoring, the late Symeon Shimin (1902-1984), was also one of the most highly
regarded artists creating posters for Hollywood films, including the original poster for Gone With
the Wind and the 40 ft. canvas for Solomon and Sheba.
Most notably he was acclaimed for his masterpiece, the mural Contemporary Justice and the
Child, commissioned in 1936-1940, by the PWAP, Public Works Arts Project, for the
Department of Justice Building, Washington, DC, where it stands today. Chaim Gross stated in
1973, "Shimin is a painter who knows the craft of drawing and painting which in his hands
becomes great art."
Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout, "The Art of Symeon Shimin" presents a striking
collection of the fine art of this exceptional Russian born Jewish artist. Curated by the artist's
daughter, it is the first collection and overview of Shimin's work. Including an autobiography by
the artist, essays by noted arts journalists Josef Woodard and Charles Donelan, over 100 plates
and archival photographs, "The Art of Symeon Shimin" dramatically showcases art of rare beauty
and raw expression.
With paintings held in collections including the Chrysler Museum of Art, this is the first
complete collection of his fine art.
Critique: This coffee-table style volume (9.6 x 0.7 x 11.7 inches) is an impressively informative
presentation that clearly and effectively showcases the life and work of one of the 20th Century's
most gifted artists -- and should be considered an essential and core addition to personal,
professional, community, college, and university fine arts collections.
The Education Shelf
Improving Online Teacher Education
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
9780807763698, $111.00, HC, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Improving Online Teacher Education: Digital Tools and Evidence-Based Practices"
by Rachel Karchmer-Klein (an Associate Professor at the University of Delaware where she
teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy and educational technology) is a practical
guide to developing collaborative and interactive online experiences for teacher candidates.
Professor Karchmer-Klein examines methods for integrating evidence-based practices into online
teaching environments, including think alouds, case-based instruction, peer feedback, and field
experience. The content is applicable to a variety of situations and content areas in education,
such as literacy, math, and educational leadership, so that readers can design their own quality
learning opportunities for students.
Of special note is a final chapter that invites readers to build a digital professional learning
network where they can explore areas of tech integration related to specific interests and
problems of practice.
"Improving Online Teacher Education" is organized in a non-sequential design so the reader can
choose which topics and activities are most relatable and useful to their professional
environment. It is specifically designed to make online teaching and learning more engaging for
instructors and teacher education candidates.
Critique: An exceptionally well written, organized and presented instructional manual and guide,
"Improving Online Teacher Education: Digital Tools and Evidence-Based Practices" is an ideal
and unreservedly recommended addition to school district, college, and university library
Teacher Education collections in general and Distance & Online Learning supplemental
curriculum studies lists in particular. An ideal textbook for classroom teacher in-service training
programs, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Distance & Online Learning" is also
readily available in a paperback edition (9780807763681, $36.95) and in a digital book format
They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection
David S. Bunn
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
9781725262058, $20.00, PB, 150pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" is geared towards college
teachers, encouraging them with specific ways to become better teachers. As such, "The Aren't
Just Students" is very unusual in its information and purpose, making it a very valuable tool for
anyone who wants to teach.
In addition to college level instructors, "They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" has
applications appropriate and useful to high school and elementary school teachers who can easily
make the leap between teaching college and their current level students.
"They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" will also be of interest to parents as they
evaluate the quality of those who teach their children.
"They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" is a work that is based on general research
themes and experience rather than specific studies. It is written in a direct and personal style to
the reader with many examples from the twenty-one years of teaching experience by the
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "They
Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" by David S. Bunn is an invaluable introduction
and orientation for teachers seeking to maximize the learning experience for their students
regardless of the subject matter being taught. While very highly recommended, especially for
school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Writing to Make an Impact
Sandra Murphy & Mary Ann Smith
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
9780807763971, $96.00, HC, 160pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Through ideas and practices straight from the classrooms of outstanding teachers,
"Writing to Make an Impact: Expanding the Vision of Writing in the Secondary Classroom" is a
lively resource that effectively illustrates writing that makes an impact on a reader, a writer, or a
cause - writing that everyone wants to read. "Writing to Make an Impact" is rich with student
work that shows how writing can make things happen in the world. The authors, Sandra Murphy
and Mary Ann Smith collaborate to provide ready-to-use lessons that include a full range of
writing, including poetry, narrative, petitions, proposals, emails, self-reflections, long-term
projects, and critical analyses.
"Writing to Make an Impact": Incorporates the voices and practices of many talented writing
teachers; Employs an upbeat style with a clear, easy-to-follow framework; Encourages writing
that changes minds, tells stories, calls for action, creates awareness or empathy, touches
emotions, or promotes new thinking; Provides accessible teaching ideas, short exercises, and
student models; Builds on students' experiences with social media and their interest in social
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Writing to Make an Impact: Expanding the
Vision of Writing in the Secondary Classroom" will prove to be an invaluable and effective
curriculum textbook for creative writing classes at the college or university level, as well as
creative writing seminars and workshops. While especially recommended for community and
academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for the
personal reading lists of students, academia, aspiring authors and novelists that "Writing to Make
an Impact" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780807763964, $31.95) and in a
digital book format (Kindle, $30.35).
Editorial Note: Sandra Murphy is former secondary teacher and Professor Emerita of Education
at the University of California, Davis.
Mary Ann Smith is a former secondary teacher. She directed the Bay Area and California Writing
Projects and served as director of government relations for the National Writing Project.
Zest For Learning
Bill Lucas & Ellen Spencer
Crown House Publishing
81 Brook Hills Circle, White Plains, NY 10605
9781785834011, $22.95, PB, 200pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The collaborative work of educators Bill Lucas and Ellen Spencer, "Zest For Learning:
Developing Curious Learners Who Relish Real-World Challenges" explores the ways in which
teachers can fuel their pupils curiosity and help them find their passions, develop independence
and challenge themselves to become more expansive learners.
"Zest for Learning" also examines how schools can enrich their pupils learning both within and
beyond school. This could be encouraged through, for example, greater engagement with sports
and the arts, or by collaborating with external bodies such as the Scouts and Guides, or the Duke
of Edinburgh scheme and with libraries, museums, faith groups and environmental
"Zest for Learning" deftly connects the co-curriculum with the formal curriculum, building both
theoretical and practical confidence in the kinds of pedagogies which work well. The authors
have also infused their book with a range of ideas for getting pupils to love learning so much that
they will be able to learn whatever they want to throughout their lives.
Critique: "Zest For Learning: Developing Curious Learners Who Relish Real-World Challenges"
is third book in the outstanding Crown House Publishing series 'Pedagogy for a Changing
World' and will prove to be an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community,
school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections. "Zest For Learning:
Developing Curious Learners Who Relish Real-World Challenges" is an ideal choice as a
curriculum textbook for teacher in-service training programs. It should be noted that "Zest For
Learning" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Professor Bill Lucas is Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning. With Guy
Claxton he created the Expansive Education Network: an organization of schools that share a
common view of the goals of education. These goals are outlined in their seminal book,
Dr Ellen Spencer is a senior researcher at the Centre for Real-World Learning. She has a PhD
from the University of Warwick, where her doctoral research focused on the impact of policy on
Independent Thinking On MFL
Crown House Publishing
81 Brook Hills Circle, White Plains, NY 10605
9781781353370, $16.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Learning a new language has the power to transform a life, as well as help break down
the barriers that seem to be re-emerging between nations, cultures and people.
In the UK, MFL (Multi Foreign Language) teaching has always had to battle with the everyone
speaks English argument, not to mention that, for so many, all that remains of their years learning
a foreign language is bitte, por favor or sil vous plait.
But with teachers like Independent Thinking Associate Crista Hazell at the front of the class,
things can be very different.
Drawing on her many years of experience as an MFL teacher and head of department, Crista
shares tips, techniques and inspirational ideas geared to help teachers build confidence, increase
enjoyment and improve outcomes as they take their MFL teaching to a whole new level.
Crista provides a range of strategies from how to hook students in the minute they enter the
classroom to ensuring that the vocabulary sticks designed to help learners develop confidence,
take risks and enjoy the challenge that learning a new language brings. She also offers ideas and
advice on how to make learning new vocabulary and grammar a great deal more effective and
empowers teachers to open up the benefits and enjoyment of learning a language to all students,
not just those in the top sets.
Ultimately, however, her book, "Independent Thinking On MFL", sets out to help teachers create
engaging, relevant and memorable learning experiences in the MFL classroom and encourage
their learners to become lifelong and passionate linguists.
Critique: Expertly and effectively written, organized and presented, "Independent Thinking On
MFL" is an ideal textbook and instructional reference for use by MFL teachers and heads of
languages departments in primary schools, secondary schools and colleges. While very highly
recommended as an essential and core addition to school district, college, and university library
Language Instruction collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists, it should be noted
for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"Independent Thinking On MFL" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Crista Hazell is an MFL specialist with many years successful experience both in
the classroom and in positions of leadership. She has worked across the UK and internationally
from Belgium and Cyprus to Slovenia and Ghana with students, teachers and school leaders in
developing teaching, learning, relationships and behaviour. Her creativity and energy for bringing
the teaching of MFL alive for students during her time in the classroom was matched by her high
expectations and willingness to take on board that difficult class all without losing sight of the
children and young people in her care.
The Native American Studies Shelf
From Wounded Knee to the Gallows
Philip S. Hall & Mary Solon Lewis
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806164915, $24.95, PB, 294pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: On December 28, 1894, the day before the fourth anniversary of the massacre at
Wounded Knee, Lakota chief Two Sticks was hanged in Deadwood, South Dakota. The headline
in the Black Hills Daily Times the next day read "A GOOD INDIAN" -- a spiteful turn on the
infamous saying "The only good Indian is a dead Indian."
On the gallows, Two Sticks, known among his people as Can Nopa Uhah, declared, "My heart
knows I am not guilty and I am happy." Indeed, years later, convincing evidence emerged
supporting his claim. The story of Two Sticks, as recounted in compelling detail in "From
Wounded Knee to the Gallows: The Life and Trials of Lakota Chief Two Sticks" by the team of
Philip S. Hall and Mary Solon Lewis, is at once the righting of a historical wrong and a record of
the injustices visited upon the Lakota in the wake of Wounded Knee.
The Indian unrest of 1890 did not end with the massacre at Wounded Knee, as the government
willfully neglected, mismanaged, and exploited the Oglala in a relentless, if unofficial, policy of
racial genocide that continues to haunt the Black Hills today.
For this historical study, Hall and Lewis scoured government records, newspaper accounts, and
unpublished manuscripts to give a clear and candid account of the Oglala's struggles, as reflected
and perhaps epitomized in Two Sticks's life and the miscarriage of justice that ended with his
Bracketed by the run-up to, and craven political motivation behind, Wounded Knee and the later
revelations establishing Two Sticks's innocence, this is a vitally important history of a people
threatened with extinction and of one man felled in a battle for survival hopelessly weighted in
the white man's favor. With eyewitness immediacy, this rigorously researched and deeply
informed account at long last makes plain the painful truth behind a dark period in U.S.
Critique: A work of meticulous and collaborative scholarship, "From Wounded Knee to the
Gallows: The Life and Trials of Lakota Chief Two Sticks" should be considered an essential and
core addition to the growing library of Native American History and Biographies. While
unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Native American
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "From Wounded Knee to the
Gallows: The Life and Trials of Lakota Chief Two Sticks" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $21.95).
Editorial Note: Philip S. Hall is a psychologist and author of To Have This Land: The Nature of
Indian/White Relations, South Dakota, 1888 - 1891.
Mary Solon Lewis grew up on a badland ranch adjacent to the Pine Ridge Reservation and is an
independent writer with a focus on South Dakota history.
The Military Shelf
40 Thieves on Saipan
Joseph Tachovsky & Cynthia Kraack
Regnery Publishing, Inc.
300 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
9781684510481, $29.99, HC, 338pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Saipan, the "D-Day" of the Pacific. For the American soldiers. who were known as the
'40 Thieves', finding themselves behind enemy lines on the island of Saipan (where firing a gun
could mean instant discovery and death) many were killed in silence during the grueling battle
With the publication of "40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of
WWII's Bloodiest Battles", Joseph Tachovsky (whose father Frank was the commanding officer
of the 40 Thieves, also called "Tachovsky's Terrors") joins with Cynthia Kraack to transport
readers back to the brutal Battle of Saipan.
Built on hours of personal interviews with WWII veterans, their personal papers, letters and
documentation from the National Archives, "40 Thieves on Saipan" is an astonishing and
informative portrayal of elite World War II combat. It also provides a rare and authentic glimpse
into the lives of World War II Marines. The poorest equipped branch of the services at that time,
Marines were notorious thieves.
To improve their odds for victory against the Japanese, they found it necessary to improve their
supply chains through "Marine Methods," stealing. Being the elite of the Sixth Regiment, the
Scout-Sniper Platoon excelled at the craft -- earning them the nickname of the "40 Thieves" from
their envious peers. Upon returning from a 1943 trip to the Pacific theater, Eleanor Roosevelt
observed, "The Marines I have met around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds,
the highest morale and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God
for the United States Marines."
Critique: A unique and invaluable historical study, "40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine
Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles" is an essential, core addition to community,
college, and university library 20th Century American Military History collections. It should be
noted for the personal reading lists of World War II military buffs that "40 Thieves on Saipan:
The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape
Media, 9781662003653, $22.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Joseph Tachovsky is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. His father Frank
Tachovsky was the commanding officer of the 40 Thieves of Saipan, who were also known as
Cynthia Kraack is the author of five novels including The High Cost of Flowers, winner of both
the Midwest Book Award in Contemporary Fiction, and, Literary Fiction. Cynthia completed her
MFA in Literary Fiction at the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast Program in Creative
Writing. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism with a double major in History from
Marquette University and a master's degree in Industrial Relations and Career Counseling from
the University of Minnesota.
Patton: Battling with History
J. Furman Daniel III
University of Missouri Press
201 S. 7th Street, Columbia, MO 65211
9780826222091, $40.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: General George S. Patton Jr. (November 11, 1885 - December 21, 1945) is one of the
most successful yet misunderstood figures in 20th Century American military history. Despite the
many books and articles written about him, none of his biographers fully considered in depth
how his love of history shaped the course of his life. "Patton: Battling with History" is a thematic
biography in which Professor Furman Daniel deftly traces Patton's obsession with history and
argues that it informed and contributed to many of his successes, both on and off the
Patton deliberately cultivated the image of himself as a warrior from ages past; the more
interesting truth is that he was an exceptionally dedicated student of history. He was a hard
worker and voracious reader who gave a great deal of thought to how military history might
inform his endeavors. Most scholars have overlooked this element of Patton's character, which
Professor Daniel argues is essential to understanding the man's military genius.
Critique: An impressive work of exhaustive and meticulous and original scholarship, "Patton:
Battling with History" offers an extraordinary perspective on an inherently fascinating personal
life and military career of one of the most charismatic and controversial members of the
American armed forces before and during World War II. An extraordinarily informative and
unreservedly recommended addition to the growing library of World War II histories and
biographies for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for the
personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general
readers that "Patton: Battling with History" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: J. Furman Daniel III is an Assistant Professor in the College of Security and
Intelligence at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is also the editor of 21st Century
Patton: Leadership Lessons for the Modern Era and a co-author of The First Space War: How
Patterns of History and Principles of STEM Will Shape Its Form.
The Business Shelf
The Arab Business Code
711 - 3rd Avenue, Floor 8, New York, NY 10017-9209
9780367265021, $38.95, HC, 226pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are some of the richest and most
dynamic emerging markets in the world. But they are tough markets! International companies
must think seriously if they want to do business there - the barriers can be numerous and difficult.
But the opportunities are phenomenal and rewarding. The key to success is to plan and take the
right steps. "The Arab Business Code" by Judith Hornok shows how to do this by decoding,
using case studies, and suggesting relevant solutions.
For Judith Hornok, it's not about dry theories or mind games. Instead "The Arab Business Code"
is based on numerous case studies drawn from the lives of well-known Arab and international
business people. The reader can grasp the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls by knowing and
understanding the Arab Business Code (ABC): "learning the A-B-Cs." "The Arab Business
Code" also offers a study with practical measures, a toolkit of easy-to-learn and simple-to-use
techniques that pave the way for business success in the Gulf.
Over fifteen years of research is boiled down into a clearly structured, compact, DIY instructional
book in which Judith Hornok presents the insights of her studies by decoding the behavior of
Arab business people in the Gulf using innovative techniques and new approaches, which can be
easily implemented by the reader. For the first time Judith also presents her creations -- the
figures of The Seven Emotional Hinderers.
Critique: Impressively informative, expertly written, organized and presented, "The Arab
Business Code" should be considered mandatory reading for any corporate executive wanting to
do business with any or all of the Arabic gulf nations and/or their collective associations
(including OPEC). While especially recommended for corporate, college, and university library
International Business collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA
students, academia, entrepreneurs, governmental policy makers, corporate executives, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Arab Business Code" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, Rent $7.33, Buy $31.96).
Editorial Note: Judith Hornok is the decoder and founder of Hornok & Partner, an internationally
recognized innovations company for business success in the Arab Gulf. She has worked as a
journalist in Europe and the Middle East, writing about people and business, as well as producing
TV documentaries such as The Makers Behind the Stars - The Man Behind Michael Schumacher.
She is noted for her lectures in the Library of Congress, IDEO/Stanford University and the
European Forum Alpbach, amongst others.
The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf
There'll Be Peace When You Are Done
Lynn S. Zubernis, editor
9781950665327, $16.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Supernatural is an American dark fantasy television series created by Eric Kripke. It
was first broadcast on September 13, 2005, on The WB, and subsequently became part of
successor The CW's lineup. Starring Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as
Dean Winchester, the series follows the two brothers as they hunt demons, ghosts, monsters, and
other supernatural beings. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television, in association with
Wonderland Sound and Vision. Along with Kripke, executive producers have been McG, Robert
Singer, Phil Sgriccia, Sera Gamble, Jeremy Carver, John Shiban, Ben Edlund and Adam
"There'll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural"
is an emotional look back at the beloved television show Supernatural as it wraps up its final
season after fifteen unprecedented years on air.
With heartfelt chapters written by both the series' actors and its fans (plus full-color photos and
fan illustrations) "There'll Be Peace When You Are Done" deftly traces Supernatural's evolution,
the memorable characters created by its writers and brought to life by its talented actors, and the
many ways in which the show has inspired and changed the lives of both its viewers and
Critique: Simply stated, "There'll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the
Legacy of Supernatural" is an absolute 'must' for the personal reading lists of the legions of
dedicated Supernatural fans. Expertly compiled and edited by Lynn S. Zubernis and an
unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library American
Television History collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "There'll Be
Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Dr. Lynn S. Zubernis is a clinical psychologist, a mom of two, a university
professor - and a passionate fangirl. She fell in love with the television show Supernatural,
discovered the wild and wonderful world of fandom, and has never looked back. Her writing
celebrates all the positive things that come with being a fan -- inspiration, creativity,
self-expression, validation, and a support system that extends across the globe. She has written
for publications including Slate, The Conversation and Supernatural Magazine about fandom,
chairs the stardom and fandom area of the Southwest Popular Culture Association, and has
contributed to many articles, podcasts, and documentaries on fandom -- including NPR's piece on
Supernatural. She co-wrote and was associate producer for the documentary Squee! The Fangirl
Documentary and blogs at fangasmthebook on Wordpress. That's her academic half; the fangirl
half writes fanfiction whenever she can, braves the lines at Comic-Con, collects Supernatural gifs
on Tumblr, and has purchased way too many photo ops at Supernatural conventions!
The Audiobook Shelf
Will Self, author and narrator
Will is the unabridged audiobook rendition of the autobiographical memoir of English author,
journalist, political commentator, and television personality William Woodard Self. He does not
shy from describing his own addiction to hard drugs, and his subsequent rehabilitation. Will Self
narrates aloud his own his own life journey, from childhood in a North London suburb to an
immersive education in Oxford to his travels, his widely popular writings, and much more. Will
is quirky, captivating, cards-on-table honest, and highly recommended especially for personal
and public library audiobook collections. 10 CDs, 11.5 hours.
The Library CD Shelf
Elena Moon Park
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com
Unhurried Journey is a beautiful music album for all ages, featuring sixteen original songs about
taking joy in each step of one's travels. This includes not only journeys abroad, but also the
everyday pleasures of speaking with friends, or strolling amid nature. Individual songs include
both western-style music and reimagined east and southeast Asian melodies. Unhurried Journey
is a beautiful, expressive soundscape, and highly recommended for personal and public library
collections as well as gift-giving. The tracks are "Brilliant New Idea", "Flower Dance",
"Unhurried Journey", "Sae Taryeong", "Ito Maki", "Dia Mal Ka", "Flying Starfish", "Interlude",
"Springtime in my Hometown", "Let It Come, Let It Go", "Musikaru Ride to the Mountain",
"Pong Dang Pong Dang", "Hanagasa Ondo", "Gong Xi Gong Xi", "Underneath the Marshmallow
Tree", and "Count the Waves".
The Library DVD Shelf
A film by Tim Tsai
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036
Seadrift is a documentary on DVD about a 1979 shooting and the racial tensions it sparked. In
Seadrift, Texas a dispute over fishing territory escalated into violence. A Vietnamese refugee
shot and killed a white crab fisherman at the public town docks. Ethnic tensions between white
and Vietnamese residents exploded into boat burnings, KKK intimidation, and other hostilities.
Seadrift examines the true story of the shooting, its aftermath, and the consequences that linger
today. Highly recommended, especially for public library DVD collections. 69 min., color,
optional English and Vietnamese subtitles.
Still a Revolutionary Albert Einstein
A film by Julia Newman
First Run Features
Still a Revolutionary Albert Einstein is a documentary on DVD about a lesser-known aspect of
one of the most celebrated scientists of all time. Albert Einstein is famous for his genius, but in
his day he was also a political activist. He was an anti-war firebrand, and he spoke openly on
social issues ranging from women's rights to racism, immigration, and nuclear arms control. Still
a Revolutionary Albert Einstein draws upon archival footage, correspondence, new interviews,
and more to offer an extraordinary glimpse into this remarkable man and his multifaceted
contributions to history. Still a Revolutionary Albert Einstein is highly recommended, especially
for public and school library DVD collections. 80 min.
The Self-Help Shelf
Time Management Magic
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781642793185, $15.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Time Management Magic: How to Get More Done Every Day and Move from
Surviving to Thriving" by Lee Cockerell is all about learning a system and a way of thinking that
enhances the ability to lead a highly productive, balanced, and effective life. Too many people
get discouraged and want to quit because they have setbacks and other obstacles in their life.
Retired Exec VP of Walt Disney World, Lee's advice to everyone is, "Don't underestimate what
you can achieve." Lee believes that having a well-organized system for planning and executing
one's goals and dreams is vital. He credits his success to having a strong time management
system in place to ensure he would do what he said he would do and keep his promises.
The time-management secrets Lee has developed have become one of his most requested
corporate training lectures and are now available in his tell-all guide, "Time Management
Magic". The system he presents is not just about time management, it is about life management.
The executive time management secrets contained in "Time Management Magic" help readers
keep all parts of their lives under control and jump-start their personal and professional
Critique: Impressively informative, expertly written, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization
and presentation, "Time Management Magic: How to Get More Done Every Day and Move from
Surviving to Thriving" will prove to be an invaluable and effective instructional guide and
manual for maximizing the management of personal and professional time for any schedule or
circumstance. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Time
Management collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Time Management
Magic" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Editorial Note: Lee Cockerell is the retired Exec VP of Walt Disney World. Lee has held
management positions with Hilton for 8 years, Marriott for 17 years, and the Walt Disney
Company for 16 years. He is the author of four books: Creating Magic, The Customer Rules,
Time Management Magic and Career Magic. He is a popular speaker and seminar presenter
around the world on Leadership, Management, and Customer Service.
The Political Science Shelf
The Dictatorship Syndrome
Alaa Al Aswany
9781912208593, $22.95, HC, 170pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The study of dictatorship in the West must not be restricted to those of the 20th
Century and led to two world wars because authoritarian regimes in western nations remains a
painful reality for billions of people worldwide who still live under them, their freedoms violated
and their rights abused. They are, even today, still subject to arbitrary arrest, torture, corruption,
ignorance, and injustice.
In the pages of "The Dictatorship Syndrome", author Alaa Al Aswany address such compelling
and contemporary questions as: What is the nature of dictatorship? How does it take hold? In
what conditions and circumstances is it permitted to thrive? And how do dictators retain power,
even when reviled and mocked by those they govern?
In this deeply considered and at times provocative short work, Aswany reveals that, as with any
disease, to understand the syndrome of dictatorship we must first consider the circumstances of
its emergence, along with the symptoms and complications it causes in both the people and the
Critique: Impressively informative, keenly insightful, exceptionally thoughtful and thought-
provoking, "The Dictatorship Syndrome" is an extraordinary study that is thoroughly 'reader
friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation -- making it an especially and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university
library Political Science collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: The acclaimed author of "The Yacoubian Building", Alaa Al Aswany was named
by The Times as one of the fifty best authors to have been translated into English in the last fifty
The Cookbook Shelf
Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Farmhouse Favorites Cookbook
Shiloh Run Press
c/o Barbour Publishing
P.O. Box 719, 1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
9781643524672, $16.99, Plastic Comb Binding, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Farmhouse Favorites Cookbook: A Collection
of Over 200 Recipes for Simple and Hearty Meals, Including Advice and Stories" compiled and
showcased by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a compendium of delicious, nutritious, and thoroughly
'kitchen cook friendly' dishes from the heart of Amish Country.
Amish cooks, who know how to please their hard-working family members, have contributed
over 200 recipes in traditional categories from main dishes and sides to desserts and snacks. Also
included are kitchen tips and stories from growing up on Amish farms.
Critique: Encased in a lay-flat plastic comb binding and enhanced throughout with full color
photographs of mouth watering cuisine, "Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Farmhouse
Favorites Cookbook: A Collection of Over 200 Recipes for Simple and Hearty Meals, Including
Advice and Stories" with its cornucopia of authentic Amish dishes ranging from Loaded Baked
Potato Dip; Old-Fashioned Baked Beans; Onion Cheese Soup; and Good Molasses Cookies; to
Sour Cream Apple Crunch; Summer House Refrigerator Pickles, and Tomato Pie, will prove to
be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community
library cookbook collections.
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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