january 2016 Prime Picks
Pope Francis: The Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism provides a definitive biographical sketch of both Pope Francis's early papacy and the ongoing evolution of Catholic Church principles in a changing world, and use the pop's decisions and tenure as a point of discussion for the Church's changing traditions.
Social, political, and spiritual examinations blend in a survey that links Church issues and reform matters with the Pope's particular perspective on women in the church and other considerations, while the biographical background leading up to how he became Pope provides many insights on the man and his influences.
Catholic readers and any with a special interest in Church history will find this a powerful survey that outlines and discusses issues with an eye to linking the Pope's perspective with past, present, and future Church evolution.
Great British Recording Studios
The Great British Recording Studios appears nine decades after the 'British Invasion' hit the world, starting one of the most dramatic and influential movements to hit popular music. Plenty of books have detailed this event; but few offer more than a cursory examination of the British facilities which made these recordings - and that's here Massey's title comes in.
It uses the British studios to tell the stories of how equipment, sound techniques, and innovations promoted the British sound, blending interview and anecdotal memories with close examinations of record producers and their companies.
The Great British Recording Studios packs in photos - many appearing here for the first time - in the course of profiling studios, recording icons and personalities, their interactions with some of the biggest British musical stars in history, and their work, and it arranges these revelations by music studio for easy reference.
The result offers far more details and depth about recording studio evolution overall than most popular music history can offer, making The Great British Recording Studios a 'must' for any definitive music history collection.
The Computer Corner
Kent J. McDonald
Beyond Requirements: Analysis with an Agile Mindset shows how applying analysis techniques to agile engineering can change the nature of analysis to build better teams and shared information, and presents a fine discussion of what constitutes this mindset and how to cultivate it.
The gem of this title isn't just in its clear coverage of basic concepts, solutions, and delivery options: it's in the attention to explaining how agile concepts apply to IT projects and business interactions, how decisions on value based on analysis can be integrated more smoothly, and how a better understanding of users and concepts can lend to clarifying decisions and approaches to change.
The approach is recommended for a range of readers: software engineers, agile analysis technicians, business managers, developers, and more. It links basic agile principles to better analytical approaches and cements them all with case studies from real-world scenarios.
The result is a business/computer guide that marries the two disciplines in a powerful survey packed with ideals, ideas, and practical applications of agile analysis procedures.
Cookie Companion: A Decorator's Guide
Front Table Books/Cedar Fort Inc.
The Cookie Companion: A Decorator's Guide features over a hundred updated color formulas and a beginner's guide to cookie decorating that focuses on how to mix shades for perfect icing results.
One doesn't anticipate color formulas and a palette similar to an artist's array from a cookie cookbook; but The Cookie Companion offers something more decorating how-to guides miss: the opportunity to customize to get just the right, unique results.
From how to pair colors to specific projects to preserving cookie artistry in freezer or by drying, this is a cookie cookbook with a different, focusing on the (easy) finishing touches that lend polished, professional results to the most ordinary of cookies.
Add color photos of finished results with step-by-step photo-illustrated instruction and you have a baker's dream in The Cookie Companion's solid approach.
Dinner at Home: 140 Recipes to Enjoy with Family and Friends is arranged by course and includes color images by Chicago Tribune photographers, gathering some of the best recipes from the author's Tribune column Dinner at Home.
These recipes will prove very accessible to all levels of cooks; from those with only basic experience who seek elegant dishes suitable for entertaining but relatively easy to make to those who look for inspiration for new dishes.
Brownson has been cooking for some thirty years, and many of the recipes in the title were those she cooked at home with her children; but many are dishes that are unique adaptations or special recommendations for this title. Such dishes include a Red Lentil Soup with Lamb and Fresh Lemon, infused with Moroccan spices and lamb stew influences, or an entire section and sandwiches, pastas and pizzas that includes a meatless mainstay of Penne with Garbanzo Beans Arugula and Spicy Tomatoes.
Sidebars of buying tips, full-page color photos of finished dishes, and tips and notes throughout make for a winning cookbook that will appeal to a wide range of home cooks.
Recipes of Prohibition
Lost Recipes of Prohibition offers a focus on the history of brews, bootlegging drinks, and blends made with extracts, herbs, oils, and homemade moonshine, and comes from a journal that came into the hands of the author, who happened to be an expert in spirits already.
Hidden inside an antique book of poetry, it packed in over 300 entries on making bitters, cordials, and wine - and it started Rowley on a journey to gain more information about how these prohibited recipes came to fall into his hands. From a Manhattan doctor who transcribed them into German, Latin and English into his notebook to notes on techniques, these handwritten recipes have been reproduced and annotated, with background history and information added to round out the offerings.
Any with an affection for homemade booze will find the blend of history and recipes to be simply fascinating, compelling information, offering details not easily found elsewhere.
Mary Francis Kennedy Fisher
M.F.K. Fisher's Provence pairs text by Mary Francis Kennedy Fisher with full-page color photographs by Aileen Ah-Tye and comes from a photography who was inspired by Fisher's early 1980s writings to embark on her own exploration of France's Provence.
The result is a culinary and travel guide that is the perfect item of choice for any who have enjoyed Fisher's classic writings and who now have a contemporary and visual recollection that represents both collaboration with Fisher and a photojournalist's own explorations.
It was Fisher's descriptions of bakeries, exotic French foods, and the atmosphere of the country that led to Ah-Tye's exploration of the back roads and byways of the country in search of the same kinds of revelations that led Fisher to adopt France as her culinary wellspring.
Gorgeous color photos - some two-page spreads - everywhere contribute to a beautiful testimony to Fisher, France, and culinary and travel jewels past and present.
Neil van Niekerk
On-Camera Flash: Techniques for Digital Wedding and Portrait Photography teaches the basics of how to create special lighting effects using on-camera flash, revising and updating the original guide to cover the latest techniques and tips.
Many discussions of portraiture and lighting require some degree of special accessory equipment, so it's refreshing to see a title that takes full advantage of a camera's built-in flash system to gain better control of lighting without the requirement for additional equipment. Photographers pursuing On-Camera Flash receive the basics (loaded with color photo examples throughout) on how to control a flash's intensity, direction, and results.
Chapters covering how to sculpt, modify, and fine-tune light focus on wedding and portrait work - the kinds of work that tend to pay the most and require the most talent from its photographer - and focus on discussions that are basic and simple so that even relative amateurs can benefit.
Children and Teens
Four lovely new picture book picks are recommended acquisitions for any discriminating collection, promising lasting interest and themes loaded with appeal for young readers and parents who read aloud.
Angela McAllister's Winter's Child (9780763679644, $16.99) is illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith and tells of the longest winter that Nana can recall. Tom just wishes winter would never end because he loves the snow and ice - even though it's too cold and long for an old woman, worrying Tom's mother.
As the logs diminish and the family worries how Nana will make it though a longer cold spell, Tom uncovers a new playmate - and a mystery. Gorgeous full-page color drawings make this the perfect winter tale!
Elizabeth Pulford's Finding Monkey Moon (9780763667771, $15.99) receives lovely color drawings by Kate Wilkinson as it tells of Michael's bedtime and a beloved monkey toy which isn't to be found. Where is Monkey Moon? A gentle story of a missing toy and its possible whereabouts lends to a story parents and kids will enjoy as a different kind of read-aloud.
Russell Hoban and Quentin Blake's Ace Dragon Ltd. (9780763674823, $16.99) tells of a dragon who lives under the pavement who can fly, spin gold into straw, and more. At first John isn't interested in these abilities, but when the dragon offers him a ride, John is excited - but, he must fight the dragon and win, to claim his prize. Fun cartoon-like drawings lend to a competition that holds some unexpected results.
Daniel Pinkwater's Bear and Bunny (9780763671532, $15.99) tells of bunny and bear friends who like to wander in the woods and enjoy the rural atmosphere. They're happy with woods activities, song, and discussions until they decide they need a pet to join in. But what would make the perfect pet for a bunny and a bear? Will Hillenbrand's engaging drawings spice a lovely story of friends who want more.
Grades K-1 and 1-2 receive two lovely early chapter books perfect for easy reading. Judy Young's Digger and Daisy Star in a Play (9781585369294, $9.99) will reach the younger beginner, pairing fun drawings by Dana Sullivan with a sibling dog protagonists who interact with one another, disagree at times, and always exhibit love despite it all.
After they are cast in a play, they discover their very different approaches to the task: one believes in rehearsing every line while Daisy is sure she will remember and doesn't need to worry.
Whose style is best? A fun exploration moves beyond sibling relationships into the realm of different ways of approaching life.
Eve Bunting's Frog and Friends Celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve can be enjoyed by grades 1-2 year 'round as it tells of special seasonal celebrations.
Frog likes things simple and peaceful, but the holidays bring anything but ease. Can there be a better way to celebrate without all the tension and busy bustle of the holidays? Kids will love the simple approach to a familiar time of year.
Absolutely Beautiful Things: Decorating Inspiration for a Bright and Colourful Life provides a beautifully illustrated discussion of current décor trends that use color and patterns to reflect a colorful life, and shows how to put together themes and approaches that create custom rooms and lavish plans.
Under her hand, color and pattern are mixed for everything from furniture choices to displaying collections, pairing wallpaper with artwork displays, and more, with chapters sharing secrets from her own layering approach to teach the basics of how to create an individual home atmosphere.
From how to develop an individual sense of style to how to translate that achievement into home interior design approaches for different rooms, Absolutely Beautiful Things packs its colorful survey with personal and professional insights and is a top recommendation for homeowners who seek a blend of personal artistic insight and tips for customizing one's own home.
Language Through Science Strategies That Work
Growing Language Through Science Strategies That Work offers routines for K-5 grades that shows teachers how to use a young learner's innate curiosity to teach language through science classrooms.
Teachers of diverse classrooms will find it packed with innovative keys to understanding special needs and language requirements while templates, illustrations, and teaching strategies that have been field tested provide exercises designed to enhance investigative skills, logical thinking, and more.
Each exercise is accompanied by language objectives, instructional procedures, and notes on adaptations, while charts, question and answer keys, and visual mapping strategies enable teachers to provide all kinds of instructional approaches.
The result will prove invaluable for K-5 teachers looking for specific links between science teaching and language.
Physiotherapy for Small Animal Practice
David Prydie and Isobel Hewitt
Practical Physiotherapy for Small Animal Practice presents an easy introduction to physiotherapy that is recommended for vet practitioners, and offers a discussion of strategies and approaches for introducing physiotherapy into a vet practice.
From equipment and basic examinations and treatments that would indicate benefits from therapeutic exercises and different types of therapy to addressing both degenerative and accident conditions and how each should be approached, Practical Physiotherapy provides step-by-step color photos along with its discussions of treatments.