SirReadaLot.org

SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

Current Issue: August 2015, Issue #196

Previous Issues:

Go to Chronological Review List for previous issues.

Guide to Contents this Page 

101 Techniques: Drawing by Parramón (Barron’s Educational Series)

Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged by Rand Paul, read by Brian Troxell, with the introduction read by Rand Paul (Hachette Audio)

Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America – Hardcover by Rand Paul (Center Street)

Design Thinking for Visual Communication, 2nd edition by Gavin Ambrose & Paul Harris (Basics Design Series: Fairchild Books, AVA Publishing, Bloomsbury)

The Cybrarian's Web 2: An A-Z Guide to Free Social Media Tools, Apps, and Other Resources by Cheryl Ann Peltier-Davis, with a foreword by David Lee King (Information Today, Inc.)

Geology Underfoot in Western Washington by David Tucker (Mountain Press Publishing Company)

Safe Dance Practice: An Applied Dance Science Perspective by Edel Quin, Sonia Rafferty & Charlotte Tomlinson (Human Kinetics)

My Fair Ladies: Female Robots, Androids, and Other Artificial Eves by Julie Wosk (Rutgers University Press)

The Earliest Instrument: Ritual Power and Fertility Magic of the Flute in Upper Paleolithic Culture by Lana Neal (Pendragon Press)

The Handy American History Answer Book by David L. Hudson (The Handy Answer Book Series: Visible Ink)

Black Life in Old New Orleans by Keith Medley (Pelican Publishing Company)

Separate and Dominate: Feminism and Racism after the War on Terror by Christine Delphy, translated from the French by David Broder (Verso Books)

Handbook of Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders, 1st edition by Satish S.C. Rao MD PhD FRCP (Lon), Henry Parkman MD, Richard McCallum MD (Slack Incorporated)

The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World by Peter Scazzero (Zondervan)

Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation by Bruce Tift, with a foreword by Tami Simon (Sounds True)

Structures of Grace: Catholic Organizations Serving the Global Common Good by Kevin Ahern (Orbis Books)

Incarnation: On the Scope and Depth of Christology edited by Niels Henrik Gregersen (Fortress Press)

Wisdom of the Watchers: Teachings of the Rebel Angels on Earth's Forgotten Past by Timothy Wyllie (Bear & Company)

The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury: Andrews McMeel Publishing)

Moon Acadia National Park, 5th edition by Hilary Nangle (Moon Handbooks: Avalon Travel Publishing)

 


school books  

Art & Photography / Instruction

101 Techniques: Drawing by Parramón (Barron’s Educational Series)

Relying on a progression of step-by-step captioned illustrations, 101 Techniques: Drawing offers easy-to-follow exercises that teach the basics of virtually every technique an artist needs to know in order to compose still life paintings, landscapes, and portraits; build up volume through cross-hatching; frame the scope of each drawing; incorporate different kinds of perspective; and use color effectively. Formatted so that readers can begin drawing right away, Drawing offers approaches that both the beginner and professional can utilize.

The book is part of a series. Each title in Barron's growing series of 101 Techniques art instruction manuals focuses on a specific art medium and teaches students and amateur artists through purely visual means. Other books in this series include Acrylics, Watercolor, and Oil.

The best way to learn to draw is by drawing. Drawing is specifically designed to keep readers busy drawing – and to help them get better at it with every drawing that they complete. Readers find short exercises and step-by-step instructions that teach them all the techniques necessary for the art of drawing. Each exercise comes with captioned directions that include the materials they will need and a clear indication of its level of difficulty. When they complete an exercise successfully and they will have mastered a new and different technique.

The lessons contained in Drawing are essentially exercises. After familiarizing readers with the appropriate drawing tools, the book presents no less than 101 practical examples of how to use the most important techniques of artistic drawing. The 101 techniques that are collected in the book constitute the most complete repertory of approaches in existence, a combination of subject and stylistic factors with the various techniques of artistic drawing. Thus, each exercise is a meeting point for a group of typical materials, a particular style, and a specific subject. The order of the sections is functional and answers to the necessity of organizing the teaching using a scheme based on the different typical materials of the artist: graphite, chalk, color pencils, pastels, and ink.

Each exercise is a step-by-step sequence that occupies one or two pages. The difficulty has nothing to do with the length of the lesson, and it is labeled with one or two stars. Beginners should not ignore the exercises with two stars because they can learn as much or more from them as from the simpler exercises.

Drawing was written by a group of professionals who together have vast experience in creating and publishing books for learning to draw and paint. Their experience has guided them in creating something that is positively useful for beginners as well as for experienced, and even professional, artists. This work is clear, direct, and accessible as a learning tool, as well as varied and attractive as a purely esthetic reference.

With 101 exercises to choose from, both beginners and more experienced artists will find plenty of examples to match their skill levels and help them expand their abilities.

Audio / Politics

Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged by Rand Paul, read by Brian Troxell, with the introduction read by Rand Paul (Hachette Audio)

Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America – Hardcover by Rand Paul (Center Street)

What lies in Taking a Stand is Rand Paul's plan for America, where lower taxes and smaller government empower a muscular and expansive middle class; an America that doesn't engage in nation-building or fight wars, where the best outcome is stalemate; an America that believes in constitutionally protected liberty and the separation of powers.

Senator Rand Paul has represented Kentucky in the United States Senate since winning the seat in 2010. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Government Bullies. He lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky and Washington D.C. with his wife Kelley and their three boys. Paul is the son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul. From his thirteen-hour filibuster against administration-orchestrated drone strikes against U.S. citizens, to leading the discourse on criminal justice, Paul has taken Washington by storm. His outreach to this country's minority communities – championing reforms of mandatory minimum sentencing, school choice, and the creation of enterprise zones for economically depressed areas – distinguishes him as a politician and Republican the likes of which are rarely seen.

In his four years on Capitol Hill, Paul has sponsored or co-sponsored hundreds of bills that range from bipartisan legislation to fix the criminal justice system, to stop the money that's sent to countries that burn the U.S. flag, and to make sure his colleagues actually read the bills they vote on. This account contains an indictment of what is wrong in Washington.

Taking a Stand turns its eye to the future and a vision of a Republican Party that is dramatically different than the one that has lost the last two presidential elections. Paul's Republican Party is for young and old, black and white, those with tattoos and those without.

Taking a Stand is also the story of a young boy who dreamed of becoming an ophthalmologist as he watched his grandmother's sight dim. The book reveals the life of a family man, an eye surgeon, and a self-professed ‘tree hugger’ who embodies the small-town values that form the heart of this country.

Senator Paul has given us a blueprint for limited government that would make Jefferson ecstatic ... the Senator speaks in words we understand with conviction we all admire and an understanding of the issues that is breathtaking. – Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst, Fox News Channel on "The Tea Party Goes to Washington"

America is waiting to see what comes next from this dynamic senator. In Taking a Stand, listeners and readers find out. The audiobook is read by Brian Troxell with the introduction read by Paul himself.

Communication / Design

Design Thinking for Visual Communication, 2nd edition by Gavin Ambrose & Paul Harris (Basics Design Series: Fairchild Books, AVA Publishing, Bloomsbury)

You cannot hold a design in your hand. It is not a thing. It is a process. A system. A way of thinking. – Bob Gill, Graphic Design as a Second Language

How do you start a design project? How can you generate ideas and concepts in response to a design brief? How do other designers do it? Design Thinking for Visual Communication answers these questions.

Now in its 2nd edition, the highly popular Design Thinking for Visual Communication identifies methods and thought processes used by designers in order to start the process that eventually leads to a finished piece of work. Step-by-step guidance for each part of the process is highlighted by real-life case studies, enabling students to see teaching in practice. This focus on ideas and methods eschews an abstract, academic approach in favor of a useable approach to design as a problem-solving activity. The book is part of the Basics Design series designed to provide students with a theoretical and practical exploration of key topics in graphic design, including layout, format, typography, color and image.

The authors are Gavin Ambrose, who is a graphic designer and teaches at Brighton University and Paul Harris, a freelance writer and journalist who specializes in design.

Design Thinking for Visual Communication examines the ways in which solutions to a design brief are approached, researched and refined. The 2nd edition is fully updated with more coverage of digital design and interviews with international design practitioners. Featured contributors include: Studio Myerscough, The Team, 3 Deep, Lavernia & Cienfuegos, Multipraktik, Daniel Eatock, Ever After Brand, Miha Artnak, Futro, NB Studio, Richard Wilkinson, mousegraphics, Moving Brands, Tanner Christensen, Navyblue, Pentagram, Unthink, Cartlidge Levene, Studio Output, Webb & Webb, Frost*, Mark Studio, Thomas Manss, Design is Play, Planning Unit, McKinney, Ziggurat Brands, Brody Associates, Peter and Paul, Why Not Associates, and Second Story. Design Thinking for Visual Communication presents an overview of the design thinking involved at each stage of the design process: the methods used by designers to generate and refine creative ideas, the key considerations that help shape them and the feedback and review elements that allow design teams to learn from each job and contribute to future commissions. Through detailed studies of contemporary work and analysis of the basic theories, Ambrose and Harris examine how a designer can generate and resolve ideas to produce creative solutions that best meet the stated aims of the brief. They also include design thinking exercises to help reinforce the principles of the design process.

Featured topics include: The design process, Identifying drivers, Information gathering, Research, Target groups, Samples and feedback, Themes of thinking, Inspiration and references, Brainstorming, Sketching, Thinking in images and signs, Developing designs, Types of prototype, Format, Materials, and Media.

Sections of Design Thinking for Visual Communication include:

  • Stages of thinking. An overview of the different stages of the design process and the key considerations at each stage to produce a successful design, with a focus on the design brief and project definition stage.
  • Research. This section looks at the stage at which information is collected to help generate design ideas. This includes consumer profiles and target group definitions, quantitative and qualitative information and feedback from past projects.
  • Idea generation. This section looks at how designers use different methods and sources of inspiration to generate creative solutions to the brief. These include sketching, brainstorming and the different paradigms used through design history.
  • Refinement. This section looks at how a general design concept can be refined. It examines how images, words, color and substrates can be used to enhance the idea and increase its effectiveness.
  • Prototyping. Design ideas need to be presented and articulated to test target group acceptance and receive client approval. Readers see how models, dummies and storyboards can help to convey ideas so that they can be understood in this context.
  • Implementation. This section looks at how ideas come to life through production. Implementation must ensure that design details are put into effect and that the client is happy with the final product.

I have adopted this book. It provides a great structure for this course which has a variety of students from design, advertising and illustration programs. – Rosanne Gibel, Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Beautifully designed and filled with excellent examples. – Richard Barlow, St Cloud State University

The format and design of the book is very good for getting the information across ... the diagrams and images are extremely helpful in explaining the concepts. – Rebecca Potts, Bronx River Art Center

I like this book, as well as the others books in this series, because of the excellent examples of designs to illustrate the text. The design is clear, and makes the book easy to use. The different paper stocks not only help with orientation, but provide great examples of when to do this. A great addition to the Basics series. – Emily Wood, Central Saint Martins, UK.

Packed with examples from students and professionals and fully illustrated with clear diagrams and inspiring imagery, Design Thinking for Visual Communication offers an essential exploration of design thinking. The new 2nd edition now includes contributions from a broader international range of design practices and adds depth to existing case studies by looking in greater detail at some of the processes used.

Computers & the Internet / Guides

The Cybrarian's Web 2: An A-Z Guide to Free Social Media Tools, Apps, and Other Resources by Cheryl Ann Peltier-Davis, with a foreword by David Lee King (Information Today, Inc.)

The Cybrarian's Web 2, is volume 2 of Cheryl Ann Peltier-Davis’s popular guide, presenting 61 more free tech tools and showing how they can be successfully applied in libraries and information centers. Written for info pros who want to innovate, improve, and create new library services, this volume combines real-world examples with practical insights and out-of-the-box thinking.

Readers discover in The Cybrarian's Web 2 an array of great web resources and mobile apps supporting the latest trends in cloud storage and hosting, crowdfunding, e-books, makerspaces, massive open online courses (MOOCs), news aggregation, self-publishing, social bookmarking, video conferencing, visualization, and wearable technology, all tailored to the needs of libraries and the communities they serve.

Peltier-Davis says her goal is "to assist the library community in the discoverability and use of these resources." While her first volume of The Cybrarian's Web (2012) focused on tools that many people now know, like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress, this second installment focuses on some lesser-known but extremely useful tools that can help librarians in the workplace and beyond.

Peltier-Davis says that her intrigue with freely accessible resources on the web grew out of an insatiable fascination with tracking global trends in what she refers to as the Free Content Online (FCO) numbers game. This time-consuming and sometimes arduous task is as intriguing as it sounds, as daily compilations of statistical data reveal the explosion of digital information online and the ease and speed at which this information is created, searched, and shared. One can easily look at the statistical data, add the expansive range of freely available social media tools – blogs, wikis, social networks, and podcasts – and readily confirm one fact: there is limitless availability and access to free e-resources for the typical searcher in this networked and interactive information environment. Unfortunately, this seemingly easy access to free e-content does not necessarily enhance the discoverability of these resources on the web.

The Cybrarian's Web 2 is Peltier-Davis’ attempt to assist the library community in the discovery and use of these resources. It reflects a growing consensus – replicated in journal articles, books, conference papers, and reports – that we are entering an era when free resources are viewed as just as viable and valuable as commercial content. Within the pages of The Cybrarian's Web 2, there is also implicit acknowledgement that libraries and other organizations are still operating in a challenging economic environment where budget concerns mandate a proactive approach in reevaluating existing acquisition and collection development policies, and combining this with efforts aimed at augmenting and enriching costly subscription collections with high-quality, free e-resources.

Similar in purpose, organization, and content to the first volume, The Cybrarian's Web 2 provides in-depth summaries and analysis of free resources on the web, focusing on the practical application and implementation of these resources in libraries and other work environments. While the first volume was written as a starter guide to social media tools, catering mainly to the needs of an audience with limited technological knowledge, The Cybrarian's Web 2 focuses on lesser-known tools, along with trending concepts successfully implemented by libraries. Another major divergence is the extensive coverage given to e-books, e-book collections and services, and e-book reading devices. Given the popularity and widespread usage of this e-content within libraries and other communities, and the subsequent legal wranglings between libraries and publishers, it would be a disservice to the profession not to record the availability and accessibility of this group of unique resources.

The Cybrarian's Web 2 also focuses on innovative concepts and trends that are rapidly being mashed up and adopted in the library world. Readers learn about these in succinct chapters that cover topics such as self-publishing, cloud storage and hosting, crowdfunding, mobile applications (apps), makerspaces, MOOCs, social news aggregators, social media management services and visualization tools. Readers are also introduced to wearable technology in the form of Google Glass. Its inclusion as a separate chapter is born of the necessity to sensitize the library community to the important issues it raises regarding patrons' data privacy, security, and safety and the critical role of librarians in advocating for patrons' rights. Advocacy played a major role in Google's decision to halt the development and discontinue sales of the current version of Glass through its Explorer program and streamline efforts to develop a new and improved version.

Given the dynamic nature of most e-resources on the web and the need to constantly monitor and update these resources, a companion website provides links to all the resources covered in The Cybrarian's Web 2. The launch of this companion website, which coincided with the publishing of the first volume, has proven to be a blessing in disguise, as it has provided an online forum for discussion and documentation of sites that have changed ownership, undergone radical alterations, or are now defunct.

This comprehensive volume on social media tools and apps provides a wealth of information presented in an easy-to-understand manner. It will prove to be an essential resource for library staff involved in customizing their library's online presence and integrating web-based applications in library instruction programs, outreach activities, and reference services. – Frank Soodeen, Head of Information Technology Services, The Alma Jordan Library, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago

Verdict: Essential for libraries of all types. – Library Journal on The Cybrarian's Web

The Cybrarian's Web 2 is a current and convenient resource covering some cool online tools, apps, services, and resources. This 2nd volume continues to serve a wide cross section of readers in multiple communities supporting productivity, collegial collaboration, and self-development, as readers discover its usefulness as a guide and learning tool to innovate, improve, and add value to library services in the digital age.

Geology / Outdoors & the Environment

Geology Underfoot in Western Washington by David Tucker (Mountain Press Publishing Company)

Western Washington is a dynamic geologic environment with rich, complex, and diverse geology. With active volcanoes, sediment-laden rivers, glaciers, wave-washed beaches, ancient and active faults, and a wide variety of rock types, it is a great place to experience the story of the Earth's ongoing evolution. – Dave Tucker, from the preface

Ancient volcanoes preserved as deeply eroded scraps. Seafloors forced high into the sky. Fossils of a long-extinct, 385-pound flightless bird that roamed subtropical floodplains. From the crest of the Cascades to the Pacific, and from the Columbia River north to the Canadian border, the ghosts of deep time are widely exposed in western Washington. But geology never really dies. It is active and alive in the region: volcanoes periodically erupt, showering their surroundings with ash; earthquakes shake Earth’s surface and the constructions of humans, sending tsunamis ashore to wreak havoc; and melting alpine glaciers send forth great floods of water.
In Geology Underfoot in Western Washington, the most recent addition to the Geology Underfoot series, author and geoscientist Dave Tucker narrates western Washington’s geologic tales, covering sites from its low-lying shorelines to its rugged mountaintops. The book’s 22 chapters, or vignettes, lead readers to easily accessible stops along Washington’s highways and some trails, too.

Tucker is a research associate in the geology department at Western Washington University and also a director of the Mount Baker Volcano Research Center, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that raises funds to support research at the active volcano and educate the public about the mountain’s volcanic hazards. Tucker has been mapping Baker’s geology since the mid-1990s, in particular the distribution of volcanic ash deposits, and he leads public field trips and gives presentations about the geology of northwest Washington.

Geology Underfoot in Western Washington spans some 90 million years of time. The subduction zone beneath western Washington is an underlying and unifying theme.

Tucker says the hardest part about writing the book was deciding which places had to be left out. He includes sites that are easily accessible and provide a sampling of some of the more salient features of western Washington's geology. Entire guidebooks could be written about some of the topics.

The region covered in this book is home to a large population of people with a keen interest in natural history; the book is dedicated to that audience. A formal education in geology is not necessary to enjoy these geologic field trips, only curiosity and a willingness to understand new concepts. A healthy dose of full-color illustrations and photos compliments Tucker’s illuminating prose, further demystifying Washington’s geologic wonders. With Geology Underfoot in Western Washington in hand, readers will soon feel like Evergreen State geology experts.

Health & Fitness / Dance

Safe Dance Practice: An Applied Dance Science Perspective by Edel Quin, Sonia Rafferty & Charlotte Tomlinson (Human Kinetics)

Every dancer of every age, ability, and style should be able to engage fully in the act of dancing and be encouraged to achieve their potential without risk of harm to the body or mind.

Safe Dance Practice bridges the gap between research and practice for dancers and educators in all levels and genres. The book presents guidelines and principles that maximize physical and mental well-being without compromising creativity and expression.

Safe Dance Practice, written by authors with nearly 60 years of collective experience in the dance profession as creative artists, teachers and researchers, offers guidelines on implementing these principles in practice, informing and supporting dance practitioners. These recommendations are applicable not only to dancers and dance educators but also to choreographers, rehearsal and company, directors and studio managers.

Authors are Edel Quin, MSc, FHEA, leader of the master’s in dance science program in the faculty of dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London and a trained Irish and contemporary dancer; Sonia Rafferty, MSc, senior lecturer at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London and a professional freelance performer, choreographer, artistic director, and master class teacher; and Charlotte Tomlinson, MSc, dance lecturer, community practitioner, registered course provider for Safe in Dance International (SiDI) and artistic director of SideKick Dance, an inclusive dance group for young people with disabilities.

Safe Dance Practice helps readers

  • Facilitate a physically and psychologically safe and supportive dance environment.
  • Understand principles of anatomy and biomechanically sound alignment.
  • Implement physiological preparation and progression through warm-up and cool-down protocols as well as insights on supplementary fitness and conditioning.
  • Minimize risk of injury and understand injury management aligned with appropriate strategies for rest and recovery.
  • Incorporate advice on nutrition and hydration for enhanced performance and healthy dance practice.
  • Tailor delivery to the needs and demographics of participants for diverse engagement with dance.
  • Evaluate personal practice in order to assess and monitor effective application of the principles.

The authors take a multi-disciplinary approach to the components of safety and best practices. They not only examine the immediate variables associated with injury occurrence but also delve into contributing factors such as nutrition, alignment, rest and recovery and supplementary fitness and conditioning. They also help readers apply safety guidelines and principles to dancers of various ages, standards and physical abilities.

As the title proposes, the purpose of Safe Dance Practice is to present an applied dance science perspective of the integrated principles that are essential to any dance experience and to provide guidelines on how to implement these in practice. The book is intended as a manual that can inform and support dance practitioners as they carry out their activities across an ever-growing pool of styles and genres and with a potentially diverse range of participants. Accountability for knowledge and application of the subject matter lies also with choreographers, rehearsal or company directors, studio managers, school or university principals, directors, heads of departments or course leaders.

The content is divided into 11 comprehensive chapters. The chapters are purposefully organized so that readers can progressively advance through Safe Dance Practice in sequential order or engage with specific chapters independently, if preferred. Cross-referencing is included throughout in order to guide readers to related information that may appear in other areas of the book. Common to all chapters are clear headings, subheadings, highlighted key points, case studies and at-a-glance summaries that provide quick access to key information and encapsulate the main messages of each chapter, allowing readers to easily relate the content to their own practice.

Chapters 1 to 8 present fundamental environmental, anatomical, physical and psychological principles of safe dance practice. Each of these chapters includes strategies and examples for putting the principles into practice in relation to different dance styles and settings. Chapter 9 acknowledges that dancers as a population are susceptible to injury due to the nature of the activity and therefore includes strategies for injury management. Chapter 10 focuses on possible adaptations of the principles to a range of specific dancing populations and stresses the importance of identifying the needs of different learners. Ongoing monitoring and self-evaluation of personal practice in order to regularly reflect on the effectiveness of safe dance application is addressed in the concluding chapter, including a useful safe practice checklist and personal evaluation template.

Safe Dance Practice raises the profile of safe practice as a vital element of dance activity. The intention of this text is not to dwell on risk, but to illuminate fundamental principles of working safely in dance so as to support best practice. This book encourages both experienced and upcoming generations of dance practitioners and leaders to develop a better understanding, communication and application of safe dance principles, while continuing to encourage creative and physical challenge. The combination of physical, psychological and environmental variables promotes an interdisciplinary approach.

Safe Dance Practice has the potential to significantly influence dance practice worldwide both now and in years to come. The first book of its kind, Safe Dance Practice combines scientific evidence with practitioner wisdom. It will have broad appeal, connecting with all those interested in becoming better informed about both safe dance practice and performance enhancement. Presented in an accessible and user-friendly format, useful recommendations from a dance science perspective can be readily applied by a wide range of dance practitioners in their classes, rehearsals, schedules and performances. The principles advocated in this book have direct relevance for leaders working with professional or recreational dancers, teachers of all genres and levels of experience, and students and lecturers within undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

For all readers, this book empowers individuals to take responsibility for their own safe dance practice and that of others with whom they interact.

History / Art / Mythology / Literature

My Fair Ladies: Female Robots, Androids, and Other Artificial Eves by Julie Wosk (Rutgers University Press)

The fantasy of a male creator constructing his perfect woman dates back to the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. Yet as technology has advanced over the past century, the figure of the lifelike manmade woman has become nearly ubiquitous, popping up in everything from Bride of Frankenstein to Weird Science to The Stepford Wives. In My Fair Ladies Julie Wosk takes readers on a tour through this bevy of artificial women, revealing the array of cultural fantasies and fears they embody. Wosk is a professor of art history, English, and studio painting at the State University of New York, Maritime College in New York City.

My Fair Ladies considers how female automatons have been represented as objects of desire in fiction and how ‘living dolls’ have been manufactured as real-world fetish objects. But it also examines the many works in which the ‘perfect’ woman turns out to be artificial – a robot or doll – and thus becomes a source of uncanny horror. Finally, Wosk introduces readers to a variety of female artists, writers, and filmmakers – from Cindy Sherman to Shelley Jackson to Zoe Kazan – who have cleverly crafted their own images of simulated women. 

My Fair Ladies draws upon Wosk’s own experiences as a young female Playboy copywriter and as a child of the ‘feminine mystique’ era to show how images of the artificial woman have loomed large over real women’s lives. Wosk says she grew up in an America that was already erupting into the upheavals of the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the women's movement, but, at Playboy, the offices were filled with manufactured glamour and artifice was all around. Women weren't allowed to be hired as magazine writers, but as a young female copywriter in the advertising department, her job was to portray the allure of the magazine with its air-brushed female centerfolds and Playboy clubs filled with sexy bunnies and lobster bisque.

Wosk remembers reading two books that had a big impact on her, and many years later they became the genesis for My Fair Ladies. One was George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion where the imperious Henry Higgins, using technology, transforms the sassy ‘guttersnipe’ flower-seller Eliza into the surface trappings of an elegant Victorian ‘lady.’ The second was Ira Levin's novel The Stepford Wives (1971), a cautionary tale of men, made uneasy by the women's movement, who opt to replace their wives with artificial doubles – robotic females that fulfilled the men's notion of the perfect woman: a fusion of happy domesticity and sexy playmate.

My Fair Ladies brings together themes from Wosk’s earlier books in a broader study of how technology had been used by both women and men – in film, fiction, art, robotics – to fashion simulated women that looked like the real thing, artificial women that, like Galatea in the myth of Pygmalion, seemed to miraculously come alive. One of its central themes is the story of men's enduring fantasies and dreams about producing the perfect woman, a custom-made female who is the ‘Substitute Woman’, an artificial female superior to the real thing. It is also a story that changes as new technologies became available and cul­tural perceptions of women change over time.

There is a second major story that looms large in My Fair Ladies: how women artists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, and musicians have themselves inhabited the mythic role of Pygmalion, fashioning their own images of artificial females that imaginatively illuminate female stereotypes and the shifting nature of women's social identities; consider women like Dada artist Hannah Hoch during the 1920s and 1930s whose fractured photographs of dolls and photo collages interrogated the way women have been perceived and upended their doll-like social roles and American photographer Cindy Sherman whose photographs of female mannequins and images of herself as society doyennes heavily masked by makeup wittily probe the role of artifice in social constructions of female identity.

These women artists and models have at times taken on the roles of both Pygmalion and Frankenstein, and created their own assemblages to produce lifelike artificial women – echoing an age-old practice where women salvaged pieces of fabric to create new patchwork wholes.

My Fair Ladies traces these two parallel stories – both men's Pygmalion-like quest to use the tools of technology to create beautiful artificial females that often mirror men's notions of perfection and women's ability to take on the role of creator to craft their own feisty females and modern-day molls and dolls. Simulated females illuminate the slippery nature of the uncanny and capture how women's cultural identities have undergone remarkable fluidity and change.

Wide-ranging, lively, and thoroughly researched, Julie Wosk’s book expertly guides us through the cultural meanings of artificial females in myth, literature, movies, television, art, and photography, among other fields. – Susan Ostrov Weisser, author of The Glass Slipper

This is the 'cyborg manifesto' for technology, gender, and art in the twenty-first century. The search for the 'perfect woman' in myth, literature, and technology collides with the reality of the complex and imperfect that is the essential human experience. – Arthur Kroker, author of Exits to the Posthuman Future

From Ovid's Metamorphoses to The Stepford Wives, from Enlightenment automata to 21st century robotics, Julie Wosk takes us on an amazing tour of ideas about technology, about human perfection and about gender. – Ruth Schwartz Cowan, author of More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave

Lavishly illustrated with film stills, artwork, and vintage advertisements, My Fair Ladies offers a fresh look at familiar myths about gender, technology, and artistic creation. A fascinating tour, and anything but dry, My Fair Ladies draws upon Wosk’s own experiences as a young female Playboy copywriter and as a child of the ‘feminine mystique’ era to show how images of the artificial woman have loomed large over real women’s lives.

History / Music / Prehistoric

The Earliest Instrument: Ritual Power and Fertility Magic of the Flute in Upper Paleolithic Culture by Lana Neal (Pendragon Press)

The Earliest Instrument, written by musicologist Lana Neal and based on fieldwork at an archaeological site, investigates the earliest known musical instruments within the larger cultural context.

Neal has taught music at the University of Texas at Austin and Franklin College in Switzerland, and mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, Austin Community College, and Franklin College, Switzerland. In preparation for The Earliest Instrument, Neal conducted research and fieldwork at the Musée d'Archéologie Nationale in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the archaeological site of Isturitz in southern France, and the British Library.

Upper Paleolithic flutes are the oldest musical instruments that have survived in the archeological record. The significance of this study lies in the synthesis of various methodologies and sources of evidence to gain an understanding of the place of the instruments in Upper Paleolithic culture. It is a thorough investigation of the artifacts and their ritual and social functions.

Flutes crafted from the wing bones of birds and woolly mammoth tusk ivory are the earliest known musical instruments. Although there is evidence of human creativity and symbolic thinking approximately 90,000 years ago, the first evidence of musical activity is found in Upper Paleolithic flutes that are 42,000 to 43,000 years old. Upper Paleolithic flutes have been discovered at archeological sites dating from approximately 43,000 to 12,000 years ago. Although humans were most likely creating music prior to this time, the people who entered Europe approximately 43,000 years ago began to create musical instruments that have survived to the present day. In The Earliest Instrument, analysis of the artifacts is followed by examination of the archeological contexts, parietal and mobiliary art as it relates to sonic expression, ethnographic examples, and the instrument as it appears in various mythological systems around the world.

The Earliest Instrument is a comprehensive exploration of these instruments and their multiple and intertwined functions. The instruments were powerful signifiers imbued with tremendous powers. These instruments were powerful symbols essential to the expression of the most fundamental aspects of human life. They were symbols of life and thus intrinsically linked to human fertility as well as the fecundity of plants and animals. The flutes were associated with the cycle of life and death and marked important points in this cycle. They appear to have been imbued with the power to bestow life itself. Both the artifacts and their sounds were indispensable facets of Upper Paleolithic culture.

The Earliest Instrument provides a new level of insight into the function of music in human culture. This comprehensive exploration of the role of these instruments significantly contributes to a broader understanding of the universal functions of music throughout various phases of human evolution and in the multitude of human cultures.

History / US

The Handy American History Answer Book by David L. Hudson (The Handy Answer Book Series: Visible Ink)

During these fast-moving times, understanding American history and our past is more important than ever.

Early civilizations, Native Americans, the English colonies, slavery, the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights begin the journey and lay the foundation for the United States of today. The Handy American History Answer Book explains the impact of the biggest events, the wars, the presidents, lesser-known personalities and figures, sports, and music. The book is part of the Handy Answers series, which provides information on important subjects in an accessible, easy-to-read format.

Author David Hudson, Jr., JD works as a senior law clerk at the Tennessee Supreme Court and teaches classes at Vanderbilt Law School and the Nashville School of Law.

From Washington to the microchip, Columbus to modern terrorist threats, the Anasazi to the iPhone, The Handy American History Answer Book traces the development of the nation, including the impact of the Civil War, the discovery of gold in California, the inventions, the political and economic crises, and the technology transforming modern culture today.

The Handy American History Answer Book takes a walk through the economic, political, social, and technological forces, as well as the military conflicts, turbulent events, powerful leaders, and pivotal moments that created, changed, and built the United States of America. It answers nearly 900 commonly asked questions and offers fun facts about American, its history, and people, including

  • What were the first crops developed by the early Indian cultures?
  • Who said "Give me liberty or give me death"?
  • What was the lost colony?
  • Did the American colonies have the death penalty?
  • Why did Elbridge Gerry, Edmund Randolph, and George Mason refuse to sign the Constitution?
  • What were the Lincoln-Douglas debates?
  • Was a golden spike really used to finish the Transcontinental Railroad?
  • What Civil War nurse later founded the American Red Cross?
  • Was the U.S. mainland attacked during World War II?
  • Who were the robber barons?
  • When did the Cold War begin and why?
  • What was Reaganomics?
  • Who founded YouTube?
  • Who became the first space tourist?

Explaining where the country is today, this handy primer is a captivating, concise, and convenient history of America and Americans. A perfect companion for history buffs of all ages, readers of biographies and historical tales, students curious to know history beyond dates and names, teachers, and even prospective game-show contestants, The Handy American History Answer Book is an ideal reference.

History / US / South / African Americans

Black Life in Old New Orleans by Keith Medley (Pelican Publishing Company)

People of African descent have shaped New Orleans from its earliest days into the vibrant city it is today. From the slaves and indentured servants who drained the swamps, erected the buildings, constructed the levees, and dug the canals to the Freedom Riders who fought for racial equality in a segregated South, New Orleans' history and black history in America are intricately connected.

African Americans, their city, and their past are presented in Black Life in Old New Orleans. Capturing 300 years of history and focusing on African American communities' social, cultural, and political pasts, this book captures a significant portion of the diversity that is New Orleans. Author Keith Weldon Medley's research encompasses Congo Square, Old Treme, Louis Armstrong, Fannie C. Williams, and Mardi Gras.

Medley is a New Orleans-based writer, photographer, historian, and speaker. As told by Medley in Black Life in Old New Orleans, two hundred years ago, on a barren plot of land just outside New Orleans proper, slaves and free blacks would gather on Sundays to freely practice religions both ancient and new. It was a sight unseen anywhere else in the country.

On drums made from hollowed-out logs and animal skins, drummers beat out the rhythms of their ancestors as dancers spun across the ground holding vibrant pieces of cloth that waved and flapped above their heads. Others shook pebble-filled gourds and tambourines or plucked away on intricately carved homemade instruments. From tables set up beneath billowy cotton awnings, women in headscarves sold pralines, pies, cakes, and lemonade. And as the morning's church bells faded, the thumping drums and tribal chants of the revelers filled the air, bounding down the city's wood-planked streets, unceasing, past the setting sun. This was Congo Square, where the heartbeat of New Orleans was born.

The story of the impact peoples of African descent have had upon one of America's most dynamic cities does not end there. Medley in Black Life in Old New Orleans takes readers on an in-depth journey through New Orleans' African roots, from the early days of jazz through the Civil Rights Movement, highlighting the hardships and triumphs of a culture so integral to the city's unique identity. On this personal journey through the city's history to uncover some of the most significant events and introduce influential African and African-American leaders, each chapter focuses on a topic of historic importance, providing a timeline of events as well as an in-depth look at the people and places that helped shape New Orleans into the city it is today. Readers take a step back in time to old New Orleans and walk the streets of Black Storyville with a young Louis Armstrong, and stroll the midway of Lincoln Beach. Rife with detailed histories of Faubourg Treme, and many other pivotal locations, Medley's subjects include the Mardi Gras Indians and the Zulu Parade.

In this well-researched, articulate and personal work, Medley creates a comprehensive history of New Orleans and the black experience. Black Life in Old New Orleans brings New Orleans' black history to life.

Philosophy / Politics / Feminism / Racism

Separate and Dominate: Feminism and Racism after the War on Terror by Christine Delphy, translated from the French by David Broder (Verso Books)

This book deals with the oppression of all people we commonly call `Others'. These include women, queer people, Guantanamo inmates, civilians bombed in Afghanistan by the forces of civilization, and `Arab' women excluded from school by the same forces in France. Despite the varied ways these groups experience oppression, their oppression also appears to share certain traits in common, if examined through the theoretical lens of the `Other'. Societies deploy certain mechanisms in order to fabricate Others, and I argue that the discourse on the Other is above all a justification of the non-discursive fact that Others live under the thumb of the `Ones'. Nobody talks about the Ones even though it is self-evident – or should be – that the One and the Other go together like a horse and carriage. – from the introduction to the English Language Edition

Separate and Dominate is an examination of how mainstream feminism has been mobilized in support of racist measures.
The author, feminist Christine Delphy, co-founded the journal Nouvelles questions féministes with Simone de Beauvoir in the 1970s and became one of the most influential figures in French feminism. Today, Delphy remains a prominent and controversial feminist thinker, a rare public voice denouncing the racist motivations of the French government’s 2011 ban of the Muslim veil. Castigating humanitarian liberals for demanding the cultural assimilation of the women they are purporting to ‘save,’ Delphy shows how criminalizing Islam in the name of feminism is fundamentally paradoxical.
J Separate and Dominate is Delphy’s manifesto, lambasting liberal hypocrisy and calling for a fluid understanding of political identity that does not place different political struggles in a false opposition. She dismantles the absurd claim that Afghanistan was invaded to save women, and that homosexuals and immigrants alike should reserve their self-expression for private settings.

For Delphy, anti-sexism and anti-racism must necessarily go together. Unpacking a French universalism that implicitly positions the white man as the universal subject, she calls for a true universalism.

Christine Delphy cuts through ideology like a knife. Her critical analyses of the justifications for the ‘war on terror’ are sharp, accurate and anger-inducing. Her ability to hone in on the contradictions that sustain racism and sexism and perpetuate exclusion is second to none. Delphy's insight and materialist approach lends her arguments a rare clarity – she deserves to be much more widely recognized in the anglophone world. – Nina Power, author of One Dimensional Woman

Delphy in Separate and Dominate calls for a universalism that sacrifices no one at the expense of others. In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, her arguments appear more prescient and pressing than ever.

Professional & Technical / Medicine & Health Sciences / Clinical / Internal / Gastroenterology / Education / Reference

Handbook of Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders, 1st edition by Satish S.C. Rao MD PhD FRCP (Lon), Henry Parkman MD, Richard McCallum MD (Slack Incorporated)

Handbook of Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders is a user-friendly handbook that reviews the latest information on the evaluation of symptoms and diagnostic tests of GI motility and functional GI disorders and a practical approach on how to treat these disorders. Chapters are written by international experts in the field who were chosen for their renowned scientific and clinical expertise. The book brings together the essence of science and art in the practice of neuro-gastroenterology and GI motility. 
The chapters are enriched with algorithms, tables, and figures to enhance learning and readability. Each chapter follows a specific outline; chapters on symptoms follow the format of definition, pathophysiology, and evaluation of the symptoms, whereas the chapters on specific disorders follow the format of definition, diagnosis, and treatment. Each chapter also includes extensive color pictures and illustrations of each test involved and descriptions of how to perform and interpret the motility tests that are incorporated into patient care decisions.
The update on management and therapy completes the Handbook of Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders and explains how to integrate this diagnostic information into decision making, and how to translate this to day-to-day patient care.

Authors/editors are Satish S.C. Rao, MD, PhD, FRCP, previously on the faculty at the University of Iowa where he cofounded the Pelvic Floor Group, who was recruited to the Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, to serve as professor of medicine, chief of the Section of Gastroenterology/Hepatology, and the new founding director of the Digestive Health Center and the GI Service Line; Henry P. Parkman, MD, who has been on the faculty of Temple University School of Medicine since 1990; and Richard W. McCallum, MD, FACP, FRACP (AUST), FACG, AGAF, who is professor and founding chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso and director of the Center for Neurogastroenterology and GI Motility and Functional Bowel Disorders. The book has 46 contributors.

Chapters of Handbook of Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders and their authors include:

Section I           Esophageal Disorders  

  1. Esophageal Symptoms: Dysphagia, Heartburn, and Esophageal Chest Pain – Maria Samuel, MD and C. Prakash Gyawali, MD, MRCP
  2. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease – Wojciech Blonski, MD, PhD and Joel E. Richter, MD, FACP, MACG
  3. Achalasia – Andrew J. Gawron, MD, PhD, MS and John E. Pandolfino, MD, MSCI
  4. Esophageal Spasm and Hypercontractile and Hypertensive Motility Disorders – Mark R. Fox, MD, MA, FRCP and Rami Sweis, MD, PhD, MRCP
  5. Cricopharyngeal Disorders – Kevin A. Ghassemi, MD and Jeffrey L. Conklin, MD
  6. Esophageal Hypersensitivity – Jose M. Remes-Troche, MD and Ronnie Fass, MD

Section II         Gastric Disorders         

  1. Symptoms of Gastric Dysmotility: Nausea, Vomiting, Abdominal Pain, Postprandial Fullness, and Early Satiety – William L. Hasler, MD
  2. Gastroparesis – Sameer Dhalla, MD, MHS and Pankaj Jay Pasricha, MD
  3. Functional Dyspepsia – Jan Tack, MD, PhD
  4. Dumping Syndrome – Patrick Berg, BS and Richard W. McCallum, MD, FACP, FRACP (AUST), FACG, AGAF
  5. Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome – Thangam Venkatesan, MD and Erica A. Samuel, MD
  6. Rumination Syndrome – Chad J. Cooper, MD; Joseph K. Sunny, Jr, MD; and Richard W. McCallum, MD, FACP, FRACP (AUST), FACG, AGAF

Section III        Small Intestinal Disorders

  1. Small Intestinal Dysmotility Symptoms: Bloating, Distension, and Gas – Juan R. Malagelada, MD and Carolina Malagelada, PhD, MD
  2. Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction – Robert M. Siwiec, MD and John M. Wo, MD
  3. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth – Baha Moshiree, MD and Yehuda Ringel, MD, AGAF, FACG
  4. Food Intolerance and Dietary Concepts in Functional Bowel Disorders – Abimbola O. Aderinto-Adike, MD and Eamonn M.M. Quigley, MD, FRCP, FACP, FACG, FRCPI

Section IV        Colonic and Anorectal Disorders

  1. Colonic Symptoms: Constipation, Diarrhea, and Fecal Incontinence – Lawrence R. Schiller, MD
  2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Elizabeth J. Videlock, MD and Lin Chang, MD
  3. Slow Transit Constipation – Richard J. Saad, MD, MS
  4. Dyssynergic Defecation and Constipation – Gina Sam, MD, MPH and Satish S.C. Rao, MD, PhD, FRCP
  5. Fecal Incontinence – William E. Whitehead, PhD; Steve Heymen, PhD; and Giuseppe Chiarioni, MD
  6. Anorectal Disorders: Fecal Impaction, Descending Perineum Syndrome, Rectocele, and Levator Ani Syndrome – Satish S.C. Rao, MD, PhD, FRCP and Kulthep Rattanakovit, MD
  7. Diabetes and the Gut – Christopher K. Rayner, MBBS, PhD, FRACP; Karen L. Jones, Dip App Sci (Nuc Med), PhD; and Michael Horowitz, MBBS, PhD, FRACP
  8. Scieroderma and the Gut – Deborah M. Bethards, MD and Ann Ouyang, MD
  9. Opiate-Induced Bowel Dysfunction – Eva Szigethy, MD, PhD; Marc Schwartz, MD; and Douglas A. Drossman, MD

There have been many advances in our ability to investigate gastrointestinal motility and dysmotility. Luminal pressure measurement has advanced from non-perfused catheters to perfused catheters to catheters that employ solid state transducers to systems that combine solid state pressure and impedance transducers and can produce high resolution, 3-dimensional depiction of gastrointestinal motor activity. Quantitation of gastrointestinal transit has evolved from standard barium x-ray techniques, to physiologic scintigraphic methods to breath testing that can be performed in the doctor's office or at the bedside.

Over the years, we have come to appreciate that gut motility is influenced by diet, visceral sensitivity, central nervous system neuroendocrine activity, gut permeability, the gut microbiota, bowel infection, and psychological factors. This textbook integrates all of this material into 25 easy-to-read chapters.

Handbook of Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders addresses a void in the GI literature and serves as a useful reference manual. The book also details the armamentarium of tests that are commonly performed in a modern GI motility and neurogastroenterology laboratory and elaborates on the specific entities that can be identified and treated. The update on management and therapy completes this text and explains how to integrate this diagnostic information into decision making and how to translate this to day-to-day patient care.

Handbook of Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders provides an up-to-date comprehensive review of gastrointestinal motility and its disorders; it will be useful to clinicians, gastroenterologists, and investigators as well as to medical students and trainees. Many useful algorithms are included. – Robert S. Fisher, MD, Professor of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia

Handbook of Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders fills the void in the GI literature for a short and concise go-to book for GI motility and functional GI disorders. This user-friendly handbook covers the most up-to-date information on the evaluation of GI disorders and the best way to treat them. The fact that the chapters all follow the same outline allows for quick reading of the various chapters to gain up-to-date knowledge of the topic. Handbook of Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders will be useful for practicing physicians, junior academicians, GI fellows, young faculty, motility laboratory personnel, surgeons, internists, physician assistants, family practitioners, and nurse practitioners who all encounter the common problems of dysphagia, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and fecal incontinence in their daily practice. 
Psychology & Counseling / Religion & Spirituality / Leadership

The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World by Peter Scazzero (Zondervan)

  • Do you feel too overwhelmed to enjoy life, unable to sort out the demands on your time?
  • Are you doing your best work as a leader, yet not making an impact? 
  • Have you ever felt stuck, powerless to change your environment?

In The Emotionally Healthy Leader, bestselling author Peter Scazzero shows leaders how to develop a deep, inner life with Christ, examining its implications for surviving stress, planning and decision making, building teams, creating healthy culture, and influencing others.

Scazzero is the founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York City, a large, multiracial church with more than seventy-three countries represented. After serving as senior pastor for twenty-six years, Pete now serves as a teaching pastor/pastor at large. With his wife, Geri, he founded Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a ministry that equips churches in a deep, beneath-the-surface spiritual formation paradigm that integrates emotional health and contemplative spirituality.

Going beyond simply offering a quick fix or new technique, The Emotionally Healthy Leader gets to the core, beneath-the-surface issues of uniquely Christian leadership.

The Emotionally Healthy Leader features:

  • Concise assessments for leaders and teams to measure their leadership health.
  • Practical, proven strategies that have been developed over a 28-year period spent both in the local church and in equipping leaders around the world.
  • Helpful applications of how to face one’s shadow, lead out of marriage or singleness, slow down, and embrace endings for new beginnings.
  • Free resources to download, including a study and discussion guide.

The Emotionally Healthy Leader offers a unique integration that connects readers’ inner spiritual lives to core leadership tasks such as planning, decision-making, teambuilding, setting boundaries, navigating dual relationships, exercising power, and embracing endings for new beginnings.

Scazzero says The Emotionally Healthy Leader was born out of the struggles and growth he experienced following his fourth conversion in 2007. He has kept a journal during the past eight years, chronicling his questions, internal struggles with God, mistakes, and occasional successes. He says he remains profoundly aware that he is a broken companion on this journey, and he writes from the hard lessons of his failures.

The Emotionally Healthy Leader was written with the Christian leader in mind. As readers proceed, they will be sobered by the truths they may discover about themselves and their leadership, but he doesn't want readers to despair about the possibilities for their future. It really is possible to tear down old ways of thinking about Christian leadership and make room for the new. If readers take The Emotionally Healthy Leader seriously, it will require a lot from them – hard work, perseverance, vulnerability, humility, and a willingness to change.

The Emotionally Healthy Leader is written out of Scazzero’s passion to see the church be faithful and fruitful in her mission for the long term. Scazzero offers a road map of sorts for the journey, complete with specific ideas and practices to help readers discern God's next steps for them. It's a road map not just for pastors, but for every Christian leader.

The chapters in The Emotionally Healthy Leader are gathered into two parts, one focused on the inner life, and one focused on the outer life. Part 1 explores the four core tasks of the inner life every leader must undertake: facing one's shadow, leading out of marriage or singleness, slowing down for loving union, and practicing Sabbath delight.

Part 2 builds on the foundation of an emotionally healthy inner life by exploring four core outer-life tasks readers routinely deal with in the course of leadership. These include planning and decision making, culture and team building, power and wise boundaries, endings and new beginnings.

The Emotionally Healthy Leader is meant to be read prayerfully and carefully. If readers want to maximize the impact of what they read, Scazzero encourages them to invite at least one other person – ideally their whole team – to read and wrestle through it together.

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Finally, Dr. Peter Scazzero’s response answers this timeless search for emotional trauma in his book The Emotionally Healthy Leader. His approach is a tremendous resource with practical, pragmatic ideas that are revolutionary in their approach to reach far beyond the fluff of spiritual clichés to touch the deepest pains in leadership with salve for the soul. – Bishop T. D. Jakes, C.E.O., TDJ Enterprises, NY Times bestselling author

The Emotionally Healthy Leader is a profoundly helpful and insightful offering. With remarkable honesty about his own journey, Pete describes key components of healthy Christian leadership, inspiring us to bring our transforming selves to the communities we serve – for the glory of God, for the abundance of our own lives and for the good of many. – Ruth Haley Barton, founder and president, Transforming Center and author of Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership

Peter Scazzero is one of the world’s authorities on emotional health, and his teachings have had a profound impact. His professional approach, borne of many years of study, combines powerfully with his strong Christian faith to offer new hope to anyone seeking to grow and develop the way they live their life. – Nicky Gumbel, Holy Trinity Brompton, UK; founder of the Alpha course

The Emotionally Healthy Leader is more than a book to read; it is a resource to come back to over and over again. Written for senior pastors, executive pastors, church staff, elder/deacon board members, small group and ministry leaders, denominational and para-church staff missionaries, and marketplace leaders, this powerful book offers a new way of viewing oneself as a leader as well as a radically new way of leading. Readers will find truths and guidance that will not only help them to become more effective in their roles but also to be personally transformed.

Religion & Spirituality / Buddhism / Psychotherapy

Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation by Bruce Tift, with a foreword by Tami Simon (Sounds True)

Why are more and more psychotherapists embracing meditation practice, while so many Buddhists are exploring psychology? "Both psychology and Buddhism seek to provide freedom from suffering," explains Bruce Tift in Already Free, "yet each offers a completely different approach for reaching this goal."

Tift holds a master's degree in psychology and is a licensed marriage and family therapist who uses a combination of Western and Buddhist approaches. A student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, he has taught at Naropa University for 25 years.

Tift reveals how psychotherapy's ‘Developmental’ approach of understanding the way our childhood wounds shape our adult selves both contradicts and supports the ‘Fruitional’ approach of Buddhism, which says that the freedom we seek is always available. In this investigation, he uncovers insights for connecting with authentic experience, releasing behaviors that no longer serve us, and enhancing our relationships. "When we use the Western and Eastern approaches together," writes Tift, "they can help us open to all of life – its richness, its disturbances, and its inherent completeness."

Tift is an unusual teacher. He writes and teaches from his own experience and the perspective that lives are not problems to be solved. He approaches the meeting between Buddhism and psychotherapy with a deep pragmatism, employing the best that each approach has to offer in a welcome embrace of contradictory energies.

His specialty is the unwanted, the neglected, the disowned – those parts of ourselves that we would rather disavow than confront. In Already Free, Tift invites readers, again and again, to turn toward their disturbance, not away. Now why would this be of interest? Why might we want to turn toward our fear and anxiety and feelings of desperation? Tift makes the point that if we want to be free, then we can't have walled-off pockets of experience that we spend our life avoiding. If we want to experience what Bruce calls being ‘undivided,’ then we need to have the capacity to be with intense (even if unwanted) experience, without cutting off and separating from the intensity.

Tift is wise, provocative, and above all, practical. Already Free is not so much a theoretical book as it is an actual handbook to realize the open ground of our being. Tift's approach to freedom is not transcendent but all-inclusive. The freedom Tift describes is not a freedom from any experience but a freedom that welcomes every experience as intelligent and meaningful.

Being able to commit to our disturbance when we are alone, perhaps on the meditation cushion or lying in bed, is one thing, but committing to disturbance in relationship is of a whole different order of magnitude. Tift writes in Already Free that he thinks it is accurate to say that in his forty-year relationship (a relationship that appears to be loving and committed), he has ‘found himself disturbed every day.’

Already Free is divided into eight chapters. Chapter 1 offers an overview of the core of Western psychology, the developmental view. This view is the idea that we can improve our life circumstances and our sense of self by changing our historically conditioned behavioral patterns or strategies. Chapter 2 covers the fruitional view, which arises from the Buddhist idea that our basic nature – freedom – is available right here, right now. Chapter 3 explores the dialogue between the developmental view and the fruitional view from the perspective of his own clinical practice.

Chapter 4 turns to the experience of anxiety and struggle. Anxiety is explored as a physical and an emotional experience, as well as a signal of how intensely open our minds and our lives actually are. Chapter 5 is about embodied awareness. Embodied awareness provides direct access to the unique and inherently workable nature of our noninterpretive experiencing.

Chapters 6 and 7 are about relationships. It's extremely difficult to pretend that we have our lives together when we're in an intimate relationship. Chapter 6 discusses how all of our normal experiencing is relational and how this guarantees an irresolvable tension. This discussion is the basis for examining what are called codependent dynamics. Chapter 7 explores a view of four evolving stages of relationship, each of which is an expression of our increasing tolerance of open mind and of intimacy. Chapter 8 discusses what it means to have a good state of mind that is independent of our history, of current circumstances, and of how we feel at any moment.

Chapters 1-3 are about view. Before we take on any practices, it's important to clarify just what our intentions are and to consider how we might most effectively move toward our goals. The views explored in Already Free arise from the intention to understand our incredibly complex human experience in ways that relieve unnecessary suffering and that invite more freedom.

Chapters 4–7 are about practices. A practice involves a con­scious participation in some activity, usually with an intention to improve our experience in some way. When a practice is difficult, we often think of it as a discipline. A discipline is hard to sustain without a view, which helps us understand how it might be to our benefit to make such an effort. These chapters explore how the two basic views presented in Already Free might be applied to real-life issues, especially several very basic themes continually dealt with in therapy.

Chapter 8 is about the potential results of these practices and whether we should reexamine our views and our practices.

Throughout Already Free, Tift takes the point of view that our experience of our basic nature is already that of freedom. He discusses some of the reasons we may not consciously experience this liberation and some of the ways we might invite the experience of freedom into our everyday awareness.

A fresh, penetrating, and thought-provoking exploration of how therapeutic process and spiritual realization are not only compatible, but necessary to each other in order to make the full human journey in our modern world. Already Free represents the cutting edge in the contemporary conversation about healing and awakening and their relationship. – Reginald A. Ray, author of Touching Enlightenment
In
Already Free, Bruce Tift shares his experience in helping people discover how to hold and transform fear and other difficult internal patterns. Valuable for anyone seeking personal growth, Bruce's work also introduces his reader to some of the ways Buddhist teachings and contemporary psychology can complement each other. – Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and The Kindness Handbook
Elegantly weaving together insights from Buddhism and psychotherapy, Bruce Tift addresses some of the most important inner work we can do
embracing our own condition, shadow as well as light, with unconditional kindness. The freedom in Already Free is not a freedom from anything, but the freedom to live fully and well. Recommending exercises and offering practical advice, Tift masterfully shows us how to accept inner forces that seem in opposition, move beyond struggle and self-absorption, and claim a life in which nothing is excluded. – Parker J. Palmer, author of Healing the Heart of Democracy; Let Your Life Speak, and A Hidden Wholeness
In Greek mythology, Tiresias was a blind seer who mapped the unseen truth of our journey. In
Already Free, therapist Bruce Tift is a clear, wise, and honest seer who uses 35 years of practice to reveal deep understandings about how we relate to our experience, anxiety, and struggle. At once, Bruce Tift holds a mirror to our life as emotional creatures, while opening a window to the depth of being that is ever near. This book is fresh, real, and useful. – Mark Nepo, author of Reduced to Joy, The Endless Practice, and The Book of Awakening
With this book, Tift immediately joins the rank of elite writers on the rich interplay between psychology and Buddhism. Every page offers an insight delivered with intelligence, sensitivity, and the authority of personal experience. Distilling a lifetime of learning and clinical expertise, this is a rare gift from a virtuoso, a masterful Operator's Manual for life – for how to remove suffering and live authentically. Beautifully written, immensely practical, and infinitely wise, this book is destined to become a classic. Read it. It can change your life.
– Andrew Holecek, author of The Power and the Pain
This book shows us more than how Buddhism can meet psychotherapy. It deftly integrates the two traditions. We find here a sourcebook of practical ways to be both psychologically healthy and spiritually enlivened.
– David Richo, author of The Power of Grace

In Already Free, Tift opens a fresh and insightful dialogue between two profound perspectives on the human condition – and how we can use both together to help us open to the richness, disturbances, and inherent completeness of our lives. The book is useful, provocative, and practical for readers – whether they are clinicians working with clients, or simply individuals interested in Buddhism, therapy, or the dialogue between the two, or people seeking freedom in their own lives.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Catholic / Social Issues

Structures of Grace: Catholic Organizations Serving the Global Common Good by Kevin Ahern (Orbis Books)

The theological, spiritual, and practical meanings of successful faith-based organizations at work internationally, nationally, and locally are discussed in Structures of Grace by Kevin Ahern, Ph.D., assistant professor of religious studies at Manhattan College. Having formerly served as the President of the International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS-Pax Romana), Ahern continues to be active on the boards of several national and international networks.

Structures of Grace is a study of non-official structures, lay and religious, focusing on little known but enormously effective ecclesial organizations. Hundreds of these transnational Christian organizations are involved in global social engagement. The book presents imitable case studies on the international level such as The International Movement of Catholic Students and The Jesuit Refugee Service and on the national level, such as Network, a Roman Catholic social justice lobby most visible to the public by Nuns on a Bus, and local case studies such as homeless shelters and parish soup kitchens. It shows how these church organizations work and why they are one of humankind's best hopes for a better world.

In Structures of Grace Ahern profiles successful Catholic organizations from around the globe that embody Christian solidarity by addressing the urgent human issues of our day: immigration and human rights; healthcare and housing; food, agriculture, and water; war, peace, and reconciliation. In telling the stories of organizations such as Jesuit Refugee Service, the Young Christian Workers, Plowshares, and Network, Ahern sheds light on the mission, theology, and outreach of hundreds of such organizations, offering church professionals, students, educators, and volunteers a directory of grace at work in the world today.

The global phenomena of migration and forced displacement illuminate what can be described as the Janus-faced nature of globalization. Serious divisions and gaps appear to be widening. According to a recent study by the British organization Oxfam, the eighty-five richest people on the planet possess as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion! For millions of women, men, and children, everyday life in the era of globalization is marked by the reality of poverty and inequality. While progress has been made in some important areas, the situation remains dire for many. For example, the World Bank has recently estimated that there are more than 400 million children who live in extreme poverty – a dehumanizing reality that for most will mean an early death from preventable causes. Even in New York, one of the world's wealthiest cities, close to half of the people, more than four million human beings, live below or near the poverty line and over fifty thousand people, including thousands of children, are homeless.

In the face of the globalization of indifference, Ahern in Structures of Grace asks, how should Christians and other people of good will respond? What can any one person do to make a difference, especially when the root causes of so much human suffering are a result of complex systems and social forces?

There are ways that people and communities can take a stand against systemic violence and preventable death. Christian social movements and organizations, in many forms, are among the most active groups involved in the promotion of the global common good. Their social engagement includes service to marginalized people, humanitarian aid, the promotion of peace and democracy, human rights advocacy, healthcare, education, and efforts to reform the structures of global governance. As organized entities distinct from the official leadership structures of their churches, these various associations, at their best, are transforming the globalization of indifference into a globalization of solidarity and social justice.

Occupying a middle position between individual believers and institutional church structures are thousands of Christian social movements and social movement organizations. They have been described in different ways, including para-ecclesial or para-church groups, faith-based organizations, and Christian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). While the focus of Structures of Grace is generally on collective agents originating within the Roman Catholic tradition, Ahern uses the broader and more inclusive term Christian social movement to highlight the transformative potential of the wide range of Christian groups involved in the promotion of human dignity and the common good.

The contribution of Christian social movements is also often overlooked in scholarly writings in theological ethics, which tends to focus on either the personal and heroic witness of individual Christians such as Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Oscar Romero, or the official actions and teachings of the institutional church. There is much more to the church's public social engagement, however, than the pope's latest statement and the witness of heroic and saintly individuals.

Communities, movements, and nongovernmental organizations are essential agents in the church's efforts to serve the global common good and witness to the gospel in a desperate world. But what is the theological value of these structures and how can they be better organized to embody the values that they seek to instill in society?

Recognizing both the possibilities and shortcomings of any hu­man community, Structures of Grace highlights the theological significance of Christian social movements in three steps. Part I situates the experience of transnational Christian social movements in the present global context. Drawing from the work of sociologists and political theorists, Chapter 1 begins by laying out a framework to understand the contribution of these groups to the global common good. After looking at the broader reality, Ahern then looks specifically at three very different case studies: Jesuit Refugee Service, a movement organization of the Society of Jesus involved in humanitarian efforts; the Young Christian Workers, a global youth movement of specialized Catholic action with two conflicting international structures; and Plowshares, a radical pacifist movement with no structured organization. Choosing case studies that would encompass the totality of all Christian social movements is not possible in one volume. Despite these limitations, the three case studies do offer important perspectives on the reality of Christian social movements. From each case study several questions surface. These can be grouped broadly in three categories: movement identity, mission, and organization.

After taking stock of the reality of Christian social movements, Part II considers the missiological, pneumatological, and ecclesiological dimensions of these collective agents by placing their experience into conversation with official Catholic teaching. Christian social movements, Ahern contends, would benefit from a more robust theological lens. A framework of social or structural grace can assist movements to better situate themselves in relation to the broader church, the reign of God, and God's loving action in the world. Like all institutions of the church, Christian social movements are imperfect and always in need of reform.

Drawing from the case studies and theological analysis, Part III concludes by offering several tools for movement discernment. If Christian social movements can be considered as structures of grace and participants in the mission of the church, what should that mean for how they live out that mission?

Kevin Ahern brings into the light another deeply hidden treasure of Catholic life: lay Christian social movements. There is no better authority on the topic than Ahern, who is a veteran of the International Movement of Catholic Students. For the wider Church, Structures of Grace provides a theology integrating the social movements into the Church's social mission; and for the movements themselves he offers a much-needed spirituality for discernment to enable them to keep true to their mission and to preserve a Catholic identity. It is just the book I needed for a new course on Catholic social teaching and movements. – Drew Christiansen, S.J., Georgetown University

Kevin Ahern provides an excellent framework for reviewing the role of social movements inspired by the Christian Churches' 'turn to justice and peace.' His theological reflection on a diversity of experi­ences points in an encouraging way to the dynamic presence of God's grace at work in many of the movements that have made a mark on Church and society. Structures of Grace will help many of us understand the mission to which we have given our lives. – Marie Dennis, Pax Christi International

Structures of Grace does not address all the theological and practical questions surrounding Christian social movements and movement organizations; such a task is too large for one volume. The book is a resource for both theologians and members of Christian social movements to help them better understand what God may be doing in their midst.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology

Incarnation: On the Scope and Depth of Christology edited by Niels Henrik Gregersen (Fortress Press)

In Incarnation, edited by Niels Henrik Gregersen, prominent scholars take readers on a journey from New Testament and early church views of incarnation to contemporary understandings of Christology. Gregersen is professor of systematic theology at the University of Copenhagen.

Deeply engaged with the classical tradition and the contemporary world, Incarnation leads readers into critical explorations and debates of the concept of ‘deep incarnation’ – the view that the divine incarnation in Jesus presupposes a radical embodiment that reaches into the roots of material and biological existence, as well as into the darker sides of creation. Such a wide-scope view of incarnation allows Christology to be relevant and meaningful when responding to the challenges of scientific cosmology and global religious pluralism: How does the revelation of the love of God in Christ relate to other experiences of communicative love and ethical sensitivity, to suffering and joy?; In what sense does God's Logos and Wisdom ‘becoming flesh’ include the world of ‘all flesh’ – from grass to human persons; What are the connections between a Logos Christology and the informational aspects of the universe – those exemplified in its deep mathematical structures as well as those emerging in biological evolution?; In brief, how does ‘high’ and ‘low’ meet and mingle in the story of incarnation?

Chapters of Incarnation with their authors include:

Introduction – Niels Henrik Gregersen

Part 1: Creation and Incarnation: New Testament and Early Church Perspectives

  1. The Incarnation and the Cosmic Christ – Richard Bauckham
  2. Word, Spirit, and Wisdom in the Universe: A Biblical and Theological Reflection – Gerald O'Collins, SJ
  3. Saint Athanasius on "Incarnation" – John Behr
  4. Saint Maximus the Confessor on Creation and Incarnation Torstein – Theodor Tollefsen

Part 2: Deep Incarnation: Perspectives from Contemporary Systematic Theology

  1. Is God Incarnate in All That Is? – Jurgen Moltmann
  2. Jesus and the Cosmos: Soundings in Deep Christology – Elizabeth A. Johnson
  3. Incarnation and the Natural World: Explorations in the Tradition of Athanasius – Denis Edwards
  4. The Wisdom of Fools? A Theo-Dramatic Interpretation of Deep Incarnation – Celia Deane-Drummond
  5. Depth, Sign, and Destiny: Thoughts on Incarnation – Christopher Southgate
  6. The Extended Body of Christ: Three Dimensions of Deep Incarnation – Niels Henrik Gregersen

Part 3: Divine Presence and Incarnation: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives

  1. Divine Presence – Causal, Cybernetic, Caring, Cruciform: From Information to Incarnation – Holmes Rolston III
  2. Natural Incarnation: From the Possible to the Actual – Stuart Kauffman
  3. Incarnation and Faith in an Evolutionary Framework – Dirk Evers
  4. Jesus: The Way of all Flesh and the Proleptic Feather of Time – Robert John Russell

Part 4: Concluding Reflections

  1. Afterword: Reservations – John Polkinghorne
  2. Deep Incarnation: Opportunities and Challenges – Niels Henrik Gregersen

In contemporary culture, the Christian idea of incarnation stands in a curious twilight. On the one hand, many observers are ready to praise the Christian tradition for being an incarnational faith in which material existence is affirmed from beginning to end: the world of creation is material; God became flesh in Christ; Christian spirituality is sacramental, embedded in material signs; and Christians even expect a resurrection of the body. On the other hand, some of the same observers are critical of the traditional Christian claim that the divine Logos (the eternal Son, Word, or Wisdom of God) became blood and flesh in the life story of Jesus Christ. Is this not the arch-example of a Christian exceptionalism that leads to an ecclesial enclosure of the great Christian idea of God's ongoing incarnation? Why is Jesus not just one of a billion divine incarnations?

The intense symposium behind Incarnation did indeed start out making room for reflection on the concept of incarnation in its generic form by asking, "Is God incarnate in all that is?" But during the presentations and subsequent deliberations at the Copenhagen meeting in Elsinore, it became clear that no one found that a pan-incarnationalism was a workable model for a Christian theology today. Many of those present wanted to say unreservedly that the incarnate Christ (the embodied Logos) was indeed present in all that is, including prior to the coming of Christ, and also in natural and cultural domains outside the scope of Christianity as a historical tradition.

Today, the pendulum has swung in favor of speaking of God's incarnation and embodiment. Similarly, there is also a greater sense of the principal differences between the world religions both in the cultural realm and in the life world of the religions themselves. Nowadays, it is believed that a genuine tolerance should tolerate religious specificity instead of seeking too-facile consensus positions.

Incarnation does not address religious pluralism as such, but it does address the question of particularity and universality. It rethinks Christology with a special concern for its universal claims and open horizons. What does the incarnation in Christ have to do with the world of star formations, animal suffering, and the restless productivity in nature, as we have come to know cosmic and biological evolution from the sciences? What does God's incarnation in Jesus have to do with the experiences of nameless men and women in the many cultures around the world? And in what sense are deep existential questions, ranging from sparks of joy to terrifying experiences of anxiety, connected to the Christian belief that God has really conjoined our material and spiritual conditions for life?

In Incarnation a prominent group of scholars explores and debates the idea of ‘deep incarnation’, a wide-scope view of incarnation allowing Christology to be meaningful when responding to the challenges of scientific cosmology and global religious pluralism.

Religion & Spirituality / Occult

Wisdom of the Watchers: Teachings of the Rebel Angels on Earth's Forgotten Past by Timothy Wyllie (Bear & Company)

Writing with Timothy Wyllie, in Wisdom of the Watchers, the angel Georgia details the events of Earth’s ancient history from 39,000 BC to 16,500 BC. Wyllie is a graphic artist and writer who, after a near-death experience in 1973, has specialized in the study of non-human intelligences such as angels and dolphins; he is the author of a series of books on ‘rebel angels’.

The book chronicles the destruction of Lemuria, the Pleiadian evacuation of Earth, and the Lemurian diaspora that spread to India, Tibet, China, and South America. It explains angelic esoteric science, such as the link between spiritual centers on higher planes and ancient monuments on Earth, including the Giza pyramids. It is interwoven throughout with observations about Wyllie’s current and previous lives, such as his long involvement with the Process Church and his interactions with rebel angel incarnates like Timothy Leary.
As told in Wisdom of the Watchers, at the time of the revolt among the angels 203,000 years ago, Georgia was among those angels who aligned themselves with Lucifer and the rebels. She has remained on this world with occasional side trips to Zandana, another planet of quarantined rebel angels, since the time of the revolution, taking on the angelic role of Watcher.
Georgia, through Wyllie, shares her experiences being present as the Lemurian civilization reached its pinnacle and seismic upheavals overwhelmed its island home of Mu. She describes the elaborate Pleiadian evacuation operation and the Lemurian diaspora, explaining how their belief system took root in India, Tibet, China, and South America. She reveals how the emerging Atlantean civilization, now also collapsed, preyed on the far flung settlements of the Lemurian empire. She explains angelic knowledge of esoteric science, such as the link between spiritual centers on higher planes and ancient monuments on Earth, including the Giza pyramids.

According to Wyllie, Georgia shares her words, in part, to awaken some of the 100 million rebel angels currently living their human lives, most unaware of their angelic heritage. She reveals how a mortal incarnation for a rebel angel is an opportunity to redeem her past and help prepare the way for the imminent transformation of global consciousness as the rebellion planets, including Earth, are welcomed back into the Multiverse.

Timothy Wyllie’s Wisdom of the Watchers is an enthralling read. Wyllie is an eloquent author with a discerning wisdom of the world. This book has the benefit of being practical and enlightening like a wonderful intertwined subjective journey. Truly awe inspiring. – E. A. James Swagger, author of The Newgrange Sirius Mystery and Capricorn RadioTV host
In this book Timothy Wyllie and his guide, Georgia, continue the deep revelations of the hidden histories and lost legacy originally detailed in The Urantia Book. Wisdom of the Watchers is the nexus of a history and destiny that is both personal and universal. – Randy Maugans, OffPlanet Radio host

Sports & Entertainment / Humor / Cartoons

The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury: Andrews McMeel Publishing)

The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes, is a large-format treasury of the cartoons from Yukon Ho! and Weirdos from Another Planet!, including full-color Sunday cartoons, plus a full-color original story unique to this collection. The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes picks up where The Essential Calvin and Hobbes left off.

Millions of readers have enjoyed the talent of Bill Watterson. His skill as both artist and writer brings to life a boy, his tiger, and the imagination and memories of his ardent readers. Watterson is the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, one of the most popular and well-regarded cartoon strips of the twentieth century. Calvin and Hobbes (C&H) appeared in newspapers from November 1985 until Watterson's retirement in 1996.

Fans of C&H who used to read the newspaper strip in the 80s and 90s will find great pleasure in reading this treasury of C&H comics. These witty comics about the 6-year old Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes, named after the famous philosophers, will amuse people of all ages. The perceptiveness and humor of Watterson deserve the highest of cartoon awards, while his artistic creations exude hilarity.
The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes starts out with Calvin Transmogrifying himself into an elephant so he can memorize his vocabulary in a snap. Naturally, that leads to never-ending funny adventures to entertain adults as well as children. Readers enjoy Calvin playing croquet with Hobbes, their flying carpet adventures, snowballs against Susie, and Spaceman Spiff. Readers watch him play pilot, archaeologist, annoy Rosalyn the babysitter, and quarrel with Hobbes over the treehouse.
There are two series of C&H collections: individual wide-format albums, each covering an entire year of strips (‘regular’), and the vertical aspect ratio Treasury Series which covers selected comics from two regular C&H books. The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes belongs to the Treasury collection, and was first released in 1990. Though the cartoons are slightly smaller in the Treasury collection, each treasury book is thicker and contains more strips than a regular book, and is furthermore less expensive, so treasury books are a bargain.

Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes remains the authority on humor; it is perhaps one of the most piercing yet funny critiques of modern society. The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes captures a part of this strip comic. Readers who already know C&H will surely want this collection. For those who missed the strip when it was still in the papers, this volume will give them a fine introduction.

Travel / US / Guides

Moon Acadia National Park, 5th edition by Hilary Nangle (Moon Handbooks: Avalon Travel Publishing)

A full-color guide, Moon Acadia National Park, includes vibrant photos and easy-to-use maps to help travelers on their trip.
Moon Handbooks give readers the tools to make their own choices, including:

  • Can't-miss sights, activities, restaurants, and accommodations.
  • Suggestions on how to plan a trip that's perfect for the individuals, including:
    • The Best of Acadia National Park.
    • Best in One Day.
    • A 15-Day Road Trip.
    • Mount Desert Island with Kids.
    • Lobster, Lighthouses, and L.L. Bean Best Hikes.
  • 21 detailed and easy-to-use maps.
  • The firsthand experience and unique perspective of author Hilary Nangle.

Nangle started out editing pro ski tour publications, and then became a managing editor for a food trade publication and a features editor for a daily newspaper. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor. Nangle divides her year between the coast and the mountains, residing with her husband, photographer Tom Nangle.

Nangle in Moon Acadia National Park says that Mount Desert Island has been luring visitors since French explorers first answered the island’s siren song in 1604. Raw, remote, and seductive, it dangles like a pendant into the Atlantic. It is a miniature masterpiece, a gem of a natural and cultural resource that is laced with hiking trails and carriage roads, etched by a craggy coastline, sprinkled with ponds, and lorded over by bald peaks. Here are the sights and activities travelers can’t miss if they are after the true Acadia experience.

Acadia's appeal is contradictory: It's accessible, and yet it's not. More than two million visitors annually arrive on Mount Desert by car, bus, plane, or cruise ship, all eager to view the park's icons. The park loop road makes that easy. But even on the most crowded days, it is possible to slip away and find solitary peace on a hike or a paddle or a bike ride. Step off the major thoroughfares, and Birdsong replaces idle chatter, pine perfumes the air, and signs of civilization disappear from view. Off-the-beaten-path gems might lack the drama of the icons, but they restore much-needed balance to a hectic life.

As told in Moon Acadia National Park, there is no one Acadia. Beyond Mount Desert Island, more sections of the park beckon. Islesford and Baker Island are connected by passenger ferries and excursion boats, as is the mainland Schoodic section of the park; remote Isle au Haut lets the curious view from the safe confines of a boat while inviting the hardy to hike and camp in near solitude; and Schoodic's pink granite shores receive far fewer visitors than Mount Desert Island.

While the park is the region's flawless gem, it is set amid other precious ones. No saltwater locale on the entire eastern seaboard can compete with the region's variety of scenery or its natural resources, which include the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land, three scenic byways, and countless preserves.

Moon Acadia National Park advises readers where to go:

Acadia on Mount Desert Island. Mountains tumbling to the sea, ocean waves crashing upon granite ledges, serene ponds, and wildflower-filled meadowlands – the Mount Desert Island section of the park has it all. Travelers watch the sun rise out of the Atlantic from Cadillac Mountain's summit, drive along the icon-rich Park Loop Road, hike trails through forestlands and up coastal peaks, scale granite cliffs, or paddle the coastline's nooks and crannies. Intimate yet expansive, wild yet civilized, Acadia is as accessible or as remote as they desire.

Mount Desert Island Communities. Excursions into the park depart from the surrounding communities, which have attractions of their own: museums, gardens, shops, and theaters. Bar Harbor is the island's hub; tony Northeast Harbor is located at the mouth of Sornes Sound, a rare fjard; Southwest Harbor is the heart of the island's quiet side. All edge sections of the park, and, of course, these communities, along with the smaller fishing villages, are where travelers will find a lobster dinner with all the fixings.

Schoodic Peninsula. Everything changes when they continue north on Route 1: the pace slows, fast-food joints and even stoplights disappear, and independence reigns. Schoodic Point's pink granite shores are undoubtedly the highlight of the park's only mainland section, but there are other reasons to go off the beaten track. Back roads and scenic byways loop through fishing villages, bisect a mountain- and lake-speckled wilderness preserve, access a national wildlife refuge, and edge those pink shores. It is a bonanza for hikers, bikers, anglers, boaters, and bird-watchers.

Blue Hill Peninsula. Around nearly every bend is a river or stream, a cove, a boat-filled harbor, or a serene pond. It is an inspired and inspiring landscape dotted with historic homes. The locals have worked diligently to preserve not only the landscape but also the heritage. It's a fine place to kick back, relax, and savor the good life.

Deer Isle and Isle au Haut. If Deer Isle isn't the end of the world, there's a sense that one can see it from here. Tethered to the mainland by a soaring bridge over Eggemoggin Reach, Deer Isle and Little Deer Isle are fishing communities accented by a vibrant arts community. Depart the island's tip by ferry for Isle au Haut, where the most remote and rugged piece of Acadia National Park awaits hikers and those for whom even Deer Isle is a bit too crowded.

Ellsworth and Trenton. To visit Mount Desert Island, travelers must pass through the madness of Ellsworth and Trenton, a traffic-clogged, curse-inducing strip of mini malls and big-box stores. There are a few gems hidden amid the sprawl, including historic buildings, trails for hiking, and lakes for boating. Most delightful is Birdsacre, the former home of ornithologist Cornelia Stanwood, now a preserve with nature and bird rehab centers.

Moon Acadia National Park gives readers tips on when to go and where to go if they want bicycling, camping, history, rock climbing, scenic driving tour, sea kayaking, solitude, and whale-watching. And it does this in a concise, small-format travel guide with maps and full-color pictures.


 

 Contents to this Page 

101 Techniques: Drawing by Parramón (Barron’s Educational Series)

Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged by Rand Paul, read by Brian Troxell, with the introduction read by Rand Paul (Hachette Audio)

Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America – Hardcover by Rand Paul (Center Street)

Design Thinking for Visual Communication, 2nd edition by Gavin Ambrose & Paul Harris (Basics Design Series: Fairchild Books, AVA Publishing, Bloomsbury)

The Cybrarian's Web 2: An A-Z Guide to Free Social Media Tools, Apps, and Other Resources by Cheryl Ann Peltier-Davis, with a foreword by David Lee King (Information Today, Inc.)

Geology Underfoot in Western Washington by David Tucker (Mountain Press Publishing Company)

Safe Dance Practice: An Applied Dance Science Perspective by Edel Quin, Sonia Rafferty & Charlotte Tomlinson (Human Kinetics)

My Fair Ladies: Female Robots, Androids, and Other Artificial Eves by Julie Wosk (Rutgers University Press)

The Earliest Instrument: Ritual Power and Fertility Magic of the Flute in Upper Paleolithic Culture by Lana Neal (Pendragon Press)

The Handy American History Answer Book by David L. Hudson (The Handy Answer Book Series: Visible Ink)

Black Life in Old New Orleans by Keith Medley (Pelican Publishing Company)

Separate and Dominate: Feminism and Racism after the War on Terror by Christine Delphy, translated from the French by David Broder (Verso Books)

Handbook of Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Disorders, 1st edition by Satish S.C. Rao MD PhD FRCP (Lon), Henry Parkman MD, Richard McCallum MD (Slack Incorporated)

The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World by Peter Scazzero (Zondervan)

Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation by Bruce Tift, with a foreword by Tami Simon (Sounds True)

Structures of Grace: Catholic Organizations Serving the Global Common Good by Kevin Ahern (Orbis Books)

Incarnation: On the Scope and Depth of Christology edited by Niels Henrik Gregersen (Fortress Press)

Wisdom of the Watchers: Teachings of the Rebel Angels on Earth's Forgotten Past by Timothy Wyllie (Bear & Company)

The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury: Andrews McMeel Publishing)

Moon Acadia National Park, 5th edition by Hilary Nangle (Moon Handbooks: Avalon Travel Publishing)