The Arts

Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonné II
Peter H. Hassrick, Editor

University of Oklahoma Press
9780806152080      $75.00 

Frederic Remington: A Catalogue RaisonnĂ© II is an oversized, definitive collection of American artist Frederic Remington's Old West art, and presents over a hundred color plates and 150 figures complimented by authoritative discussions of his artistic development. 

Included in the survey is a key code referencing the book's companion website which contains over three thousand of the artist's flat works, with all listings including not just dates and subject matter, but each piece's exhibition and publication history. 

There are other Remington catalogs on the market; but Peter H. Hassrick's collection is based on decades of research and is unparalleled in its scope, reference information, and historical background, making it the item of choice for discriminating collections as well as for arts holdings seeking an especially well-detailed, authoritative survey that places each piece in proper perspective. 

Biography & Autobiography

Sam Maloof: 36 Views of a Master Woodworker
Fred Setterberg
Heyday Books
9781597143332      $20.00 

Sam Maloof: 36 Views of a Master Woodworker documents the life of a craftsman who was the first to receive a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, and whose art and workmanship led to his furniture productions appearing to private homes and museum collections around the world. 

This book synthesizes the experiences of family, friends and peers to provide nearly forty insights on Maloof's life and times, collecting biographical insights from his children, clients, and those who knew him best. 

Discussions of the sources of his inspiration and vision, his techniques and woodworking approaches, and the pieces that led to his acclaim and expanding fame provide insight into the man, his times, and his creations, with color images throughout capturing people and woodworking pieces alike. 

Libraries strong in arts and crafts and biographies will find Sam Maloof: 36 Views a lively and engrossing collection that contrasts different perspectives on Maloof's artistry. 

This Road I Ride
Juliana Buhring
W.W. Norton
9780393292558    $26.95 

This Road I Ride: Sometimes It Takes Losing Everything to Find Yourself is the story of a young woman raised in the Children of Food cult who found a soul mate in an African explorer, only to lose him to a crocodile. Filled with grief, Juliana Buhring decided to do something she'd never attempted before - a bike ride around the world - and left Italy in 2012 with only a few months of training and just a small sum of money to begin her journeys. 

This Road I Ride follows her through mountains, deserts, and various countries as she makes the 18,000-mile journey which led her to become the first woman to circumnavigate the world by bicycle; but it's more than a story of endurance and training. 

She didn't stop after her world-wide journey, either: Buhring went on to compete in Europe's longest bike race and other events, and her book reflects the attitude and determination that made everything possible, blending a travelogue with an inner journey that is vivid, personal, and wide-ranging: perfect for armchair travelers who would marvel over those who choose the roads less traveled. 

Spiritual Matters

H.P. Lovecraft & the Black Magickal Tradition
John L. Steadman
Weiser Books
9781578635870      $22.95 

H.P. Lovecraft & the Black Magickal Tradition: The Master of Horror's Influence on Modern Occultism is recommended for two audiences: prior fans of Lovecraft's special brand of horror, and new age readers of occult topics in general who are familiar with Lovecraft's work and some of the prior genre analysis accompanying it. 

Modern occultists have long claimed that Lovecraft's knowledge of black magick powered his creations; but many literary analysts have refuted this idea. 

It takes a focus on biographical background, literary development, and an understanding of the occult to create such a coverage as H.P. Lovecraft & the Black Magickal Tradition, which explores and synthesizes these facets into an engrossing survey that should be a 'must' for any with more than a casual interest in Lovecraft and his writings.  

In Search of Buddha's Daughters
Christine Toomey
The Experiment
9781615193264     $24.95 

In Search of Buddha's Daughters: A Modern Journey Down Ancient Roads recounts a two-year odyssey that involved foreign correspondent author Christine Toomey in a search for women around the world who have dedicated their lives to Buddhism. 

Her journey doesn't just cover Asia, but moves into America and Europe as chapters reveal nuns, monasteries, and female lives that are transformed by their Buddhist beliefs and worlds. 

Stories revolve around people, cultures, and events as they feature individuals such as a former London librarian who spent twelve years meditating alone in a remote Himalayan cave, discussions on how Japanese women traditionally fostered the spread of Buddhism in their country, and women who have faced the unique challenges of embracing a Buddhist life in the Western world, sometimes resulting in struggles that ultimately led away from their Buddhist beliefs. 

Anyone with a prior interest in world Buddhist faith and its spread and women's involvement in the movement, in particular, will find In Search of Buddha's Daughters a powerful testimony to the many diverse experiences of Buddhism in the world. 

Mythic Worlds, Modern Words: On the Art of James Joyce
Joseph Campbell

New World Library
9781608684175     $19.95 

Mythic Worlds, Modern Words: On the Art of James Joyce joins other examinations of the mystic world and writings of this literary great, contributing a specific focus on Joyce's many works that adopts a spiritual examination of his influences and dream realms. 

From explorations of the Jungian unconscious in Joyce's various works to common themes and approaches among his works (such as the concept that any object can connect to the mystery of the universe), Mythic Worlds, Modern Words offers a step-by-step examination that pairs literary analysis with mystical and spiritual inspection and interpretation. 

Mythic Worlds, Modern Words is recommended for any serious James Joyce scholar and remarks on various devices unique to Joyce's perspective (such as the presentation of 'bliss-in-being') which are largely missed by or ignored in other Joyce literary analyses. 

Spirituality holdings, in particular, should not miss the opportunity to acquire this scholarly survey; especially if they have other Campbell titles in their collections. 


Awesome Audiobooks

Highbridge Audio 

Four new audio releases provide audio listeners with unabridged productions, solid narrators, and stories perfect for leisure listening. 

Take a sailboat journey with Jim Lynch in Before the Wind (9781681681443, $39.99), which tells of an entire family raised by the water, with sailing in their blood. When the kids come of age, everyone seems to flee in different directions. Josh is left, in his early thirties, confused about what has happened to his family's former closeness. 

It make take an unexpected reunion over a boat race to repair what has broken, revealing not a few surprises in the process, in this vivid story powered by Roger Wayne's narration. 

Sunjeen Sahota's The Year of the Runaways (9781681680248, $44.99) receives an exceptionally fine narration by Sartaj Garewal as it tells of a sojourn from India to England where three young men and a woman seek new beginnings, only to find that their past lives and future choices will change their goals and experiences. 

One year in the life of these four characters reveals a number of trials and interdependent fates as each story overlaps the other in unusual ways, bringing Indian and British cultures to life in a clash of wills, perspectives, and discovery. 

Judith Flanders' A Bed of Scorpions (9781622319275, $34.99) benefits from Susan Duerden's moving and vivid voice, which brings to life the humor and fun in a sharp tale of an amateur investigator, Samantha, who looks forward to summery weather in London and lunch with an old friend until she discovers his business partner has just been shot. 

The police investigation is being led by her new boyfriend - and fingers are pointing to everyone she loves. At what point do loyalties fade under the weight of evidence, and how can belief continue to defy reality? A wonderfully fun tale evolves, proving how versatile and savvy book editor/investigator Sam really is. 

Brendan Jones' The Alaskan Laundry (9781681680668, $34.99) is narrated by Rebecca Gibel, who lends a smooth and captivating voice to bring alive the story of Tara Marconi, who feels more at home on a remote Alaskan island with her commercial fishing job than she does with her own family. 

As she works her way up the ladder in the fishing and processing industry, she forms the beginning of roots that will ultimately give her a greater feel of home and family than anything she's ever known. 

All are excellent audio productions, highly recommended for any discriminating audio book collection or leisure listener. 

The Crafts  Corner


Harvest Your Own Lumber
John English

Linden Publishing
9781610352437     $18.95 

Harvest Your Own Lumber: How to Fell, Saw, Dry and Mill Wood holds appeal for hobbyists, woodworkers, and crafters who would take better control of not just their landscapes, but their supply sources. 

Woodworkers and landscapers alike receive details on the routines and methods of harvesting lumber, from selecting wood varieties and raw wood to the process of felling trees, understanding which species will produce the desired timber, and how to dry and mill a log. 

Small (but good-quality) color photos on nearly every page assure the entire process is accessible to newcomers to the topic in this strong reference, highly recommended for any home hobbyist who regularly uses wood and wants to take a more active role in its quality and availability.

Health Matters 


Clinical Communication in Medicine
Jo Brown,, Editors
Wiley Blackwell
9781118728246     $60.00 

Clinical Communication in Medicine will reach a wide audience, from teachers of medical students to junior clinicians and researchers, and pairs examples and case histories with discussions of how the clinical communication methods have evolved over the years. 

Theories, models, and evidence that affect clinical communications between professionals, patients and families are analyzed in chapters that assess the data and literature on patient communication concerns, include international studies on communication skills in different populations and age groups of patients, and analyze the effectiveness of various techniques such as motivational interviewing. 

The result is a scholarly yet accessible blend of history, social science, and medical and psychological insights  recommended for anyone working in a clinical medical setting. 

The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes
Gretchen Becker
Lifelong Books/DaCapo
9780738218601     $17.99 

The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed is an important introduction that stands out from the wealth of diabetes information guides already on the market because it narrows its discussions to the concerns of the newly diagnosed. 

While author and patient Gretchen Becker has lived with Type 2 for 20 years now, she initially faced a steep learning curve as she struggled with diabetes guides that focused on insulin shots and other procedures not a part of her initial routines and concerns. 

Diabetes patients receive a step-by-step focus on managing lifestyles and diets from week one through months of the first year, covering everything from travel and handling medications to restaurants and what happens when lifestyle changes don't work well. 

Another bonus is that it compares different popular diets with an eye to exploring how diabetes fits into these plans, updating information on medications and discussing how insurance coverage influences treatment options. 

With so much focus on new and first year options and controversies surrounding diabetes, this is a handbook that should be "first" on any new diabetic's reading list. 

Take Charge of Treatment for Your Child with Asperger's (ASD)
Cornelia Pelzer Elwood and D. Scott McLeod
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
9781849057233     $29.95 

Take Charge of Treatment for Your Child with Asperger's (ASD): Create a Personalized Guide to Success for Home, School, and the Community includes downloadable templates that pair well with an instruction guide especially recommended for parents whose child is facing a new diagnosis of Asperger's, creating a practical workbook-oriented approach that can be accessed both online and in book form. 

Parents will find this approach useful in many ways: it offers an opportunity to gather information together to create a unique profile for a child which can organize various pieces of the puzzle in one place, and it can be shared with teachers, caregivers, and other adults working with the child. 

Take Charge of Treatment for Your Child with Asperger's (ASD) can be used as a "management road map" for any number of purposes. It offers plenty of examples of interaction processes and insights, and it covers everything from school schedules and therapist assessments and processes to crafting a "behavioral expectations toolbox". 

No parent of an Asperger's child should be without this important addition to their arsenal of understanding. 

The Culinary Corner

Creative Chef
Jasper Udink ten Cate
BIS Publishers
9789063694142    $32.00 

Creative Chef: How to Create a Mind-Blowing Food Experience is, itself, something different in the world of recipe-filled cookbooks: a call to creativity that challenges cooks to approach food and recipes in an entirely different light. 

Readers can expect to find keys to innovation that begin with food's connections to the wider world of the five senses, recipes which demand creativity and unusual thinking from cooks who would replicate them, and approaches which are anything but quick or easy. 

Home cooks who delight in pushing the boundaries of food preparation will find Creative Chef a wonderfully creative venture that views a recipe as the starting point for engaging cooks and eaters in a process that challenges their perceptions of food and dining. 

Chapters focus not just on preparation and plating, but presentations designed to attract and excite diners by creating amazing dishes. 

Home cooks who tire of the usual recipe approach and who seek the innovative and different approach will welcome these fresh, original insights on how to create a special culinary experience. 

The Ethical Meat Handbook
Meredith Leigh
New Society Publishers
9780865717923     $24.95 

The Ethical Meat Handbook: Complete Home Butchery, Charcuterie and Cooking for the Conscious Omnivore covers all kinds of meats, from lamb and pork to beef, and is a home grower's guide to raising, cutting, dressing, and processing these animals for food. 

Small farmers or landowners who would be self sufficient and who would treat animals in an ethnical manner will find plenty of specifics, here. Chapters consider alternative and humane animal management methods, discuss different methods of rotating animals in small paddocks or acreage, and critique typical animal management procedures, such as balancing density with land requirements, calculating pens and animal requirements, and overseeing and developing butchery and processing skills. 

Whether the reader is looking to better manage animals and work with processors or move to a 'do it yourself' approach, meat and its eating is viewed here as a conscious act that revolves around implications for the good of animal and food system alike. Basic butchery, working with different or less-used cuts, and blending animals into a garden or homestead are all part of a book that goes beyond philosophical and ethical discussions and into the practicality of animal management. 

Food in the Gilded Age
Robert Dirks
Rowman & Littlefield
9781442245136            $38.00 

Food in the Gilded Age: What Ordinary Americans Ate is a culinary history recommended for college-level readers interested in the evolution of American eating habits in the late 1800s, and gives much food for thought as it contrasts different ethnic groups and regions of the country and the social and culinary values systems they cultivated. 

This nutritional survey links culinary history with nutritional and dietary changes and their influences to the kinds of food data that may seem to provide little detail to modern nutritionists, but which charts the changing food habits of past generations. Food in the Gilded Age closely examines cultural and social dietary continuities and discontinuities by region and class, considers and contrasts dietary changes by economic and social group, and inspects such varied places as university dining halls, backwoods farmers' tables, and local studies on dietary history. 

College-level students of culinary history, anthropology and sociology alike will find Food in the Gilded Age is filled with specific insights on the Gilded Age's diet, habits, and influences on food consumption patterns. 

Home and Garden 

Mycelial Mayhem
David and Kristin Sewak
New Society Publishers
9780865718142      $29.95 

Mycelial Mayhem: Growing Mushrooms for Fun, Profit and Companion Planting moves beyond the usual mushroom book devoted to wild mushrooms and foraging to promote the idea that home gardeners can produce more flavorful fungi right from their own gardens, and covers the basics of different methods for growing mushrooms for either home consumption or farm-scale operations. 

Chapters shows how to build an environment conducive to producing gourmet mushrooms, covering everything from creating a mushroom indoor grow room or planting area to using grow bags, growing mushrooms on different types of woods, and choosing varieties which lend to consumer interest (if selling mushrooms is the goal). 

Techniques and discussions are accompanied by black and white photos and, even more important, tips and tricks based on the authors' experiences with mushroom cultivation and marketing. 

The result holds no glitzy color photos but plenty of appealing, practical information that reviews different grower objectives and the pros and cons of various mushroom varieties and growing operations. 

Music Matters 

The Big Red Songbook
Archie Green,, Editors
PM Press
9781529631295     $29.95 

The Big Red Songbook: 250+ IWW Songs! presents songs sung in mining camps, mills, hobo encampments and more, gathering not only lyrics, but adding many historical references to the songs' origins and applications. 

It should be noted that this is a songbook: it doesn't contain sheet music and is intended to be used in two ways: as a historical document of the Wobblie movement's music, and as a compilation of songs gathered from over three dozen prior editions, complimented with artwork, personal insights, discographies, and more. 

Biographical references compliment a comprehensive gathering of not just songs, but the history of the Wobblie movement at a time when dozens of radical labor groups came into power and changed the work worlds of the nation with walkouts, strikes, rallies - and these songs. 

No labor history collection should be without this definitive collection, which is also recommended for any collection strong in American music history. 

Scintillating Sci-Fi and Fantasy 

Thomas Olde Heuvelt
9780765378804     $25.99 

Hex is the perfect read for any who like blends of supernatural and fantasy genres, and tells of a small town haunted by a 17th century witch who roams streets and homes at will, creating nightmares for children and adults alike. 

The town's elders have succeeded in keeping the cursed witch within their borders by applying high-tech surveillance (which also happens to trap the town's restless teens), so it seems inevitable that someone will break the rules and the boundaries that keep everything in check. 

Hex tells what happens when these rules are broken, sending the curse into the greater world and involving a cast of characters in a desperate struggle to save not just their town, but the wider world at large. 

With its riveting story of a town's struggles with an ancient evil, Hex offers up a saga of horror and death that will keep readers on their toes until its unexpected conclusion. 

Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
Mercedes Lackey, Editor
9781633881389     $18.00 

Nebula Awards Showcase 2016 adds to an annual series that has been published since 1966, gathering and reprinting the winners and nominees of the Nebula Awards. 

Various editors have tackled these volumes over the years, are selected by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and add a diverse flavor to each production, which features short stories by well-known authors alongside lesser-known names. 

Given the attention to proven award-winners and putting together diverse collections on an annual basis under the editorial eye of a range of genre experts, it's easy to see why this production is always a powerful choice for any who like sci-fi short stories - and Nebula Awards Showcase 2016 is no exception. 

Novel New Novels

Before We Visit the Goddess
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Simon and Schuster
9781476792002      $25.00 

Before We Visit the Goddess is the story of three generations of mothers and daughters who interact with each other and learn valuable lessons in the process, depicting family ties and the cultural and social forces that threaten to tear them asunder. 

Sabitri yearns for an education against all odds, but her dreams seem impossible until a stranger adopts her with seeming generosity (albeit with some strings attached). As Sabitri's choices echoe through several generations of children who flee their own constraints only to find new challenges, each mother passes on to her daughter a different set of lessons and issues surrounding family loyalty. 

Perfect for mother/daughter reading, Mother's Day, or any study of Indian family and culture, Before We Visit the Goddess contrasts three worlds and the ties that bind them. 

Reviewer's Choice


California's Fall Colors
G. Dan Mitchell
9781597143172     $15.00 

With Fall only a few months away, California's Fall Colors: A Photographer's Guide to Autumn in the Sierra should be at the top of seasonal reading lists for any aspiring photographer who would capture California's glory. 

Consider this a blend of travel guide and photo op pointer, as it takes a road-by-road journey through the Sierras to point out the best picture-taking spots. Also, consider it a visual example of California's many foliage colors, refuting the idea that the West Coast doesn't have much in the way of seasonal color. 

But most of all, California's Fall Colors is a key take-along pocket tote in a format and style that is highly recommended for any photographer who would take a trip to the Sierras in the autumn and make the most of specific viewing points and sites for capturing California's spectacular Fall colors. The blend of travelogue, Fall focus and photographer's guide is unique to this book, and shouldn't be missed. 

Choosing Hope
Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis with Robin Gaby Fisher
G.P. Putnam's Sons
9780399174452     $26.95 

Choosing Hope: Moving Forward from Life's Darkest Hours comes from the first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School who saved her entire class of kids from a brutal massacre - but though one might expect this book to revolve around these events, it's much more than a singular autobiography. 

Instead, it follows the author's growth from this experience and offers insights on how even the greatest tragedy can be turned into life-affirming routines and insights, offering many truths about malevolence and faith in the process of exploring Sandy Hook and beyond. 

As it considers the power of faith over destruction and why even life's darkest moments offer new possibilities, readers gain insights into more than just Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis's choices and courage, learning about the special process of healing that stems from survival under impossible odds, and the lessons it holds for both the author and the wider public eye. 

Any reader who seeks to come to terms with life's dangers and challenges will find Choosing Hope a powerful testimony to the practice of finding and cultivating good in the world in a very highly recommended, inspirational production. 

The Greatest Show in the Arctic
P.J. Capelotti

University of Oklahoma Press
9780806152226         $34.95 

The Greatest Show in the Arctic: The American Exploration of Franz Josef Land, 1898-1905 is no light history, but a powerful, sweeping coverage of the expeditions, politics, and processes of all three expeditions to the Arctic. It pairs in-depth biographical examinations of major explorers and expedition members with a wider account of three expeditions and how they paved the way to a better understanding of this bitterly cold, remote wilderness area. 

P.J. Capelotti studied expedition journals and analyzes why the Franz Josef Land journeys failed. His studies refute the common perception that these were underfunded expeditions, documenting how they really failed from poor leadership and internal strife among a disparate group of expedition members. 

These experiences are brought to light in chapters that review the characters involved and the events that surrounded their decisions, offering a fine survey of the interactions and strife between individuals, encounters with the lands of the Arctic, and the natural and human conditions that intersected with often-tragic results. 

Anyone who would truly understand the history of Arctic explorations from a different vantage point than most accounts, with an approach based on source material research and references, must read The Greatest Show in the Arctic

Reality TV
Troy DeVolld
Michael Wiese Productions
9781615932436     $24.95 

Reality TV appears in its updated second edition and comes from a notable producer who tells how to break into the field of reality television and how to understand the methods that make a TV show an exceptional, lasting production. 

What makes this discussion exceptional is Troy DeVolld's extensive background in the field: he's worked on many reality TV show panels, provides clear analysis of successful shows and their approaches and impacts, and discusses all parts of the process of shooting and producing a reality program. 

From its appeal to educators teaching about the performing arts industry to its exercises (many new to this edition) that reinforce field notes and discussions, Reality TV is filled with pointers and expert advice from TV experience, and should be in any serious performing arts collection. 

Children and Teens 

California, the Magic Island
Doug Hansen
9781597143325    $17.00 

California, the Magic Island offers a lovely story of California's history for ages 6 and up - but unlike similar-sounding books, it adopts quite a different approach in detailing a magic island called California, which is ruled by a fearless and lovely queen whose home is harmonious until another land steals the name of 'California', dishonoring the queen's magical paradise. 

Being wise, Calafia's response is to learn more about this strange country, first; and so she stifles her fury and journeys forth to listen to the tales of birds and beasts about the new California land and its peoples. 

Chapters present the stories these animals bring back to their queen; from the wild horses of Death Valley and a San Francisco firehouse dog's experience of the 1906 earthquake to Hollywood's evolution, a dolphin's observation of California's naval fleet's exercises, and a mahi-mahi fish's observations of a Monterey fisherman's work. 

Good reading skills (or adult assistance) will be required in order for some picture book readers to absorb the many lively accounts of different aspects of the state's land and culture; but those with such abilities (and many an adult, attracted to the book for its exceptionally bright cover and interior color artwork and its different approach to California's history) will find California, the Magic Island an especially lively way of absorbing a wide range of state history, culture and insights. 

Houghton Mifflin/Clarion 

Sy Montgomery's The Great White Shark Scientist (9780544352988, $18.99) receives stunning color photos by Keith Ellenbogen and requires good reading skills (each page holds many paragraphs of scientific detail) as it describes the natural history of great whites, which are coming back after near-extinction. Award-winning author Sy Montgomery and photographer Keith Ellenborgen joined Dr. Greg Skomal, a biologist, as he located, identified, and studied these whites; then they joined divers who study these sharks from an underwater cage. Stunning photos and action shots make The Great White Shark Scientist a real winner. 

Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel's And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon (9780544668331, $7.99) presents a familiar rhyme with a new twist. What happens when the Dish and Spoon run away? One night they don't come back - and it's up to a host of animal friends to find them in a zany adventure that's whimsical, hilarious, and filled with captivating, fun illustrations. And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon  is very highly recommended for any picture book library seeking something different. 

Penny & Jelly Slumber Under the Stars by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Thyra Heder (9780544280052, $16.99) tells of Penny, who is invited to slumber under stars at the community center and who needs only five essential things to make this a fun event. Unfortunately she discovers that one of her requirements is missing from the invitation - her best friend Jelly. Can she substitute something for her canine pal - and what will she do if she can't find something as good? A fun saga of a girl and her dog evolves. 

Weekends with Max and Dad by Linda Urban (9780544598171, $16.99) receives fun black and white drawings by Katie Kath in an easy-reading book about Max and his father, who love their time weekend time together. Each weekend brings new adventures that bring them closer as third-grader Max explores his dad's new neighborhood and presents his whimsical views of life, in which his willing father participates. A fun tale evolves which makes for a satisfying, recommended leisure choice for advanced elementary to early middle school grades. 

Sarah Alexander's The Art of Not Breathing (9780544633889, $17.99) provides young adult readers with the moving story of Elsie, whose twin brother drowned in the North Sea. She has no memory of his actual drowning, but its aftermath has changed her life as her parents' marriage failed. Five years later she's still trying to escape the sadness and pain at home; but when she accepts an invitation from a boy to confront her deepest fears, her world begins to change. 

All are exceptional, highly recommended books. 

The Last Star
Rick Yancey
9780399152435     $18.99 

The Last Star represents the finale and conclusion to The 5th Wave series; and while the movie (of the title book's name) is bound to have attracted new audiences, this concluding story is best absorbed by and recommended to prior readers of the other two books, who will find many loose ends are neatly wrapped up in this vivid, compelling saga that's hard to put down. 

Much has changed in Cassie's world: she and her posse have been betrayed, both by aliens and each other; and Cassie and her friends are the final hurdle that must be overcome in the final fight for Earth. 

That said, just as in the prior books, there's nothing predictable about the events that transpire here; which is one of the reasons why this young adult series about an impossible invasion process is so compellingly different from any other. 

Between spunky survivor Cassie's determination and the revelations which come one after the other and build up to an astonishing conclusion, The Last Star provides the same rapid-fire series of action as its predecessors and doesn't stop until readers reach its gripping conclusion. 

Very highly recommended as a standout series that excels in building a story line that's highly, satisfyingly unpredictable and compelling, recommended for young adult through adult readers alike. 

Memoirs of a Parrot
Devin Scillian
Sleeping Bear Press
9781585369621     $16.99 

Memoirs of a Parrot is illustrated by Tim Bowers and joins other animal 'memoir' picture books already published by this team as it explores Brock the parrot, who enjoys his pet shop life until he's sold to a man who doesn't understand him. 

Why would Brock eat crackers? With ongoing communication problems between Brock and his new owner, young picture book readers have to wonder if their relationship is a good match or not. Neither understands the other, and it will take some adjustments all around if they are to succeed. 

Gorgeous color drawings accompany a story that requires some good reading skills from ages 4-8, but which provides a winning tale that's fun and pointed in its message. 

The Murdstone Trilogy
Mal Peet
9780763681845    $18.99 

The Murdstone Trilogy tells of Philip Murdstone, a broke and a failing writer with big dreams. His agent convinces him that he should be writing a fantasy adventure - but Philip hates the idea and thinks his talents are above such genre productions. 

It takes the intervention of a strange creature and a deal with something that's nearly the devil to make Philip see that not only do his talents move in other directions, but only he can write his own script: a story that moves in unexpected directions. 

The Murdstone Trilogy is a fine, different story that keeps young adult readers engrossed with many twists and turns and a creative, unusual plot.

Trudy the Tree Frog
Jennifer Keats Curtis
9780764349973     $16.99 

Trudy the Tree Frog is illustrated by Laura Jacques and tells of a little frog who is happy in her tree home, until a leap lands her on a girl's bedroom windowsill. There she views some truly lovely living quarters - and becomes dissatisfied with her formerly-acceptable home. 

But what happens when her efforts achieve her dream home gives different results than she thought? 

Gorgeous illustrations accompany a gentle rhyme with a message for young people about goals and satisfaction with one's own life in a tree frog tale very highly recommended for young picture book readers and their read-aloud parents. 

Wild Animals of the North
Dieter Braun
Flying Eye Books
9781909263963     $35.00 

Wild Animals of the North features a gorgeous collection of full-page color illustrations in a study of the Northern Hemisphere's wild animals, and profiles German illustrator Dieter Braun's lovely representations. 

From polar bears to orcas and bison to pileated woodpecker, these beautiful drawings and accompanying natural histories will reach across many age ranges into adult readers with their dazzling array of animals. 

The Northern Hemisphere is divided into regions for this production: Asia, all of North America, and Europe receive their own regions, allowing for clear, logical details on the creatures located in each area. 

As an artistic natural history production, Wild Animals of the North will attract all ages and deserves top recommendation as an outstanding blend of art and science.


Reference Shelf


Corwin publishes exceptional teacher guides and education books that stand up to the test of time, giving educators concrete lesson plans, discussions of the latest technology or best practices approaches, and tools for improvement. These new arrivals are some of the best of recent releases. 

Gretchen Bernabei and Jennifer Koppe's Text Structures from the Masters: 50 Lessons and Nonfiction Mentor Texts to Help Students Write Their Way in & Read Their Way Out of Every Single Imaginable Genre (9781506311265, $34.95) is for the teacher of any student who has complained that writing has "nothing to do with the kinds of skills they'll need in the world". 

It contains fifty short texts from famous Americans, identifying them as "Mentor Texts" that, when paired with simple four-page lesson plans, can point the way to more meaningful reading and writing. Contributions by other young writers accompany an invitation to students to learn what topics and approaches excite and inspire them. 

Miranda Talley Reagan's STEM-Infusing the Elementary Classroom (9781483392363, $28.95) blends interdisciplinary STEM lessons for K-5 grades with a guide that shows teachers how to understand basic STEM concepts and apply them across the curriculum. 

Case histories pair with sample lessons and templates to help teachers integrate these strategies into lesson plans in such a way that existing standards are infused with STEM concepts and results. 

Yong Zhao's third book of The Take-Action Guide to World Class Learners: How to Create a Campus Without Borders (9781483339542, $23.95) adds to the series, continuing to improve on tips for creating students who can interact successfully in world arenas. 

Elements of global citizenship and social interactions blend with discussions of networks, partner school relationships, and insights on how to establish a Global Campus or classroom in a guide that introduces a healthy dose of business as well as social savvy into the mix of tips for overcoming challenges in fostering these global connections. 

John Edwards and Bill Martin's Schools That Deliver (9781506333472, $36.95) focuses on delivery and measurable results in schools, and teaches administrators and educators how to use the results of international research and best practices to develop a stronger school environment. 

From leadership structures that are flexible enough to embrace change to the real work involved in revitalizing and reimagining a school community environment, Schools That Deliver is especially recommended as a starting point for district-wide change. 

Jared Covili and Nicholas Provenzano's Classroom in the Cloud: Innovative Ideas for Higher Level Learning (9781483319803, $31.95) is a fine primer on how to effectively use Cloud computing methods to help students and educators connect with each other and encourage collaborative results, and shows how Cloud-based instruction can be integrated into any setting. 

Teachers receive the basics of how to blend this into an existing curriculum, with examples of student and teacher experiences embedded in exercises that reveal how the Cloud can enhance communications and collaborative efforts. 

Student viewpoints, color sidebars of information and further detail, and an organization pleasing to the eye and easy to understand contributes to an exceptional discussion. 

Acadia M. Warren's Project-Based Learning Across the Disciplines: Plan, Manage, and Assess Through +1 Pedagogy (9781506333793, $34.95) is for educators already familiar with the pros and cons of PBL models who want a fresh new framework that supports a student's overall goals in not just education, but life. 

K-12 educators and administrators will appreciate the sample units supported by thirty templates and a format that includes learning activities, focused inquiry models, discussions of learning management systems, charts illustrating rubrics and techniques, and more. 

These are all unique and powerful reference books, very highly recommended for both teacher college collections and educators already working in the field. 

Nutritional Management of Hospitalized Small Animals
Daniel L. Chan, Editor
Wiley Blackwell
9781444336474      $79.99 

Nutritional Management of Hospitalized Small Animals is a reference for practicing vets and veterinary students alike, and gathers the latest information on nutritional support for small animals in clinical and veterinary hospital settings. 

This narrowed focus on nutrition pairs step-by-step color photos on various feeding techniques with discussions of nutrition mixtures, formulations, administration, pathophysiology of various appetite disorders in dogs and cats, and more. 

Different medical conditions require different nutritional management approaches, and Nutritional Management of Hospitalized Small Animals discusses these routines, surveying how complications emerge, how disorders manifest, how food composition can impact animal mortality, and why dietary approaches are key to a small animal's recovery process. 

No veterinary hospital or technician overseeing nutrition should be without this invaluable guide, which packs the latest information and research into discussions of best practices. 

The Tech Contracts Handbook
David W. Tollen

ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law
9781634251785       $39.95 

The Tech Contracts Handbook, 2nd Edition covers all kinds of technical computing agreements and IT licensing issues and is a "must have" reference for lawyers and any involved in businesses where tech contracts are important. 

This legal handbook covers everything from general clauses, warranties, data protection and circumstances surrounding breach of contract to use restrictions, service level agreements, change order procedures, and confidentiality issues. 

Because many of these tech contract issues also spill over into other areas, The Tech Contracts Handbook holds additional importance for not just computer companies but any general business reader who would appreciate a clear, pointed discussion of the basics of tech licensing best practices. It's recommended as a key acquisition for any in-depth business reference library.