December 2015 Prime Picks From Larger Presses
Big Book of Wooden Locks
The Big Book of Wooden Locks is a collection of unique projects for making wooden locks, designed to appeal to woodworkers looking for something out of the ordinary.
The locks are completely functional and are made entirely from wood, with no metal parts. Step-by-step instructions accompanied by drawings and color photos leave nothing to wonder about the construction process, and provide everything needed for creating a wooden lock masterpiece.
Readers should have beginning woodworking skills and materials, plus an interest in learning more, and will receive a set of techniques for creating the wooden mechanisms and puzzles, from big locks with keys to a push-button combination lock.
Highly recommended; especially for aspiring woodworks who look for more than the usual focus on furniture-making and house trim projects.
iPhoneography Pro: Techniques for Taking Your iPhone Photography to the Next Level applies professional photography approaches to the iPhone, from using apps and inexpensive accessories to crafting images that are creative and eye-popping, and is recommended for iPhone picture-takers who would move beyond the instant snapshot realm.
Instructions on how to use these specific apps for special effects and better photo images accompany basics on composition, lighting and posing, and discussions of typical errors novice photographers often make, while topics move from the ever-popular food photo op to advanced discussions of how to use the iPhone to create stylized, professional results.
Accompanied by full-page (and good-detail smaller) color photos throughout, iPhoneography Pro is a special pick for any who have the iPhone photo basics down, but who want to move into professional photography realms.
Patricia Woodell, Brenda Niblock, and Jeri Warner's Are the Keys in the Freezer? An Advocate's Guide for Alzheimer's and Other Dementias (9781849057394) discusses a family's struggle with their mother's dementia and the search for care, and reflects years of research, struggle, and changing choices that are experienced by many with a loved one with dementia.
From assessing care facilities to hospices, costs of care, and more, Are the Keys in the Freezer? blends a memoir with useful advice particular to dementia clients, considering how dementia blurs boundaries of time, and space and how changing approaches can help mitigate its damaging effects.
Readers will find the blend of case history and practical applications makes for a readable, involving account that points out different directions for easing the rocky road of dementia patient interactions.
Margaret Rooke's Creative Successful Dyslexic: 25 High Achievers Share Their Stories (9781849056533) should be in any collection about dyslexia, and outlines the successful strategies many dyslexics have employed to not just cope, but to become high achievers.
Well-known people from the arts, sports, and business worlds share their stories and offer advice to fellow dyslexics, talking about their childhoods, their dyslexia, and how they overcame obstacles to rise to the top.
This book moves well beyond the usual 'how to adjust' approach in showing how dyslexics can utilize their skills to push ahead of the crowd, and is a top recommendation for any dyslexic and those working with them.
in Dogs and Cats
Seizures in Dogs and Cats gives the practicing vet a complete resource for managing seizures in dogs and cats, and is intended as a clinical reference for diagnosis and management. It classifies seizures, offers diagnosis and treatment tips, outlines guidelines for handling emergencies, and provides a set of at-a-glance, quick discussions that can be consulted during any seizure situation.
Video clips, a glossary, a neurology checklist, and a seizure log can be accessed online to support this handbook's information.
From advanced diagnostics requiring anesthesia and applying anti-seizure medications, all the way to advanced invasive therapy options, Seizures in Dogs and Cats is the go-to reference any practicing veterinary clinic must have.
Allan Badiner, Editor
Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics offers insights into connections between Buddhist thinking and psychedelics, comes from readers who have chosen psychedelics as the path to enlightenment, and offers original new essays by Ralph Metzner, an interview with James Fadiman, and other diverse approaches designed to compliment discussions of Zen Buddhism's visionary possibilities.
While readers might initially question what psychedelics and Zen Buddhism have to do with one another, the delight of Zig Zag Zen lies in its capacity for considering the types of viewpoints that Buddhism incorporates that may be enhanced by psychedelic use and revelations.
Chapters contain articles that explore the reasoned applications of psychedelics to the spiritual process, drawing different, important connections between the two.
The result is a recommendation for new age and spirituality collections alike: any with an interest in Zen and Buddhism and the potentials and experiences of psychedelics.
A New Way of Seeing
Anna Murray & Grace Winteringham
Patternity: A New Way of Seeing: The Inspirational Power of Pattern discusses patterns in organizations, daily living, fashion, design and more, and gathers a wide range of examples using photography and text from fashion and design to explore how patterns shape worlds.
From the sources of patterns and how they are developed to the history of changing patterns and their interconnected links, Patternity provides a strikingly diverse set of examples from architecture, fashion, art and beyond, and shows how patterns in nature affect design choices.
The result is a survey that should be of special interest to artists who want an in-depth exploration of how patterns are developed, and their different incarnations.
Two lovely new arts titles from Pointed Leaf Press are top recommendations for any arts library, and offer an excellent blend of top-quality packaging, presentations, and revealing information.
Barbara Ostrom's Curtain Up! Thirty Years of Spectacular Showhouse Rooms (9781938461286, $75.00) presents interiors created by the author during some thirty years working for some of the most prestigious show rooms in New York City, New Jersey, and the Hamptons.
Her approach takes the form of a collection of her best (and most notable) interior designs and themes, juxtaposing insights on purpose and perspective with notes on the entire process from beginning to end. This provides students of interior design with a solid overview of the entire process involved, making for a lavish visual display that leaves nothing to wonder and makes for a highly recommended acquisition for any arts library.
Kitchen by Mick De Giulio (9781938461194, $85.00) narrows its focus to the latest works of Mick De Giulio and captures many of his kitchen renovations and designs. It comes from a business founded in 1984 and from an interior designer who was named a Kitchen and Bath Design Leader by the notable Interior Designer magazine, and it provides a lavish display of his most distinguished works.
From commercial projects and company productions to understanding how kitchens function and the art in remaking them for both greater efficiency and artistic presentation, Kitchen is a masterpiece showcasing some of his most innovative designs.
Both books deserve a place in any discriminating arts collection.
Sexy Curves: Plus-Size Boudoir Photography Techniques focuses on the easy techniques photographer Tammy Warnock uses to create revealing, sexy photos of plus-size women (sizes 14 and up), and teaches how to work with window lighting and a few simple artificial light setups to create alluring poses in the studio or on location.
These aren't poses that are useful only with a certain body type or face: they can be used for every figure, and details include not only handling props and selecting clothing, but working with each client's unique figure and persona to create the desired result.
From creative props and pinup styles to home settings, Sexy Curves offers plenty of insights into the process of successfully modeling plus sizes, and is a top recommendation for any photographer who aspires to wide-ranging boudoir results.
Censors at Work
Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature details a history of state censorship that goes beyond listing censored materials and delves into the social and political influences involved in decision-making processes.
Three very different historical examples are chosen - the Bourbon monarchy in 18th century France, the British Raj in 19th-century India, and the Communist dictatorship in 20th century East Germany - to focus on very different censorship scenarios and state-sponsored roles in this history.
The attention to who does the censoring as well as the influences on what is censored makes Censors at Work a recommendation for a wide audience, from general-interest readers to those concerned with literature, civil liberties, and historical precedent.
Amy M. Ware
University Press of Kansas
The Cherokee Kid: Will Rogers, Tribal Identity, and the Making of an American Icon joins others in the 'Culture America' series in offering up a scholarly new assessment of Will Rogers and his career, gathering interviews, news, and insights from a range of sources from radio shows to family letters to consider both Rogers and his Native American background.
Chapters study his tribal influences and connections with an eye to exploring and exposing his Cherokee background and its influences on his humor, politics, and controversial image. They reveal his blend of Western and Native identities, analyze the effects of his works, and pinpoint many misconceptions about how Native American culture is portrayed, blending a media focus with a survey of Native images and influences on American culture.
The result is a highly recommended pick for college-level collections strong in history, media studies, and Native American culture.
China's Millennials: The Want
Rowman & Littlefield
China's Millennials: The Want Generation comes from a 'millennial' author who offers a new perspective on the up and coming Chinese generation's new approach to political and social issues, and considers how this differs from those of just a generation earlier, whose efforts placed Tiananmen Square on the map.
From workplace issues and changing social activism among youth to how material interests have affected their perspective, China's Millennials juxtaposes the author's generation and experience using interviews with scholars, journalists, social scientists, and hundreds of his fellow youth, and provides a wide-ranging perspective on this latest generation's influences and impact.
There are some 250 million Chinese millennials: their experiences differ vastly from those of their parents and generations before them; and in order to truly understand the Chinese psyche and where the country is heading, this book provides one of the keys.
From travelers to China to those who would better understand the nation, China's Millennials is the perfect starting point - and a highly recommended pick.
Our Secret History
Drinking in America: Our Secret History joins other books about booze in this country but offers a different perspective by including a social and political history of how alcohol has influenced American events and evolution from the 17th century to modern times.
In adding this overview and perspective to a traditional historical approach, the result is a more lively discourse than expected: a survey that tackles some sacred cows - such as Pilgrim drunkenness to how the John Adams family serves as a classic textbook case of alcoholism, the booze habits of such early figures as General Grant, and how American writers became known for drinking with abandon.
The result is a lively and accessible, fun account highly recommended for any American social history collection.
Ethnic Cleansing and the Indian
Gary Clayton Anderson
University of Oklahoma Press
Ethnic Cleansing and the Indian: The Crime That Should Haunt America features an eye-opening examination that directly relates ethnic cleansing not to societies and choices made abroad, but to American history; and should be required reading for any studying Native American affairs.
College-level readers receive an argument that the end goal of colonialism and U.S. Indian policy wasn't to exterminate Native Americans, but to obtain land and resources from natives, fostering clashes at all levels and resulting in actions that fit the definition of 'ethnic cleansing'.
This is no casual presentation: the author has researched the subject for most of his life, using U.S.-Indian history and politics to support his contentions. It's especially recommended for college-level classroom debates on issues of historical genocide and ethnic cleansing definitions.
Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency offers no light overview, but an in-depth survey that holds seven maps and numerous black and white photos, adding to a series covering the life of Ronald W. Reagan.
Recommended for Reagan followers who seek close, in-depth inspections, this cultivates historical detail paired with suspenseful devices which are usually the hallmarks of fiction. Drama thus compliments details and facts to explore the psyche of the man, the nature of his times, the support systems and moral beliefs he cultivated, and those whose lives were changed by his decisions.
While the result will reach into general-interest audiences because of its dramatic flair, Killing Reagan's attention to historical and psychological detail makes it particularly recommendable to readers who look for exact facts and detailed analysis.
James Kunetka's The General and the Genius: Groves and Oppenheimer - the Unlikely Partnership That Built the Atom Bomb (9781621573388 $29.99) is, surprisingly, the first book to examine the relationship between General Leslie Groves and theoretical physicist Robert Oppenheimer, and considers how the work between these two resulted in the making of the bomb at Los Alamos.
It's appropriate that this exposé would be published in the year that represents the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II: its discussions of how the war introduced a general and a scientist to one another, how they envisioned and brought to fruition a game-changing bomb, and how they shared mutual patriotic interests makes for an examination that blends biography, science, history, and politics in a lively, involving read that probes behind the scenes of the making of the world's first nuclear weapon.
Robert Spencer's The Complete Infidel's Guide to Isis (9781621574538, $19.99) offers a primer to understanding ISIS and goes beyond documenting its brutalities to consider its propaganda, the problems with Western analysis of the threat, and why ISIS continues to attract huge numbers of followers while committing atrocious acts.
From its identification as a "caliphate" and what that means to how the Islamic State is trying to start Armageddon and why beheading victims act so calm, this is a eye-opening examination that considers the heart of ISIS beliefs and actions: a top pick for any history or political studies collection with an emphasis on Middle Eastern affairs or topics surrounding international terrorist activity.
Food Family Shabbos
Emunah of America/Feldheim, Distributors
Celebrate: Food Family Shabbos packs in over two hundred recipes for Shabbos and comes from an author whose website (GourmetKosherCooking.com) has provided thousands of followers with innovative Passover recipes.
It pairs photos with discussions of such dishes as Pumpkin Souffle, Succulent and Crispy Five-Hour Roast Chicken, and Sabbath Chicken with Dried Fruit: each recipe includes a personal introduction by the author, who explains its origins or preparation tricks; so this is more than a collection of innovative fare, but a kosher cookbook that can be used by chefs to improve on basic techniques.
The result is an appealing set of surprisingly easy fare that looks appealing, is perfect for entertaining, and offers new, attractive dishes that are a snap to put together.
Front Table Books
Kitchen Meets Girl: 30 Easy Meals for Reluctant Cooks comes from a popular food blogger whose cookbook is proof that anyone - even an amateur - can produce professional-quality meals that are healthy and inexpensive as well as foolproof.
Her cookbook is specifically directed to the person who believes they can't cook, and will appeal to a wide audience by including such easy (yet classy-sounding) fare as Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Classic Coleslaw and Apple-Blackberry Crisp, Rosemary-Parmesan Roasted Potatoes, and Chicken Tortilla Soup. Nothing is left to wonder: color photos of these completed dishes are provided throughout.
From muffins to main dishes, this winning cookbook proves that anyone can put together a high-quality meal. The only real requirement is an interest in doing so.
David DiBenedetto and the Editors of Garden & Gun
The Southerner's Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories pairs over a hundred recipes and four-color photos with a discussion of Southern dining traditions, covering not just recipes but the people and places that have changed the face of what is considered 'Southern' culinary style.
Over twenty-five chef-sourced recipes include stories about their origins that reveal the influences of cooks and regional trends upon the development of specialty dishes, while features on Southern food preparations and terminology round out a lovely discussion of a dynamic, evolving Southern food world.
Readers can expect to see traditional Southern fare alongside such innovations as Yakamein (a New Orleans specialty of noodles and strips of beef in a Cajun-spiced broth), Duck and Oyster Gumbo (from a New Orleans chef who combines traditional French fare with regional embellishments and ingredients), or a Pool Room Slaw (a mustardy, peppery concoction that defies the usual mayo-based definition of coleslaw).
The result is a hearty gathering of dishes that redefine the nature of Southern cuisine, keeping to its roots yet adding a different flavor to reflect the South's evolving food culture.
Scintillating Sci-Fi and Fantasy
The Dark Forest is translated by Joel Martinsen and represents a powerful sequel to the Hugo Award-winner The Three-Body Problem, and is recommended for sci-fi readers who have prior familiarity with the introductory text, and who seek a complex adventure saga revolving around an alien invasion's lasting impact on Earth.
This invasion was introduced in The Three-Body Problem and continues here, as a defense is mounted that eschews Earth's compromised existing systems in favor of a radical new approach.
Earth is still shocked by the approaching disaster and the seeding of the planet with subatomic particles that allow the aliens to access all human information except the resilient human mind.
It's up to the Wallfacer Project plan to hide the only strategy that could thwart the invasion. Political and social confrontations mark a story that slowly, and inexorably marches towards what will be the third book completing a saga of alien confrontation and challenges to survival.
Science, Nature & Technology
and Culture' titles
University of Chicago Press/Distributors
Two new 'Nature and Culture' titles are top picks for readers who would receive a blend of science and human activities surrounding the topic.
For example, Veronica Strang's Water (9781780234328) considers not only the properties of water and why it's key to life, but the changing relationship of human beings to water resources. Attitudes about water and its use and management have varied immensely over time: by adding a dose of social history to the science of environmental studies, Strang's book examines a range of topics, from agricultural applications and industrialization processes to scarcity and environmental management.
Ralph Crane and Lisa Fletcher's Cave (9781780234311) also adds a cultural history to the scientific focus on caves and how humans have used and studied them, and considers the role of caves in human lives as it outlines pioneers' early uses of caves, the history of explorations, and the myths, literature, and science surrounding caves.
Add a world focus to wide-ranging references about caves and their human connections and you have a powerful, unique study that is both lively and educational, and which moves well beyond the usual science focus to examine how caves have changed human endeavors.
Science and Technology of Animal Training
The Science and Technology of Animal Training is intended as a textbook to help Masters-level students and professionals expand their knowledge and applications of behavior in companion animal training, and is thus a recommendation for a very specific audience interested in a basic coverage of strategies, laws, techniques and tested methods for companion animal management.
It covers all the basics of training not just canines but felines, birds, horses, and other animals, and it focuses on advanced training techniques that help shape trainers and animals alike.
Study questions, exercises, and charts throughout offer plenty of opportunities for training, self-assessment, and a level of scientific inquiry not seen in more general-interest or more casual animal management pieces. While amateurs will find it accessible, it's the expert/advanced trainer who will especially appreciate the wealth of scientific detail supporting these training methods.
Ordered The Universe?
Who Ordered The Universe? Evidence for God in Unexpected Places combines science and spirituality and comes from Dr. Nick Hawkes, who has two degrees in science and two in theology, placing him in a unique position to integrate disciplines often at odds with one another.
Here he examines the arguments for a Creator behind creation, using biology to consider lessons about suffering, math to examine the nature of existence, and history to probe the nature of society and models for living.
Readers should cultivate a prior interest in both history and theological questions in order to appreciate Hawkes' unique approach, which goes beyond either discipline to argue for evidence of God in many places.
Biography & Autobiography
University of Georgia Press
Invisible Sisters: A Memoir tells of the author's younger sister Susie, who was diagnosed with leukemia when Jessica was eight years old. The youngest child, Sarah, had already been born with a rare, fatal blood disorder: having two critically ill siblings in the same family resulted in a striking contrast between Jessica's wellness and the ongoing health crises of her sisters.
In a saga that's both a coming of age story and an account of survival, sickness, and eventual loss, Invisible Sisters crafts a poignant, striking story that considers not only Handler's life, but the impact illness and death has on a family's structure.
General-interest and health and psychology readers alike will find Handler's family story to be a powerful, candid account of survival and its lasting costs.
Miller: Civil Rights Attorney and Journalist
University of Oklahoma Press
Loren Miller: Civil Rights Attorney and Journalist tells of one of the nation's major civil rights attorneys, whose work from the 1940s to the early 1960s in the field of housing and education made an essential impact on civil rights law in this country.
Lest one believe that this is a small-time history, it should be mentioned that one of these 1948 cases is still taught in nearly every American law school today. Despite these facts, until now, Loren Miller has received relatively little attention. This biography is the first to tell of his achievements and his times, describing his early career as a radical journalist, his rise to fame, and his commitment to improving the lives of all Americans.
His is an essential story that deserves to be told - and thus Loren Miller belongs not only in collections specializing in American legal history, but in those documenting events of the early civil rights movement. Without it, a definitive picture can't be properly drawn.
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer & Dee Garnes
Memories of Heaven: Children's Astounding Recollections of the Time before They Came to Earth offers an eye-opening discussion by two authors who had often talked about infant and toddler perceptions of God, and who decided to invite parents around the world to share their stories of how their children perceived concepts of God and spirit.
Their responses are contained in this book, which includes the most interesting stories in which boys and girls speak about their memories of past lives and God. Kids share their dialogues with God, deceased spirits, and their perceptions of the afterlife and spirit realm in a fine collection of letters and first-person accounts which many will find fascinating.