August 2015 Prime Picks From Larger Presses
New Age, Self-Help, and Inspirational
Candace L. Talmadge and Jana L. Simons's The Afterlife Healing Circle: How Anyone Can Contact the Other Side (9781601633736 $14.99) describes an approach to afterlife philosophy and connections that advocates a practice that will enable some to communicate with loved ones on the other side of life.
More than a description of a single process, The Afterlife Healing Circle comes from a writer and an energy healer who explore the idea of an afterlife, its awareness, and the different paths for contacting departed loved ones in the spirit world.
Of course, the prerequisite here is the acceptance of such a world and such approaches to it; which means that the book's primary audience will be new age readers. Those with such beliefs will find The Afterlife Healing Circle satisfyingly specific in its review of connections between this world, the afterlife, and common problems in establishing communications between the two, using case histories of individuals, classes, and healing sessions to round out its contentions and assessments.
Phyllis King's The Energy of Abundance: Practical Advice and Spiritual Wisdom to Achieve Anything You Want in Life (9781632650054, $15.99) advocates a calming, more spiritually-conscious lifestyle, and imparts a wide range of skills that can apply to various aspects of such a life; from identifying negative belief systems and letting go of what isn't fruitful to re-examining personal relationships to money and making sense of loss and even death.
King offers up many important messages about life's meaning ("Death itself is simply a change in reality. Life does not end with the body. We come to the planet to grow, evolve, contribute, and learn. Within that lies our purpose. Once we fulfill our purpose, we return to pure essence. This is my message about death.") in chapters based on her life experiences and those of others.
By turning negative energy into a positive force for change, King promotes changes that anyone can readily follow in a series of encounters and philosophies on life that involve transformative inspirational experiences and different choices.
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Ellen Dugan's The Natural Psychic (9780738743356, $16.99) provides a guide to building a psychic presence based on the idea that everyone has some type of psychic ability. It covers premonition, clairvoyance, tarot readings, and more in the course of revealing how to access and build up one's psychic ability.
This is achieved through a process blending step-by-step instructions with insights on the psychic world and pairs these lessons with insights on how different personality traits affect natural psychic talents.
Everyone is unique and no single path works for all; but what The Natural Psychic teaches is how to identify and cultivate one's innate abilities. The flexibility involved in (and presented by) this approach makes for a solid new age discussion accessible to a wide audience.
Richard Southall's Haunted Plantations of the South (9780738740249, $15.99) comes from a paranormal expert who examines different Southern plantations and their ghostly inhabitants, juxtaposing historical research with insights by ghost hunters and discussions of paranormal evidence.
This makes for a satisfying blend of stories that read with the excitement of fiction but include plenty of background on Southern history and paranormal investigations.
The result will appeal to those who just want a good ghost story, Southern history fans with a special affection for plantations, and, especially, followers of paranormal events.
Lughnasadh: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Lammas (9780738741789, $11.99) discusses rituals for the start of the harvest time in step-by-step instructions for performing and working magic centered upon the season.
Themes of fertility and protection are reflected in a collection of spells, folklore, recipes, rituals and crafts designed to involve readers in the prayers, meditations and seasonal rites that form not only the witch's year, but the farmer's life.While this collection is directed to new age readers, its offerings will easily cross over into other circles.
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A Pony in the Bedroom
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
A Pony in the Bedroom: A Journey Through Asperger's, Assault, & Healing with Horses provides an autobiography of recovery and post-traumatic stress disorder, and tells of the author's struggles with rape, assault, and various disorders stemming from a life with undiagnosed autism.
It should be mentioned that despite its light-sounding title, A Pony in the Bedroom is an intensely emotional, powerful autobiography not for the casual reader, but for any who would read the raw saga of a struggle for survival and an unusual childhood passion for horses that, in the end, paved the author's path to lasting healing.
One doesn't expect humor in a wrenching account of violence and recovery, but it's there. Also present are keys to understanding not just survival processes but personal transformation and the importance of animal relationships in the healing process, making A Pony in the Bedroom a recommended pick for self-help, health, and autobiography readers alike.
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9781626562615 $16.95 www.bk-life.com
In a world increasingly supercharged by advice to multitask to one's maximum ability, it's a pleasure to read another side of the coin advocating a different approach in Singletasking, a guide which comes from the CEO of a leadership consulting firm who maintains that multitasking is unnatural, stressful, and ineffective.
Evidence from the latest neuroscience research backs Zack's contentions that the brain is designed to singletask, while tips on how to organize time and handle tasks without a simultaneous focus explains how to create and modify an environment that manages the expectations of others on work output and results.
While its plans and advice are specifically useful for business pursuits, in actuality Singletasking's philosophy and approach can just as easily be applied to all aspects of life, making it a pick not just for business libraries, but for general self-improvement and self-help collections alike.
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Beaded Jewelry Projects You Can Make in a Weekend
9781627002752 $14.99 www.jewelryandbeadingstore.com
18 Beaded Jewelry Projects You Can Make in a Weekend uses eighteen craft projects for making earrings, necklaces and other jewelry pieces to teach the basics of incorporating beads into jewelry making, and is recommended for any beginner who would follow step-by-step color photos, accompanying text explanations of processes, and full-page color photos of finished results.
The emphasis upon fast projects encourages interest from all ages, pairing achievable results with a minimum skill level in projects that don't require a huge investment of time, money, or prior knowledge.
18 Beaded Jewelry Projects You Can Make in a Weekend is thus the perfect starting point for newcomers who want showy results for a fraction of the effort that other jewelry-making titles propose, making it a standout in the crafts genre.Return to Index
9781612435299 $10.00 www.ulyssespress.com
Coloring Dream Mandalas is Wendy Piersall's third mandala coloring book, and couples inspirational quotes with mandala images that are beautiful, intricate, and created with adult colorers in mind.
The thirty hand-drawn designs are intended to promote mindful relaxation exercises and require only coloring pens, pencils, or crayons to prove inviting.
From dream catchers to fairies and sacred symbol circles, all these mandalas lack is color, making for an inviting collection for any who would use mandala coloring as a form of inspirational therapy: a topic also lightly touched upon in this collection.Return to Index
in Art: From Prehistory to the Renaissance
Reaktion Books/University of Chicago Press
9781780233628 $50.00 www.press.uchicago.edu
Food in Art: From Prehistory to the Renaissance is an artistic and culinary exploration of works of art that contain historical information about food: information which is largely lacking or less accessible in comparative written sources.
Holding more than the anticipated focus of food scenes, Food in Art focuses on art works that display how foods were preserved or used, with an eye to revealing how animals and plants were hunted, cultivated, harvested and traded.
Under such an approach, paintings and art become more than displays of food, proving a source of connections between food, myths, religion and artistic representation, and providing an interdisciplinary approach that lends to insights which food historians can use to fill in the blanks in written documents and materials. These discussions of the symbolism and decorative representations of food, in particular, go far in providing insights that range from sociological observations of the traditional skills and psyches of cooks to cultural rituals surrounding the foods they prepare and create.
The result is a highly recommended pick that could also have been featured in The Culinary Corner for chefs and food historians, but is presented here because its art-based connections are solid and well detailed, making for a solid recommendation for art collections as well.Return to Index
9781612124483 $18.95 www.storey.com
Knitting Fabric Rugs: 28 Colorful Designs for Crafters of Every Level might sound complicated; but any who have basic knitting skills down and who want to work with recycled fabric to produce concept rugs will find it quite accessible.
The focus here is on color combinations; and many a knitter new to the concept of fabric rugs will be surprised to find that large knitting needles and instructions - along with strips of fabric - are all that's needed to produce geometric designs and rugs that work for floor or wall alike.
Charts of stitch counts make it easy to follow the directions for knitting, while swatches of examples lend to understanding the results from each process. Crafters should have the knitting basics down - including how to read standard knitting directions. The rest is provided here, in a colorful and inviting volume knitters will relish.Return to Index
Christina Friedrichsen-Truman, et.al.
9781631590603 $19.99 www.craftside.net
Rubber Band Glam: A Rainbow of Dazzling Beaded Designs for Bracelets, Accessories, and More takes an interactive approach in using QR codes to direct smartphone users to each project's video as it explores rubber band looming and its many possibilities.
Designs come from three crafters who have a YouTube channel and a popular rubber band looming website, and offers newcomers and experienced crafters alike an opportunity to review basic tools, supplies, and techniques through some 30 projects; each including step-by-step instructions and illustrations.
Newcomers to the concept of looming will find these accessible, easy projects perfect for learning new skills and applying them to increasingly complex projects.Return to Index
Mitchell Beazley/Octopus Publishing
9781784720926 $20.00 www.octopusbooksusa.com
Tattoo Street Style presents the tattoo discoveries of photographer author Brulez as he searches Europe to display some of the most innovative new tattoos in the world, and features some 300 photographs of a selected range of people and designs.
Many tattoo art books hold such a focus - but Tattoo Street Style includes the names of the tattoo artists, perspectives on the works by the artists and individuals receiving the tattoos, and discussions of the symbolism and style represented by each tattoo. This approach sets the book apart from others which merely look to collect striking images.
Readers with a prior affinity for tattoo art will find Tattoo Street Style an intriguing gathering of tasteful, artistic images paired with further insights on their purpose and creation: depth you usually don't get or expect from a tattoo art collection.Return to Index
Rebecca Jumper Matheson
Texas Tech University Press
9780896729247 $37.95 www.ttupress.org
Young Originals blends fashion with biography as it follows the life and achievements of American fashion designer Emily Wilkens, who moved beyond her fashion creations in children's wear when she made costumes for two teens in a Broadway play and realized the potential importance of teen fashion in American culture. For the 1940s, this was a revolutionary concept; especially when backed by her 'Emily Wilkens Young Originals', the first designer label featuring upscale clothing for teen girls.
Rebecca Jumper Matheson's survey follows Wilkens's career from fashion illustrator in the 1930s to her work as a spa and beauty expert in the 1980s, tracing the evolution of the Young Originals label and the fashion industry as a whole.Readers with more than a casual interest in the fashion industry will find the Young Originals history revealing; especially since it includes full-page color photos of selected Wilkens designs throughout.
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Thuy Sindell and Milo Sindell
Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
9781626562837 $19.95 www.bkconnection.com
Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have isn't about learning new skills: it's about taking existing skills to the next level; and during such a pursuit it provides a startling argument: that leaders who only build upon top, existing skills are missing big opportunities to capitalize on the wider range of their abilities.
Chapters discuss the middle ground of under-utilized (or under-realized) skill sets that, while not one's top strengths, still can create more opportunities if properly identified and honed. Hidden Strengths helps leaders pinpoint these skills through a free online 'Hidden Strengths Assessment', backing the quiz with concrete exercises, and supporting them with case studies from real-world business scenarios.
The result is recommended for serious business leaders who want a better-rounded approach to identifying their less utilized skills and making the most of them for a stronger result.Return to Index
Thirteeners: Why Only 13 Percent of Companies Successful Executive Their strategy - and How Yours Can Be One of Them is a top pick for any business reader who would adopt a new strategy based on relationships rather than individual purpose, and provides an innovative model that challenges a value system centered on traditional competition and control methods.
It's a new paradigm that encourages collaboration, cooperation, and behaviors that build workplace and business strengths, and it presents statistics and facts to show that the 13 percent of companies who fulfill their vision are already practicing such leadership habits.
While Thirteeners is centered toward changing business approaches, its model holds implications for society as a whole: imagine an approach that doesn't require competition and domination to be successful, but encourages cooperation and sharing!Hopefully this premise is the beginning of a radical shift toward a gentler social structure based on facts surrounding business success. Thirteeners gathers enough hard data to support the fact that this approach makes solid business sense; and isn't just an untested ideal.
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Art Therapy: A Foundation for Practice
Barbara Jean Davis, PhD
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Mindful Art Therapy: A Foundation for Practice introduces a foundation for building a mindful art therapy practice using a framework that blends eastern and western traditions, and is recommended for therapists and aspiring therapists who would learn how to apply this model to clinical practice for best results.
It blends case histories with research and artworks from common clinical encounters such as depression, and it adds a guided meditation script and audio file into the mix.
Barbara Jean Davis is a psychologist and practicing art therapist specializing in the subject: her approach to integrating different disciplines to provide a cohesive, logical course of treatment lends to an exploration that is highly recommended for any newcomer to either mindful practices or blending them into traditional art therapy approaches.Return to Index
Andrew N. Pollak, MD, FAAOS
Jones & Bartlett Learning
The revised first edition of Pharmacology Applications reviews the major issues of the pharmacology field as they relate to the ALS provider, providing students with an in-depth understanding of medication side effects, contraindications, and pathology alike.
Case studies supporting these medical insights are progressive in nature and include critical thinking review questions, encouraging students to apply their newfound pharmacology knowledge to situations they are likely to face outside the classroom; while skills drills, safety tips, and key concepts tie into a medication review that is central to professional understanding.The result is a survey that does more than review the field: it applies its latest research and findings to circumstances students are likely to encounter in real life, making for a top, practical reference highly recommended over others.
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Two excellent parenting picks are recommended for any interested in receiving helpful tips to circumvent common parenting snafus, and provide information perfect for families handling different, extraordinary circumstances.
George S. Glass with David Tabatsky's Blending Families Successfully (9781629144313, $16.95) covers family relationships in remarriages; 65 percent of which involve 'blending' stepparents and stepsiblings. These days, less than half the children in the U.S. grow up with both biological parents; but the special challenges involved in how to blend families has only casually been touched upon in most other books.
Years of Dr. George S. Glass's psychiatric practice lends to an in-depth discussion on common dilemmas, how to overcome them, and how divorce brings into a new blended family much baggage surrounding self-esteem and other emotional issues. More than a survey of problems, his solution-oriented approach will appeal to any who want to improve family dynamics.
These same two authors have also written The Overparenting Epidemic (9781628737301, $24.95), a discussion on how over-enthusiastic (or aggressive) parenting techniques result in messed-up kids. Invasive overparenting results are evident in the first generation of kids born to baby boomer parents: kids who end up narcissistic, entitled, and unable to cope with daily life.
Modern parental obsessions with fulfilling a child's every need has resulted in major issues, the authors maintain; and they offer advice on how to better parent children and how to identify the warning signs of 'overparenting' before it spills over into behaviors difficult to correct.
Both books are top recommendations for any parent's tool box.
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Science, Nature and Technology
the War on Invasive Species
9781603585637 $22.95 www.chelseagreen.com
Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration does more than review the usual literature on invasive species and their impact on local ecosystems: it proposes a new alternative to eradication efforts that incorporates an unusual holistic approach to the entire ecosystem.
It's typical to view invasive species as threats and actions to eradicate them as justifications for employing destructive techniques. This book moves beyond the usual human-centered proliferation accusations to consider how changes in habitat, land use patterns, and climate contribute to new species migrations and introductions, and proposes techniques designed to restore systems rather than tearing them apart.
Any interested in invasive species management should have this guide firmly in hand as a delightful resource and a strong alternative option to many discussions on the subject.Return to Index
Nature and Culture
Ralph Crane and Lisa Fletcher
Reaktion Books, Ltd.
Cave: Nature and Culture joins others in the 'Earth Series' and adopts an unexpected approach by representing the joint efforts of two non-scientists who are professors of English. It's not a science book exactly - though geology is included. Nor is it solely a history - though it considers the cultural history of caves and their impact on people.
Instead, Cave: Nature and Culture skirts the boundaries of genre limitations as it explores cave systems, folklore, ecology, and artistic responses to the world's deepest and unexplored places, and then considers the evolution of literature surrounding caves and dark places.
All this is unexpected and works well; particularly since most books about caves limit their discussions to science and geology. From painters to wordsmiths and beyond, Cave is a multi-faceted, wide-ranging book that will satisfy any reader with its a blend of science, nature, and the arts.Return to Index
9781472911360 $27.00 www.bloomsbury.com
Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells isn't another color field guide to identification, as one might anticipate, but a discussion of shells throughout history, from their use as jewelry and currency to their current symbolism and use as a food source.
In spinning its coverage to include human uses and observations as well as threats to sea shell environments, Spirals in Time presents a far wider-ranging survey than a natural history, field guide, or visual guide alone could have achieved.
There's a centerfold of vivid color photos; but the main attraction to Spirals in Time lies in its ability to unify human history and pursuits surrounding shells with discussions of their natural history and environment for general-interest audiences interested in more than the usual collecting and identification focus.
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The Culinary Corner
Front Table Books/Cedar Fort Inc.
Cupcakery: Party-Perfect Cupcakes in a Flash isn't just another cookbook about home cupcake making, but a focus on how to produce professional, bakery-style cupcakes in a home environment, beginning with just a cake mix.'
Recipes are that easy; but there're a few tricks involved to turning a home product to a flashy, eye-catching creation that looks like it came from a bakery. Chapters offer easy recipes and tips on decoration, and come from a four-time national contest winner whose cupcakes have been featured in many major magazines.
Full-page color photos of finished results accompany tips on how to create special toppings, incorporate seasonal themes, and add special fillings and frostings that are more than a cut above the norm, making Cupcakery the perfect item of choices for bakers who want the most creative results from the least amount of effort (or, at least, less effort than the normal professional-looking cupcake entails!).Return to Index
Mitchell Beazley/Octopus Publishing
9781784720315 $29.99 www.octopusbooksusa.com
Chinatown Kitchen From Noodles to Nuoc Cham: Delicious Dishes from Southeast Asian Ingredients is about identifying key ingredients in the Chinese supermarket which are often labeled in another language and therefore mysterious to Western cooks. It explains the differences between over seventy types of noodles and their uses and covers condiments, sauces, produce and spices in the process.
Over 100 recipes receive step-by-step instructions for dishes from China, Malaysia, Vietnam and more; but what truly separates Chinatown Kitchen from its competitors isn't its recipes, but its focus on how to take advantage of a range of Chinese ingredients. These recipes enable relative newcomers to Asian cuisine to put together even challenging creations such as Summer Rolls, while adaptations using traditional fare (such as a Kimchi Toasted Cheese Sandwich) gives many refreshingly new alternatives not seen in more traditional approaches to Asian cooking.
With its numerous bright color photos throughout, Chinatown Kitchen is an excellent pick for relative newcomers to Asian fare and those seeking to expand their repertoires.Return to Index
Deliciously Dairy Free: Fresh and Simple Lactose-Free Recipes for Healthy Eating Every Day features over a hundred fresh lactose-free recipes for dairy-free eating. While some dishes are easy to achieve; others would have proved challenging without this cookbook's help.
How do you make a traditionally-creamy Stroganoff dairy-free, for example? By substituting dairy-free light cream. What about lasagna? One can use dairy-free cream cheese, light cream, and cheddar-style cheese as substitutes. Cooks new to diary-free cooking (especially those who might not know about these lines of diary substitutes) will find Deliciously Dairy Free the perfect introduction, pairing familiar dishes with user-friendly tips on how to convert them to dairy free productions without sacrificing flavor or familiar textures.
The result is a cookbook replete with not just substitutions, but tips on how to apply them for best results, enhanced by full-page color photos throughout and especially recommended for those new to the idea of dairy-free cooking, who may (wrongly) believe that pizza, lasagna, and other traditionally dairy-laden food are now verboten.Return to Index
New Bread Basket
Chelsea Green Publishing
9781603585675 $17.95 www.chelseagreen.com
The New Bread Basket: How the New Crop of Grain Growers, Plant Breeders, Millers, Maltsters, Bakers, Brewers, and Local Food Activists are Redefining Our Daily Loaf isn't a recipe title; so don't expect a treatise on producing baked goods.
Instead, it's an eye-opening examination of the local grain movement and grain pioneers who are changing the idea of grain uses in communities, posing a strong alternative focus on sustainable agricultural practices and an examination of the science and history of such organizations and individuals involved in the 'new grain' movement.
From developing programs that promote a diverse crop base to understanding problems with wheat and gluten intolerance, chapters provide the author's first-person discoveries and perspectives on the range of new grain opportunities she encounters.
The result is very much a community-based examination that considers the evolution of new grain options and their place in modern culinary history.Return to Index
the Japanese Way
Nancy Singleton Hachisu
Andrews & McMeel Publishing Inc.
9781449450885 $40.00 www.andrewsandmcmeel.com
Preserving the Japanese Way follows the success of Hachisu's prior Japanese Farm Food and narrows the focus to using Japanese techniques for preserving fruits, vegetables, and fish. How does this approach differ from the many cookbooks already on the market that cover food preserving and canning for home cooks?
There are many differences: for one, the recipes (well over a hundred) feature produce and ingredients that one typically might harvest from a crop, but pairs these with a Japanese influence and approach. Thus, readers will discover opportunities for unusual flavor pairings, such as Wild Arugula with Walnut Miso or Sweet Vinegared Turnips and Persimmons.
Secondly, recipes often include notes on variations and can be quite detailed, requiring a prior interest in numerous steps, an affection for Japanese flavors, and access to special ingredients for such productions as Homemade Soy Milk or Raw Squid in Coral.
Chefs with such connections and interests will find Preserving the Japanese Way more than stands out from the crowd of more mundane food preservation discussions, examining Japanese culture and tradition in the process of creating an outstanding cookbook.Return to Index
Juliet Harbutt, Editor
World Cheese Book takes a different approach to cheese than most of the myriad of cheese-making and cheese history books on the market, offering a focus on new cheeses selected by local experts from 25 countries and on some seven hundred artisan cheeses that will be new to many a reader.
It should be noted this is not intended as a definitive guide to world cheeses (or even new products); but as a selective recommendation that narrowing the focus to 750 specialties alone. This means that readers who expect an all-in-one reference book may be disappointed, though others looking for a wider-ranging discussion on what cheeses to try that pair with existing favorites will find this provides everything but the wedge itself.Tasting notes, producers, classifications and small, good-quality color photos throughout make World Cheese Book a winning survey that will nicely compliment other cheese histories and cookbooks on the market.
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Scintillating Sci-Fi and Fantasy
9780756410810 $24.95 www.dawbooks.com
Nova tells of Lia, a genetically engineered human bomb who has been created to slip into the Ne Sol Space Station and explode. There's only one problem: her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown, and she's left with no memories of her past, no other options, and no identity.
As if this wasn't complicated enough, she meets her namesake's former love, is drawn to him and his family, and embarks on a journey to learn about life, love and humanity - all with a possible time bomb in her body.
What makes the superior sci-fi read riveting is an attention to gripping detail and a story replete in powerful characters that compel its readers to care about the protagonist. Nova is such a read; offering up Lia's life as an example of courage, determination, and the effects of love on the most impossible of missions and conditions.Under such an approach, everything falls neatly into place to create a gripping, powerful saga.
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Novel New Novels
Are Not Ourselves
Simon & Schuster
9781476756677 $16.00 www.simonandschuster.com
We Are Not Ourselves is, in a nutshell, about life: how it works, how it doesn't work, its ups and downs, and its magic and mysteries. All this narrated through the eyes of Eileen, who has long taken care of her drinking, Irish parents but dreamed of freedom, which she envisions from a marriage to serious scientist Ed.
Unfortunately, Ed isn't the answer to her world; and as Eileen discovers her dreams are bigger than their life together, she faces a family crisis and brings readers along for the emotionally-charged roller coaster ride.
We Are Not Ourselves is about families in flux and the heart of life and family's meaning, and is a powerful read for any interested in a slow, seasoned pace probing lives of quiet desperation, sans the high drama that so many novels seem to adopt for shock value alone.Return to Index
Book of Speculation
St. Martin's Press
9781250054807 $26.99 www.stmartins.com
The Book of Speculation tells of Simon Watson, a young librarian who lives alone in a big house (his family either dead or vanished) until an old, water-damaged book arrives on his doorstep. It's the log of the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s who reports on strange things - including the death of a circus mermaid who is much like the librarian's mother.
It turns out that generations of "mermaids" in his family have drowned on the same date, raising the alarm bells about his missing sister.
Lovely line drawings pepper a blend of mystery, novel, and ethereal writing about family connections and change. Readers drawn into the isolated world of the reclusive Simon will find that world soon to change - and with it, the concepts of how the wider world operates.Readers who are also bibliophiles will find The Book of Speculation especially engrossing, revolving as it does around books, families, loss and mystery; all woven into a gentle story that is compelling and hard to put down.
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Holding in a Fart Kill You?
9781612434759 $12.95 www.ulyssespress.com
Can Holding in a Fart Kill You? is certainly an intriguing title for a book, but its clarifying subtitle ('Over 150 Curious Questions & Intriguing Answers') goes to show that it's actually a fun trivia book that follows up on a previous best-seller (What Did We Use Before Toilet Paper?) with new questions and answers exploring the science behind physiological human phenomenon.
From why fingers wrinkle in water to whether any human has been successfully raised by wolves (or any other kind of animal) and how codes are broken, Can Holding in a Fart Kill You? may sound like a science-oriented survey, but actually holds much, much more in its easy, compelling, fact-filled read, recommended for adults and kids alike.Return to Index
Places of the Earth
Jonathan M. Bryant
Liveright Publishing Corporation/Norton
9780871406750 $28.95 www.wwnorton.com
Imagine a change of events in the 1820s that led infamous legal, political and business forces to battle over the fate of some 280 slaves, creating a landmark legal decision that occurred before the Amistad case, and you have the essence of the powerful true historical story narrated in Dark Places of the Earth: The Voyage of the Slave Ship Antelope, a story that should be in any American history or legal library.
The Antelope held hundreds of captives and was seized off Florida in 1820 while returning from Africa. While slavery was legal in much of the U.S. at the time, the international slave trade was not.
So what did this mean for the men, women and children aboard the ship? The events that transpired would challenge legal establishment and business practices alike, resulting in a transformation of social perspective and legal institutions and setting the stage for events to come. No American history, legal, or civil rights collection should be without Dark Places of the Earth.Return to Index
Books You'll Never Read
Professor Bernard Richards
9781844037933 $24.99 www.octopusbooksusa.com
Fans of literature and writing who are drawn to books about famous writers and works will find something different in The Greatest Books You'll Never Read: Unpublished Masterpieces by the World's Greatest Writers.
You'd think that works by Twain, Poe, Virgil, Keats, Vonnegut, Nabokov and even contemporaries like Stephen King would have all seen the light of day; but this documents some surprising literary snafus, and is a pleasing production for any who would learn about the unseen works of otherwise-famous masters.
Take Melville's The Isle of the Cross, for example: this is so elusive that it's not completely certain that it ever even existed. One of his biographers, in 1990, posited that this novel (or short story), completed after the commercial disaster of Moby-Dick, could have represented a new direction in Melville's approach, with its first female protagonist. Source material investigations analyze the possibilities, provide alternative accounts, and consider the likelihood (or impossibility) of the manuscript showing up.
There are many other literary stories here; all with different twists and insights. The Greatest Books You'll Never Read will delight with unexpected stories, puzzles, and discussions of each famous author's lesser-known, more obscure writings.Return to Index
Music Got Free
9780525426615 $27.95 www.penguin.com
How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy covers the piracy revolution that led to widespread music sharing sans purchase and in spite of copyright law, and represents five years of Stephen Witt's investigative reporting on the industry and its experiences.
While many think they know about events from newspaper headlines, it turns out this is only the tip of the iceberg, as How Music Got Free follows the music industry's confrontation with digital technology and the growing popular idea that music should be freely distributed.
Chapters contrast shifts in the pop music industry with changing technology, commercial marketing practices, and manufacturers, and follow the rise of an underground music non-market that took the mp3's potential and raised it to new levels of music piracy and free distribution.
How Music Got Free is a powerful read, highly recommended for a wide audience, from musicians and those interested in the music industry to business readers concerned about the future of artist copyright protection.Return to Index
Life, My Body
9781629631059 $12.00 www.pmpress.org
My Life, My Body provides a new collection of Piercy's essays, poems, reviews and discussions which are wide-ranging in nature, from her own development as an early feminist to the ideal and problems of feminist utopias, fame, sex and money, and more.
It's a satisfying blend of the personal and political; and while it doesn't necessarily need a prior knowledge of Piercy's many former writings, such a familiarity will lend to an appreciation of these works, which continue to expand both her political and her literary horizons.
Collections strong in feminist philosophy, literature, and Piercy's prior writings will all see interest and lending action with My Life, My Body.Return to Index
9781590792995 $16.95 www.selectbooks.com
The Om Factor: A Woman's Spiritual Guide to Leadership at first glance would seem to belong in a business collection, but its approach incorporates far more than the pragmatic vision most business books offer, from a focus on the spiritual and psychological influences on women's lives to how these translate to both workplace and personal settings.
Women who develop their 'OM Factor' benefit from tools that deliver quick results in emotionally turbulent situations, with this book offering seven tools and key traits designed to heal feelings of inadequacy, powerlessness, and the effects of workplace disrespect.While The Om Factor is directed to women, men should not neglect its wide-ranging principles and discussions of how to flourish in an environment often replete with conflicting interests and demands. It's a powerful survey that's a top recommendation for a range of collections: business, new age, spirituality, psychology, and women's issues.
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The California Corner
Simon and Schuster
9781451641073 $28.00 www.simonandschuster.com
Blue: The LAPD and the Battle to redeem American Policing is focussed on Los Angeles, but offers analysis of interest to social science readers as well, using L.A. as a microcosm example of how American policing, as a whole, is in crisis.
It comes from an investigative reporter who explains what police departments do, their changing tactics past and present, how politics plays a role in the decision-making process, and how reforms are achieved. All this is drawn together using case history examples of cops, crime, and policing actions, all drawn from the author's two decades in law enforcement as a critic of the LAPD, in particular.Because his investigative assignments revolved around the criminal justice system, his insider's view of events such as the Rodney King beating and the L.A. riots assumes an immediacy that no outsider could have achieved, making for a strong survey that will especially appeal to California readers but holds much potential for any interested in police department politics and changing strategies.
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The Children's Corner
9780670785742 $16.99 www.penguin.com/youngreaders
Sea Rex tells of Cordelia and her companions as they spend a day at the beach: only, Cordelia's friends aren't human…
Basic water safety for kids is imparted through a series of zany encounters between Cordelia, her entourage, and their beach experiences, which embrace picnic etiquette, play, and more.
From finding treasures to safety in numbers, Sea Rex succeeds in juxtaposing serious safety messages with playful fun and zany drawings, making for a different kind of beach book, perfect for summertime enjoyment and year-round water safety.Return to Index
Britta Teckentrup's Get Out of My Bath! (9780763680060, $15.99) provides an easy reader about Ellie, who is having great fun splashing in her bathtub. Water-resistant pages look to recreate the bath experience by inviting readers to tilt the book various directions to see how Ellie Elephant gets the most wave action and pleasure from her bath.
The fun story will delight parents seeking a picture book read-aloud to involve bath-reluctant kids in water fun.
Michael Foreman's The Seeds of Friendship (9780763678340, $16.99) tells of Adam, who feels alone in a new city and misses his home overseas. When a teacher gives him a few seeds, they plant within him a newfound purpose the idea of holding the power to transform his homesickness into something more positive.
Despite his longing for his old home, Adam comes to appreciate the strange delights in his new place - and his power to change it offers 'new kids' a hopeful idea for how they can adjust to the challenges of a new home, school, and friends.Return to Index
Will Hillernbrand's All for a Dime! (9780823429462, $16.95) presents Market Day, which prompts Bear, Mole, and Skunk to find things to sell. They plan to make lots of pocket change; but the well-meaning friends find their ideas of salable product and giving away their largess puts a dent in opportunity. What're good friends to do? Large-size, colorful drawings make for a winning story of friendship and early business involvements.
Speaking of gainful employment, Teresa Bateman's Job Wanted (9780823433919, $16.95) receives fun drawings by Chris Sheban as it tells of a hound who seeks a job from a farmer who is prejudiced about a dog's potential to be useful.
Even though the farmer scoffs and turns down his offer, the old farm dog is determined to prove his worth - with some surprising results - in a lovely production that lends to read-aloud enjoyment.
Stephanie Calmenson's Ollie's Class Trip: A Yes-and-No Book (9780823434329, $15.95) comes from a former kindergarten teacher who works with illustrator Abby Carter to provide a simple story of where Ollie's class is headed on a field trip.A call-and-response format blends with fun drawings as the story discusses classroom behaviors, social skills, and the fun of a class trip. Kids are encouraged to yell 'yes' or 'no' throughout the course of this fun, interactive adventure story; so parents and teachers should be forewarned: joyful noise will ensue in a fun book not recommended for a quiet read-aloud atmosphere.
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