November 2017 Prime Picks
Two fine new business books will appeal to reference collections with books that each provide excellent focus and lasting lending value for business readers.
Michael Ballé, et.al.'s The Lean Strategy: Using Lean to Create Competitive Advantage, Unleash Innovation, and Deliver Sustainable Growth (9781259860423, $35.00) comes from long-term students of Lean, a management system based on Toyota's successful production system, and outlines the basic differences between how strategy is taught in business schools and the Lean Strategy approach, which encourages ordinary employee involvement.
Lean thinking creates more value through this type of engagement, encouraging employees to think creativity, participate like business owners, and accept a degree of responsibility and actionable results that goes beyond rote work and enters into the realm of upper management problem-solving and creative thinking processes.
The strategy and how it's enacted is discussed in chapters that are compelling and specific.
Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar's Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond (9781260026672, $30.00) is for business investors who would understand the range of cryptocurrencies and how these are changing money markets and investment processes, and is recommended for readers who may be unfamiliar with blockchain technology and these types of assets.
It's the first book to explore the idea of investing in this environment, covering everything from monetary policy-making and speculation to worldwide exchanges providing opportunities for investing in cryptoassets.
History, tips, and management ideas abound in a fine introduction any investor or business manager should review.
Next Factory of the World
Irene Yuan Sun
Harvard Business Review Press
The Next Factory of the World: How Chinese Investment is Reshaping Africa should be in any serious business reader's collection as well as in any library strong in global issues and contemporary sociology.
Many may be surprised to learn that China is now the largest foreign investor in Africa, and that its approach to investing in the region is far different than Western methods of assessing and participating in Africa's needs and development.
Stories of businesses, governments, and entrepreneurs who are changing the country receive close examination in The Next Factory of the World, which outlines the interactions between both countries and how human and manufacturing struggles outline new approaches and perspectives.
Any collection strong in global relationships and business interactions needs this thought-provoking survey that contrasts Third World challenges with different Western and Eastern solutions and problem-solving techniques.
Asheville Bee Charmer Cookbook
The Asheville Bee Charmer Cookbook: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by 28 Honey Varietals and Blends packs in recipes that come from a chef and culinary consultant at the Asheville Bee Charmer, a North Carolina shop, and is recommended for cooks who want to take the next step in using a range of honey varieties in their cooking.
Each recipe is inspired by one of 20 varietals, which includes some unique blends such as carrot honey or Smokin' Hot (chipotle-infused) honey, available at the shop's Honey Bar. The Asheville Bee Charmer has an online store as well, so it will be easy even for those out of the area to use this cookbook.
Lentil Breakfast Muffins made with Tasmanian leatherwood honey, Curried Chicken Salad made with mango, lime juice and basswood honey, and Ginger Lime Shrimp with ginger-infused honey are only a few of the many dishes featured in an extraordinary collection highly recommended for anyone with a special affinity for honey.
to Bar Chocolate
Bean to Bar Chocolate: America's Craft Chocolate Revolution discusses a small-batch industry of craft chocolate which is quickly becoming an artisan movement in America, affording many culinary insights into the production methods and ideals of this growing movement.
Profiles of over a dozen chocolate makers who are changing the way chocolate is made, marketed, and perceived accompany ideas for assessing artisan chocolate, organizing chocolate tastings and events, and incorporating the chocolate into dishes such as Burnt Caramle-Amaro Truffles or cakey Devil Dogs bars.
Packed with color photos, facts, and tips, Bean to Bar Chocolate's focus on artisan chocolate producers and their craft joins well with other chocolate discussions, moving beyond the usual chocolate cookbook recipe focus to create something refreshingly different.
Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM
New World Library
The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods provides vegan and gluten-free recipes for snacks and meals and reinforces how fermented foods boost gut health and promote overall healthy eating.
It's one thing to expound the virtue of eating fermented foods; but exactly how can such foods be added to one's diet, and how can expensive prepackaged fermented products be made more affordable?
By showing home cooks how to ferment food at home with minimal effort and almost no money, then adding recipes for incorporating yogurt, sauerkraut, and cultured chutneys and salsas into various dishes, The Cultured Cook shows how easy it can be to produce fermented foods that will appeal to many, from Star Anise Carrots to Apple Vinegar and Taco Pickles.
Lovely color photos throughout add enticing visuals to the easy cooking instructions in this top recommendation.
Field Roast: 101 Artisan Vegan Meat recipes to Cook, Share & Savor comes from the head chef at the restaurant Field Roast, an establishment committed to making vegan roasts, sausages, burgers, and more, from breakfast skillets to comfort foods.
Access to a good health food store for such staples as vital wheat gluten, garbanzo flour, tamari, or vegan chicken base will help cooks supplement the staples featured herein, from spices to vegetables, sesame oil, brown sugar, and more.
The result will especially delight vegan cooks who aren't stymied by unusual ingredients or kitchen prep requirements, who will appreciate a cookbook packed with flavor and options based on healthy and hearty vegan fare.
Two outstanding cookbooks represent something different for discriminating libraries and cooks looking for lasting culinary references, and are highly recommended acquisitions.
Dave Broom's The Way of Whisky: A Journey Around Japanese Whisky (9781784721428, $50.00) pairs fine color photos by Kohei Take with author Broom's in-depth travels around Japan as he visits its whisky distilleries - an interest that spirits writer Broom already specialized in.
Many in the U.S. might associate whiskey with American productions and will be surprised to learn that the Japanese actually have an extensive history, philosophy, and culinary background in whiskey production.
Broom visits distilleries and describes them in detail, interviews whisky makers, provides tasting notes about their products, and offers a review of how whisky is a solid part of Japanese culture in a combination of travelogue and culinary insight recommended as a 'must have' for any collection strong in culinary history.
Gizzi's Season's Eatings: Feasts & Celebrations from Halloween to Happy New Year (9781784722159, $29.99) is a holiday recipe collection that includes the usual Christmas and Thanksgiving celebration, but adds Halloween, harvest celebrations, and general entertainment ideas for all kinds of special occasions.
Full-page color photos accompany such dishes as Buttery Whole Baked Haddock with Woody Herbs, Charred Blood Orange Mimosa, and Perfect Roast Potatoes, just a few examples of a wide range of elegant yet easy crowd-pleasers.
Other holiday books focus on particular seasons or events; but by adding buffets and other entertainment ideas that can be tailored to any occasion, Season's Eatings features a wider-ranging set of options that cooks can use to add elegance and innovation to their entertainment ideas.
Jeffrey P. Roberts
Plenty of books have explored meat cookery and curing, but Jeffrey P. Roberts takes a different approach to the subject as he examines the economy and science of meat preservation efforts.
Chapters examine early American charcuterie and treats as they trace the stories of butchers, breeders, chefs, and scientists over the years, as food preservation techniques were developed and promoted.
Where many similar-sounding books would focus on recipes or techniques, Salted & Cured: Savoring the Culture, Heritage, and Flavor of America's Preserved Meats adopts a broader perspective with its delicious blend of insights into corporations, individuals, and industries that evolved to produce regional and nation-wide innovations.
The result is a fine survey of food artisans and meat movements, completed with a centerfold of color photos that brings the story to life.
And Breathe: the Complete Guide to Conscious Breathing for Health and Happiness belongs in new age and health collections alike and makes startling statement: that most people have lost their natural ability to fully breathe.
The fast pace of the modern world and the barriers to conscious breathing, which of necessity requires a slower and more thoughtful approach to taking a breath, leads to people who are unaware of their heart rates, relaxation methods, and how to achieve a calm state.
Proper breathing holds numerous benefits, but few books focus on breathing alone: usually one sees such instruction couched within more general topics, such as yoga or bodywork.
And Breathe provides exercises that breath coach Dennis uses with her clients to address such common problems as feeling overwhelmed by life, out of balance, or for physical ailments.
The result is a powerful, specific survey that not only advocates conscious breathing routines, but provides the key, specific exercises for achieving this goal.
Big Fit Girl: Embrace the Body You Have is written by a woman who admonishes readers to take their plus-size bodies and reject the perceptions and routines of a fitness industry that prevents them from being healthy and proactive.
Louise Green stopped dieting, but embarked on her own form of fitness by choosing an activity she loved, setting goals, and working in a manner that was more acceptable to her plus-size abilities.
Common exercise approaches often equate plus sizes with non-athletic people; but Green encourages readers to believe in the possibilities of positive change beyond size constraints, and here she covers everything from gear for plus-size athletes to mental and physical adjustments.
Fitness saved the author and changed how she felt about her body. It receives an important makeover, here: one which encourages all plus-size women to challenge themselves and defy cultural norms.
Big Fit Girl will be a positive revelation for any woman who doesn't realize that being big and setting fitness goals are not mutually exclusive.
Divided on D-Day
Edward E. Gordon and David Ramsay
Divided on D-Day: How Conflicts and Rivalries Jeopardized the Allied Victory at Normandy is one of the more important histories of D-Day events not because it is published as the 75h anniversary of D-Day nears; but because it focuses on the little-covered rivalries between military leaders and nations who participated in the OVERLORD Operation, documenting how these conflicts between allies contributed not only to the war's progression, but to a later Soviet presence in Eastern Europe.
The authors analyze source materials from archives and gather evidence to support their coverage of a number of controversies, documenting struggles between leaders and within ranks that held deadly ramifications for strategy planning and battle decisions.
Maps, photos, and discussions of evasions, political conflicts, and leadership struggles right up to presidential levels makes for a hard-hitting look that goes beyond battle and strategy discussions to consider behind-the-scenes influences on decision-making.
Military collections will find Divided on D-Day a powerful, specific analysis that should not be missed.
Island, Earth Island
Paul Bahn and John Flenley
Rowman & Littlefield
Easter Island, Earth Island: The Enigmas of Rapa Nui appears in its fourth updated edition to provide an archaeological and historical survey of Easter Island, blending the records of early explorers, legends, and relics to cover the island's history and its people and legends.
This latest updated edition includes recent DNA studies of ancient human and animal bones found there, which provide additional clues as to the enigmas of the Easter Island moai.
Black and white photos, illustrations, and analysis of statues contribute to a wide-ranging discussion packed with scientific insights and new considerations about the origins and enigmas of Rapa Nui.
Fractured Continent: Europe's Crises and the Fate of the West belongs in any collection strong in contemporary European political and social issues, and considers an array of conflicts shaking the continent, from increasing terrorism to the U.S.A.'s break with supportive traditions that might place Europe in jeopardy.
This analysis comes from a Pulitzer Prize finalist who has covered Europe for decades at The Washington Post, and who here gathers his vast insights and experience with its changes to consider why modern Europe faces challenges like never before.
From the effects of globalization and divisions between and within European nations to trends that threaten to bring down nations and long-held stabilizing entities, this is a sober look at all the forces and conflicts at work that threaten democratic processes and long-held relationships and agreements.
No foreign issues or history holding should be without this well-researched, engrossing survey.
Arts and Crafts
Design Course, 2nd Edition
The second updated edition of Fashion Design Course is recommended for anyone who aspires to become a fashion design artist, pairing step-by-step tutorials about the process and interviews with industry professionals.
Associate Professor of Fashion Steven Faerm assumes little prior familiarity with the processes of fashion design, and this makes his book especially accessible to newcomers and students with no previous background in the subject.
From creating a powerful portfolio that highlights fashion design creativity to creating unique collections and understanding what defines a 'collection', Fashion Design Course is especially recommended as an introductory course primer and for self-study, covering all the basics of understanding the principles and techniques involved in developing a fashion design career. Very highly recommended, Faerm's book covers it all.
Monsters will appeal to art and illustration collections as well as those strong in folklore and legends, pairing stories of unusual demons, orcs, angels, and horrors using a more visual and literary attention to detail than most.
These modern stories consider the natures of humans and monsters alike, juxtaposing lovely full-page color illustrations by a variety of artists with a collection of fairy tales and monsters directed to adults in works that challenge readers to consider the origins and nature of the real monsters of life.
Anthony Chun, Geoffrey Smith, Sandra Griffin and others lend their artistic hands to embellishing these monster stories to such a degree that Monsters is recommended not just for literary collections, but for any who enjoy visual displays about powerful creatures and their interactions with humans who may themselves hold a touch of monster within.
Pletka: Imagined Wests
University of Oklahoma Press
Paul Pletka: Imagined Wests compiles an oversized collection of American Southwest painter Paul Pletka's works, capturing scenes from historic, cultural, and religious events throughout the American West and Mexico. These are tempered by the author's research, perspective, and personal history.
Southwest and American West artistic renderings are popular, but adding the additional layers of historical information, personal experience, and research, is what differentiates Paul Pletka's art from others.
This is the first major work on Pletka to appear in over thirty years, gathering over eighty color reproductions and including images of shamans, warriors, lost gods, Christian saints, and more.
Pletka's studies of indigenous cultures influence art pieces that are compelling blends of imaginative history and personal experience, creating a powerful artistic rendition of Western cultures and landscapes especially recommended for art history holdings in general and especially for those with a special interest in the American Southwest.
Photography Exercise Book
The Photography Exercise Book: Training Your Eye to Shoot Like a Pro should be in any photography collection as a key exercise book that relies on cognitive science to help aspiring photographers at all levels develop an artistic eye for taking pictures.
These lessons are reflected in exercises that encourage photographers to understand composition, differences between brain perceptions of images and their translation from eye to camera and image, how light, background, and color affect that perception, and more.
Some 250 color photos illustrate discussions which cover different types of photography, from portraiture to landscapes, sports, photojournalism, and nature; reviewing the basics of what each lesson teaches about not only photographic techniques but the mind's eye.
All aspiring photographers, particularly those interested in cognitive thinking's connections to art, will find The Photography Exercise Book a winning approach.
Jane Danley Cruz
Ready, Set, Bead! 25 Quick & Easy Stitching Projects comes from the associate editor of Bead&Button Magazine and supplies easy, quick projects for stitchers who may believe they have no time for making intricate beaded jewelry.
Each introductory piece takes less than an hour to complete; while later, more advanced beading projects that build on skills developed in earlier chapters take no more than four hours to finish.
Each project includes step-by-step instructions and close-up color photos, designer's notes, and tips that avoid some of the confusion that beaders can experience during the process.
The result is a 'must' for beginners, but also for beaders who have some background yet need specific directions and quick projects that produce professional results.
Journals: India and Japan
New World Library
Asian Journals: India and Japan offers a new paperback edition combing two of the mythologist's previous hardcover volumes, Baksheesh & Brahman and Sake & Santori, and includes Campbell's own photos and illustrations to accompany journal narratives about his insights into and travels through Asia.
While travelers to these regions will be most interested in his observations, new age readers will relish the in-depth philosophical and cultural insights Campbell offers which make Asian Journals much more than a travelogue: "When I remarked that it was unfortunate that the most vulgar aspect of America was what was presented first to the world in such films as the one we saw the other night, Kamalani said that it was precisely the vulgarity that India wanted and, in its own films, imitated. This was a release of much that the Indian norms failed to free."
The result is highly recommended for travel, philosophy, mythology and new age holdings alike, and any which have seen prior interest in Campbell's unique blend of mythological inspection and social and cultural reflection.
Two fine hardcover wisdom books pair philosophy with lovely illustrations and are fine gift choices for those seeking gentle wisdom in lovely packages.
Helen Exley edits The Gift of Great Chinese Wisdom (9781573247252, $14.95), whose original watercolors by Angela Kerr pair well with an artistic collection of Chinese reflections by Lao Tzu, Confucius, Chinese proverb creators, and others.
From reflections on what makes for or influences happiness to appreciations of nature, this is a lovely collection featuring evocative contemplations accessible to all.
Exley also edits The Song of Life: Native American Wisdom (9781573247269, $14.95), gathering quotes from a range of Native traditions as it covers everything from reflections on the earth and nature to insights into man's place in the universe.
These quotes are spiritual, philosophical pieces that invite readers with succinct and evocative works.
Packaged in small yet durable hardcovers, each will make for fine gift-giving, creating lovely reflections for not a lot of money.
Telling By Tarot Cards
At first glance, one might wonder at the need for yet another tarot beginner's guide, but Fortune Telling By Tarot Cards: A Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Tarot is especially accessible and assumes no prior familiarity with the tarot, offering beginners a fine set of guidelines for combining a basic understanding of the cards with one's own intuitive skills.
Chapters discuss a range of approaches to the tarot, from understanding its possible interpretations for relationships and life decisions to linking the cards in a narrative approach.
Each card is covered, including its basic interpretation and meaning when reversed, while discussions of potentially murky interpretations provide an excellent overview that beginners will appreciate.
One needn't know much about tarot interpretation processes in order to successfully utilize this basic fortune teller's primer.
Roger Rogers, RH (AHG)
North Atlantic Books
Herbal Allies: My Journey with Plant Medicine comes from an herbalist who shares the story of how he became involved in plants and how he gained the knowledge that lead to his role as an expert in herbal applications.
His autobiography blends with an herbal discussion gleaned from years of experience and practice as a professional herbalist and clinical professor, and reviews the history, applications, and attributes of particular herbs over the years.
Black and white photos accompany these discussions as Rogers shares details on where these herbs can be found, how they are used in tinctures, essential oils, and other applications, and how homeopathy has evolved over the years.
The stories lend a lively feel to the herbal information in a unique offering that's highly accessible to any new age or botany student, or herbal practitioners.
Sage Rountree and Alexandra Desiato
North Atlantic Books
Lifelong Yoga: Maximizing Your Balance, Flexibility, and Core Strength in Your 50s, 60s, and Beyond is a top recommendation; especially for anyone who already practices yoga and wants to continue the practice into their later years.
One of the key approaches in this guide is a consideration of changing abilities and health and yoga's potentials for addressing the need for healthy aging.
Routines presented here are designed to keep people fit and injury free, encouraging activity into later years with poses and routines geared to reaching the common goals of many older people, from those who would improve their balance and reduce risks from falling to yoga participants who would encourage flexibility of specific body parts.
The result is a 'must' for any who want to take basic yoga techniques and apply them to the body's aging process.
Non-Duality Press/New Harbinger Publications
White Fire: Spiritual Insights and Teachings of Advaita Zen Master Mooji belongs in new age and spirituality collections alike and gathers wisdom from Mooji's teachings, reflecting the insights of a teacher born in Jamaica who met his Advaita master, Papaji, in India.
It gathers his quotes and sayings in a collection that pairs color photos and Mooji's own black and white drawings with keys to understanding the foundations of self-realization and spiritual growth, presenting these in the form of digestible admonitions and food for thought which may be browsed or studied with no time requirements or constraints.
The result will especially appeal to new age readers and spiritual followers of Eastern traditions who look for succinct, reflective works packed with insight in a form that is quick to read and which lends to slow digestion.
Novels and Mysteries
Hell Fighters from Earth 2: The Legion of the Damned
William C. Seigler
The Legion of the Damned adds a second book to the Hell Fighters series which is centered on a secret society that has developed a technology that enabled them to explore the stars, where they encountered a dangerous alien enemy that forced them back to Earth.
Once there, they discover that factions have plotted against them from within their ranks, planning an assassination to expose their secrets and condemn their efforts.
With their lives in danger, the Legion is running out of time' and as aliens and friendships enter the picture and complicate ideas of who is the enemy and who is a friend, readers are treated to a gripping blend of military sci-fi and social and political conflict where lives and worlds are at risk.
Featuring strong protagonists and engrossing cultural clashes, The Legion of the Damned provides fast-paced action that makes it hard to put down.
Space scientists know about the holes exposing Earth to deadly radiation, but when a solar flare erupts and threatens the planet with an extinction event, they have only three days to save humanity.
Enter an inventor and a scientist reporter, who may be the only two to hold a terrible solution to the problem holding a price tag which could return civilization to the dark ages.
the clock ticks, the scientists and politicians face not only a
decision, but new insights into the origins of human life and its
A big plus to The Null Prophecy lies in its concurrent ability to entertain while it considers ethical, social, and philosophical issues embedded within human history. The combination of thriller, scientific inquiry, and social and political considerations is juxtaposed with fine character development designed to keep readers involved to the end.
The Portrait brings Antoine Laurain's debut novel to English audiences for the first time as it tells of a collector who comes upon a portrait in a Paris auction house which looks just like him.
He bids on and wins the portrait - but the odd thing is that only he can see the stunning resemblance between the picture and himself. Not even his wife and friends can see what he does.
His research into the portrait's history reveals more than just an art oddity and brings him to question many things he's taken for granted in his life, prompting a journey that leads him to follow the footsteps of a missing man and his life with the possibility of leaving his own failings behind.
An evocative, surreal story evolves about a man in the process of 'being erased' who reconstitutes his life in a unique manner.
Sizzling Social Issues
Explosion of Deferred Dreams
The Explosion of Deferred Dreams: Musical Renaissance and Social Revolution in San Francisco, 1965-1975 belongs in any general California history collection, in San Francisco history holdings, and in any sociology or music history holding strong in political and social examinations of the city's process.
It comes from a native San Franciscan and musician who examines the links between musical groups and social movements in the city (particularly the rise of the counterculture in the mid-1960s to 70s), considering how the unique musical contributions of the city evolved concurrently with its social transformations.
Original interviews, personal experiences, and source materials traces these events and influences and offer a powerful social, musical, and political survey of the city which is a 'must' for any California holding.
to Be a Muslim: An American Story
How to Be a Muslim: An American Story blends religious insights with a memoir, but is featured here because its powerful inspection of social issues evolving in America over its American Muslim population should not be missed.
How does one survive and thrive in a world that fears Muslims and their identity, and how can one young man struggling with faith and self (a second-generation immigrant) make peace with these two disparate factions of his life?
Readers interested in American Muslim lives, struggles, and perceptions will find How to Be a Muslim a powerful memoir that goes beyond one young man's individual experience and struggles to offer broader insights into Islamic and American connections and relationships: essential reading for understanding in modern times of turmoil.
Is Not Enough
No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need will attract political and social issues collections as it charts Donald Trump's takeover of the White House, viewing this as yet another sign of a larger crisis affecting the progress of the U.S. which sets the stage for the rise of white nationalism not just in this country, but around the world.
No Is Not Enough makes a case for reclaiming populist power and embracing a form of serious opposition that closely examines how we got to this point, why, and how to better understand the forces that create division between not only people, but human beings and their environment.
From how humans adapt to boundaries and borders to how Trump is an early manifestation of global destabilization processes, No Is Not Enough packs in many insights and much food for thought and is a 'must have' for any social issues collection, especially for classrooms interested in debating the intersection of political perception and social issues.
Three excellent computer books are recommended references for libraries seeking comprehensive and lasting picks, presenting solid surveys that will appeal to a wide range of computer programmers at different levels of expertise.
David Vandevoorde, Nicolai M. Josuttis and Douglas Gregor's C++ Templates: The Complete Guide (9780321714121, $79.99) appears in an updated second edition that represents an extensive revamp of all the reference notes in the original book.
All new language features improve old templates and change them, including discussions on basic language concepts and traits, features, using different templates under different conditions, and more.
A companion website includes sample code and further updates. This offers all kinds of additional insights on overlooked template types, functions, and optimization processes, creating a treasure trove of information.
Zed A. Shaw's Learn More Python 3 the Hard Way: the Next Step for New Python Programmers (9780134123486, $44.99) helps programmers move beyond the basics (which he already covered in a prior book) by working through fifty specific projects.
Each project provides another building block of knowledge with demos, key skills, and routines that teach Python programmers how to analyze common problems and implement best practices and solutions. From managing complex projects to understanding parsers and improving performance through exercises, Learn More Python 3 the Hard Way takes the next step in covering Python 3 applications and how they are used in the real world.
Clean Architecture: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design (9780134494166, $34.99) by Robert C. Martin (with contributions by James Grenning and Simon Brown) discusses software architecture rules and reviews how they are applied during projects, going beyond most discussions to consider how different software choices are made and why these choices are critical to success.
From understanding programming versus real-world values and mastering design principles for different applications to understanding what happens when software architecture goes awry, why this happens, and how to fix or prevent failures, Clean Architecture goes beyond most programming or design discussions as it examines how different options can be handled.
of Untamed Places
Atlas of Untamed Places: An Extraordinary Journey Through Our Wild World goes beyond most nature books to include floral, wildlife, geology and other topics, offering a wider-ranging discussion than most as it considers different kinds of wilderness habitats and their diverse presence in the world.
Lovely photos accompany explorations of extreme environments, isolated areas of the world, strange islands, rivers, and geologic structures and the life they all harbor, examining biodiversity and buffer zones, basins, and unique environments from Odessa to China.
No collection strong in geography, the environment, or wildlife should be without this highly recommended, powerful examination, which goes beyond pictorial displays to consider the evolution of the world's wild places and their intersections with human affairs and man-made landscapes.
Slugfest: Inside the Epic, 50-year Battle Between Marvel and DC considers the long-standing battles between DC and Marvel, which often went beyond business or artistic competition to foster bitter rivalries between the two giants.
It was 1938 when Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel published the first Superman comic strip that was to launch DC as a the figurehead of the comic book business, but in the 1960s, artist Stan Lee was ordered to copy DC's successful comic book branding, and he and Jack Kirby produced the Fantastic Four and Marvel, which directly competed with the DC icon and its products.
Stories of how this rivalry evolved, the artists who became embroiled in it, and interviews with major figures in the comic industry make for a vivid history that will delight avid followers of comics and graphic novels.
This vivid story of fierce competition should be in the hands of any comic book fan and many a business book reader as well.
the World Apart
Nina Goss and Eric Hoffman, Editors
University Press of Mississippi
At first glance, one might wonder at the need for yet another Bob Dylan book; but Tearing the World Apart: Bob Dylan and the Twenty-First Century offers an approach like no other, narrowing the focus to three of his recordings from the 21st century: Love and Theft, Modern Times, and Tempest, along with the film Masked and Anonymous, which he helped write.
Essays consider his contemporary methods and impacts, offering as wide a range of ideas and opinions as their authors' backgrounds as they provide new angles on Dylan's continuing impact on music, society, and new generations.
From Dylan's moral impact to his sense of humor, these essays offer astute analysis of his musical genius, his lyrical and literary devices, and his existential force in capturing the trials and tribulations of the human condition.
The result is a scholarly yet lively collection that no Dylan student should be without.
Teacher's College Press
What's Worth Teaching? Rethinking Curriculum in the Age of Technology considers the future of education and curriculum studies in light of cognitive findings about learning and technological advancements, and proposes a new school curriculum that embraces these changes, telling schools how they can create more effective learners.
Key to valuing of this book is acceptance of the idea that schools need to be redesigned to keep pace with changing times. Chapters show how to achieve this, from fostering self-sufficiency in student learning processes and helping students consider or understand public policy and political processes to incorporating productive creative thinking into the educational structure.
The result should be part of any educator's collection for forward-thinking instructional approaches.
Biography & Autobiography
in the Heart
Fire in the Heart: A Memoir of Friendship, Loss, and Wildfire comes from a woman who forged a career as a professional wildlands fire fighter, struggling with insecurity and shyness even as her job demanded bravery and assertiveness.
Her unusual career choice not only changed her psyche, but led her to become a powerful force in the early 1990s, a time when women weren't usually prominent in the field or in authority roles such as Mary Emerick achieved when she was placed in a position of power.
When she lost someone close to her in a Colorado forest fire which killed fourteen firefighters, she confronted life-changing questions that challenged every belief she had cultivated.
The result is a riveting blend of autobiography and insights into survivors, loss, and career challenges that will keep readers engrossed to the end.
Hudson Erotic Fire
Darwin Porter & Danforth Prince
Blood Moon Productions
Rock Hudson Erotic Fire is based on some fifty years of information from Rock Hudson's friends, many lovers, and associates, proferring an in-depth biography which includes much information not contained in prior books about Hudson's life. This fact is especially surprising since over thirty years has passed since his death, and because so much has already been written about him that one might wonder at the need for yet another survey of his life.
Rock Hudson fans will find much to enjoy in this exposé about the iconic actor which gives information about his bisexuality and many lovers along with reconsiderations of his acting career, vivid life, and death.
The part that really stands out is the in-depth surveys of his relationships with men and women alike, revealing many aspects of a part of Hudson's world that other books have either glossed over or only lightly touched upon.
The result is an exposé that offers the depth and detail any avid Hudson fan should receive. It's especially recommended for prior enthusiasts and collections strong in Hollywood biographies.
to Walk Like a Man: The Chris Wiehl Playbook
Christopher Wiehl with John Turner
Trying to Walk Like a Man: The Chris Wiehl Playbook tells the story of an American actor and filmmaker who made a name for himself in popular TV and film in Los Angeles in the 1990s, starting a production company and experiencing much success until he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2009.
His struggle with brain surgery complications led to a battle to recover and return to the entertainment world, an experience which comes to life in a story that traces his career, its rise, and the aftermath of his diagnosis and long recovery challenges.
It was a dire situation, and so Wiehl turned his penchant for success into a personal life-and-death battle. How he won and how he returned to do what he loved makes for captivating reading indeed, especially recommended for those interested in film achievers and the challenges of recovering from brain conditions.
Young Adult/Childrens Reads
Antlered Ship The
Antlered Ship gives young readers a
gorgeous blend of fantasy writing by Dashka Slater and artistic
the Fan Brothers artists as it tells of a fox that embarks on an ocean
with a crew of deer and pigeons. His
animal companions can't face the hardships of the voyage and soon wish
never left their safe, predictable homes, while Marco the fox doesn't
have answers to any of the questions that drove him to make this
easy picture book story will benefit from read-aloud by parents who
its whimsical premise engrossing and the illustrations captivating and
Antlered Ship is very highly
recommended as a top pick for any picture book collection.
Dashka Slater and The Fan Brothers
Simon and Schuster
The Antlered Ship gives young readers a gorgeous blend of fantasy writing by Dashka Slater and artistic rendering by the Fan Brothers artists as it tells of a fox that embarks on an ocean voyage with a crew of deer and pigeons.
His animal companions can't face the hardships of the voyage and soon wish they'd never left their safe, predictable homes, while Marco the fox doesn't seem to have answers to any of the questions that drove him to make this fantastic voyage.
An easy picture book story will benefit from read-aloud by parents who will find its whimsical premise engrossing and the illustrations captivating and remarkable.
The Antlered Ship is very highly recommended as a top pick for any picture book collection.
Medium tells of a first grader who
not quite seven, whose features hold a little but of everything, but
the book examines her physical features, likes, and dislikes, it seems
there's nothing that makes Edie remarkable or a standout in any
yet, she grows up to have one very remarkable feature, indeed. The
bright, colorful, large-sized drawings that follow Edie's assessment
will provide kids with cheerful smiles and fun moments as Edie's
is considered for what it's worth, making for a fun read that kids and
Edie Medium tells of a first grader who is not quite seven, whose features hold a little but of everything, but nothing remarkable.
As the book examines her physical features, likes, and dislikes, it seems that there's nothing that makes Edie remarkable or a standout in any way.
And yet, she grows up to have one very remarkable feature, indeed.
The bright, colorful, large-sized drawings that follow Edie's assessment process will provide kids with cheerful smiles and fun moments as Edie's ordinariness is considered for what it's worth, making for a fun read that kids and parents will appreciate.
Mifflin Harcourt Three
excellent books offer engaging stories for young picture book
Dane Bauer's Winter
(9780544313347, $16.99) is illustrated by Richard Jones and tells of a
watches the world around him change as winter approaches. All
the other animals are busy hiding nuts, flying south, or preparing to
- but none of these actions seems suitable to him. What can he do to
for winter? A
gentle story evolves, tracing a fox's determination to do something
(9780544774773, $17.99) receives lovely drawings by Noah Klocek, who
beautiful illustrations to accompany a story of bravery, kindness,
and a single mouse traveler who views the big world and his little
place in it. Children
will appreciate the lovely drawings that follow the little mouse on his
for the bigger things in life. M.E.
World of Cookies for Santa
(9780544226203, $16.99) receives amusing drawings by Susan Gal as it
Santa's trip around the world and the different kinds of cookies he
exchange for his gifts. From
how Santa arrives via donkey in South Africa and enjoys hertzog cookies
with apricot jam to how Spanish children put their shoes on their
balcony filled with barley and wheat for the Wise Man's horses, this
examination requires good reading skills or parental assistance but
delicious compendium of cookies and holiday traditions in
Three excellent books offer engaging stories for young picture book readers.
Marion Dane Bauer's Winter Dance (9780544313347, $16.99) is illustrated by Richard Jones and tells of a fox who watches the world around him change as winter approaches.
All the other animals are busy hiding nuts, flying south, or preparing to hibernate - but none of these actions seems suitable to him. What can he do to prepare for winter?
A gentle story evolves, tracing a fox's determination to do something special.
Kate Hoefler's Great Big Things (9780544774773, $17.99) receives lovely drawings by Noah Klocek, who provides beautiful illustrations to accompany a story of bravery, kindness, perspective, and a single mouse traveler who views the big world and his little place in it.
Children will appreciate the lovely drawings that follow the little mouse on his search for the bigger things in life.
M.E. Furman's A World of Cookies for Santa (9780544226203, $16.99) receives amusing drawings by Susan Gal as it follows Santa's trip around the world and the different kinds of cookies he gets in exchange for his gifts.
From how Santa arrives via donkey in South Africa and enjoys hertzog cookies filled with apricot jam to how Spanish children put their shoes on their windowsill or balcony filled with barley and wheat for the Wise Man's horses, this examination requires good reading skills or parental assistance but provides a delicious compendium of cookies and holiday traditions in return.
fine new books are top picks for picture book readers seeking something
$17.99) tells of a large, jolly, laughing Santa with a difference -
Rex, newly on the scene and prepared to help bake the Christmas cookies
his little helpers. The
only problem is that more is not merrier when it comes to a little
big dinosaurs. Ages
3 and older will appreciate this very different take on the holidays,
a dinosaur's penchant for trouble. Judy
(9780525429180, $17.99) profiles the author's artwork and presents the
story of Sarabella, who is always preoccupied with creating strange new
in her imagination. Daydreaming
is not a good thing when you're supposed to be doing something else in
but one assignment could dovetail neatly with Sarabella's biggest asset
amusing story of big dreams and small things. The
gorgeous color drawings are a big hit, enhancing the story
Middleton Elya's La Princesa and the Pea (9780399251566, $16.99) is
by Juana Martinez-Neal and tells of a prince who just knows he has the
girl, a mother who devises a secret test to see if this girl is a real
princess, and a son who counters this with his own sneaky solution to
Latino twist to the classic Princess and the Pea story features
beautiful art work inspired by Peruvian culture and Spanish words
throughout in a story particularly recommended for bilingual
Three fine new books are top picks for picture book readers seeking something different.
Molly Idle's Santa Rex (9780-425290118, $17.99) tells of a large, jolly, laughing Santa with a difference - he's Santa Rex, newly on the scene and prepared to help bake the Christmas cookies with his little helpers.
The only problem is that more is not merrier when it comes to a little house and big dinosaurs.
Ages 3 and older will appreciate this very different take on the holidays, featuring a dinosaur's penchant for trouble.
Judy Schachner's Sarabella's Thinking Cap (9780525429180, $17.99) profiles the author's artwork and presents the engaging story of Sarabella, who is always preoccupied with creating strange new worlds in her imagination.
Daydreaming is not a good thing when you're supposed to be doing something else in school, but one assignment could dovetail neatly with Sarabella's biggest asset in this amusing story of big dreams and small things.
The gorgeous color drawings are a big hit, enhancing the story line.
Susan Middleton Elya's La Princesa and the Pea (9780399251566, $16.99) is illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal and tells of a prince who just knows he has the right girl, a mother who devises a secret test to see if this girl is a real princess, and a son who counters this with his own sneaky solution to the problem.
The Latino twist to the classic Princess and the Pea story features exceptionally beautiful art work inspired by Peruvian culture and Spanish words sprinkled throughout in a story particularly recommended for bilingual collections.
Bear Press Two
excellent books are fine acquisitions for parents and children's
Ulmer's S is
for the Stanley Cup: A Hockey Championship
Alphabet (9781585369720, $16.99) is illustrated
by Chris Lyons and
is suggested for prior hockey fans and kids with good reading
alphabet portion is easy for younger picture book readers to absorb,
accompanying history and descriptions provides poetry, biographies,
and discussions of both individual players and teams, and will be
parental insights. Relatively
little exists in the way of hockey celebrations for the very young.
method of imparting hockey facts is recommended for any hockey-playing
youngest members. Devin
Toe: A Very Confused
Christmas (9781585363711, $16.99) is illustrated
by Marty Kelley and
discusses some of the more confusing aspects of the holiday, from the
definition of a sugarplum to the idea of wild shepherds who washed
their flocks by night - a strange
idea indeed, apparently resulting in some stretched-out and grumpy
whimsical take on Christmas rhymes and holiday traditions creates a
story that parents will find hilarious as they teach kids the
and review their possible interpretations in the minds of the very
Two excellent books are fine acquisitions for parents and children's libraries.
Mike Ulmer's S is for the Stanley Cup: A Hockey Championship Alphabet (9781585369720, $16.99) is illustrated by Chris Lyons and is suggested for prior hockey fans and kids with good reading skills.
The alphabet portion is easy for younger picture book readers to absorb, but the accompanying history and descriptions provides poetry, biographies, statistics, and discussions of both individual players and teams, and will be enhanced by parental insights.
Relatively little exists in the way of hockey celebrations for the very young. This fun method of imparting hockey facts is recommended for any hockey-playing family's youngest members.
Devin Scillian's Missile Toe: A Very Confused Christmas (9781585363711, $16.99) is illustrated by Marty Kelley and discusses some of the more confusing aspects of the holiday, from the definition of a sugarplum to the idea of wild shepherds who washed their flocks by night - a strange idea indeed, apparently resulting in some stretched-out and grumpy sheep.
The whimsical take on Christmas rhymes and holiday traditions creates a pleasurable story that parents will find hilarious as they teach kids the traditional songs and review their possible interpretations in the minds of the very young.