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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

November 2006, Issue #92

Guide to This Issue

Art & Photography

Martha Casanave: Explorations along an Imaginary Coastline by David Bayles (Hudson Hills Press)

 “For me, photography is like magic. One of the reasons for my fascination with the nineteenth century is, in fact, the invention of photography. But the pinhole principle, the camera obscura, which far predates the ability to ‘fix’ an image, is even more mysterious and magical. Its allure is its very simplicity: a box with a tiny hole creating an image – no lens, no viewfinder, no shutter.… As this work progressed, I began occasionally to photograph in the distance a solitary, mysterious figure in nineteenth-century attire. I am inevitably asked who the person is. My answer: I don't know ... I'm trying to find out myself.” – Martha Casanave

According to Casanave in her book of stunning seacoast photographs, Martha Casanave, she does not know what inspired her to begin photographing at the shore, as she had nearly always been an indoor photographer. She had lived on the central California coast for a long time, and the landscape photographers who have worked there have always been her friends and colleagues. She had made many portraits of them, but had never before been inspired to make land or seascapes herself. Six years ago, a friend persuaded her to bring her pinhole camera to the edge of the ocean. After that, something in her mutated, and she began visiting the coastline on a regular basis, weighed down, as she says, with too much baggage: pinhole camera, thermos, a big bag of toys, shower curtain for sitting on wet sand, and more.

As seen in Martha Casanave, the scenes are enigmatic – one embraces the chance of not being sure about who the observer is or what is observed. It is odd, really, that an artist should use photography, in its explicit and righteous specificity, to investigate this much ambiguity.

Although Central California has long been her coast, Casanave nevertheless finds her way along it anew; guided by the mix of the known and unknown in her accumulating observations. David Bayles in his essay in Martha Casanave says he suspects that certain pictures led the way forward, probably by chance – or perhaps with hint and innuendo, much as we would expect if we followed the path of the man in the bowler hat, as he pauses to make a note or looks up to compare his careful drawing with the actual horizon line before him.

All art work has philosophical underpinnings – sometimes visible despite the artist’s strongest objections. But the two philosophical threads here – the rectilinear nineteenth-century faith in observation and the twenty-first-century tilt on ambiguity and chance – cannot be unraveled.

Martha Casanave includes a single-page essay by Martha Casanave, a single-page essay by David Bayles and then the full-page black and white photos of Casanave. The thin book is large format, showing off the odd, unnamed, rather mystical photos, with their rounded edges. Many contain strings, or chains of seaweed, or feathers, or the man in the bowler hat.

Arts & Photography / Entertainment

Marilyn in Art edited by Roger Taylor (Pop Art Books by Open Door Limited, Chaucer Press)

Fame has a special burden. I don’t mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual. We are all born sexual creatures, thank God, but it’s a pity that so many people despise and crust this natural gift. Art, real art, comes from it – everything. – Marilyn Monroe, as quoted in Marilyn in Art

Marilyn Monroe was an original. It has often been said that she was unique, a new form of celebrity, possessed of a remarkable aura and an unforgettable allure. It is this quality of originality that has inspired so many artists to try and replicate it on canvass and has given rise to a dazzling variety of interpretations in every medium.

Once described as ‘the only blonde in the world’, Monroe's impact in the course of her brief film career was so great that her image remains one of the most potent and poignant of our time, combining waiflike innocence with glittering eroticism, worldliness with profound vulnerability. Much photographed during her lifetime, Marilyn has since been a constant source of inspiration to artists, from Andy Warhol and noted fine artists to the graphic studios who mass produced greetings cards bearing her likeness. Some see her as the public saw her – sensual, half open mouth, dreaming eyes, heavy, always just-covered breasts. To others, she is the subject of fantasy – bizarre, erotic, expressionistic – an emblem of pure sex, or the embodiment of the wholesome American Dream.

It is the work of these artists from around the world that are presented in Marilyn in Art, edited by writer, artist and songwriter Roger Taylor, a true testament to her global impact. These portraits exercise artistic license to the full, but there is little that does not connect at some point with the original model in all her fascination, a unique and universal fascination which, forty three years after her death, shows no sign of diminishing. The book is composed of art works, generally two per page, juxtaposed with quotations about Monroe by famous people or by Marilyn herself.

Her beauty and humanity shine through … she is the kind of artist one does not come on every day in the week. After all, she was created something extraordinary. – Arthur Miller

It is Marilyn’s enduring and even growing image that inspired Marilyn in Art and is reflected in a collection of art that celebrates this unique and iconic figure of the 20th century.

Arts & Photography / How-to

Beyond Portraiture: Creative People Photography by Bryan Peterson (Amphoto Books, Watson-Guptill Publications)

Great portraits go beyond a mere record of a face. They reveal one of the millions of intimate human moments that make up a life. In Beyond Portraiture renowned photographer Bryan Peterson shows how to spot those ‘ah-ha!’ moments and capture them forever. A teary child, old people laughing together, a smiling girl with big, big hair – everyone remember pictures like these, usually taken by a mother, a father, a friend holding a camera, forever preserving small yet revealing vignettes of our personal histories.

Packed with the details and techniques and wrapped in images that deserve to be displayed on the coffee table, Peterson explains how to exploit the common human reactions that make us respond to photographs. Most eye-popping moments are captured only with good luck, but Beyond Portraiture gives readers the tools to achieve these results again and again. Peterson's approach explains what makes a photo memorable, how to spot the universal themes that everyone can identify, and how to use lighting, setting, and exposure to reveal the wonder and the joy of everyday moments. With this understanding, he shows readers how they can use this knowledge to maximize the expressiveness and impact of their people photography.

Beyond Portraiture is a straight-forward book explaining the many aspects of creative people photography. The book is broken down into five main sections. ‘Understanding People’ explains a bit of psychology, approaching people, and how to get people to agree to be photographed. ‘Working with People’ discusses the types of people readers should ‘cast’ for their intended images, and how to maintain a comfortable and respectful relationship of varying types of people they may want to photograph. A natural ‘people person,’ Peterson offers guidance on approaching potential subjects, putting them at ease, and then improving the creativity of the results you get with them. ‘Light’ details differing types of light and how they affect the images. ‘Composing Powerful Portraits’ offers basic composition rules, backgrounds, movement, camera settings and lens options. ‘Photo-Editing Techniques’ is a series of lessons in Photoshop to help perfect the images.

Whether readers are intimidated by the idea of photographing human subjects or simply want to improve the quality of their portraits, Beyond Portraiture from well­known author and photographer Peterson is just the ticket. Regardless of the camera readers are using, they can make use of all the techniques provided. Through the author's unique way of seeing, they will learn how to transform their people photography into something beyond the everyday, something beyond just portraiture.

With more than 200 eye-catching, color photographs, Beyond Portraiture demonstrates the techniques of composing powerful portraits. The book helps readers take great pictures of people – photos that capture a moment. It is specific enough for beginners, insightful enough for professionals, a wonderful book for scrapbookers, parents, and teachers.

Audio / Entertainment / Music / Biographies & Memoirs

Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain [UNABRIDGED] (11 Audio Cassettes, approximately 15 hours) by Charles R. Cross, narrated by Lloyd James (Blackstone Audio, Inc.)

I'm going to be a superstar musician, kill myself, and go out in a flame of glory. – Kurt Cobain

When Kurt Cobain shot himself in April 1994 at the age of 27, it was an act of will that typified his short, angry, inspired life. Veteran music journalist, former editor of The Rocket, Charles R. Cross in his New York Times best-seller Heavier than Heaven fuses his intimate knowledge of the Seattle music scene with his deep compassion for his subject.

Based on more than four hundred interviews, four years of research, and exclusive access to Cobain’s unpublished diaries, lyrics, and family photos, and a wealth of documentation, Heavier than Heaven traces Cobain’s life from his early days in a double-wide trailer outside of Aberdeen, Washington, to his rise to fame, success, and the adulation of a generation. The book reveals many secrets, even quoting Cobain's diaries and suicide notes, and reveals an unreleased Nirvana masterpiece. As a teen, Cobain said he had ‘suicide genes,’ and his clan was peculiarly defiant: one of his suicidal relatives stabbed his own belly in front of his family, and then ripped apart the wound in the hospital. Cobain was contradictory: a sweet, popular teen athlete and sinister berserker, a kid who rescued injured pigeons and laughingly killed a cat, a talented yet astoundingly morbid visual artist. Cobain, as leader of the band Nirvana, almost single-handedly wrestled alternative rock into the mainstream via the group's massive 1991 album, Nevermind. This is the story of Cobain’s artistic brilliance and the pain that extinguished it.

The audio version takes fifteen hours to listen to, read by theater actor Lloyd James.

…He gives the fullest account yet of what it was like to be, or love, Kurt Cobain. Heavier than Heaven outshines the also indispensable Come As You Are. It's the deepest book about pop's darkest falling star. – Tim Appelo, Amazon.com's Best of 2001
… Probably too reverent for Nirvana nonfans, this is still a standout among rock bios and deserves its place in pop-culture collections. – Mike Tribby, Booklist
Heavier than Heaven sets a high, new standard. – Rolling Stone
One of the most moving and revealing books ever written about a rock star. – Los Angeles Times  
The results of Cross' assiduous reporting show through in every chapter. A remarkable portrait: A-. – Tom Sinclair, Entertainment Weekly
. . . this is the first to take an authoritative, journalistic, and scrupulous look at the history of Cobain and his band. – Eric Nuzum, Public Arts
Shakes up the prevailing conceptions of Cobain . . . A compelling biography. – Justin Waite, Biography magazine

No other Cobain book matches Heavier than Heaven for research, accuracy, and insider scoops. – Mark Lindquist, The Seattle Times

Cross transcends Christopher Sandford's 1995 Cobain biography, Kurt Cobain by conducting interviews and gaining access not only to the singer's widow, Courtney Love, but also to the musician's private journals, which provide insights into Cobain's troubled mind. While thick with the Sturm und Drang of saying what an extraordinary story is being told, in actuality, Heavier than Heaven paints Cobain as rather ordinary, from boilerplate adolescent bitterness, from his parents' divorce and punk rock-adorned angst to the tawdry details of his drug addiction.

Audio / History / U.S.

In the Name of the Father: Washington's Legacy, Slavery and the Making of a Nation (8 Audio CDs, 10 hours, unabridged) by Francois Furstenberg, narrated by Michael Prichard (Tantor Audio)

In the Name of the Father: Washington's Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nation (The Penguin Press)

How did people in our country – North and South, East and West – come to share a remarkably durable and consistent common vision of what it meant to be an American in the first fifty years after the Revolution? How did the nation respond to the problem of slavery in a republic?

Written by François Furstenberg, assistant professor of history at the Université de Montréal, In the Name of the Father immerses readers in the rich, riotous world of what Furstenberg calls civic texts, the patriotic words and images circulating through every corner of the country in newspapers and almanacs, books and primers, paintings and even the most homely of domestic ornaments. We see how the leaders of the founding generation became ‘the founding fathers,’ how their words, especially George Washington's, became America's sacred scripture. And we see how the civic education they promoted is impossible to understand outside the context of America's increasing religiosity. For example, in reading Washington's farewell address aloud to the family when it was reprinted, year after year, in the local newspaper, or in hanging his portrait on the dining room wall, Americans were expressing their consent to be governed by the government Washington presided over.

In the Name of the Father is filled with stories of American print culture, including a wonderful consideration of the first great American hack biographer cum bookseller, Parson Weems, author of the first blockbuster Washington biography. Furstenberg's achievement is not limited to showing what all these civic texts were and how they infused Americans with a national spirit: how they created what Abraham Lincoln so famously called ‘the mystic chords of memory.’ He goes further in In the Name of the Father to show how the process of defining the good citizen in America was complicated and compromised by the problem of slavery. Ultimately, we see how reconciling slavery and republican nationalism would have fateful consequences.

This is a synthesis in the strict sense of the word and is likely to be transformative of our understandings. – Michael O’Brien, author of In Bitterness and in Tears

Furstenberg has written a scholarly work on the development of the American national spirit… – Library Journal

How were the ideals that were articulated in America's founding documents – freedom, democracy and government based on the consent of the governed – disseminated to the nation? That question animates this extraordinary new study by Furstenberg, an assistant professor of history at the Université de Montréal, which shows how popular print – broadsides, newspaper columns, schoolbooks, sermons – taught citizens ‘liberal and republican values,’ and ultimately ‘create[d] a nation.’… In the deluge of founding father books, Furstenberg's blend of high-brow intellectual history and popular culture studies stands out; rather than lionize Washington, it advances an important argument about his role in shaping American political identity. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)
When George Washington decided to return to private life after his second term as president, he presided over a theoretical rather than an actual nation. …Furstenberg illustrates how Americans forged a sense of national identity out of … disparate elements. Utilizing civic texts (including the Declaration of Independence and Washington's farewell address), newspaper articles, and even paintings, he describes the slow but inexorable march toward a vision of what constituted an American identity. His treatment of slavery is particularly informative, as he asserts that the mental gymnastics required to reconcile slavery and republican principles would have devastating consequences. – Jay Freeman, Booklist

In the Name of the Father is a revelatory study of how Americans were bound together as a young nation by the words, the image, and the myth of George Washington. Vivid and remarkable, the book stands out for its contribution to our understanding of how slavery shaped American nationalism in ways that define and haunt us to this day. The audio version is read by Michael Prichard, one of the Top Ten Golden Voices of SmartMoney magazine, narrator of the complete Nero Wolf mysteries which this editor so dearly loves.

Audio / Religion & Spirituality / Women’s Issues

The Confident Woman: Start Today Living Boldly and Without Fear (Abridged, 5 Audio CDs, approximately 6 hours) by Joyce Meyer, narrated by Pat Lentz (Hachette Audio)

In The Confident Woman, Joyce Meyer draws on her decades of experience interacting with and ministering to women. Meyer has been in full-time ministry since 1980 and is the bestselling author of more than seventy inspirational books, including Approval Addiction, In Pursuit of Peace, How to Hear from God, and Battlefield of the Mind.

Through Meyer's classic practicality, readers/listeners of The Confident Woman learn how to overcome all obstacles to live bold, victorious lives. Meyer explains that true confidence is faith in Christ and comes from being open to learning. She reminds readers that "women are a precious gift from God to the world. They are creative, sensitive, compassionate, and talented."

Meyer gives women the keys to identifying barriers to confidence, explores the empowerment that comes from preparation, and outlines the steps to independence through dependence on God. She explores the seven characteristics of a woman with confidence, which include knowing they are loved, refusing to live in fear, and not living by comparisons, ‘if onlys,’ or ‘what ifs.’ She lists women who have overcome barriers to become leaders and details ten steps to female independence. A large part of the book focuses on how women can eliminate fear.

Mega-selling author Meyer turns her pointed pen to building confidence in women. She defines confidence as "all about being positive about what you can do – and not worrying over what you can't do." … It's a vital message to be sure, but discerning readers might prefer fewer platitudes and examples, less repetition and a bit more depth. – Publishers Weekly

Meyers, extensive traveler and conference speaker, says that The Confident Woman is the result of her own personal journey from insecurity and self-hatred to a confidence through which she is realizing her full potential. Certainly many women can use the messages contained in this audio book.

Business & Investing / Economics

The Entrepreneurial Imperative: How America's Economic Miracle Will Reshape the World (and Change Your Life) by Carl J. Schramm (Collins)

In 2004, Carl Schramm, president of the Kauffman Foundation, the world's leading foundation for entrepreneurship, published a groundbreaking essay with a radical premise: that Americans literally have no conception of the secret that underlies our economic success, and that for the United States to survive and continue to lead the world's economy, it is imperative Americans learn to understand and employ that secret.

As Schramm discusses in The Entrepreneurial Imperative, entrepreneurship alone – not anything else – can give America the necessary leverage to remain an economic superpower. Not technology, since everyone now has the same technology, or access to it. Not education – we are years behind other nations in this area. Not basic manufacturing, long since moved overseas from the United States. And not capital markets, now truly global entities.

Drawing on detailed research conducted by the Kauffman Foundation and on his decades of experience as an entrepreneur himself and as a leader and mentor to other entrepreneurs, Schramm demonstrates in detail what this entrepreneurial imperative means for the way we run universities and foundations, lead companies, make personal job decisions, and even conduct our foreign affairs. He outlines why and how significant changes in government, education, and major corporations will be needed in order to promote an entrepreneurial ecosystem that keeps America on top.

The Entrepreneurial Imperative:

  • Explains why America is so good at entrepreneurship and details how we can increase the number of start-ups and move the economy further away from depending on the failed trifecta of big government, big business, big union.
  • Shows how exporting entrepreneurship overseas is vital to America's continued economic growth, opening markets abroad while increasing a healthy competition at home. He shows why spreading entrepreneurship must be a pillar of our foreign policy – above military and political solutions.
  • Details how we're in danger of stifling our entrepreneurial economy and shows what the government should do to nurture it.
  • Identifies the crucial role start-ups play in Corporate America, detailing a symbiotic push-and-take relationship between the younger, brighter, eager rookies and the conservative, bureaucracy-riddled industry leaders.
  • Complains about business schools and universities failing miserably. Schramm says universities should teach courses on entrepreneurship for non-business majors. Schools should also be more entrepreneurial themselves, owning and operating businesses, especially high-tech businesses, much like medical schools own hospitals.

According to Schramm, this calls for a reshaping of society's values and norms so that each person steadily and subtly feels the entrepreneurial imperative. Everyone will need to take more control and own more of their working and personal lives as a result. But Schramm never bets against the American system, and he encourages everyone to never count on anyone but themselves to create their destiny.

Though Schramm recognizes the economy can't afford for everyone to be an entrepreneur, and not is everyone is capable of starting and running a successful business, he believes many more people should be encouraged and shown how to build a new venture.

Entrepreneurial capitalism, as described by Carl Schramm, is the essence of America's economic renaissance. This book is an excellent explanation of how our economy has changed in the last 25 years and how to prepare for what's ahead.... An imperative book for every policy maker, teacher, and parent. – Steve Forbes, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes

Schramm has outlined the new economy where an entrepreneurial society is critical to competing in the world. This book is essential reading to understand and prepare for our personalities and the future. – Paul Orfalea, founder, Kinko’s

This is your guidebook to our century, America's Entrepreneurial Century. Carl Schramm shows the paths to personal independence and democratization around the world stem from the same source, the entrepreneurial power to see new opportunity. Schramm unlocks the key to growth for your company, your career, and your contri­bution to the planet, and roots it in the American spirit inside us all. – Scott Cook, founder, Intuit

The Entrepreneurial Imperative will affect not only the way our government, corporations, and nonprofits operate, but also our day-to-day lives as working Americans.

A spirited book, this ‘manifesto’ adamantly shows how America can lead itself on a secure path for long-term expansion, primarily by supporting its number one, but underutilized, resource: entrepreneurial capitalism. Schramm has a vision of seeing entrepreneurial capitalism reign in the United States and abroad. His passionate, if somewhat overwrought, goal is to see a greater expansion of start-ups domestically and globally, feeling the promotion of entrepreneurial capitalism is the only formula for bringing about peace, prosperity, and stability in the world.

Children’s

Mary Poppins: Three Enchanting Classics: Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Comes Back, and Mary Poppins Opens the Door (Boxed set of three books) by P. L. Travers (Harcourt)

Who can banish boredom or naughtiness with a swift ‘Spit-spot,’ and turn a make-believe sidewalk drawing into a lovely day in the park? Mary Poppins, of course!

With the smash-hit London musical adaptation of Mary Poppins coming to Broadway in November 2006, this is the time for Mary Poppins to find a place in the hearts of the next generation of fans – and the ideal moment for Mary Poppins, the boxed set, featuring three adventures in paperback: Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Comes Back, and Mary Poppins Opens the Door.

In the first book of this boxed set, Mary Poppins, from the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed. This classic series tells the story of the world's most beloved nanny, who brings enchantment and excitement with her everywhere she goes.
It all starts when Mary Poppins is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic come to life!

When Mary Poppins is about, her young charges can never tell where the real world merges into make-believe. Neither can the reader, and that is one of the hallmarks of good fantasy. – The New York Times

Delightful nonsense that defies an age boundary of appreciation. –Booklist

In the second book of the set Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Comes Back, pulled down from the clouds at the end of a kite string – she is here again to take the Banks children in hand, leading them from one head-spinning adventure to another.

In Mary's care, the children meet the King of the Castle and the Dirty Rascal, visit the upside-down world of Mr. Turvy and his bride, Miss Topsy, and spend a breathless afternoon above the park, dangling from a clutch of balloons. Amazing? Perhaps. But even the most ordinary day is amazing when the extraordinary Mary Poppins is around.

Our old friend Mary Poppins is back among us, and if you liked her first appearance, don't delay in following her latest adventures ... There is an extraordinary charm about these books ... They are whim­sical, sentimental [and] also funny, imaginative, poetical and genuinely creative." – The New York Evening Post

In the third book of the set, Mary Poppins Opens the Door, with a boom and a burst of fireworks, Mary Poppins returns, falling from the sky like a shooting star. She arrives not a moment too late: The Banks home is a complete shambles – five wild children without a nanny are five children too many!

But Mary Poppins swiftly takes the Banks children in hand, and along with her squawking parrot-headed umbrella, they set off on a new round of marvelous adventures. A visit to Mr. Twigley's music box-filled attic, an encounter with the Marble Boy, a ride on Miss Calico's enchanted candy canes – all of this and more are just part of a typical day out when the world's most beloved nanny is in charge.

I, who hailed her [earlier] as a 'delightful new character who has come to stay,' think Mary Poppins Opens the Door is even better – so rich is it in nursery lore, so sparkling with magic, so warmly understanding of children. – The Horn Book

P. L. Travers (1910-2000) introduced Mary Poppins to the world in 1934. Ever since, the no-nonsense English nanny has been beloved by children and adults everywhere. Travers was a drama critic, travel essayist, reviewer, and lecturer. She wrote several other books for adults and children, but it is for the character of Mary Poppins that she is best remembered. These new editions are sure to delight readers of all ages.

Children’s (K-3, all ages) / Issues

Is There Really a Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell (Joanna Cotler Books, HarperCollins)

Is there really a human race?

Is it going on now all over the place?

When did it start?

Who said, "Ready, Set, Go"?

Did it start on my birthday?

I really must know.

With these questions, our hero's imagination is off and running. Is the human race an obstacle course? Is it a spirit? Does he get his own lane? Does he get his own coach?

Is There Really a Human Race? is written by actress Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of two movie stars, a card-carrying member of the human race, 12-step groups, and her children's schools, and illustrated by artist/illustrator Laura Cornell. Curtis wrote the book in response to her own son’s question: “Is there really a human race, Mommy?” Curtis says she told him she’d have to think about it and get back to him.

… After asking why he is doing ‘this zillion-yard dash,’ the lad observes that if we don't help each other, we're all going to ‘crash.’ Switching to the mother's perspective, the narrative emphasizes the importance of taking one's time, trying one's best ("that's more important than beating the rest")…fans of this duo may well be carried along by Cornell's bustling, whimsical art, overflowing with quirky particulars that celebrate the diversity of people everywhere. – Publishers Weekly
Curtis writes so very well, in infectious toe-tapping poetic form, of the inner thoughts and worries that children struggle with all too frequently. … Cornell's ink-and-color wash cartoons are a perfect match to Curtis's lilting text. The detailed spreads will fascinate young readers. For instance, on the page on which the child asks, … Is Dad on my team? The illustrations show his father, granddad, and a multitude of ancestors back to cavemen. When he worries about making the wrong turn, a maze full of children of different ethnicities is depicted. This book should be enjoyed by the whole human race. – Alice DiNizo, Plainfield Public Schools, NJ, School Library Journal (starred review)

One can feel the anxiety in the child’s questioning, but then comes the reassuring mother’s voice. Written with Curtis's humor and heart and illustrated with Cornell's worldly wit, Is There Really a Human Race? is all about relishing the journey and making good choices along the way – because how we live and how we love is how we learn to make the world a better place, one small step at a time.

Children’s / K-6 / Sports / Biographies

David Beckham (Library Binding) by Jill C. Wheeler (Awesome Athletes Set 4: ABDO Publishing Company)

David Beckham is part of the Awesome Athletes set, a series of books, in their library bindings, all of which include

  • Personal and professional statistics and timelines.
  • Full-color photographs of athletes in action.
  • A complete index and bolded glossary terms in the text.

The athletes presented in the Awesome Athletes series are among the most famous and gifted people in the world. They make game-winning plays, break league records, earn praise and honor from their leagues, fans, and opponents – and set the standards that ordinary players can only dream of reaching. Written at the fourth grade reading level, the books in this series include David Beckham, Andy Roddick, Tom Brady, Michael Vick, LeBron James, and Michelle Wie.

The contents of David Beckham:

  • David Beckham
  • Discovering Soccer
  • Getting Noticed
  • Manchester at Last
  • First Goal
  • The Making of an Awesome Athlete
  • World Cup Disaster
  • A Hero Again  
  • Move to Madrid
  • Beckham Today

As told in David Beckham, Beckham is possibly the world's most popular soccer player. He is best known for his kicking skills, and his amazing kicks have helped this midfielder lead his team to many victories. Beckham's curving kicks have gained him fame well beyond soccer fans. In 2002, the movie Bend It Like Beckham was released in the United Kingdom.

For as long as he can remember, all Beckham has ever wanted to do is play soccer; even as a child, he said he wanted to be ‘a famous footballer,’ and Beckham has been playing professionally since he was 17 years old. According to David Beckham, Beckham remains one of the world's best-known soccer players even though his contract with Real Madrid ends in 2007. Some people think Beckham may play for a U.S. team after that. If so, he might make the sport more popular in the United States. Off the field, David and Victoria Beckham have three sons, Brooklyn, Romeo, and Cruz, and he loves to play soccer with them. In 2005, Beckham opened his own soccer school in both England and California – the David Beckham Academy.

From Brett Favre to Sheryl Swoopes, ice skating to golf, this series has something for all readers. The personalities, talents, and hard work of many different kinds of athletes are brought to life in these biographies. In David Beckham, as in all the books of the series, readers may be inspired to find out how these awesome athletes became superstars by working hard, overcoming challenges, and leading their teams to victory.

Children’s (Ages 4-8) / Religion

Sidney & Norman: A Tale of Two Pigs by Phil Vischer (Tommy Nelson)

Sidney & Norman uses the simple context of two pigs living next door to each other to communicate a profound truth about how we judge each other and often judge ourselves. On the surface, Sidney & Norman appears to be a picture book that will entertain kids, but this story has moved adult audiences in informal readings, leading to deep discussions.

VeggieTales’ creator, Phil Vischer, computer animator, spins a moving tale for kids and grownups alike in Sidney & Norman, a multi-layered story about two very different pigs who live right next door to one another, yet do not know each other's names.

In Sidney & Norman, life had always been easy for Norman. He was, after all, a good pig; he kept his house neat, he gave to the ‘needy,’ and he always made it to church on Sunday. Norman was sure God would be please with him. Not like his neighbor, Sidney. For Sidney, rules, systems and schedules had always seemed a bit slippery. Norman couldn't help but look down on Sidney, and Sidney couldn't help but look down on himself. That is, until the day they each received an invitation ... from God.

I would like you to come visit me. … I have something to tell you.

God had an important message for Sidney and Norman, and it wasn't what either of them expected.

While on the surface a simple children's book, many readers will find a message that is both heartfelt and profound. This children's picture book delivers a truth wrapped in a simple story – Sidney & Norman is a multi-layered tale of two very different pigs that readers will find themselves snickering at, and yet find thought provoking. The story is complimented by Justin Gerard's warm and nostalgic illustrations. Readers may also find worth in the letters from Vischer included at the end of the book which offer insight into his motivation and purpose for writing Sidney & Norman.

Cooking, Food & Wine

The Good Home Cookbook: More Than 1000 Classic American Recipes edited by Richard J. Perry (Collectors Press)

These days, learning to cook from scratch – the true old-fashioned way – is becoming a lost art. But a recipe is a treasured piece of history – as unique as the kitchen it was created in and as beloved as the people it was made for. The Good Home Cookbook is a quintessential collection of cherished recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation – a monument for years to come.
The Good Home Cookbook edited by chef and editor Richard J. Perry, is a collection of more than 1,000 classic recipes that commemorate and preserve our distinctly American cuisine. From breakfast to dinner and soup to dessert, the book features recipes from the past that most of us are familiar with and easy directions for getting them on the table. The collection celebrates the hearty back-to-basics dishes that became staples in postwar modern American kitchens – long before calorie counting and low-calorie cooking were born.

Employing a twist not traditionally used by cookbook publishers – with a goal of providing absolute authenticity to the book – editor Perry recruited more than 700 American families to take part in the first-ever public recipe tested cookbook. From a massive collection of vintage cookbooks, including heirloom family recipe books, Perry selected dishes that represent the staples of American cuisine. Then, to see how the recipes changed over the years, they were cross-referenced with later cookbooks. Ingredients and techniques were ‘averaged’ across regions and decades and finally sent to home cooks in all 50 states. The recipes were tested, retested – without fancy stoves or exotic equipment – and meticulously evaluated until each was perfect: a wholesome, delicious American classic in keeping with today’s tastes, but never straying from its honest, blue-plate beginnings. 

The book includes:

  • Dozens of ways to start the morning right, from Baked French Toast with Apples and Crêpes to Granola and Creamy Grits, including a guide to cooking breakfast meats.
  • Appetizers like Marinated Mushrooms, Crunchy Clam Puffs, and homemade Cocktail Sauce.
  • Year-round salads. including authentic Caesar Salad, Wilted Spinach Salad, and a variety of homemade dressings – with a tutorial on the art of gelatin salads.
  • Soups and chowders, from Cream of Mushroom Soup and Chicken Gumbo to Shrimp Bisque and French Onion Soup.
  • Sandwiches – Philly Cheese Steak, Reuben, Muffuletta, Monte Cristo, and more.
  • Seafood dishes from Greek Baked Shrimp and Clam Fritters to Poached Salmon with Cucumber Sauce.
  • Poultry favorites, including Southern Fried Chicken, Roast Duck, Turkey, and a variety of savory stuffings.
  • A large assortment of muffins, biscuits, scones, and buns along with a selection of breads, jams, and butters.
  • More than 100 easy-to-follow dessert recipes – pies, cakes, and cookies.
  • From Berry Cobbler and Chocolate Soufflé to homemade ice cream, fudge, and brittle.
  • A drinks chapter, complete with recipes for classic cocktails, a guide to brewing coffee, and punch.
  • Holiday menus to help readers pick recipes for Memorial Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, and other special occasions.
  • Handy appendices to take the guesswork out of equipment, herbs, spices, canning, garnishing, and presentation.

Perry's repertoire is so extensive that readers will find both inspiration and comfort in his carefully compiled collection. – Kirkus Reviews

A simple, user-friendly format makes The Good Home Cookbook a snap to use, with easy-to-follow instructions, conversion charts, menu planning, and garnish ideas. Original vintage-style illustrations make the retro-chic volume a collector's item for culinary enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.

In this ambitious effort, Perry led his editorial team to identify recipes that formed the foundation of American cuisine to compile the first-ever public recipe tested cookbook. Conceived and published to ensure that the recipes of our past don't get lost in time, forgotten or overshadowed by microwave ovens and easy, pre-prepared meals, The Good Home Cookbook will not only act as a monument to foundational American recipes but also serve as the basis for readers to create their own family classics. The result is a timeless collection of familiar favorites and beloved classics – a collection that no home should be without.

Education

Teaching in K-12 Schools: A Reflective Action Approach, 4th Edition by Judy Eby, Adrienne Herrell & Michael Jordan (Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall Education)

What is reflective action, and what can it offer teachers and their students in an educational environment that seems more rigid than reflective?

Reflective action is a way of learning from experience, learning from experimenting, and learning by listening to our hearts and to our students. Reflective action grows out of with­it-ness, the capacity to be aware of and responsive to the needs of students and to make decisions and take actions that will inspire students to want to learn and to enjoy coming to school.

Well known in the earlier editions for its emphasis on reflection, Teaching in K-12 Schools is an accessible general school methods text that has updated its model for reflective planning in teaching to better illustrate the connection between planning and professional standards. In addition to reflective teaching, this fourth edition explores classroom management, diversity, standards, curriculum and lesson planning, active and authentic learning, technology in education, assessment, and working in the school community. Written by Judy Eby, Reflective Action Research Center, San Diego; and Adrienne Herrell and Michael Jordan, Educational Partnerships, Panama City, Florida, the book targets general K-12 in-service teachers.

Authors Eby, Herrell and Jordan believe that even a standards-based educational program can be presented with enthusiasm, imagination and independence. At this time in history, they recognize that creativity and independence do not appear to be as highly valued as being able to follow guidelines and meet standards. They struggled with how to balance the reality of today's rather uniform educational expectations with their message that true satisfaction in teaching comes from being a caring and creative artist in the classroom. They began to collect the stories of teachers who are not only coping in a standards-based environment, but excelling at it, and in this fourth edition of Teaching in K-12 Schools they offer a balanced description of the realities of a standards-based curriculum with the exhilarating stories of teachers who see these standards not as a goal but as a baseline.

Their aspiration is to inspire teachers to view federal, state, and local standards as meaningful and important, but not the end goal of teaching. This edition provides readers with the knowledge base to become highly professional and creative teachers who meet and exceed standards with confidence.

Teaching in K-12 Schools, fourth edition contains new teachers' stories that model how they use reflective action to create school curricula and programs, select teaching strategies, and plan appropriate assessments for their students that achieve the standards of their school districts. These real-life examples can serve as models for beginning teachers to think and act with creativity and originality. They can be found in Chapters 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11.

In addition, Teaching in K-12 Schools anticipates that many teachers may want to begin preparing for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) credential. Each chapter of the book ends with a section entitled "Reflective Action Experiences for Your Professional Portfolio." These sections provide beginning teachers with simulated experiences and reflective essays that are drawn from the NBPTS requirements. After completing these simulated activities, many teachers will have the confidence and experience they need to attain this important credential. For those professors who are searching for materials to meet the Praxis II "Principles of Learning and Teaching" exam, readers will find that the authors have highlighted the materials related to Praxis topics. Because this fourth edition of Teaching in K-12 Schools also pays special attention to INTASC and curriculum standards, readers will gain confidence as they prepare for a career in teaching.

Education

You Can't Make Me!: From Chaos to Cooperation in the Elementary Classroom by Sylvia Rockwell (Corwin Press)

Sylvia Rockwell, Assistant Professor of Education at Saint Leo University in Florida, has more than 25 years of experience in the field of education. Over the years, she has taught in a variety of public school settings that include segregated day schools for students with severe emotional and behavioral disorders, self-contained classrooms in general education settings, resources rooms, and inclusion classrooms. Rockwell, who has also worked for three years in a residential wilderness therapeutic educational program for youth with emotional and behavioral disorders, asks readers of You Can't Make Me!:

How do you handle defiant, disruptive students?

A teacher’s most challenging problem is the student who is frequently defiant and disruptive. These students create problems for themselves and for the classroom as a whole. In You Can't Make Me! Rockwell uses her considerable experience to show readers how to select and implement the most effective behavioral interventions to address the needs of these problem students while maintaining a cooperative classroom environment. This book integrates real-life teaching anecdotes with descriptions of research-based strategies to help students learn appropriate behavior, both those with emotional/behavior disorders (EBD) or other disabilities, as well as those with other behavioral difficulties.

Educators will find discussions on how to:

  • Identify typical and atypical development.
  • Understand group development, including stages, roles, and strategies.
  • Manage class-wide behavior, addressing conditions, consequences, and curriculum.
  • Understand the behavior-achievement connection, with specifics on unit and lesson planning.
  • Manage aggression and conflict.
  • Develop resilience in students, teachers, and parents.

You Can't Make Me! also provides classroom-ready materials and other reproducibles, including a unique parent supplement to help parents understand their teacher’s classroom strategies, work on behavior problems at home, and communicate effectively with school personnel.

This teacher-friendly guide can be a valuable resource helping teachers solve the classroom problems caused by disruptive behavior. Special and general education teachers as well as administrators at the elementary level will find the book a powerful tool to help intervene effectively when behavior problems occur.

Education

Your First Year of Teaching and Beyond, Fourth Edition by Ellen L. Kronowitz (Pearson Allyn & Bacon)

Research on beginning teachers and their concerns often concludes that teacher ed­ucation programs need to focus more on the first year of teaching and especially on the critical period preceding and following the first day of school. The high teacher dropout rate within the first five years makes clear that pre-service and novice teachers must have help making the transition to the realities and practicalities of classroom life in their first years of teaching and beyond.

Designed specifically for pre-service and first year teachers, Your First Year of Teaching and Beyond provides non-theoretical advice on how to tackle teaching challenges and demands. Written by Ellen L. Kronowitz, California State University, San Bernardino, and based on extensive actual research, this fourth edition offers an expanded and improved balance of theory and practice in preparation for student teaching or practicum. Material throughout Your First Year of Teaching and Beyond is specifically geared to the interests of elementary, middle, and high school teachers.

Your First Year of Teaching and Beyond, Fourth Edition, is an expanded version of the third edition of the same title. To offer an improved balance of theory and practice, the content of this fourth edition has been expanded with additional ref­erences to standards-based planning and instruction, assessment, and time and stress management.

In this edition, middle school and high school teachers will find material specifically geared to their interests integrated into every chapter. The same field-based research and interviews that were done for elementary teachers have been repeated for secondary teachers, with an emphasis on what works – practical ideas for their context. Additional ‘Notes from the Teacher’ were written by middle and high school teachers, although they apply to elementary teachers as well. All references and further reading suggestions also have been updated. Reflection boxes and interactive worksheets are still an integral part of Your First Year of Teaching and Beyond.

This fourth edition has a solid needs assessment base. In a study conducted at California State University, San Bernardino, pre-service candidates, student teachers, and interns in the Elementary and Bilingual Education programs were asked to generate an exhaustive list of questions about conducting the first day and weeks of school and thriving in the first year of teaching. These questions were consolidated and compiled into a questionnaire that subsequently was sent to experienced teachers. It is their responses, an expanded commentary, and incorporated research findings that constitute the substance of Your First Year of Teaching and Beyond. The study was recently updated to include responses from teachers at the Hillside-University Demonstration School a public professional development school in partnership with California State University; San Bernardino, and middle school and high school teachers.

Each chapter in Your First Year of Teaching and Beyond addresses a documented concern of first-year teachers, such as curriculum planning, gathering materials, organization, discipline, authentic assessment, diversity, working with parents, working with school personnel and the actual first day of classroom teaching. The introductory chapter establishes the research-based rationale for the book and a reflective orientation, and the concluding chapter offers some final advice on maintaining a reflective and profes­sional mind in a healthy and stress-free body.

Worksheets and checklists are included at the back of Your First Year of Teaching and Beyond on perforated pages. The worksheets enable readers to interact with the material presented and to move toward reflective practice. This interactive approach encourages readers to adapt the information to their own projected teaching situations and, thus, to make the information more meaningful and useful. Instructors may want to have the students work in cooperative groups to discuss the material and complete the worksheets; the book also lends itself to a workshop format should instructors prefer that instructional mode. The book also has updated references and further reading suggestions.

The audience is broader than in the past and now includes student teachers for elementary, middle, and high schools as well as interns, first-year, and novice teachers. Supervisors, administrators, curriculum coordinators, in-service providers, mentor teachers, university methods teachers, and student teaching supervisors also have found that the text facilitates their work with teachers. The text is also useful to many experienced teachers who are looking for new ideas or those who want to take a step back and reflect on their current practice.

Your First Year of Teaching and Beyond is a practical guidebook providing hands-on advice on how to tackle teaching challenges and demands. Based on research obtained from teachers working in urban, suburban, and rural communities, the text covers a large scope of material, making it applicable for student teachers in all regions as well as all grade levels. Added emphasis on individual differences, diversity, bilingual language issues, special education and multicultural populations better prepares student teachers for diversity in the classroom. Updated and expanded information on technology provides student teachers with basic guidelines for incorporating technology into the classroom.

Entertainment / Music

Cult Rock Posters: Ten Years of Classic Posters from the Glam, Punk, New Wave Era by Roger Crimlis & Alwyn W. Turner (Billboard Books)

From 1972 to 1982, rock posters – like rock itself – exploded with power and invention. Containing hundreds of posters – from Bowie, The Clash, Iggy Pop, the Sex Pistols, and more, Cult Rock Posters traces rock posters through the ‘70s and into the ‘80s, from glam to punk to new wave.
The book also includes interviews with rock stars, artists, and creative geniuses.

Part visual history, part visceral history, Cult Rock Posters traces the evolution of pop music, from glam to punk to new wave, during a turbulent decade. These are the posters that inspired a generation – and interviews with rock stars, artists, photographers, and promoters, who fill in behind-the-scenes details. Written by pop-culture aficionado Roger Crimlis, one of Britain’s most renowned collectors of rock posters, who shares his own favorites, all in raw, torn-from-the-wall format. Crimlis teams up with Alwyn W. Turner pop-culture writer and founder of the Trash Fiction website. Adam Ant, David Bowie, Blondie, Marc Bolan, Bow Wow Wow, The Clash, Alice Cooper, Ian Dury, Brian Eno, Brian Ferry, Malcolm McLaren, Iggy Pop, Roxy Music, the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, the Sex Pistols, X-ray Spex – if they were out there, they are in Cult Rock Posters.

Many of the over 150 rare rock posters in Cult Rock Posters are now iconic images: the lightning-struck face of David Bowie on Aladdin Sane; the power and anger of the Clash's smashed guitar on the cover of London Calling; and Johnny Rotten's psychotic stare in every image of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd. And David Bowie's satin and lipstick were the essence of Glam, the Sex Pistols' rips in the Union Jack embodied the very spirit of Punk, while the style and fashion on Deborah Harry in Blondie exemplified the heart and spirit of New Wave. With the aid of personal interviews with stars, artists, photographers and others, Crimlis and Turner reveal the unknown stories behind the posters that inspired a generation and explain how design captured the essence of the era's music.

Cult Rock Posters celebrates a decade’s music and design. Presented in their raw format with all rips, fold, tears, and blue tack shown, the book allows each design to tell its own dramatic and revealing story. The book speaks directly to viewers, communicating the style and content of both the music and the decade. Gritty, rough, rude, the posters in this one-of-a-kind collection scream the story of their times.

Government / Politics / Public Policy

Democracy and the Constitution: Essays by Walter Berns by Walter Berns (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research)

For more than half a century, Walter Berns has been a leading authority on the Constitution. In Democracy and the Constitution, the scholar and historian continues his defense of the American Constitution, addressing issues such as natural law, civil rights, states' rights, multiculturalism, patriotism, the First Amendment, and the roles of academic and religious institutions.

Berns's essays explore enduring questions of American political thought: Was the American Revolution really a revolution? What is the origin of our unalienable rights? Did God have something to do with the founding of America? Can we do without God now? In Democracy and the Constitution, Berns, a resident scholar at AEI and professor emeritus at Georgetown University, expounds these questions while defending the institutions of liberal democracy.

The first essay in Democracy and the Constitution provides an account of the theoretical origins of modern constitutionalism and, in the American case, of a written constitution. According to Berns, the Constitution imposes limits on the powers of government, and it is written so that these limits are not mistaken or forgotten. It follows almost as a matter of course that lawyers would play an important role in American government. As Tocqueville put it, "there is almost no political question in the United States that is not resolved sooner or later into a judicial question." Thus, much of the ordinary business of government in this country – taxing, spending, judging, fighting, punishing – ends up in the courts, and ultimately the Supreme Court. In addition to these judicial matters, there are questions about the Constitution itself:

  • What is the proper relation between the states and the Union?
  • How is a president elected and what rules govern his conduct in office?
  • What do we mean by rights? Specifically, what do we mean by establishment of religion, separation of church and state, and freedom of speech?
  • What are the powers of government in perilous times?
  • What are the powers of government regarding the moral education of citizens?
  • What is required of – or forbidden to – government to guarantee the equal protection of laws?

Berns addresses these questions at length in Democracy and the Constitution and concludes with personal notes from his long and illustrious life. Two essays, one funny and one poignant, reflect upon his friendships with Frieda Lawrence – wife of D. H. Lawrence – and with the late political scientist Herbert Storing.

Contents include:

Part I. Constitutionalism

  • Ancients and Moderns: The Emergence of Modern Constitutionalism
  • The Illegitimacy of Appeals to Natural Law in Constitutional Interpretation
  • Preserving a Living Constitution
  • The Demise of the Constitution
  • Solving the Problem of Democracy
  • Constitutionalism and Multiculturalism
  • Part II. Constitutional and Political Matters
  • States' Rights and the Union
  • Talkers
  • Why a Vice President
  • Two-and-a-Half Cheers for the Electoral College
  • Civil Not Natural Rights
  • Flag-Burning and Other Modes of Expression
  • Blue Movies
  • Hail, New Columbia
  • Teaching Patriotism
  • Religion and the Death Penalty
  • Under God
  • What Does the Constitution Expect of Jews?
  • Part III. Academic Matters
  • The Assault on the Universities: Then and Now
  • Trashing Bourgeois America
  • Part IV. Addendum: Personal Matters
  • Remembering Frieda Lawrence
  • Remembering Herbert Storing

Democracy and the Constitution collects many of Berns’ most important essays on timeless constitutional and political questions. Foremost among the institutions of liberal democracy that this eminent scholar has spent his academic career defending is the United States Constitution. In this collection of essays, he continues his renowned defense, addressing issues such as natural civil rights and states' rights, multiculturalism, patriotism, the First Amendment, and the roles of academic and religious institutions.

Health, Mind & Body / Alternative Medicine / Reference

How to Talk with Your Doctor: The Guide for Patients and Their Physicians Who Want to Reconcile and Use the Best of Conventional and Alternative Medicine by Ronald L. Hoffman, with Sidney Stevens (Basic Health Publications, Inc.)

More patients are taking control of their own health care, leaving many conventional physicians unsure about their role as dispensers of medical knowledge. And growing numbers of us are taking a more holistic approach to health care, using proven drug and surgical interventions, along with proven natural approaches such as acupuncture and herbal therapy. The latter are outside most traditional medical training, and so might be discounted by doctors. As the public becomes more informed about alternative therapies, they want to discuss the possibilities with their physicians. This can exasperate physicians and patients alike. "Why won't my doctor listen to me?" patients wonder. "Why can't patients respect my expertise?" doctors ask.

The unfortunate result in each case is the same: miscommunication and missed opportunities. Patients fail to receive the best care available to them, and doctor-patient relationships fall far short of the caring and mutually satisfying exchanges they should be.

One of America's foremost complementary medical practitioners, founder and medical director of the Hoffman Center in New York City, and host of the nationally syndicated radio program Health Talk, Ronald Hoffman hears the frustration expressed by patients and doctors alike. In his new book, Hoffman offers a guide for patients and doctors. How to Talk with Your Doctor provides patients with the tools and knowledge they need to communicate better with their physicians about using the best high-tech and alternative treatments, while helping doctors balance their skepticism of complementary and alternative approaches with open-mindedness.

Hoffman begins by explaining to patients how doctors are trained, why they resist non-conventional approaches, and how the growing interest in alternative treatments is changing the practice of medicine. He then offers a blueprint for patients and for doctors to maintain optimum health and deal with chronic illness. Among the broad range of topics he discusses in How to Talk with Your Doctor are:

  • Why the traditional annual physical exam is not effective.
  • Important medical tests that are frequently ignored by mainstream medicine.
  • Complementary and conventional options for preventing and treating specific conditions, including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's disease.
  • Natural interventions – with little risk and small expense, instead of rushing to drugs and surgery – for ailments like chronic fatigue syndrome, andropause, menopause, sexual dysfunction, fibromyalgia, reflux disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Natural support therapies that are effective before and after surgery to optimize the surgery's results.

Hoffman's goal in How to Talk with Your Doctor is to foster more open dialogue between patients and their physicians, with more integration of conventional and complementary treatment options. A resource section lists products, websites, and organizations that help promote that dialogue and medical collaboration.

In this engaging and articulate book, Ron Hoffman, M.D., a pioneer in alternative medicine (with impeccable mainstream credentials, too), shows readers how to take charge of their health care and offers practical solutions for common health concerns. He also lays the groundwork for a new integrated model of medicine that just might be the answer for our ailing healthcare system. – Julian Whitaker, M.D., author of Dr. Whitaker's Guide to Natural Healing and Health & Healing

As one of the pioneers and leaders in complementary and integrative care, Dr. Hoffman provides us with an insightful guide for getting the best care in today's increasingly complicated and confusing medical system. – Jason Theodosakis, M.D., Assistant Professor, University of Arizona College of Medicine, and author of The Arthritis Cure

How to Talk with Your Doctor helps readers and physicians communicate more effectively, examining complementary and alternative options for staying healthy and preventing and treating specific medical conditions. He also provides myriad evidence-based resources to help doctors and patients collaborate and benefit from the best of both medical worlds. The book helps patients and doctors navigate the seemingly incompatible medical worlds to find the most effective, healing approaches medicine has to offer, and fosters more mutually satisfying partnerships between them. Whether readers are doctors or patients, this is a useful guide.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling

Radical Recovery: A Manifesto of Eating Disorder Pride by Christian L. Kraatz (University Press of America, Inc.)

Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are some of the most deadly ‘mental illnesses’; however, research into the nature of these conditions and possible treatments remains virtually unfunded. As a result, there is no standard model of treatment and no definitive information on the number of people in the United States who suffer from one or more of these conditions.

Radical Recovery openly addresses the national epidemic of eating disorders. Issues addressed include success rates for eating disorders treatment, current research, mortality and eating disorders, the presence of eating disorders in both sexes and all ages, overcoming social stigma, and eating disorders activism.

Author Christian L. Kraatz, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, says:

Radical Recovery is not a personal ‘my road to recovery’ narrative. It will, of necessity, contain some personal information and draw upon some personal experiences, but the purpose here is to cast a wider net and get a bigger picture. Part of the motive for making this effort stems from my own experience, but this is not a book about ‘me’ so much as it is a book about ‘us.’ …”

In seeking some good information about the prevalence of eating disorders, Kraatz says he found that no person or organization is willing to put forward any specific numbers. Prevalence estimates for other medical conditions are readily available and are fairly specific; it takes perhaps five minutes of online investigation to find out with reasonable precision how many people suffer from diabetes, cancer, AIDS, or bipolar disorder. But the estimates concerning how many people have eating disorders are made with such a wide range of numbers as to be utterly uninformative and useless.

It seemed to Kraatz when he began Radical Recovery several years ago that there had to be some kind of connection between the inner experiences of isolation and aloneness, and the fact that no one in the medical field really knows how many sufferers there are. It occurred to him also that if no one knew how many even existed, any real progress in understanding how they might recover would be nearly impossible. So he began doing some digging on the subjects of prevalence statistics and research, while at the same time jotting down his own ideas about what life with disordered eating is like. After a year or two, his ‘manifesto of radical recovery and pride’ started to come together.

The outline for Radical Recovery proceeds as follows. In the first chapter, the book counts heads to find out just how many people with eating disorders there are in this country. This is no easy task, as it necessarily involves consulting a wide variety of sources in order to piece together a reasonably accurate prevalence estimate. This chapter also addresses the question of severity, noting specifically the mortality rates associated with disordered eating. The findings presented in this chapter are overwhelming, and Kraatz expects that authorities in the field of eating disorders orthodoxy will reject this chapter out of hand. It may be a surprise to some people to learn that there are more people with disordered eating than any other known medical condition. Kraatz offers proof, however, that there is no sufficient justification for rejecting this claim – this first chapter presents information that is based directly on widely recognized and current research.

In the second chapter Radical Recovery addresses the question of what is being done about the epidemic of disordered eating in the United States. The focus here is on the principal research institutions responsible for gathering and disseminating information in the field of eating disorders, and currently available forms of treatment and their rates of success. Although disordered eating affects more Americans than any other illness and claims a staggering number of lives each year, current research in this field remains virtually unfunded. This chapter examines current trends in research and outlines their notable effects on treatment options and the training of healthcare providers.

The third chapter explains why it is that people with disordered eating need to speak out, the call for manifesto. Upon finding the prevalence and mortality to be astoundingly high and yet the current state of research and treatment to be appallingly poor, Kraatz enjoins readers to take matters into their own hands and enter into discourse with each other, with others who are normal eaters, and with their healthcare providers. Since silence only serves to maintain the unacceptable status quo, speaking out about what it's like to be eating disordered will provide the means for change and, ultimately, the recovering of good health for all.

The fourth chapter is an example of such speaking out. It is a phenomenology of eating disordered experience as such. Narratives tend to focus on the content of the experience, but the basic form or structure of eating disordered experience needs to be understood. According to Radical Recovery, if those who are eating disordered could discern a common conceptual framework from which disordered eating behaviors emerge, they would be in a better position to make suggestions about how recovery might be facilitated. The basic thrust of this chapter is to place the focus on the ways that eating disordered people interact with and relate to the world around them – something about that interaction is fundamentally unique to the eating disordered perspective.

In the fifth chapter, Kraatz argues that although the behaviors by which eating-disordered people are diagnosed are unhealthy, the perspective from which they view the world is in fact useful and good; ‘disordered eating’ may be an illness, but being ‘eating disordered’ can be a very positive quality of character. In order fully to express this pride and raise the public awareness of their situations, some strategies for direct action – protests – are offered in this chapter as well.

Radical Recovery openly addresses the national epidemic of eating disorders and offers practical suggestions for how to promote awareness and change in a more responsible and compassionate way. The concluding section offers concrete ideas about what should be done differently at all levels of eating disorders research and treatment. In the spirit of other manifestos, these ideas are presented as demands; changes that are necessary for eating disordered people to insure their survival. Underlying this strategy is the idea that people have to work together to achieve these ends. According to Kraatz, to the extent that readers come together, they will be able to gain some long overdue access to adequate healthcare. Moreover, to the extent that they demand appropriate respect for themselves, they restore a measure of dignity to those who didn't survive their disordered eating.

Health, Mind & Body / Self-help

Perfectly Yourself: 9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness by Matthew Kelly (Ballantine Books)

Just be yourself!

People say it all the time, but how does anyone actually live it?

For more than a decade Matthew Kelly has been helping people discover the best-version-of-themselves. Now, in Perfectly Yourself, he addresses the opportunities and obstacles that readers encounter once they decide to ask life's big questions:

Who am I? What am I here for?

In Perfectly Yourself, bestselling author and popular international speaker Kelly offers a paradigm for self-improvement. Where most self-help books encourage readers to focus on themselves as individuals, Kelly invites readers to become the best versions of themselves by looking outward and recognizing the impact of their actions on the world.

People easily become discouraged and abandon their quest when they cannot reach a goal quickly enough. The bigger problem comes when the process is repeated, leading to a habit of failure that creates a sense of self-loathing. But Kelly, president of Beresford Consulting, a Chicago-based company, shows readers how to initiate personal and social progress right now rather than reaching for perfection in the future.

Perfectly Yourself offers simple steps that readers can take on a daily basis to improve themselves and by extension the world around them, moment by moment. With personal stories and real-world examples, Kelly shows readers how to:

  • Discover their mission – the unique contribution that they can make.
  • Learn to ‘fast’ from certain behaviors – anger, criticism, procrastination, accumulation.
  • Become comfortable with silence, stillness and solitude – time for reflection before action.
  • Listen to the authentic self – the voice that guides readers to the right decision, every time.
  • Nurture friendships that elevate, encourage, and challenge them – that help them live what they believe.
  • Identify their strengths, limitations, the habits they can change – what makes them perfectly themselves.
  • Develop virtue by pursuing one at a time – honesty, patience, kindness, humility, integrity, love.
  • Seek and celebrate the good – in others and in situations.
  • Find a way to serve in their communities – giving to get back.

"People don't fail because they want to fail," Kelly explains in Perfectly Yourself. "People don't go on a diet because they want to get fat. People don't get married to get divorced. Whether we are dealing with health and wellness, relationships, finances, spirituality, or career, people want to advance. Personal development animates us, brings us to life. In many cases one diet is as good as the next. One financial plan is as good as another. People are smart enough to work out which are the best, but still so many fail. We have to ask ourselves: Why?

"Fundamental to all transformation is understanding the dynamics of change so that we can be aware of the obstacles and opportunities that await us when we attempt to transform an area of our lives."

Kelly teaches readers how to find the balance between accepting themselves for who they are and challenging themselves to become all they are capable of being. He encourages readers to unify the many aspects of their lives, and shows how to move beyond other people's expectations of who and what they should be.

Perfectly Yourself is for anyone who has ever failed at a diet, survived the collapse of a relationship, or won­dered if he or she will ever find a fulfilling career. It's a book for all readers who long to be at peace with who they are, where they are, and what they are doing, not in some distant tomorrow but here and now – today. Focusing on nine powerful and practical lessons, Perfectly Yourself explains to readers how to find happiness in a changing world.

History / Americas / U.S. / African Americans / Civil Rights History

Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, 15th Anniversary Edition by Juan Williams, with an introduction by Julian Bond (Penguin Non-Classics)

Arguably the most tumultuous time in recent American history, the Civil Rights years inspired the most rational and irrational of human behaviors and set the stage for sweeping reform in the nation's race relations.

From the Montgomery bus boycott to the Little Rock Nine to the Selma-Montgomery march, thousands of ordinary people made up the American civil right movement; their stories are told in Eyes on the Prize. From leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., to lesser-known participants like Barbara Rose Johns and Jim Zwerg, each man and woman made the decision that discrimination was wrong and that something had to be done to stop it.

As Julian Bond describes in his introduction to the book, the civil rights movement in America began a long time ago. As early as the seventeenth century, blacks and whites, slaves in Virginia and Quakers in Pennsylvania, protested the barbarity of slavery. Nat Turner, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, John Brown, and Harriet Tubman are but a few of those who led the resistance to slavery before the Civil War. After the Civil War, another protracted battle began against slavery's legacy – racism and segregation. But for most Americans, the civil rights movement began on May 17, 1954, when the Supreme Court handed down the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision outlawing segregation in public schools. The Court unlocked the door, but the pressure applied by thousands of men and women in the movement pushed that door open wide enough to allow blacks to walk through it.

Eyes on the Prize, written by Juan Williams, host of National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation, and the television project that it accompanies, brings America's civil rights years to life with stories about the people and places of that time. Here are the heroes and heroines, the brilliant strategies, the national politics and politicking, the violence, the people who defended segregation as a southern ‘tradition,’ and the faces of the unheralded people, black and white, who were the soul of the movement.

“To read these stories was to me both painful and inspiring. I lived through these times. … In 1955 I was 15 years old, one year older than Emmett Till when he was killed while visiting relatives in Mississippi. When he supposedly flirted with a white woman, he broke a taboo that was as real in rural Pennsylvania, where I grew up, as it was in the Deep South. What happened to Emmett Till could have happened to me. … It wasn't until my days at Morehouse College in Atlanta, however, that I realized what the movement was all about and what it was up against.

“On February 1, 1960, four students in Greensboro, North Carolina, kids about my age, decided that they'd had enough of racial barriers. They sat at a whites-only lunch counter at the local Woolworth's store, requested service, and refused to move unless they got it. The sit-in movement had begun. A friend of mine, Lonnie King, handed me a newspaper with the story of the student sit-in prominently displayed. He convinced me that we had to get something going in Atlanta, Georgia. A small group of us got together and organized the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights, and we held our first sit-in on March 15, 1960. On that day, I joined hands with millions of other Americans in different cities, in different states, who took risks during those years to create the civil rights movement.

“The movement changed my life. ...” – Julian Bond, from the Introduction

Eyes on the Prize chronicles how millions of black and white lives that were profoundly affected by the great movement that spanned the years 1954 to 1965. It takes readers beyond the belief that a few larger-than-life figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., and John F. Kennedy were the movement's most important players. That is not to diminish these men, but they were not solely responsible for this era or its successes. That insight is important, because it reaffirms the truth that in America a movement of the people – and not the actions of one or two leaders – can effect change. And it is particularly important because, nowadays, few people believe it. Eyes on the Prize demonstrates its truth. In fact, such a movement could happen again, given the right conditions.

Not only does this book remind us that ordinary Americans made the movement, it also reminds us of the role played by the Constitution of the United States. That document provided the framework within which people could act to change the nation for the better. The story of the civil rights movement is a great testament to the Constitution's strength. Although that code of law had for some time been bent and twisted to deny black Americans their rights, it also provided the basic tool used by the movement to win justice.

A fascinating, fast-moving overview…Even those who participated will find in this book reminders of the civil rights movement’s incredible human and political complexity, of the stops and starts that belie the neat continuum that hindsight can sometimes create. – The New York Times Book Review

This is not just a coffee-table adjunct to the TV series. It is a worthy addition to the library of the concerned reader-viewer. – The Nation

Skillfully combines written and oral sources with the historical narrative…Will be invaluable to students as well as the general reader. – The Boston Globe

… Williams … gives a vivid portrait of the courage of individual blacks and the violence they had to endure in their struggle for desegregation and the right to vote in the South. The events themselves provide the drama. Recommended for academic and public libraries. – Louis Vyhnanek, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman, School Journal

The nobility of America’s civil-rights struggle comes through with the directness and strength of a spiritual. – The New York Times

Williams's moving chronicle, Eyes on the Prize, stands as the definitive history of the era. These accounts and pictures of the first decade of the civil rights movement are a tribute to – and a reminder of – the people, black and white, who took part in the fight for justice. And Eyes on the Prize is critically important to this nation today because it reminds readers that black Americans have shown great tenacity and courage in continuing to strive for their rights as Americans, despite the heavy legacy of discrimination. It is also a vital book for everyone who wants to understand what it means to live in this democracy. It is about Americans who were willing to risk their jobs, their homes, and even their lives to create an extraordinary movement. And remember that the social movements of the sixties – the antiwar move­ment, the women's movement, and others – all followed in the wake of the civil rights movement.

History / Americas / U.S. / Biographies & Memoirs

Against the Grain: Reflections of a Rebel Republican by Mark O. Hatfield as told to Diane N. Solomon (White Cloud Press)

Against the Grain is a political and spiritual memoir of senior statesman, former chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Mark O. Hatfield, the most progressive politician in the Republican Party since Abraham Lincoln. It covers his opposition to the Vietnam War, successful drafting of the Soviet-American nuclear freeze legislation with Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy, and his strong stands of conscience on health reform, the death penalty and the balanced budget amendment, which typically ran counter to the Republican mainstream.

For five consecutive Senate terms, Hatfield made his mark, sometimes softly, sometimes stridently, fighting to serve the people of his country with honesty and devotion. Constantly opposing the military-industrial complex and the violence of the arms race, he fought for housing, employment, education and basic human dignity. Hatfield's political life is punctuated by strong stands of conscience. As governor of Oregon, he led a personal and gripping struggle against capital punishment until the death penalty was successfully overturned. He stood as lone governor in the nation vocally opposing the Johnson administration's Vietnam policy.

Throughout Against the Grain, and in the final section on spirituality, he offers insight and solutions to the greatest violences facing our age: militarism, discrimination, materialism and poverty. He envisions a world where the ‘political-industrial complex’ no longer holds sway and candidates are judged on merit, rather than marketed like toothpaste. His solutions move away from big government toward enlisting people's hearts and minds. Against the Grain was written with the able assistance of Dianne N. Solomon, freelance writer and editor and practicing nurse-midwife.

… it is nevertheless refreshing and instructive, in this jaded political era, to read the memoirs of an elder statesman who put principle above party, and the well-being of the community above that of his career. – Publishers Weekly
No matter whether you agree with him or not, everyone who has had the pleasure of serving with him knows that Mark Hatfield is a man of integrity and that his word is his bond. – former Senator Bob Dole

He has lived his convictions as well as anyone I have ever known in public life. Because he has always tried to love his enemies, he has no enemies. This town is the poorer for his leaving but the richer for his legacy. – former President Bill Clinton

Senator Mark Hatfield comes alive as exceptional – but very human – through this highly readable book. We see what in him changes through the years of growing up and holding political office – and what remains fundamental and rock solid. As educator, as family man, as politician, as friend, as statesman, he has been a great blessing to Oregon and the nation. – John Dellenback, former Oregon Congressman

Senator Hatfield has consistently offered integrity and vision in a culture groping for meaning. In Against the Grain, he reveals compelling insights on his half century of public service and offers hope, purpose, and perspective for the years ahead.  

History / Americas / U.S. / Outdoors & Nature

Americans and Their Land: The House Built on Abundance by Anne Mackin (University of Michigan Press)

Thomas Malthus once said, “The happiness of the Americans depended much less upon their peculiar degree of civilization than . . . upon their having a great plenty of fertile uncultivated land.”
Nothing has shaped the American character like the abundance of land that met the colonist, the pioneer, and the early suburbanite. With today’s political and economic institutions shaped by the largesse of yesteryear, how will Americans fare in the new landscape of water wars, expensive housing, rising fuel prices, environmental and property rights battles, and powerful industrial lobbies?
Americans and Their Land tells the story of Americans' relation to land, how it has changed in the face of diminishing resources, and what the future may hold.

Anne Mackin, former planner for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, and a writer on topics related to planning and history, takes readers story by story from frontier history to the present and shows how land shaped the American political landscape. She shows how our evolving traditions of apportioning resources have allowed diminished supplies to create our present, increasingly unequal society, and she asks how 300 million Americans living in the new American landscape of growing competition can better share those resources.

A history of the past as much as a glimpse into the future, Americans and Their Land considers questions at the boundary of development – the West – where water and its availability or lack thereof constitute one of the biggest threats to the American dream of endless expansion and growth. To succeed, the author asserts, we must reorient our lives, political system, and economy in resource-friendly ways in order to salvage the natural systems that support us and to counter the natural tendency toward inequality that a mature economy exerts.

A compelling, even moving, portrait of the national landscape – its past, its meaning, its urgent need of rescue. – James Carroll, author of House of War and An American Requiem, winner of the National Book Award
Anne Mackin has taken a fresh and provocative look at that most fascinating of relationships: the one between the American people and the American land. – Michael Pollan, Knight Professor of Journalism and Director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism at University of California Berkeley,
Anne Mackin has given us a valuable and less-used lens to view the development of our neighborhoods, towns and cities: the land itself. Our relationship to the earth beneath our feet – how we dig it, buy it, sell it, zone it, pave it, spoil it or pamper it – helps explain what is produced on top of the land in our nation, from farms to homes to skyscrapers. All in all, Mackin takes us on a novel and erudite journey, from one coast to the other, and from Colonial times to the present. This valuable book marks a significant and lasting contribution to the way we see and understand our landscape and ourselves. – Alex Marshall, author of How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl, and the Roads Not Taken
To really understand the origins of the range war now raging between smart growth and property rights advocates over the future of the American land, you need to read this exceptional book. – Robert D. Yaro, President Regional Plan Association and Professor in Practice, University of Pennsylvania

No less than a compelling and sobering picture of the great American struggle between the public and private, between the interests of the individual and the community, Americans and Their Land goes to the very heart of the capitalist system and the changes it has wrought, often for the worst, not only on the environment but on the human condition.

History / Americas / U.S. / State & Local

Boise, Idaho 1882-1910: Prosperity in Isolation by Carol Lynn MacGregor (Mountain Press Publishing Company)

In 2005, Boise, Idaho, is the second fastest-growing city in America. People are moving there because of the beautiful landscape, amenable climate, friendly people, and community values that have brought to this relatively isolated city a level and number of cultural programs unusual for its size. The essence of these values began over a hundred years ago when the community found its own identity as a commercial center after its role supporting gold fields east of town diminished. Emigrants of various ethnic backgrounds seeking economic gain had decided to stay in the Valley to raise their families, and to commit to financing the growth and development of the place they chose to call home.

While most western U.S. cities developed along main railroad lines, the remote community of Boise, Idaho, was bypassed. How did Boise survive?

Carol MacGregor answers that question with Boise, Idaho 1882-1910, a comprehensive examination of Boise's beginnings, starting with the removal of the Northern Shoshoni and following the progress of government, infrastructure, business, and social institutions. She also describes architecture and the arts in Boise, as well as changes in ethnic and religious makeup. Investigating everything from racism and prostitution to hospitals, hotels, and high society, MacGregor, adjunct professor of history at Boise State, takes readers on an in-depth tour of how this distinctive western city developed.

Boise's community development always has responded to a complex set of local and regional conditions, so any successful review of Boise's extensive history has to incorporate local aspects into a broad context of Idaho and regional experience. National, fraternal, racial, and religious elements of Boise's tradition get due notice in Boise, Idaho 1882-1910, as do social and other cultural activities. Basque, Chinese, Japanese, African, German, Irish, and other people join Anglo settlers in this extensive presentation.

Because of a total absence of commercially significant coal and petro­leum resources, Idaho's industrial development has suffered substantially from railway freight rate problems. Except for some mining and logging enterprises – mostly rather distant from Boise – Idaho industrial production could not compete with similar activity in other states. Since freight costs based on weight prohibited significant shipments from Boise, only lightweight items could be competitive, in contrast to states with oil and coal resources that enjoyed more favorable freight rates. Late twentieth-century enterprises, such as laser printers (a Boise invention developed in a local Hewlett Packard plant) finally transformed that economic situation. But Boise's earlier population expansion had to depend upon nonindustrial features.

Military and commercial aviation programs, however, compensated in many ways for twentieth-century retardation that lasted until major changes materialized around 1930. Boise's airport development brought dramatic economic gains immediately after 1940, when a federal opportunity to obtain much longer runways (8,800 feet) than that available to cities like New York and Chicago was accepted eagerly. That transportation transition, associated with Boise's earlier search for industrial experience, finally brought a new era of city improvement, one that compensated dramatically for earlier restrictions. After 1990, Boise's city population rose from 126,685 to 157,452 by 1998, while its total United States census standard metropolitan statistical area increased from 298,140 in 1990 to 395,453 by 1998. A larger standard metropolitan area size accounted for about 120,000 of that substantial increase.

In many ways, most of Boise's later growth depended upon its critical success in municipal expansion between 1882 and 1910. On that account, MacGregor's investigation of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century historical features contributes information essential for an explanation of subsequent city traditions. Aside from consequential political and economic factors, Boise, Idaho 1882-1910 includes systematic coverage of medical, educational, literary, recreational, sports, and other cultural facilities.

This study investigates why Boise prospered even though it failed to attract the mainline in 1882 or build an extensive irrigation system as forecast. It shows the role of Gilded Age boosterism in the new, isolated state of Idaho, and the empowerment of self-appointed leadership in realizing urban goals.

Carol MacGregor has done a service to her hometown, Idaho history, and anyone interested in how Boise came to be. Boise's splendid isolation continues to inform and shape the city. MacGregor's book focuses on a seminal period in the capital's evolution and defines how this city in the high desert became a community. – Alan Minskoff, Director, Department of Journalism, Albertson College of Idaho

MacGregor provides insight into the characters who were Boise's early leaders and, through their history, insight into the unique character of Boise City today. – Alice Dieter, Boise journalist

Boise, Idaho 1882-1910 serves as a significant reference for Boise's history. Local aspects are incorporated into the broader context of Idaho and regional experience in appropriate detail in this thorough and interesting volume.

History / Americas / U.S. / Professional & Technical / Architecture / Reference

New York's Historic Armories: An Illustrated History by Nancy L. Todd (State University of New York Press)

In terms of age and architectural sophistication, the armories built in New York State between 1799 and 1941 comprise the oldest, largest and best collection of pre-World War II era armories in the country. The majority of New York's armories are monumental, medieval-inspired, castellated fortresses that were built between the Civil War and World War I. The history of the state's militia paralleled the evolution of citizen soldiery in America, and New York's arsenal and armory building programs reflected, even led, arsenal and armory building programs across the country. Thus, New York's arsenals and armories epitomize the building type and are among the country's most imposing and tangible monuments to the role of the militia in the nation's military history.

In writing this pictorial overview, New York's Historic Armories, Nancy L. Todd, architectural historian, Program Analyst at the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, draws on archival research as well as historic and contemporary photographs and drawings to trace the evolution of the armory as a specific building type in American architectural and military history. The result of a ten-year collaboration between the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, this illustrated history presents information on all known armories in the state as well as the units associated with them.

Built to house local units of the state’s volunteer militia, armories served as arms storage facilities, clubhouses for the militiamen, and civic monuments symbolizing New York’s determination to preserve domestic law and order through military might. Approximately 120 armories were built in New York State from the late eighteenth century to the middle of the twentieth, and most date from the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when the National Guard was America’s primary domestic peacekeeper during the post-Civil War era of labor-capital unrest. Together, New York’s armories chronicle the history of the volunteer militia, from its emergence during the early Republican Era, through its heyday during the Gilded Age as the backbone of the American military system, to its early twentieth-century role as the nation’s primary armed reserve force.

Chapter 1 of New York's Historic Armories provides a brief history of the Army National Guard in New York State during the four major phases of its evolution. Chapters 2, 3, and 5 through 9 begin with summaries of the various arsenal and armory building programs in New York between 1799 and World War II. Chapter 4 is devoted to the Seventh Regiment and its 1879 armory on Park Avenue. Each overview is followed by detailed discussions of each arsenal/armory within its respective theme. The level of information included in these individual catalog entries varies dramatically. Some entries include only the name of the facility, its approximate date of construction and a single drawing or photograph. Others contain lengthy discussions about the armory itself, the history of the unit for which it was built, the architect who designed the building and the contractor who built the building and are augmented by extensive illustrations in the form of drawings, paintings and/or photographs. Where applicable, notations of previous and/or subsequent armories built either in the same city or for the specific unit under discussion are provided under the heading ‘Others.’

This attractive and engaging book highlights New York’s large and distinguished group of historic armories – national treasures associated with a revered history of security and peacekeeping … I am confident that this book will further our understanding and appreciation of the state’s historic armories and their contribution to safeguarding our communities and citizens. – Governor George E. Pataki

Begun in the late eighteenth century, New York’s extensive armory building program had a significant impact on the development of communities across the state … Today, many of the historic armories are underused or have become obsolete. Safeguarding this remarkable collection presents both challenges and exciting possibilities. – Bernadette Castro, Commissioner, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

As the men and women of our New York National Guard continue their great tradition of defending freedom for their fellow citizens, we applaud this exceptional and unique opportunity to remember the past through the beautiful architectural structures that make up the foundation of our force. – Major General Joseph J. Taluto

New York’s Army National Guard armories are among the most imposing monuments to the role of the citizen soldier in American military history. New York's Historic Armories chronicles the evolution of the armory as a specific building type in American architectural and military history, and the role these buildings played in the history of America’s volunteer militia. Illustrated with photographs and drawings, the book tells of the heyday, followed by the decline of these historic buildings. It ends on a high note – in 1996 Orange County and a New York development firm partnered to rehabilitate the Newburgh Armory, built in 1879, which had fallen into disrepair during the 1970s. The book serves as a valuable reference for readers interested in general, military, and architectural history as it furthers our understanding and appreciation of historic armories and of the cause of protecting the military legacy of New York.

History / Asia / Economics

Dragon Rising: An Inside Look at China Today by Jasper Becker (National Geographic)

Jasper Becker's book, The Chinese, was hailed as the best single-volume introduction to this enormous, inscrutable society. The Washington Post said, "He has been everywhere and asked every question," describing his conclusions as "right in both details and analysis." Since then, China's role in world affairs has only grown greater.

No nation on Earth is as newsworthy as 21st-century China – and now readers have Dragon Rising just as world attention begins to focus on the 2008 Beijing Olympics and China's all-out effort to present itself as a modern world power.

Intertwining in-depth analysis with anecdotal evidence, Jasper Becker, foreign correspondent based in Beijing, addresses major questions: What form will China's government take? How will communism's legacy affect modernization? Can Shanghai's success with urban capitalism be replicated elsewhere? Will wholesale cultural and economic change be resisted by the millions facing sudden transition from an authoritarian state to a market-driven society? How will the new China cope with pollution, unemployment, and voracious demand for energy? Each chapter examines a specific region and such key local issues as poverty, minority unrest, and official corruption, then places them in the broader context of Chinese society as a whole.

In Dragon Rising, award-winning journalist Becker attests that China remains a fascinating paradox that defies easy analysis and black and white answers. He takes a nuanced overview of the major issues surrounding China's transition to a global economic power from a country still meshed in millennia-old traditions.

According to Becker, yes, Beijing's medieval city has been replaced by a forest of plate glass and steel tower blocks. And, yes, Chinese people see themselves on a journey to modernize and revive a great and ancient civilization. Current modernization is bringing change to every part of Chinese society. Private businessmen are getting rich in the Yangtze delta. And China has emerged as a great manufacturing and export machine, with a ravenous consumption of energy and raw materials. But, as Becker brings to life through encounters with a wide range of Chinese, the journey is far from over, and modernity is decidedly uneven. "It's not just about the money ... This government can put a man in space but here on earth you still cannot say anything against it without being thrown in jail. It is just the same as it was when I first came to China twenty years ago," he writes.

Accompanied by powerful images, Dragon Rising focuses on specific geographic regions throughout China, from Beijing to Shanghai to Northeast China to the Pearl River delta and beyond, delving deep into local issues and how they relate to China's situation in the broader context. Through the prism of history and politics, Becker examines the question: Will China become a democracy, an empire, a dictatorship, or something else?

Urbanization is a central theme in China's transition, and Shanghai has been the locus of the country's modernization through capitalism since 1992. Becker discusses the changing Chinese lifestyle strongly evident in that region, including new cultural traditions, consumerism, education and entertainment. Discussing the rise of Shanghai's middle class, he touches on the issues of Chinese emigration and light industry and the phenomenon of entrepreneurs who are half in the state system, half in the private.

Dragon Rising details how the old welfare system dating back from the days of Soviet-style factories and enterprises has some 100 million people trapped across China. According to Becker, protestors in northeast industrial cities have spoken out against debt, pollution and unemployment, and some of these cities are beginning to reinvent themselves.

Rural migration, the influence of foreign-invested plants (U.S., Taiwanese and Hong Kong companies) and China's exportation of goods around the world are all topics unpacked in Becker's portrait of China today. Becker also focuses on agricultural life and the initiation of reforms. He states that issues such as poverty, minorities, environmental degradation, natural resources, water shortages, desertification and endangered species must be addressed for China to succeed.

He has been everywhere and asked every question. – The Washington Post

Becker's broad survey of the last twenty years of reform stresses the ongoing relevance of ancient history to modern China. – The New Yorker

Few Western correspondents in recent times have worked as hard at getting out of Beijing and finding out what is really happening in China. Relentless investigation, sympathetic reporting. – International Herald Tribune

You won't see much of Jasper Becker's kind of reporting in the mainstream press. He has spent the past ten years tramping into areas of the country listening to people most other western journalists disregard. – The Nation

As interest in China grows, Becker is the ideal guide to the profound changes that are already reshaping economic, diplomatic, and military strategies all over the globe. Vividly illustrated with photographs that capture the paradox of an ancient culture remaking itself into a dynamic consumer society, Dragon Rising is a wonderfully written, well-rounded, wide-ranging portrait of China's problems and prospects. Intertwining in-depth examination and anecdotal evidence with contemporary photographs on China's history, culture, economy and politics, Dragon Rising provides critical insights into this dynamic nation in the midst of transformation – and its future.

History / Europe

Nineteenth Century Europe: Sources and Perspectives from History by Michael S. Melancon & John C. Swanson (Pearson Longman)

This engaging collection of primary sources and selected fiction excerpts explores important events, figures, and themes in European history from 1789 to 1900. Including visual and textual sources, Nineteenth Century Europe provides students with a glimpse of the ideologies, attitudes, and emotions that lie behind the facts and figures of history, allowing them to better understand the past.

Written by Michael S. Melancon, Auburn University and John C. Swanson, Utica College of Syracuse University, Nineteenth Century Europe offers four types of selections: memoirs of individuals who witnessed important historical events; excerpts from works of fiction; writings of influential figures and theorists; and significant historical documents. Primary source selections acquaint students with the writings and documents that helped shape the 19th century European history, while the fiction selections bring historical events to the level of human life. The selections explore significant themes of this time period – modernization, liberalism, and nationalism, society and culture, the relationship between the individual and society, and the relationship between Europe and the world – enhancing students' understanding of the historical events presented.

Nineteenth Century Europe provides students with direct images of European history from 1789 to 1914, that is, the so-called long nineteenth century that many commentators see as stretching from the French Revolution to World War I. In the selections, certain themes that reflect significant developments in Europe during the late eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries stand out sharply; these themes are of various type and importance. Some are overtly political, others bear on society, culture, or individual life. All of them helped shape European nations, the experiences of people living in them, and, indirectly, the ways of life of much of the global population. These themes include:

  • The single most important underlying theme in these selections is the relationship between the individual and the state. Throughout the period covered by this text and beyond, this relationship remained in dynamic flux.
  • Liberalism, nationalism, and modernization are a second set of themes in these selections. If the individual's relationship to the state and society was an ‘underlying’ theme of Europe's history during the nineteenth century, liberalism, nationalism, and modernization were the ‘overlying’ themes, that is, the ones that dominated people's concerns and actions in an overt fashion. Taken together liberalism, nationalism, and modernization constituted the primary spheres of political action and ideology during the nineteenth century.
  • Along with the principal historical themes, several sub-themes of great significance thread their way through the various sections in Nineteenth Century Europe. Among these are the women's ques­tion, class conflict, and the breakdown of traditional values or, to put the matter another way, cultural uncertainty. This last became associated with a certain tendency to solve problems by one or another form of overt violence.
  • Another significant sub-theme that requires separate discussion concerns relations among European nations and European relations with the outside world.

Nineteenth Century Europe utilizes five types of selections: the writings of influential historical actors and theorists (Napoleon, de Staël, Marx, Nightingale, Darwin, Freud, and Nietzsche); important historical documents (declarations, constitutions, and treaties); memoirs of persons who witnessed great historical events (St. John and Leighton); important visual images (situated at the beginning of each section); and excerpts from fiction (novels, poetry, or plays of Eliot, Hardy, Balzac, and Ibsen) selected to illustrate important events or developments. Through these prisms, each revealing in a special way, students both comprehend and experience the past.

A wonderfully rich collection of sources, in fact one of the best available for teaching the history of nineteenth-century Europe. – Andreas Daum, University at Buffalo

One of the only collections of readings that covers so much of the century and so many issues. – Anne R. Higgenbotham, Eastern Connecticut State University

A promising new text with intelligently chosen documents … well-written introductions focus the reader’s attention in a sound pedagogical approach. – Gerald Anderson, North Dakota State University

Both challenging and captivating, Nineteenth Century Europe provides students with a glimpse of the emotions, ideologies, and mindsets that lie behind the facts and figures of history, allowing them to experience the past and to better understand it. Students using this reader face a rewarding and challenging experience. Taken all together, these various sources of historical knowledge and understanding create for students an historical recollection as rich in emotional and intellectual content as in facts and structure. The readings, chosen for their centrality or insightfulness rather than for ease, will provide special rewards for engaged and interested students. Students will take away from the course a permanent, usable sense of the past, a third kind of historical memory.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Baltimore Elegance: A New Approach to Classic Album Quilts by Elly Sienkiewicz (C&T Publishing)

While you, my dear; your needlework attend

Observe the counsel of a faithful friend

And strive an inward ornament to gain

Or all your needlework shall prove in vain. – from an antique Sampler

For anyone who has always wanted to create a beautiful Baltimore Album quilt, in Baltimore Elegance expert Elly Sienkiewicz offers more than two dozen simple blocks that build to timeless classics. In-depth how-tos and six skill-building lessons make it easy for readers to make full-size or to make children’s quilts, totes, or pillows. The book includes:

  • A fresh look at Baltimore Album quilts.
  • 25 new smaller, less complex blocks and border designs.
  • Eight large reproduction blocks, plus 25 smaller blocks and border designs.
  • Six simple lessons for improving appliqué skills.

The Getting Started section of Baltimore Elegance presents an understanding of Baltimore Album quilts and their design, followed by a handbook of appliqué basics. The Oak Leaf and Reel Pattern illustrates the first techniques, serving as a preview of the journey ahead. The lessons are pro­gressive: each builds upon the previous one. Lesson 1 assumes that readers are novices; Lesson 2 presumes that they have learned the skills taught in Lesson 1 – and so on up to Lesson 6. With this approach, even the most experienced appliquérs will learn something they did not know before. Between Lessons 1 and 6 lie all manner of wonders – from basic one-layer appliqué; on to perfect stems and circles; to Layered, Dimensional, Ultra-suede, and Ribbon Appliqué; then on to embellishments, including inked, beaded, and embroidered.

The subject matter of Album blocks is diverse and often symbolic. Some favorite motifs (fleurs-de-lis, eagles, doves, wreaths of grape and laurel) have familiar symbolic meanings. Symbols were a common tongue in the era. Although the written word is the most specific of all symbols, compulsory public education was just coming onto the scene in the Album era. So that readers can enjoy some of our blocks on this level, symbolic meanings have been noted for patterns wherever possible. And because sweet sayings, quotes, and poems were inscribed on many Album blocks, inscriptions from antique quilts and samplers appear throughout Baltimore Elegance. The combined impact of the pret­tiness of the appliqués, the silent witness of the symbols, and the eloquence of the inscriptions is one of beneficence.

Sienkiewicz, quilter, teacher, and world-renowned expert on the Baltimore Album quilt, the author of 19 books, says:

“Lost in thought, I contemplate those richly appliquéd Baltimore Album quilts, the antique style become so precious to me. Baltimore Elegance intends to teach their style through a pattern mode so easy, so accessible, that a stitcher will be inspired to fashion such a quilt even for a very young child, perhaps even with a young child (and so this book includes projects and paraphernalia for sewing with a child). This book is for all who dream of stitching an eyeful of beauty, bright colors, and happy memories: A ‘keeping quilt’ to greet a loved one's waking moments and to blanket them – to protect them as cloud-cover shields against harsh sun – and to speak a fond ‘goodnight’ and ‘happy day tomorrow.’

“If a quilt-maker is very, very lucky, her next quilt will be for a child. That child will grow up knowing both the stitcher and the love she stitched. The simple though eloquent Albums this book envisions are ones whose hand-wrought beauty so speaks to the soul, that though carefully used, they will be well-treated and survive to warm another generation. …

“It takes time for love to blossom. Returning from the exhibition, my Album courtship began. It began in a young mom's time – time stolen from the night. I sat up late drawing Baltimore blocks into appliqué patterns.…

“As I worked on the old quilts, I felt the mystery of my con­nectedness to others. Not literally – in the sense of held hands or shared conversations – but spiritually, in a shared understanding of our very humanity, of our brief time here on this earth. To my joy, others were intrigued by the Albums and joined this journey. Their enthusiasm encouraged me to delve deeper into these quilts, to research how they were made and by whom. Because my fellow Album-makers swelled so in numbers, this era – now in its third decade – has been widely dubbed the ‘Baltimore Album Revival.’ During this time, I have studied and stitched intensively and written numerous appliqué books. I wrote and stitched from being a mother of young children on into being a grandmother.

It is hard to think of ourselves as making history in our everyday lives ... but we do. Future ages will look back on us and know important things about us through our quilts, and so what our quilts bear witness to matters.” – from the Preface

Sienkiewicz appears to be growing nostalgic and thinking about her legacy in Baltimore Elegance – and she has quite a legacy. With these new simplifications and down-sizing, the book is great for classes or clubs, and perfect for all types of quilters. The techniques apply beyond Album quilts and may also be used to embellish totes, aprons, pillows or a block carrier.

Home & Garden / Design & Construction / Professional & Technical / Engineering

Loft Conversions by John Coutts (Blackwell Publishing)

Domestic loft conversions have grown enormously in popularity as a way of providing more space without the substantial cost of moving. One third of all newly built houses, in England at least, have lofts that can be used for habitation.

Given the rapid development of loft conversion as a specialist activity in recent years, it is perhaps surprising that so little has been written about the subject. Indeed, some of the construction details illustrated in Loft Conversions have not been formally described until now.

Loft Conversions provides technical guidance on loft conversions in single family dwellings, and is intended primarily for architects, builders, surveyors and others professionally involved in the process of loft conversion. However, it will also be of interest to students in construction and the self-build market.

Loft Conversions is the first book providing comprehensive technical guidance on loft conversions and is the result of extensive research and consultation with regulatory bodies and practitioners. Written by John Coutts, writer on technology issues, and television director, and technical consultant on building projects, the book covers technical, design and regulatory aspects in full, and includes a good range of construction details.

For clarity and ease of use, the contents of the book are arranged to follow a typical construction sequence. Contents include: planning and legal considerations, the building regulations and building control, external forms, fire, conversion survey, beams and primary structure, floor structure, wall structure, roof structure, and energy conservation. The appendices include specification, the building regulations: appeals and determinations, and planning and cartilage. There are also a glossary, bibliography and index.

Loft Conversions provides a technical manual for construction practitioners as well as the self-build market, using the technical specifications for England and Wales, on the technical, design and regulatory aspects of loft conversions for dwellings. As a matter of necessity, certain sections have been written to ref1ect guidance and law as it applies in England and Wales. However, much of the book is applicable in other areas.

Literature & Fiction / Historical

A Cabinet of Wonders by Renee Dodd (The Toby Press)

When readers open A Cabinet of Wonders, every individual they meet is an original, their uniqueness indelibly marked on their flesh.

Molly and Faye are spirited teenagers – and conjoined twins. Saffron is the Wolf Girl, her female form covered head to toe in fur. Alex/Alexandra is a seductive and irritable hermaphrodite. To the rubes that pay good coin to see them, they are Freaks. To the other carnies, they are the carnival's most lucrative source of income, and sometimes, friends. To Shadrach, the tattooed man of God who travels with them, they are evidence of the divine. For Dugan – scholar, showman, romantic, and dwarf – the cabinet of wonders is more than just a business, it's his family and the center of his universe, and he'll do everything he can to keep it together ... despite the rifts that are appearing after three years on the road.

In A Cabinet of Wonders readers learn that before running away from the dime museum and their cruel maybe-mother, Molly and Faye used to daydream about finding a girl's school that would take them in as a charity case. They imagined befriending girls their own age with whom they'd sneak out of school to have adventures and play fun pranks. But it was just a daydream; in truth they knew that the girls would be snobby and mean, staring and pointing without having paid for the privilege. And supposing the place was run by women who felt a great pity for Molly and Faye and decided to try and help them? Then there'd be worse possibilities. Tall grim physicians with ghoul-white skin dressed in funereal black would be summoned to poke at the twins' naked flesh and guess how much of their internal systems were shared, some of the cold hearts wondering aloud if it'd be worth sacrificing one girl to free the other. Molly and Faye had heard stories. They knew.

So in A Cabinet of Wonders when Molly and Faye fled the woman they called their mother, they ran not to a silly girls' school but to the first Freak Show they could find. Far better to be a Freak in the carnival than to be a Medical Conundrum out in the world.

It's a blessing to find a novel this ambitious and original... the prose is both elegant and robust, the storytelling both subtle and vivid, and the scale of it both epic and intimate. Best of all, Dodd's evocation of her large and colorful cast of characters is complex, unsentimental, and humane, all at once. Finding the humanity in the denizens of a circus break show isn't as unusual as it used to be, thank God, but doing it with such compassion, wit, and sensuality is remarkable in any era. – James Hynes

Wondrous ... Dodd has taken characters we shun as ‘other’ and made them into ourselves by involving us in their passion, their pain, and their vulnerable, hopeful laughter. A great debut! – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Set in 1927, A Cabinet of Wonders is a marvelous debut novel confronting the spectacle of the Freak Show. The book, written by Georgia native Renee Dodd, steps through the curtains and out the other side, taking readers to a candid, complex human space where they can know outsiders as intimates.

Mysteries & Thrillers

The Chemistry of Death: A Novel of Suspense by Simon Beckett (Delacorte Press)

A human body starts to decompose four minutes after death. The body, once the encapsulation of life, now undergoes its final metamorphoses….

With these chilling words, the narrator of freelance journalist Simon Beckett’s nerve-jangling novel of suspense begins his tale – a story of mystery, forensic science, and a nightmare that has descended on a picturesque English town.

The Chemistry of Death tells the story of David Hunter who three years ago moved to rural Norfolk to escape his life in London, his gritty work in forensics, and a devastating personal tragedy that nearly destroyed him. Working as a simple country doctor, seeing his lost wife and daughter only in his dreams, David struggles to remain uninvolved when the corpse of a woman is found in the woods, a macabre sign from her killer decorating her body. In one horrifying instant, the quiet summer countryside that had been David’s refuge has turned malevolent. And suddenly there is no place to hide.

The village of Manham is tight knit, far from the beaten path. As a newcomer, David is immediately a suspect. Once an expert in analyzing human remains, he reluctantly joins the police investigation – and when another woman disappears, it soon becomes personal, because this time she is someone David knows, someone who has managed to penetrate the icy barrier around his heart. With a killer’s bizarre and twisted methods screaming out to him, with a brooding countryside beset with suspicion, David can feel the darkness gathering around him.

It will take all of his expertise to catch this killer before this once-peaceful community disappears into a deadly fog of fear and paranoia – and another victim is claimed. But as the clock ticks down on a young woman’s life, David must follow the macabre trail of clues – all the way to its final conclusion.

The Chemistry of Death has to be the best thriller I've read all year – I just couldn't put it down. And Simon Becket writes so well – his novel is fast-paced, fascinating and heart-stoppingly exciting but also has an extra magic that one can only call poetry. – Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Vanish

A fresh and original voice, Simon Beckett perfectly captures the claustrophobic horror of a rural community in crisis. Absolutely compelling – and so deliciously scary. – Mo Hayder, author of Pig Island

A classy debut from a welcome new British voice. – London Times

Spine tinglingly frightening, but also poignant and caring, and it hits the bull's-eye on the board from the word go. – Independent on Sunday (UK)

In the mold of Patricia Cornwell. .. brilliant. – The Daily Mirror

British author Beckett was applauded on his home turf when, this, the first novel in his new suspense series, was published earlier this year. Praised for its gritty forensic detailing, The Chemistry of Death was inspired by Beckett's real-life experience as a freelance journalist – his trip to the Body Farm at the National Forensics Academy in Tennessee for an article on their training methods. A Crime Writers Association nominee for Best Novel, the book now makes its U.S. debut. It is a powerful and ingenious exploration the effects of violence in a small community through a richly realized cast of characters. We look forward to sequels.

Mysteries & Thrillers

The Mystery Writer by Jessica Mann (Allison and Bushby)

In The Mystery Writer, author and journalist Jessica Mann weaves truth and fiction as well as timelines, and includes herself as a character in the book.

It is 1940, and the world is at war. Britain is evacuating its children, to keep them 'out of harms way' and Ted Johns, son of the groundskeeper at the manor house in Goonzoyle finds himself in steerage aboard the evacuees' ship, SS City of Benares. In the first class cabins is the heir to Goonzoyle, Jonathan Hicks, but when the ship is torpedoed, the boys find themselves thrown together, clinging to the wreckage of a life raft. Many lives are lost that night, and the long list of lost children includes Ted Johns. But Jonathan survives and begins a new life in California,

And then it is 1951, with Jonathan returning to Cornwall where his only surviving relations are the Polhearnes. Young Rosina Polhearne has made friends with 13 year-old Delia who is vacationing at a nearby caravan site, until Delia's stepmother disappears without trace; her father is suspected of murder, and the two girls lose touch.

From there, The Mystery Writer jumps to 2003, and author Jessica Mann is at home in Cornwall researching her new (real) book Out of Harm's Way, the story of the children evacuated from Britain during World War II. She contacts Ted John's sister Connie, who has bought the derelict Goonzoyle, wanting to discuss the Benares disaster. In response to her request for information, Connie contacts her. As Mann digs deeper into the story Connie reveals, she realizes that the events of that fateful night in 1940 are haunting the present. When human bones are found in its grounds: the remains of two women, it gradually becomes clear that beneath the events of that fateful night on the Atlantic lie half a century's worth of secrets, lies and crimes.

Literate and meticulously plotted, as can be expected from this stylish writer, with a story that grips from the very beginning. Absorbing reading. – Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph

A mystery and urgency which makes much of contemporary story-telling seem nerveless in comparison. – Anita Brookner, Spectator

Mann writes beautifully, picking her way through the sad and sinister with an air of dainty ruthlessness. – Irish Times

Reminiscent of the evocative Cornish setting that permeated Daphne Du Maurier's books, Mann revives the haunting beauty of a region that inspires great writing. A clever blend of fact and fiction, Mann herself plays a central role in the story, expertly blurring the line between reality and the fictional story. Utterly compelling, The Mystery Writer is a tantalizing read that both haunts and intrigues.

Mysteries & Thrillers / Cozy

Death in the Orchid Garden (Gardening Mysteries) by Ann Ripley (Kensington Books)

Former newspaperwoman and avid organic gardener Ann Ripley's garden mysteries have charmed reviewers and fans alike. Her protagonist, Louise Eldrige, the fearless, green-thumbed star of public television's top gardening show has been called "one of mysterydom's more engaging amateur sleuths" by Kirkus Reviews. The Chicago Sun-Times has praised Ripley's work, as ‘riveting,’ while Booklist has described her novels as ‘tantalizing.’

Ripley brings Louise back in Death in the Orchid Garden, and on a road trip to Hawaii.

Lush with hibiscus, ficus, plumeria, and monkey-pod trees, the island of Kauai is the perfect place for Louise to film a few episodes of Gardening with Nature – especially since an elite botanical conference is taking place at her luxury hotel.

Sipping mai tais…floating in the lagoon…ah, the good life. But in Death in the Orchid Garden the tropical paradise isn’t so idyllic once prima dona botanists Bruce Bouting, Matthew Flynn, and Charles Reuter come crashing in. Their competing egos may make for a good episode of Louise’s show, but their constant bickering is enough to wilt a palm tree.

After their shoot at the National Tropical Botanical Garden, home to some of Hawaii’s most beautiful native orchid species, Louise unwinds with a sunset walk on the beach. But at the base of a cliff, she makes a grisly discovery; the battered body of Matthew Glynn. Her attempts to save his life are fruitless, and – after seeing his injuries firsthand – Louise is convinced that his death was no accident.

As a dark cloud of suspicion settles over the island, in Death in the Orchid Garden everyone at the hotel becomes a suspect. The jungle cowboy had recently trumped his rivals with an important plant discovery – is professional jealousy at the root of his murder? It'll take some serious digging for Louise to unearth the clues, but she'll have to be very careful, because this is one killer who is ready to plant her in the ground. ...

Ripley continues to exhibit polish and flair in this sunny addition to the cozy mystery landscape. – Booklist

One of mysterydom's more engaging amateur sleuths. – Kirkus Reviews

A riveting whodunit… a wonderful way to pass those gray days when you can't get into your garden. – Chicago Sun-Times

The next time your yard calls out for a good weeding, nurture the gardener first. Plop down on that lawn chair, ignore those June bugs, and enjoy the read. – USA Today

Ripley's neatly plotted fifth horticultural cozy (after 2005's Summer Garden Murder) takes Louise Eldridge, host of a PBS show, Gardening with Nature, on location to the Hawaiian island of Kauai, the lush setting for an elite botanical conference. … Ripley's green thumb fans will relish the paradise island setting and Louise's reliable sleuthing. – Publishers Weekly

Death in the Orchid Garden will be a fun one, especially for gardeners, to take on that Fall/Winter getaway.

Politics / Social Sciences

Classical Antiquity and the Politics of America: From George Washington to George W. Bush edited by Michael Meckler (Baylor University Press)

Rather than being viewed as a relic of an archaic educational system, references and allusions to classical antiquity display American political thought at its most innovative and idealistic. From slavery to the line-item veto, from freedom of speech to ‘preemptory first strike,’ crucial issues of United States policy have often been informed by analysis of the history and literature of the Greeks and Romans. Although the relevance of classical antiquity to American political debate has regularly been questioned from the time of the Founders to the present, the persistent attention paid to the ancients' voice, whether thundering forth or heard only in faint echo, suggests that today's historians and political scientists should pay greater heed both to their own study of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as to those decision makers throughout American history who have been influenced by the world of classical antiquity.

Classical Antiquity and the Politics of America emerged from a panel organized by the editor at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association held in San Francisco in January 2002. The panel, on "Classical Antiquity and the United States Senate," contained earlier versions of the papers published in this volume by Carl J. Richard, Caroline Winterer, the editor of this volume, Michael Meckler, permanent fellow in the Center for Epigraphical and Paleographical Studies at The Ohio State University in Columbus, and Robert F. Maddox. The panel was sponsored by the Association of Ancient Historians (AAH).

The authority of the philosophical ideals of the ancients emerges in a wide variety of political issues in America today. Less than eight years before John McCain's recent romp through classical mythology, a trial took place in Colorado to evaluate whether an amendment to the state constitution, approved by the voters in 1992, violated the United States Constitution. The Colorado amendment would have prohibited legal status for homosexuals, along with the accompanying protections and preferential treatment. Some of the testimony at the trial dealt with the understandings of the ancient Greeks toward homosexuality, since homosexual relationships were commonly found within ancient Greek society. That classical Greece should provide evidence for how American government deals with homosexuality indicates that the residual authority of antiquity remains very real.

The debate over gay rights is not the only area of modem political debate where the ancients are regularly invoked. Aspects of classical antiquity remain emblematic of contemporary issues among certain political groups. Libertarians cite the fall of the Roman Empire as an example of the dangers of bureaucracy. Supporters of Afro-centric education for Black Americans claim Pharaonic and Ptolemaic Egypt as sources for Greek and Roman civilization, and thus valorize ancient Egypt as an equivalent, if not superior focus of learning and inspiration. Advocates of a strong military idealize the organization of the armed forces of the ancient Greeks.

The exemplary power of classical antiquity has remained a feature of policy making and political discourse throughout the history of the United States. Classical Antiquity and the Politics of America examines how that power has been employed from the time of the Founders to today. Scholars from classics, history, and political philosophy have prepared essays on topics as diverse as the establishment of the United States Senate; the debate over how best to transform African American society in the aftermath of slavery; and the use of the American military as a means of promoting Western ideals.

The individual essays stand alone in portraying the connections between clas­sics and American politics for a particular event at a particular time. Yet taken as a whole, the collection reveals the changes that have occurred in the use, prestige, and influence of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Furthermore, each of the essays in Classical Antiquity and the Politics of America contains points of intersection with other essays in the collection, and the entire volume can be read as a continuous narrative on the history of American classicism, at least with regard to education and public policy.

The contents of Classical Antiquity and the Politics of America, together with the authors of the chapters, includes:

1                    Classical Education in Colonial America –William J. Ziobro, associate professor of classics at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts

2                    Classical Antiquity and Early Conceptions of the United States Senate – Carl J. Richard, professor of history at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette

3                    Classical Oratory and Fears of Demagoguery in the Antebellum Era – Caroline Winterer, assistant professor of history at Stanford University in Palo Alto

4                    William Sanders Scarborough and the Politics of Classical Education for African Americans – Michele Valerie Ronnick, associate professor of classics, Greek and Latin at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

5                    The Rise of Populism, the Decline of Classical Education, and the Seventeenth Amendment – Michael Meckler

6                    William Linn Westermann at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 – John Milton Cooper; Jr., E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin

7                    The World of Moses Finkelstein: The Year 1939 in M. I. Finley's Development as a Historian – Daniel P. Tompkins, director of the Intellectual Heritage Program and associate professor of classics at Temple University in Philadelphia

8                    Thucydides and the Cold War – Lawrence A. Tritle, professor of history at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles

9                    Senator Robert C. Byrd and the Wisdom of the Ancients – Robert E. Maddox, deceased, was pro­fessor of history at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia

10                Platonism in High Places: Leo Strauss, George W Bush, and the Response to 9/11 – Neil G. Robertson, associate professor of humanities and social sciences at the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia

This fascinating volume demonstrates how tenacious and multi-faceted has been the classical heritage for American politics. One discovers when and why Greece replaced Rome as the favored political model, how Thucydides shaped interpretations of the Cold War (and vice-versa), what classical studies qualify as un-American activities, and what Cicero thought of the line-item veto. – James H. Read, College of St. Benedict and St. John's University

This wide-ranging collection of essays on classicism and American politics is filled with gems. The development of the frontier, populism, slavery, immigration, women's rights, Progressivism, and technological influences are all revealed as having a profound impact on the interaction between the American political order and the contribution of classical studies to liberal education. – Richard Dougherty, University of Dallas

Study of the ancients provides a bulwark against the mindless drifting of political activities and institutions into unrecognizable and uncontrollable forms. As the twenty-first century moves forward, the obsessions of the Founders with trying to understand the circumstances of the fall of the Roman Republic may once again become our own. A summary of that history of American classicism as provided in Classical Antiquity and the Politics of America may be useful in discerning trends and understanding the relationship of the individual essays to the larger trends, especially in the areas of education and public policy.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God edited by John Piper & Justin Taylor (Crossway Books)

In the last few years, 9/11, a tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and many other tragedies have shown us that the vision of God in today’s churches in relation to evil and suffering is often frivolous. Against the overwhelming weight and seriousness of the Bible, many Christians are choosing to become more shallow, more entertainment oriented, and therefore irrelevant in the face of massive suffering.

In Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, contributing ministers John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, Steve Saint, Carl Ellis, David Powlison, Dustin Shramek, and Mark Talbot explore the many categories of God’s sovereignty. While the contributors to the book are united in their theology of God's sovereignty over suffering, they each approach the topic from a different angle.

Part 1 of Suffering and the Sovereignty of God focuses most specifically on the sovereignty of God in and over suffering. In chapter 1 Piper celebrates the biblical truth that God is sovereign over Satan's work – including Satan's delegated world rule. In chapter 2 Talbot takes up the issue of how God's will relates to individual wills when they hurt each other and themselves. Talbot argues that while God never does evil, he does indeed ordain evil. He then deals with the question of how individuals can be free and be held responsible for their choices.

Given that God is sovereign over all suffering, Part 2 asks why he allows pain. In chapter 3 Piper argues that the ultimate biblical explanation for the existence of suffering is so that "Christ might dis­play the greatness of the glory of the grace of God by suffering in himself to overcome our suffering." In chapter 4 Piper suggests six ways that the mission of the church is advanced through suffering.

Steve Saint is often identified with suffering, but he points out in chapter 5 that suffering is relative. While we in the West expend vast resources to avoid suffering, we fail to realize that suffering people want to be ministered to by those who have themselves suffered. Saint recounts two deeply painful chapters of his life: the death of his father and the death of his daughter, and he believes that God planned both deaths.

In chapter 6 Ellis helps readers think through ethnic-based suffering under the sovereignty of God. He argues that the body of Christ needs to be a prophetic voice in our culture, developing a more radical understanding of ethnic-based suffering and modeling the true meaning of ethnicity unto the glory of God.

The final major section of Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, Part 3, looks at the grace of God in suffering. In chapter 7 Powlison discusses not the general topic of God and suffering, but rather how God's grace meets readers in their sufferings. He suggests thinking of his chapter as a workshop, encouraging readers to jot notes and write in the margin, working out the principles.

"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning" (Ps. 30:5). That's the verse behind chapter 8, written by Shramek. Readers can wait for joy that comes in the morning because of faith, but they must not forget that the night is often long and dark, and the weeping is often uncontrollable. Chapter 9, by Tada, centers around the themes of meeting suffering and joy on God's terms. She recalls a famous line from The Shawshank Redemption where Andy Dufresne says: "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies." But she acknowledges that hope is often hard to come by, recounting the suffering of her friends and her own pain as a quadriplegic. She ends with a hope-filled, stirring vision of that Day when all will experience Trinitarian fellowship.

At the end of Suffering and the Sovereignty of God the editors have included two appendices. The first, entitled "Don't Waste Your Cancer," began as a meditation by  Piper on the eve of his prostate surgery. A few weeks later, Powlison learned that he too had prostate cancer, and he added his own reflections the morning after his diagnosis. Finally, they have included an interview that Taylor conducted with Piper at the "Suffering and the Sovereignty of God" conference, where he was able to ask him some questions about his own theological journey as well as some of the more difficult issues surrounding the pain of suffering.

For all who don’t live a charmed life, for all who have given themselves to the point of exhaustion, for all who have been betrayed by pious backstabbers, for all who wonder if they can even go on, Suffering and the Sovereignty of God will be green pastures and deep, still waters. – Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr., Senior Pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee

This is not another theological volume that complicates what appears to be an irreconcilable paradox; it is a book that grows out of practical experience and applies Scripture to a realistic world where we all live. – Jerry Rankin, President, Southern Baptist International Mission Board

This book will challenge you to believe that God is truly sovereign, not just in the safe haven of theological inquiry, but also in the painful messiness of real life. You will be encouraged to live more consistently by God’s grace and for his glory. – Mark D. Roberts, Senior Pastor, Irvine Presbyterian Church, Irvine, California

The editors hope that God directs the right readers – in accordance with his sovereign purposes – to Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. This book is for those who are dealing with suffering and faith. Perhaps their suffering has been so severe and relentless that they are on the verge of losing all hope. Or at the other end of the spectrum, perhaps they have a slightly guilty feeling because, though they see suffering all around, they have experienced very little suffering directly. Perhaps they are working through some of the deep theological questions surrounding this issue. Or perhaps they simply need to read that others have suffered too – and survived with their faith intact. Whatever readers’ situations, this book will help readers in their struggle, suffering, and search.

Religion & Spirituality / New Age / Entertainment / Movies

Conversations with God: The Making of the Movie by Monty Joynes, with Neale Donald Walsch (Hampton Road Publishing Company, Inc.)

Conversations with God: The Making of the Movie, written by Monty Joynes, novelist and screenwriter, co-author of The Celestine Prophecy: The Making of the Movie, provides a unique and exclusive insight into the process and personalities involved in the spiritually relevant film genre that has become known as spiritual cinema.

Conversations with God asks the question: What would happen if God suddenly started talking to you? This September Producer/Director Stephen Simon (Somewhere in Time, What Dreams May Come) presents the film adaptation of Conversations with God to dramatically answer that question.

His personal relationships had failed. His career tracks had dead-ended. Now his health was threatened. Neale Donald Walsch, at age 48, was financially destitute and in a state of chronic depression. From this low place of frustration and desperation, Neale vented his ire by writing an angry letter to God on a yellow legal pad. At the end of an almost hysterical writing frenzy, near physical and emotional collapse, he was unable to release the pen from his hand. He heard a voice over his right shoulder, a real voice that frightened him. Then the voice moved inside Neale's head, and he wrote what the voice said.

"Neale, do you really want answers to all these questions, or are you just venting?"

What had begun as a private process in February 1992 thus became a dialog with an infinite source, which Neale later called a ‘Conversation with God.’

As told in Conversations with God, the movie is the dramatic story of Walsch's passage from being poor and homeless to becoming a messenger of spiritual truths that have impacted people worldwide. Book One of the Conversations with God series stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for more than two and a half years and has been translated into 36 languages, with more than 7 million copies sold.

A decade after the appearance of Book One, Conversations with God, the movie, began shooting November 7, 2005, in Ashland, Oregon, where the actual events of Neale's transformation occurred. The full back story of Neale's struggle is revealed in a feature-length film produced and directed by Stephen Simon, who is responsible for the launch of a new cinema movement. The narrative text connects the film's storyline to the synchronistic events that linked all cast and crewmembers. From preproduction to the location sets, in more than 200 full-color production stills, production design works of art, and frames from the movie itself, the books shows the filmmakers at work.

Throughout the book, Walsh adds a commentary dimension unprecedented in moviemaking literature. All this combines to make Conversations with God a touchstone document in the evolution of conscious moviemaking now recognized as spiritual cinema.

Science Fiction & Fantasy / Thrillers / Horror

The Grays by Whitley Strieber (Tor Books)

Bestselling author Whitley Strieber returns with a terrifying tale of aliens on earth – soon to be a major motion picture.

We are not alone.

Millions of people are confronting aliens that authorities say do not exist. Strieber – author of the legendary, #1 bestseller Communion, which detailed his own close encounters, returns to the riddle of aliens with The Grays. Drawing on a lifetime of research, Strieber offers up a fictional account of the conspiracy behind alien presence on Earth while also giving readers a look inside the alien mind.

The Grays introduces readers to The Three Thieves, a group of ‘Grays’ assigned to duty in a small Kentucky town. For decades, they have abducted its residents and manipulated bloodlines trying to create an ultra-intelligent human being. Nine year-old Conner Callahan faces ultimate terror as he struggles to understand who he has been bred to be, and what he must do to save humanity.

The book introduces Colonel Michael Wilkes, the head of a select group of government and military officials who have been monitoring the Grays for years. Wilkes has done everything in his power to keep the secret of the Grays from the public. But when the Grays begin to reveal themselves, Wilkes’s fear of occupation forces him to set in motion his own plan to ensure the survival of humanity, at a heavy cost. The fate of the human race lies with one woman, Lauren Glass, whose unique ability to communicate with the last remaining captive Gray, known as A for Adam, may be the only way humans can unravel the Grays ultimate plan.

When Adam suddenly escapes the highly secure underground Air Force facility that he's been held in for years, a frantic race and fight for the life of Conner begins, as the government strives to outmaneuver the Grays and keep the secret of their presence intact.

The Grays is the novel Whitley Strieber was born to write. The aliens feel so authentic, and their collaborators – our own high-ranking government officials – are so unforgettable, they will forever change the way you view the world…. The Grays will freeze your marrow. As with all of Whitley’s books, you are in for the ride of your life. – Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of Tyrannosaur Canyon
In The Grays, Whitley does for alien occupation what he and Art Bell did for global warming and planet-wide disaster in The Coming Global Superstorm – which inspired The Day After Tomorrow. He has written the definitive alien occupation novel. – William J. Birnes, co-author of the New York Times bestseller The Day After Roswell  
Strieber's aliens and their blood-curdling plot to commandeer our very souls come shockingly alive in this utterly unique thriller. – David Hagberg USA Today bestselling author of Soldier of God

Fact into fiction ... a first-rate exercise in literary paranoia. – Publishers Weekly

The Grays is a quantum leap back to his fictional form, powered by his newer, nonfiction obsessions ... It's a terrific read. – Booklist

Many of Strieber's books, both fiction and nonfiction, have been made into films, and this one is no exception with Sony Pictures already having purchased the movie rights, with Black Hawk Down screenwriter Ken Nolan receiving one of the biggest studio payouts to begin the book's script treatment. The Grays is an action-packed adventure, which Booklist has noted, seems "already blocked out like a screenplay," that will frighten and enthrall readers. This book returns Strieber to his roots in fictional horror with what will likely become a blockbuster. If readers have never so much as thought about the mystery of aliens before, The Grays will make them think deeply, not only about aliens, but who exactly we are.

Social Sciences / Media Studies / Communication / Politics

Mass Media, an Aging Population and the Baby Boomers by Michael L. Hilt & Jeremy H. Lipschultz (LEA's Communication Series: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers)

The United States is entering a time of dramatic change. The baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, is heading toward their retirement years. Uses of mass media, as well as the images portrayed, are already being influenced by the demographic shift. For example, when Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan warned in 2004 that, in about a decade, Social Security and Medicare funding shortfalls would be driven by baby boomer retirements, the story was extensively reported in the press.

As the oldest members of the baby boomer generation head into their retirement years, the demographic shift is having a substantial influence on uses of mass media, as well as the images portrayed in these media. Mass Media, an Aging Population and the Baby Boomers provides a comprehensive examination of the relationship between media and aging issues, addressing mass media theory and practice as it relates to older Americans.

Reviewing current research on communication and gerontology, authors Michael Hilt, professor and graduate chair, and Jeremy Lipschultz, professor and director, both of the School of Communication, University of Nebraska at Omaha, focus on aging baby boomers and their experiences with television, radio, print media, entertainment, advertising and public relations, along with the Internet and new media. They draw from studies about health and sexuality to understand views of aging, and present a view of older people as important players in the political process. Hilt and Lipschultz conclude the book by addressing trends and making predictions related to baby boomers and mass media.
Mass Media, an Aging Population and the Baby Boomers contains numerous relevant photographs, case studies, figures, tables, and boxes. Each chapter also has a summary and review questions to help reinforce the information pre­sented in the main text.

Much of  the book deals with such controversial questions as how different are the baby boomers from the older (World War II generation) and the younger (‘silent generation’) cohorts? Will the baby boomers make a qualitative difference to our aging population or will they simply continue the trends of the last several generations? What are the positive aspects and opportunities of the baby boomers as well as their problems as they age?

Aging baby boomers are an interesting group because of their lifelong experience with mass media, including television. They were born at the dawn of the television age. Additionally, they have come to embrace the Internet in large numbers. Beyond this, the older World Wide Web users have, in some cases, enthusiastically adopted the Internet as a source of information and a means to maintain interpersonal communication with family, friends, and interest groups.

The introductory chapter explains why aging baby boomers are an important area of mass media study – the 77 million boomers in the United States are a segment of the population with political, social, and economic power. Chapter 2 reviews theory and research on communi­cation and gerontology.

Media images of older people may construct social realities for the public and have effects on individuals. Over long periods of time, stereotypical images may cultivate negative representations of aging. At the same time, the elderly sometimes suffer from disengagement because of declining health. Chapter 3 examines television as one replacement for interpersonal interaction. This chapter reviews the relation between broadcast news and the elderly. Chapter 4 focuses on print media. Older readers remain the most important audience for print media. However, poor eyesight among older people is one reason why they may forsake reading.

Chapter 5 turns to the topic of entertainment. Because older people generally have more available free time, they use media for entertainment. Baby boomers are a distinct cultural group, which emphasizes leisure time. Media usage competes with other entertainment activities. In chapter 6, the impact of aging on advertising and public relations is explored. Products and ideas targeted at older people, particularly baby boomers, are marketed with specialized campaigns that emphasize entertainment and leisure.

Chapter 7 extends baby boomer media use to the Internet and new media. Older adults' use of the Internet reflects their interest in news, information, hobbies, and family. Chapter 8 draws from the studies about health and sexuality to understand views of aging. A positive view of aging may be related to life span.

In chapter 9, older people are viewed as important players in the political process because of the size of the demographic group. Chapter 10 addresses trends and predictions related to baby boomers and mass media. The influence of mass media on society, the dynamics of social change, and the aging of America combine to create new opportunities and challenges.

Providing a timely and insightful examination of the linkage between mass media and aging issues, Mass Media, an Aging Population and the Baby Boomers will prove a valuable resource for scholars and students in media and gerontology. Since it is a wide-ranging book, it will be of interest to a diverse audience; it deals with three different topics (mass media, aging, and the baby boomers) as well as with the intersection of these topics. There are numerous books on each of these topics separately, but this is the first to deal with their intersection and overlap.

Mass Media, an Aging Population and the Baby Boomers may be used in undergraduate and graduate courses in communication, gerontology, sociology, and political science. The text is appropriate for upper level undergraduate and graduate students. It may be used as a primary or supplementary reading, depending on the course. And it will also be of special interest to everyone concerned about the insidious disease called ‘ageism.’ In fact, there is so much information about ageism in Mass Media, an Aging Population and the Baby Boomers that ageism could well have been included in the title as a fourth topic.

Sports / Audio

Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys: The Greatest College Football Finishes (since 1970) by Ted Mandell, with a foreword by Doug Flutie (Hardwood Press)

Do you remember where you were when your favorite college kicked the last-second game-winning field goal, made the impossible goal-line stand, caught the unthinkable touchdown pass?

Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys, by Ted Mandell, faculty member in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame, chronicles over three decades of astounding, improbable, heart-wrenching, college football finishes in 116 detailed chapters. From east coast to west coast, Division I-A to Division III, all the favorite schools are covered. But readers don’t just read about the games; they listen to the two-disc audio CD set included with Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys. It is packed with the actual broadcasts of the most spine tingling endings exactly as they were relayed by the great radio voices of college football from around the country.

“It's the first thing most people think of when they hear the words ‘Doug Flutie.’

"It's The Pass. My 48-yard Hail Mary completion to Gerard Phelen that beat Miami in 1984.

“You've seen it, haven't you? …You know, it was a lucky play. …

“We had done it before, Gerard and I, completing a Hail Mary at the end of the first half against Temple earlier in the year, which basically won that game for us. So when this pass happened, we thought, ‘Oh my God, we did it again.’ It was a great play. We won the game. We were excited it happened. But we didn't realize at the time that it would get all of the national attention that followed.…

“A week or two after the game, I remember the skit on Saturday Night Live where I was being interviewed. They played the highlight over and over again, and asked the same questions over and over again. The guy playing me got so frustrated he ended up yelling, ‘I wish that never had even happened! It was a stupid pass! It was lucky!’ During that brief period of time after The Pass, sometimes I actually felt that way.

“But you know, I wouldn't have changed that for the world.” – from the foreword by Doug Flutie

If college football is the greatest sport – and it is – then Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys is one of the greatest books on the subject. – Tampa Tribune

Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys makes you realize why college football is part of America’s DNA. These games are the type that cause heartache, tears, and joy … all-in-one! – Beano Cook, ESPN

An absolute must read for any real college football fan. Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys brings back all the excitement of some of college football’s greatest moments in vivid, well-researched detail. – Pete Fiutak, CollegeFoodballNews.com

With the two CDS packed with actual broadcasts, readers/listeners are right there with the crowd at the thrilling moment of victory or the wrenching pain of defeat. Each game comes alive as Mandell sets the scene, recounts the drama of the decisive play, and captures all the post-play emotion and impact in Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys.

Sports / Biographies & Memoirs

Nat's Nat and That's That: A Surfing Legend by Nat Young (Nymboida Press)

Robert ‘Nat’ Young is arguably one of the world's best surfers and a pioneer of the ‘shortboard’ style.

Along with my younger brothers and a few enthusiastic mates who loved to bodysurf, I would often frequent the breaks at North Narrabeen, one of Sydney's premier surfing beaches through the seventies and eighties, and in the course of snatching the odd lefthander, especially when there was a sizable swell, enjoy a ‘dolphin's eye view’ of the best surfers of the era. Some were well known figures, professionals, who often graced the pages of surfing magazines. Others were ‘locals’, part time surfers who knew their break and how to get the best out of it. But when Nat Young paddled onto a wave something quite special happened. For Nat's surfing was a thing of beauty to watch and mostly everyone did watch, whether from water or land. Somehow he combined grace and power with an unerring ability to get the best out of a wave that marks out the artist from the pedestrian. Nat Young it seems, was born to surf. – quoted by Peter Garrett, from the Foreword

Young in Nat's Nat and That's That claims not to remember the first time he rode a wave. He says he remembers the place – Sydney's Collaroy Beach in the 1950s – and he remembers how it felt. The sensations of those early rides on an inflatable rubber surf mat, "kicking and paddling into it, rushing straight down the face of wave," drove the course of Young's life from then on.

Today, with numerous world titles spanning three decades, he is generally regarded as the greatest surfer of the modern era, and one of Australia's finest athletes ever. But surfers are not like other athletes, and Nat's Nat and That's That shows readers why. The book began as a series of short stories, drawn from Young's dinner party tales; in the writing process it became something else entirely. What has emerged is not just yet another story of a sportsman's relentless training, ups and downs, and eventual triumph over adversity. It's a sociological journey. As Young crashes around the world from adventure to adventure, winning, losing and everything in between, he experiences the big Western cultural shifts of the past forty years from ground level. Australia before Vietnam and during the draft; hippie 1970 Byron Bay; the good life in California with obscure surfing legend Mickey Dora; Kuta before the tourism boom; environmentalism; dope; international fame and its consequences; it's all here. As Young says: "It's been a wonderful time to be alive and if I had it over I wouldn't change a thing – and it ain't over yet."

...both of history of surfing and an insight into ... one of Australia's best ever wave riders... A 'must' for every surfers book collection. – Bank Wright, author

Surfers and surfing aficionados worldwide will be enthralled with Nat's Nat and That's That, the fascinating and personal autobiography of Young, full of black-and-white photographs and Australian lore.

Sports / Football

Turning of the Tide: How One Game Changed the South by Don Yaeger, with Sam Cunningham & John Papadakis (Center Street)

In 1970, legendary University of Alabama coach Bear Bryant met his good friend USC coach John McKay in the Los Angeles airport. Their handshake set the stage for an event that would resonate in history: the first fully integrated football game to be played in Alabama.

Bestselling author Don Yaeger teams with USC fullback Sam Cunningham and defensive captain John Papadakis in Turning of the Tide to tell for the first time the complete story of what transpired during this historic game.

According to Yaeger, Sports Illustrated writer, the teams that met on Crimson soil in September represented two distinct faces of college football: Bear Bryant’s Tide was the all-white national powerhouse in the SEC, and the USC Trojans, a diverse team featuring a nearly all-black starting backfield, reflected the social changes that were sweeping the nation. Though he and the Tide were revered in the South, Bryant knew that he was signing on for a certain loss at the hands of Southern Cal, a fearfully dominant force that had featured in the past black players like Heisman winners O.J. Simpson and Mike Garrett. Alabama’s resounding 42-21 loss broke down the last stronghold of segregation in college football.

A small number of sports events live on in memory long after the initial excitement fades. An even smaller number actually change the face of sports. In Turning of the Tide, Don Yaeger brings us the story of just such a game. – Bob Costas, NBC and HBO Sports

This book will literally leave you breathless…it’s that good. It is both historical and insightful and finally breaks down the barriers few have wanted to examine for a generation. Don Yaeger will open eyes wide with Turning of the Tide. – Paul Finebaum, sports columnist and host of syndicated radio show

The 1970 Alabama-Southern Cal game is a milestone in college football history and one of the most myth-producing games ever played. Don Yaeger sheds new light on the story and discovers that the truth is more fascinating than the myth. – Allen Barra, author of The Last Coach: A Life of Paul ‘Bear” Bryant

During a difficult time when the entire country was torn apart by issues of race, this game not only swept away the last remnants of the racial divide in college football but marked a tipping point for civil rights progress in the South. Yaeger tells the electrifying story of the game that broke down the last racial division in college football in Turning of the Tide. For those interested in civil rights history and sports, this easy read is one not to be missed.

Travel / Sports

Diving & Snorkeling Great Barrier Reef, 3rd Edition by Len Zell (Lonely Planet Diving and Snorkeling Guides Series: Lonely Planet)

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) extends along the northeastern Australian coast from Lady Elliot Island in the south, almost to Papau New Guinea in the north. The world's single largest living system, the reef is part of the superb Indo-Pacific coral reef systems, extending from the Red Sea to Easter Island. Australia’s GBR also includes the world’s largest marine park and encompasses one of the most extensive reef systems on the planet.

This third edition of Diving & Snorkeling Great Barrier Reef, written by biologist Len Zell, who wrote the first edition of this book, opens up the magic of the reef, its car-sized cod, whale migrations, the shipwrecks and the spectacular coral itself. Excellent visibility, shallow waters and an abundance of marine life make for exciting diving and snorkeling for all. Key features of the book include:

  • Detailed dive information to 50 sites, from Lady Elliot Island to the Torres Strait.
  • Full-color photos throughout.
  • Easy-to-read maps of dive regions.
  • Guide to marine life.
  • Travel logistics and topside attractions.

Australia has superb diving around its entire coast and in several inland fresh­water cave systems, but the big draw-card is the GBR. Bigger than Britain, almost the size of Texas and stretching 1429 miles from north to south, the GBR is enormous. Diving & Snorkeling Great Barrier Reef concentrates on the GBR Province, which encompasses an area of over 386,109 sq miles, including the whole GBR, nearby Coral Sea reefs and the Torres Strait. Most people consider the Great Barrier Reef as being the area that lies within the GBR Marine Park Region, whereas the GBR does in fact extend well to the north of there.

The GBR is alive with about 400 spe­cies of coral, 2000 types of fish, 4000 molluscs and countless other inverte­brates. Six of the world's seven species of sea turtles breed here, and the diversity doesn't stop there. GBR habitats support a myriad of parasitic and single-celled organisms that free-float in the warm tropical waters – between the sand grains, in and on mud flats and sea­grass beds, and among reefs and rocks. All play an important role in the complex food chain and transfer of genetic material throughout the system.

The islands of the GBR range from small, bare sandy 'deserts', often swept away with major storms, to lush rain­forest or mangrove masses. Some are home to nesting seabirds and a vast array of wildlife. Between the reefs and islands are shoal areas of coral and algae (bio­herms), with incredible bottom-dwelling animals living on the mud, sand, algae and shell substrates.

With a huge variety of habitats stretching across the continental shelf, the potential for diving, snorkeling and scientific discovery is immeasurable. Those who have dived the GBR thousands of times have only glimpsed the whole system – there are about 3000 reefs! Many people describe the GBR as having the best diving in the world – it has the potential for that title simply because of its size, accessibility, habitat and species diversity. However, readers will not necessarily experience 'brochure weather' – when clear sunny days, calm seas and beautiful people all come together. To really discover the GBR, the book recommends readers be willing to experience it in all weather and seasons.

In Diving & Snorkeling Great Barrier Reef, accessible sites are described to enhance readers’ understanding and enjoyment of the GBR's unique ecosystems. In addition, readers get a brief overview of the primary accessible Coral Sea reefs. For organizational purposes, the dive sites are divided into nine regions and surrounding areas. These include the Capricorn and Bunker Groups (in the south), the Swain Reefs, Pompey Complex, Whitsunday Islands, Townsville and Magnetic Island, Cairns, Port Douglas, Far Northern Reefs and Torres Strait. Several adjacent, regularly dived Coral Sea Reefs also appear in Diving & Snorkeling Great Barrier Reef.

Specific information is provided on each dive site. Further details are also included on the behavioral patterns of some of the marine life readers can expect to see at various sites, informative notes on reef formations, depth, and recommended diving expertise. There is also some historical insight into some of this area's most famous shipwrecks. And when it's time to dry off, readers can turn to the Travel Facts chapter for helpful topside information.

From Lady Elliot Island to the Torres Strait, Diving & Snorkeling Great Barrier Reef is a useful travel guide describing the best dives on the Great Barrier Reed and Coral Sea, with full-color photos throughout.

Travel / Social Sciences / Cultural Anthropology / Environmental Studies

Tarzan Was an Eco-tourist: and Other Tales in the Anthropology of Adventure edited by Luis Antonio Vivanco & Robert J. Gordon (Berghahn Books)

We live in a post-explorer era in which it is widely considered that the feats of the great adventurers are remnants of history and that the Earth's mysterious places and peoples have long ‘been discovered.’ Yet adventure enjoys ubiquitous status in public culture and late capitalism. Adventure television, from the Discovery Channel to the ‘reality shows,’ is a major growth area. Best-selling books and magazines increasingly feature ‘extreme content’ and narratives of audaciously successful and famously disastrous expeditions. Adventure is currently enjoying enormous interest in public culture. The image of Tarzan provides a rewarding lens through which to explore this phenomenon. In their day, Edgar Rice Burrough's novels enjoyed great popularity because Tarzan represented the consummate colonial-era adventurer: a white man whose noble civility enabled him to communicate with and control savage peoples and animals. The contemporary Tarzan of movies and cartoons is in many ways just as popular, but carries different connotations. Tarzan is now the consummate ‘eco-tourist:’ a cosmopolitan striving to live in harmony with nature, using appropriate technology, and helpful to the natives who cannot seem to solve their own problems. Tarzan is still an icon of adventure, because like all adventurers, his actions have universal qualities: doing something previously untried, revealing the previously undiscovered, and experiencing the unadulterated.

Prominent anthropologists come together in Tarzan Was an Eco-tourist to reflect on various aspects of this phenomenon and to discuss contemporary forms of adventure. The book was edited by Luis Antonio Vivanco, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont, and Robert J. Gordon, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont and Research Associate at the University of the Free State.

According to Vivanco and Gordon, putting together Tarzan Was an Eco-tourist has been adventuresome, because it has introduced them to new places and people that have encouraged them to rethink certain basic assumptions about the contemporary ubiquity of adventure. The project was born of conversations about such things as television reality shows, the Ernest Shackleton craze on public television, the ‘extreme’ content books and magazines one finds at the supermarket checkout counter, and their amazement that people actually buy such cars as the HUMMER. All of it speaks to adventure's omnipresence, or at least a desire for adventure and its stories. The time seemed ripe to them to convene more formal conversations about the complex relationships between culture and adventure, and so they organized two panel sessions, one at the American Anthropological Association annual meetings and another at the Northeastern Anthropological Association annual meetings. They also arranged a mini-conference at the Field Museum in Chicago. Judging by the attendance numbers and the animated conversations that continued, the topic struck a chord with a lot of people. They have seen a mixture of enthusiasm and disquietude, a sense that they have some things to work out as individuals and as a discipline about what this ubiquity of adventure says about the worlds in which we live and work.

Contents of Tarzan Was an Eco-tourist together with the contributors include:

  1. Introduction – Robert J. Gordon

Part I. The Adventurous Worlds of Simmel and Tarzan

  1. Simmel and Frazer: The Adventure and the Adventurer – Aram A. Yengoyan, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis
  2. Adventure in the Zeitgeist, Adventures in Reality: Simmel, Tarzan, and Beyond – Daniel Bradburd, Professor and Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences at Clarkson University
  3. Tarzan and the Lost Races: Anthropology and Early Science Fiction – Alan Barnard, Professor of the Anthropology of Southern Africa at the University of Edinburgh
  4. Avant-garde or Savant-garde: The Eco-Tourist as Tarzan – A. David Napier, who teaches anthropology at University College London, and is the Director of Students of Human Ecology

Part II. Exhibitionary Adventures

  1. They Sold Adventure: Martin and Osa Johnson in the New Hebrides – Lamont Lindstrom, professor of anthropology at the University of Tulsa
  2. Jacaré: Cold War Warrior from the Jungles of the Amazon – Neil L. Whitehead, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  3. The Work of Environmentalism in an Age of Televisual Adventures – Luis A. Vivanco

Part III. High Adventures

  1. Five Miles Out: Communion and Commodification among the Mountaineers – David L.R. Houston, Doctoral Candidate at McGill University, who teaches in the Anthropology department at the University of Vermont
  2. Crampons and Cook Pots: The Democratization and Feminizations of Adventure on Aconcagua – Joy Logan, member of the Spanish Division in the Department of Literatures and Languages of Europe and the Americas at the University of Hawai'i
  3. The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love: The Peace Corps as Adventure – Michael J. Sheridan, who teaches cultural anthropology at Middlebury College, and Jason J.  Price, McCracken Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at New York University
  4. Doing Africa: Travelers, Adventurers, and American Conquest of Africa – Kathryn Mathers, Teaching Fellow at Stanford University; and Laura Hubbard, PhD candidate in cultural anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley

Part IV. Cross-Cultural Adventures

  1. "Oh Shucks, Here Comes UNTAG!": Peacekeeping as Adventure in Namibia – Robert J. Gordon
  2. A Head for Adventure – Steven Rubenstein, member of the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Liverpool
  3. Riding Herd on the New World Order: Spectacular Adventuring and U.S. Imperialism – Keally McBride, Senior Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Political Science and the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing
  4. Adventure and Regulation in Contemporary Anthropological Fieldwork – David Stoll, who teaches anthropology at Middlebury College

There are good reasons for anthropology to examine contemporary concepts and forms of adventure, and Tarzan Was an Eco-tourist is an initial effort at presenting some of the major themes that could fall under anthropology of adventure. The contributors ask: What does it mean to have an ‘adventure,’ experientially speaking? What conditions transform quotidian lives and activities into adventure? How does differential access to resources or one's position in social hierarchies of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. affect perspectives on risk, danger, and the experience of adventure? What is the social organization of adventure? What are the different ways adventure is commodified and visualized? How do Western understandings of adventure translate cross-culturally? What rituals and symbols are associated with contemporary forms of adventure? How does anthropology itself reflect shifting concepts and practices of adventure?

Tarzan Was an Eco-tourist covers the range of these concerns and the distinct kinds of research and analytical approaches they imply. As anthropologists, the editors are convinced that one of the important roles of anthropology in the new millennium is to serve as tricksters and as intellectual agents provocateurs, both within and outside the discipline. Regarding the former, Tarzan Was an Eco-tourist is trans-disciplinary in its methods and insights, drawing on insights of and in dialogue with disciplines like history, philosophy, literary criticism, film studies, political science, and gender studies. Yet, regarding the latter, this collection aims to do what any good anthropology should do, that is, both teach us something about what people are doing in the world and shake up our most common and taken for granted assumptions about what adventure is and what adventurers do.

Tarzan Was an Eco-tourist looks like pulp fiction with its light weight, comic-book illustration cover of Tarzan fighting a tiger and artificial dents & folds; the book is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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