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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

Current Issue: February 2018, Issue #226

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Guide to Contents this Page 

Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir by Aaron Williams (Harbour Publishing)

Aleister Crowley in America: Art, Espionage, and Sex Magick in the New World by Tobias Churton (Inner Traditions)

The CIO’s Guide to Risk, 1st edition by Jessica Keyes (Auerbach Publications, CRC Press) 

My Family Four Floors Up by Caroline Stutson, illustrated by Celia Krampien (Sleeping Bear Press)

William Williams Documents Ellis Island Immigrants, Library Binding by Rebecca Rowell (Defining Images Series: Essential Library, ABDO Publishing) 

Greatest Moments in Women's Sports, Library Binding by Todd Kortemeier (Women in Sports Set: SportsZone, ABDO Publishing)

 

Chien-Shiung Wu: Nuclear Physicist, Library Binding by Nel Yomtov (Women in Science Set: Essential Library, ABDO Publishing) 

 

Attacking Network Protocols: A Hacker's Guide to Capture, Analysis, and Exploitation, 1st edition by James Forshaw (No Starch Press)

The Whole30 Fast & Easy: 150 Simply Delicious Everyday Recipes for Your Whole30 by Melissa Hartwig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Elements of Logo Design: Design Thinking | Branding | Making Marks by Alex W. White, with a foreword by Jerry Kuyper (Allworth Press)

Unlocking Student Talent: The New Science of Developing Expertise by Robin J. Fogarty, Gene M. Kerns, & Brian M. Pete, with a foreword by K. Anders Ericsson & Robert Pool (Teacher’s College Press)

The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire by Kyle Harper (The Princeton History of the Ancient World Series: Princeton University Press) 

The Gilded Age: 1876–1912: Overture to the American Century by Alan Axelrod (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.)

 

Beau Death by Peter Lovesey (Detective Peter Diamond Mystery Series: Soho Press)

Hinch vs Canberra: Behind the Human Headlines by Derryn Hinch (Melbourne University Press)

Saint Columban: His Life, Rule, and Legacy (Cistercian Studies) by Terrance G. Kardong OSB (Cistercian Publications) 

Balance: A Dizzying Journey Through the Science of Our Most Delicate Sense by Carol Svec (Chicago Review Press)

The Secret Life of Your Microbiome: Why Nature and Biodiversity are Essential to Health and Happiness by Susan L. Prescott & Alan C. Logan (New Society Publishers)

Niagara Falls for Everybody: What to See and Enjoy – A Complete Guide by Barbara Lynch-Johnt (Amherst Media)

 

Reviews

Biographies & Memoirs

Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir by Aaron Williams (Harbour Publishing)

At first I'm calm as the trees fall. But suddenly a rat's nest of wood, bent horizontal and cribbed into the trees above us, comes down in a rush of a hundred machine gun snaps. Trees caught in the nest flail around before hitting the ground. Our eyes dart everywhere, trying to keep track of every moment. Trees break free and swing themselves like catapults. Splintered chunks of wood slash through the air like propellers... – Aaron Williams

British Columbia's weather and geography – hot dry summers, steep terrain, and population density in forested areas – make it one of the most difficult places in the world to fight forest fires.

Chasing Smoke is an insider-account of how a fire season unfolds. Experienced firefighter Aaron Williams offers a tangible window into the intensely physical, high-adrenalin lifestyle shared by his crew of eccentrics, all eager to be on the front line. Williams fought forest fires in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Idaho from 2006 until 2014 before returning to school to get his MFA in creative non-fiction writing.

Williams shares what it's like to work sixteen-hour days in an apocalyptic landscape, where the smoke is so thick firefighters’ snot runs black and they need to drink ten liters of water a day to stay hydrated. What it is like to make a stupid mistake and singe their beard in front of their crew, or spend hours hosing a spot the size of a queen mattress and still not extinguish the burn. What it's like to hear a tree fall, a co-worker's shout, and imagine the worst.

From the ‘curated gauntlet of abuse’ that makes up rookie week, until the last length of hose is rolled up at the end of the burn season, Williams in Chasing Smoke chronicles the seasonal existence of a firefighter, all while examining the wider world of firefighting – interweaving the history, mechanics and politics – as well as the micro-world of the small crew who willingly put their lives on the line.

Inspiring. A riveting inside look at the men and women on the ground fighting the forest fires in British Columbia. – Captain Damian Asher, author of Inside the Inferno: A Firefighter's Story of the Brotherhood that Saved Fort McMurray

Ever wonder what it's like to battle a forest fire? To head out into the woods ... charged with gaining control of a red, roaring, raging, death-dealing dragon? Here we get the low-down from someone who knows. In Chasing Smoke, Aaron Williams delivers the heat, the noise, the danger, the chaos. He details the training, the competitiveness, the anxieties, the jealousies, the angers, the friendships, the camaraderies. Here is the life, here are the people who live it, here are the reasons they do so. This vivid work is destined to become a firefighting classic. – Ken McGoogan, author of Dead Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage

Chasing Smoke is a gritty, exhilarating and danger-filled memoir of forest firefighting in British Columbia, an enthralling read.

Biographies & Memoirs / History / Occult

Aleister Crowley in America: Art, Espionage, and Sex Magick in the New World by Tobias Churton (Inner Traditions)

Occultist, magician, poet, painter, and writer Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) – his three sojourns in America sealed both his notoriety and his lasting influence. Aleister Crowley in America is an exploration of Crowley’s relationship with the United States.

Britain’s leading scholar of Western Esotericism, author Tobias Churton is a world authority on Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism. Appointed Honorary Fellow of Exeter University in 2005, he is the author of many books.

Using previously unpublished diaries and letters, Churton traces Crowley’s extensive travels through America and his quest to implant a new magical and spiritual consciousness in the United States, while working to undermine Germany’s propaganda campaign to keep the United States out of World War I.
Recreating turn-of-the-century America in all its startling strangeness, Churton in Aleister Crowley in America explains how Crowley arrived in New York amid dramatic circumstances in 1900. After other travels, in 1914 Crowley returned to the U.S. and stayed for five years: turbulent years that changed him, the world, and the face of occultism forever. Diving deeply into Crowley’s 5-year stay, readers meet artists, writers, spies, and government agents as they uncover Crowley’s complex work for British and U.S. intelligence agencies. Exploring Crowley’s involvement with the birth of the Greenwich Village radical art scene, readers learn of his relations with writers Sinclair Lewis and Theodore Dreiser and artists John Butler Yeats, Leon Engers Kennedy, and Robert Winthrop Chanler while living and lecturing on now-vanished ‘Genius Row.’ They experience his love affairs and share Crowley’s hard times in New Orleans and his return to health, magical dynamism, and the most colorful sex life in America. They examine his controversial political stunts, his role in the sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania, his making of the ‘Elixir of Life’ in 1915, his psychedelic experimentation, his prolific literary achievements, and his run-in with Detroit Freemasonry. They also witness Crowley’s influence on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and rocket fuel genius Jack Parsons. They learn why J. Edgar Hoover wouldn’t let Crowley back in the country and why the FBI raided Crowley’s organization in LA.
Offering a 20th-century history of the occult movement in the United States, Churton in Aleister Crowley in America shows how Crowley’s U.S. visits laid the groundwork for the establishment of his syncretic ‘religion’ of Thelema and the now flourishing OTO, as well as how Crowley’s final wish was to have his ashes scattered in the Hamptons.

Aleister Crowley in America focuses sharply and drills down into Crowley’s formative U.S. period, burgeoning with rich and surprising depth beyond what is possible in a life-spanning biography. This story deserves a book of its own, and Tobias Churton demonstrates here that the Beast is indeed in the details. – Richard Kaczynski, author of Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley
Churton has sifted through a mass of material – from long-neglected documents to the latest researches of contemporary Crowley scholars – to put together this comprehensive and intriguing study of the years the Beast spent in America. He brings fresh eyes to old controversies, such as the true nature of Crowley’s political activities during the First World War, and presents a work that anyone interested in the history of Crowley and his circle will read with enthusiasm – Keith Richmond, co-owner of Weiser Antiquarian Books and author of Progradior and the Beast
This beautifully produced and richly documented history tracks and clarifies Crowley’s myriad experiences in America. Tobias Churton admirably sorts out fact from fantasy and shines an illuminating light on a misunderstood facet of Crowley’s career. – Mitch Horowitz, PEN Award-winning author of Occult America
Way beyond the standard Crowley hagiographies, Churton’s books always put the Great Beast in cultural context. This fascinating must read is no exception; it’s an invaluable, well-researched, and highly entertaining insight into the great magician’s life, thoughts, and scandals during his American adventures. – Carl Abrahamsson, author of Occulture and Reasonances
Magician Tobias Churton has successfully cast a spell, transforming his 750-page comprehensive scholarly tome into a gripping and obsessive page turner, leaving one wishing for more. Replete with new and exciting details and interpretations of Crowley’s time in the New World – and of the multiple denizens of his exciting and unique social circles – the book includes previously unpublished manuscripts, letters, and photographs. Churton furnishes the reader with a sensitive and intimate portrait that brings Crowley to life – as if we are invited to a convivial conversation or private dinner with the Magus himself. Truly an outstanding, enjoyable, and invaluable book! – James Wasserman, author of Templar Heresy: A Story of Gnostic Illumination
Crowley had a great hunger for almost everything he ever thought of or saw. He was economical with the truth, with his own money, and with his loyalties, but – and it is a big but – the scope and scale of America thrilled him. The vitality of the big cities, the newness and esoteric searching of the West Coast made him delirious with a big, greedy joy. He loved the States for nearly thirty years, as it gave him a dedicated group of very clever people, like Jack Parsons, who practiced what he preached. Tobias Churton has uncovered fresh material on Crowley in biographically fresh territory and has once again written a very fine book. – Geraldine Beskin and Bali Beskin, owners of the Atlantis Bookshop, London)

Aleister Crowley in America masterfully recreates turn-of-the-century America, sorting out fact from fantasy and shining a light on the many aspects of Crowley’s career. It details Crowley’s travels, passions, literary and artistic endeavors, sex magick and includes an abundance of previously unpublished letters and diaries.

Business & Economics / Technology / Information Management / Reference

The CIO’s Guide to Risk, 1st edition by Jessica Keyes (Auerbach Publications, CRC Press)

In an age of globalization, widely distributed systems, and rapidly advancing technological change, IT professionals and their managers must understand that risk is ever present. The key to project success is to identify risk and subsequently deal with it.

The CIO’s Guide to Risk addresses the many faces of risk, whether it be in systems development, adoption of bleeding edge tech, the push for innovation, and even the march toward all things social media. Risk management planning, risk identification, qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, contingency planning, and risk monitoring and control are all addressed on a macro as well as micro level.

Author Jessica Keyes is president of New Art Technologies, Inc., a high-technology and management consultancy and development firm started in New York in 1989. She currently facilitates doctoral and other courses for the University of Phoenix and is a member of the Faculty Council for the College of Information Systems & Technology. Prior to founding New Art, Keyes was managing director of R&D for the New York Stock Exchange and an officer with Swiss Bank Co. and Banker’s Trust, both in New York City.

The CIO’s Guide to Risk begins with a big-picture view of analyzing technology trends to evaluate risk. It shows how to conceptualize trends, analyze their effect on infrastructure, develop metrics to measure success, and assess risk in adapting new technology. The book takes an in-depth look at project-related risks. It explains the fundamentals of project management and how project management relates to systems development and technology implementation. It also details techniques for analyzing project risk include brainstorming, the Delphi technique, assumption analysis, and decision analysis. Metrics to track and control project risks include the Balance Scorecard, project monitoring and reporting, and business and technology metrics. The book also takes an in-depth look at the role of knowledge management and innovation management in identifying, assessing, and managing risk.

The CIO’s Guide to Risk concludes with an executive’s guide to the legal and privacy issues related to risk management, as well as overviews of risks associated with social media and mobile environments.

With its checklists, templates, and worksheets, the book is an indispensable reference on risk and information technology.

Children’s Books / Family

My Family Four Floors Up by Caroline Stutson, illustrated by Celia Krampien (Sleeping Bear Press)

My Family Four Floors Up follows a child and her father – as well as their cute pets, a puppy and a cat – through the day. From morning ritual to bedtime story, life in the fourth floor walk up and on the city streets and parks below is filled with tender moments between parent and child.

As told in My Family Four Floors Up, in a sunlit upstairs apartment, one little girl is eager to start her day. After breakfast, she and her father – and one roly-poly puppy – make their way down the four flights of stairs, across the busy city streets, to the neighborhood park. Their day is filled with joy, wonder, excitement, comfort, and love – all the things we hope each day holds for little ones.

Author Caroline Stutson, now deceased, authored more than ten picture books. She was born in New York City and lived much of her life in Littleton, Colorado. Stutson loved writing children's books and mentoring young authors. In addition to writing, she was a puppeteer, a nature-lover, and an active member of the Spellbinders storytelling organization. Illustrator Celia Krampien has illustrated more than 20 children's books. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and, of course, children's books.

The neighbors are friendly, the city streets are secure, and Dad has got everything covered. Perfect for storytime or bedtime, My Family Four Floors Up is a 10. – Terri Schlichenrneyer, The Bookworm Sez

This friendly, sweet, day-in-the-life story, told in rhyme, encourages readers to take time to enjoy the easy pleasures a simple day can bring.

Children’s Books / Grades 7-9 / Geography & Cultures

William Williams Documents Ellis Island Immigrants, Library Binding by Rebecca Rowell (Defining Images Series: Essential Library, ABDO Publishing)

William Williams Documents Ellis Island Immigrants considers the work of Ellis Island commissioner William Williams as he collected photos recording the history of the immigration facility and those who passed through its doors in the early 1900s. Using full-page photos, it examines Williams' role in executing US immigration policy during this pivotal time in American history.

Chapters in William Williams Documents Ellis Island Immigrants include:

  1. Taking Charge
  2. Immigration to America
  3. The Journey to Ellis Island
  4. Island of Hope: Island of Tears
  5. Detained, Deported
  6. The Workers of Ellis Island
  7. Interim and Return
  8. Ellis Island after Williams

Also featured is a section entitled Photographing Ellis Island.

Author Rebecca Rowell has worked on numerous books for young readers as an author and as an editor. Her writing includes titles about ancient India, Rachel Carson, John F. Kennedy, and the Louisiana Purchase. Powell has a master's degree in publishing and writing from Emerson College. The Content Consultant was Vincent J. Cannato, Associate Professor of History, University of Massachusetts, Boston.

William Williams Documents Ellis Island Immigrants is part of the Defining Images Series. From the horrors of war to the majesty of deep space, skilled photographers have captured countless historic events. They have recorded the diversity of Native American cultures and traced the experiences of immigrants arriving in America. In the Defining Images Series, young readers see their amazing photographs and explore how the images tell a visual history of the United States. They discover how technology and artistry combined to create the defining images of the modern age.

All books in the Defining Images series feature a glossary, references, websites, source notes, and an index. All these books are aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Books in this series include:

The many stunning photographs in William Williams Documents Ellis Island Immigrants help young readers develop a visual history of the United States as well as the contribution photography and photographers have made to it.Children’s Books / Grade 4-6 / Ages 9-12

Greatest Moments in Women's Sports, Library Binding by Todd Kortemeier (Women in Sports Set: SportsZone, ABDO Publishing)

Greatest Moments in Women's Sports discusses significant moments in women's sports history, including Gertrude Ederle swimming the English Channel, Brandi Chastain scoring the winning goal at the 1999 World Cup, and Nadia Comneci achieving a perfect score at the 1976 Olympics.

Chapters in Greatest Moments in Women's Sports include:

  1. Ederle Swims the Channel        
  2. Perfection in Montreal  
  3. Family Affair in Seoul   
  4. Chastain Clinches the Cup       
  5. Nearly Perfect
  6. Mo'ne Throws Heat     
  7. Ledecky Makes a Splash         

Author Todd Kortemeier is a writer and editor from Minneapolis. A graduate of the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kortemeier has written more than 25 sports books for young people.

Greatest Moments in Women's Sports is part of the Women in Sports Series. Women's contributions to the sports world have helped shape the future for today's young athletes. The Women in Sports Series celebrates the pioneers who paved the way and the stars of today who amaze us with their athletic excellence.

All the books in Women in Sports series include sidebars, additional resources, fast facts, an index, and a glossary. All these books are aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Titles in the Women in Sports series include

  • Greatest Female Athletes of All Time
  • Greatest Moments in Women's Sports
  • Pioneers in Women's Sports
  • Title IX Levels the Playing Field
  • Women in Sports Media
  • Women in the Olympics

Action-packed photos and colorful text bring these incredible moments and people to life in Greatest Moments in Women's Sports, an empowering look at women in sports. Children’s Books / Science

Chien-Shiung Wu: Nuclear Physicist, Library Binding by Nel Yomtov (Women in Science Set: Essential Library, ABDO Publishing)

Chien-Shiung Wu: Nuclear Physicist looks at the life and work of the Chinese nuclear physicist who made breakthrough discoveries in nuclear fission and the scientific understanding of atoms.

Chapters in Chien-Shiung Wu: Nuclear Physicist include:

  1. Madame Physicist
  2. A Star is Born
  3. Coming to the United States
  4. Going East
  5. Beta Decay
  6. Parity Breakthrough
  7. New Horizons
  8. The Later Years

Author Nel Yomtov is an award-winning author of nonfiction books and graphic novels for young readers. His writing passions include history, geography, military, nature, sports, biographies, and careers. Yomtov has served as editorial director of a children's nonfiction book publisher and as executive editor of Hammond World Atlas book division. The Content Consultant is Suzanne Keilson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Engineering, Loyola University, Maryland.

Chien-Shiung Wu: Nuclear Physicist is part of the Women in Science Series. Women discovered the double helix of DNA, studied the inner workings of the atom, and uncovered the secret lives of chimpanzees. These and other key contributions to science have one thing in common: the essential role of women scientists. In Women in Science, young readers learn about the woman who changed the way computers are programmed. They read about the woman who discovered radium and how she won the Nobel Prize – twice. They follow in the footsteps of the first female African-American astronaut. And they discover the long-lasting influence these and other Women in Science had on how we understand our world.

All the books in this series include a timeline, essential facts, a glossary, additional resources, source notes and an index. All these books are aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Books in the Women in Science Set include:

  • Marie Curie: Chemist and Physicist
  • Rosalind Franklin: DNA Discoverer
  • Jane Goodall: Primatologist and Conservationist
  • Grace Hopper: Computer Scientist
  • Mae Carol Jemison: Astronaut and Educator
  • Chien-Shiung Wu: Nuclear Physicist

Chien-Shiung Wu: Nuclear Physicist and all the books in this series demonstrate to young girls that women can be scientists and hopefully inspire girls to consider pursuing science as a career.

Computers & Internet / Security

Attacking Network Protocols: A Hacker's Guide to Capture, Analysis, and Exploitation, 1st edition by James Forshaw (No Starch Press)

Today, most people carry a fully networked computing device in their pocket, and with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), they can add devices such as the fridge and their home's security system to this interconnected world. The security of these connected devices is therefore increasingly important. Although readers might not be too concerned about someone disclosing the details of how many yogurts they buy, if their smartphone is compromised over the same network as the fridge, they could lose all their personal and financial informa­tion to a malicious attacker.

Attacking Network Protocols is a deep dive into network protocol security from James Forshaw, one of the world’s leading bug hunters. This comprehensive guide looks at networking from an attacker’s perspective to help readers discover, exploit, and ultimately protect vulnerabilities.
Forshaw is a renowned computer security researcher at Google Project Zero and the creator of the network protocol analysis tool Canape. His discovery of complex design issues in Microsoft Windows earned him the top bug bounty of $100,000 and placed him as the #1 researcher on the published list from Microsoft Security Response Center.

In Attacking Network Protocols readers learn how to:

  • Capture, manipulate, and replay packets.
  • Develop tools to dissect traffic and reverse engineer code to understand the inner workings of a network protocol.
  • Discover and exploit vulnerabilities such as memory corruptions, authentication bypasses, and denials of service.
  • Use capture and analysis tools like Wireshark and develop their own custom network proxies to manipulate network traffic.

Readers of Attacking Network Protocols start with a rundown of networking basics and protocol traffic capture before moving on to static and dynamic protocol analysis, common protocol structures, cryptography, and protocol security. Then the book turns to finding and exploiting vulnerabilities, with an overview of common bug classes, fuzzing, debugging, and exhaustion attacks. 

This book is named Attacking Network Protocols because to find security vulnerabilities in a network-connected device, readers need to adopt the mind-set of the attacker who wants to exploit those weaknesses. Network protocols communicate with other devices on a network, and because these protocols must be exposed to a public network and often don't undergo the same level of scrutiny as other components of a device, they're an obvious attack target.

Many books discuss network traffic capture for the purposes of diagnostics and basic network analysis, but they don't focus on the security aspects of the protocols they capture. What makes this book different is that it focuses on analyzing custom protocols to find security vulnerabilities.

Attacking Network Protocols is for those who are interested in analyzing and attacking network protocols but don't know where to start. The chapters guide readers through learning techniques to capture network traffic, perform analysis of the protocols, and discover and exploit security vulnerabilities. The book provides background information on networking and network security, as well as practical examples of protocols to analyze.

Attacking Network Protocols contains a mix of theoretical and practical chapters. For the practical chapters, Forshaw has developed and made available a networking library called Canape Core, which readers can use to build their own tools for protocol analysis and exploitation. Forshaw also provides an example networked application called SuperFunky Chat, which implements a user-to-user chat protocol. By following the discussions in the chapters, readers can use the example application to learn the skills of protocol analysis and attack the sample network protocols.

James can see the Lady in the Red Dress, as well as the code that rendered her, in the Matrix. – Katie Moussouris, founder and CEO, Luta Security

A comprehensive guide, Attacking Network Protocols is a must-have for any penetration tester, bug hunter, or developer looking to understand and discover network vulnerabilities. Whether readers want to attack network protocols to report security vulnerabilities to an application's vendor or just want to know how their latest IoT device communicates, they will find several topics of interest.

Cooking, Food & Wine / Dieting

The Whole30 Fast & Easy: 150 Simply Delicious Everyday Recipes for Your Whole30 by Melissa Hartwig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Millions of people have transformed their lives with Whole30, yet co-creator Melissa Hartwig wants to make it easier to achieve Whole30 success – with delicious, compliant, fast, and easy recipes. This follow-up to the bestselling The Whole30 Cookbook is full of recipes designed to get readers out of the kitchen fast, so they can enjoy all the benefits of their Whole30-inspired lifestyle.
Hartwig is a Certified Sports Nutritionist who specializes in helping people change their relationship with food and create life-long, healthy habits.

The Whole30 Fast & Easy Cookbook features:

  • Recipes perfect for weeknight cooking, lunches in a hurry, and hearty breakfasts.
  • Nearly effortless skillet meals, stir-fries, sheet-pan suppers, and slow-cook and no-cook meals, most of which can be made in 30 minutes or less.
  • Creative, delicious meals using widely-available ingredients.
  • Melissa's favorite kitchen hacks, designed to save time and money while maximizing flavor.

Whole30 meals don't have to be complicated, time-consuming, or use obscure ingredients to be satisfying, delicious, and make cooks feel like kitchen rock stars. Readers can get an impressive Whole30 dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes. They can buy ‘normal’ foods from any old grocery store and use simple techniques to transform them into hearty, nourishing meals. They can throw five things into a slow cooker, walk away, and come back to a ready-to-serve feast. And thanks to modern conveniences like packaged ‘veggie noodles,’ precut produce, and minced garlic in a jar, if they really don't want to chop, they probably don't have to.

All readers need to succeed with the Whole30 are whole-food ingredients and some helpful instructions to help them prep, cook, and serve them. In fact, The Whole30 Fast & Easy is an entire book full of recipes that do that plus the tips, tricks, and hacks Hartwig has cultivated in her own Whole30 kitchen.

If you fed me every single recipe in this book, it would never occur to me once that anything was ‘missing.’ I would, however, have been mystified why my body, joints, and mind were operating like a well-oiled machine when I’d been eating like a freaking queen. I love food like a treasured family member, and Whole30 was a wonder for my body and soul. – Jen Hatmaker, New York Times best-selling author of Of Mess and Moxie
Melissa has done it again! No matter if you’re doing a Whole30 or not, you need this book. This collection of fabulous new recipes is tailor-made for busy folks who crave nourishment without sacrificing flavor, variety, or the most precious commodity of all – time! Bravo! – Michelle Tam, New York Times best-selling cookbook author and creator of Nom Nom Paleo
You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to feed your family healthy, home-cooked meals. These simple but delicious recipes will stay in your weeknight rotation long after your Whole30 is over. – Danielle Walker, New York Times best-selling author of Against All Grain, Meals Made Simple, and Celebrations

Featuring 150 new, Whole30-compliant recipes, the recipes in The Whole30 Fast & Easy are also healthful and delicious. Whether readers are doing their first Whole30 or their fifth, or just looking for some healthy, fast, and easy recipes to try, this collection is a must-have for any kitchen.

Design / Branding

The Elements of Logo Design: Design Thinking | Branding | Making Marks by Alex W. White, with a foreword by Jerry Kuyper (Allworth Press)

Designers looking to learn the art of designing logos need look no further than The Elements of Logo Design by world-renowned designer Alex W. White. Unique in its approach to explaining how to design marks, The Elements of Logo Design explores design unity, typography and its expression as frozen sound, how a logo fits into a greater branding strategy, and how to build a logo.
White is chairman emeritus of the Type Directors Club and has taught graphic design and typography for thirty years at Parsons School of Design, Syracuse University, and the Hartford Art School. He is the chairman of the graduate program in design management at the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.

With more than four hundred examples culled from advertising, editorial, and web use, readers gain a comprehensive understanding of universally shared graphic design principles. These principles are then applied to logo design specifically, relating the discipline to all other graphic design. Chapters in The Elements of Logo Design include such topics as:

  • Logic in design
  • Relationships, hierarchy, and structure
  • Differences and similarities in design
  • Research and planning an identity
  • How to build a logo using type, image, and space
  • Letterforms, type, and fonts
  • Type alteration
  • Semiotics: icons and symbols
  • Image-to-image relationships

The Elements of Logo Design is for designers, not business people.

But White advises business people: Creating cool design is much harder than merely giving clients what they ask for. It takes vision and creativity to turn an obvious set of criteria (what most clients provide) into a fresh, memorable, ‘creative’ expression of the real, underlying problem. The given problem, the assignment business people give their well-paid consultants, must be turned inside out. Not all designers are equipped to do it. But business people have to give designers a chance to excel, else they will surely end up with mediocrity.

Design is the marriage of need and useful expression. It takes vision from the client (that is, the business person) – and clear vision from designers – to achieve excellence like that. Most clients start out wanting fresh, innovative, and noticeable design, then dilute it during multiple group meetings, until the result is common, expected, and frustrating for everyone at the table.

Maybe I’m wrong, but the hardest thing to design is the perfectly succinct, indelible logo. Every now and then we get a glimpse of how logo design comes to life. Time will tell if the essence of logo design can be unlocked, but Alex offers us the closest thing to a key. Sequester yourself and practice practice practice. – Rick Valicenti, the recipient of the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award and the AIGA Medal

A logo is the most visible representation of a brand. Capturing the brand’s promise in a single enduring and memorable mark is no easy feat. I love how Alex frames this book to use existing creative constraints as opportunities to create the most distinctive, strategic, and powerful designs. – Connie Birdsall, senior partner and global creative director at Lippincott

This book covers all aspects of the creation of a brand’s visual identity. In an era where most web sites are viewed on a tiny screen, it is essential that a mark be simple, well-designed and memorable. This book addresses those issues for both students and professionals. – Gerard Huerta, a designer of letterforms

There are books full of logo examples. This book stands out because it discusses graphic design principles and then shows how they apply to logo design. It has fresh insights and different thinking on the process of designing logos. I am delighted to welcome Alex’s thoughtful book to my library. – Jerry Kuyper, with more than thirty years of experience directing and designing corporate and brand identity programs, has worked for Siegel & Gale, Lippincott, Landor, and Saul Bass & Associates

The Elements of Logo Design is a visually stunning guide to learning the art of logo design. With a foreword by Jerry Kuyper, who is widely recognized as one of the top twenty-five logo designers of all time, The Elements of Logo Design is a formidable resource for learning the art of branding and making marks.

Education & Training / Teaching & Learning / Motivation

Unlocking Student Talent: The New Science of Developing Expertise by Robin J. Fogarty, Gene M. Kerns, & Brian M. Pete, with a foreword by K. Anders Ericsson & Robert Pool (Teacher’s College Press)

How do we truly help students achieve their fullest potential? What are the roles of motivation, deliberate practice, and coaching in developing talent and abilities in students? Unlocking Student Talent is a hands-on guide examining each of these elements in detail. It provides definitions, relevant research, discussions, examples, and practical steps to take with students in elementary, middle, and high school. The authors examine cutting-edge research on world-class performance and distill information specifically for educators.

Authors are Robin J. Fogarty, Gene M. Kerns, and Brian M. Pete. Fogarty is president of Robin Fogarty & Associates, a Florida-based educational consulting company. Fogarty has trained educators throughout the world in curriculum, instruction, and assessment strategies. Kerns is chief academic officer of Renaissance Learning, Inc. and a leading authority on the educational standards in the United States and United Kingdom, learning progressions, and formative assessment. Pete is cofounder and CEO of Robin Fogarty & Associates and an international professional developer with extensive work over the past 18 years with adult learners.

Offering guidelines to help teachers spot and encourage students’ exceptional aptitudes, passionate interests, and special strengths, Unlocking Student Talent shows concretely how to promote greater motivation for learning and success. User-friendly chapters include thought-provoking insights, vignettes of how notable talents were developed, teaching and learning tips, grade-level examples, and discussion questions.

Unlocking Student Talent:

  • Offers practical versions of ideas that impact instruction: motivation, practice and coaching.
  • Examines how ‘the brain learns deeply,’ including emergent brain science on myelin and its contribution to memory, learning, and automaticity.
  • Illuminates findings that question the ‘10,000 Hour Rule’ about becoming an expert.
  • Explores the important differences between practice and ‘deliberate practice’.
  • Explains research findings on the motivational factors that impact student learning and expertise.
  • Highlights the role and features of the most effective formative assessment.
  • Addresses the ‘Is Talent Born or Made?’ question and elaborates with actions educators can take.
  • Guides teachers in unlocking their students’ talent and helping them reach their true potential.

Unlocking student talent is about transforming students with the ‘reachfulness code’ that begins by igniting motivation; grows with deep, deliberate practice, and is supported to the highest levels by master coaching. Unlocking Student Talent celebrates the many instances of unlocking talent in schools, homes, neighborhoods, and communities.

When teachers/coaches observe both their eager and their reluctant students, they hope that their teaching will unlock a desire to learn, develop a hidden talent or potential or even a burning desire within the student, and herd these kids toward achievement. Teachers/coaches can light the fire within each one in their care. They can carve out and develop ‘deliberate practice’ routines, and guide the youngsters with timely, specific, and productive coaching and individualized feedback. Insightful, inspiring, and well-intentioned teacher/coaches and mentors are in positions of great, if sometimes invisible, influence, and their impact cannot be underestimated. The results they attain with youngsters are far-reaching, standout performances that break records every day, earn awards and accolades, and many times open students' eyes and inspire their dedication to an interest or passion that they then pursue to their great satisfaction over a lifetime.

The authors of Unlocking Student Talent divide their discussion of how to unlock student talent into three parts, each with three chapters.

Part I. Motivating: Spark the Passion

  1. Inspire: Inspiration consists of the spark that generates motiva­tion. It is connected to four particular catalysts: aspirations, hallmarks, competitiveness, and novelty.
  2. Invigorate: Invigorating motivation as an ongoing driver, the following markers are highlighted: challenge, competitiveness, hallmarks, and creativity.
  3. Instill: Ideas that bear on instilling continuing motivation as an intrinsic attribute are discussed: mindset, confidence, will, passion, burning desire, and pride.

Part II. Practicing: Engineer to Develop Expertise

  1. The Repetitions: Learners witness the mystery and magic of myelin and its stunning relationship to practice that pays off.
  2. Resistance and Results: Teachers discuss the concept of ‘reachfulness’ that empowers practice routines by working in a zone that is just out of reach.
  3. Recovery and Residual: Learners realize the cultivation of mental maps evolving from the right kind of routines, cultivated constantly.

Part III. Coaching: Seek Extraordinary Excellence

  1. Engage: This is the phase when the coach and talent become a team, talking and conferring constantly on skill levels, as well as developing deliberate practice routines as a bond of trust develops.
  2. Elevate: The master coach elevates performance literally, deliberately, and strategically, to develop and hone the students' current perfor­mance achievement through reachfulness.
  3. Exceed: Exceeding the standard or the current skill level has the master coach moving the students beyond the original goals through goal setting, imagination, and metacognitive reflection.

This book offers revolutionary proposals for transforming general education and, in particular, describes how to produce high-school graduates who are independent learners prepared and ready to employ the appropriate methods in acquiring whatever skills they need to succeed in their careers. – From the Foreword by K. Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, coauthors of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

The authors of this book understand that educators who seek to unlock talent must first and foremost build the confidence, not just the achievement, of the possessor of that talent – the student.… This volume is the guide book for all who wish to use assessment for learning and other strategies in partnership with talented learners in the service of their success. – Rick Stiggins, founder, Assessment Training Institute, Portland, Oregon

Unlocking Student Talent is foundational book infusing new ideas into established teaching. With the theoretical grounding and explicit steps offered in this book, teachers can light the fire within more and more of their students.

History / Ancient / Environment

The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire by Kyle Harper (The Princeton History of the Ancient World Series: Princeton University Press)

Here is an account of how one of history’s most conspicuous civilizations found its dominion over nature less certain than it had ever dreamed. – from the book

The Fate of Rome is the monumental retelling of one of the most consequential chapters of human history: the fall of the Roman Empire. This is the first book to examine the catastrophic role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the collapse of Rome’s power – a story of nature’s triumph over human ambition.

Interweaving historical narrative with cutting-edge climate science and genetic discoveries, Kyle Harper traces how the fate of Rome was decided not just by emperors, soldiers, and barbarians but also by volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, climate instability, and devastating viruses and bacteria.

Harper is professor of classics and letters and senior vice president and provost at the University of Oklahoma. Harper in The Fate of Rome takes readers from Rome’s pinnacle in the second century, when the empire seemed an invincible superpower, to its unraveling by the seventh century, when Rome was politically fragmented and materially depleted. Harper describes how the Romans were resilient in the face of enormous environmental stress, until the besieged empire could no longer withstand the combined challenges of a ‘little ice age’ and recurrent outbreaks of bubonic plague.

Original and ambitious.... [Harper] provide[s] a panoramic sweep of the late Roman Empire as interpreted by one historian's incisive, intriguing, inquiring mind. – James Romm, Wall Street Journal
Ingenious, persuasive.... Lucidly argued. – Publishers Weekly
A view of the fall of Rome from a different angle, looking beyond military and social collapse to man's relationship to the environment. There is much to absorb in this significant scholarly achievement, which effectively integrates natural, social, and humanistic sciences. – Kirkus
, starred review

[A] sweeping retelling of the rise and fall of an empire, [that] was brought down as much by ‘germs as by Germans.' – Keith Johnson, Foreign Policy
This beautifully written book is ground-breaking stuff, both for its method and content, and one of the most important of the year. – Adrian Spooner, Classics for All
Harper argues his case brilliantly, with deep scientific research into weather, geology and disease. – Harry Mount, The Spectator
An ambitious and convincing reappraisal of one of the most studied episodes of decline and fall in human history. – Ellie Robins, Los Angeles Review of Books

This is the story of a great civilization's long struggle with invisible enemies. In the empire's heyday, in 160 CE, splendid cities, linked by famous roads and bustling harbors, stand waiting for the lethal pathogens of Central Africa and the highlands of Tibet. Yet, under the flickering light of a variable sun, beneath skies alternately veiled in volcanic dust or cruelly rainless, this remarkable agglomeration of human beings held firm. Harper's account of how the inhabitants of the empire and their neighbors adjusted to these disasters is as humane as his account of the risks they faced is chilling. Brilliantly written, at once majestic and compassionate, this is truly great history. – Peter Brown, author of Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350–550 AD

In this riveting history, Kyle Harper shows that disease and environmental conditions were not just instrumental in the final collapse of the Roman Empire but were serious problems for centuries before the fall. Harper's compelling and cautionary tale documents the deadly plagues, fevers, and other pestilences that ravaged the population time and again, resulting in far more deaths than ever caused by enemy forces. One wonders how the empire managed to last as long as it did. – Eric H. Cline, author of 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

This brilliant, original, and stimulating book puts nature at the center of a topic of major importance – the fall of the Roman Empire – for the first time. Harper's argument is compelling and thoroughly documented, his presentation lively and robust. – Peter Garnsey, coauthor of The Roman Empire: Economy, Society, and Culture

Kyle Harper's extraordinary new account of the fall of Rome is a gripping and terrifying story of the interaction between human behavior and systems, pathogens and climate change. The Roman Empire was a remarkable connector of people and things – in towns and cities, through voluntary and enforced migration, and through networks of trade across oceans and continents – but this very connectedness fostered infectious diseases that debilitated its population. Though the protagonists of Harper’s book are nonhuman, their effects on human lives and societies are nonetheless devastating. – Emma Dench, author of Romulus’ Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian

The Fate of Rome is a breakthrough in the study of the Roman world – intrepid, innovative, even revolutionary. – Walter Scheidel, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century

Learned, lively, and up-to-date, this is far and away the best account of the ecological and environmental dimensions of the history of the Roman Empire. – J. R. McNeill, author of Something New under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World

A poignant reflection on humanity’s intimate relationship with the environment, The Fate of Rome provides a sweeping account of how one of history’s greatest civilizations encountered and endured, yet ultimately succumbed to the cumulative burden of nature’s violence. The example of Rome is a timely reminder that climate change and germ evolution have shaped the world we inhabit – in ways that are surprising and profound.

History / US

The Gilded Age: 1876–1912: Overture to the American Century by Alan Axelrod (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.)

The Gilded Age – the name coined by Mark Twain to refer to the period of rapid economic growth in America between the 1870s and 1900 – offers some intriguing parallels to our own time. Historian Alan Axelrod tackles this subject, exploring this intense era in all its dimensions.

Axelrod is the author of more than 100 books. He has appeared on MSNBC, the Discovery Channel, CNN, Fox, and numerous radio news and talk programs, including NPR.

An era much criticized by historians, the gilded age was a time of prag­matic aspirations that manufactured visions of America as a truly doable utopia. In The Gilded Age, Axelrod reveals the gilded age as a time of ferment in virtually all aspects of American life and civilization –the overture of the ‘American century.’ He provides an intriguing view of life and thought in America as the nineteenth century passed into the twentieth. More than 200 photographs, political cartoons, engravings, news clippings, and other ephemera help bring this fascinating period into focus.

The Gilded Age was a rowdy, innovative, audacious, and often barbaric time. Axelrod explores this intense era in all its dimensions: industrial, economic, political, social, moral, aesthetic, and global. Within The Gilded Age, Axelrod neglects none of the lurid negatives of post-Civil War America, but also celebrates the positives while underscoring the myriad parallels to our own tumultuous era which many refer to as the ‘Second Gilded Age.’ Like today, the turn of the century was an age of technological wonders, but 'also an age divided’ by wealth, by class, and by politics. Axelrod portrays the rise of the great industrial and financial empires; the creation of mass production and mass consumption; inventors like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford; the explosion of commerce and the rise of consumerism; the effects of and reactions to mass immigration; struggles for basic human rights in labor and housing; extraordinary architectural and artistic production; the story of Reconstruction, the infamous Black Codes and other aspects of black persecution and suppression; the changing roles of women of all socioeconomic levels; controversial presidential elections and constitutional crises; dirty politics; American global expansionism; and the birth of the progressive movement.

Twain, Warner, and many others regarded the Gilded Age as an amoral epoch of exuberant political cynicism and chronic political mediocrity. As Senator and Republican National Committee Chairman Mark Hanna (R-Ohio) remarked in 1895, "There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money and I can't remember what the second one is."

As the Homestead Act began the transformation of the United States into a great consumer economy, the building of the transcontinental railroads enabled by the legislation of 1862 and 1863, made western expansion practical, even as it stimulated American industrialization – which, by the 1870s, pulled far ahead of the original epicenter of the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain. The American railroads spawned many heavy industries and created a vast demand for coal that expanded coal mining, especially in the Far West.

According to The Gilded Age, the rise of the capitalist class did not go unchallenged. The Gilded Age saw the rapid development of large labor unions, beginning with the Knights of Labor, established in 1869. Strikes were frequent and sometimes violent, with violence directed by strikers against employers and, even more viciously, by employers against strikers. Along with strikes, Progressive activists and politicians moved to improve conditions for workers, increase wages, and regulate or eliminate child labor. In the meantime, immigration, which had been encouraged by both political and business leaders to stimulate westward expansion, was becoming an increasingly contentious political and economic issue. Workers were concerned that immigrant labor would ‘steal’ their jobs by undercutting their salary demands. In the big cities, the influx of immigrant labor led to the construction of cheap tenement apartment buildings, which, on the one hand, created culturally diverse and intellectually rich communities while, on the other, resulted in the development of unhealthy and sometimes crime-ridden slums.

Racial and ethnic discrimination became major issues in American life. Irish, Italian, and Jewish immigrants were often targeted for discrimination, as were African Americans. In the South, the end of post–Civil War Reconstruction in 1876, brought a racist backlash against freed slaves and their descendants, ranging from employment restrictions that created a permanent black underclass in the South to outright terrorism, as practiced by such groups as the Ku Klux Klan. Many African American working men and families migrated to the cities and factory towns of the North, where racial segregation was not decreed by law, but was nonetheless a fact of life.

As told in The Gilded Age, the spoils system expressed itself in special interest lobbying and in political patronage. Paralleling this was the emergence of what many have called ethnocultural politics: party adhesion based on ethnic, immigrant, religious, and racial affiliation or origin. In 1891, the People's Party – sometimes called the Populist Party – was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, mainly as an agricultural third party aligned against the two major political parties, the Republicans and Democrats.

The Gilded Age saw the urbanization of America, but it also created a massive expansion of farming. Between 1860 and 1905, the number of American farms increased from two million to six million and the number of people living on farms during that time from ten million to thirty-one million. The Homestead Act of 1862 was followed by the Southern Homestead Act of 1866, the Timber Culture Act of 1873, the land rushes in Oklahoma in 1889 and the 1890s, and the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909. Together with the expansion of the transcontinental rail lines, these accelerated white settlement in the West, triggering the so-called Indian wars, beginning in the late 1860s and culminating in the Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota on December 29, 1890.

Along with abuse of African Americans in the South and the urban North, the war against and the displacement of Native Americans in the West are tragic and shameful aspects too often glossed over in discussions of the Gilded Age, which typically focus on conflicts between labor and capital. In fact, the injustices committed against African Americans, Native Americans, farmers, and labor were all intimately related to the economic growth that drove the Gilded Age. It was this explosive growth that also contributed to the rise of American imperialism.

The Gilded Age tells how the technology, enterprise, architecture, literature, and visual art of the Gilded Age created a legacy of a new and distinctly American ‘realism.’ It has proved to be enduring and deep, rather than superficial or ‘gilded.’ For all the undeniable moral and physical ugliness of the era, the period from the end of the Civil War to the opening of the twentieth century produced some of the greatest intellectual and aesthetic monuments of American civilization. The greatest political scandal of the many that characterized the era was the ‘stolen election’ of 1876, in which Democratic Party leadership agreed to concede the disputed outcome of the presidential contest between Samuel Tilden and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in exchange for Hayes's pledge to end the regime of post-Civil War Reconstruction throughout the South. While this situation endured until the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the Gilded Age itself produced foundational reforms in racial justice, including ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) and the Fifteenth Amendment (1870), as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1875 and the founding of the Tuskegee Institute in 1881.

The Gilded Age also saw the revolt of many American women against social marginalization and forcible confinement to the domestic sphere. This rebellion laid the foundation for what would emerge as the ‘women's movement’ nearly a hundred years later. Although feminist leadership was drawn chiefly from the upper, upper-middle, and so-called educated classes during the era, the rank and file of the growing movement was drawn from laboring women, both married and single.

As a political movement, Progressivism developed in opposition to the apparent triumph of an oligarchic class and an unholy alliance between government and big business in an unapologetic orgy of crony capitalism. Not since the American Revolution was an American political movement so thoroughly joined and led by nonpoliticians. It was crusading journalists, novelists, educators, philosophers, social scientists, and all-around activists who inspired reform among the political class. In the end, however, it was a great politician and political leader, Theodore Roosevelt, who finally transformed the Gilded Age into the Progressive era, the heyday of which overlapped the Gilded Age and went beyond it, spanning roughly 1890 to 1920.

The Gilded Age is a beautifully designed, fully illustrated, insightful book providing a vivid view of American life and thought during that era. It powerfully and vividly portrays the positives and negatives of post-Civil War America.

Literature & Fiction / Mystery / Historical

Beau Death by Peter Lovesey (Detective Peter Diamond Mystery Series: Soho Press)

In Beau Death Peter Diamond, British detective extraordinaire, must dig deep into Bath history to ferret out the secrets of one of its most famous (and scandalous) icons: Richard ‘Beau’ Nash, who might be the victim of a centuries old murder.
Beau Death is written by Peter Lovesey who is the author of more than thirty highly praised mystery novels. He has been awarded the CWA Gold and Silver Daggers, the Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement, the Strand Magazine Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Awards, among others.

Bath, England: A wrecking crew is demolishing a row of townhouses in order to build a grocery store when they uncover a skeleton in one of the attics. The dead man is wearing authentic 1760s garb and on the floor next to him is a white tricorn hat – the ostentatious signature accessory of Beau Nash, one of Bath’s most famous historical men-about-town, a fashion icon and incurable rake who, some say, ended up in a pauper’s grave. Or did the Beau actually end up in a townhouse attic? The Beau Nash Society will be in a tizzy when the truth is revealed to them.
Diamond, who has been assigned to identify the remains, begins to fantasize about turning Nash scholarship on its ear. But one of his constables is stubbornly insisting the corpse can’t be Nash’s – the non-believer threatens to spoil Diamond’s favorite theory, especially when he offers some pretty irrefutable evidence. Is Diamond on a historical goose chase? Should he actually be investigating a much more modern murder in Beau Death?

Lovesey moves from one dexterously nested puzzle to the next with all the confidence of a magician who knows the audience won't see through his deceptions no matter how slowly he unveils them. – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
One of the best entries in a long-running series, this exceptional police procedural is packed with imperfect and engaging characters, sophisticated plotting, and abundantly detailed historical tidbits. – Library Journal, starred review
There’s plenty of suspense here – action, too – all told in Lovesey’s effortlessly elegant manner. – Booklist

The plot is one of Lovesey’s cleverest, and the book is full of his trademark wry humor. – Publishers Weekly
Lovesey's signature understated humor, often historical and at times hysterical, finds its way onto pretty much every page. – BookPage
Diamond, with his mordant humor as armor, is, as always, razor-sharp, erudite and thoroughly engaging. – Open Letters Monthly
His Grand Master award is well-deserved indeed. – Mystery Fanfare
The plotting is deft and very intricate without being overdone, and the characters perform beautifully ... a sheer delight to read. – Kittling Books
A rich and satisfying feast of eccentric and sometimes sweet, sometimes dangerous, quintessential British figures. – Kingdom Books

With Lovesey’s trademark dry humor on full display, Beau Death is a fun read, a classic who-dun-it that will keep readers guessing.

Politics / Australia / Biographies & Memoirs

Hinch vs Canberra: Behind the Human Headlines by Derryn Hinch (Melbourne University Press)

Melbourne University Press has published Derryn Hinch's new political memoir in time for Christmas.

It's ironic. The poacher becomes gamekeeper. – Derryn Hinch

As a current affairs commentator, Hinch spent decades fighting with politicians. Then the unthinkable happened – he became one.

Hinch vs Canberra is the inside story of Senator Hinch's first year in Canberra. For those outside Australia, Australia’s parliament is in Canberra, the capital city.

Hinch is/was a journalist, newspaper editor, broadcaster, and author. The former newspaper editor hosted the current affairs program HINCH on the 7 and 10 networks, Midday on 9 and had award-winning stints on 3AW.
Hinch has been jailed twice, fined, and spent five months under house arrest for his campaigns against suppression orders for sex offenders. In 2011, he received a liver transplant after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and given twelve months to live. 
He ‘jumped the shark’ in 2016 to launch Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party and was elected as a federal senator for Victoria.
He hosted HINCH Live on SKY News until his political career took off. He now writes for Crikey and appears on Sunrise, PMLive and 3AW.
He lives in Melbourne.

Derryn advocates for others without a voice. – Rachel Griffiths

Read this book and you'll never let the big parties get their way to ‘streamlining’ the way legislation is moved through to law. Our country would be ungovernable with a parliament full of Derryn Hinchs but it wouldn't be worth governing without one or two. – Rachel Griffiths

Hinch vs Canberra is explosive, incisive, frank, brutal, and, at times, very funny. Readers from outside Australia have an inside view of a different political system in action.

Religion & Spirituality / Biographies & Memoirs

Saint Columban: His Life, Rule, and Legacy (Cistercian Studies) by Terrance G. Kardong OSB (Cistercian Publications)

Saint Columban: His Life, Rule, and Legacy contains a new English translation of a commentary on the entire Rule of Columban translated and introduced by Terrence G. Kardong. Kardong, OSB, is a monk of Assumption Abbey, Richardton, North Dakota.

Columban was a sixth-century Irish monk who compiled a written rule of life for the three monasteries he founded in France: Anegray, Luxeuil, and Fontaines. This volume also includes the first English translation of the Regula cuiusdam Patris ad Virgines, or the Rule of Walbert, compiled by the seventh-century Count Walbert from various earlier rules designed for women, including those of Columban, Benedict, Cassian, and Basil. Saint Columban begins with an extensive introduction to the history of Columban and his monks, as well as various indices and notes, which will be of interest to students and enthusiasts of monastic studies.

According to Kardong in Saint Columban, a reasonable opening question to introduce this study of the Rule of Columban might be simply: why? The Rule of Columban is not a very attractive body of early monastic literature, at least to the modern sensibility, as is suggested by the fact that the last, and only, English translation appeared forty-three years ago. The reason behind this lack of interest is revealed by a cursory glance at the pages. This Rule is, by current standards, quite harsh. Of course, that might be said of almost every ancient monastic Rule. Yet the Rule of Columban is an extreme case, for it is largely composed of penalties.

So, then, what is the positive value of this literature? For a Benedictine monk, the Columbanian material has important connections to the Rule of Benedict. For one thing, the Rule of Columban was written not more than fifty to sixty years after the Rule of Benedict and therefore provides a rare glimpse into a rather murky period of monastic and medieval church history. Columban was an immigrant to continental Europe from Ireland, but he was well read, and that reading included the Rule of Benedict. Columban does not quote the Rule of Benedict directly, but the mere fact that it influenced him is significant, for it suggests that Benedict's Rule was known north of the Alps by AD 600.

Readers might say that the Rule of Columban was the vehicle, as it were, that carried the Rule of Benedict over the Alps. Kardong in Saint Columban asks, aside from its role as a vehicle of and partner with Benedict's Rule, is Columban's Rule of much intrinsic interest to readers today? The first reason is that it was and is one of the foundational documents of early monasticism. As such, it is worth their attention if readers wish to understand the mindset and customs of the pioneers of an important movement in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

When readers read and study the Rule of Columban, it is well to remember that it is an Irish Rule, transmitting the Christian vision of a non-Roman church. A glance at the map of Europe shows plainly that Ireland is on the edge. Columban stands as a healthy symbolic antidote to Roman Catholic centralization and Ultramontanism, which has become especially strong today.

The Rule of Columban is loaded with penalties. Did monks ever live that way? In this regard, we might ask whether the monks of Colum­ban actually lived under such a penal system. No: they put it into practice, as is suggested by the fact that the Rule begins with the requirement that "we make confession before meat or entering our beds." That is, the monks confessed their faults to the superior every day. What is more, when this Rule was adapted for women, e.g., by Walbert for Eboriac, the nuns were urged to confess their faults three times a day!

Yet it does not make sense to dwell too much on the weaknesses of the Rule of Columban. It contains a wealth of detail concerning early medieval monastic life. When a person examines the text minutely, many curious aspects of everyday life come into focus.

One of the great attractions of the Rule of Columban is the happy fact that we know quite a lot about the author and his circumstances. Unlike most early monastic legislators, we have a good vita of Columban and his followers.

Not only was the Rule of Columban important in its own right, but it also had a significant effect on posterity. Two of Columban's own disciples from Luxeuil, Walbert and Donatus, wrote monastic Rules for nuns. These Rules use parts of the Rule of Columban plus materials from other monastic Rules, especially those of Benedict and Caesarius of Arles. Kardong considers the Rule of Walbert more interesting. Therefore he includes a translation of and commentary on it in Saint Columban, following the three parts of Columban's rule: Regula Monachorum (Reg), Regula Coenobialis (Coen), and Paenitentiale (Paen).

Kardong is America's foremost scholar on monasticism in general and on monastic rules in particular. To his much-acclaimed translation of and commentary on the Rule of Saint Benedict, Kardong can now add his translation of the Rule of Monks, the Cenobitic Rule, the Penitential Rule, and the Rule Walbert. Kardong's translation, based on both French and English sources, as well as on his own prodigious knowledge of Latin, is first rate. Especially helpful is his introduction and copious footnotes. In both, we see Kardong's wit and scholarship at their best. A must-have for anyone interested in monastic studies. – Fr. Benedict M. Guevin, OSB, St. Anselm Abbey

The productiveness of Fr. Terrence Kardong is astounding and from it we have all benefited. Here, once again, he makes accessible to us a literary monument of the ancient monastic tradition, this time the Rule of Columban, written not more than fifty or sixty years after the Rule of St. Benedict. With the meticulousness and erudition and wit that we have come to expect from him, Fr. Terrence provides fresh and lively translations of this historically significant Rule and one of its epigones, the Rule of Walbert. What a wealth of fascinating – and strange – material one finds in these texts! – Mark DelCogliano, Assistant Professor of Theology, University of St. Thomas

The Rule of Columban, from about AD 600, is well worth another look by students and those interested in monastic studies. Saint Columban, which also includes some of Columban’s letters and sermons, provides that opportunity.

Science / Health

Balance: A Dizzying Journey Through the Science of Our Most Delicate Sense by Carol Svec (Chicago Review Press)

Some low-frequency sounds – such as noise from storms or truck engines – can make one feel dizzy and nauseated. An index finger’s light touch can stop people from losing balance. A person is more prone to trip when they think someone is watching. A breakthrough in improving balance as we age just might come through the study of the Achilles tendon.
These and other surprising nuggets of information can be found in Balance, a lively, 360-degree exploration of our body’s most intricate, overlooked sense – balance. Readers follow award-winning science and health writer Carol Svec through various facilities as she talks with leading scientists doing state-of-the-art balance research.

Svec writes for health and wellness websites, is a regular contributing writer and editor for Bottom Line/Health newsletter, blogs for PsychologyToday.com, and has been a columnist for Endurance and Brain Injury Journey magazines, as well as numerous books.

Svec in Balance showcases the coolest gadgets used by researchers as she grills an egg in a virtual kitchen, has her senses fooled by a mannequin named Hans in a Tumbling Room, survives ‘the Vominator’ without losing her lunch, and experiences drunken dizziness inside a police muster room. Along the way she cites case studies of people whose lives are affected by balance dysfunction; explains how balance research is being applied today to help those who are ill, elderly, disabled, or simply prone to motion sickness; and provides a glimpse at what ingenious, potentially life-changing advances may be coming down the road.

... thoroughly informative and engaging, Svec's ‘dizzying journey’ maps a crucial, too-little understood aspect of health and well-being. – Booklist

Balance is an incredible book by one of my favorite authors. From the first chapter, I was swept up in a quirky journey that illuminates one of the most mysterious aspects of the human body. Both awe-inspiring and funny, this is science writing at its best. – Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, health and nutrition expert for NBC’s Today show and best-selling author of From Junk Food to Joy Food
Svec takes us on a fascinating romp through the science of balance and the mind-body connection… a well-balanced blend of science, stories, surprises and her own dizzying adventures as a guinea pig. – Jena Pincott, author of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy

Never again will I understand the mere act of standing upright as anything less than a small miracle. Carol Svec's exploration of balance is unexpected, engaging, and ultimately enlightening. – Samantha Dunn, author of Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Carrless Life

Balance is easily taken for granted. In this book, Carol takes you on a journey through the vestibular system to demonstrate how the inner ear works with the eyes, muscles and brain to control our ability to balance. She interviews some of the top researchers in the field and exposes herself to tests that would make your stomach flip (literally). Carol's writing is informative and funny, educational and illuminating. A great introduction to a very complicated system. – Cynthia Ryan, Executive Director, Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA)

With crisp, lucid, and witty prose, Svec leads us on a kind of Odyssean journey into the secret symphony performed every second of every day between our eyes, ears, brains, nerves, joints, and even blood. Who knew ‘balance research’ could tell us so much about ourselves? I didn’t, and was bowled over by the whole thing. This is less a book about the misunderstood sense of balance and more a paean to the clever clockwork of the human body. – James Nestor, author of DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves

A comprehensive view of what we take for granted – until the devastation of no longer having it. – Nicole Detling, owner and senior consultant with HeadStrong Consulting

Whether readers have a balance disorder or care about someone who does, are athletes or performers whose livelihood depends on balance, or just love accessible, page-turning popular science, they will be enlightened and entertained by Balance and its appreciation of our complex super-sense. Svec translates the most fascinating findings for the layperson in a way that is highly entertaining and broadly accessible.

Science / Health / Nature

The Secret Life of Your Microbiome: Why Nature and Biodiversity are Essential to Health and Happiness by Susan L. Prescott & Alan C. Logan (New Society Publishers)

For too long humans have viewed their bodies as capsules, sealed off and protected from 'bugs' by our immune systems and an arsenal of antibiotics, pesticides, processed foods, and antibacterial soaps. The more insulated from nature, the better.

The Secret Life of Your Microbiome shatters this deeply held myth, presenting a revolutionary new paradigm, backed by vast science. According to authors Susan L. Prescott and Alan C. Logan, humans are deeply connected to the biodiversity of nature through their microbiomes, the rich microbial ecosystem of their guts and skin, and this connection is essential to health and happiness.

Prescott, MD, PhD is an internationally acclaimed immunologist and pediatrician. Logan ND is a naturopathic doctor and researcher, a trusted media commentator.

From sugar-rich diets wiping out good gut bacteria and exacerbating depression, to microbes mediating phytonutrient absorption in the brain, to inflammation and cancer, the influence of biodiversity on bodies is everywhere. As explained in The Secret Life of Your Microbiome, the great communicator is the immune system, a 'mobile brain' that interacts with microorganisms in and around us with profound health consequences.

Secret Life is a deep dive in the relationships between human health and disease, the unseen microbial world and biodiversity – the essential determinants of all life. Although thoroughly scientific and easy to read, this book is one of its kind and a revelation for many. It will guide us to understand the health risks of cultural evolution, changes that may affect our survival and options for good life. Highly recommended! – Tari Haahtela, professor of medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland

Brilliant read, a fascinating understanding of dysbiosis and encouraging all of us to look after our microbiome. – Professor Desiree Silva, pediatrician

The Secret Life of Your Microbiome skillfully repackages the intense science validating the fundamental role that our gut organisms play in virtually every aspect of our health. Not only do Drs. Prescott and Logan make this foundational information available to everyone, but in addition, Secret Life enables the reader to leverage these empowering discoveries and implement truly life-changing lifestyle modifications that will undoubtedly change their health destiny. – David Perlmutter, MD, author, #1 New York Times bestseller Grain Brain and Brain Maker

In our age of information overload, reading and reflection are rare. With over 30,000 books published on related topics in the past ten years, I recommend strongly that you first read The Secret Life of Your Microbiome. This book interprets our survival in the world, the immune system as our ambassador and negotiator in embracing the world (which we are not doing very well), and how we should engage holistically in attitude and action to thrive in our world. – Professor John Hearn, Executive Director, The Worldwide Universities Network

Drs. Prescott and Logan provide an alternative approach as they highlight the relationships between all life and human lifestyle in the biosphere.... written for the interested lay reader but an excellent starter for those of us in the health professions that realise there is a growing need to explore alternative visions and approaches to health and wellbeing. I really enjoyed this book! – Julian Crane, MD, Research Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand

Drs. Prescott and Logan sketch an intriguing, optimistic narrative of microbes, the microbiome they constitute and the emerging microbiome revolution as driving forces in creating, sustaining and reclaiming health wellness and wellbeing. They provide evidence-based and inspiring insight on how to survive the ‘dysbiosphere,’ while “savoring the biosphere.” As such, The Secret Life is a must read for health professionals and laypersons alike. – Dr. Michael Garko, Ph.D., nationally syndicated host/producer, Let’s Talk Nutrition

This delightful book makes very complicated subjects digestible for the lay reader, but is also a good read for the scientist. It beautifully ties every level of biological organization together, from the earth as a whole to the tiniest of organisms, and shows how they are all interrelated and even more importantly, interdependent. Written with humor and compassion, this work demonstrates how humanity has done a very poor job of stewardship of Planet Earth, especially over the last 100+ years, but provides many suggestions for reversing that direction. – Christine Cole Johnson, PhD, MPH, Chair, Department of Public Health Sciences, Annetta R. Kelly Endowed Chair, Henry Ford Hospital and Health System

This beautifully written and important book needs to be widely read and studied. The Secret Life of Your Microbiome is ultimately giving us the key to achieving health and longevity. I am really excited about this book. A must read! – Eva Selhub, MD, Tufts University, Department of Nutrition

Alan Logan and Susan Prescott present a conceptual framework for understanding human health that goes far beyond diseases or mechanisms, and intimately connects our health with the health of our planet.… fascinating and highly engaging to read, The Secret Life of Your Microbiome brings together new concepts and information that may be key for our survival. – Professor Felice Jacka, Director, Food and Mood Centre, Deakin University

Written with pace, clarity, and humor by world-renowned scientists in immunology, nutrition, and environmental health, The Secret Life of Your Microbiome makes the irrefutable case that health and happiness depends fundamentally on the health of biodiversity, and shows how we can nurture this nature.

Travel / Travel Guides

Niagara Falls for Everybody: What to See and Enjoy – A Complete Guide by Barbara Lynch-Johnt (Amherst Media)

Niagara Falls is a top tourist destination for visitors worldwide. Dubbed the Honeymoon Capital of the World, The Mighty Niagara welcomes 12 million visitors per year. There is much to learn and see when readers plan their visit to Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, and Niagara Falls for Everybody will help ensure that they leave no stone unturned.
In Niagara Falls for Everybody, readers learn about the history and geography of the region and uncover opportunities for planning a memorable vacation on both sides of the US/Canadian border. The region's storied past – including famous visitors, daredevils, and notable residents – is detailed as well. The book features tips for trekking through the parks, experiencing the Cave of the Winds and Maid of the Mist, viewing the museums and commercial hotspots, and taking in the illuminated waterfalls at night.

Author/photographer Barbara A. Lynch-Johnt is a lifelong native of the Western New York area who has worked in the publishing industry since 2000. She is the owner of Basia Photography and specializes in wedding photography, fashion shoots, and fine art photography.

Niagara Falls is the collective name for three distinctive, powerful waterfalls – the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. The Falls are located on the Niagara River and straddle the border between the United States and Canada.

From the captivating beauty of the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls, to the region's rich history, to the countless area attractions on both sides of the international border, there's something for everyone – and the detailed information in this book will help readers chart their course.

Readers of Niagara Falls for Everybody:

  • Discover the best times and places to view the Falls.
  • Learn about popular tourist attractions, eateries, and accommodations – and find hidden gems.
  • Explore additional attractions in the Niagara region.

Like a personal tour guide in the palm of your hand! Niagara Falls for Everybody is a must for anyone looking to discover or rediscover the majesty that is Niagara. – Mayor Paul A. Dyster, Niagara Falls, NY

Niagara Falls for Everybody is an exhaustive resource for first-time visitors and, for those of us who live in the area, a reminder of the magnificence of Niagara Falls. – Michael J. Beam, Curator of Exhibitions and Special Projects, Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University

Readers of Niagara Falls for Everybody can make the most of their visit to Niagara Falls with the tips in the definitive guide. Beautifully illustrated, this book covers a wealth of information designed to appeal to tourists from around the globe, expats, and residents alike.

 

 Contents to this Page 

Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir by Aaron Williams (Harbour Publishing)

Aleister Crowley in America: Art, Espionage, and Sex Magick in the New World by Tobias Churton (Inner Traditions)

The CIO’s Guide to Risk, 1st edition by Jessica Keyes (Auerbach Publications, CRC Press) 

My Family Four Floors Up by Caroline Stutson, illustrated by Celia Krampien (Sleeping Bear Press)

William Williams Documents Ellis Island Immigrants, Library Binding by Rebecca Rowell (Defining Images Series: Essential Library, ABDO Publishing) 

Greatest Moments in Women's Sports, Library Binding by Todd Kortemeier (Women in Sports Set: SportsZone, ABDO Publishing)

 

Chien-Shiung Wu: Nuclear Physicist, Library Binding by Nel Yomtov (Women in Science Set: Essential Library, ABDO Publishing) 

 

Attacking Network Protocols: A Hacker's Guide to Capture, Analysis, and Exploitation, 1st edition by James Forshaw (No Starch Press)

The Whole30 Fast & Easy: 150 Simply Delicious Everyday Recipes for Your Whole30 by Melissa Hartwig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Elements of Logo Design: Design Thinking | Branding | Making Marks by Alex W. White, with a foreword by Jerry Kuyper (Allworth Press)

Unlocking Student Talent: The New Science of Developing Expertise by Robin J. Fogarty, Gene M. Kerns, & Brian M. Pete, with a foreword by K. Anders Ericsson & Robert Pool (Teacher’s College Press)

The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire by Kyle Harper (The Princeton History of the Ancient World Series: Princeton University Press) 

The Gilded Age: 1876–1912: Overture to the American Century by Alan Axelrod (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.)

 

Beau Death by Peter Lovesey (Detective Peter Diamond Mystery Series: Soho Press)

Hinch vs Canberra: Behind the Human Headlines by Derryn Hinch (Melbourne University Press)

Saint Columban: His Life, Rule, and Legacy (Cistercian Studies) by Terrance G. Kardong OSB (Cistercian Publications) 

Balance: A Dizzying Journey Through the Science of Our Most Delicate Sense by Carol Svec (Chicago Review Press)

The Secret Life of Your Microbiome: Why Nature and Biodiversity are Essential to Health and Happiness by Susan L. Prescott & Alan C. Logan (New Society Publishers)

Niagara Falls for Everybody: What to See and Enjoy – A Complete Guide by Barbara Lynch-Johnt (Amherst Media)