July 2018 Prime Picks
Three excellent new references are highly recommended picks for business book collections, promising lasting value and information that should be basic to any serious business library and many a consumer's collection.
Attorneys Carl W. Battle and Andrea D. Small's The Patent Guide: How You Can Protect and Profit from Patents (9781621536260, $24.99) explains everything one needs to know about patents; from how to apply for one and what they actually protect to understanding the latest regulations, electronic filing processes, and how invention rights are protected.
The focus on commercializing an invention, following the rules for domestic and foreign patents, and knowing when to deal with and how to properly use patent attorneys and agents makes for a powerful introduction to the subject that's packed with forms and insights. The latest updated, revised information is logically arranged and detailed in a new edition that should be basic to any business reference holding.
Attorney Lee Wilson's The Trademark Guide: How You Can Protect and Profit from Trademarks (9781621536327, $24.99) appears in its third updated edition to reflect the latest court decisions and changes in trademark law, and comes from an intellectual-property lawyer who has been writing about trademark laws for over thirty years.
Issues for both newcomers to the subject and those who already own trademarks range from the basics of how to choose a trademark and gain rights to its proper use to how to handle infringement and how to understand the latest trademark laws pertaining to new media.
Also included is an invaluable section on how to choose and recognize a good trademark lawyer.
Wilson also writes The Copyright Guide: How You Can Protect and Profit from Copyrights (9781621536208, $24.99), which appears in its fourth updated edition to consider everything about copyrights, from how they work and how to license copyrights to acquiring rights, understanding infringement, and avoiding infringing on others' rights.
The latest information on new information technology pairs with discussions of borderline gray areas such as when parody constitutes infringement and how to recapture a lost copyright.
All are essential, foundation acquisitions highly recommended for business and general consumer reference holdings alike.
The Power of a
The Power of a Positive Team: Proven Principles and Practices That Make Great Teams Great comes from the author of The Power of Positive Leadership. It surveys the principles and practices that make for great teams and considers how these teams overcome negative influences to produce stellar performances.
Jon Gordon worked with many successful teams throughout his professional career and came to understand the shared factors that led to their unmitigated success.
In The Power of a Positive Team, he synthesizes these team-building experiences and insights into a discussion that incorporates examples from real-world team-building atmospheres and experiences for anyone who intends to build a similar, effective powerhouse of collaboration and achievement.
Of special note are in-depth discussions of common pitfalls that dilute team effectiveness, productivity, and success. These alone provide much food for thought in a book that teams should read and discuss before they get their processes off the ground.
Harvard Business Review Press
Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You comes from a social psychologist who explains why help is so difficult to obtain on many levels, and is a recommended pick for business and psychology collections alike.
Its invaluable discussions of how and why people seek and gain effective help offer insights not only into how people ask for assistance, but the underlying factors motivating who gives such help; whether it be in the form of support systems or financial resources.
There's a fine and tricky line involved in asking for help; and too many pitfalls along the way, from apologizing to over thinking empathy and not understanding the often-subtle guilt trips involved in asking for help.
Anyone who would better understand support systems and the process of giving and receiving help will find Reinforcements offers many invaluable perspectives.
Cooking Maine Style
Down East Books
In Cooking Maine Style: Tried and True Recipes from Down East, Marjorie Standish (whose name is synonymous with traditional New England cooking and whose popular column "Cooking Down East" has long been held as a standard for Maine cuisine) gathers the most iconic regional Maine dishes and presents them under one cover.
From an old-style Salt Cod Dinner to a horseradish/egg-seasoned store cheese filling for a Friday Sandwich or a recipe for a graham flour and molasses Philbrook Farm Dark Bread, Cooking Maine Style features many Maine classics that will be familiar to natives yet accessible by those living outside the state.
This is 'down home' New England cooking at its best, which means no exotic, expensive, or hard-to-find ingredients. Any cook who likes comfort food and basic, easy homemade American fare will find Cooking Maine Style a treasure trove of ideas exploring Maine cuisine.
Eating My Way Through
St. Martins Griffin
Eating My Way Through Italy: Heading Off the Main Roads to Discover the Hidden Treasures of the Italian Table comes from an expert on Italian cuisine who documents her travels through the country's back roads and regional locales in search of unique foods and peoples.
Personal stories, a peppering of full-page color photos, and tips on buying or locating special regional products such as truffles enhance a recipe collection filled with such fare as Shepherd or Bandit's Dessert from Sardinia, Linguine with Pesto from Umbria, and Warm Caponata from Pantelleria.
The personalities of people encountered around the country pair with both traditional fare and Elizabeth Minchilli's adaptation of other dishes to make for a lively culinary travelogue that goes beyond recipes alone to disclose the heart of the Italian countryside's fresh ingredients and its peoples.
Fix, Freeze, Feast
Kati Neville and Lindsay Ahrens
Fix, Freeze, Feast appears in an expanded, updated second edition to provide well over a hundred recipes to busy families who want to serve up homemade fare from scratch, in less time.
Color photos abound to compliment an approach that needs only freezer space to accommodate, while recipes include cooking tips to help cooks reduce prep time and make the most of different flavor combinations.
Over a dozen new recipes appear in this updated edition, adding an international approach and plant-based dishes along with updates reflecting an interest in lighter fare.
Another plus is that the main dishes are arranged by ingredients (Beef, Veggie and Seafood, Poultry, and more), which makes for quick at-a-glance reference.
This cookbook should be a kitchen staple for any busy cook who wants to save money, time, and hassle without sacrificing flavor or meal appeal.
Infused: Water and
Cider Mill Press
Infused: Water and Ice is highly recommended for any cook who would entertain using a combination of water and fruit, flower, vegetable and herb infusions. It presents over a hundred recipes perfect for those who have been advised to drink more water; but who eschew the bland tastelessness of unflavored water.
By including herbs and spices along with infusing ideas ranging from water to ice cubes, Infused promotes healthy, flavorful beverages which are far more appealing than the base ingredient alone.
Full-page color photos not only nicely compliment the recipes, but provide attractive allure perfect for busy cooks who want an easy way of producing, colorful, flavorful, and visually appealing drinks that range from Kiwi Melon to Tomato Basil Ice Cubes, a tangy Kiwi Honeydew Lime, and more.
The New Charleston
The New Charleston Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Heart of the Old South features fare from all kinds of Charleston restaurants, from diners and dives to fancy restaurants, and represents Holly Herrick's personal picks of dishes which best represent the city's regional creations.
The first thing to note about her approach is that color photos throughout aren't necessarily of completed dishes alone, but include panoramas, Charleston cityscapes, and chefs.
Each establishment receives a full-page write-up which profiles the chef, the history of the restaurant, and their signature dishes. Many times, local fare such as Carolina Gold rice is also discussed.
As for the recipes themselves, they can be readily reproduced in other parts of the country, from a Lowcountry Seafood Pilau with cornmeal seasoning and a Whole Grain "Spoon" Salad of nuts, herbs, and currants to The Sleeper Sandwich from the iconic Poe's Tavern: a six-ounce burger topped with roasted garlic blue cheese and fried shrimp.
The result is especially recommended for home cooks who want insights into the new approaches of Charleston chefs and their revised takes on traditional Southern cooking.
Real Life Dinners
St. Martin's Griffin
Real Life Dinners excels in color photos by Kari Peters which includes not only fine close-ups of finished dishes, but step-by-step images of their creation.
Equally clear and inviting are recipes which pair these colorful attractions with a sidebar of estimates for each recipe that indicate prep and cooking time and proportions. This allows busy cooks a quick, at-a-glance method for determining whether a recipe is suitable for their needs.
As for the dishes themselves, expect chapters that separate dinner recipes by theme ("Breakfast for Dinner" or "Salad for Dinner") and a wealth of kid-friendly dinners and those which can be made on the grill or prepared in advance.
The result is a highly recommended, user-friendly, family-friendly guide that excels in casseroles, make-ahead dinners, grilled foods, and dishes that make fresh ingredients fun and attractive for the entire family (even picky eaters).
The Princeton Review
Two new guides to school admissions and testing are highly recommended picks for collections catering to students and their parents.
Robert Franek's College Admission 101: Simple Answers to Tough Questions About College Admissions and Financial Aid (9781524758530, $12.99) comes from a college admission administrator, teacher, and author who has over twenty years of experience in higher education.
These are the sixty questions he's been asked the most as he's crossed the country lecturing about the college admissions process. Their answers are arranged in eight chapters and supported by sidebars of checklists, tips, timelines, and more.
From how to research colleges to what admission officers seek in applicants, College Admission 101 synthesizes its information into a lively, digestible format that lends to quick browsing and easily reading.
The 2019 edition of Cracking the SSAT & ISEE (9781524757939, $19.99) packs in strategies, practice tips, and six full-length sample tests (five in the book and one online) to give SSAT and ISEE preparers everything needed to get the highest scores.
Drills are included, along with time-saving tips, hints for success, and the latest content for Lower/Elementary, Middle, and Upper level tests; including introductions on secondary school admissions processes and general test-taking advice.
Both will save time, energy, and answer many questions for students, parents, and educators alike.
John D. Couch with Jason Towne
In a way, Rewiring Education: How Technology Can Unlock Every Student's Potential comes directly from Apple founder Steve Jobs' vision; because he tapped engineer and author John D. Couch to help him reach out to children with his new technology to empower them beyond the usual classroom approach.
Couch here shares experiences from some fifty years in education and technology as he considers Apple's unique approach to classrooms, study, and technology-supported learning.
Couch doesn't stop with Apple experiences, however: he goes on to highlight other programs, approaches, and new science-backed methods for reaching all children, considering how educators, parents, and support services can utilize new technologies to help children realize their full potentials.
The result is a thought-provoking read highly recommended for any educator or any adult working with children.
Fallout: Disasters, Lies, and the Legacy of the Nuclear Age examines nuclear plants, usage patterns, and radioactivity around the world, blending history with Fred Pearce's expertise as an environmental science reporter in over eighty countries in the past twenty years.
His backgrounds lends particularly well to an authoritative, well-researched consideration of commercial nuclear operations, changing nuclear technology and failures in the system, threats from hackers and terrorists, and more as he examines humanity's changing relationship to nuclear technology.
The result blends a history with a technological examination in a study that gathers personal experience and local traditions and perceptions under one cover, offering a far broader perspective and consideration than similar-sounding nuclear history discussions.
Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea comes from a former United States Secretary of the Navy who provides readers with his insights on American Cold War encounters on the world's oceans. It's especially authoritative not just because of Lehman's prior position, but because he served as one of the main leaders of the Navy's Cold War operations and promoted the rise of American naval forces during the Carter administration after its decline at the end of the Second World War.
John Lehman was one of a host of naval commanders who foresaw a new direction for the navy with the objective of achieving a new naval supremacy over others on the seas, revising America's naval capabilities and its forces around the world.
Lehman was one of the key instigators of policy change, and his survey of military, political, and global influences on these changes is invaluable for understanding the past, present, and future objectives of the American navy.
Trump/Russia: A Definitive History is the first book to provide a history of Trump's relationship to Russia: an effort which began in late 2017, before he became president; but which goes back to 1984 and Trump Tower, which instigated his relationship with the Russian mafia.
From the early financial and mob associates that Trump made in his role as a real estate magnate in New York City to the evolution of years of associations with various factions of Russian financial and political interests over the decades, Trump/Russia: A Definitive History supports its contentions with research, probes of kickbacks and financial processes, and discussions of various players' criminal pasts that Trump likely knew about.
The result is a lively history of years of Trump connections and contacts that blends newly-uncovered information, court documents, interviews with investigators, and eye-opening insights to create a survey that is hard to put down.
Kurt C. Schlichting
Johns Hopkins University Press
Waterfront Manhattan: From Henry Hudson to the High Line tells how Manhattan's waterfront evolved from being the country's hub of trade and commerce to leading Manhattan to become a global force in its own right. It should be required reading for any studying New York state history and influences.
In documenting a political and economic struggle for control of the Manhattan waterfront between public and private interests, Kurt C. Schlichting considers the ecological, technological, industrial and social forces that spiraled out of control of both public and private entities, eventually leading to the demise of the city's maritime prowess.
Packed with vintage black and white illustrations and photos, facts from maritime and political writings, and considerations of the changing social geography of the region as a whole, Waterfront Manhattan is a 'must' for any authoritative New York City history collection as well as any maritime history holding.
Arts & Crafts
The Animatic Apparatus
The Animatic Apparatus: Animation, Vitality, and the Futures of the Image traces the presence, interpretation, and rise of animation in modern society, offering a critical perspective on simulations in film, software, and pop culture.
One anticipates a technical study or a survey of film evolution from the subject and title of The Animatic Apparatus, but in fact it blends metaphysics, politics, and ethical considerations into an artistic overview, using specific movies to consider underlying psychological and cultural messages provided by animation themes.
The result sounds scholarly but will prove quite accessible to any film or animation enthusiast interested in the presence, message, and cultivation of animation in cinematic, business and social circles alike.
Biology Run Amok!
Mark C. Glassy
Biology Run Amok! The Life Science Lessons of Science Fiction Cinema is recommended for sci-fi film buffs and cinema collections alike. It holds articles originally published in the magazine Scary Monsters that probe the biological realities and imaginative extrapolations of dozens of classic sci-fi films.
From theories of reviving the long-dead or newly dead in the classic Frankenstein and its modern incarnations to drug products in Dune, Robocop2, The Matrix, and Dark Angel, chapters divided by each biological concept group films incorporating the subject into sections that allow for easy contrast and insights.
This blend of scientific and cinematic insights makes for a satisfyingly complex, revealing inquiry recommended for sci-fi and science buffs alike.
Crocheted Hoods &
Crocheted Hoods & Cowls: 20 Enchanting Designs for Women, 7 Adorable Animal Hoods for Kids gathers crochet patterns for the cowl and provides stylish, warm, artistic options that will delight women and children seeking something different.
From pixie hoods to hooded scarves and kids' creations from giraffes to bunnies, each project receives numerous close-up color photos of completed ideas and step-by-step instructions that require only a prior basic knowledge of crochet and abbreviated directions.
Plenty of crochet project guides cover scarves and wraps; but this exclusive focus on the hood and cowl stands out from the crowd.
Inventive Wire Weaving: 20+ Unique Jewelry Designs is an art and jewelry project guide showing jewelers how to blend beads, stones, metal, and other materials into creative wire jewelry. It comes from an artist and teacher who provides clear step-by-step techniques for all of her designs.
As varied as these designs are, the pieces themselves are diverse, ranging from pendants and earrings to bracelets. Each receives many color photos to accompany easy step-by-step instructions that are also nicely illustrated, leaving nothing to wonder about.
Variations on themes encourage novice jewelry makers to put their own creative touches on wire weaving. This project guide is especially highly recommended for beginners who want a primer clearly covering basic wire weaving techniques.
Thames & Hudson
Two new art books are top recommendations for arts libraries seeking unique, lasting acquisitions.
Jim Olson's Jim Olson: Building, Nature, Art (9780500343333, $75.00) comes from one of the world's leading architects and profiles twenty-five recent projects where Olson has cultivated his signature designs.
The Seattle architect specializes in producing buildings that capture, reflect, and use nature in their creation. His book reviews decades of such structures and approaches, and opens with an essay by Aaron Betsky, who provides the background necessary for appreciating both Olson's perspective and art and this book.
Later chapters feature a wide range of Olson's projects, from commercial to residential and even furniture designs, pairing color photos with Olson's original sketches and watercolor plans as they examine the finished results.
The incorporation of Olson's personal insights on his projects completes a well-rounded portrait of the intersection between construction, nature, and art.
Martin Gayford's Modernists & Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney & The London Painters (9780500239773, $39.95) provides a history of the development of painting in London from World War II to the 1970s. It goes beyond artistic analysis to consider the friendships, artistic influences, collaborative efforts, and interactions of acclaimed artists of the times.
Gayford uses first-hand interviews with peers and participants as he considers how teachers, students, artists, and cultural influences alike defined postwar painting in Europe.
The result blends biography, artistic insight, and inspired consideration of social connections in a basic reference highly recommended for any student of postwar modernists and their world.
Elvis, Strait, to
Elvis, Strait, to Jesus: An Iconic Producer's Journey with Legends of Rock 'n Roll, Country, & Gospel Music provides a photo odyssey by an iconic music personality who became known as the King of Nashville, acting as a pianist for Elvis Presley, becoming president of MCA Records in Nashville, and producing over a hundred hit country songs.
Tony Brown's visual portrait of his career profiles fellow musicians and memorable moments and is accompanied by anecdotes about how these artists and musical hits were crafted.
The biographical sketches of musicians from Patty Loveless and Rosanne Cash to Elvis reflects a dynamic era from Tony Brown's many encounters, creating an unparalleled personal portrait that should not be missed by anyone interested in the evolution and personalities of modern popular music.
Fare Thee Well
Da Capo Press
Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter of the Grateful Dead's Long, Strange Trip surveys not only the rock band's iconic career; but the final 1995 reunion tour four months after leader Jerry Garcia's death when the original four members decided to end their professional collaboration.
The group's announcement that they were disbanding didn't end an era, but resulted in a long, drawn-out goodbye in which band members clashed in many ways as they lived in the shadow and aftermath of a group and leader that had grown larger than life.
Deadheads and those with any interest in the Grateful Dead will find this story presents and analyzes power plays, considers individual egos and efforts, and follows years of posturing on all sides. It comes from a music journalist who was there for much of the turmoil after Garcia's death, thus providing behind-the-scenes stories that no other observer or book can document.
The result will prove of special interest to Grateful Dead followers who will find the insights on these final years to be engrossing, unique, and vivid.
Sizzling Social and Political Issues
Asperger's Children: the Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna is written by a historian who examines the career of Austrian doctor Hans Asperger, whose 1944 doctoral thesis offered a new diagnosis of autism, connecting it to a set of behaviors and treatment options.
It blends a biographical coverage of Asperger's career and his involvement in fascism and Nazi eugenics with a survey of the suffering he and his medical colleagues caused, and it places his education and pursuits in line with Vienna's history and social changes in an era when far-right groups took over and promoted their ideas of racial purity.
What did this mean for autism, its definition, and its diagnosis? In linking history, ideology, science, and psychology, Edith Scheffer provides a powerful survey that follows Asperger's evolution, his involvement with Nazi principles and processes, and how his new diagnosis for autism actually led to its being used as a tool promoting Nazi eugenicist policies.
Its connections between affairs of politics, principles, and medicine offer much food for thought; and Asperger's Children should be considered a key acquisition for history, medical, and social issues collections like.
Habeas Data: Privacy v. the Rise of Surveillance Tech comes from a senior business editor at Ars Technica who has produced many radio shows for big producers and international public radio, and who here shows that surveillance technology's growth has superseded ethical and democratic behaviors in the U.S.
At the heart of the matter is how the government has tapped into everyday technologies that consumers use to turn them into self-propelled surveillance devices that go beyond smart assistance and into realms that generate measurable information from every consumer action.
The focus on changing laws, legal precedents and cases, privacy issues, and more creates a powerful discussion that no social issues collection should be without. Habeas Data not only documents instances of privacy invasion and exactly how this happens; but considers the present and future threat of better surveillance efforts and its impact on American freedom as a whole.
The SIMPOL Solution
John Bunzl and Nick Duffell
The SIMPOL Solution: A New Way to Think About Solving the World's Biggest Problems offers a blueprint to voters who would pressure their elected leaders to become more engaged with global problems and social issues and reviews 'The SIMPOL Solution', an approach that blends politics with psychology.
Social issues readers will appreciate not just the call to action, but the documentation of exactly how that action can be instigated, tracked, encouraged, and improved upon.
As chapters link major world problems to applying this remedy to the effects of global competitive forces, they review corporations and nations rewarded by the current economic focus on profits at all costs, considering how this can be changed by national and international political pressures.
Any collection strong in activism and social and political change on a global scale will find The SIMPOL Solution an original, intriguing approach.
The Third Bank of the
Chris Feliciano Arnold
The Third Bank of the River: Power and Survival in the Twenty-First-Century Amazon examines the current turmoil affecting the Amazon jungle region and details author Chris Feliciano Arnold's three-year effort to research firsthand the drug lords, politicians, and tribal interactions affecting the region.
'Amazon jungle' may bring to mind the primitive tribes and conditions of the past; but not necessarily the realities presented here by Arnold, who details genocidal threats, environmental disasters, struggles akin to the lawless frontier world of pioneer America, and clashes between high technology, special interests, and overseas exploitation in the region.
The nature of this fight, the struggles of isolated tribes and the conundrum revolving around how to address threats to their lifestyles and culture, and the history that has led to the 21st century Amazon environment creates a complex, engrossing book that should be required reading for anyone who would understand the modern state of affairs in the region and how they came to be.
The Trans Generation
New York University Press
The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) are Creating a Gender Revolution will surely prove controversial, enlightening, and surprising to those who believe that transgender people choose their sexual condition, or that such stems from deep psychological issues. It demonsrates how, from very early ages (some as young as 2), trans kids express the feeling that they are different from the sex category assigned to them at birth by their physical appearance.
The contents of The Trans Generation are based on interviews with trans kids ages 4 to 20 and their parents, and comes from some five years of research in the U.S. and Canada. It provides thorough documentation of the physical and mental challenges of being a trans child, and what it's like to grow up as one.
Home life and social situations are equally addressed through daily realities presented from first-hand experiences in a wide range of communities and home situations. Legal, economic, ethical, and social quandaries are also examined in this hard-hitting book which any social issues collection should keep close at hand.
Trump's America: The Truth About our Nation's Great Comeback comes from a long time political figure who helped President Reagan foster in a new era of Republican power. It provides Newt Gingrich's certainty that Trump is embarking on a similar comeback through a renegade political approach designed to challenge and change America's social and political landscape.
The focus here is on examining what kind of country Trump is vested in building. Chapters adopt a positive promotional tone as they wax enthusiastic over Trump's neophyte presidency and the kinds of approaches that are changing and challenging established thinking in Washington.
Those who have listened to Gingrich in the past will likely find his book uplifting, thoroughly supporting the Trump presidency; but those who would shun his words and Trump would still do well to read Gingrich's assessments for much insider information key to "knowing thy enemy".
Cristal Glangchai, PhD
Venture Girls: Raising Girls to be Tomorrow's Leaders connects educational goals and programs such as the STEM approach with a broader perspective on gender bias and empowering young women to live up to their full potentials. It is a powerful advocacy for change which should be on the reading lists of parents looking to raise powerful females.
A 'VentureGirl' is here described as a girl with the cleverness and drive to start her own business in a male-dominated world. It comes from the female CEO of a tech startup, surveys career opportunities in industries typically limited to males (such as science and engineering), and discusses and promotes the kinds of systems that encourage innovative new approaches for young women entering the STEM fields.
The result is a top pick, specific in its objective and approach and perfect for parents who view possibilities in their girls, but need a road map to actually nurturing them to fruition.
What Truth Sounds Like
Michael Eric Dyson
St. Martins Press
What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America details black rage in America; but if readers think the subject has been already covered adequately in previous books or in past decades; they'd be more than wrong.
Dyson documents a lasting distain for black dissent, beliefs, and attitudes that persists in modern American society, considering key modern figures in Afro-American experiences and the movements and influences that hold the potential of changing hearts, minds, and political processes.
Dyson considers a process that began in 1963, but didn't end with the civil rights movements of the 60s. He blends a history of key intellectuals and personalities of the past with a hard-hitting discussion of modern conflicts in the nation's struggling racial circles.
What Truth Sounds Like should be in any social issues, civil rights, or American history holding. It offers a unique opportunity to place the dialogues and perspectives of the past on par with current social concerns and events.
Five new audio book productions represent some of this publisher's best productions. Presented in durable cases suitable for library lending and pairing vivid fiction and nonfiction with equally memorable narrators, each promises lasting value to libraries and individual audio book listeners.
Three novels are standouts in Higbridge's productions.
Michael Imperioli's The Perfume Burned Her Eyes (9781684410668, $29.99) is read by the author, who lends an astute and passionate voice to his story of teen Matthew, who loses two important male role models almost simultaneously.
Seeking to escape grief, his mother moves them away from familiar territory; and even though he's located nearby, his connections with everything he's relied upon are now completely severed.
Matthew's entry into the adult world is volatile, revealing, and demands that he return to his early influences and role models if he is to successfully embrace life's changes and his own challenges.
Natacha Appanah's Waiting for Tomorrow (9781684410422, $29.99) is translated from French by Geoffrey Strachan and narrated by Teri Schnaubelt, whose voice enhances the winning story of Anita, who awaits husband Adam's release from prison.
As the tragic story of a tangled web if issues emerges, readers enjoy a compelling tale brought to life by Schnaubelt's vivid reading as it traverses the boundaries of love, betrayal, and the deadly results adversity can bring to even the seemingly successful relationship.
Michael Kardo's Bluff (9781684411863, $34.99) receives a fine reading by Julia Whelan, who brings to life the story of magician Natalie, not yet thirty, whose career is nearly at an end. Natalie lives alone in circumstances which border on poverty and she seems to have little options in her life until an old offer to be a writer introduces her to a dangerous world and a proposition which could either make or break her.
A gripping story of gambling, high-stakes intrigue, and personal antes upped makes for a thriller that's hard to put down.
Barbara K. Lipska and Elaine McArdle's The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery (9781684412662, $29.99) is read by Emma Powell and provides the true memoir of a woman who faces her own deadly medical diagnosis even though she herself is an expert on the neuroscience of mental illness.
Her brain condition leads to a descent into madness precipitated by a deadly melanoma. Everything points a fatal result until a quick treatment results in her return to normalcy just two months after her descent into physical and mental hell.
Few individuals experience or live to tell about what Lipska went though, making Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind a powerful story of her ordeal and its resulting lessons about mind and brain functions and mental illness.
Amy B. Scher's This is How I Save My Life (9781684412402, $29.99) provides the true story of a young woman's journey from California around the world to search for a cure and recovery from late-stage chronic Lyme disease, and a new life.
American doctors labeled Scher's condition incurable and likely terminal; but she refused to give up, instead embarking on a world-wide search for a possible cure, which led her to India.
Anyone facing a medical challenge that seems irresolvable will find This is How I Save My Life an inspiring read of one woman's determination to survive against all odds, and the kind of enlightenment that comes from traveling the extra mile.
Her story, as with all these features, comes to life in audio in a manner that the written word could not duplicate.
Science, Nature & Technology
The Ascent of Birds
The Ascent of Birds: How Modern Science is Revealing their Story provides stories of how birds evolved from ancient to modern times; but it differs from other natural histories in breaking different historical eras into chapters arranged by birds prevalent during specific time periods.
This results in a scholarly yet accessible read that opens with the non-passerines and the tinamou's saga and progresses (in a reasoned and chronological manner) to the passerines, from crows to starlings and thrushes.
While each bird used as a chapter heading and example cements the era under discussion, John Reilly's exploration incorporates changing natural history biological processes as a whole which move beyond birds and into the extinction and evolution of all creatures on Earth.
The latest theories about how new species evolve as well as revised ornithological explanations of past bird lives create a logical, progressive treasure trove of facts highly recommended for students of aviary science as well as general-interest readers with a deep affection for birds.
Birds of a Feather
Lorin Lindner with Elizabeth Butler-Witter
St. Martins Press
Birds of a Feather: a True Story of Hope and the Healing Power of Animals tells of Dr. Lorin Lindner's founding of a parrot sanctuary: an endeavor which began with the acquisition of a pet cockatoo who had been abandoned.
Lindner was a clinical psychologist; not an animal specialist. Her interest in her new charges was purely compassionate and came from an amateur's experience with them; not an animal professional's background.
One doesn't expect her fascination with animal rescue to evolve into the realm of people rescue, as well; but Birds of a Feather embraces issues of homelessness in both animal and human worlds and what can be done to alleviate pain and promote healing. The two concurrent (and seemingly unrelated) themes of healing PTSD veterans and parrots needing rescue come together in a delightfully compelling story that will educate, entertain, and tug at the heartstrings of those who love animals and people alike.
Lost in Math
Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray comes from a physicist who states that physicists have, for four decades, pursued experiments which haven't confirmed any new facts. There's one glaring similarity connecting the unfulfilled theories: an attention to 'beautiful math' which sets a standard that thwarts major theoretical breakthroughs.
Mathematicians who create admirable equations and formulas don't necessary form better connections to new findings about how nature operates; so many of these pursuits have led to dead-ends.
Moving beyond mathematics alone, Sabine Hossenfelder pursues the notion that other scientific disciplines have also suffered from chasing the ideal of beauty over accuracy. Lost in Math thus becomes a chronicle of these fallacies and how ideas are generated, tested, proven, or become mired in nonproductive processes.
No scientist should be without this eye-opening exposé of how science and math fail.
Still Waters: The Secret World of Lakes documents lakes around the world and how they, too, are changing under the influence of human activities. It comes from a natural scientist who creates not a technical discussion of either climate change or lake biology, but a series of personal observations as he surveys the histories of lakes around the world.
As Curt Stager travels to these notable bodies of water and lends the personal touch of a scientist observer's insights, readers gain a fine blend of travelogue, science, and appreciative scrutiny that draws them into stories of the Sea of Galilee, the saga of Black Pond in the Adirondacks, the volcanic crater lake of Barombi Mbo in Cameroon, and more.
Still Waters is a recommended read for any natural history travel buff who wants their science firmly rooted in a personal sense of place and observation.
Tesla: Inventor of
Tesla: Inventor of the Modern is an unusual biography of the noted inventor, going beyond a listing of his achievements to consider whether Tesla's personal eccentricities were just as influential as the genius he displayed and the visionary new technologies he fostered into the modern age.
Why did Tesla's fellow inventors achieve more recognition and success? The answers lie in Richard Munson's survey of why and how this variable showman, who enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, wound up dying penniless, relatively unknown, and isolated.
Tesla's personality and life are puzzling. At the heart of the lack of recognition during his lifetime lies a brand of eccentricity that eschewed the logical progression of scientific and business relationships and led to partnerships that struggled, friendships that were sometimes stormy, and a stubborn approach that resisted commercial ideas and applications.
Anyone who would understand Tesla's achievements and the puzzles about his life and choices should read Tesla: Inventor of the Modern for a better understanding of his personal psyche and the psychological and social forces that worked against his success.
The Weather Detective
The Weather Detective: Rediscovering Nature's Secret Signs comes from an author who spent over twenty years working for the forestry commission in Germany before pursuing his own environmental management programs. It offers a narrowed focus on weather systems, the ecological entwining of animals, plants, and weather, and how readers can better understand the environment through enhanced sensitivity to nature's changes.
As chapters impart the basics of how to cultivate such an observational style, they provide windows into the process of seeing and interpreting nature's signs, covering everything from assessing soil quality and understanding predator/prey relationships to recognizing how 'living thermometers' work.
No gardener or lay reader who appreciates nature's seasons and senses should be without this light observational piece which blends a good deal of practical science into its subject.
Across America and
Mary Ann Hooper
University of Nevada Press
Across America and Back: Retracing My Great-Grandparents' Remarkable Journey follows author Mary Ann Hooper's journey to retrace an 1871 trip across the United States which was originally made on the new Transcontinental Railroad. Unlike her great-grandparents, Mary Ann's family journey observes how America has changed during this time and pairs train escapades and experiences with personal reflections on history, heritage, and changing train travel in the West.
The stories of past and present travel experiences and observations of changing American culture and byways creates a lively memoir that weaves a singular train experience and travelogue into a broader survey of the West's transformation and evolution.
Armchair travelers and historians who like to read about cross-country journeys will find the multi-generational voices, discussions of a sense of place, and changing tourism experiences to be engrossing portraits that pair the personal experience with historical precedent in a literary, well-researched manner.
Two excellent new age titles tackle different topics and are recommended picks for new age holdings looking to expand their subjects and approaches.
Mary-Grace Fahrun's Italian Folk Magic: Rue's Kitchen Witchery: Rue's Kitchen Wizardry (9781578636181, $18.95) considers the folklore and magic traditions of Italy, but pairs its culinary history and inspection with practical applications for modern-day Wiccans and those interested in magical spells, divination, and recipes for success.
Readers might initially believe the Italian focus portends a cultural inspection piece alone; but Italian folk and kitchen magic is a particular tradition that anyone can access, with lessons on everything from malocchio (the evil eye) and talismans to insights on developing a relationship with nature, understanding harbingers of good and bad news, and even equating the aromas of cooking pizza with ancestral powers.
The author's Italian roots and personal reflections supplement a range of approaches, from recipes for traditional Italian foods to understanding the craft of favomancy and how it compares to different forms of divination.
The result is an Italian witchcraft focus with a culinary twist that will appeal to many different new age readers.
Maureen K. Calamia's Creating Luminous Spaces: Use the Five Elements for Balance and Harmony in Your Home and in Your Life (9781573247337, $16.95) is about creating spaces that energize personal power and reinforce the idea of respite, recharging, and stability.
This book goes beyond generalities, however, to consider the five natural elements which contribute to well-being and how to not only identify but incorporate them into one's lifestyle and home.
It points out that while such a 'luminous space' can be a home; more importantly, it's in one's heart. Creating Luminous Spaces emphasizes meditations, provides tips on connecting with nature and peaceful rejuvenation, and shows how the Five Element archetypes hold important keys to life harmony for all.
Examples from the author's experiences in nature make for a vibrant set of insights and applications that nicely supplements exercises and admonitions that readers can easily use to regain their own perspectives on world influences to craft personal strategies for enlightenment and transformation.
Et Tu, Brute?
Et Tu, Brute? Deaths of the Roman Emperors provides a humorous gathering of cartoons that both illustrate and poke fun at early Roman history, examining its Empire, its figureheads, its daily lives, and its incongruities in a fun survey that even non-history buffs will relish.
Early Rome is famous for its emperors and their rise and fall. Cartoonist Jason Novack takes any confusion out of this history by accounting for the deaths of all the Roman emperors in a whimsical manner that readers will appreciate (and most will easily remember).
Getting My Bounce
Carolee Belkin Walker
Getting My Bounce Back is for the older woman who has long given up on the idea of embarking on a meaningful exercise regimen at the age of 60, after decades of ennui. It's especially recommended for the unlikeliest of readers of a book about physical fitness: those who just can't imagine working with a trainer, or getting fit, at this stage of life.
Somehow, fitness never seems at the top of one's chores list. Hectic lifestyles and demanding routines other than exercise always come first. Author Carolee Belkin Walker decided to buck the trend of fitness decline in her older years, and became an active participant in her own physical transformation.
The lessons she learned from this lasting effort, from how to enter back into the exercise world as a near novice to physical fitness to adopting routines and support systems that made is easier to maintain such an effort for maximum results, will inspire readers who seek better fitness and weight control but who may be older or have long despaired of seeing the types of routines that could either fit into their lifestyles or produce measurable results.
Posts from her blog 'SkinnyCarolee' accompany an astute analysis of what worked, what didn't, and why. Getting My Bounce Back is a powerful blend of memoir and fitness advice guide that will inspire and delight older women.
Out of the Clouds
Linda Carroll & David Rosner
Out of the Clouds: the Unlikely Horseman and the Unwanted Colt Who Conquered the Sport of Kings invites audiences in sports and nature circles to learn about Hirsch Jacobs, the son of a poor immigrant family, and racehorse Stymie, who began as an outsider, much like Jacobs; but rose to fame as his owner fostered his success.
Jacob cultivated an expertise in buying horses cheaply and turning them into winners, but Stymie outran even his master's expectations and entered over a hundred races, earning an impressive return on Jacob's investment.
Horse racing history comes to life in a vivacious survey that considers how a lowbrow trainer and his unlikely horse came to symbolize American dreams and transformation.
Collecting Muscle Car
Collecting Muscle Car Model Kits is for anyone interested in the history and marketing of muscle collectible car kits from the 1960s and 60s and offers insights on kit companies, the hundreds of collectible muscle cars they made, and their place in the world of nostalgia collectibles as a whole.
Chapters discuss the differences between different model kits, the eras in which they were popular, the varied values and kit options, and the history of teams that introduced new kit brands.
Packed with color photos and insights on new product innovations, Collecting Muscle Car Model Kits is a specific collector's guide that covers new ground that general model guides can't begin to touch, making it a 'must have' reference for any serious muscle car kit collector.
United States Marine
Corps Aircraft Since 1913
United States Marine Corps Aircraft Since 1913 provides good-sized (and good-quality) black and white drawings by Lloyd S. Jones and a wealth of vintage photos of aircraft surveying the unique developments of the Marine Corps' aviation branch.
These forces were designed to support Marine ground forces in an amphibious assault mission, and participated in many wars from the early 1920s to modern terrorist confrontations; but they tend to be understated and only lightly covered in other, more general Marine Corps history titles.
United States Marine Corps Aircraft Since 1913 holds many attributes not available in any other book: its author has personally flown over twenty different types of aircraft himself and so brings a professional's knowledge of flying to the table; it surveys history and includes many technical specs for various types of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft; and it places the planes' usage within the broader context of military strategy in general and Marine Corps tactics in particular.
No military or aviation library should be without this unique, invaluable reference.
Six new books for different age ranges provide young readers with satisfying, fun picks that lend to leisure pleasure and literary enlightenment alike.
Terry Border's Peanut Butter's First Day of School (9781524784850, $14.99) is a Level 2 progressive reader about protagonist/sandwich Peanut Butter, who is worried about going to school for the first time.
The sandwich is new in town and has made some friends, but has no idea what to do to get ready for school. As he runs into Cupcake and others, he receives a series of zany lessons on how he can stand out from the crowd with his new endeavor in this fun chapter book story which excels in large-sized, whimsical illustrations.
Renée Ahdieh's Smoke in the Sun (9781524738143, $18.99) reaches teen audiences with the story of seventeen-year-old Mariko, who pretends to be a clone in order to join the Black Clan and confront her would-be murderer. At least, this was her first and only goal in joining them.
The last thing she expected was to find camaraderie among Clan members, or even romance. She finds both, and must make a dangerous decision about the kind of life she wishes to lead as she faces the possible execution of her boyfriend and the end of everything she knows about life inside and outside of the royal court.
Mature teens interested in feudal Japan will find Smoke in the Sun a powerful conclusion to a riveting series.
Zachariah Ohora's Niblet & Ralph (9780735227910, $17.99) tells of two very different cats. One loves music; the other loves corn chips. Despite their differences, they love being friends.
When look-alike cat neighbors encounter a problem, they wonder how they can bring their very different worlds together to fix it in this fine picture book story especially recommended for young feline fanciers.
Elizabeth Stevens Omlor's Walk Your Dog (9780399546525, $16.99) features simple but fun drawings by Neesha Hudson and follows a stubborn little girl's equally-stubborn little dog.
As picture book readers learn the routines of dog care, they are taught about pets, people, and the trials of young owners in a zany story of animals and their care.
Jonathan London's Froggy's Lemonade Stand (9781101999677, $16.99) is illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz and tells of Froggy, who makes a pitcher of lemonade and is convinced he'll earn enough money from its sales to buy some splendid things.
After all, it's hot. And everyone loves lemonade in hot weather, right?
The difference between Froggy's dreams and the reality of his situation is a fun story especially recommended for kids with good reading skills and their read-aloud parents, who will find this a fun pursuit.
Josh Funk's How to Code a Sandcastle (9780425291986, $16.99) receives fine drawings by Sara Palacios and provides a picture book 'Girls Who Code' story about Pearl, who is determined to build a sandcastle on the last day of summer vacation at the beach.
It's not that she's left this project until the last minute: it's more that, every day, something ruins the attempt. Maybe it'll take a robot and code to translate the dream of a superior sandcastle into reality.
Computer science blends nicely with a day at the
this fun introduction to coding.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Four new books for kids are solid library lending choices that specializing in engaging, memorable reads.
A.B. Rutledge's Miles Away From You (9781328852335, $17.99) provides young adult readers with the story of Miles and Vivian and a friendship affected by attempted suicide and transgender issues.
Vivian's suicide attempt has left her in a coma, but Miles can't stop thinking about her. His parents think he needs a change, so they send him far away to Iceland; but even a different environment doesn't help him forget her or resume his own life.
Maybe if he writes down his feelings, things will get better. Miles Away From You reflects the emotions of a teen struggling with his own identity as well as acceptance of his friend's condition. Mature teens will find this a thought-provoking read that pulls no punches about teen suicide, sexuality, or social issues.
Bridget Heos's Fairy's First Day of School (9781328715593, $17.99) is illustrated by Sara Not and tells of fairy school and a first day that is truly magical.
What kinds of lessons can a fairy learn in school? From work and play to making new friends, there's a lot to be done in fairy school, as this vivid, fun story reveals.
Dianne White's Goodbye Brings Hello (9780544798755, $17.99) features pictures by Daniel Wiseman that are good-sized, simple drawings accompanying the equally simple message of letting go of routines, sizes, and expectations of the past to let in the promise of the future.
This may sound like heavy reading for picture book ages; but the story is told in kid-friendly terms using experiences and examples kids will readily understand, reinforcing an important concept at an early age.
Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest's Little Robot Alone (9780544442801, $17.99) tells of a little robot's peaceful life. He likes being alone; but there are times when being alone translates to loneliness as the routines he loves become empty, over time.
How can he adjust his routine to incorporate something new, different, and delightfully different? A fun story of an innovative robot's decisions offers a fine lesson on persistence and friendships.
House of Dreams
House of Dreams: the Life of L.M. Montgomery provides young adults fans of the Anne of Green Gables series with the compelling story of Maud, who loves stories and who aspires to own lots of books someday.
Not only did she come to be a book lover, but she wrote over twenty books, herself. Despite her fame, Anne's creator's personal life has received relatively little enlightenment. This is the first biography of L.M. Montgomery to remedy this lack of information.
From the sources of her inspiration and her career's evolution to how she stayed productive during motherhood, House of Dreams should be required reading for any fan of Green Gables who wants the full story of Montgomery's inspiration and choices.
Pink is for Boys
Pink is for Boys is illustrated by Eda Kaban, whose colorful drawings nicely emphasize that boys and girls can enjoy colors other than the traditional pink or blue associated with each sex.
As different colors are discussed, Pearlman draws connections between that color and activities that aren't specific to one gender or another; from playing dress-up to car racing.
The message quickly moves beyond color assignments and into activities girls and boys can enjoy with equal enthusiasm in a fun story with an important lesson for all.
Simon and Schuster
Simon and Schuster's new titles provide different age groups with excellent, high-quality leisure reads that stand out from many others with solid action, good writing, and unique approaches.
Hena Khan's Power Forward: Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream (9781534411982, $16.99) is for ages 7-10 and poses the lively scenario of fourth grader Zayd Saleem, who dreams of being not just a basketball player, but a stand-out legend in his field: the first Pakistani-American kid to join the NBA.
He's sure this is his destiny; but the odds seem to be against him in more ways than one; from his slim appearance to his developmental limitations.
Despite the obstacles to success, Zayd cultivates a best friend who also holds big dreams, and regardless of puzzled parents who can't understand his impossible goals, he pursues his career against odds that include most of the adults in his life.
Power Forward is a fine story of hoop dreams and success.
Emma Trevayne's Spindrift and the Orchid (9781481462594, $17.99) crafts a fine fantasy for ages 8-12 and tells of a grandfather's odd curiosity shop and the equally odd inquiry made by a customer, who asks for a black orchid that orphan Spindrift has never seen before.
But Spindrift is destined to see this strange vision in a keepsake she's treasured, and when she observes it, her life is changed by a miracle and a powerful puzzle.
Mystery and fantasy blend in a riveting adventure kids will find compellingly different.
Three new picture book reads from Simon and Schuster are also standouts.
Kirsten Hall and Isabelle Arsenault's The Honeybee (9781481469975, $17.99) pairs engaging drawings with the fun story of a flower garden and the busy little bee that pollinates it.
Very simple language and good-sized drawings enhance a fine story of a bee's activities and introduce the very young to the notion of a honeybee's importance.
The Fan Brothers' Ocean Meets Sky (9781481470377, $17.99) will delight ages 4-8 and their adult read-aloud participants, who will appreciate the story of Finn and how he recalls the stories his grandfather told him about a magical place where the ocean meets the sky.
His grandfather is gone; but Finn decides to honor him by building a boat to find this special place. From "bookish birds" to magical jellyfish, Finn's journey to an unexpected place of wonder introduces connections he could not have imagined on his own, concluding with an important message for kids on the power of dreaming and honoring one's relatives.
Erin Danielle Russell's How to Trick the Tooth Fairy (9781481467322, $17.99) enjoys fun drawings by Jennifer Hansen Rolli, who provides whimsical drawings for ages 4-8 to accompany the tale of a young trickster who decides to pull a prank on the Tooth Fairy.
Her decisions hold consequences in this memorable, fun story.
Sleeping Bear Press
Two fine new picture book stories are recommended reads for any library or parental storybook collection, pairing vivid illustrations with unique topics.
Leslie Kimmelman's Write On, Irving Berlin! (9781585363803, $16.99) receives fine drawings by David C. Gardner that accompany a story of an immigrant's involvement in creating the song "God Bless America" and surveys the world of immigrant America in 1893.
The 100th anniversary of the writing of the song comes to life in a memorable account of Irving Berlin's life, challenges, and how he came to write the famous song and more.
Good reading skills are necessary for a thorough appreciation of his life and times.
Deborah Diesen's Pippa and Percival, Pancake and Poppy: Four Peppy Puppies provides a puppy adventure of a backyard escape that results in two friends on the run, new fun, and their attraction to other runaways.
Rhyming text and humor blend with lovely drawings by Grace Zong to embellish a wonderfully fun story of how four peppy puppies can get into a lot of trouble exploring the wide world outside their familiar homes.
Jake is training on his bike when he witnesses something unexpected: an act of domestic terrorism that nearly kills him, too. He survives his injury with only amnesia, but now he's a sole witness that the terrorists feel they must eliminate to be safe.
Matters get complicated when the terrorist leader's teenage daughter is chosen to kill Jake. She's the very person Jake has come to rely on to fill in the blanks in his life and address a series of encounters that indicate he's the target of killers.
It's rare to see the topic of terrorism and a thriller element that is often limited to adult audiences in a young adult story; but this fast-paced, engrossing drama is the perfect choice for mature teen on the cusp of reading adult thrillers, who will find Jake and his concerns appropriate for their age group and interest level.