September 2018 Prime Picks
Biography & Autobiography
City of Devils
City of Devils: the Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai will attract readers of biography and autobiography, Asian history, and true crime alike, offering a heady investigation into two men who rose to unprecedented power in 1930s and 1940s Shanghai.
These men came to believe they ruled a wonderland of riches even while poverty and war was around them; but the government had other ideas, and Shanghai worked hard to cut their power even as it struggled with political unrest and social challenges.
From eyewitness accounts to letters and newspaper articles, the milieu of old Shanghai comes to life as the lives and approaches of these two are outlined in a dazzling survey that will especially delight readers of true crime histories and biographies.
Genuine Authentic: the Real Life of Ralph Lauren offers a biographical sketch covering the public and private persona of a fashion icon who held two very different images: that of a modest achiever; the other of a relentless narcissist and a tyrant.
From the evolution of Lauren's brand Polo and the realities of the games played behind the scenes at the business to how Lauren handled staff and controversies alike, this probe into Ralph Lauren's world is a special recommendation for anyone interested in fashion business in general and Lauren's branding and promotion process in particular.
Genuine Authentic's behind-the-scenes insights are invaluable.
I See Life Through
Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella
St. Martin's Press
I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses: True Stories and Confessions documents a mother/daughter encounter that comes from the bestselling writing duo's actual lives, and is recommended not just for prior fans of their writings, but newcomers to their names.
This isn't an autobiography per say, but a series of vignettes outlining their encounters, fun and poignant moments, observations about life and each other, and light-hearted tips and quips for daily living.
Funny, warm-hearted, and revealing, women who want a light and breezy story will relish this warm perspective on life through the eyes and experiences of Scottoline and Serritella.
Jell-O Girls: A
Jell-O Girls: A Family History belongs in both biography and culinary history collections and tells of the inheritors of the patent to Jell-O and how this successful endeavor not only brought them financial rewards, but almost destroyed a family.
From the "Jell-O curse" of cancer to the prevalence of family illness and the dark side of a family venture that led to illness, trauma, and despair, Jell-O Girls is a powerful survey of mother/daughter relationships, a family changed by success, and a dessert that changed a nation.
The wide-ranging topics and focus of Jell-O Girls makes it a top recommendation for a wide audience, from feminists interested in women's family relationships to those interested in jell-o and changed lives.
My Diarrhe offers the "leaked' diary of a YouTube sensation, Miranda Sings (created by comedian Colleen Ballinger), and is a funny rendition of a character who, like Saturday Night Live's Rosanne Roseannadanna, is hilarious and outrageous all in one.
Written with phonetic misspellings, colorful admonitions, outrageous accusations towards teachers and others in her life, and a healthy dose of irony and outrage, My Diarrhe offers a visual wonderland of photos, drawings, and illustrations alongside a campy, chatty survey of life. Even those with no prior familiarity with the Miranda Sings phenomenon will find My Diarrhe hilarious.
Okay Fine Whatever
Okay Fine Whatever: the Year I Went from being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things tells of years Courtenay Hameister spent struggling with anxiety and fearing change.
This, in turn, led her to feel trapped by the decisions she'd made in her life: a familiar theme of many autobiographies and memories.
What differentiates Courtenay Hameister's story from others is that it focuses on a single year of the process she embarked on to take charge of her life by actively seeking the types of experiences she'd avoided all her life.
From embarking on 28 first dates to visiting a sex club and trying pot for the first time (an experience which landed her in the hospital), Hameister's many experiments provide thought-provoking and often hilarious reading to anyone who fears change and unfamiliar circumstances.
It's a fun romp through the process of taking risks and is especially highly recommended for readers who have spent their own lives avoiding change and feeling trapped, as a result. This audience will appreciate and applaud Hameister's moves and the lessons she learned from them.
Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream tells of an African American Muslim who grew up in New Jersey as the only girl in a hijab in town, who overcame prejudice for her color and gender to make a place for herself in the fencing community even though winning championships with her high school team didn't result in much acknowledgment of her skills.
She became an Olympic fencer despite being the only religious minority and woman of color on the U.S. women's saber team, challenging misconceptions and confronting misunderstandings that stood in the way of her dreams.
How she did this makes for a powerful memoir by an athlete who made a name for herself under seemingly insurmountable conditions.
No autobiography or sports holding should be without Muhammad's engrossing account, which will reach teen to adult readers alike with its detailed story of how to reach over barriers for the gold star.
South Toward Home
St. Martin's Press
South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in My Native Land blends a memoir with stories about Southern culture and living as Julia Reed details her journeys through the South and her own heritage.
Under another hand, South Toward Home could have been regulated to the travel section; but her insights into the culture of her fellow Southerners as well as her explorations of different locales throughout the South makes for a satisfying blend of self-assessment, enriching encounters, and Southern insights that will attract a range of readers as it mixes childhood experiences with adult observations.
Two outstanding new cookbooks from Murdoch offer fare that is different, appealing, and easy for American cooks to reproduce.
Makkie Mulder compiles Salads All Year Round: 100 Recipes for Mains, Sides and Dressings (9781745368862, $23.99), which packs in salads made heartier with the addition of meats, cheese, grains and fruits.
Designed to expand the usual idea of a salad as a side or vegetable dish alone, Salads All Year Round shows that salads can also be the main production, making them especially important during the heat of summer, when salads may be more welcome than stews or hot baked meat dishes.
From a Chicken Salad with Asparagus & Mango to Roasted Tomato Salad with Steak, recipes combine meats, veggies, and fruits in unusual ways, offering satisfyingly different blends of ingredients that don't typically appear on or in a salad environment.
A willingness to accept new tastes and ideas is a prerequisite, but this book's innovations and different flavors won't disappoint those cooks willing to try new things.
Anna Polyviou's Sweet Street: Show-Stopping Sweet Treats and Rockstar Desserts (9781743368183, $29.99) comes from a chef nicknamed the "Punk Princess of Pastry" and excels in rule-breaking innovations that offer new twists on dessert ideas.
Many of these desserts are complicated and involve a number of steps, such as the author's prize-winning Carrot Cake which involves making a sorbet, an apricot and carrot insert, a crunch disc, a crumble, and praline cream; all of which must be made individually and assembled.
Therefore, one prerequisite for completely appreciating this treasure trove of innovation is the time and inclination to put different pieces together for a unique finishing touch: something 'quick cookery' books can't begin to replicate.
Sweet Street is a festival the pink-haired cook/author created in 2014 in a Sydney, Australia hotel to share pastry dishes among cooks, but her award-winning approach translates well to home kitchens.
An opening chapter of quick and easy desserts that make the best of freezer and pantry demonstrates that not every production in this cookbook is complicated. All are visual treats, as well, which are captured in delicious color photos throughout.
Two outstanding new cookbooks are fine picks for home cooks seeking innovative, fresh takes on traditional fare that focus on quick dishes busy cooks can duplicate with a minimum of fuss.
Julius "The Chef" Jackson's My Modern Caribbean Kitchen (9781624145810, $21.99) features the author's fresh innovations on traditional Caribbean fare and covers all meals and snacks as he presents such dishes as a ground beef Carnival Beef Pate served in johnnycake dough, a brothless East Weeknight Pigeon Pea Soup with sweet potato, pumpkin, pigeon peas and pig's feet, and a Slow-Cooked Stewed Oxtails dish.
As an added plus, the color close-up photos of finished dishes are mouth-watering.
Samantha Ferraro's The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen: 80 Authentic, Healthy Recipes Made Quick and Easy for Everyday Cooking (9781624145544, $21.99) offers a diverse range of Mediterranean diet recipes which are quick and easy to reproduce for busy cooks, making this a recommended pick above similar-sounding Mediterranean cookbooks.
From a dish using summer zucchini's bounty, Zucchini and Halloumi Rollatini, which uses sliced zucchini rolled around cheese and baked on a tomato sauce to Baked Orzo with Artichokes, Tomatoes, and Halloumi, bright color photos and easy directions accompany dishes that are a snap to put together, visually appealing, and perfect for busy workers who want to whisk together a quick, healthy meal at day's end.
The Sweet Life
The Sweet Life: Home-Baking and Sweet Treats Italian Style features Italian baking traditions and comes from an author whose Calabrese family roots lend to a close inspection of baking traditions both traditional and modern.
Full page, nicely arranged color photos of finished dishes such as a Lemon and Zucchini Cake, a Vanilla Roasted Rhubarb Hazelnut Custard Tart, and Lemon and Almond Mascarpone Tarts with Strawberries accompany many step-by-step photos on producing appealing baked goods, while each recipe comes with a preface that discusses baking traditions and why each recipe stands out in the author's mind: "These cupcakes are a dream. They take me back to my childhood, the aroma of something sweet with that unforgettable custard vanilla aroma filling the kitchen." (This from the description for Apple Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting.)
Grams are converted into ounces (both are referenced) for easy American interpretation, while the collection's biggest attribute is a dessert selection of fare hard to find elsewhere, making The Sweet Life a 'must' for any discriminating cook looking for different dessert recipes.
A Bite-Sized History
Stéphane Hénault & Jeni Mitchell
The New Press
A Bite-Sized History of France: Gastronomic Tales and Revolution, War, and Enlightenment deserves a place in culinary and history collections alike. It surveys French culinary and cultural history as it considers the nation's evolution from the Roman era to modern times.
The authors blend the focus of a French cheesemonger with a war studies professor to create a unique approach that is somewhere between a political history and a culinary examination.
Its chapters are organized by a single dish or ingredient in French cuisine, but the discussion embraces war, global trade, and more wider-ranging social and political issues than the usual culinary history provides.
The result is a vivid survey that helps readers better understand French gastronomy in the face of the nation's political history, right up to modern political tensions in France, in a lively survey that embraces religious, cultural, culinary, and social insights alike.
A History of the
United States in Five Crashes
A History of the United States in Five Crashes: Stock Market Meltdowns That Defined a Nation blends economics and history in a book that contrasts The 1907 Panic, Black Tuesday and Black Monday, The Great Recession, and The Flash Crash.
Having these economic crises under one cover allows a rare opportunity to juxtapose their origins under similar conditions, such as new approaches to financial regulations and management or other events that trigged an economic response.
Investors, historians, and anyone who would better understand the economic history of the U.S. will find the ability to compare and closely examine these scenarios makes for a revealing study on the foundations of economic disaster and the impact of political experience on economic environments.
The House of Islam: A
The House of Islam: A Global History is written by a former Islamic fundamentalist who considers the roots of conflict both within the Muslim community around the world and in Western societies, offering a global history that couldn't have appeared at a better time to promote an understanding of Islam in the world.
From the contrasting and sometimes-conflicting purposes of Islam, Iran, and other Muslim nations to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, radicalism around the world, and both the history and theology of Islam, this examination is imperative for anyone who would understand the roots of modern conflict.
Ed Husain's focus on Sufism and alternative interpretations allows for an especially well-detailed survey that allows both those within the Muslim community and outside of it to better understand the theological, social, and political forces at work in Islamic communities and how they relate to the world.
No collection strong in Middle East relations or Islamic studies should be without this expansive global survey.
Five new books from Amherst Media are top recommendations, combining lovely photographic displays and photographer perspectives with an understanding of the elements that make for an exceptional image. This forms the basis for a better understanding of a photographer's craft in producing extraordinary images that stand out from competitors.
Kat Sloma's Art with an iPhone: A Photographer's Guide to Creating Altered Realities (9781682033081, $24.95) shows how to assemble apps and techniques that enhance an iPhone's abilities, offering a step-by-step survey of how to create art on an iPhone.
From step-by-step tutorials on selective adjustments, blending images, and adjusting balance to exporting the finished photos, Art with an iPhone moves well beyond the 'snapshot' approach and into the area of producing fine art from phone camera images.
Larry Johnson's Show Cats: Portraits of Fine Felines (9781682033104, $24.95) probes photo sessions at cat shows and explores how photographers capture the unique behaviors and attributes of show cats.
Cat photographer Johnson's insights in the challenges posed by particular breeds and approaches are specific to felines and will delight readers who want to produce winning cat images from either show or home settings.
Larry Singer's Rock & Roll: Concert and Backstage Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s (9781682032923, $24.95) comes from the photographer for Circus magazine, who presents stories behind his famous images and signature style.
Many of his photos are in the collection of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but the assembly of these black and white and color images under one cover creates a unified presentation of Singer's works and allows for contrasts between different close-up and stage images from these concerts.
While no specifics are given on how each image was captured, the notes about musicians and their poses are well done and specific, offering keys to aspiring concert photographers about how each image was conceived and captured.
David Mayhew's Storm Chaser: A Visual Tour of Severe Weather (9781682032961, $24.95) comes from an award-winning international photographer whose work on storms in tornado alley in the U.S. produces some spectacular images.
There is more science here than photography insights, but the stunning artistic images need little embellishment and offer lovely works that will inspire those who live in stormy areas, who want to capture the clouds.
NASA's images of planets, stars, galaxies and more in Hubble in Space (9781682033005, $24.95) provides no lessons on taking space shots, but is a remarkable collection of images of the night sky that will inspire anyone who likes astronomy photography or wants a science discussion replete with some of Hubble's best images.
Each book's specific focus and eye-popping examples offer aspiring photographers many insights into the possibilities involved in capturing nature.
David Lynch, Nudes
Thames & Hudson
David Lynch, Nudes packs in over a hundred black and white and color images of female nudes captured by the artist, and comes ten years after the exhibition 'The Air is On Fire' which made David Lynch a top name in artistic circles.
The oversized presentation of David Lynch, Nudes is the perfect vehicle for displaying his focus on close-up segments of the female face and body, enhancing a powerful celebration of Lynch's unique approach to portraying the female form.
Any art library strong in modern photographic portraits that translate to artistic displays will find David Lynch, Nudes a compelling, unique acquisition that promises lasting lending value.
The Propaganda Front: Postcards from the Era of World Wars (9780878467631, $45.00) presents propaganda postcards from both sides of the two world wars: images which are now housed in the Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive.
Reproducing some three hundred postcards in full color, The Propaganda Front represents a reflection of social and political sentiments of decades past in an artistic volume reproducing some of the finest political postcard approaches of the times.
These were originally published by organizations, government entities, and private publishers and their art, design, representations and approaches in postcard form are especially notable. The Propaganda Front is recommended for arts holdings as well as the social and political history collections that will be more likely to pick up this volume for analysis of 20th century values.
Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics: A Collaboration with Nobuo Tsuji and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (9780878468492, $45.00) profiles the Japanese artist's pop-art creations and includes not only his works, but selections from other Japanese artists that influenced his mentor, Nobuo Tsuji, and thus, indirectly, himself.
Selections from the
Japanese art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston were chosen
for this volume, juxtapose contemporary with traditional art, and
unusual timeline that allows readers to clearly see the connections
Japanese artistic forms and influences of the past on present-day works.
Few modern art collections adequately discuss or represent the concept of artistic lineage. Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics thus represents an unusual volume in many aspects, and is a 'must have' acquisition for any collection strong in Japanese history and culture: an essential reference for arts collections strong in contemporary Japanese masterpieces.
Science, Nature & Technology
Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees comes from a conservation biologist who reviews not just the present-day ecology of bees (which so many natural history books already provide); but an overall history that began 125 million years ago.
This sweeping world history of bees examines agricultural changes, hives, and bee management techniques from ancient to modern times, adding human and cultural history into its scientific examination of bees around the world.
From where flowers bloomed in the past and appear in present times to human connections to bees and special relationships between bees and specific plants, Buzz offers detailed insights into the bee's history, biology, and interactions in human and nature. It's a lively study recommended for anyone who wants a detailed survey of bees throughout the course of history.
Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage and A Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution tells of the author's two-month voyage from California to Hawaii, crossing the ocean on a homemade raft made from plastic soda bottles and old airplane parts.
Marcus Eriksen is a scientific researcher and an activist involved in the issue of plastic marine pollution and his voyage was made to draw public attention to the magnitude of such pollution in the ocean.
Even he didn't anticipate how harrowing the trip would be, and how many near-disasters they would face. Ultimately it accomplished its underlying goal: to not only draw world attention to the problem, but to more closely define it, as Eriksen and his team discovered that a "plastic smog" of particles defies easy cleanup.
Anyone interested in the world's oceans and the author's method of highlighting this dilemma will find Junk Raft educational, compelling, and hard to put down.
Susan Hand Shetterly
Seaweed Chronicles: A World at the Water's Edge presents nature writer Susan Hand Shetterly's investigation into seaweed from its presence in her Maine roots to its life cycle around the world.
Seaweed is important to many human and natural communities alike, and is a critical resource that needs protection. Chapters discuss seaweed harvesting and usage, conservation issues, natural history, businesses revolving around seaweed applications, and how environmental changes are affecting seaweed communities around the world.
Readers of ocean ecology and management will find Seaweed Chronicles to be especially lively because of its interviews, the insights from those with a special knowledge of seaweed, and surveys of marine resource groups and scientists alike.
It's a highly recommended pick for anybody interested in seaweed ecology, harvesting, and conservation issues.
Social and Political Issues
The Briefing: Politics, the Press, and the President gives White House insider Sean Spicer's perceptions of not just the Trump administration, but those he worked under for more than two decades.
As behind-the-scenes events unfold and Spicer moved from comparatively private circles to a more public position, he experienced many challenges and new tasks, which he outlines in The Briefing.
Notable not only for its daily chronicles but Spicer's overall assessment of press secretary operations and events, The Briefing examines core principles of Bannonism and other forces, considers executive orders and functions, documents specific news events, successes and screw-ups, and is a 'must' for anyone who would look behind the Trump news to consider the daily experiences of one who was appointed to serve as President Trump's mouthpiece, using this book to consider the role and efforts of those who come after him.
University of Georgia Press
Catfish Dream: Ed Scott's Fight for his Family Farm and Racial Justice in the Mississippi Delta should be in any civil rights collection; particularly those with a specific interest in Mississippi Delta history and racial issues. It describes how Ed Scott struggled with a racist system which was embedded in democratic and political processes at both local and national levels, and it documents Scott's family's resistance to these processes.
Where other civil rights accounts would separate historical events from personal insights, Catfish Dream documents one man's struggles and blends it into wider-ranging insights about the American South, African-American business pursuits, and culinary and social developments alike.
Replete with biographical information, vintage black and white photos, and discussions of moral choices and challenges, this intimate survey is highly recommended for any social issues and civil rights history collection.
New Dark Age
New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future focuses on how technology actually destroys knowledge rather than building it. If this approach sounds surprising, note that there is an increasing wealth of unverified speculation in the news today, leading to a high volume of information that is confusing, conflicting, and often simply incomprehensible.
The growth of this uncertainty may counteract the promise of technological achievement, especially in the areas of psychological development, interpersonal relationships, and the arts, leading to changes in how people respond to the data onslaught.
From delusions and the validation of conspiracy theories and thought to the uncertainties of relying on a network for validation and understanding, chapters tackle the evolution of computational thinking, explores networks as adaptations designed to handle the mass of information, and consider the specter of a new dark age that may be wrought by the fast-accelerating information age.
No collection strong in information technology, computers, or social issues should be without this thought-provoking analysis.
Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society comes from a progressive social and political analyst who considers the latest political milieu in America, crafting essays that focus on how inequality has affected all layers of society, from the workplace to daily life and hobbies.
Prior fans of Thomas Frank may recognize some of these essays from their appearances in such mainstream publications as The Wall Street Journal, but when taken as a whole, under one cover, they assume new meaning and importance; especially since most have been updated, revised, and include new material.
From how history and opinion is passed down to the lasting impact of presidential decisions and how they are spun to future generations, chapters discuss everything from why trade issues polarize so many Americans to how diploma mills challenge educational legitimacy.
Hard-hitting and wide-ranging in tone, Rendezvous with Oblivion is a highly recommended starting point for debate and discussion for social issues and political readers alike.
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism is essential reading for all races and explores why white people become angry and defensive when issues surrounding racism are raised.
From new incarnations of racist behavior patterns after the Civil Rights movement to Robin Diangelo's contention that whiteness was used to justify historic atrocities in this country, White Fragility probes the foundations of racist beliefs and approaches, changes between generations, the notion of white fragility and why racism is difficult for white people to comprehend, and how color-blind efforts may also constitute a form of racism.
Much food for thought is presented here, making White Fragility a perfect choice for any serious discussion of civil rights, American social history, and racism in this country.
Dreaming the Beatles
Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World comes from a seasoned music journalist for Rolling Stone Magazine who considers the events surrounding four Liverpool boys who formed the world's biggest group which then broke up, only to see its popularity continue to grow.
From emotional connections to the group's constantly-evolving sound to how the Beatles' songs and sound became the voice that carried societies around the world even 50 years later, this survey of their lives, hits, personalities, and mystique provides a wide-ranging exploration into pop music. It's especially recommended for generations new to the backgrounds of the Beatles members, who are just beginning to delve into the phenomenon and its lasting impact on generations of popular music fans around the world.
Selected Works, Critical Perspectives and Interviews on His Influence
H.P. Lovecraft Edited by Leverett Butts
H.P. Lovecraft: Selected Works, Critical Perspectives and Interviews on His Influence gathers Lovecraft's most famous stories, adds his poetry and an abridgment of his monograph Supernatural Horror in Literature, and pairs these with criticism from various scholars, essays by fellow horror writers, and insights that analyze the structure of his narratives and the literary impact of his creations.
From arrangements and interpretations of verse to the Victorian era's influence on Lovecraft's world, this collection serves as both a sampler of some of Lovecraft's more remarkable writings and analytical discussions of his devices, influences, and impact.
No Lovecraft collection would be complete without this scholarly analysis.
Jeroen Van Geel
Pitching Ideas: Make People Fall in Love with your Ideas is for organizations and individuals who want to make reasoned, logical idea presentations to those who might buy or help promote them, and is recommended for social issues, business, psychology and even arts holdings alike.
Innovators and creators are usually the last people good at pitching and selling their ideas, so Pitching Ideas is perfect for these who need to put their creative purposes to better use to attract supporters or patrons.
What does it take to gain financial and business support? Pitching Ideas shows what is important in a presentation, how to address the common concerns and interests of supporters, and how to craft a pitch that is virtually irresistible. These facets are usually missing from books that focus on how to do presentations without adding in the underlying business concerns of those who make financial investment decisions, creating an invaluable tool, here.
Three outstanding new titles are recommended for education collections and educators interested in building new models for literacy and understanding, offering very different topics and approaches that will appeal to many different educators.
Lacy Brejcha's Makerspaces in School: A Month-by-Month Schoolwide Model for Building Meaningful Makerspaces (9781618217806, $21.95) is organized into a monthly plan for implementation and helps educators design and create a Makerspace.
These project-oriented spaces for students offer many different educational benefits, but relatively few books have covered exactly how they can be built and maintained, much less how they can be linked to broader educational goals.
Makerspaces in School provides tools for educators who want to create such spaces in a classroom or school, emphasizing how each space can be different depending on physical space, educational perspectives, and approaches.
Brian C. Housand, Ph.D.'s Fighting Fake News! Teaching Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in a Digital Age (9781618217288, $29.95) is directed to teachers of grades 4-6, but includes information many an adult will find key to understanding the digital age and various processes of evaluating information and statistics.
From how to become a more effective critical consumer in processing the wealth of information that arrives daily to understanding how news is reported, spun, and too often abbreviated beyond logic, Fighting Fake News! is packed with examples and activities designed to explain issues in emotional response, accuracy in representation, and communication choices.
Ariel Baska and Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Ed.D.'s Interventions That Work with Special Populations in Gifted Education (9781618217097, $39.95) is for regular classroom teachers who work with special needs students, and shows how to identify opportunities that exist in gifted education, for reaching and managing these students.
From templates for encouraging social interactions and cognitive growth to setting goals and milestones and assessing their achievement, Interventions That Work with Special Populations in Gifted Education offers a series of scaffolds which serve as building blocks for elevating learning processes and incorporating techniques such as videotherapy into classroom settings.
Two fine new needlework titles are recommendations for knitters and crocheters seeking different, stylish project patterns and clothing.
Anniken Allis's Easy Lace Knits: All You Need to Know to Start Knitting Lace & 20 Simply Beautiful Patterns (9780811719018, $24.95) provides lace knitting tips, instructions, and projects that range from shawls to scarves and gloves, including a series of lace charts that tie everything together for all knitters.
These lace patterns are easy to learn, but produce results that look far more complicated. Full-page color photos, patterns, and step-by-step instructions provide everything needed to reproduce these lovely lacy clothes, while notes and project designations for different skill levels make the book accessible to different skill sets.
Rohn Strong's Crochet Lacy Shawls: 27 Original Wraps with a Vintage Vibe (9780811717861, $24.95) uses a variety of construction methods to create different lacy shawls, gearing project styles to variations that beginning, intermediate, and advanced crocheters can easily follow.
One can begin with a basic shawl and then use the same construction method for more advanced stitch patterns.
Inviting color photos accompany crochet directions that require only a basic knowledge of crochet abbreviations and applications to prove successful and inviting.
Three new publications are top, recommended picks for libraries strong in home and garden guides, providing specific insights into raising animals, keeping bees, and preparing for disaster.
Kathy Harrison's Prepping 101: 40 Steps You Can Take to Be Prepared (9781612129570, $16.95) is for any family member who would prepare for family emergencies, weather and natural disasters, power outages, and more. It outlines some 40 easily-implemented steps to help protect family and pet during either short- or long-term emergencies.
From how to calculate food and water needs and how to protect kids and pets to going to garage sales to amass lamps, candles, and other emergency supplies at bargain prices, this prepper's book should be first in any consideration of emergency preparedness.
Bob Bennett's Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits, 5th Edition (9781612129761, $24.95) discusses breeds, rabbit care, housing and record-keeping, and recipes for cooking rabbit, covering all the basics needed to raise, manage, and use rabbits.
Beginning breeders, in particular, will find Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits an excellent starting point which covers everything from choosing the right breed to mating, housing litters, and using and selling fiber and meat.
Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees by Malcolm T. Sanford and Richard E. Bonney (9781612129785, $24.95) appears in its second edition to survey honey production, pollination, and bee health.
Color photos throughout accompany specifics newcomers will find especially valuable, from providing proper bee housing for all seasons to creating a pollination schedule, capturing a swarm, troubleshooting problems, and more.
There is no need for a particular approach to beekeeping, here: both owners of just a few boxes and others who envision a larger-scale production will appreciate Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees and its clear information and specifics.
Georgetown University Press
Strategy, Evolution and War: From Apes to Artificial Intelligence belongs in security studies, military, technology and social issues holdings alike. It's actually difficult to neatly denote a single audience that would be the most interested in this survey of how artificial intelligence will profoundly change strategy and military decision-making processes.
In order to adequately understand the meaning and impact of these changes, readers need to understand the background of how decisions are made. This survey of cognitive decision-making processes in both human and AI realms provides a complete background necessary for understanding the cognitive processes involved in organizing and deploying armed forces.
The result is a scholarly, detailed analysis that should appeal to a wide range of readers concerned about AI and security-related issues.
Varla Ventura's Paranormal Parlor: Ghosts, Séances & Tales of True Hauntings gathers supernatural encounters, ghost stories, and original accounts of all manner of hauntings. These include messages via ouija board and other Victorian games to legends surrounding cemeteries, haunted houses and businesses, and institutions.
The lively documentation of these ghostly encounters and Varla Ventura's lifelong fascination with and sense of comfort surrounding the possibilities and presence of ghosts makes for an inviting survey of various paranormal circumstances that will pique interest in readers interested in the tales from Ventura's world.
This injection of personal observation and encounters with overall paranormal history creates a lively, fun read recommended for anyone with a prior interest in exceptional stories of the supernatural.
Two excellent reads are standouts that should be considered for any discriminating library catering to either picture book or middle-grade readers.
Eileen Spinelli's Miss Fox's Class Earns a Field Trip (9780807551691, $16.99) receives lovely, bright illustrations by Anne Kennedy, who brings the animals of Miss Fox's class to life.
Miss Fox's class is on their way to the Roller Coaster Planet—if they can earn money for the journey. Unfortunately, their fundraisers flop and result in escapades that don't add to the coffers, but actually diminish them. How can they achieve the trip of their dreams if they can't even get off the ground via a savings program?
Good reading skills will enhance enjoyment of this fun story of ambition and achievement against all odds.
Elizabeth Briggs's Future Lost (9780807526897, $9.99) represents the final book in the series about Elena Martinez and Adam's time-traveling adventures.
It's been a year since they've been on an adventure, and Elena is in college while Adam is working on a cure for cancer. When Adam vanishes, Elena realizes he's used a new accelerator to journey to the future to solve the problem of his cure. And he hasn't returned.
Elena finds herself once again on a time travel journey to rescue him in a vivid conclusion to a series that is especially recommended for prior fans who already have the background of Elena's adventures and look forward to the concluding story in the journey.
Two releases from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt should be in any children's book collection, and are highly recommended reads.
The first recommendation is actually a new release of an older classic. Janell Cannon's Stellaluna (9780544874350, $18.99) appeared twenty-five years ago but reappears now in a new edition that holds bonus crafts for new generations.
Little fruit bat Stellaluna finds herself alone when she's separated from her mother too early, but she finds new friends who guide her through the unfamiliar world.
This enhanced edition holds the same gorgeous full-page color illustrations, requires good reading skills or parental read-aloud assistance, and includes bat notes for further learning.
Betsy Cornwell's The Forest Queen (9780544888197, $17.99) introduces teen Silvie's brother John, who becomes sheriff of Woodshire and begins to abuse those under him. When he plots to marry her off, Silvie runs away with good friends, only to find a number of villages joining them.
An idea evolves to fight injustice and wrongdoing, but Silvie hasn't counted on her brother's evil nature, its evolution, or his growing power.
Advanced elementary to middle grade readers who like retellings of classic stories will relish this redo of the Robin Hood legend.
Two new picture book stories are highly recommended reads celebrating friendship and new discoveries, and will delight parents and youngsters looking for something different.
Chelsea H. Rowe's Ebenezer Has A Word for Everything (9781561458486, $17.95) is illustrated by Frank Dormer and tells of a boy who collects words and adds new discoveries to his Word Book.
His passion for language is puzzling, and he's alone in his obsession until he befriends Fitzgerald, who has many ideas but no words to express them.
Not only are the roots of stories explored; but the foundations of friendship between seemingly-opposite individuals.
Alex Latimer's Am I Yours? (9781682630440, $16.95) features a group of dinosaurs that try to help a lost egg search for its parents after it's blown out of its nest. The only problem is: the egg stage holds no clue about what dinosaur could be its parent. How can a dinosaur find its kin when it's not even hatched?
Good reading skills or parental assistance will lend appreciation and understanding to this fun story of a dinosaur's dilemma, which receives colorful and large-size visual embellishments.
Two new books provide stories that will appeal to different age ranges, offering unique and spirited tales designed to attract leisure-reading audiences.
Tracy Holczer's Everything Else in the Universe (9780399`63944, $16.99) tells of twelve-year-old Lucy, who misses her father after he's drafted to Vietnam.
Now he's returning home minus an arm, and while Lucy feels the worst is behind them, many challenges lay ahead of them. Her father has to adjust to life as an amputee as well as a veteran, and Lucy feels newly alienated from him.
Her friendship with Milo, a local boy with a secret, leads to the discovery of an anonymous soldier's Purple Heart and family photos buried in Lucy's back yard and a quest to find their rightful owner; in the process, helping the duo come to terms with challenges in their lives.
A moving story emerges, perfect for middle school readers.
Deborah Underwood's Walrus in the Bathtub (9780803741010, $17.99) is illustrated by Matt Hunt and tells of an unexpected walrus discovery during a bath.
One expects to deal with wet towels, used-up toothpaste, and more; but a walrus brings unexpected new bathroom challenges, from various services that will not help get it out of the tub to the discovery that the walrus sings; with disastrous results.
A fun story is crafted which will delight picture book readers who like zany stories and who have good reading skills, or read-aloud parents seeking something refreshingly original.
Simon & Schuster
These new books offer teens, middle grade and picture book readers attractive leisure read choices, and are highly recommended picks that are standouts for various reasons.
Janice Lynn Mather's Learning to Breathe (9781534406018, $18.99) tells of Doubles, who has a reputation for being fresh, cheap and easy. Everyone knows that Doubles is trouble, but she's just looking for a safe place that feels more like a home than she's ever known.
The move to Nassau is a new start—or, is it a different kind of trouble? Kids who like stories of transformation and change will relish Doubles and her dilemmas in this realistic story of family relationships and a girl who longs for a different kind of life.
Rebecca Roanhorse's Trail of Lightning (9781534413498, $27.99) provides a powerful apocalyptic story with a difference. Most of world has drowned beneath sudden rising waters, but the former Navajo reservation of Dinétah has been transformed in a strange new world where those with supernatural gifts face challenges.
Maggie is a monster hunter who comes to the aid of a small town, but when she begins to work with the local medicine man on the reservation, she uncovers magic and ancient evils that introduce new truths about the killings.
Mature teens will find Trail of Lightning a complex, riveting story blending Native American flavors with apocalyptic and thriller elements to make for a genre-busting, engrossing story.
Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before (9781534438378, $10.99) provides the book that began a Netflix film bestseller and follows Lara Covey's love life, which turns from imagined romances to disaster when her love letters to the five boys she once loved are mistakenly mailed to out.
Lara has poured out her heart in each of these missives. Now they are coming back to haunt her in real life in this fun, quirky, different kind of romance story that delves into not only her newfound relationships, but her wish that she hadn't imagined anything at all.
Teens will find this story fun, revealing, and much more in-depth than the anticipated romance angle alone could have provided.
Amy Makechnie's The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair (9781534414464, $17.99) comes from a debut novelist who follows a ten-year-old girl on her journey to find a missing neighbor.
Guinevere is going to be a lawyer, she's a street-savvy New York City girl recently transplanted to Iowa, and she's facing her mother's memory loss issues.
The only thing within her control seems to be this new case; but when her investigation leads into trouble, Guinevere must solve a problem that leads right back to home. An inspirational story emerges about a spunky heroine.
Hena Kahn's On Point (9781534412026, $16.99) presents ages 7-10 with the second book in the 'Chasing the Dream' series about young aspiring basketball star Zayd, who has made the Gold Team at last.
Unfortunately, the team begins to struggle, and its reputation drops. Zayd must wonder if his presence has something to do with matters; especially when his best friend decides to quit just as they finally are sharing a coveted dream.
Quvenzhané Wallis works with Nancy Ohlin and illustrator Sharee Miller in To the Rescue! (9781481458887, $15.99) for ages 6-10, which profiles best friends Shari and Emmie, who have their sights set on being superstars and friends of animals.
This third novel in the series follows their efforts to promote a concert to help stray pets; but when Shari finds a bunny in her backyard, she's determined to make it part of her goals. How could rescuing one bunny prove more difficult than the wider-ranging goal of organizing a benefit concert? And, can she achieve both at once? An engrossing dilemma emerges, centered around good hearts and difficult ventures.
Picture book readers also have some fine stories to enjoy.
Heidi McKinnon's I Just Ate My Friend (9781534410329, $17.99) outlines a dilemma faced by a little monster whose impulse results in the loss of his good friend.
Friends are not as
easy to replace as one might think. As the monster asks suitable
if they would be willing to be his new friend, all kinds of
issues emerge in this simple, fun story of finding the perfect friend.
Christian Trimmer's Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies (9781481462686, $17.99) will reach ages 4-8 with a lovely, oversized presentation illustrated by Jessie Sima about a beautiful white horse with a lovely black mane.
Children love the sweet Snow Pony, but jealous Queenie decides to drive her away from the stable by luring her into danger, and Snow Pony becomes lost.
How can Snow Pony find the way home; particularly if Snow Pony finds a stable of cute mini-ponies to hang out with?
Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail's Two Problems for Sophia (9781481477888, $17.99) tells of Sophia and her Noodle, a pet who comes with some pretty big problems attached: problems that could tear her family apart.
Noodle likes the family; but they struggle with some bad habits. How can Sophia solve the problem of snoring and other issues?
This fun story requires some read-aloud assistance or word skills, but provides kids with a fun and delightfully whimsical approach to pets, families, and dreams.
Sleeping Bear Press
Five new picture books provide a diverse range of stories to young leisure readers and are highly recommended picks.
Bundle Up by Jennifer Sattler (9781534110021, $7.99) is the third title in the board book series about a fun little hippo, and uses humor and visuals to help toddlers learn primary and secondary colors.
Early literacy skills are reinforced by a question and answer format as the little hippo gets dressed for the cold outdoors, starting with yellow mittens and ending with a blue hat.
The engaging hippo drawings on every page create a delightful tale that kids will relish.
Linda Vander Heyden's Hannah's Tall Order: An A to Z Sandwich (9781585363827, $16.99) enjoys zany, fun, and oversized drawings by Kayla Harren as it provides a different kind of ABC primer.
Rollicking rhymes follow Hannah as she considers an 'A-Z sandwich' on thick whole wheat bread that moves from avocados and olives to radishes, sunflower seeds, and even 'ugli fruit', chopped up fine.
The combination of a fun food feast and a girl's big ideas for her meal creates a zany ABC food primer that kids will love.
Jennifer Sattler's Bully (9781585364159, $16.99) is about a little bullfrog named Bully, who lives in a pond filled with lilies. Bully has this paradise all to himself because he's chased out all its other residents; but one thing he learns about his bullying ways is that they don't necessarily give him his heart's desire.
Bully's attitude should change; but before it does, readers are treated to a fun view of his ideas of life and satisfaction.
Nicholas Day's Junk: A Spectacular Tale of
$16.99) is illustrated by Tom Disbury and reveals Sylvia Wright, who
treasures in items others would deem just junk.
Sylvia is intent on transforming all the junk she sees into something creatively wonderful. The only problem is: she doesn't know what that special something will be.
Ages 4-8 with rudimentary reading skills will be interested in Sylvia's secret project and the imagination which goes into turning a whole lot of nothing and junk into something useful and fun.
Lindsey McDivitt's Nature's Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story (9781585364053, $16.99) is illustrated by Eileen Ryan Ewen and follows the life of a renowned artist who has created nature-inspired art for decades.
Ages 6-10 will discover a fine picture book biography that reads with the descriptions and excitement of fiction, but captures the big dreams of Gwen, who longs to be an artist but finds that she has to be a businesswoman to finance her biggest goal, first.
All are unique, compelling reads.