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We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

Current Issue: July 2018, Issue #231

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Guide to Contents this Page 

Anthropology / Archaeology

Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece, 1st edition edited by Anastasia Papathanasiou, William A. Parkinson, Daniel J. Pullen, Michael L. Galaty, & Panagiotis Karkanas (Oxbow)

Anthropology / Handbooks

The Oxford Handbook of the Incas edited by Sonia Alconini & R. Alan Covey (Oxford Handbooks: Oxford University Press)

Arts & Photography / Contemporary

Retroactivity and Contemporary Art by Craig Staff (Bloomsbury Academic)

Business & Economics / Advertising / Annual

The One Show, Volume 39 by The One Club (Rockport Publishers)

Cooking, Food & Wine

Fire Food: The Ultimate BBQ Cookbook by Christian Stevenson, with photography by David Loftus (Quadrille)

Criminology / Terrorism / Law / Handbooks

The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law, in 2 volumes, 1st edition edited by Colin King, Clive Walker, & Jimmy Gurulé (Palgrave Macmillan, Palgrave Handbooks)

Engineering / Mechanical

Energy, the Environment, and Sustainability, 1st edition by Efstathios E. Michaelides (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Series: CRC Press)

Folklore / Herbs / Healing / Magic

Italian Folk Magic: Rue's Kitchen Witchery by Mary-Grace Fahrun (Weiser Books)

History / Biographies

The Shadow Emperor: A Biography of Napoleon III by Alan Strauss-Schom (St. Martin’s Press)

History / LGBT / Chicago

The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third-Sexers, Pansies, Queers, and Sex Morons in Chicago's First Century by Jim Elledge (Chicago Review Press)

History / Sociology

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged, running time: 15.5 hours by Mike Davis, narrated by Timothy John Campbell (Tantor Media)

Humor / Lifestyle / Aging

Fifty and Other F-Words: Reflections from the Rearview Mirror by Margot Potter (Sterling)

Philosophy / Metaphysics

The Expansion of Metaphysics by Miklós Vetö, translated from the French by William C. Hackett, with a foreword by David Carr (Cascade Books)

Politics / City / Public Policy / Urban Studies

New York City Politics: Governing Gotham, 2nd edition by Bruce F. Berg (Rutgers University Press)

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Preaching

Backstory Preaching: Integrating Life, Spirituality, and Craft by Lisa Cressman (Liturgical Press)

Religion & Spirituality / History / Ancient / Cosmology

Decoding Maori Cosmology: The Ancient Origins of New Zealand’s Indigenous Culture by Laird Scranton (Inner Traditions)

Science / Biology / Evolution

Turning Points: How Critical Events Have Driven Human Evolution, Life, and Development by Kostas Kampourakis (Prometheus Books)

Science / Biology / Genetics

She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer (Dutton)

Self-Help / Guides

The Disaster Survival Guide: How to Prepare For and Survive Floods, Fires, Earthquakes and More by Marie D. Jones (Visible Ink Press)

Travel / Cooking, Food & Wine

The Wandering Vine: Wine, the Romans and Me by Nina Caplan (Bloomsbury Continuum)

Reviews

 Anthropology / Archaeology

Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece, 1st edition edited by Anastasia Papathanasiou, William A. Parkinson, Daniel J. Pullen, Michael L. Galaty, & Panagiotis Karkanas (Oxbow)

Alepotrypa Cave at Diros Bay, Lakonia, Greece, is a massive karstic formation of consecutive chambers ending at a lake. The cave was excavated by G. Papathanasopoulos from 1970 to 2006. In conjunction with the surrounding area, it was used as a complementary habitation area, burial site, and place for ceremonial activity during the Neolithic c 6000 to 3200 BC. As a sealed, single-component, archaeological site, the Neolithic settlement complex of Alepotrypa Cave is one of the richest sites in Greece and Europe in terms of number of artifacts, preservation of biological materials, volume of undisturbed deposits, and horizontal exposure of archaeological surfaces of past human activity and this publication is an important contribution to ongoing archaeological research of the Neolithic Age in Greece in particular, but also in Anatolia, the Balkans and Europe in general. Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece, an edited volume, offers a scholarly interdisciplinary study and interpretation of the results of approximately 40 years of excavation and analysis. It includes numerous chemical analyses and a much needed long series of radiocarbon dates, the corresponding microstratigraphic, stratigraphic and ceramic sequence, the human burials, stone and bone tools, faunal and floral remains, isotopic analyses, specific locations of human activities and ceremonies inside the cave, as well as a site description and the history of the excavation conducted by G. Papathanasopoulos.

Editors are Anastasia Papathanasiou, an archaeologist with the Greek Ministry of Culture in the Ephorate of Paleoanthropology and Speleology; William A. Parkinson, Associate Curator of Eurasian Anthropology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago; Daniel J. Pullen, Professor of Classics at Florida State University; Michael L. Galaty, Professor of Anthropology at Mississippi State University, where he is Head of the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, and Interim Director of the Cobb Institute of Archaeology; and Panagiotis (Takis) Karkanas, the Director of the Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory for Archaeological Science in the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The book has 26 contributors.

The Greek Neolithic Period lasted from 6,800 BC to 3,200 BC. Archaeological evidence for the Greek Neolithic is based mainly on Thessalian and Northern Greek open-air sites, either flat sites or tells, while evidence from Southern Greece is less abundant and rather under-represented. Therefore, a purpose of Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece is to contribute to filling this void, and to document, through a multidisciplinary approach, an extremely important and culturally rich site, aiming to define both its particularities and its position in the broader natural and cultural landscape.

The artifact backlog from the 1970 to 2006 excavation seasons at Alepotrypa was studied and the results are published in Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece. This contribution is essential to current Neolithic research as it brings a unique site, one of the most important in Europe, to the attention of the archaeological community. Most crucially, this volume is a multidisciplinary work of more than twenty specialized researchers, addressing all kinds of cultural and environmental material. The book includes work based on numerous chemical analyses and a long series of radiocarbon dates (much needed for this period) in relation to the corresponding microstratigraphic, stratigraphic, and ceramic sequences. Taken as a whole, the study presents detailed scientific observations and dates interrelated within the framework of a broader interpretive picture, in an effort to understand the specificities of the site, the social actions, the natural and cultural landscapes and the lifeways existing at that point in prehistory.

The last chapter, by A. Papathanasiou, is a synthesis of the results presented in all the previous chapters. The chapter raises the matter of the use of caves in the Neolithic, storage and habitation in a cave, ritual/ceremonial expression, monumentality, continuity, seasonality, structured deposits and patterning, long distance trade, agricultural and husbandry practices and the significance of domesticates.

Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece is the first definitive publication on the major Neolithic settlement, cemetery and ceremonial site of Alepotrypa Cave, Greece, which is virtually unique in its preservation of undisturbed archaeological deposits including biological material, a wealth of artifacts and burials, following collapse of the cave roof. It describes an unprecedented sequence of Neolithic deposits and burials supported by radiocarbon dating. It presents detailed spatial analyses of cultural and environmental material in order to define and examine the distribution and nature of specific human activities.

The twenty-three chapters of Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece bring this significant site to the attention of the archaeological community, after more than 40 years of excavations. Furthermore, this volume tightens the relation between the sciences and the humanities, materiality and social practices, and in particular archaeological science and observation with anthropological socialized interpretation.

Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece offers a full scholarly and interdisciplinary study and interpretation of Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave's rich material and cultural record. The results of the excavations in Alepotrypa Cave will prove crucial to subsequent archaeological research, in that they establish regional artifact typologies, refine chronologies and yield information critical for understanding the material culture and the social organization of later Neolithic societies in the Aegean and the Balkans. They contribute to a better understanding of human behavior and cultural evolution for the broader Neolithic by describing and interpreting aspects of change, continuity, ritual expression and material culture.

Anthropology / Handbooks

The Oxford Handbook of the Incas edited by Sonia Alconini & R. Alan Covey (Oxford Handbooks: Oxford University Press)

 

When Spaniards invaded their realm in 1532, the Incas ruled the largest empire of the pre-Columbian Americas. Just over a century earlier, military campaigns began to extend power across a broad swath of the Andean region, bringing local societies into new relationships with colonists and officials who represented the Inca state. With Cuzco as its capital, the Inca empire encompassed a multitude of peoples of diverse geographic origins and cultural traditions dwelling in the outlying provinces and frontier regions. Bringing together an international group of well-established scholars and emerging researchers, The Oxford Handbook of the Incas is dedicated to revealing the origins of this empire, as well as its evolution and aftermath.

Editors are Sonia Alconini, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at San Antonio and Alan Covey, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin. The book has 48 contributors.

The scope of The Oxford Handbook of the Incas is comprehensive. It places the century of Inca imperial expansion within a broader historical and archaeological context, and then turns from Inca origins to the imperial political economy and institutions that facilitated expansion. Provincial and frontier case studies explore the negotiation and implementation of state policies and institutions, and their effects on the communities and individuals that made up the bulk of the population. Several chapters describe religious power in the Andes, and the special statuses that staffed the state religion, maintained records, served royal households, and produced craft goods to support state activities.
The Incas did not disappear in 1532, and The Oxford Handbook of the Incas continues into the Colonial and later periods, exploring not only the effects of the Spanish conquest on the lives of the indigenous populations, but also the cultural continuities and discontinuities. Moving into the present, the volume ends with an overview of the ways in which the image of the Inca and the pre-Columbian past is memorialized and reinterpreted by contemporary Andeans.

The Inca Empire was not only the largest state to develop in the pre-Columbian Americas; it was also a complex political organization that swiftly conquered most of the Andean region in roughly a century of campaigns. Without a standard writing sys­tem accessible to wider audiences, or currency that could facilitate administration of far-flung regions, the Inca Empire challenges longstanding preconceptions of statehood and forces scholars to develop new explanations and paradigms to understand non-Western and pre-capitalist empires. In recent years, significant advances have been made in revealing the complex nature of this pre-Columbian empire, thanks to research that cross-cuts traditional disciplinary boundaries. Moving beyond conventional perspectives that foreground the deeds of Inca rulers and repeat colonial Inca descrip­tions of the state institutions and policies that made up their empire, recent scholarship employs different approaches, lines of evidence and scales of analysis to contribute a more nuanced understanding of the actors and social groups that made up this singu­lar polity. In addition, vigorous research conducted in the more distant provinces chal­lenges claims made by Inca nobles in the imperial capital, revealing a suite of practices and strategies deployed by imperial agents and indigenous populations as they negoti­ated their standing and power in the emerging social order. These studies have revealed not only how state policies and institutions were implemented, but also, perhaps more important, how they were actually adapted and negotiated, and what effects they had on the lives of the millions of Inca subjects and other Andean peoples.

Recognizing the value of emerging research to explain new facets of the Inca story, the editors designed The Oxford Handbook of the Incas to be a comprehensive volume dedicated to bringing together a broad array of new work that approaches the Incas from multi-disciplinary perspectives and at different geographic and temporal scales. Readers will find in this volume investigations that draw on archaeology, ethnohistory, art history, ethnography, history, architecture, and biochemistry to gain a deeper understanding of this empire and its people.

The scope of The Oxford Handbook of the Incas is broad. At a geographic level it presents new syntheses from the imperial heartland and adjacent provinces, as well as those in the more distant provinces and frontier regions. The themes are also varied – some controversial, and some just emerging in the scholarly literature. Whereas some chapters address the nature of Inca institutions, and how Andean principles of social organization helped the Incas to build a vast and complex empire, other contributions use bottom-up perspectives to assess how such institutions and practices were actually implemented and modified by competing actors. Complementing these approaches, there are also chapters that combine bioarchaeology and geochem­ical analysis. Applied to human remains, these analyses help to provide a detailed examination of the health, geographic origins, and hardships experienced by many ethnic groups. Applied to cultural materials like metal or ceramics, geochemical analyses contribute to better reconstructions of how goods, peoples, and ideas moved within the empire.

On a temporal scale, The Oxford Handbook of the Incas places the century of Inca imperial growth within a broader context. It starts with the predecessors of the Inca state, including those that influenced the eventual rise of this empire. This is followed by an examination of political economy and institutions that facilitated the growth of the Inca realm, and the trajectories of outlying provinces, based on a set of case studies. Rather than end with the arrival of Spaniards in the Andes in 1532, The Oxford Handbook of the Incas contains chapters on the colonial and later periods, exploring not only the effects of the European invasions on the lives of the indigenous populations, but also the cultural continuities and discon­tinuities. Moving into the present, the volume ends will an overview of the Inca influ­ence on the collective imaginary, and the ways in which the past is memorialized and reinterpreted by contemporary Andeans and others.

Because of the integrated nature of The Oxford Handbook of the Incas, this Handbook serves as an important contribution to Inca and Andean studies of the twenty-first century. It highlights major achievements of Inca scholarly work, while also setting the ground for future research. Each part ends with an additional concluding chapter written by the editors, where the editors highlight commonalities, discrepancies, and future research avenues.

The Oxford Handbook of the Incas makes an important contribution to Inca and Andean studies that utilizes a multidisciplinary, multiscale approach. The book is thoroughly researched and richly illustrated with more than forty articles and two hundred illustrations. Chapters break new ground using innovative multidisciplinary research from the areas of archaeology, ethnohistory and art history.

Arts & Photography / Contemporary

Retroactivity and Contemporary Art by Craig Staff (Bloomsbury Academic)

Contemporary art is often preoccupied with time, or acts in which the past is recovered. Through specific case studies of artists who strategically work with historical moments, Retroactivity and Contemporary Art examines how art from the last two decades has sought to mobilize these particular histories, and to what effect, against the backdrop of Modernism.

Drawing on the art theory of Rosalind Krauss and the philosophies of Paul Ricouer, Gerhard Richter, and Pierre Nora, Craig Staff in Retroactivity and Contemporary Art interprets those works that foreground some aspect of retroactivity – whether re-enacting, commemorating, or re-imagining – as key artistic strategies.

Staff is Reader in Fine Art at The University of Northampton, UK.

Staff in Retroactivity and Contemporary Art says there is an impulse within contemporary art that is concerned with both time and the potential recovery of the past or a particular moment therein. This aspect of a work, namely, its retroactivity, entails utiliz­ing that which has previously occurred, happened or existed. As a consequence, retroactivity requires us to consider and reflect upon how that which inhabits the past tense can become reimagined within the present tense and material effects of what is a work of art. This fundamen­tal question frames Retroactivity and Contemporary Art as a whole and as such, focuses upon those works that foreground some aspect of the past (or equally, what has passed), as a means to engender a particular set of meanings.

Within the context of Retroactivity and Contemporary Art, the analysis of retroactivity within contemporary art encompasses instances that are somehow organized around particular historical moments. So, for example, Raum/Room (1994) by Thomas Demand is based on the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler in 1944. However, as the study evinces, history can never be unequivocal. Working outwards from this admis­sion means that the representation of such moments is very rarely a straightforward process, nor are such representations wholly indubita­ble. In other words, and as Keith Jenkins has noted, history, as both a discipline and a methodology, is marked by epistemological fragility.

With Jenkins's assertion that 'historians can only recover frag­ments' in mind, the aim of the first chapter of Retroactivity and Contemporary Art is not to further rehearse the recent resurgence of contemporary art's interest in ruins per se, but rather to approach the task at hand by way of a basic admission, namely, that modernism is now perceived, for certain figures at least, as being in ruins. While on one level this acknowledges a more broadly held view that modernism has reached a state of decay, if not obsolescence, one might still legitimately ask where its residual effects might be located. To this end, and in light of Brian Dillon's own reflections on the subject, the focus of the chapter is 'the latent and so far unfulfilled life embodied in its ruins'. With this contention in mind, the work of Gerard Byrne is considered. It is to the indexical status of the trace that the second chapter is oriented towards.

The main focus of the second chapter is that of considering how the index, conceived within this particular context as a trace, either seeks to negotiate with or in some cases fall beyond the ontology of the photographic image. While Rosalind Krauss had originally sought to account for the artwork's strategic deployment of the indexical sign-type in two art­icles published in October in 1977, it was arguably in The Optical Unconscious, first published in 1994, that she attempted to consider the index with regard to the temporalities it puts into effect and, fur­thermore, is necessarily contingent upon. Rather than simply rehearse Krauss's own reflections on the index and the broader set of questions raised by her argument, the chapter is oriented towards how the indexical sign-type as trace reinscribes some aspect of what has passed or previously occurred into the present tense. With this basic admission in mind, the work of Sophie Ristelhueber and Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin is considered.

For Nora, writing elsewhere in 'Between Memory and History: Les lieux de memoire', while 'memory installs remembrance within the sacred; history, always prosaic, releases it again'. Although not necessarily concerned with what Nora in this context deems to be the 'sacred', the third chapter nevertheless seeks to examine how particular works of contemporary art are organized around a memor­ializing impulse. Rather than reflect upon memorials per se, the focus for this chapter is nevertheless works that, like memorials, can be seen to function as 'special precincts' wherein the 'reality of ends' becomes marked.

The fourth chapter of Retroactivity and Contemporary Art takes as its starting point the proclivity for artists to adopt re-enactment as a key artistic strategy. According to Ruth Erickson, the reason for such a 'historical turn' is twofold. First, it enables the artist the opportunity to 'rewrite his­tory by offering a forum for other viewpoints traditionally kept outside the "grand narratives".' Second, re-enactment provides the crit­ical means whereby 'the images and accounts that have composed these narratives can be deconstructed'.

Following Paul Ricouer, the final chapter examines those works that attempt to retrace the 'presence of an absent thing'. In the case of William Christenberry, as well as rephotographing a number of sites in Alabama where twenty-five years previously Walker Evans had sought to document the effects of the Great Depression, this retracing has also entailed photographing a building, again in Alabama, over a period of thirty-four years. In con­trast, Chloe Dewe Mathews's project Shot at Dawn (2013) entailed the artist photographing twenty-three separate sites in Europe where approximately one hundred years ago soldiers were executed for desertion. In the case of both, the basic approach, namely, to exam­ine 'place[sl where something happened', is the final chapter's overarching focus."

Retroactivity and Contemporary Art then is a critical examination of retroactivity as the means by which contemporary art engages with and reimagines aspects of the past, or to borrow Jenkins's apt description, 'the radi­cal otherness of the "before now" '.

Moving seamlessly between philosophies of time and history, modernist aesthetics and art criticism, and semiotics, via close readings of a wide range of practices from the 19th century to the present day, the book will appeal to anyone with an interest in the temporality of artworks in their modern and contemporary guises. – Kamini Vellodi, Lecturer in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice, University of Edinburgh, UK

Retroactivity and Contemporary Art makes a significant contribution to a vibrantly expanding field of research currently inspiring artists, curators and theorists to engage with challenging and beguiling questions of time and `temporalities', history and histories. Here, a long list of artists, working in diverse media (including Toni Morrison, Jeremy Deller, Christian Boltanski, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Demand, Omer Fast, Walker Evans, Cornelia Parker, Robert Smithson and Steven Spielberg) are ably accommodated by Staff and welcomed to share an investigation into the strangely poignant potential of `retroactivity'. Maintaining a challenging tone of engaged critique, while at all times keeping his argument mobile and accessible, Craig Staff's generous approach cultivates new space for thought as a broad readership is invited to enter this profound and compelling field of contemporary debate. This is a highly engaging and valuable resource for contemporary artists, curators, theorists, and students of both art and history. – Paul O'Kane, Lecturer in Critical Studies, Central St Martins, University of Arts, London, UK

Retroactivity and Contemporary Art is a striking philosophical reflection on time within art and art within time, and an indispensable read for those attempting to understand the artistic significance of history, materiality, and memory.

Business & Economics / Advertising / Annual

The One Show, Volume 39 by The One Club (Rockport Publishers)

The One Show celebrates all of the qualities that go into making a successful ad campaign or design. Considered by many to be the benchmark in advertising annuals, this year's edition, Volume 39, features the best work from around the world from the 2016 One Show and One Show Design contests. In these pages are more than 1,600 four-color images from the finalists and winning entries, insider perspectives from the Gold Pencil winners, a spotlight on the Client of the Year, the college competition winners, and a look into the judging process with a Judge's Choice section. Lavishly produced with full-color throughout, Volume 39, and indeed the 38 other volumes in The One Show, are the must-have annual for creatives, clients, students, and anyone interested in advertising and design. Categories covered include print, design, integrated branding, television, and radio.

Volume 39 was produced under the direction of Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, with Yash Egami in charge of content and marketing, Gabriela Mirensky, director of awards and design, Adam Cohen, producer, and Alison Bourdon, visual content manager.

According to the letter from Jose Molla, the Chairman of the Board, The One Show Annual is a book about guts. It's a book about trust, a book about conviction.

In an industry that is constantly glorifying its past, and is surely obsessed with predicting its future, The One Show is always there to remind participants that their now is amazing too.

This game isn't just about Powerpoints, charts, or scale. It's about intelligence and innovation. And that statistics are nothing if they don't lead to magic.

In these times, when being right seems more important than being bold, when tech companies look like the promised land, when downers love to talk about how obsolete agencies are, it's more important than ever for people in advertising to be unapologetically proud of what they do.

Members have the best talent out there, with a complex set of skills that's impossible to find elsewhere. Who else can combine art, conceptual thinking, writing, analytics, anthropology, psychology and commerce?

They are smart and they are tough. They juggle 20 different things all day, every day. And, whatever happens, they just keep going, with a determination that is unmatched.

Sure, there are many things to improve, like gender equality and diversity, for example.

But thanks to organizations like The One Club for Creativity, Molla says he has seen more progress in the past year than in the previous 20.

There are challenges ahead, but that's what they do best: they thrive on challenges.

And the worst day in advertising is still way more interesting than the best day in most other jobs he knows.

The work readers see in the 600 pages of The One Show, Volume 39 speaks for itself. In fact, it speaks highly for the whole Industry. Not only confirming that their business is one of the coolest things a person can do for a living, but also changing the sense of what's possible along the way.

One Club Corporate Members

GLOBAL NETWORK PLATINUM. McCann Worldgroup New York.

PLATINUM. 72andSunny Playa Vista; Carmichael Lynch Minneapolis; DigitasLBl New York; Leo Burnett Worldwide Chicago.

GOLD. Adobe Stock San Jose; Arnold Worldwide Boston; Baldwin& Raleigh; Barkley Kansas City; Barton F. Graf New York; BBDO New York; BBH New York; Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners Sausalito; Comcast Philadelphia; Crispin Porter + Bogusky Boulder; David & Goliath El Segundo; DDB New York; Design Army Washington, D.C.; Droga5 New York; Firstborn New York; Fitzgerald & Co. Atlanta; Google New York; GSD&M Austin; Heat San Francisco; J. Walter Thompson New York; McKinney Durham; Mekanism New York; Mullen Lowe Boston; NBC Entertainment Digital Universal City; POSSIBLE Seattle; Project New York; Publicis Kaplan Thaler New York; R/GA New York; Saatchi & Saatchi New York; School of Visual Arts New York; Shutterstock New York; TBWA\Chiat\Day New York; IDA Boulder; The Community Miami; The Martin Agency Richmond; Wieden+Kennedy Portland; Zulu Alpha Kilo Toronto.

SILVER. Argonaut San Francisco; DeVito/Verdi New York; Edelman New York; Fallon Minneapolis; FCB New York; Venables Bell & Partners San Francisco; Wieden+Kennedy New York.

BRONZE. BETC Paris; Deutsch Los Angeles; Doner Southfield; Fasheng Shanghai; Goodby, Silverstein & Partners San Francisco; Innocean Worldwide Seoul; Interplanetary New York; INVNT New York; Laughlin Constable Milwaukee; Marc USA Pittsburgh; ROKKAN New York; Sandstrom & Partners Portland; Space150 Minneapolis; St. Martin's Press New York; Swim Toronto; TBWA\Media Arts Lab Los Angeles; The Republik Durham; Work & Co Brooklyn.

The One Club for Art and Copy is a nonprofit organization founded in 1975 to recognize and promote creative excellence in advertising. Through its publications like The One Show, Volume 39, exhibitions, and awards competitions, it seeks to inform and educate both the public and advertising professionals about the intrinsic value of creative standards in advertising.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Fire Food: The Ultimate BBQ Cookbook by Christian Stevenson, with photography by David Loftus (Quadrille)

Fire Food helps readers ace the art of handling live fire so that they can cook, grill and smoke meat, fish and veggies that are out of this world. Pitmaster DJ BBQ covers all the basics of cooking over coal and wood, shows readers how to perfect classic recipes and delves into more inventive cookout delights including a BBQ spaghetti Bolognese, and poutine with bourbon-spiked gravy. There are fish dishes, veggie grills, and enough invention to see readers through summer and well into winter. In fact, DJ BBQ takes inspiration from around the world (from Central America, via the Baltics, to North Africa), as well as the many BBQ chefs, gauchos, artisans, and pitmasters he's met along the way.

In his madcap way, renowned pitmaster DJ BBQ in Fire Food celebrates the delights of cooking over charcoal. He shows readers how to set up the perfect grill and shares 50 recipes ranging from the classics (ribeye steak, pulled pork) to those with global twists (seafood tacos, Korean Philly cheese steak), and inventive surprises (BBQ spaghetti Bolognese, coal-roasted oysters).

American live fire chef DJ BBQ (aka Christian Stevenson) is a leading name in the world of BBQ. After a successful career as a radio and TV broadcaster (fronting shows for MTV and award-winning skate series RAD), he harnessed his passion for cooking over fire and is now the second most popular BBQ cook in the world on YouTube.

As Stevenson says in Fire Food, he’s been cooking BBQ since he was six years old and made it a full-time job in 2012 when he started his `catertainment' company, DJ BBQ. During the summer, his crew helped him build a restaurant and sound-system on the festival circuit. They slow-cook pork shoulder, grill the best burgers and spit-roast entire beef legs (top bit), all over live fire. It's a proper smorgasbord of delicious BBQ and tasty tunes. They cook beats and meats. Every other week, he uploads a fresh BBQ recipe onto his YouTube channel.

People have been cooking on gas and electricity for more than a century. Before this, cooking was mostly done over live fire, and in many parts of the world live fire remains the dominant method for cooking. Once there was fire, there was progression. There was evolution. Fire allowed them to masticate and digest food with way more ease, and brains developed because of it. Fire and food helped the evolution of mankind.

In Fire Food, Stevenson says he has been walking the Earth for almost 50 years. He has traveled extensively throughout South and Central America, Pakistan, Lebanon, Europe, the Baltics, Australasia and Northern Africa. He has watched locals handle live fire and achieve incredible results from their ancient techniques. He has been watching people from all over this planet cook BBQ and he has soaked up many of their techniques and recipes.

No one brings the spirit of rock `n' roll to live fire cooking more viscerally than DJ BBQ. – Nick Solares, Eater's Meat Show

Get this book and your whole BBQ cooking game will reach Jedi level. May the fire be with you! – Nathan Outlaw

DJ BBQ’s love and knowledge of live fire cooking is unparalleled. – Angie Mar

I can tell you Christian is one a prime authority on food and fire. His enthusiasm for, and dedication and knowledge of fire is only matched by Lucifer himself – only difference is that Christian will bring about world peace. – Matt Burgess, Caravan

BBQ in the UK is developing and growing at a furious pace, and DJ BBQ is at the forefront of all things cooked over fire here. It's a delight to see that his new book inspires and educates with recipes from his travels, taking flavours and ingredients from around the globe and using them with innovation and flare to come up with stunning fire-cooked food. This is undoubtedly the way forward for outdoor cooking in the UK. – Marcus Bawdon, UK BBQ Mag

Few souls on this earth possess the knowledge and skill to pull off writing

DJ BBQ was born to do this – he lives and breathes the grill and this book has all the tips, tricks and advice you need to own your BBQ, with exciting recipes to get you grilling all year round. – Jamie Oliver

Cooking with fire is an ancient tradition and while seemingly straight-forward, there is a real art to understanding fire and how it affects different foods. DJ BBQ is a master of the fire pit and a natural born griller. In Fire Food his expertise and experience have been combined to bring inspiring and delicious, fool-proof recipes, no matter the level of your skill. – Sabrina Ghayour

After a life lived in the world's snootiest restaurants, this book just slapped me in the face with the realisation that food is supposed to be fun! Everything I love about DJ BBQ – the smoke, the meat, the beer, the air guitar, the energy, the teenager's sense of humour – is here in this book in glorious technicolour. – Giles Coren

In Fire Food Stevenson shows readers a plethora of grilling, roasting and smoking techniques. There are a slew of tasty recipes, covering meat, seafood, veggies, fruits and some little surprises. He goof-proofs readers’ cooking so they can feel confident rocking their grill. The book is easy to read and relatable to everyone from the weekend griller to seasoned pitmasters looking for new ideas.

Criminology / Terrorism / Law / Handbooks

The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law, in 2 volumes, 1st edition edited by Colin King, Clive Walker, & Jimmy Gurulé (Palgrave Macmillan, Palgrave Handbooks)

The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law, a two-volume set, focuses on how criminal and terrorist assets pose significant and unrelenting threats to the integrity, security, and stability of contemporary societies. In response to the funds generated by or for organized crime and transnational terrorism, strategies are elaborated at national, regional, and international levels for laws, organizations and procedures, and economic systems. Reflecting on these strands, this handbook brings together leading experts from different jurisdictions across Europe, America, Asia, and Africa and from different disciplines, including law, criminology, political science, international studies, and business with an emphasis on the UK and US.

Editors are Colin King, Clive Walker and Jimmy Gurulé. King is Reader in Law and co-Founder of the Crime Research Centre, University of Sussex, UK, and was Academic Fellow of The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple from 2014-2017. Walker is Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Leeds, UK. He was awarded an LLD degree in 2015 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel (Hon) in 2016. Gurulé is Professor at the Notre Dame Law School, Indiana. He has also worked in public enforcement positions including as Under Secretary for Enforcement, U.S. Department of the Treasury. 

The authors examine the institutional and legal responses, set within the context of both policy and practice, with a view to critiquing these actions on the grounds of effective delivery and compliance with legality and rights. In addition, The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law draws upon the experiences of the many senior practitioners and policy-makers who participated in the research project which was funded by a major Arts and Humanities Research Council grant.

In the US context, the expressed resolve to deal with the threats of crimi­nal and terrorism financing is arguably more trenchant than in the UK. Crime incorpo­rated is a long-standing prime mission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). That agenda is outstripped now by counter-terrorism, which mobilizes not only the FBI but also the whole nation under the joint resolution of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). This instrument affords the President broad powers as Commander in Chief to `... use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organiza­tions or persons'.

The importance of the agendas of anti-money laundering (AML), asset recovery (AR), and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) cannot be doubted. But there is room for doubt about many aspects of these agendas. The authors’ skepticism may be driven by the inadequate collection or release of official data and by an absence of comprehensive evidence-led independent research. The gaps are especially apparent in `follow the money' approaches to tackling financial-based crime. There is an evident need for deeper analysis of the relevant 'fol­low the money' policies, legislation, and institutions. There is a need to evalu­ate their impacts and to identify future directions in policy, practice, and research.

A prime goal behind The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law is to seek to understand legal structures and measures in the context of prac­tice. Through putting the `law in practice', the authors seek practical insight into how the law operates in reality. Consequently, the project has at every stage included practitioners as well as academics. Their valuable insights are reflected in the book. Some were even persuaded (and allowed) to contribute their own chapters to the book.

The authors assess the appropriate design of relevant institutions. Institutional designs are clearly difficult to get right since they involve complex choices about the need for specialism and independence, the role of multi- and inter-agency coopera­tion and the deployment of special and sensitive powers and techniques.

Another important aspect of institutional design is accountability. Set against a high level of institutional fluidity, The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law examines the degree of accountability of specialist agencies. Their limited transparency and accountability may affect both public confidence and corporate trust which may provoke counter-productive consequences such as the failure to provide information.

More broadly, issues of legitimacy must be tackled. While policy discourse emphasizes the positive rationales underpinning the `follow the money' activi­ties, which may be justified by broad claims to public security and protection, there are inevitable detriments to those affected by the broad powers invoked in enforcement action. Individual rights can be severely compromised. Furthermore, because of the concerted links between public and private stake-holders, the latter may be free to impose detriments on individuals without constraint by the doctrines of individual rights and accountability.

Next, the implications arising from the crossing of borders must be consid­ered when dealing with transnational crime and transnational terrorism. Thus, some comparative work is required so that lessons can be learned while transcending a variety of jurisdictions. Their multi-national focus is therefore noteworthy. Much of the current research on AML, AR, and CTF tends to be focused on individual jurisdictions (typically the US or UK). The project deliberately adopts much needed international and comparative perspectives, drawing upon experiences of not just the UK and US but also European countries such as Italy, the wider common law world such as Australia and Canada, and international organizations including the EU and UN. There is now an unprecedented international regulatory focus on `dirty assets' by way of the EU Money Laundering Directives, UN Conventions, and Financial Action Task Force guides. The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law benefits from its comparative approach.

Finally, changing environments demand novel research and practical and legal adaptability by agencies, lawyers and researchers. Novel techniques may include barely encountered modes of asset exchange such as hawala. Equally, electronic or virtual currencies (such as Bitcoin), which operate in barely regulated environments, challenge conventional approaches to asset recovery techniques.

To answer the foregoing agendas, the research fieldwork involved the organ­ization and delivery of four symposia. Based on the earlier experience, and reflecting similar objectives, the authors of The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law held four further events which were designed, once again, to bring policymakers, practitioners, and researchers together to explore current, and future, directions in policy, law, and practice.

Based on the insights and discussions at these key events, as well as selected invitees who could provide the authority and depth demanded by the project, The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law provides innovative commentary in that it examines in a comprehensive way all aspects of tainted ('dirty') assets. The chapters together explore three distinct, but interlocking, aspects, namely, anti-money laundering, asset recovery, and counter terrorism financing. In this way, comparisons can be drawn from one aspect to the next. Second, the book is also comprehensive in terms of disciplines. The main theme is legal, but the contributors also reflect other disciplines – politics, criminology, business, and economics. In addition, there is practitioner input as well as legal input. Third, the jurisdictional coverage is suitably broad. Fourth, the chapters reflect new or substantially updated materials and not simply reprints of previous publications.

The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law focuses on three distinct, but related, aspects of `following the money' of organized crime and terrorist related activities: anti-money laundering, asset recovery, and counter-terrorism financing measures. Within each aspect, it examines the policy, institutional, and legal responses, set within policy and practice contexts, and with a view to critique on grounds such as effective delivery and compliance with legality and individual rights. These three broad themes are reflected in the structure of the book. Part II (Chaps. 2 through to 15) covers `anti-money laundering measures'. Part III (Chaps. 16 through to 29) deals with `asset recovery'. Part IV (Chaps. 30 through to 47) is devoted to `counter-terrorism financing'.

Chapters in Volume I of The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law and their authors include:

Part I Introductory Section

  1. Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law: An Introduction – Clive Walker, Colin King, and Jimmy Gurule

Part II Anti-Money Laundering

  1. Anti-Money Laundering: An Overview – Colin King
  2. The Global AML Regime and the EU AML Directives: Prevention and Control – Maria Bergstrom
  3. Globalization, Money Laundering and the City of London – Leila Simona Talani
  4. The Production of Suspicion in Retail Banking: An Examination of Unusual Transaction Reporting – Vanessa Iafolla
  5. Money Laundering, Anti-Money Laundering and the Legal Profession – Katie Benson
  6. Cash, Crime and Anti-Money Laundering – Michele Riccardi and Michael Levi
  7. Money Laundering in a Virtual World – Clare Chambers Jones
  8. A Bit(Coin) of a Problem for the EU AML Framework – Mo Egan
  9. `Fake Passports': What Is to Be Done About Trade-Based Money Laundering? – Kenneth Murray
  10. De-risking: An Unintended Negative Consequence of AML/CFT Regulation – Vijaya Ramachandran, Matthew Collin, and Matt Juden
  11. Punishing Banks, Their Clients and Their Clients' Clients – Michael Levi
  12. A Critical Analysis of the Effectiveness of Anti-Money Laundering Measures with Reference to Australia – David Chaikin
  13. The Effectiveness of Anti-Money Laundering Policy: A Cost-Benefit Perspective – Joras Ferwerda
  14. A `Risky' Risk Approach: Proportionality in ML/TF Regulation – Petrus C. van Duyne, Jackie Harvey and Liliya Gelemerova

Part III Asset Recovery

  1. Asset Recovery: An Overview – Colin King
  2. Mutual Recognition and Confiscation of Assets: An EU Perspective – Anna Maria Maugeri
  3. Asset Forfeiture Law in the United States – Stefan D. Cassella
  4. Post-conviction Confiscation in England and Wales – HHJ Michael Hopmeier and Alexander Mills
  5. Disproportionality in Asset Recovery: Recent Cases in the UK and Hong Kong – Simon N M Young
  6. Confiscating Dirty Assets: The Italian Experience – Michele Panzavolta
  7. Civil Recovery in England and Wales: An Appraisal – Peter Alldridge
  8. An Empirical Glimpse of Civil Forfeiture Actions in Canada – Michelle Gallant
  9. The Difficulties of Belief Evidence and Anonymity in Practice: Challenges for Asset Recovery – Cohn King
  10. International Asset Recovery and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption – Dimitris Ziouvas
  11. In Pursuit of the Proceeds of Transnational Corporate Bribery: The UK Experience to Date – Nicholas Lord and Michael Levi
  12. In Search of Transnational Financial Intelligence: Questioning Cooperation Between Financial Intelligence Units – Anthony Amicelle and Killian Chaudieu
  13. Taxing Crime: A New Power to Control – Raymond Friel and Shane Kilcommins
  14. The Disposal of Confiscated Assets in the EU Member States: What Works, What Does Not Work and What Is Promising – Barbara Vettori

Chapters in Volume II of The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law and their authors include:

Part IV Counter-Terrorism Financing

  1. Counter-Terrorism Financing: An Overview – Clive Walker
  2. Counter-Terrorism Financing Assemblages after 9/11 – Marieke de Goede
  3. The Financial War on Terrorism: A Critical Review of the United Kingdom's Counter-Terrorist Financing Strategies – Nicholas Ryder, Rachel Thomas, and Georgina Webb
  4. Legal and Regulatory Approaches to Counter-Terrorist Financing: The Case of Australia – Christopher Michaelsen and Doron Goldbarsht
  5. Examining the Efficacy of Canada's Anti-terrorist Financing Laws – Anita Anand
  6. EU Measures to Combat Terrorist Financing – Oldrich Bures
  7. The United Nations Security Council Sanctions Regime against the Financing of Terrorism – C. H Powell
  8. The Intersection of AMIISFT and Security Council Sanctions – Kimberly Prose
  9. Anti-terrorism Smart Sanctions and Armed Conflicts – Luca Pantaleo
  10. Applying Social Network Analysis to Terrorist Financing – Christian Leuprecht and Olivier Walther
  11. Criminal Prosecutions for Terrorism Financing in the UK – Nasir Hafezi, Karen Jones, and Clive Walker
  12. The Failure to Prosecute ISIS's Foreign Financiers under the Material Support Statute – Jimmy Gurule and Sabina Danek
  13. Counter Terrorism Finance, Precautionary Logic and the Regulation of Risk: The Regulation of Informal Value Transfer Systems within the UK – Karen Cooper
  14. Responding to Money Transfers by Foreign Terrorist Fighters – Duncan DeVille and Daniel Pearson
  15. Terrorism Financing and the Governance of Charities – Clive Walker
  16. Governing Non-profit Organisations against Terrorist Financing: The Malaysian Legal and Regulatory Modalities – Zaiton Hamin
  17. Kidnap and Terrorism Financing – Yvonne M. Dutton
  18. The Illicit Antiquities Trade and Terrorism Financing: From the Khmer Rouge to Daesh – Mark V. Vlasic and Jeffrey Paul DeSousa

Money is the motive for organized crime and the essential ingredient for terror. Yet our efforts to ‘follow the money’ have proven inadequate. In this impressive collection of essays, diverse experts explore distinct but interlocking aspects of our efforts to combat financial crime. The result is a valuable study of AML/CFT and the collective argument that it is time to fundamentally shift the paradigm. – John Cassara, former U.S intelligence officer, Treasury Special Agent, and AML/CFT author

The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law delivers original, theoreti­cally informed, and well-referenced analysis, which is accessible to both practitioners and scholars alike in multiple jurisdictions. It is a comprehensive collection, a must-read for academics and practitioners alike with an interest in money laundering, terrorism financing, security, and international relations.

Engineering / Mechanical

Energy, the Environment, and Sustainability, 1st edition by Efstathios E. Michaelides (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Series: CRC Press)

 

Energy supply and the associated environmental issues have always had economic, social, and political effects and were strongly debated. The current debates on the global energy challenge and climate change are not exceptions. Citizens of all countries are bom­barded with opinions, claims, and counterclaims on whether or not there is global warm­ing; on the merits and demerits of solar and wind power; on the feasibility of biomass as an alternative global energy source; on the safety of nuclear reactors; and on countless ‘inventions’ that will magically solve our energy problem. Several of these opinions, inventions, and claims that are patently false are repeated without much thinking, due diligence, and the needed scientific analysis. The claims have created many ‘myths’ that are often repeated and have spread confusion among the general public.

Energy, the Environment, and Sustainability explains in simple terms what the energy demand is at the present, what the environmental effects of energy use are, and what can be accomplished to alleviate the environmental effects of energy use and ensure adequate energy supply.

Award-winning author Efstathios E. (Stathis) Michaelides, PhD, is the Tex Moncrief Chair of Engineering at Texas Christian University. Prior to this he held professorial and several administrative positions in four Universities.

Though technical in approach, the text uses simple explanations of engineering processes and systems and algebra-based math to be comprehensible to students in a range of disciplines. Schematic diagrams, quantitative examples, and numerous problems help students make quantitative calculations. This will assist them in comprehending the complexity of the energy-environment balance and in analyzing and evaluating proposed solutions. Energy, the Environment, and Sustainability:

  • Takes a technical and quantitative approach to exploring energy sources, usage, economics, and policy.
  • Provides an accessible approach to energy and the environment, using simple algebra.
  • Explains the ‘myths and truths’ of energy and environmental impacts in each chapter           .
  • Provides comprehensive treatment of environmental successes and problems, including the energy-water nexus.
  • Provides the skills to evaluate energy usage versus environmental hazards and climate change factors.

According to Michaelides in the foreword, the limited supply of fossil fuels and their effects on the environment point to the only sustainable long-term solution of the energy challenge: a significant increase of alternative energy sources for meeting the energy needs of the industrial and postindustrial states. This transformation includes conservation of the primary energy resources, higher efficiency for the use of energy, and storage to meet the energy demand when renewables are not in sufficient supply.

Energy, the Environment, and Sustainability is aimed at two categories of readers:

  1. Students of science and engineering who take elective courses on one of the subjects of energy production, alternative energy, renewable energy, and sustainability. These students will review and expand their knowledge in the traditional disci­plines of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and heat transfer.
  2. Educated readers, who have a basic knowledge of algebra, physics, and chemistry. Energy, the Environment, and Sustainability assumes minimum prior knowledge on behalf of readers and imparts all the required engineering concepts and material. The many worked examples help these readers to understand the engineering sys­tems and perform quantitative analyses to draw their own independent conclu­sions on energy, the environment, and sustainable options for the future.

Energy, the Environment, and Sustainability is designed to provide readers the means to understand the scientific prin­ciples of energy conversion and the operation of the technical systems that are employed for the harnessing of all the currently known energy sources. Readers become familiar with the scientific principles for the harnessing of primary energy sources and learn to apply this knowledge to conduct feasibility studies and choose systems that make the best use of our energy resources.

A unique aspect of this book is the inclusion of sections at the end of each chapter that debunk many misconceptions related to energy production and the environment. The key to this is the quantitative analysis of the data that are pertinent to each one of the misconceptions.

All the myths that are mentioned in Energy, the Environment, and Sustainability emanate from statements of prominent ‘politi­cians,’ environmental ‘activists,’ and energy ‘experts.’ When the pertinent data are quan­titatively analyzed within the time-honored scientific framework, conclusions are drawn, and the ‘reality’ about our sustainable options becomes apparent. Exposing such myths using the scientific data and quantitative tools that abound in the book helps readers draw their own independent and educated conclusions and develop their own ideas on how to tackle the global energy challenge. Readers also become familiar with the environmental, political, social, and economic issues that surround the use of energy sources, and they learn to participate as well-informed citizens in the ongoing debates on energy, the environment, and sustainability.

A second unique feature of Energy, the Environment, and Sustainability is the high emphasis on nuclear energy, energy storage, energy conservation and efficiency, and decision-making methods. When our society decides to seriously tackle the global climate change problem, all four will play important roles in the energy supply of nations.

Folklore / Herbs / Healing / Magic

Italian Folk Magic: Rue's Kitchen Witchery by Mary-Grace Fahrun (Weiser Books)

Italian Folk Magic is a fascinating journey through the magical, folkloric, and healing traditions of Italy with an emphasis on the practical. Readers learn uniquely Italian methods of magical protection and divination and spells for love, sex, control, and revenge.

Italian Folk Magic contains magical and religious rituals and prayers and explores divination techniques, crafting, blessing rituals, witchcraft, and, of course, the evil eye, known as malocchio in Italian – the author, Mary-Grace Fahrun, explains what it is, where it comes from, and how to get rid of it.

Fahrun was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Italian immigrant parents and grew up in the Italian neighborhoods of Montreal and Connecticut. She describes herself as ‘an avid keeper of customs, traditions, and secrets’ and is an authority on Italian folk magic and folk healing traditions.

Andrea Romanazzi says in the preface to Italian Folk Magic that her grandmother taught her all that was hidden behind her every motion; there was born her passion for Italian witchcraft. Just like Fahrun today, between a plate of minestra (soup) and one of pasta asciutta (pasta), she talked about the traditions and the annual festivals. She told her tales of magic, as for example her meeting with the lupomino (the werewolf), the ‘Fairy of the house,’ of the magic of Nature that can heal or punish.

Beautiful is the section dedicated to the Proverbs, a term that derives from the Latin, proverbo (through the word). It is precisely through the word that sound is transformed into music, incanta­tion, or spell and therefore magic. Here are the many incantations, those that had purposes of blessing and healing, but also attacking and defending. Repeatedly whispering words incomprehensible to untrained ears – this is what was in the kitchen and on the dining table, where the grandmother removed the evil eye with her shallow bowl full of water in which she poured three drops of oil or uttered the spell to chase away a child's tummy pains:

"Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Holy Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday, the worm falls to the ground."

Romanazzi find all this in Fahrun's beautiful and cozy kitchen in Italian Folk Magic. Stories, legends, cooking recipes, spells, tips, oracular techniques, and then the Lotto, the game of their grandparents, but also of today: "29, 86, 26 ... go immediately to play them!"

So what if readers are not Italian? Fahrun recommends that they immerse themselves and cultivate their interest in Italian witchcraft, and everything else will follow. Learn how to cook Italian food. If they are not into cooking, learn how to order Italian food at a restaurant. Learn the history. Learn the language. They don't need to be fluent. All they need is to be truly interested.

The aim of Italian Folk Magic is not to practice ‘authentic’ Italian witchcraft. That would imply that there is only one way. There is no such thing. Authentic how? Fahrun says there is no way she does things exactly the way her nonna did in the 1930s in her little mountain village in Italy. Nor does she do things exactly the way her non­na's sister did forty years later in America. She shares her practice, a practice influenced and informed by those who came before her and shared their stories, skills, and secrets. Italian Folk Magic provides readers with a guided tour of her magical life and introduces them to the principles so they can create their own magical life. The Italian witchcraft she presents is not a religion. It is a practice anyone can incorporate into their spirituality regardless of religious belief. However, there are strong themes of devotions to saints and earth-based spirituality because they are both important to the fabric.

This is an extraordinary book, a divine gift from Italian ancestors full of ordinary ways to live an enchanted life. In revealing 'folk magic' practiced and passed down through generations, Mary-Grace tells favorite family stories, opening the door for readers to enter the magical world in which she lives, wherein we discover our own. My Polish soul fell in love with these Italian sisters and the wisdom they reveal and will do so evermore as I make their magic. In any collection of books on magic, Italian Folk Magic belongs on the top shelf. – Karol Jackowski, author of Sister Karol's Book of Spells and Blessings
Mary-Grace Fahrun's
Italian Folk Magic is an intimate journey into the heart of Italian folk magical practices as they are lived every day. Having grown up in an extended Italian family in North America and Italy, the author presents us with the stories, characters, saints, charms, and prayers that form the core of folk religion, setting them in context in an authentic, down-to-earth, and humorous voice. A delight to read! – Sabina Magliocco, Professor of Anthropology, University of British Columbia
Whether you are of Italian ancestry or not, Italian Folk Magic is a great practical book full of history, culture, recipes, remedies, insight, magic, and more which is sure to effect and shape your perspective on witchcraft and your everyday life. Rue enthusiastically invigorates a waning layer of folk tradition with a burst of momentum for a burgeoning generation of folk magic practitioners. – Chris Orapello, artist, author, and co-host of Down at the Crossroads

In this illuminating guide to Italian folklore, Fahrun, a nurse, Reiki master, and lifelong collector of Italian family recipes, shares her zeal for preserving Italian heritage. Through intimate relationships with her aunts and grandmother, Fahrun began learning from an early age the essence of Italian folklore and magic, and the traditions that stemmed from those customs. The kitchen, in particular, became a training ground for Fahrun to learn which ingredients and foods were purported to heal certain ailments. She shares knowledge passed down over generations in clear language.… This fun book will be a great resource for readers looking to try out simple Italian recipes or learn about Italian folklore. – Publishers Weekly, March 2018

Italian Folk Magic can help Italians regain their magical heritage, but Italian folk magic is a beautiful, powerful, and effective magical tradition that is accessible to anyone who wants to learn it.

History / Biographies

The Shadow Emperor: A Biography of Napoleon III by Alan Strauss-Schom (St. Martin’s Press)

The Shadow Emperor may be considered a breakout biography of Louis-Napoleon III, whose controversial achievements have polarized historians.

Considered one of the pre-eminent Napoleon Bonaparte experts, Pulitzer Prize-nominated historian Alan Strauss-Schom has turned his sights on another in that dynasty, Napoleon III (Louis-Napoleon) overshadowed for too long by his more romanticized forebear.

Strauss-Schom is a critically acclaimed author and historian. He has received Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award nominations for One Hundred Days: Napoleon’s Road to Waterloo, Trafalgar, Countdown to Battle, 1803-1805, and Napoleon Bonaparte which took second place in the Los Angeles Times Best Biography of the Year category, 1997.

In The Shadow Emperor, the first full biography of Napoleon III by an American historian, Strauss-Schom uses his years of primary source research to explore the major cultural, sociological, economical, financial, international, and militaristic long-lasting effects of France's most polarizing emperor.

Louis-Napoleon’s achievements have been mixed and confusing, even to historians. He completely revolutionized the infrastructure of the state and the economy, but at the price of financial scandals of imperial proportions. In an age when ‘colonialism’ was expanding, Louis-Napoleon’s colonial designs were both praised by the emperor’s party and the French military and resisted by the socialists.

He expanded the nation’s railways to match those of England; created major new transoceanic steamship lines and a new modern navy; introduced a whole new banking sector supported by seemingly unlimited venture capital, while also empowering powerful new state and private banks; and completely rebuilt the heart of Paris, street by street. At the same time, the first de­partment stores, some still in existence, opened their doors to the middle classes, marking a veritable social revolution.

Napoleon III gutted the country's anti­quated, eighteenth-century infrastructure, as demonstrated by the wholesale reconstruction of Paris begun in 1853 by Baron Haussmann – a renovation evident in the spacious, tree-lined boulevards of the French capital today. The emperor also doubled the size of the French colonies, including Algeria, Indochina, New Caledonia, and much of West Africa, although the empire's troubles came back to haunt France in the form of bloody wars in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with millions of African and Asian refugees swelling the suburbs of French cities.

In many respects, even to the French, Louis Napoleon is an unacknowledged hero. He was the first head of state in France to hold the title of President of the Republic, and as Na­poleon III, that of Emperor of the French. Strauss-Schom's deeply researched and vividly realized The Shadow Emperor chronicles the full range of Napoleon III's impact on French politics and commerce both domestic and international, as well as on social changes, infrastructure, finance, industry, mili­tary exploits, education, scientific research, and cultural trends – issues and developments that still define France today.

Louis Napoleon's story is certainly remarkable. Alan Strauss-Schom tells it with brio... a boldly revisionist biography. – The Wall Street Journal

An excellent biography... This work’s perceptive synthesis of recent research will interest scholars, and its engaging presentation and fast-paced narrative will attract general readers. – Publishers Weekly

Strauss-Schom's all-encompassing biography, The Shadow Emperor, finally sets the record straight on the Shadow Emperor's astonishing life and the vast long-term contributions he made to France and Europe.

History / LGBT / Chicago

The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third-Sexers, Pansies, Queers, and Sex Morons in Chicago's First Century by Jim Elledge (Chicago Review Press)

A history of gay Chicago told through the stories of queer men who left a record of their sexual activities in the Second City, The Boys of Fairy Town, by Jim Elledge, paints a vivid picture of the neighborhoods where they congregated while revealing their complex lives.

Elledge is the author of twenty-four books. His most recent nonfiction book, Henry Darger, Throwaway Boy: The Tragic Life of an Outsider Artist, received the Georgia Author of the Year Award in biography and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Randy Shilts Award for gay nonfiction.

The fact that there was a large queer presence – visible or not – in Chi­cago before the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and that it grew by leaps and bounds, becoming quite visible by the mid-1920s, shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, and yet it usually does. What we've been told for so long – that all queer men, regardless of when they lived, had miserable, isolated, and utterly desperate lives; that all queer men were terrified by the threat of their sexual activities being discovered; that all queer men found it impossible to control their lusts, and so they were forced to hunt for release in public restrooms and parks; that all queer men secretly dressed in women's clothes because they had been raised as momma's boys; and many, many other things – are lies.

Chicago, like many other cities, was a vibrant safe haven where men could find support and camaraderie. Chicago also provided a path for their various aspirations: they owned businesses, patronized establishments, found roles in the entertainment industry and contributed to Chicago's economy.

The Boys of Fairy Town explores the stories of ‘fairy town,’ otherwise known as the lively Chicago neighborhoods where queer men sought to establish lives for themselves. The book solely focuses on the experiences of queer men who lived from Chicago's incorporation in 1833 up until World War II. There was the North Side's shimmering Towertown, the South Side's jazzy Bronzeville, shadowy West Madison St. on the Near West Side and Bryant's Block in the Loop. The men in these neighborhoods navigated the ever-changing world around there, going from being invisible to being very visible, and back to being invisible due to the bohemian movement, jazz culture and Prohibition.

These intimate portraits concentrate on the uncensored everyday lives of these men, such as newspaper reporter John Wing, or African American ragtime pianist Tony Jackson, whose most famous song ‘Pretty Baby’ was written about one of his male lovers. Elledge also follows groups of men such as the female impersonators James Janes and Frank Smith, who were arrested for pilfering articles of women's clothing in a Loop department store, and striptease artists Quincy de Lang and George Quinn, who were arrested and put on trial at the behest of a leader of Chicago's anti-‘indecency’ movement.

During the period that The Boys of Fairy Town covers, queer men were a very diverse group, ranging from the well-to-do to the homeless, from the quite old to the very young, from the super butch to the flaming fem, from African Americans to those of European descent. Except for one or two of the men included in The Boys of Fairy Town (Alfred Kinsey, and perhaps Henry Gerber) they are all virtually unknown today. A few achieved some acclaim or notoriety during their lives, but the rest were little more than a name in a newspaper article or a line in a census report. They run the gamut of queer ‘types’ too: sodomites, dandies, inverts, psychic hermaphrodites, ‘normal’ men, female impersonators, third-sexers, sissies, mollycoddles, girl-men, bitches, belles, pansies, fairies, gardenia boys, lily bearers, perverts, queers, queens, trade, dirt, temperamentals, fags, gays, homosexuals, homos, and sex morons.

Elledge says that in writing The Boys of Fairy Town, he wanted to give a personal view of how gay men lived in Chicago during its first century or so, to focus on lives rather than on what is usually considered history. Through the lives of the men depicted, readers can readily see the political and social currents with which they struggled, what strategies they developed to cope with or to curtail those currents, and what the results were.

A first-rate look at the queer history of the Second City. Spanning the century between 1840 to 1940, Jim Elledge – with expert research and keen writing – has unearthed a myriad of now-forgotten people, events, and communities. That few of these people are vaguely known today – Eugen Sandow, J.C. Leydencker, Henry Gerber – only highlights the fact that so much of this material will be completely and shockingly new to readers. The Boys of Fairy Town vividly illuminates the past so we can see where we have been as we boldly move into the future. – Michael Bronski, author of A Queer History of the United States
A fascinating glimpse into the missing century of queer history in Chicago. Jim Elledge has mined vast personal correspondence and news stories from his research and woven them into an insightful tapestry. Enlightening and often quite entertaining,
The Boys of Fairy Town fills a huge gap in our understanding of how we got to where we are, and reminds us that – good times or bad – we have always been fabulous! – Victor Salvo, Executive Director, The Legacy Project

An extensive and intelligent compilation of stories, The Boys of Fairy Town reveals the secret pasts of queer men who paved the way for Chicago's vibrant queer subculture.

Enlightening and entertaining, what emerges from The Boys of Fairy Town is a complex portrait and a virtually unknown history of one of the most vibrant cities in the United States. If the book achieves no other end, it dispels the myth of the desperate and isolated pre-Stonewall queer man and reveals queer life in Chicago as it really was: at times hidden, at other times very visible, but ever present, amazingly diverse, very complex, and remarkably durable.

History / Sociology

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged, running time: 15.5 hours by Mike Davis, narrated by Timothy John Campbell (Tantor Media)

No metropolis has been more loved or more hated. To its official boosters, ‘Los Angeles brings it all together.’ To detractors, LA is a sunlit mortuary where ‘you can rot without feeling it.’ To Mike Davis, the author of City of Quartz, in this fiercely elegant and wide-ranging work of social history, Los Angeles is both utopia and dystopia, a place where the last Joshua trees are being plowed under to make room for model communities in the desert, where the rich have hired their own police to fend off street gangs, as well as armed Beirut militias.

Davis is the author of several books, including Planet of Slums, Ecology of Fear, Late Victorian Holocausts, and Magical Urbanism. He was recently awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Narrator Tim Campbell is a multiple AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator.
In City of Quartz, Davis reconstructs LA's shadow history and dissects its ethereal economy. He tells readers who has the power and how they hold on to it. He gives readers a city of Dickensian extremes, Pynchonesque conspiracies, and a desperation straight out of Nathaniel West – a city in which they may glimpse the future mirrored with terrifying clarity.

Absolutely fascinating. – William Gibson
A history as fascinating as it is instructive. – Peter Ackroyd, Times
Few books shed as much light on their subjects as this opinionated and original excavation of Los Angeles from the mythical debris of its past and future. – San Francisco Examiner

Crime, corruption, gangland demographics, class exploitation, security and urban degeneration are the main stops on the detailed route which Mike Davis follows across Los Angeles county, and out of this journey he has created a dense and multi-leveled book... He could rival Chandler and Hammett – Independent

Los Angeles faces a perilous millennium whose contours will surely have no more brilliant prophet or historian than DavisLondon Review of Books

Essential reading – I D Magazine

As fascinating as it is instructive... This is a book about the myths that created Los Angeles just as surely as the property developers and the water companies. – The Times

City of Quartz is an exploration of Los Angeles, told with passion, wit and a sharp eye for the absurd, the unjust and the dangerous. The author tells a lurid tale of greed, manipulation, power and prejudice that has made LA one of the most cosmopolitan and class-divided cities in the United States. In this new edition, Davis provides a dazzling update on the city's current status.

Humor / Lifestyle / Aging

Fifty and Other F-Words: Reflections from the Rearview Mirror by Margot Potter (Sterling)

If you’re a woman over 50, you probably feel invisible, or shackled by rules that say what you can and can’t do now that you’ve gotten older. But Margot Potter is here to say – in the most hilarious way – that, no matter what your age, you can still be a kick-ass warrior woman!

With a cool ‘nasty woman’ attitude, and plenty of humor, Potter tells it like it is, smashing stereotypes in her observations about aging in our youth-obsessed society. With neither bitterness nor sugar-coated reality, Fifty and Other F-Words will hit home with powerful, persistent women who grew up in the post-punk era; subscribed to magazines like Jane, Bust, and Bitch; put on their pink hats to march on DC; and never, ever conform.

Potter is a writer, blogger, actress, on-camera personality, and designer. She's written seven books on jewelry making and design, and an e-book on personal branding.

Three notches too loud, five notches too sparkly, and aging disgracefully, Potter is a refreshingly real personality in a sea of so-so sameness. A social media maven, Potter has worked with most of the biggest companies in the DIY industry as a design expert and content creator. She has appeared in front of rock bands, jazz bands, in classical, musical, and modern theater, and on local and national TV, as seen on TLC's Craft Wars, Hallmark Channel's Home and Family, Lifetime's The Balancing Act, and QVC.

Serving up plenty of attitude and humor, Potter tells it like it is in her essays, poems, and frank observations about the good, the bad, the ugly, the wrinkled, the sagging, and the hairy.

Smashing stereotypes without sugar coat­ing reality about coping with menopause, chin hairs, the empty nest, or making a career change after fifty, Potter provides insights and inspiration along the way.

According to Potter in Fifty and Other F-Words, when we enter our midlife years, we have an opportunity. We may be facing the empty nest, mourning changes in our appearance, transitioning into a new career, or finding our interpersonal relationships evolving. We are losing some things, but between those losses a space is opening for something new. We can opt to fill the empty space with doodads from discount department stores or set forth on glorious new adventures. We can feel sorry about what we've lost, or cele­brate what we've gained. We can cherish the past while looking forward to a deeper, richer, more complex relationship with our grown children, significant others, the world at large, and, most importantly, with ourselves.

In the spirit of Nora Ephron meets Chelsea Handler meets David Sedaris, Potter in Fifty and Other F-Words offers her humorously edgy perspective on navigating life after 50.

Potter says she is letting it all hang out and down past her knees without apology. It may not be pretty, but it's honest. In sharing her truth, she inspires readers to find theirs.

Philosophy / Metaphysics

The Expansion of Metaphysics by Miklós Vetö, translated from the French by William C. Hackett, with a foreword by David Carr (Cascade Books)

The culmination of a lifetime's preoccupation with crucial human concerns too often curiously marginalized by the history of philosophy, The Expansion of Metaphysics sheds new light on freedom and the will by making the phenomenon of novelty philosophically intelligible. The a priori synthesis of Kant is joined to Judeo-Christian themes (the kenosis of Christ in the incarnation and the tzimtzum of God in the creation) in order to develop a doctrine of ‘superabundance’ (freedom and love) and ‘singularity’ (with the Work of Art and the Child as paradigms). Space and time are reanalyzed as structural forms of human existence as Miklós Vető guides readers into the depths and heights of reality, climaxing in a metaphysics of good and evil.

Vető is a Hungarian-born French philosopher who taught successively at Marquette, Yale, Abidjan, Rennes, and Poitiers universities. Translator William C. Hackett is Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and the Honors Program at Belmont University. He is the translator of several works from French to English, including Jean Wahl's Human Existence and Transcendence.

Vetö's Elargissement de la metaphysique, published as The Expansion of Metaphysics in English translation, is an original work of metaphysics, very broadly conceived. (A com­panion volume, called Explorations metaphysiques, was published in the same year as the French version.) The primary focus of Vetö's scholarly work has been German Idealism, with a book on Schelling, a collection of articles on Fichte, and a two-volume study entitled De Kant a Schelling, which takes on the whole tradition. He is one of the world's most esteemed scholars in this area. After his long labors interpreting the metaphysics of others, this philosopher has decided now to speak in his own voice.

According to David Carr in the foreword, the distinction between ‘systematic’ philosophy and scholarly in­terpretation is somewhat artificial, and there are several reasons for questioning it in connection with The Expansion of Metaphysics. Every work of scholarly interpretation expresses the author's philosophical point of view. In this new work of metaphysics, one can feel the presence of the German philosophical tradition in the background. Moreover, this is not the first ‘systematic’ work for Vetö. He has also published on the problem of evil, and on the concept of will.

But there is another reason for avoiding the word ‘systematic’ in describing this work. Invoking Laplace as a cautionary example, Vetö tells readers in the Introduc­tion that "philosophy should abandon the dream of an integral system, of a complete explanation of every nook and cranny and all the structures of reality." Rather than seeking a single founding principle, it should be content if it can find a ‘plurality of particular principles.’

One of the things revealed in this early passage, and borne out in The Expansion of Metaphysics, is that the German Idealist to whom Vetö is actually closest is Kant. But Vetö's relation to Kant's philosophy is a highly original one. Already the use of the terms ‘image;’ ‘expression;’ ‘illumination;’ and the like, tip readers off to Vetö's highly esthetic and evocative, indeed, creative and original way of doing metaphysics.

The overall structure of The Expansion of Metaphysics derives from the distinction between existence and essence, which for Vetö is the fundamental distinction (coming from Aquinas) grounding all metaphysics. Thus the first half of the book is devoted to ontology, the second half to ‘eidetics’ or the theory of essences. Part of the novelty of Veto's ap­proach to metaphysics lies in his treatment of this distinction, and in particular to his approach to ontology. It is here that his departure from Aristotelian and Scholastic approaches to metaphysics, and the inspiration he derives from German Idealism, are perhaps the most obvious. For one thing, he entitles the first half of his book "First Philosophy," a term which since Aristotle is synonymous with metaphysics as a whole. Yet Aristotle's treatise is also called Theology, the science of the highest being. For Vetö, it is important that the ‘that-ness’ of being, as opposed to the ‘what-ness’ of es­sence, not be reduced to brute facticity and ineffability, much less necessity or fatality. Like the moderns, from Descartes to Sartre, Veto begins his ontology with subjectiv­ity, which has its own form of facticity and negativity. The focus is not on neces­sity but on creativity and novelty. And if human creativity and pro-creativity lead to the novelty and the uniqueness of the child, these can be seen as parallels to God's creation, incarnation and love. For Vetö the religious and theological are not separate topics within metaphysics; rather every aspect of existence is infused – di­rectly or indirectly – with religious meaning.

The second half of The Expansion of Metaphysics, in which the attention turns from existence to es­sence, begins with a discussion of space and time. Departing from a distinctly Kantian approach to space and time as the forms of intuition, Veto moves on to a more phe­nomenological discourse where space is treated not as a homogeneous medium but as the oriented framework of practical and bodily dimensions. In this section, and even more in the discussion of time, the influence of Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre is evident. Past, present, and future open readers to memory and history, on the one hand, and desire and hope on the other. This practical and human approach to space and time lead the way, in turn, to the final sections of The Expansion of Metaphysics, which are devoted to the practical in the Kantian sense (i.e., to the moral and ethical: the will, evil, and good).

The Expansion of Metaphysics ends by returning to the parallel between human action and the divine. The act of creation, the cabalistic notion of tzimtzum, and above all the Christian no­tion of kenosis represent for Vetö the ultimate enlargement of metaphysics in which the ontological and the eidetic are united in the idea of the will. Philosophers have often seen the task of metaphysics as the elimination of the paradoxes and mysteries of faith and existence, just as they have tried to deny the reality of evil. Vetö will have none of this; he has a wider and more inclusive view of metaphysics.

From one of the foremost scholars of German Idealism in our day there comes a book that gives us his personal vision of metaphysics. Miklós Vetö's The Expansion of Metaphysics presents a Christian metaphysics, one broadened from classical and romantic models to take proper account of the image, the new, and the singular, and finished with a capacious and engaging understanding of essence. Among other things, this is a book of wisdom. No one who reads it can remain unchanged by its teachings. – Kevin Hart, The University of Virginia

Miklós Vetö has been well known for decades as an illuminating interpreter of Berulle, Jonathan Edwards, Schelling and Simone Weil – to name a few. It is high time to discover that he could read them because he is a philosopher in his own right.... As a book, everyone will find it thoroughly enjoyable. And one must thank Chris Hackett for a fine translation of Veto’s always elegant text. – Jean-Yves Lacoste, Clare Hall, Australian Catholic University, Cambridge

In its trans-epochal reach, Miklos Veto's The Expansion of Metaphysics ... enables students of philosophy to ask the big questions once again: about self, will, evil, the good, love, creation, and God. The agent of this expansion is a renewal of Kant's transcendental phenomenology and of its premodern sources, recovering the agency of will beyond being, of self and other, which is the agency of the good, agency of the loving creator whose gifts perpetually renewed, are being and existence. – Peter Ochs, Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

The Expansion of Metaphysics is a book of broad vision, profound erudition, and inspiring originality.

Politics / City / Public Policy / Urban Studies

New York City Politics: Governing Gotham, 2nd edition by Bruce F. Berg (Rutgers University Press)

Most experts consider economic development to be the dominant factor influencing urban politics. They point to the importance of the finance and real estate industries, the need to improve the tax base, and the push to create jobs. Bruce F. Berg in New York City Politics maintains that there are three forces which are equally important in explaining New York City politics: economic development; the city’s relationships with the state and federal governments, which influence taxation, revenue and public policy responsibilities; and New York City’s racial and ethnic diversity, resulting in demands for more equitable representation and greater equity in the delivery of public goods and services.
Berg is a professor of political science at Fordham University.

New York City Politics focuses on the impact of these three forces on the governance of New York City’s political system including the need to promote democratic accountability, service delivery equity, as well as the maintenance of civil harmony. This second edition updates the discussion with examples from the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations as well as current public policy issues including infrastructure, housing and homelessness, land use regulations, and education.

The governance of urban political systems involves a complex set of functions centered around three broad themes: democratic accountability, the delivery of public goods and services, and the maintenance of civil harmony. These three themes incorporate the political system's goal of processing inputs and produc­ing outputs while promoting system stability and survival. First, the theme of democratic accountability concerns the extent to which the leaders of the political system respond to the demands of the people and are held accountable to the people. Democratic accountability depends on elections but also on the representative nature of the entire political system, including interest groups, political parties, and the executive branch of government. The second theme, the delivery of goods and services, concerns the ability of the political system to deliver those public goods and services vital to the city. This theme includes the delivery of those services that have been deemed critical to urban gover­nance, such as police, fire, sanitation, public health, and education. The service delivery function also encompasses amenities such as parks, welfare, and social services that promote health and a level of well-being for all citizens regardless of income and that add to the city's overall quality of life.

The third theme, the maintenance of civil harmony, recognizes that there will be conflicts among those involved in the political system in regard to decisions concerning the delivery of public goods and services and the response to citizen demands. Political system decisions create winners and losers. The theme of civil harmony suggests that governance of the political system is best served when citi­zens remain committed to the process by which decisions are made, regardless of whether they win or lose on those key decisions. New York City Politics examines how the social, economic, and intergovernmental forces affect the governance of the city. For the most part, the impact of these forces on city governance is divergent. First, each of the forces pulls the city in different directions through the constraints that they place on public decision makers. Occasionally, the impacts of these forces overlap and combine to pull the city in the same direction; but for the most part, city decision makers find themselves conflicted when faced with multiple forces. Second, while the forces present chal­lenges for the governance of the city, the impact of the forces on city governance is by no means dysfunctional. In fact, in many instances, the impact that the forces have on the city's political system enhances the themes of governance.

Berg in New York City Politics says that to understand political system governance, one must examine the key input and output institutions and actors as well as the contextual environment within which New York City politics takes place. Understanding the formal as well as the informal political institutions and processes that formulate, legitimize, and imple­ment public policy is critical to understanding governance. Interest groups, politi­cal parties, legislatures, executives, and bureaucrats all play key roles in New York City governance.

The approach developed in New York City Politics is based on an examination of one city. It stands on the shoulders of those scholars who have helped build the rich field of urban political theory. The central thesis of this analysis is that the governance of New York City's political system is significantly influenced by three forces: economic, social, and intergovernmental. The tripartite context, of economic development, inter-governmental relations, and racial/ethnic diversity, underlying this examination of New York City's political system can certainly be applied to other large Ameri­can cities and quite possibly cities in the global context as well.

The study of metropolitan governance in terms of democratic accountability, civil harmony, and service delivery remains a fascinating research area. Berg examines the governance of New York City within its economic, intergovernmental, and social context arguing that these forces constrain decision making by those within and outside the formal structures of government. Recommended. – A. E. Wohlers Choice

One cannot test the validity of an approach to the study of urban gover­nance based on the behavior of one urban political system, even if that city is the largest city in the country. And no claim regarding the external validity of this approach is made in New York City Politics. But implicit in this study is the hope that others will find this approach valuable and utilize it to examine the governance of other cities' political systems.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Preaching

Backstory Preaching: Integrating Life, Spirituality, and Craft by Lisa Cressman (Liturgical Press)

Instead of being a dour task on the checklist, what if the process of homily prep renewed you? Instead of feeling insecure about your message, what if your skills made you confident to preach a consistently clear message of Good News, authentic to you, relevant to your listeners, holding their attention and inviting transformation? Backstory Preaching shows readers how.

The Rev’d Lisa Kraske Cressman, DMin, has been noted for her preaching for twenty-five years. An Episcopal priest, preaching instructor, spiritual director, and retreat leader, she is founder and steward of Backstory Preaching.

By integrating life and spirituality with the practical skills necessary for effective preaching, readers can move beyond the boredom, stress, or insecurity of preaching so it is no longer they who preach but Christ who preaches in them. By connecting with God in the midst of sermon prep, the Gospel will be spread deeper and further.

The chapters of Backstory Preaching weave back and forth: One chapter about who readers are – that is, their backstory as a child of God. The next, how to pray a sermon into being, so that the reader, the preacher, publicly proclaims the living God they know. The backstory chapters integrate their life and spirituality with their preaching by looking at the obstacles into which many fall. Obstacles like perfectionism and seeing sermons as products rather than prayer.

The preaching chapters dovetail by slowly unfolding a spiritu­ality infused sermon prep process in which readers abide and discover new Good News to transform them. Though this is not a new prayer method – indeed, it is approaching nigh on sixteen hundred years old – it may be new to readers as a way to approach sermon prep. Lectio divina helps them discover a message of Good News they know is true because they experienced it. Lectio diving integrates their life and spirituality with the craft of preaching. The stages of lectio divina are prayerful states of mind to combine prayer, responsible scholarship, skill development, and the delightful element of holy surprise.

The final chapter of Backstory Preaching puts it all together, their backstory with their preaching, and their life and spirituality with their craft. Readers are asked to think and pray deeply about developing as a preacher and then go beyond the thinking and praying to write a trust: a Preacher's Trust. The Preacher's Trust is an actual document readers write and sign, to share and declare their intentions and practices to be Good News in order to preach Good News.

Backstory Preaching brings sermon formation and spiritual formation into a richly textured conversation. Cressman argues that life-giving sermons emerge within relationships of deep trust, shaped by spiritual authenticity and truth-telling. Reading this book and taking the suggested practices to heart will not only improve your preaching, but may also change your preaching ministry into a life-long spiritual journey. – John S. McClure, Charles G. Finney Professor of Preaching and Worship, Vanderbilt Divinity School

For every preacher who has wished for a trusted colleague with whom to share wisdom and insight about the craft of preaching, Lisa Cressman is a true find. An accomplished preacher herself, she writes candidly, conversationally, and compassionately – preacher-to-preacher, friend-to-friend – about both the stress and joy of crafting sermons. There is much valuable and practical advice to be gleaned in this volume, but the main virtue of this book is Cressman's compelling vision of the preaching task, so deeply rooted in prayer and so firmly focused on the gospel. – Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

You're the only one who knows God the way you do, the only one who can reveal God to us the way you can. This is the heart of this book on preaching. So much literature on homiletics focuses on the homily and ignores the homiletician. The Rev'd Cressman offers us a book that gives a word of grace into this omission. – Tripp Hudgins, Bogard Teaching Fellow, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California

It is true that clergy who have worked with The Rev. Lisa Cressman and have practiced the Backstory Preaching method are better preachers for having done so. However, this is no mere prescription to heal what ails the preacher's performance. Cressman invites nothing less than the renewal of the art of preaching in our time through the renewal of the preacher's soul for the sake of the Gospel. Through the integration of one's own life and spirituality into this vessel called a sermon, Cressman invites each reader and practitioner to discover that we ourselves are Good News. – The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Episcopal Diocese of Texas, author of The Jesus Heist: Recovering the Gospel from the Church

Most works of homiletics help preachers identify the message they hope to convey, the methods they might use to convey it, the factors that constrain or facilitate the hearers' acceptance of the message, etc. The Rev'd Lisa Kraske Cressman's Backstory Preaching concentrates instead on the preacher, asserting that it is impossible to preach effectively without praying regularly.… An eminently practical contribution to homiletics, Cressman's work is marked by helpful anecdotes, useful summaries and an online ‘workshop’ inviting the reader to integrate its concepts not only in completed sermons but in developing one's spirituality. – Fr. Jan Michael Joncas

This is an honest book offering real hope. I look forward to using the big insights of this little book with both beginning and seasoned preachers. – Gregory Heille, OP, professor of preaching and evangelization, Aquinas Institute of Theology

Conversational, offering practical advice, Backstory Preaching helps preachers improve their preaching. It helps them become aware in a critical way of the backstories that are at work and that inevitably contribute to their preaching, and Cressman shows them how to deepen and broaden those stories through the practice of lectio divina.

Religion & Spirituality / History / Ancient / Cosmology

Decoding Maori Cosmology: The Ancient Origins of New Zealand’s Indigenous Culture by Laird Scranton (Inner Traditions)

Decoding Maori Cosmology by Laird Scranton is an exploration of New Zealand’s Maori cosmology and how it relates to classic ancient symbolic traditions around the world. It shows how Maori myths, symbols, cosmological concepts, and words reflect symbolic elements found at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey. It demonstrates parallels between the Maori cosmological tradition and those of ancient Egypt, China, India, Scotland, and the Dogon of Mali in Africa. And it explores the pygmy tradition associated with Maori cosmology, which shares elements of the Little People mythology of Ireland, including matching mound structures and common folk traditions

Scranton is the author of a series of books on ancient cosmology and language, including The Science of the Dogon, Point of Origin, and China’s Cosmological Prehistory.

It is generally accepted that the Maori people arrived in New Zealand quite recently, sometime after 1200 AD. However, new evidence suggests that their culture is most likely centuries older, with roots that can be traced back to the archaic Göbekli Tepe site in Turkey, built around 10,000 BC.
Extending his global cosmology comparisons to New Zealand, Scranton in Decoding Maori Cosmology shows how the same cosmological concepts and linguistic roots that began at Göbekli Tepe are also evident in Maori culture and language. These are the same elements that underlie Dogon, ancient Egyptian, and ancient Chinese cosmologies as well as the Sakti Cult of India (a precursor to Vedic, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions) and the Neolithic culture of Orkney Island. Scranton shows how the cosmology in New Zealand was sheltered from outside influences and likely reflects ancient sources better than other Polynesian cultures. In addition to shared creation concepts, he details a multitude of strikingly similar word pronunciations and meanings, shared by Maori language and the Dogon and Egyptian languages, as well as likely connections to various Biblical terms and traditions. He discusses the Maori use of standing stones to denote spiritual spaces and sanctuaries and how their esoteric mystery schools are housed in structures architecturally similar to those commonly found in Ireland. He discusses the symbolism of the Seven Mythic Canoes of the Maori and uncovers symbolic aspects of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha in Maori cosmology.
Decoding Maori Cosmology also explores the outwardly similar pygmy traditions of Ireland and New Zealand, characterized by matching fairy mound constructions and mythic references in both regions. Scranton reveals how the trail of a group of Little People who vanished from Orkney Island in ancient times might be traced first to Scotland, Ireland, and England and then on to New Zealand, accompanied by signature elements of the global cosmology first seen at Göbekli Tepe.

With every book Laird Scranton writes, he take us deeper into understanding our origin and ourselves. Using his solid foundation of Dogon, Egyptian, Chinese, and Scottish cultures he again displays to the reader the complexities inherent in ancient civilizations and provides additional insights into our obscured past. Laird continues to broaden our understanding of the advanced technical concepts that are fundamental to world myths, concepts so advanced that we are only rediscovering many of them today. He suggests that there is an archaic connection between these diverse cultures, with the ancient cosmology of the Maori of New Zealand further validating this interconnected web of language, culture, science, and tradition. Decoding Maori Cosmology presents intriguing correlations and compelling arguments that cause you to stop and think. – Rita Louise, Ph.D., coauthor of The E.T. Chronicles
Decoding Maori Cosmology is sure to be controversial. Its major premise claims that an archaic, matriarchal tradition, or great Mother Goddess culture, gave birth to parallel mythological systems all across the globe after 10,000 BCE. Continuing his series that researches the evidence for cultural diffusion, Laird Scranton uses comparative linguistics as well as corresponding cosmologies, concepts, architectures, and artifacts in order to link the Maori of New Zealand with Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, the Sakti Cult of Tamil India, dynastic and predynastic Egypt, Skara Brae in Northern Scotland, the Dogon tribe of Mali, and the Buddhism of Tibet and elsewhere. In addition, he clearly and skillfully demonstrates how these diverse peoples of long ago fully understood the fundamental principles of quantum physics and string theory. This book is an essential piece of the puzzle showing the true picture of our ancient past. – Gary A. David, author of Journey of the Serpent People

Clearly and skillfully, Laird in Decoding Maori Cosmology continues to broaden readers’ understanding of the advanced technical concepts that are fundamental to world myths, concepts we are only rediscovering today.

Science / Biology / Evolution

Turning Points: How Critical Events Have Driven Human Evolution, Life, and Development by Kostas Kampourakis (Prometheus Books)

Critical historical events – or ‘turning points’ – have shaped evolution and continue to have a decisive effect on individual lives. This theme is explored and explained in Turning Points, a lucid, accessible book for lay readers. Kostas Kampourakis argues that, although evolution is the result of unpredictable events, these events have profound influences on subsequent developments. Life is thus a continuous interplay between unforeseeable events and their decisive consequences.
Kampourakis is an author and a researcher in science education at the University of Geneva, where he teaches courses at the University Teacher Training Institute and the Section of Biology.

As one example, Kampourakis cites the fusing of two chromosomes, which differentiated the human species from our closest animal relatives about 4 to 5 million years ago. This event was not predictable, but it had a profound effect on the evolution of the species thereafter. By the same token, certain unpredictable circumstances in the past enabled only Homo sapiens to survive to the present day, though it is now known that other human-like species also once existed.
Kampourakis in Turning Points contrasts such scientific concepts grounded in solid evidence with prevalent misconceptions about life: specifically, the religious notion that there is a plan and purpose behind life, the widespread perception that intelligent design governs the workings of nature, the persistent belief in destiny and fate, and the attribution of an overly deterministic role to genes.

Philosophers, scientists, and historians have long debated the relative importance of chance versus destiny. In this insightful analysis, Kostas Kampourakis sides convincingly with Stephen Jay Gould, demonstrating the importance of unpredictable events in shaping both our lives and the course of evolution. – Jonathan Losos, William H. Danforth Distinguished University Professor and director of Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University, and author of Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution
Kampourakis explains how the course of time runs on a knife-edge, how history is full of apparent coincidences on which the greater story turns. The result is a refreshing look at how events unfold, from the grandeur of evolution to the moment-by-moment progress of our own stories.
– Henry Gee, author of The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution
In this extremely original, incisive, and informative treatise concerning human evolution, Kampourakis asserts that the evolution of our species, Homo sapiens, was determined by a number of contingent events, or ‘turning points,’ starting perhaps with the fusion of two chromosomes in one of our hominin ancestors two to four million years ago. Contingent events are also turning points that determine what we are as individuals. No biological expertise is needed – all should read
Turning Points. Whether or not you are persuaded by Kampourakis’s arguments, you’ll enjoy his originality and the multitude of his illuminating examples. I very much enjoyed the book. – Francisco J. Ayala, University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, University of California–Irvine
Kampourakis
presents a strong argument for understanding life processes – including human behaviors – as the result of numerous contingencies that are not determined in a linear, causal sequence. Particularly effective is the argument against genetic determinism, which is presented, like the rest of the book, in very clear prose. – Garland E. Allen, Professor of Biology Emeritus, Washington University in St. Louis
In this lucid and readable book, Kampourakis makes a compelling philosophical and historical case for the contingency of evolution, the absence of intelligent design, and much more. It should appeal to wide range of readers. – Ronald L. Numbers, Hilldale Professor of the History of Science and Medicine Emeritus, University of Wisconsin–Madison
A
new and exciting way of looking at life’s past, including our own evolution. You may not always agree, but you will be led to rethink many old beliefs and prejudices. – Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and director of the Program in History and Philosophy of Science, Florida State University
Many people still believe that their lives are governed by fate; others have replaced the latter with the genetic plan in the DNA of our cells. Many, while not explicitly denying evolution, nevertheless accept that the emergence of humankind is the outcome of Intelligent Design. Kampourakis convincingly shows that all of these ideas are wrong. I am confident that by reading this book many readers will experience a healthy turning point in their worldview. – Alessandro Minelli, professor of zoology (ret.), University of Padova, and editor in chief, Frontiers in Evolutionary Developmental Biology

Turning Points is an excellent introduction for laypersons to core ideas in biology which goes a long way toward dispelling misconceptions and presents current scientific research in clearly understandable, jargon-free terms. It makes core concepts in evolution accessible to lay readers, showing that random events have played a critical role in the development of life.

Science / Biology / Genetics

She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer (Dutton)

Award-winning, celebrated New York Times columnist and science writer Carl Zimmer in She Has Her Mother's Laugh presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation.

Zimmer, who teaches science writing at Yale University, writes the Matter column for the New York Times and has frequently contributed to The Atlantic, National Geographic, Time, and Scientific American.

Charles Darwin played a crucial part in turning heredity into a scientific question, and yet he failed spectacularly to answer it. The birth of genetics in the early 1900s seemed to do precisely that. Gradually, people translated their old notions about heredity into a language of genes. As the technology for studying genes became cheaper, millions of people ordered genetic tests to link themselves to missing parents, to distant ancestors, to ethnic identities...
But, Zimmer writes in She Has Her Mother's Laugh, "Each of us carries an amalgam of fragments of DNA, stitched together from some of our many ancestors. Each piece has its own ancestry, traveling a different path back through human history. A particular fragment may sometimes be cause for worry, but most of our DNA influences who we are – our appearance, our height, our penchants – in inconceivably subtle ways." Heredity isn't just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies.

Heredity determined how crowns and thrones were passed down through the generations. Genetics revealed in profound detail how diseases and traits like eye color and intel­ligence were influenced by heredity. But heredity flows through other channels as well – from cultural practices to the environments we build around ourselves and our descendants.

She Has Her Mother's Laugh guides readers to a new understanding of what humans have received from the generations past and what they can pass along to the future. While people may think they know what heredity is, Zimmer explains that they think about it in terms that are obsolete. Genes are a shuffled sampling from ancestors, mixed together in combinations of unfathomable complexity. And now humans are gaining the power to rewrite genes in plants and animals – perhaps even humans – to pass down to future generations.

Zimmer believes people urgently need a new definition of heredity given recent discoveries and our history of misusing such scientific knowledge. In this book, the most ambitious work of his career, Zimmer presents a historical and scientific account of heredity spanning millennia and culminating with essential insights into the awesome potential humans have now acquired to shape their future. She Has Her Mother's Laugh is the new definition of heredity that is needed now. It has a surprise on almost every page as it builds a new definition of a fundamental concept in human economics, politics, and culture.

Weaving historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, and the kind of original reporting expected of one of the world's best science journalists, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations.

Extraordinary... This book is Zimmer at his best: obliterating misconceptions about science with gentle prose. He brings the reader on his journey of discovery as he visits laboratory after laboratory, peering at mutant mosquitoes and talking to scientists about traces of Neanderthal ancestry within his own genome. Any fan of his previous books or his journalism will appreciate this work. But so, too, will parents wishing to understand the magnitude of the legacy they’re bequeathing to their children, people who want to grasp their history through genetic ancestry testing and those seeking a fuller context for the discussions about race and genetics so prevalent today. – The New York Times Book Review
Into this zeitgeist enters Carl Zimmer’s most enjoyable new book, 
She Has Her Mother's Laugh, with a sweeping overview of the history of our understanding of heredity… [He is] one of the best science journalists of our time. – Science

A magnificent work... Journalist Zimmer masterfully blends exciting storytelling with first-rate science reporting. His book is as engrossing as it is enlightening. – Publishers Weekly, starred review
A thoroughly enchanting tour of big questions, oddball ideas, and dazzling accomplishments of researchers searching to explain, manipulate, and alter inheritance. – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
A wide-ranging and eye-opening inquiry into the way heredity shapes our species. – Booklist, starred review
No one unravels the mysteries of science as brilliantly and compellingly as Carl Zimmer, and he has proven it again with She Has Her Mother's Laugh – a sweeping, magisterial book that illuminates the very nature of who we are. – David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon and The Lost City of Z
She Has Her Mother's Laugh is at once far-ranging, imaginative, and totally relevant. Carl Zimmer makes the complex science of heredity read like a novel, and explains why the subject has been – and always will be – so vexed. – Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sixth Extinction
Humans have long noticed something remarkable, namely that organisms are similar but not identical to their parents – in other words, that some traits can be inherited. From this observation has grown the elegant science of genetics, with its dazzling medical breakthroughs. And from this has also grown the toxic pseudosciences of eugenics, Lysenkoism and Nazi racial ideology. Carl Zimmer traces the intertwined histories of the science and pseudoscience of heredity. Zimmer writes like a dream, teaches a ton of accessible science, and provides the often intensely moving stories of the people whose lives have been saved or destroyed by this topic. I loved this book.
– Robert Sapolsky, Stanford University, author of Behave
She Has Her Mother's Laugh is a masterpiece – a career-best work from one of the world's premier science writers, on a topic that literally touches every person on the planet. – Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes
One of the most gifted science journalists of his generation, Carl Zimmer tells a gripping human story about heredity from misguided notions that have caused terrible harm to recent ongoing research that promises to unleash more powerful technologies than the world has ever known. The breadth of his perspective is extraordinarily compelling, compassionate, and valuable. Please read this book now. –
Jennifer Doudna, UC Berkeley, coauthor of A Crack in Creation
Carl Zimmer is not only among my favorite science writers – he’s also now responsible for making me wonder why there is more Neanderthal DNA on earth right now than when Neanderthals were here, and why humanity is getting taller and smarter in the last few generations.
She Has Her Mother's Laugh explains how our emerging understanding of genetics is touching almost every part of society, and will increasingly touch our lives. – Charles Duhigg, author of Smarter Faster Better and The Power of Habit 
Traversing time and societies, the personal and the political, the moral and the scientific,
She Has Her Mother's Laugh takes readers on an endlessly mesmerizing journey of what it means to be human. Carl Zimmer has created a brilliant canvas of life that is at times hopeful, at times horrifying, and always beautifully rendered. I could hope for no better guide into the complexities, perils, and, ultimately, potential of what the science of heredity has in store for the world. – Maria Konnikova, author of The Confidence Game

Every decade or so, a book comes along that changes something deep down in the way we think about what it means to be human. She Has Her Mother's Laugh is one of those books. A masterwork of science writing, it is a tremendously compelling book, praised by leading scientists, bestselling authors, and the author's peers in the top echelons of journalism.

Self-Help / Guides

The Disaster Survival Guide: How to Prepare For and Survive Floods, Fires, Earthquakes and More by Marie D. Jones (Visible Ink Press)

Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Floods. Wildfires. Earthquakes. Epidemics. Droughts. Landslides. Trillions of dollars in damages. Billions of people affected. Terrorist attacks. Gas explosions. Bridge collapses. Car, train, and plane crashes.

Living in a world where most anything can happen at anytime means that no one is ever completely safe. With climate change bringing more and more megastorms, longer and deeper droughts, and a rising sea level, and with other dangers out there from crime and terrorism to dangerous wildlife encounters and accidents at home and on the road, expecting the unexpected can reduce – and possibly eliminate – the damage and loss.

It pays to be prepared.

According to Marie D. Jones in The Disaster Survival Guide, whether in the woods, on the water, within the city, or around the suburbs, a variety of critical decisions must be faced before, during, and after an emergency.

Jones is a fully trained disaster response/preparedness member of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) through FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, and she is a licensed ham radio operator (KI6YES).

What should a first aid kit contain? Which essential items should one always have at home? Should people stay or to go when a disaster hits? Where can they go? How do they stay informed? What resources are available after the emergency is over?

When catastrophe strikes, no matter how big or small, being ready and knowing how to respond can be the difference between the loss of life and survival.

The Disaster Survival Guide shows how to prepare and respond to any crisis, man-made or natural, wherever it might occur and however small or large it might be. Using what has been learned from previous disasters, The Disaster Survival Guide illustrates how others survived past crises. Just as important as learning how to survive the worst is learning how to survive everyday emergencies ranging from bee stings, snakebites, and allergic reactions to house fires, and gas explosions. It’s all important, and it’s all in The Disaster Survival Guide.

Covering the basic needs from food, water and first aid to shelter, security, and self-defense, this guide walks readers through the steps it takes to create their own personal emergency action plan. It provides a catalog of the skills, tools, and items needed to endure and overcome a variety of situations and circumstances. It pinpoints hazards unique to different terrains, locations, situations, and settings, too, and it helps identify and understand possible threats.

The guide provides insights into how to react and respond when disaster does strike. Critical decisions faced during an emergency are considered: whether to stay or to go, where to go, and how to stay informed.

The Disaster Survival Guide is a comprehensive guide for surviving emergencies both big and small. Truly essential, this comprehensive guide takes a clear-eyed look at what to do should the worst happen. It is essential reading during these volatile times.

Travel / Cooking, Food & Wine

The Wandering Vine: Wine, the Romans and Me by Nina Caplan (Bloomsbury Continuum)

My love of wine began where my father ended. So many marvelous wines he shared with me, down the lucky years.… Through wine, I have found a way to continue a conversation that, when he was alive, had barely begun.

I am not alone in this. Wine is often a dialogue with the dead. There's nothing macabre about that. Who among us would not like to find our way to the Underworld, across the River Styx, guarded, say the ancients, by the three-headed dog Cerberus, to see our loved ones again? Provided, of course, we could return.

Wine is alive, ageing and changing, but it's also a tri­umph over death. These grapes should rot. Instead they ferment. What better magic potion could there be to convey us to the past? Only our senses can truly transport us, as Proust well knew. But they cannot do so alone. His vehicle was the madeleine, the cake shaped to imitate the scallop shell that is the symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela; mine, surely as potent, is wine. And my journey, too, is a pilgrimage, sensual rather than religious, in honor of the person who taught me, and who is now gone. While I was fig­uring out where, in all the wide world of wine, to go, it became clear to me that you can't go looking for roots without a careful look at the ground on which you yourself are planted. I would need to start in England, and to do so I would have to deal with two ques­tions: how did I get here, and how did wine get here? – from the book

Impelled by a dual thirst, for wine and for knowledge, Nina Caplan in The Wandering Vine follows the vine into the past, wandering from Champagne’s ancient chalk to the mountains of Campania, via the crumbling Roman ruins that flank the river Rhône, and the remote slopes of Priorat in Catalonia.

Caplan is an arts, wine and travel journalist. She is the wine columnist of the New Statesman and also writes for The Times, Decanter, and Condé Nast Traveller. She has been awarded the Louis Roederer International Food and Wine Writer of the Year, Louis Roederer International Columnist of the Year and Fortnum & Mason Drink Writer of the Year.

In The Wandering Vine Caplan meets people whose character, stubbornness, and sometimes, borderline craziness makes their wine great: an intrepid Englishman planting on rabbit-infested Downs, a glamorous eagle-chasing Spaniard, and an Italian lawyer obsessed with reviving Falernian, legendary wine of the Romans.

In the course of her travels, she drinks a lot and learns a lot: about dead conquerors and living wines, forgotten zealots, and – in vino veritas, as Pliny said – about herself.

A travel journal like no other I’ve ever read: evocative, intelligent, beautifully written, a pilgrimage of the soul through a love of wine and the vineyards that produce it. – Elisabeth Luard

A lively journey from the vineyards of antiquity to the modern dining table. You’ll savour every last drop. – Daisy Dunn

Rich and multi-layered, full of love and family, erudite and dense with fascinating detail while being as deliciously gluggable as a fine pinot noir. Intoxicating stuff. – Marina O'Loughlin

Nina Caplan and I share a family tree; I had no idea, until I read this marvelous book, that it was a vine. I am drunk with her passionate knowledge. – Maureen Lipman

A lyrical and charming book, The Wandering Vine is an enchanting journey into European culture and civilization through the shared love of wine. Caplan drinks in order to remember and travels in order to understand the meaning of home. This is narrative travel writing at its best.

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 Contents to this Page 

Anthropology / Archaeology

Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece, 1st edition edited by Anastasia Papathanasiou, William A. Parkinson, Daniel J. Pullen, Michael L. Galaty, & Panagiotis Karkanas (Oxbow)

Anthropology / Handbooks

The Oxford Handbook of the Incas edited by Sonia Alconini & R. Alan Covey (Oxford Handbooks: Oxford University Press)

Arts & Photography / Contemporary

Retroactivity and Contemporary Art by Craig Staff (Bloomsbury Academic)

Business & Economics / Advertising / Annual

The One Show, Volume 39 by The One Club (Rockport Publishers)

Cooking, Food & Wine

Fire Food: The Ultimate BBQ Cookbook by Christian Stevenson, with photography by David Loftus (Quadrille)

Criminology / Terrorism / Law / Handbooks

The Palgrave Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law, in 2 volumes, 1st edition edited by Colin King, Clive Walker, & Jimmy Gurulé (Palgrave Macmillan, Palgrave Handbooks)

Engineering / Mechanical

Energy, the Environment, and Sustainability, 1st edition by Efstathios E. Michaelides (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Series: CRC Press)

Folklore / Herbs / Healing / Magic

Italian Folk Magic: Rue's Kitchen Witchery by Mary-Grace Fahrun (Weiser Books)

History / Biographies

The Shadow Emperor: A Biography of Napoleon III by Alan Strauss-Schom (St. Martin’s Press)

History / LGBT / Chicago

The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third-Sexers, Pansies, Queers, and Sex Morons in Chicago's First Century by Jim Elledge (Chicago Review Press)

History / Sociology

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged, running time: 15.5 hours by Mike Davis, narrated by Timothy John Campbell (Tantor Media)

Humor / Lifestyle / Aging

Fifty and Other F-Words: Reflections from the Rearview Mirror by Margot Potter (Sterling)

Philosophy / Metaphysics

The Expansion of Metaphysics by Miklós Vetö, translated from the French by William C. Hackett, with a foreword by David Carr (Cascade Books)

Politics / City / Public Policy / Urban Studies

New York City Politics: Governing Gotham, 2nd edition by Bruce F. Berg (Rutgers University Press)

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Preaching

Backstory Preaching: Integrating Life, Spirituality, and Craft by Lisa Cressman (Liturgical Press)

Religion & Spirituality / History / Ancient / Cosmology

Decoding Maori Cosmology: The Ancient Origins of New Zealand’s Indigenous Culture by Laird Scranton (Inner Traditions)

Science / Biology / Evolution

Turning Points: How Critical Events Have Driven Human Evolution, Life, and Development by Kostas Kampourakis (Prometheus Books)

Science / Biology / Genetics

She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer (Dutton)

Self-Help / Guides

The Disaster Survival Guide: How to Prepare For and Survive Floods, Fires, Earthquakes and More by Marie D. Jones (Visible Ink Press)

Travel / Cooking, Food & Wine

The Wandering Vine: Wine, the Romans and Me by Nina Caplan (Bloomsbury Continuum)