September 2015 Independent Press Profiles
Biography & Autobiography
in the Pink
Tina Martel, Publisher
There are so many memoirs of surviving or struggling with breast cancer on the market today that one might wonder at the need for yet another; but one look at Not in the Pink will quickly reveal that this approach is like no other on the market.
For one thing, it's a graphic representation from an artist who draws on her illustrative skills to portray her experiences using sketchbooks, photographs, paintings and video mediums. This multi-faceted approach adopts a much more visual (and immediate) feel as a result, exploring not just the usual angst and fears raised by a breast cancer diagnosis, but the expectations placed on patients by professionals who work in the healthcare system.
There are many myths surrounding breast cancer: it's a life-changing experience, not typically something one struggles with before returning to one's former life. Not in the Pink explores myths and realities in a visual way that will prove much more accessible to readers than many autobiographies on the market, making it a top recommendation for both those diagnosed and especially healthcare professionals.
in the Passing Lane
Stuck in the Passing Lane is a fun memoir of internet dating and relationships on speed dial, and tells of a mature man who is on a journey to connect with someone (anyone) special. As this new divorcee navigates unfamiliar cyber-territory and finds himself on a strange journey, he imparts his experiences (supplemented by commentary from his three daughters) for any who would read a memoir about finding love in life.
It's evident from his lifestyle (and his careers as a lawyer and IT worker) that Jed Ringel spares no money or effort in his search. Thus, his dates know no boundaries and involve failed efforts both at home and overseas in a series of globe-trotting snafus. Readers serious about the dating scene and who anticipate a 'how to' guide may not catch that, in fact, many of Ringel's descriptions are actually hilariously funny - or that his approach to life in general (and dating in particular) is well tinged with critical thinking.
in the Passing Lane is quite simply
the fun story of a middle-aged man who looks for love in mostly-wrong
Expect not an actionable guideline from his choices, but an
entertaining and a
fun swing through attempts to adjust attitudes and achieve lasting
Strategic Book Publishing and Rights
9781609115388 $13.00 http://sbpra.com/
Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey is the powerful, notable autobiography of a man's transition to becoming a woman. It doesn't come from the trans person's perspective, but from her ex-wife, who reveals how Adam's process of discovery changed both their lives.
Alexandra Bogdanovic's story offers a powerful account of transgender changes from a different angle: that of a life partner who struggles with her mate's decision and her newfound place in their relationship.
No easy story of acceptance, it uses vivid experiences to document how Alexandra met, fell in love with, married, and discovered the hidden reality about the man of her dreams, who identified as a woman and decided to follow this dream. What happens next, and the process of making decisions from that point on, makes for a no-holds-barred story of struggle, self-examination, and, eventually, life-altering changes for all concerned. Truth Be Told is an emotion-laden saga that should be in any LGBT library and many a general-interest collection.
Out of Crisis
Stone Bridge Press
9781611720235 $24.95 www.stonebridge.com
Innovating Out of Crisis: How Fujifilm Survived (and Thrived) As Its Core Business Was Vanishing follows the evolution of a company that laid its foundation on photographic products, only to see it erode in ten years when the adoption of the digital camera threatened the company’s profit base. Seventy percent of it was derived from film.
One would expect that, like its competitor the venerable Eastman Kodak Company in New York, Fujifilm was destined for disaster - yet the company made changes that allowed it to continue to grow and enjoy record profits. How?
Only rarely does the industry outsider receive a specific guide to company turn-around that cross-compares two very successful businesses and analyzes why one still remains while the other falls - Innovating Out of Crisis is such a story, and comes from the CEO who fought to prevent Fujifilm from following the same path as Kodak.
His explanation of exactly how he engineered this transformation and led the company to new product diversification processes and success makes for a powerful story of management dynamics and offers lessons other corporate leaders can use to send their own struggling companies in new, profitable directions. Business libraries shouldn't be without this detailed and engrossing analysis.
Nurse's Etiquette Advantage, 2nd Edition
Kathleen D. Pagana
Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
550 West North Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
9781940446141 $34.95 www.nursingknowledge.org/
The second updated edition of The Nurse's Etiquette Advantage: How Professional Etiquette Can Advance Your Nursing Career should be assigned reading for any who work in or seek to enter the nursing profession. It pinpoints and documents common snafus and etiquette errors, identifies the consequences of misusing or misunderstanding nursing etiquette, and pairs its information with real-world case history examples.
Nurses thus receive concrete tips and insights they can apply to their own careers, receiving solid examples of what not to do and what to do.
From handling social media blunders to meetings, communication technologies, interviewing, paperwork, and more, The Nurse's Etiquette Advantage leaves no stone unturned in the process of discussing etiquette's wide-reaching ramifications. Nurses seeking to employ better 'office politics' - as well as many general business readers - would do well to review The Nurse's Etiquette Advantage before stepping into a potential quagmire of errors.
The Secret World of Debt Collection: Beat Collectors at Their Own Game - A Former Collections Executive Reveals How comes from an attorney who used to work for the debt collection agencies he now writes of, but who now helps consumers fight illegal debt collection practices. It's a recommended read for anyone who wants to understand both the process of debt collection and the rights of debtors.
The Secret World of Debt Collection uncovers some surprising facts; including the reality that creditors often can't prove the debts in court, and that they routinely make illegal errors in the collection of those debts.
After reviewing questionable industry practices, Cardoza arrives at the heart of the question: how a debtor can fight back. From do's and don'ts to how to actually win battles, this is a key acquisition from an 'insider' that's highly recommended for any consumer struggling with debt collectors.
The California Corner
Sightings Throughout the Year
Jeanne A. Jackson, Author
Craig Tooley, Photographer
Mendonoma Sightings Publishing
P.O. Box 1029
Gualala, CA 95445
9780615950051 $34.95 www.mendonomasightings.com
Mendonoma Sightings Throughout the Year: The Fascinating World of Nature on the Mendocino/Sonoma Coast is a top recommendation for any fascinated by Northern California wildlife, and goes far beyond the usual natural history field guide to compile powerful, close-up color photos (over 250 of them) into a month-by-month observational piece.
Illustrations, first-hand accounts of wildlife encounters, animal facts, links to nature websites, and maps round out the presentation, pairing useful data and information with a format that invites leisure browsing.
Too many nature books take the form of field guides for identification or travelogues that scatter only a few enticing photos among the first-person wildlife stories. Mendonoma Sightings Throughout the Year represents something very different: an exquisitely well-detailed collection of high-quality images designed to not just teach, but immerse readers in the wildlife wonders of the Northern California Sonoma/Mendocino coast.
Unparalleled in its quality, focus, and easily-accessed details, Mendonoma Sightings Throughout the Year should be in the collections of any wildlife fan or California lending library.Mendonoma Sightings Throughout the Year
Search of the Dark Watchers
Thomas Steinbeck and Benjamin Brode
Benjamin Brode illustrates In Search of the Dark Watchers: Landscapes and Lore of Big Sur, a celebration of Northern California's Big Sur area which takes the form of a sketchbook of field notes complimented by over twenty color paintings.
Who are the Dark Watchers? Steinbeck grew up hearing of the mythical Watchers who roam Big Sur and live among its trees - but when he told his family's stories to artist Brode, it sparked a search that involved walking the wilderness trails, sketching impressions of the dark woods, and absorbing the area's history and feel.
This powerfully gripping series of images and discoveries promises (and delivers) reader involvement in the sights, senses, and mystique of the Big Sur wilderness like few others achieve in a quietly-building visual celebration that should be in every California library.
Juice Habit Made Easy
Jem Friar, N.C.
9781512056495 $9.97 Paperback $2.97 Kindle
The Juice Habit Made Easy with Tips, Tricks & Healthy Fruit & Vegetable Juice Recipes advocates adding regular homemade juices to one's diet, and is more than just another collection of juice recipes and techniques. It comes from an author who runs health detox retreats and juice fasting programs, so it's a thorough discussion of what fruits and vegetables lend to juicing (and which do not), how to care for juicing equipment, and how to make the most of a juice diet.
That's really half the book: the second half offers a range of juice recipes that discuss how to juice each ingredient, adjust quantities of added flavors for optimum results, and how to bring the flavors alive with added spices and embellishments.
its survey of kid-friendly juices and techniques for involving the
Juice Habit Made Easy
does more than provide recipes: it focuses on how a fresh
can be beneficial for (and accessible to) all.
220 Stoneyford Road
Baltimore, MD 21210
9780990418504 $19.95 www.artichokepublishers.com
Tasting the Seasons: Inspired, In-Season Cuisine That's Easy, Healthy, Fresh and Fun focuses on seasonal cooking and comes from a culinary expert who provides over two hundred recipes that emphasize not just fast and user-friendly dishes, but a satisfying blend of creative updates on classic dishes and traditional foods. Many of the recipes are suitable for entertaining, such as a Ginger Coconut Carrot Soup (which features zippy flavors and a golden appearance) or a cheese and mustard enhanced Oven Roasted Tomato Quiche; while others are staple dishes families will enjoy.
Unlike many cookbooks on today's market, there are no color photos: while this may stymie novice cooks who require them to see what a finished dish looks like, the recipes are quite simple to produce and don't really need any visual embellishments.
From a one-dish Greek Style Shrimp with spinach, olives, garbanzo beans and feta cheese to a breakfast of Crunchy Banana Waffles, it's a wide-ranging presentation highly recommended for busy cooks looking for different flavors and a fun approach to sustainable, seasonal fare.
The Great Outdoors
Mark Avery & Keith Betton
Behind the Binoculars: Interviews with Acclaimed Birdwatchers interviews many well-known personalities and wildlife experts with a simple purpose in mind: to find out why birdwatchers took up birding as a hobby. The authors, themselves avid birdwatchers and conservationists, gather many startling answers in the course of considering the birdwatching community's members and motivations, examining birdwatching methods, organizations, challenges, and conservation issues alike.
There are many how-to books about birding on the market; but Behind the Binoculars adopts a much wider-ranging approach to the subject with such queries as the best birding locations in the world, the worst places, birders' first bird books and binoculars, rare bird sightings, and personal lives.
queries draw readers not only into the art and science of birding, but
political, ecological and personal aspects, as well, making for a
lively set of
insights especially recommended for any reader with a prior avian
Good Hart Publishing
P.O. Box 274, Harbor Springs, MI 49740
9781940877006 $17.00 www.afterthewind.com
It's easy to see why After the Wind: 1996 Everest Tragedy - One Survivor's Story has won numerous awards for being a top sports book, memoir, and adventure story: it's all these things and more.
Eight climbers died near the summit of Mount Everest in 1996 in the worst tragedy in the mountain's history - and author Lou Kasischke was one of the survivors. There's nothing like the first-person experiences of one who lived the news to bring everything to life - and to pinpoint just what went wrong, and why.
Chapters pair his personal experiences with black and white line drawings and insights that neatly juxtapose his background and reflections with what happened up on the mountain to nearly take that life.
The moment-by-moment, gripping grab that relives the events must've been an emotional wringer of a job to write: any interested in mountain climbing sagas will find the immediacy and well-done tension of Kasischke's story will land it among the best of mountaineering and survival true sagas; worthy of acquisition, read, and re-read.
It's All About the Journey
Finding Home in South America
More so than most travel memoirs, Picaflor: Finding Home in South America is a journey of self-discovery as much as a sojourn through South America, and tells how a crushing loss sent the author on a journey to the other side of the world in search of love, a sense of place, and peace.
What separates Picaflor's approach from so many other travel memoir odysseys is its exquisite attention to detail and delicate blend of personal, cultural, spiritual and travel insights. It's not easy to create a journey that carries its readers along for the ride with 'you-are-there' moments both intimate and reflective: "I am calmed by the whispering leaves and that strange orange glow of a day near its end. I no longer feel invaded by the sensation of searching. Being alone, as I am now in the garden, is a choice. I have people to go home to: two strong women to cushion me from the hard edges of life."
How to keep these 'hard edges' of life an invitation to remain open to new experiences is just one of the many lessons Picaflor imparts using a lightly philosophical, revealing first-person tone that doesn't keep readers at bay, but immerses them in the sights, sounds, and feel of South America.Picaflor: Finding Home in South America
Bill Mahoney & Ina Garrison Mahoney
Author Bill Mahoney is no stranger to the concept of vagabonding, and he didn't have to reach retirement age to do so - at age thirteen he hitchhiked across the U.S.; but since then, he and his wife have traveled around the world and their experiences are captured in Vagabonding Through Retirement: Unusual Travels Far from Our Paris Houseboat.
Readers shouldn't expect a 'how to' guide, specifically: it's a light memoir that discusses their travels, lessons they learned from other cultures, and how to save money while living a vagabond lifestyle. Using alternate voices of husband and wife, Vagabonding moves quickly from topic to topic in order to touch upon a wide range of encounters with unusual people and places.
The very concept of 'vagabonding' imparts a sense of fluidity; and so the book follows this route and moves from place to place much like its authors. While this approach may frustrate readers seeking dense and detailed how-to discussions, it'll delight those interested in vivid, moving vignettes about dilemmas, peoples, and places.
Scintillating Science Fiction and Fantasy
Bogdan Bogdanov has created the ultimate robot in Semmant, a sentient creation who lives inside a computer and whose calculating ability to rule the stock markets makes his creator rich. There's only one problem: riches alone do not make happiness: love does - and when Bogdan falls in love, he finds himself in the unusual position of vying with his own creation for the love of his life.
Originally created in Russian, the English translation of Semmant is flawlessly presented and opens with a man confined who has lost everything but his mind, and who is alone, facing treatments, spies, and isolation. How did this all happen to a creative mathematical genius who invented something the world has never seen before?
Semmant is the ultimate story of a Dr. Frankenstein scenario gone wrong - but it focuses on the creator's rise and fall as much as the developing individuality of his creation. It contains (be forewarned) a healthy degree of sexual exploration and a depth of discussion that makes it recommended not to a sci-fi reader of light, casual adventure; but for the college-level, literary-minded enthusiast of complex relationships and plots.
an audience will appreciate Babenko's ability to avoid
over-simplification in favor of unraveling the true complexity of
between people and between the living and the machine mindset: a
complex dance rich in literary images, exquisitely-drawn protagonists,
ironies and inconsistencies of the human mind.
Echoes of Hinterland
Echoes of Hinterland is a
dystopian novel set in a post-apocalyptic Earth some two hundred years
future and tells of Myron, who is trapped inside the Jonesbridge
Complex but who has a way out - a way that doesn't include falling in
Alternating viewpoints of events portray a society where freedom has become synonymous with flight into an uncertain world, and where environmental damage and the mass extinction of animals and plants has led humans to strange methods of evolution indeed.
Fans of dystopian, apocalyptic fiction may find these themes common; but what differentiates Jonesbridge from many others is its focus on cultivating human love and new worlds from the ashes of a devastated old one, and an attention to two beings who find in each other the elements of not just survival, but change.
result is a satisfyingly complex, involving saga of a society's
doesn't always include the best interests of those it's trying to
Survivors of Ebola
Bruce Merchant, MD
Moonkind: Survivors of Ebola is science fiction drama at its best, which means that it's based on a real possibility and creates swift action and plausible scenarios to draw its readers into a gripping possibility. In this case, a perniciously lethal mutant of Ebola contaminates the planet and destroys humanity. As this mutant strain of Ebola decimates the population, mankind's only hope may lie in a band of survivors “birthed” on the moon who begin a colony made up of 'clones' of great humans slated to populate this new world.
If this sounds like riveting reading - it is. One of Moonkind's delights lies in the fact that it's an unexpected cut above the typical apocalypse story, focusing not just on the physical elements of mankind's survival on another planet, but on the very elements that make up what it means to be a human being.
Imagine a world in which precocious teens are raised by robots, with no adult predecessors to teach them about emotion, social connections, or compassion. Imagine the weight of humanity itself resting upon the DNA descendents of geniuses.
Where similar-sound sci-fi may focus on physical survival tactics, Moonkind presents the underlying elements of what makes up humanity itself - and given it's well-rounded attention to detail, these facets create a powerful story recommended for readers of apocalyptic sci-fi who want more depth than your usual leisure read offers.
Lacey Young and her sister and friends are survivors of the end of the world, holed up with other young adults in a hotel where Lacey finds herself the leader of the pack. Maybe that's because she's always been a fighter and a survivor, overcoming bullies, cancer, and many other obstacles in her short life. Only the opening of Survivors: Secrets isn't just about creating a new world; for Lacey has been captured and is facing her worst enemy yet: someone she thought to be her best friend and on her side.
One strength of Survivors: Secrets lies in its ability (evident right from the beginning) to provide a sequence of events that doesn't follow the usual logical formula read. Thus, Lacey is both in a position of strength and weakness. Her world is devastated but holds possibilities for change; and her enemy is mercurial and fluid: something readers slowly learn more about in the course of the apocalyptic story.
All this is cemented by a feisty first-person protagonist who never gives up, and whose tenacity hides a close-held secret that could make or break her and the wider world around her.
It's not unusual to find discussions about defining illusions, understanding power plays, and addressing repressed events or emotions. It is unusual to find all these facets presented in the course of a not-quite-end-of-the-world setting that offers up no familiar, tired paths of explanation and succeeds in identifying just what makes for a successful survivor, a successful team, and a force that can lead one to accomplish the impossible.
Fans of dystopian and apocalyptic sci-fi who relish twists of plot that keep the reader guessing will find Survivors: Secrets just the ticket for an engrossing, successful read: a standout in a genre that is too often predictable and inhabited by familiar approaches.
Self-Help and Inspirational
Tell Me I Can't Do It!: Living Audaciously in
the Here and Now
Dr. Erica Miller
Emerald Book Company
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
978-1-937110-73-4 eBook ISBN: 978-1-937110-74-1
Don't Tell Me I Can't Do It! comes from a Holocaust survivor who has created five 'core beliefs' to live by, and who imparts the basics of how to live an optimistic life no matter what obstacles and adversity this includes. This attitude comes from a therapist and mother who leads the kind of life she talks about, making her tenants both easy and authoritative.
Don't Tell Me I Can't Do It! is a dual offering: an autobiography relating the author's life and process of making it a goal-oriented success, and a set of admonitions others can use to follow in her footsteps. This is not to say that everyone can do so: it takes a certain attitude, flexibility, determination and grit to take these philosophies and make them your own. Intended as a motivational read offering food for thought, this comes in a format that lends to quick reading and insights which can be easily tailored to different personalities, goals, and lives.
Dr. Erica Miller does a good job of leading the horses to water, but it's up to readers to drink in whatever way works for them. Those seeking not an exact path but a broad-spectrum guide for taking these first steps will find her approach is both general and based on her own choices: "…there is a price for ambition. Independence comes with consequences. Both require a healthy sense of pride and a stubborn, even obstinate, indifference to others’ opinions. I’ve also come to realize that success and failure are largely self-defined. Looking back on those formative years of my young adulthood, when I aggressively began exploring my newfound self-determination, there may have been some times when I was a bit naive. But I’m glad that I didn’t let others decide what success would look like for me."
Hers isn't a book for those who would be provided a complete formula: it's for the self-motivated who need only a direction and some basic insights in order to hone and stay a course.Don't Tell Me I Can't Do It!: Living Audaciously in the Here and Now
411 University Ridge, Suite 235
Greenville, SC 29601
So you think you know how to be successful, but somehow keep missing the mark? Then Edgy Conservations: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Outrageous Success is for you. In fact, it's recommended for any reader who feels that the adages of hard work and perseverance are somehow not paying off; and that there must be something more to the equation of success.
Where other self-help guidebooks take the form of 'tried and true' approaches, in reality it's personal baggage and perceptions that often prove the limiting factors to leading a successful life. Edgy Conversations lives up to its title and isn't for those who would follow a formula; but is very highly recommended for readers who would reflect on the personal habits and approaches to life that are keeping them from succeeding.
When it comes down to how to achieve such self-examination and honesty, Edgy Conversations is there to offers answers. Not for the faint of heart or those who would live the unexamined life, it begins with the root of any achievement: how to handle such concepts as: "The doing part is only one side of discipline. The harder, grittier side of discipline is what you won't do."Edgy Conversations
for My Journey: A Holocaust Survivor's Story
of Living Fearlessly
Dr. Erica Miller
Emerald Book Company
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
Even more so than Don't Tell Me I Can't Do It!, Dr. Erica Miller's Thanks for My Journey is autobiographical in nature and focuses on her tumultuous life; first spending four years in a Ukraine holding camp after the Nazis invaded, then the family's struggle with homelessness after they found their former home occupied by Russians.
Unlike most Holocaust survivor stories, Miller only touches upon events of the past, focusing more upon the life that evolved from these events. Her journey to Israel, her unusual service in the Israeli Air Force, and her entry into the field of mental health all make up the heart of the story more so than her Holocaust experiences in a combination of inspirational reading and autobiography that traces the evolution of grit, determination and lessons from this survivor's experiences.
Thanks for My Journey is a vivid memoir and a life story. It should ideally be pursued as a predecessor to her inspirational handbook, laying the foundation and groundwork that allows readers to understand how her psyche, attitude, and philosophy evolved.Thanks for My Journey: A Holocaust Survivor's Story of Living Fearlessly
MacSimum Publishing Company
Plenty of recovery-oriented books discuss the basics of how to get sober, but few take the next step: how to live a meaningful life once sobriety is achieved. One might think that this would be the easier part of the equation: actually, it's not, and Full Recovery demonstrates that in fact many 'recoveries' from substance abuse don't complete the process to achieve real resolution.
If this all sounds idealistic, be advised that author Brian McAlister has achieved extraordinary, real-life results from his Full Recovery Wellness Center in New Jersey, which holds a powerful record of long-term recovery from addictions largely because its programs focus on helping addicts with all aspects of their lives, from jobs and relationships to finances and fitness. Most similar-sounding programs focus on psychological insights and approaches and leave out some of the social factors that can differentiate a full recovery from one who is perpetually on the road to success without ever quite arriving at the goal.
Chapters offer a blend of psychological insight, philosophical and spiritual reflection, and specific tips on where the recovery process can bog down and what to do about it.
Thus, readers will find in Full Recovery discussions of such seemingly-disparate topics as how to handle and mitigate fears, how to question long-held beliefs for their ongoing effectiveness, how to use gratitude to shift one's reality and how to perceive and choose a life-affirming project to cement one's long-term success, and how to differentiate between solving problems and manipulating environment.
Each chapter offers another brick in the foundation leading to full recovery, and each chapter juxtaposes ideals with specifics from the author's experiences and those around him: "When I go home at night, I sit in my hot tub and totally relax. Nine times out of ten, the answer to my challenge reveals itself in that setting. How does that happen? I believe it’s because when I am totally relaxed and at peace, my awareness expands. I am not talking to myself or keeping my own counsel. I am meditating and listening for the answer."
Also included are keys on how the author arrived at all this wisdom ("I had come to the conclusion that by following suggestions from sober people, I was staying sober, too. I began to wonder, then, whether the same process would work in other areas of my life, such as finances.") and how one concept or choice in one area of life (such as psychological insight) translates, often neatly, to other areas (such as financial security).
There's no magic key to Full Recovery; but its particular brand of magic lies in its ability to lead semi-recovered addicts down the road of creating connections between more positive choices, habits and perspectives and integrating them into an overall life-affirming program reinforcing lasting changes.
Want to break heroin addiction? Alcoholism? Traits that continually lead to poor choices? Full Recovery documents this process more clearly and completely than competing titles on the market and is a top recommendation for any who have begun the process and need to take the next step.
a Beautiful Life on Less
Plain Sight Publishing/Cedar Fort Inc.
9781462116072 $12.99 www.cedarfort.com
Living a Beautiful Life on Less: The Blissful and Domestic Guide to Food, Fun, and Finances presents a common dilemma: when her husband was deployed overseas, the author's income dropped dramatically. Her solution wasn't to obtain more work or better-paying jobs, however: instead, her family of four learned how to survive on a $14K annual income with no debt - not even a mortgage - and their choices could easy translate into the same for others with the help of this book.
While strategies for cutting bills, planning economic meals and entertainment, and choosing homemade foods over prepared goods are all basic and nothing new, what is new is a focus on how money management needn't involve a lifestyle devoid of pleasures.
In the process of understanding debt, Wagasky advocates changing the behaviors and 'needs' that require debt - and shows how a family working together can make even a meal of leftovers a fun time. Any struggling with budget cuts will find much to inspire and a basic foundation for better financial management in this simple guide, which supports better living on less using the author's family's experiences.
Powerful Picture Book Picks
Boston's Freedom Trail is filled with history and attracts numerous tourists yearly; so having a picture book such as Brittany Bang's Little Mouse's Adventure on the Freedom Trail (978-1-94121606-4 , $16.95, geared to ages 3 and up, invites parents and kids alike to learn about the historical importance of the Trail through the eyes of an adventurous little mouse who explores Boston's historic landmarks.
Kids with basic picture book reading skills (or parental assistance) receive lovely, large-size illustrations by Caitlyn Knepka as they follow a mouse's journey through Boston Common and beyond.
Through the mouse's observations, kids learn about the history of the Freedom Trail and its importance, touching upon key monuments, buildings, and their past and present history along the way.
Little Mouse's Adventure on the Freedom Trail is especially recommended as a take-along tote for any parent planning a family visit to Boston, as well as for residents who want to introduce their kids to American history. These audiences, especially, will be able to follow the little mouse's exploration of the 'red line' that connects history and brings it alive; all from the perspective of a mouse's viewpoint of historical events. Highly recommended; especially for Boston residents and would-be family visitors with a special interest in history!
Alicia Hogan Murphy's The Muddy Foot Prince (ISBN: 978-1-941216-08-8, $15.95; E-ISBN: 978-1-941216-09-5) tells of Oliver James Huntington IV: your typical boy who loves to get his feet wet and dirty in the course of exploring his world. That's not a problem for a boy - but it is a challenge for one of royal blood; a prince who is supposed to serve as an exemplary example to his kingdom. What is a young prince to do if he can't do ordinary boy things and get dirty once in a while?
Kids with good reading skills (or parental read-aloud assistance) will welcome this story of a feisty prince whose parents don't seem to appreciate his explorations (which somehow always seem to involve dirt and grime).
There are many things good princes shouldn't do - and Oliver seems to always be in trouble, as a result; disappointing his parents when he only wishes to impress them. What's a prince to do? There's only one solution…
Parents and kids receive a fun story that involves lessons learned not only by the prince, but his loving parents. Michael Schweitzer's color drawings throughout are large, lovely, and well-done: adding interest and bright embellishment to a winning tale.
Katherine Cutchin Gazzetta's picture book rhyming story Love From a Star (9781585369508, $14.99) will appeal to a wide age range and provides a simple, warm, religious account as it tells of a shining star that reminds a bear and a bunny that they are loved and never alone, because God loves them. Watercolor paintings by the author accompany a tale about how and why a star watches over these gentle friends. The overall feel is warm and comfortable, offering little ones a sense of security and snuggly safety. Parents who want to instill a feeling of security in their children will find Love From a Star the perfect read-aloud choice.
James Christopher Carroll's Papa's Backpack (9781585366132, $15.99) tells of a father who has to leave his family. A young bear dreams of accompanying his father when he leaves on a mission, but finds his dreams of being his father's companion and supporter can only be filled in an unusual manner. Gorgeous, winning drawings accompany a tribute to the bond between children and their military, often-absent parents, providing an unusual approach not commonly seen in picture book readers.
Petra Brown's Grandma's Nursery Rhymes: Itsy Bitsy Spider (9781585366071, $6.99) provides a light, fun board book perfect for parental read-aloud and illustrate the favorite child's nursery rhyme using a rabbit and a washed-out spider as its main characters.
An activity page at book's end - unusual for a board book, but a perfect fit here - provides some simple fun that parents can use to reinforce the story line.
The friendship and caring demonstrated as the hapless spider suffers a water spout snafu is simply lovely in this fun board book story, highly recommended for bedtime reading.
Bark and Lunge: Saving My Dog from Training Mistakes tells of the author and her German shepherd puppy, pairing an autobiographical story with a focus on training mistakes that nearly cost her dog its life. Kari was a disciplinarian, but her husband Rob was not - and as the dog grew, it received mixed messages and so defied obedience training.
When Isis bit someone, it was time for action - but despite it's title, Bark and Lunge is not your usual 'how to train your dog' account, but a memoir about the process of understanding dog training techniques and common pitfalls.
This means that readers who pick up the story anticipating a usual step-by-step treatise on how to train their dog will be disappointed in the chatty autobiographical nature of the book; while those who have eschewed such manuals for their dry presentations will relish the personal touch that Bark and Lunge provides.
might not anticipate suspense in such a book - or the sharing of an
journey that surveys relationships between pets and people - but Bark and Lunge
does a terrific job with
its approach and is recommended for dog fans and pet owners who seek
the question of how to effectively train an animal that is running
road of disaster.
Donal Blaise Lloyd
GeoPower: Stay Warm, Keep Cool and Save Money with Geothermal Heating & Cooling covers the basics of why homeowners and home builders should consider geothermal healing and cooling. These audiences may be surprised to learn that all homes can use ground-source heat pumps for free energy - but there's more to it than just buying a pump, as GeoPower explains.
There are various systems choices (each with their pros and cons for different situations), and these options can be confusing. Homeowners and builders can use GeoPower to eliminate this confusion and quickly understand why some options work better in one situation than another.
From basics on how they work to reducing the costs of running such equipment, GeoPower's specifics and easy-to-understand explanations require only an audience interested in the potential of harnessing alternative energy to prove essential. Homeowners, in particular, will want use this primer to consider the possibilities of installing or converting to this alternative resource.
Young Adult/Teen Reads
Has No Regrets Heaven
Has No Regrets features young adult
protagonists and a story line that revolves around two cousins who
survive their world; but this doesn't mean it's a simple story. Mature
will not only find the subject emotionally gripping, but it's told from
alternating viewpoints (Faith, Makenzie, and the Narrator) whose
entwine to create a bigger picture than any single perspective could
easy to initially believe that the story line follows a predictable
path as a
series of flashbacks build tension, direction, and protagonists - but
one of the pleasures of Heaven
Regrets is that it's an unexpected destination
indeed; with no neat,
logical conclusion that can be easily seen from the start. Perhaps
the narrative is so compelling because it's based on a true story; or
it's because of changing viewpoints (which might test some teen
ultimately provides more depth than one might expect). No simple
Has No Regrets is
ultimately revealing, complex, and recommended for young adults
tackle challenging themes. And though it's a special recommendation for
adults, adult audiences of all ages will find much to relish in this
Has No Regrets
Heaven Has No Regrets features young adult protagonists and a story line that revolves around two cousins who struggle to survive their world; but this doesn't mean it's a simple story. Mature teens will not only find the subject emotionally gripping, but it's told from three alternating viewpoints (Faith, Makenzie, and the Narrator) whose stories entwine to create a bigger picture than any single perspective could have provided.
It's easy to initially believe that the story line follows a predictable path as a series of flashbacks build tension, direction, and protagonists - but in fact one of the pleasures of Heaven Has No Regrets is that it's an unexpected destination indeed; with no neat, logical conclusion that can be easily seen from the start.
Perhaps the narrative is so compelling because it's based on a true story; or maybe it's because of changing viewpoints (which might test some teen readers, but ultimately provides more depth than one might expect). No simple leisure choice, Heaven Has No Regrets is ultimately revealing, complex, and recommended for young adults unafraid to tackle challenging themes. And though it's a special recommendation for young adults, adult audiences of all ages will find much to relish in this intriguing saga.Heaven Has No Regrets
Dining and Social Club for Time Travelers: Divine Intervention The
Dining and Social Club for Time Travellers, Book One:
Divine Intervention is the perfect
item of choice for young
adults who like stories of time travel, telling of Louisa's journeys
discovers that an old pocket watch enables her to travel through
this point, any relationship between Divine
Intervention and other young adult timeslip
because the heart of the tale lies not in Louisa's travels, but in her
encounter with an exclusive club for such travelers - a club which
dilemma when its members begin to inexplicably vanish. Fun
black and white line drawings throughout (by Doug Feaver) accompany a
survey of the events that introduce Louisa and the reader to activities
past - with an emphasis on the travelers' experiences as well as the
they visit. This personal emphasis means that motivations, reactions,
and dilemmas come to life in a much more intimate realm than your usual
focus provides, making Divine
a powerful saga highly recommended for young adult and adult readers
Green Jelly Bean Press
Dining and Social Club for Time Travelers: Divine Intervention
The Dining and Social Club for Time Travellers, Book One: Divine Intervention is the perfect item of choice for young adults who like stories of time travel, telling of Louisa's journeys when she discovers that an old pocket watch enables her to travel through time.
At this point, any relationship between Divine Intervention and other young adult timeslip stories digresses; because the heart of the tale lies not in Louisa's travels, but in her encounter with an exclusive club for such travelers - a club which faces a dilemma when its members begin to inexplicably vanish.
Fun black and white line drawings throughout (by Doug Feaver) accompany a serious survey of the events that introduce Louisa and the reader to activities of the past - with an emphasis on the travelers' experiences as well as the places they visit. This personal emphasis means that motivations, reactions, choices and dilemmas come to life in a much more intimate realm than your usual timeslip focus provides, making Divine Intervention a powerful saga highly recommended for young adult and adult readers alike.