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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

November 2008, Issue #115

The History of Gardens in Painting by Niles Büttner (Abbeville Press)

Against Medical Advice: One Family's Struggle with an Agonizing Medical Mystery (Unabridged Audio, 4CDs, running time: 6 hours) by James Patterson & Hal Friedman, read by Kevin T. Collins (Hachette Audio)

Against Medical Advice: One Family's Struggle with an Agonizing Medical Mystery by James Patterson & Hal Friedman, read by Kevin T. Collins (Little, Brown and Co.)

The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration and Security Since 9/11 (9 Audio CDs, approximate running time 11 ½ hours) by Edward Alden (Blackstone Audiobooks)

The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality edited by Barry Smith, David M. Mark, & Isaac Ehrlich (Open Court)

Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps: Build the Buzz and Sell the Sizzle (Entrepreneur Magazine) by Susan Gunelius (Entrepreneur Press)

The Handbook of Project-Based Management: Leading Strategic Change in Organizations, 3rd Edition by J. Rodney Turner (McGraw-Hill Professional)

P Is for Piñata: A Mexico Alphabet by Tony Johnston, illustrated by John Parra (Discover the World Series: Sleeping Bear Press)

My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War by Louis A. Meyer (Bloody Jack Adventures Series: Harcourt Children’s)

The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown and Co.)

Developing the Emotionally Literate School by Katherine Weare (PCP Professional Series: Paul Chapman Publishing)

The Engaged Sociologist: Connecting the Classroom to the Community, 2nd Edition by Kathleen Odell Korgen & Jonathan M. White (Pine Forge Press)

Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet: Reconstruction of the Dance & Design for Jeux by Millicent Hodson, general editor: Linda Tomko (The Wendy Hilton Dance and Music Series, No 12: Pendragon Press)

The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life by Dawn Jackson Blatner (McGraw-Hill)

Dreaming Up America by Russell Banks (Seven Stories Press)

Magical Metal Clay Jewelry by Sue Heaser (Krause Publications)

Paula Nadelstern's Kaleidoscope Quilts: An Artist's Journey Continues by Paula Nadelstern (C&T Publishing)

Vintage Redux: Remake Classic and Collectible Jewelry by Brenda Schweder (Kalmbach)

Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently by Gregory Berns (Harvard Business Press)

A Question of Death: An Illustrated Phryne Fisher Treasury by Kerry Greenwood (Hardback: Poisoned Pen Press)

A Question of Death: An Illustrated Phryne Fisher Treasury by Kerry Greenwood (Paperback: Allen & Unwin)

The Sin Eaters by Andrew Beahrs (Toby Press)

Sea of Truth by Andrea De Carlo (Rizzoli Ex Libris)

The Art of Politics: The New Betrayal of America and How to Resist It by John Kekes (Encounter Books)

Sketching for Engineering Design Visualization by Jon M. Duff & William A. Ross (Delmar Cengage Learning)

The Donkey Companion: Selecting, Training, Breeding, Enjoying & Caring for Donkeys by Sue Weaver (Storey Publishing)

Neuromechanics of Human Movement, 4th Edition by Roger M. Enoka (Human Kinetics)

The Book of the Bizarre: Freaky Facts and Strange Stories by Varla Ventura (Weiser Books)

Effective Editing: A Practical Guide for Students and Professionals by Gene Murray (Marquette Books)

This Little Light: Lessons in Living from Sister Thea Bowman by Michael O'Neill McGrath (Orbis Books)

Sacred Space: A Hands-On Guide to Creating Multisensory Worship Experiences for Youth Ministry by Dan Kimball & Lilly Lewin (Soul Shaper Series: Zondervan)

Death by Love: Letters from the Cross (RE: Lit: Vintage Jesus) by Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears (Crossway Books)

Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life, 30th Anniversary Edition by Shakti Gawain (New World Library)

The Conservative's Handbook: Defining the Right Position on Issues from A to Z by Phil Valentine (Cumberland House Publishing)

That Summer in Sicily: A Love Story by Marlena De Blasi (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction Series: Gale Cengage/Thorndike)

Great African Adventures: A Guide to the Mother Continent’s Ultimate Outdoor Adventures by Jacques Marais (Struik Publishers)

Roadside Geology of Connecticut and Rhode Island by James W. Skehan (Roadside Geology Series: Mountain Press Publishing Company)

The Starker: Big Jack Zelig, the Becker-Rosenthal Case, and the Advent of the Jewish Gangster by Rose Keefe (Cumberland House)


Arts & Photography / History

The History of Gardens in Painting by Niles Büttner (Abbeville Press)

From the highly acclaimed author of Landscape Painting: A History comes another important study of a sub-genre of landscape painting: The History of Gardens in Painting.

The creation of gardens was among the first achievements of early civilizations, and garden design was already highly developed in antiquity. From then to the present, the garden has been a refuge from urban life, a secluded, nearly perfect place where individuals can reflect and admire nature. The History of Gardens in Painting traces the history of gardens, as seen through the eyes of artists, over the course of 2,000 years. The focus of the book is not the gardens themselves or the different concepts of the garden, subjects already studied in countless other books, but rather the representation of gardens in paintings.

In this authoritative study author Nils Büttner explains why pictures of gardens are a mirror of the social, historical, and aesthetic context in which gardens were conceived.

Büttner, professor of art history at Dortmund University, examines why artists paint gardens by covering the varied and lively history of the garden picture using 180 colorful garden masterpieces as examples, including full views and details of both well-heralded and little-known masterpieces.

The History of Gardens in Painting begins with a look at ancient Rome, when paintings of gardens, as found in villas in Pompeii, were already valued as works of art. Büttner's wide-ranging survey also includes late-medieval devotional pictures featuring Madonnas in idyllic gardens; Botticelli's masterwork La Primavera, an al­legory of love, set in a grove of orange trees, that was created for a bridal chamber; sixteenth-century views of well-known historic gardens like those at Versailles and those of the Vatican, which were in demand because of a new interest in geography and topography; realistic depictions of nature without any attempt to beautify it by Cour­bet and other so-called ‘naturalists’; painters' gardens like Monet's Giverny; and representations of modern gardens, like Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and David Hockney's Red Pots in the Garden, which are extremely varied in style and reflect the art­ist's subjectivity.

One especially noteworthy feature of this wonderfully illustrated book is that the author brings this history up to the present. Yes, there is life after Impressionism. – Barnes & Noble

The History of Gardens in Painting is a beautifully illustrated survey that combines the beauty and power of two art forms: gardens and painting. Büttner has produced a masterful survey, a unique tome and a lovely way to bring gardens from the past two millennia home to appreciate year round. The carefully chosen paintings represent a progression of developments in art history and foster an appreciation for actual gardens as well as paintings of them. For aficionados of art history and gardens, the volume should appeal to a broad audience.

Audio / Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling / Biographies & Memoirs

Against Medical Advice: One Family's Struggle with an Agonizing Medical Mystery (Unabridged Audio, 4CDs, running time: 6 hours) by James Patterson & Hal Friedman, read by Kevin T. Collins (Hachette Audio)

Against Medical Advice: One Family's Struggle with an Agonizing Medical Mystery by James Patterson & Hal Friedman, read by Kevin T. Collins (Little, Brown and Co.) 

Against Medical Advice is the true story of Cory Friedman and his family's decades-long battle for survival in the face of extraordinary difficulties and a maddening medical establishment.

Cory wakes up one morning when he is five years old with the uncontrollable urge to shake his head and his life is never the same again. From that day forward his life becomes a hell of uncontrollable tics, urges, and involuntary utterances. Eventually he is diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive disorder, and Cory embarks on an excruciating journey from specialist to specialist, enduring countless combinations of medications in wildly varying doses. Soon it becomes unclear what tics are symptoms of his disease and what are side effects of the countless combinations of drugs. The only certainty is that it keeps getting worse. Despite his lack of control, Cory is aware of every embarrassing movement, and sensitive to every person's reaction to his often aggravating presence. With the love of his family and the support of a few steadfast teachers and medical professionals, he fought for his very life.

Inspiring ... a testament to the importance of family and the resilient nature of the human spirit. – George Pelecanos
Against Medical Advice is both harrowing and heartbreaking, but is also a story of astonishing courage. This book stands as a testament to the amazing power of one family's unconditional love for each other. – Tess Gerritsen
Against Medical Advice is a true story that reads like the most riveting of page-turners. Read it and feel at gut-level what it's like to be a child whose life is almost destroyed by a hellish array of nightmare medical symptoms. Best of all, watch what happens when an entire family stands together against all odds, armed with strength, perseverance, and love for one another. – Lisa Scottoline
A work of naked truth, as disturbing as it is important – Against Medical Advice turns Tourette's Syndrome inside out and shows us what it is like to be trapped inside a brain that has a nightmarish mind of its own. This true story of Hal Friedman's son, Cory, is a gift of honesty, huge courage, and hope, and a reminder that against all medical advice and odds, human beings can prevail. – Patricia Cornwell

Written by best-selling author James Patterson and Cory’s father, Hal, with the relentless pace of a Patterson thriller, Against Medical Advice is a heart-rending story of struggle and triumph with a climax as dramatic as any Patterson thriller. Readers will cheer Cory’s successes. The audio version is read by Kevin T. Collins, television, film and theater actor.

Audio / Public Policy / Terrorism

The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration and Security Since 9/11 (9 Audio CDs, approximate running time 11 ½ hours) by Edward Alden (Blackstone Audiobooks)
On September 10, 2001, the United States was the most open country in the world.

But since the 9/11 attacks, the administration has struggled to balance openness with security, as the U.S. government began to close its borders in an effort to fight terrorism. The administration's goal was to build new lines of defense against terrorists without stifling the flow of people and ideas from abroad that has helped build the world's most dynamic economy. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way.

The Closing of the American Border is based on extensive interviews with the Bush administration officials charged with securing the border after 9/11, including former secretary of homeland security Tom Ridge, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and with many of the innocent people whose lives have been upended by the new border security and visa rules. For example, a pediatric heart surgeon from Pakistan is stuck in Karachi for nearly a year, awaiting the security review that would allow him to return to the United States to take up a prestigious post at UCLA Medical Center. A brilliant Sudanese scientist, working to cure one of the worst diseases of the developing world, loses years of valuable research when he is detained in Brazil after attending an academic conference on behalf of an American university.

Author Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the former Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times in The Closing of the American Border, goes behind the scenes to show how an administration that appeared united in the aftermath of the attacks was racked by internal disagreements over how to balance security and openness. The result is this assessment of the dangers faced by a nation that cuts itself off from the rest of the world, making it increasingly difficult for others to travel, live, and work here, and depriving itself of its most persuasive argument against its international critics – the example of what it has achieved at home.

Former Washington bureau chief of the Financial Times, Alden provides a thoughtful and balanced assessment of border security and immigration policies before and after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, demonstrating how more stringent security can damage the U.S. economy by discouraging trade, tourism and an influx of bright minds and diligent workers. The author's vignettes make what could be a dry read engaging and urgent. … Alden points out that the Department of Homeland Security concedes that most of its counterterrorism funds are being poured into securing and controlling the border with Mexico and makes a persuasive case that immigration enforcement and counterterrorism are two different things, and for either to be effective they need to be separated. – Publishers Weekly

The Closing of the American Border is a provocative, behind-the-scenes investigation, in which Alden offers a compelling assessment of how America has cut itself off from the world and the consequences of that action.

Business & Investing / Economics / Philosophy

The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality edited by Barry Smith, David M. Mark, & Isaac Ehrlich (Open Court)

John Searle’s The Construction of Social Reality and Hernando de Soto’s The Mystery of Capital shifted the focus of current thought on capital and economic development to the cultural and conceptual ideas that underpin market economies and that are taken for granted in developed nations. The collection of essays in The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality assembles 21 philosophers, economists, and political scientists to help readers understand these new theories. These original essays bring together the distinctive themes of two provocative and influential systems of thought: De Soto's analysis of why market capitalism is slow to ‘take’ in many third-world and post-Soviet coun­tries, and Searle's exploration of the manner in which human society is constructed by the common acceptance of certain abstract mental categories.

Editors of the volume are Barry Smith, Julian Park Professor of Philosophy, University at Buffalo, Director of the National Center for Ontological Research, and editor of The Monist; David M. Mark, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Geography, University at Buffalo, and Director of the Buffalo site of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis; and Isaac Ehrlich, SUNY and UB Distinguished Professor, Melvin H. Baker Professor of American Enterprise, Chair of the Economics Department, University at Buffalo, and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Human Capital.

In his book The Construction of Social Reality, Searle advanced a new way of understanding human society and its institutions: What holds a human society together? What factors lead to the collapse of a society? What are the roles of power, belief, and trust in sustaining social institutions?

De Soto's bestselling book The Mystery of Capital con­tributed to refocusing the attention of development economists and policy makers on the role of property rights in economic development. The somewhat provocative subtitle of de Soto's book is: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. His thesis is simple. The poor in developing countries often have many assets – homes, informal businesses, plots of land. What they lack is formal property rights to these assets. This deficiency diminishes their potential worth as financial assets (for example, by blocking their use as collateral for borrowing) or even as real assets (for example, by preventing utilities such as gas and electricity from being legally connected to them).

Another asset that the poor in developing countries almost universally lack is human capital including, but not limited to, formal schooling and continuing technological advance. Smith, Mark and Ehrlich say that any solution to the ‘mystery of capital’ must address how this intangible, but critical, human asset is pro­duced and accumulated.

The main goal of The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality is to discuss the ideas on social ontology proposed by Searle and de Soto, and to further explore the implications of their views, and those of other contributors to the volume, for the understanding of economic growth and development, and the philosophy of social institutions. While de Soto's Mystery of Capital was in part influ­enced by Searle's ideas on social ontology, and while a number of impor­tant interconnections between Searle's and de Soto's work can be seen, these interconnections have not hitherto been subjected to analysis. Contributions to the book also expand de Soto's approach to ‘capitaliza­tion’ of tangible assets to include the capitalization of intangible assets such as information and knowledge, or human capital, which are identified as the long-term engine of growth in the fast-growing endogenous-growth-and-development literature in economics. The prime focus is: how can philosophers learn from economists, and how can economists learn from philosophers, in understanding what works and what does not work in human societies? De Soto and Searle have themselves provided chapters presenting definitive accounts of their recent thinking on these topics. In the remaining chap­ters, experts on ontology, information science, land registration, geogra­phy, and endogenous growth and development present their views, commenting primarily on the work of de Soto and Searle but also offer­ing their own original contributions to the new social ontology and endogenous economic growth paradigm, which are currently being established.

The biggest ‘mystery of capital,’ still awaiting its resolution, is to try to understand how all the remarkable features of capitalism, including its institutional reality, come about and motivate the continuous formation of knowledge that drives economic development and productivity growth.

The first chapter of The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality, "What I Do, and How Philosophy Has Helped Me," consists of a transcript of de Soto's lecture at the opening of the workshop. The second chapter, "Social Ontology and Political Power," is Searle's application of his metaphysical ideas to the political domain. In chapter 2 he notes that the Western philosophical tradition has been an especially influential component of political philosophy. The classics in the field, from Plato's Republic through Rawls's Theory of Justice have an impor­tance in our general culture that exceeds even most other philosophical classics. The problem is not that it gives wrong answers to the questions it asks, but rather it that it does not ask the questions that need to be asked in the first place. Prior to answering such questions as "What is a just society?" and "What is the proper exercise of political power?" Searle argues that we should answer the more fundamental questions: "What is a society in the first place?" and "What sort of power is political power?" This chapter attempts to answer these questions by exploring the relations between the general ontology of social reality and the specific form of social reality that is political power.

In chapter 3, Barry Smith starts out from an analogy between social institutions and the game of chess, an analogy often used by Searle and other analytic philosophers in explaining what they see as the conventional nature of the normativity that is involved for example in contracts and obligations. Smith uses this analogy to throw light on the roles played by mental acts and physical actions in the construction of social reality.

In chapter 4, "The Construction of Social Reality: Searle, de Soto, and Disney," Jeremy Shearmur, after an initial, and somewhat critical, discus­sion of Searle's approach to the understanding of social reality, con­siders an issue at the center of de Soto's work: the transformation of land into property. In addition to seeing the sig­nificance of the transition from land to property in terms of its ability to underpin other economic activities, it is also important in relation to prop­erty as a space within which ideas may be tried out.

Ingvar Johansson, in chapter 5, "How Philosophy and Science May Interact: A Case Study of Works by John Searle and Hernando de Soto," takes issue with philosophers who consider philosophy to be an enterprise wholly independent of the sciences and with scientists who regard their research as completely independent from philosophical problems and pre-suppositions. He proposes adding an ontology of desires to Searle's book, which should not be regarded as presenting a complete ontology of social reality but as laying the ground for such an edifice.

Chapter 6, "Language and Institutions in Searle's The Construction of Social Reality" by Josef Moural, focuses on an argument Searle makes in chapter 3. Here Searle endeavors to explain and justify his claim that language is essentially constitutive of insti­tutional reality. He argues for the rel­evance of the argument at stake within the overall architecture of Searle's theory, and provides an alternative view of what is going on.

In chapter 7, "The Mystery of Human Capital as Engine of Growth, or Why the U.S. became the Economic Superpower in the Twentieth Century," Isaac Ehrlich examines an idea common to much of the ‘new’ economic growth and development literature: that persistent, self-sustain­ing growth in real per-capita income is attributable to ‘human capital.’ Ehrlich aims to unwrap this through an exposition of a general-equilibrium model of economic development where human cap­ital is the critical engine of growth, its accumulation is enhanced by parental and public investments in children's education, and underlying ‘exogenous’ institutional and policy variables are ultimately responsible for both human capital formation and long-term growth.

In chapter 8, "Allocation and Misallocation of Human Capital: Some Lessons from Japan and Russia" of The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality Serguey Braguinsky addresses the codification of property rights to land and other tangible assets and their conversion into productively employed capital. The engine of growth in the capitalist economy and the main source of the wealth of nations is pro­ductively employed human capital. Hence, creating an environment in which human assets can be accumulated and converted into productively employed human capital is an extremely important task. Braguinsky exam­ines three key elements that must be present in an economy for successful development along those lines and draws some lessons from the experience of Russia and Japan.

In chapter 9, "On the Essential Nature of Human Capital," Gloria Zuniga y Postigo endeavors to unravel the nature of human capital by relax­ing the assumption that human capital exists in persons. What would it mean for human capital not to exist in persons? Her impetus for this unusual approach was triggered by the term dead capital, coined by de Soto, which embraces entities such as landed property without title or without any other recognized legal docu­ment representing property rights. The institutional state of affairs that de Soto blames for this economic tragedy is one in which legal titles for landed property are either not formalized or, if they exist, they are not part of a uniform system of legal representation of landed property.

In chapter 10, "Property Law for Development Policy and Institutional Theory: Problems of Structure, Choice, and Change," Errol Meidinger brings de Soto's prescription and Searle's ontology into a closer conversa­tion with contemporary American property law. Meidinger concludes that while the de Soto and Searle perspectives offer some benefits to property scholarship, they will have to be extended considerably to come to grips with the features of modern property rights.

In chapter 11, "The Institutionalization of Real Property Rights: The Case of Denmark," Erik Stubkjxr observes that the existence of economic discrepancy between North and South and the growing hegemony of lib­eral capitalism since the end of the cold war have combined to bring about a renewed interest in the issue of individual property rights. He asks the question, how can we put this magic into operation in countries standing in need of economic development? One approach that has been sug­gested is that of gaining a better understanding of how real property rights came into being in ‘the West,’ and then applying the knowledge gained from these investigations to the needs of currently developing countries.

Andrew U. Frank begins chapter 12, "A Case for Simple Laws," with de Soto's thesis that the poor of the world would prefer capitalism if they could obtain it at a reasonable price. De Soto points out that poor coun­tries typically lack the institutions to convert their wealth into working capital. Legal institutions are in place in nearly all countries: there are laws defining ownership in land, land registration, and mortgages. These laws are just not used, and Frank's purpose is to explain why. We have forgotten how our legal system evolved from simple principles before it arrived at today's complexity. Research to identify the simple core of a legal system is necessary.

Chapter 13 of The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality, "Sovereigns, Squatters, and Property Rights: From Guano Islands to the Moon by David R. Koepsell, considers legal systems that establish property rights over land to be government-created monopolies similar to such devices as patents. Squatting, which was not a valid means of acquiring ownership in tra­ditional English common law, or in most code-law systems, was rampant during the colonization of the United States. Koepsell uses the example of the Guano Islands Act, an odd example that reveals how sovereigns may take posses­sion of lands by fiat, and not only legitimizes but also promotes squatting by entrepreneurs. He also brings up the U.S. refusal to sign onto the international Moon treaty under the U.N. Thus, the Moon stands in the same position as guano islands, and may legally become the subject of future analogues to this act, promoting economic efficiency and entrepreneurial activities beyond our planet.

Chapter 14, "The Property Rights Prescription and Urban Migrant versus Rural Customary Land Tenure in the Developing World" by Jon D. Unruh, is concerned with legal difficulties surrounding the economic potential of the undocumented property held by the poor in developing countries. Such property, occupied but not formally owned, is thought to amount to considerable capital and therefore hold much potential. However, those who occupy lands are frequently unable to prove ownership. With different conceptual foundations, customary law and formal law in developing countries have little intersection. What will be needed, Unruh argues, are not just attempts at formalizing aspects of customary law, but also a change in concepts dear to formal law, such as the integrity of the document and the static nature of rules.

In chapter 15, "Geographic Regions as Brute Facts, Social Facts, and Institutional Facts," Dan Montello discusses the ontology of geographic regions – spatially extended pieces of (near) earth surface that share some aspect of similarity, including but not limited to spatial proximity or ‘loca­tional similarity.’ He reviews a taxonomy of geographic regions based on the information and procedures used to identify the regions. Montello discusses several causes for boundary vague­ness and specifically considers Smith's distinction between fiat and bona fide boundaries. Insisting that regions are either brute facts or social facts creates paradoxes. Mind-body interactionism avoids these paradoxes.

Dan Fitzpatrick, in chapter 16, "Collective Intentionality, Documenta­tion, and Real Estate," raises issues concerning the alleged primacy of inten­tionality over behavior that is discernible in Searle's account. He argues that, with certain background conditions in place, writing plays a crucial role in such transactions and that the signing of documentation is tantamount to engaging in a real estate transaction, and that the role that intentionality plays in Searle's account of social institutions, as it is applied to formal property systems, needs to be revised and expanded. In the case of real estate transactions, contra Searle, intentions should not be taken to be of utmost importance over and above behavior, such as the signing/uttering of documents and making marks on a page.

Eric Palmer, in chapter 17, "Real Institutions, and Really Legitimate Institutions," develops a thesis regarding the manner through which social institutions such as property come to be, and a second thesis regarding how these institutions ought to be legitimated. The first thesis is that the construction of social institutions can be understood clearly only if that topic is distinguished from the topic of their normative status. The second is that the normative status of such institutions can be understood properly only if their legitimacy is distinguished from the legitimacy of government. To more clearly answer the question, "What makes an institution real, and what else makes it legitimate?" we must begin by distinguishing between its constitutive social reality and its political or moral legitimacy. Legitimacy concerns ends, motives and purposes, and historical events are only accidental, or are symptomatic of legitimacy: by themselves, they will always provide a faulty analysis of legitimacy.

The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality … takes seriously the fact that we live in a world me­diated by meaning. Neglect of the dimensions of meaning results in the inability of the developing world to exploit its own resources and wealth producing capabilities. The combination of these two bodies of thought from the worlds of development economics and philosophy stimulates a vibrant interdisciplinary engagement through the chapters of this book. – Patrick Riordan, S.J., author of Philosophical Perspectives on People Power

This book reveals some of the many applications that the burgeoning field of social ontology has for the law and for economics, with particular emphasis on the ever poignant issues of sustainable development. – Leo Zaibert, author of Five Ways Patricia Can Kill Her Husband

The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality brings together de Soto 's approach to capitalization and Searle's contribution to the ontology of social reality. It makes a major contribution to understanding how human society functions within the framework of legal and extra-legal institutions and provides a refreshingly new approach to the problems of development. – Arjun K. Sengupta, UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty

The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality strives toward an answer to the questions how can philosophers learn from economists, and how can economists learn from philosophers, in understanding what works and what does not work in human societies? It demonstrates a number of impor­tant interconnections between Searle's and de Soto's work, which have not hitherto been subjected to analysis. In so doing, this trailblazing volume contributes a number of exciting new theories to the understanding of economic growth and development, and the philosophy of social institutions.

Business & Investing / Entrepreneurship / Marketing & Sales

Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps: Build the Buzz and Sell the Sizzle (Entrepreneur Magazine) by Susan Gunelius (Entrepreneur Press)

Readers don't need a professional ad agency or copywriter to create great marketing copy. Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps is a hands-on guide showing readers how to create marketing messages that capture attention and boost profits.

Susan Gunelius lays out for readers the path to greater growth, profit, and wealth for people who conduct business in the real world. Not theory or speculation, but tactics and strategies that work for small to middle-size business.

Here are a few advertising tips from Gunelius, freelance writer, copywriter and professional blogger on the topics of business, branding and marketing. "The easiest way to start creating benefits is to first make a list of all your product's features. Then, next to each feature describe how it will benefit or help a user." Once readers define the benefits of their product or service, they can personalize them and explicitly tell the audience what each benefit can do for them. Readers should use compelling descriptive language. For example, rather than "We have delicious food," write "Let yourself indulge in our mouth-watering entrees and decadent desserts."

"To write compelling copy, it is essential that you know what differentiates your product from the competition," says Gunelius, who has spent more than a decade developing and executing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. "Once you know your competitor's weaknesses, you must make sure your audience knows them and understands why buying your competitors' products would be a terrible mistake." Readers should thoroughly research the competition and understand what they offer in terms of products and services. Then list the elements of competitors’ offerings that are inferior to their own and quantify them.

Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps says readers should never risk losing the attention of the audience by providing too much detail in the copy. Effective copywriting tells the audience what they need to know to make a purchase or how to contact readers for more information. "Extraneous details clutter the minds of your audience, which increases the possibility of them forgetting the most important aspects of your advertisement or marketing program," states Gunelius. "Unless you're advertising a prescription drug, highly technical equipment, or an exceedingly regulated or complicated product, the best rule to follow is K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid."

Gunelius recommends, "Edit your copy. Then edit it again and again to ensure you've deleted filler words and extraneous details. What's left should be clear, concise copy that drives your target audience to action."

Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps is a must-read for any small to midsized business owner. It translates difficult writing ideas into everyday language and empowers the average business owner to write more persuasively in a simple, step-by-step process. My advice? Buy this book – and read it twice! – Dean Reick, direct marketing copywriter, DirectCreative.com

 ...Susan's warm, engaging style and emphasis on real-world specifics will make even the most writing-phobic business owners feel more confident in their advertising efforts. Susan packs plenty of useful copywriting tools, illustrations, and checklists between the covers, too. Her full-featured 'Copywriting Outline' is surely worth the entire price of admission. Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps is a superb addition to any small-business-owner's ready-reference shelf. – Roberta Rosenberg, ‘The Copywriting Maven’ and President, MGP Direct Inc.

Susan Gunelius has created a simple-to-understand guide to writing effective and hard working copy for nonprofessionals such as small-business owners and others who recognize they need to develop this essential skill to promote their business. Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps covers virtually every topic the aspiring copywriter needs to know, from the crafting of impactful copy, to where best to run it. Ms. Gunelius' book should be on every small business owner's bookshelf. – George Parker, creative consultant, author of MadScam, and advertising blogger at Adscam and Adhurl

Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps offers the keys to accelerated business success. There are plenty of books around on copywriting but none that so clearly addresses the real-life realities the business owner faces.

Business & Economics / Management & Leadership / Reference / Engineering

The Handbook of Project-Based Management: Leading Strategic Change in Organizations, 3rd Edition by J. Rodney Turner (McGraw-Hill Professional)

One of my aims in writing successive editions of this book has been to maintain the book's length. That means that as I include new ideas, I have to drop some material. I don't want a book that gets fatter and fatter to the point where I have to start dividing it into two or more separate books. Project management is a dynamic and developing topic, and that means that there are new ideas that need to be included in the book. But also some ideas that were included in the first and second edition are now past their sell-by date and so can be dropped. I have aimed to produce a book that covers the key topics of project manage­ment as people see it at the moment, and to leave out some of the concepts that have not proved so effective. – from the Preface

One of the most influential books written on the development of project management, The Handbook of Project-Based Management has been revised for a new generation of students and practitioners. The Third Edition now features a change in focus from delivering corporate objectives to achieving strategic change, including embedding corporate change after a project is completed.

With 150 illustrations, this Third Edition is a guide to project management practice for the twenty-first century. New to this edition are new information on the project life cycle; new applications to different industries; new material on strategic design, stakeholders, and organizational capability; and a shift in emphasis from administrative procedures to governance.

Author J. Rodney Turner is Director of EuroProjex, The European Centre for Project Excellence Limited. He also teaches project management at the Lille School of Management and Limerick University and has visiting positions at Henley Management College, the University of Technology at Sydney, and George Washington University.

The Handbook of Project-Based Management is one part shorter than the previous edition, at four parts rather than five. The first three parts cover the same ground as the first three parts of the previous two editions.

Part 1 describes the context of projects. In particular it considers how the strategy of the parent organization and the desire to achieve performance improvement through strategic change drive the creation of projects. It then looks at project success strategy and describes the criteria by which we judge success, the factors by which Turner’s team at EuroProjex increases the chance of success, and how they combine the two into a strategy for their projects. The third chapter in the part considers the people involved in the project, taking a different perspective from the previous two editions where the equivalent chapter looked at the posi­tion of projects in the parent organization. In this edition that chapter focuses more on how to lead the stakeholders to gain their support for the project.

Part 2 of The Handbook of Project-Based Management covers the same ground as the previous two editions, describing the functions of project management, how to manage the scope, project organization, quality, cost, time, and the risk that pervades them all.

Part 3 also substantially covers the same ground as the previous editions, describing three stages of the project life cycle: start, execution, and close-out. However, Turner has included a new chapter at the start of the part, describing the project life cycle, and different versions for different types of project; this chapter covers much of the ground of what was previously the fifth part, on applications, but in a more focused way.

Although these three parts cover much the same ground, he has incorporated new thinking, and so in places the material is different from the previous editions. It is in Part 4 of The Handbook of Project-Based Management where Turner has taken a radically different approach. In the previous two editions, Part 4 described administrative support given to the project by the parent organiza­tion. Now, in accordance with the modern style, he takes a governance perspective. As a result, it covers some of the same ground, because the administrative support described in the previous editions is governance support, but it also introduces many ideas. Turner starts by defin­ing what they mean by governance and describe the governance of the individual project, and the governance roles that imply. In the next two chapters, he describes the governance of the context, particularly program and portfolio management and the development of organiza­tional project management capability. He then describes the project governance role of the executive board, and the interest they should take in projects. Turner has retained the chapter on international projects as the last main chapter, and as in the previous two editions closes with an epilogue.

In The Handbook of Project-Based Management, a tight and rigorous guide, readers discover how to dramatically improve the processes of project-based management in any organization. Turner provides complete and up-to-date tools for managing project performance and process.

Children’s

P Is for Piñata: A Mexico Alphabet by Tony Johnston, illustrated by John Parra (Discover the World Series: Sleeping Bear Press)

The country of Mexico has long been a popular travel destination, but there is more to enjoy and appreciate than just sunshine and warm temperatures when exploring this region..

Author Tony Johnston explores the ancient history and proud traditions of Mexico from A to Z in P Is for Piñata. In it, readers discover:

  • The tomb of a Mayan king, buried in 683.
  • The life of the vaquero (Mexican cowboy).
  • A husband and wife who were the two of the most famous artists of their time.
  • How the concept of ‘zero’ was devised in Mexico, centuries before any other society, east and west.

Authentic folk art paintings by artist John Parra impeccably depict the history, natural beauty and iconic images of Mexico, including scenes of The Day of the Dead (El dia de los muertos), Lady of Guadalupe, Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, and El Angel, the giant monument to Mexico's independence.

Johnston has written many acclaimed books for young people. She and her husband lived in Mexico for fifteen years, where they raised their children, and Mexico has inspired much of her work, including Day of the Dead, The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote, Angel City and Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio.

Illustrator Parra grew up in southern California, enriched in Hispanic roots. This cultural knowledge inspires his award-winning artwork, which has been showcased in galleries throughout the U.S. He received the International Latino Book Award for his illustration work on his first children's book, My Name is Gabriela. He believes that "there is a natural passion for art that begins early in our lives, that the instinct to create is in us all, and with art serving as a divine state of both imagination and reality, we are able to express the inexpressible."

Through the different images of this beautiful book, children will learn important aspects of the Mexican culture and Mexican history as well as the influence they have had in today's world. – Raul J. Zorrilla, Executive Director of the Mexican Cultural Institute of' New York

P Is for Piñata is a great way for parents and kids to experience Mexico and its rich culture. With its two-tiered format, younger readers can easily follow along the story's rhyme, while the informational sidebar text provides a broader understanding about the United States' neighbor to the south.

Children’s / Teens / Historical Fiction / Adventure

My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War by Louis A. Meyer (Bloody Jack Adventures Series: Harcourt Children’s)

"Is it not a glorious day to be alive, Higgins?" I ask, sitting on the hatch of my fleet little schooner with my back to the aftermast and my legs sprawled out before me, looking up at the trim of the sails. I’m clad in my usual sailing gear of light cotton shirt, short buckskin skirt, bare of lower limbs and bare of feet. The breeze ruffles through the stubble of hair that is regrowing itself on my head and the sun feels good on my face.

"It is indeed, Miss," says my very, very good John Higgins, Confidant, Personal Assistant, and Highest-Paid Employee of Faber Shipping, Worldwide. Highest-paid, that is, when Faber Shipping has any money at all to pay anything to anybody. Right now, my corporation consists of two small boats, the Evening Star and the Morning Star, and the Nancy B. Alsop, my beautiful little Gloucester schooner and current flagship of Faber Shipping, Worldwide, on which my bottom now rests.

"However," continues Higgins, nudging, once again, my ankles back together and pulling the hem of my buckskin skirt back down over my knees, over which knees it had crawled up a bit, "you really should stay out of the sun as it is not good for your complexion. I assume you’ll be taking your lunch up here on the hatch?"

I nod and smile up at my good friend and protector. "You spoil me too much, Higgins." – from the book

In My Bonny Light Horseman, the infamous pirate, riverboat seductress, master of disguise, and street-urchin-turned-sailor Jacky Faber has been captured by the French and beheaded in full view of her friends and crew.

Inconceivable? Yes! The truth is she’s secretly forced to pose as an American dancer behind enemy lines in Paris, where she entices a French general into revealing military secrets – all to save her dear friends. Then, in intrepid Jacky Faber style, she dons male clothing and worms her way into a post as galloper with the French army, ultimately leading a team of men to fight alongside the great Napoleon.

Jacky's tale will entertain readers with a taste for adventure ... A first novel with a strong voice that is also a memorable piece of historical fiction. – Booklist (starred)

If Meyer dares to leave such a vividly drawn heroine ... and not deliver another installment, readers will have every right to mutiny. – The Bulletin (starred)

A rattling good read. – Publishers Weekly (starred)

In My Bonny Light Horseman, the sixth installment of the Bloody Jack Adventures series, love and war collide as the irrepressible Jacky Faber sets off on a daring adventure she vowed she’d never take. The series has been and should be praised for its spirited heroine and rousing sense of adventure and this installment is not exception.

Cooking, Food & Wine / Reference

The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown and Co.)

Cuisine is undergoing a transforma­tion: With the advent of the global availability of ingredients, dishes are no longer based on geography but on flavor. This radical shift calls for a new approach to cooking – as well as a new genre of ‘cookbook’ that serves not to document clas­sic dishes via recipes, but to inspire the creation of new ones based on imaginative and harmonious flavor combinations.

Great cooking is about knowing how to season ingredients to coax the greatest possible flavor from them. Drawing on leading chefs' combined experience in top restaurants across the country, award-winning food authorities Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg in The Flavor Bible presents a guide to creating ‘deliciousness’ in any dish.

The Flavor Bible is a guide to ingredients along with the herbs, spices, and other seasonings. Thousands of ingredient entries, organized alphabetically and cross-referenced, provide a wide variety of flavor combinations. This reference distills the combined experience of dozens of America's culinarians, representing such celebrated restaurants as A Voce, Babbo, Blue Hill, Cafe Atlantico, Chanterelle, Citronelle, Gramercy Tavern, the Herbfarm, Jardinière, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, the Modern, Moto, and the Trellis.

In The Flavor Bible readers learn how to work more intuitively and effectively with ingredients; experiment with temperature and texture; excite the nose and palate with herbs, spices, and other seasonings; and balance the sensual, emotional, and spiritual elements of an extraordinary meal.

Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page are accomplished authors, respected food authorities, and industry leaders with exceptional talent and vision in writing some of the industry's most well-respected books. – Culinary Institute of America, in naming the authors honorary ambassadors

Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page's books have enriched the fount of culinary knowledge. They move the culinary culture forward thoughtfully and intelligently…. They’ve done a marvelous job of making the history, culture, and even science of food compelling. – Mia Stainsby, Vancouver Sun

Seasoned with tips, anecdotes, and signature dishes from America's most imaginative chefs, The Flavor Bible is an essential reference for every kitchen. Eight years in the making, it is a landmark book that will inspire great creations of innova­tive cooks and chefs by serving as an indispensable guide to creativity and flavor affinities in today's kitchen. The book is a companion to the authors' bestselling What to Drink with What You Eat (food and drink pairings) and Culinary Artistry (classic flavor pairings).

Education / Elementary / Psychology

Developing the Emotionally Literate School by Katherine Weare (PCP Professional Series: Paul Chapman Publishing)

Our society has traditionally been frightened of emotion, but now we are realizing its importance. Work on what, in the UK at least, is often called 'emotional literacy' is developing at an extraordinary pace in education. Emotional literacy is our ability to understand and use information about our own and others' emotional states with skill and competence. Developing the Emotionally Literate School shows how central this concept is to mainstream education.

Katherine Weare, University of Southampton, provides definitions of terms used in the field, both exploring the idea of emotional literacy and linking it in to related concepts such as emotional well being, mental heath, social and emotional learning and emotional intelligence. The book outlines the scientific evidence behind the concept, explores ways in which schools can become more emotionally literate, and demonstrates the educational benefits of taking a whole school approach to emotional literacy.

Developing the Emotionally Literate School gives an account of how schools can use emotional literacy to realize their goals of school improvement and effectiveness, increased learning, more efficient management of teaching and learning, greater teacher satisfaction, and improved relationships between students, teachers, parents and the wider communities. It explores new findings on ways in which emotional literacy can be profiled, assessed and evaluated and the issues that surround this controversial area, and it also looks at wider supports for the emotionally literate school.

To be effective, emotional literacy has to be embedded in the familiar areas of school life that con­stitute the daily work and experience of all who work and learn in schools. This book therefore examines the themes that permeate the everyday life of schools, such as understanding and managing pupil behavior, and organizing and delivering teaching and learning – concentrating as it does so on the role emotion and emotional education play, and suggesting what may be for some readers new ways of thinking about familiar issues. The book does not go over old ground: Developing the Emotionally Literate School summarizes considerable new and significant thinking and research on the emotions and learning, on how we can best work with the emotions for positive gain, and on the kind of schools and classrooms that encourage emotional growth.

The approach to emotional literacy is a wide and inclusive one. Emotional literacy is as relevant to mainstream education as it is to special needs education, and this book focuses particularly on mainstream schools. It is as relevant in secondary as it is in primary schools, and is as important for adults as it is for children, so the book looks not only at students but at staff and parents too. Developing the Emotionally Literate School takes a broad view of what is meant by emotional literacy which includes looking at how individuals can understand and manage their own emotions. It also exam­ines how we can learn to relate more effectively to the emotions and motivations of other people – 'social literacy'. Emotional and social literacy cannot be developed in a vacuum, and this book focuses on ways in which a wide range of aspects of school life can help develop emotional literacy and promote emotional and social well-being in children and adults. The book argues that all aspects of school life are poten­tially involved in emotional literacy, so it touches on many facets, from management, behavior and relationships to the curriculum.

The goal is to help those who work in, and with, schools to see the bigger picture and how it all fits together, to provide a framework for thinking about a complex issue, and an overview that identifies and brings together the key principles, practical strategies and approaches that have been shown to work when trying to make the school as a whole more emo­tionally literate. Developing the Emotionally Literate School focuses on what schools can actually do to promote emotional literacy. It also goes into much more detail on issues specifically to do with promoting emotional literacy: these include how we define emotional literacy; the evidence for its importance; its rela­tion to special needs work; its centrality to the management of behavior; how to teach it so pupils can learn it, and how to help teachers acquire and practice it. The book also looks in some detail at three newer areas within emotional literacy. It links work on emotional literacy with new work on the process of learning, on the way the brain processes informa­tion, the central place of the emotions in thinking and learning, on accelerated learning and on learning styles. It focuses on two other issues on which Weare and her colleagues at various universities have particularly fresh and relevant information. Weare has recently been involved in a project for the English Department for Education and Skills (DfES) which has looked at what five English Local Education Authorities, known to be leaders in the field, are doing to develop work on emotional literacy, and what helps and what hinders that development. Chapter 7 looks at how schools can link to broader approaches, and what the key agencies that work with schools can do to support and promote schools' work in emotional literacy. Researchers at the University of Oxford have carried out a parallel project for the DfES which looked at how emotional competency might be assessed, and Chapter 6 explores this issue in some detail, using evidence from their research as well as from the other sources.

This book has a European, and within that an English, bias when it comes to discussing specific contexts and case studies. However the evidence on which this book is based comes from the international research and experience, especially in the US and in Australia, and its key messages are applicable across a range of countries and cultures.

Weare defines concepts and terms clearly in ways that make sense to practitioners, outlines the scientific evidence behind concepts, explores ways in which schools can become more emotionally literate, and demonstrates the educational benefits. Practical and up to date, Developing the Emotionally Literate School is an essential book for every staff-room bookshelf, for students of education, and for all those who work with schools and young people to promote emotional well being.

Education / Sociology

The Engaged Sociologist: Connecting the Classroom to the Community, 2nd Edition by Kathleen Odell Korgen & Jonathan M. White (Pine Forge Press)

This second edition of The Engaged Sociologist brings the public sociology movement into the classroom by showing students how to use the tools of sociology to become effective participants in democratic society. Through exercises and projects, authors Kathleen Korgen and Jonathan M. White encourage students to apply these tools to get hands-on training in sociology and to develop their sociological imaginations as they work for a more justice and civility. Korgen, Professor of Sociology at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, specializes in race relations, racial identity, and public sociology. White, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Faculty Associate to Service Learning at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts, specializes in inequality, poverty, globalization, human rights, and public sociology.
Features of the 2nd edition of The Engaged Sociologist include:

  • Updated and additional exercises and projects, including more global activities, allow students to connect the sociological knowledge they are learning to their campus and the larger community. Each chapter contains both hands-on data collection exercises (surveys, interviews, observations) and library-based research.
  • Increased connection to theory helps students see how their practical efforts are grounded in sociological research and theory.
  • Enhanced ‘Sociologist in Action’ sections include examples of how sociology students and professional sociologists use sociology in efforts to improve society. More examples of student ‘Sociologists in Action’ have been added to this edition.
  • More material on the environment, including expanded discussions of Hurricane Katrina and its outcomes as well as of global warming, provides more coverage of a hot-button topic of concern to many students, engaging their interest and encouraging them to act to improve environmental issues.
  • Discussion questions challenge students to ponder and converse about what they’ve learned and to relate the issues covered in each chapter to their individual lives.
  • Instructors’ Resources on CD-Rom, featuring a test bank, are available to qualified instructors.
  • A new student study site.

According to Korgen and White, sociology is a cool academic discipline; it helps students figure out how society operates and how they can use that knowledge to create social change. Both Korgen and White say sociology guided them with everyday-life tasks, such as figuring out how to get policies passed on campus, deciding whom to vote for, and learning why it is vital to earn a college degree in a service-based economy. This book is part of their efforts to get students hooked on sociology and, in the process, help them become engaged and effective citizens.

The Engaged Sociologist is also part of a larger, national effort to educate citizens by encouraging students to participate in civic engagement exercises that connect the classroom to the community. Organizations like The Democracy Imperative, Campus Compact, and the American Democracy Project are establishing movements to make civic engagement a part of the college experience for all undergraduates. College leaders all across the country realize that they are obligated to give students the tools they require to be effective citizens as well as the skills they need in the workforce.

Korgen and White believe, as leaders of the American Sociological Association have noted when promoting public sociology, that sociology is particularly suited to teaching students what they need to become effective and full members of our society. They believe that helping students learn how to think sociologically and use sociological tools is, in effect, enabling them to become better citizens.

The Engaged Sociologist will help students connect their own lives to the larger society, as they learn about the ‘sociological imagination’ and the power it has to positively affect the community. The Sociologist in Action sections in each chapter show them powerful examples of how sociology stu­dents and professional sociologists (both professors and applied sociologists) use sociology in myriad ways. By the end of the book, students can create their own Sociologist in Action segment, in which they show how they used sociological tools in efforts to influence society.

...The kind of book that inspires and invites change. The 'tipping point' that students need to become more aware, involved, and engaged in their schools, communities and societies. – Jennifer Klein, DePaul University

The Engaged Sociologist is an ideal supplement or affordable, brief stand-alone, core text for courses in which the instructor wishes to include a public sociology component, particularly Introduction to Sociology, Principles of Sociology, Social Problems, or Applied Sociology. Students will enjoy the book and use the knowledge and skills they gain from it to make themselves more effective citizens and to strengthen democracy.

Entertainment / Music / Dance

Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet: Reconstruction of the Dance & Design for Jeux by Millicent Hodson, general editor: Linda Tomko (The Wendy Hilton Dance and Music Series, No 12: Pendragon Press)

Despite contemporary references, athletic moves and pure spatial geometry, Vaslav Nijinsky's second ballet Jeux disarmed spectators, choreographed in 1913 to a commissioned score by Claude Debussy, because it still looked like a ballet. Nijinsky had discovered neoclassicism in dance. In 1996 Millicent Hodson, choreographer and graphic artist, together with her husband Kenneth Archer, scenic consultant and art historian, premiered the reconstructed Jeux in Verona at the Teatro Filarmonico. During the spring 2000 restaging in London at the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, Hodson completed the reconstruction dance score.
Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet presents the dance score with its verbal and visual documentation of the period, as well as Hodson's choreographic drawings and text collated with music. Archer contributes an essay on Bakst's costumes and decor.

Since the mid 1980s Hodson Kenneth Archer, have been based in London where they reconstruct modern masterpieces and create their own works through the partnership Ballets Old and New. In most of the television programs based on the work Hodson has demonstrated how she works to remake a ballet. For each of her productions, she has made many drawings that serve as a means of discovery and of documentation.

Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet is meant to share something of the creative efforts and results involved in reconstructing, Jeux. Sergei Diaghilev pre­miered Jeux at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees two weeks before Nijinsky's third ballet, Le Sacre du Printemps, took Paris by storm. The two ballets at first seem diametrically opposite. Le Sacre, with its vast ensemble dressed in hand-painted Slavic smocks by Nicholas Roerich, presents a volatile world of archaic ritual while Jeux evokes the subtleties of a modem love affair, three tennis players pristine in flannels amid the shadows of an English garden. Nijinsky's role in relation to the ballets was equally distinct. He did not dance Sacre, preferring to direct this massive work from the wings. Yet he featured himself center stage that same season as the urbane young sportsman of the Jeux triangle.

Sacre was full of repetitive stamping, trampling, jumping and falling, all done in the inverted position that made the ballet's composer, Igor Stravinsky, remember the girls as ‘knock-kneed Lolitas’ and Nijinsky's sister, Bronislava, recall the men as ‘almost bestial.’ By reinventing the fundamentals of ritual movement, Nijinsky discovered modern dance, although critics at the time were hard pressed to define what Diaghilev's imperially trained company was doing in the primitivist Sacre.

The Jeux characters, on the contrary, were immediately recognizable as ballet dancers – the innovations of contemporary subject and costume notwithstanding. Nijinsky put the two female figures in pointe shoes but only let them rise onto the blocked tips at a few climactic moments. Yet Jeux has beats, turns and air steps for the women as well as the man, and even though the movements are more athletic than virtuosic, they belong to classical dance.

Jeux was started first, in July 1912, a month or so after the Parisian scandal of Nijinsky's first ballet, L'Apres­midi d'un Faune, with its erotic encounter of beast and bathing nymphs. According to Nijinska, the choreographic muse on whom Nijinsky crafted his first three ballets, Jeux was actually finished after Sacre. So the two works are virtually contemporaneous and, despite the many factors that distinguish them from each other, they share a common technique and choreographic method.

Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet is intended as a companion volume to Nijinsky's Crime Against Grace, Hodson’s choreographic score of documents and drawings for reconstruction of Le Sacre du Printemps. The books are designed to complement each other so that readers – like dancers who perform in both these Nijinsky reconstructions – can make their own con­nections between the works. In the end the two ballets seem to Hodson, as they did to some participants and witnesses in 1913, diverse expressions of the same aesthetic, even the same bold, premonitory vision.

Reconstruction is a cumulative task. At the outset, working in tandem with Archer, who is responsible for decor and costumes, Hodson focuses on research in order to recoup what she can of the myriad steps, postures, gestures and ground patterns of the specific work. The focus then shifts to the context of the ballet, the choreographer's collaborators and their cultural milieu. Period references have to be identified and deciphered. From contextual sources much can be learned about dramatic intention, performance style, the relation of music to dance and of dance to design. Such research is rigorous, requiring archival work and contact with a variety of specialists, sometimes even survivors who performed or attended the ballet.

According to Hodson, research is just the beginning. To reconstruct a matrix of meaning from the minutiae of movement details requires acts of synthesis. Drawing the ballet – single figures, groups, stage patterns – enables her to synthesize information without the physical presence of dancers. She says it also triggers her intuition. Dancing alone in a studio prompts her to discover kinesthetic links between the known movements and to construct the missing pieces. And, finally, rehearsing with the company of dancers who will premiere the recon­struction allows her to test her perceptions and shape all the elements into a whole. Nothing is finished until they reach the last note of the music together. And even when Archer and Hodson restage the work, new discoveries about meaning and new interpretive possibilities reveal themselves with each successive cast. That does not mean the reconstructed choreography changes, but her experience of it does, which in turn changes how she directs the work, how it is revealed by the dancers and how it is perceived by the public.

The opening essay, Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet, is the original version of the text they use for theatre programs when they stage Jeux. It provides a summary of the conditions under which Nijinsky, Debussy and Bakst first created this ballet. The Conversation with John Neumeier, which follows, is a discussion Hodson had with this choreographer, the director of the Hamburg Ballet, who has done much to restore Nijinsky's reputation, especially through his collection of art work by and about Nijinsky.

Part One of Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet comprises introductory material to the dance score, explaining its division into episodes, based on the scenario which Nijinsky devised and which Debussy printed in French on the piano score that he prepared for Ballets Russes rehearsals and that he later published. Also included are English translations of the complete scenario and an annotation of Debussy's score. These items give readers a kind of global look at Jeux before encountering the myriad details of the choreography as reconstructed after Nijinsky.

Part Two of Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet is the dance score of the reconstruction. The music pags are presented on the reader's left and, on the right, visual pages with the scenario segments in English combined with contempo­rary sketches and photographs or Hodson’s reconstruction drawings for the relevant bars of music. Some of the right-hand pages are informally organized, including material that is quickly drawn and written by hand. Provided in the book in their original state, these pages look like sheets from a workbook, which is exactly how the dance score functions during the preparation and first rehearsal periods of our reconstructions. More formal are the pages interspersed between the piano music and visuals. Put together after the premiere of the reconstruction, often after several stagings, these pages document results in direct relation to sources. They restore significant 20th century repertoire, turning myths back into artifacts that can be staged and studied in the future.

Part Three is a color portfolio of drawings and photographs. Compared to Le Sacre du Printemps, Jeux appears monochromatic – white against greens and blues so dark as to seem black. And yet, as reviews of the original make clear, the ballet opens in a golden sunset. Nijinsky, according to Marie Rambert, wanted the audience to witness the transformation of the garden by newly invented electrical streetlamps. The natural glow of the setting sun is replaced by the unearthly green that results from intense, cold light on trees. Later in the ballet the moon competes with the eerie magic of urban lighting in this city garden. The Post-Impressionist aesthetic that informs all elements of Jeux is nowhere more dramatically apparent than in the restriction of Bakst's palette. The only bright color is red, used sparingly, for Gauguin-like splotching of the flower beds that form a triangular labyrinth on the stage, for a splash on the foliage of the backdrop and for the young sportsman's tie, which is loosely-knotted and allowed to move freely – Nijinsky made this flash of passionate color a sexual image in his dance poem.

The Hodson-Archer archeology is now and forever the definitive Nijinsky, product of the most meticulous scholarship and sublime personal obsession. – Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune, Oct. 13, 2001

Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet attempts to document the reconstructed choreography of Jeux. While it is impossible to record every decision and all the reasons for each one, Hodson demonstrates the modus operandi for giving material form to a dance legend.

Health, Mind & Body / Diets

The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life by Dawn Jackson Blatner (McGraw-Hill)

For those who would like to have all the health benefits of a vegetarian diet – but can't imagine giving up meat 

For those who would like to lose weight, increase energy, and boost their immunity – but can't stand following a bunch of rules and restrictions …

The Flexitarian Diet may be the solution. It introduces the flexible way to eat healthy, slim down, and feel great. Flexitarianism is the new term for healthy dieting that minimizes meat without excluding it altogether. This plan from a high-profile nutritionist shows readers how to use ‘flexfoods’ to get the necessary protein and nutrients – with just a little meat for those who crave it. As the name implies, it is all about flexibility, giving readers a range of options: flexible meal plans, meat-substitute recipes, and weight loss tips.

The Flexitarian Diet is not a diet in the strict sense of the word but a different way of cooking, eating, and living that is flexible – readers can eat what they want with the Five-by-Five Flex Plan – five basic five-part guidelines that they customize to their taste:

  • Five Flex food groups.
  • Five main-ingredient recipes.
  • Five types of troubleshooters.
  • Five Flex fitness factors.
  • Five-week meal plan.

The Five Flex food groups are

  1. Meat alternatives: beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and seeds, vegetarian versions of meats, tofu, eggs.
  2. Vegetables and fruits.
  3. Grains: barley, corn, millet, oat, quinoa, rice, wheat, pasta.
  4. Dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt.
  5. Natural flavor-enhancers; spices, buttermilk ranch, chili powder, cinnamon, Italian seasoning, herbs, fats, oils, butter spreads, sweeteners, granulated sugars, honey, chocolate, ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, vinegars, low-fat sour cream.

There are no rules and no restrictions. Readers eat more plants during regular meals – and do the best they can. Once they understand the basics of ’flexfoods,’ they can swap ingredients, change dinner plans, beef up main dishes with ‘meaty’ alternatives, and spice up vegetables for fully satisfying meals.
The secret is ‘flexibility,’ according to registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blamer, the
creator of The Flexitarian Diet. As health columnist for Lifetime Television's website,
and as spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, she realizes that vegetarianism keeps us slim and healthy, but as a ‘closet meat-eater,’ she understands how hard it is to live exclusively on tofu and sprouts. According to Blatner, if readers follow some of the suggestions some of the time, they can still lose weight, improve their heart health, decrease their risk of diabetes and cancer, and live longer.

With her flexible mix-and-match meal plans, Dawn Jackson Blamer gives us a smart new approach to cooking and eating. – Joy Bauer, ‘Today’ show dietitian and bestselling author of Joy Bauer's Food Cures

The Flexitarian Diet is a fresh approach to eating that's balanced, smart, and completely do-able. – Ellie Krieger, host of Food Network's "Healthy Appetite" and author of The Food You Crave

Offers a comprehensive, simple-to-follow approach to flexitarian eating – the most modern, adaptable, delicious way to eat out there. – Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, senior food and nutrition editor of Health magazine

It's about time someone told consumers interested in taking control of their weight and health how to get the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle without having to cut meat completely out of their life. – Byrd Schas, senior health producer, New Media, Lifetime Entertainment Services

The Flexitarian Diet gives readers a way to introduce the benefits of vegetarianism into the family's lifestyle. It allows readers to have their meat and eat it too.

History / U.S.

Dreaming Up America by Russell Banks (Seven Stories Press)

My fiction is not about history or politics, but it has an underlying substructure that's informed by my ideas and attitudes and temperament regarding politics and history. Dreaming Up America is an explicit attempt to articulate some of those ideas and attitudes in a very – you know, not so narrow – but very specific context. – Russell Banks

As America undergoes global scrutiny, acclaimed novelist Russell Banks contemplates the questions of our origins, values, heroes, conflicts, and contradictions with conversational ease, emotional insight and the insightful historical observation found in his works of fiction. He notes our tendency towards violence. Drawing on politics, literature, film, and a deep knowledge of American history, Banks  in Dreaming Up America traces the first colonists’ differing motives, their points of intersection through the centuries, and the inevitable influence of the existing cultures they encountered or enslaved, building a vision of an empire built upon destructive – though also creative – forces. The influence of slavery and African-American culture, and the intermingling of commercial, religious, destructive and creative forces have changed us and are changing us still.

Russell Banks, President of the International Parliament of Writers and former New York State Author, is the author of sixteen works of fiction, many of which depict seismic events in US history, such as the fictionalized journey of John Brown in Cloudsplitter.

Dreaming Up America began as an extensive interview Banks's conducted with a French documentary filmmaker about American history, and considers all the various facets of our culture that inform who we are and the decisions we make as a people.

Russell Banks as a novelist has always dared to illumi­nate the larger issues of human interaction in a soci­ety that too often dishonors human rights. Here he gives us a thoughtful and provocative meditation on our history, with a chilling look at what has happened to the American dream. Like John Brown, the protago­nist of one of his novels, he rages against the curse of our time, not slavery now, but a violent nationalism which diminishes our humanity. He should be heeded, or whatever noble dream we had will be lost forever. – Howard Zinn

Russell Banks understands the narratives we invent as Americans to explain ourselves to ourselves. He plummets to the depths of the American soul, holds it up for view and offers in his insights the possibil­ity for atonement. – Chris Hedges

Russell Banks is not only one of our great novelists but also a courageous and visionary citizen....His first nonfiction book is a gem. – Cornel West

In Dreaming Up America, acclaimed novelist Banks pinpoints and characterizes the origins of our often conflicted national identity in his compelling first work of nonfiction. The book disarms with its charm, its erudition and the simplicity of its approach. With his novelistic gifts on display, if subtly, Banks tells the story of a great nation still being born today.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Magical Metal Clay Jewelry by Sue Heaser (Krause Publications)

A revolution in jewelry making has arrived. With little equipment, readers can create intricate pieces of pure silver jewelry using metal clay – a new material that has taken the craft world by storm.

Today’s revolution in jewelry making is simple. According to Sue Heaser, internationally renowned polymer clay artist, author, and teacher, with only basic silver-smithing skills readers can easily create solid silver jewelry using the easy-to-follow instructions in Magical Metal Clay Jewelry. Metal clay is worked just like modeling clay to produce an endless range of forms and effects. More than 250 step-by-step color photos demonstrate techniques needed to mold, fold, shape, cut, braid, and carve metal clay to create more than 25 original pieces of beautiful jewelry.

There is no need for soldering or sawing, and readers don’t even need a kiln – the new low-fire type of metal clay can be fired on a gas stove or with a blowtorch, burning away its binder to leave a solid piece of silver that can be hallmarked. It can be set with stones or decorated with enamel effects, oxidized to produce multicolor shades, impressed or engraved.

The description of metal clay often produces disbelief from listeners – people find it astonishing that firing a little gray piece of clay with a blowtorch will turn it into pure silver or gold. Metal clay is made from powdered precious metal combined with an organic binder and water. It can molded or sculpted in a way similar to ceramic clay or polymer clay. When heated to a high temperature, the binder burns away, and the precious metal particles sinter (or fuse) into solid silver or gold.

The history of metal clay as an arts and crafts material is surprisingly short. It was invented in Japan in the early 1990s, and since then has taken the jewelry and craft worlds by storm. It is available all over the world, and a rapidly growing body of artists is embracing its extraordinary capabilities.

In the past few years, two manufacturers have introduced types of silver metal clay that can be fired at a lower temperature than the earlier versions, and this development has made the clays accessible to home hobbyists or casual users.

Magical Metal Clay Jewelry offers readers amazingly simple no-kiln techniques for making beautiful jewelry. With this book there is no need for hammering or sawing, making it accessible to anyone. Beginners will discover the qualities of this magical substance that turns into pure silver before their eyes. Those more experienced in metal clays, will find other new discoveries in the book. Kiln owners are not forgotten, however, with a final chapter that includes projects using delicious dichroic glass as well as the fragile and beautiful paper or sheet clay.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Paula Nadelstern's Kaleidoscope Quilts: An Artist's Journey Continues by Paula Nadelstern (C&T Publishing)

My interest in things kaleidoscopic began in 1987 when I was struck by a bolt of fabric – a sumptuous, sinfully expensive, bilaterally symmetrical Liberty of London cotton known as Tana Lawn. Little did I know that purchasing a quarter yard would change my life forever, leading me, three years and four quilts later, to the state-of-the-art kaleidoscope and a new career. The insight from this anecdote is obvious: buy that piece of fabric no matter how expensive it is. As I peer through the incredible kaleidoscopes I have garnered over the years, like a sleuth searching for clues, I discover my design inspiration all over again. Who knows what the next turn of the scope will reveal, to me or to you? – Nadelstern, from the Introduction

Paula Nadelstern, best known for her brilliant kaleidoscope quilts, is featured in a retrospective at the American Folk Art Museum; Paula Nadelstern's Kaleidoscope Quilts is the companion book to that show.

Paula Nadelstern's Kaleidoscope Quilts offers a retrospective of the art quilter’s work, including a 62-page gallery. Full diagrams for nineteen quilts and a workbook on making kaleidoscope blocks are included. Readers are invited to celebrate her show with her. The book displays awe-inspiring quilts, design insights, and tips for making kaleidoscope quilts. The gallery of photos includes in-depth, behind-the-scenes commentary on the 19 featured quilts. Chapters provide detailed explanations of her design strategies and construction methods.

Nadelstern found her voice early in her career as a quilt artist, inspired by a bolt of sensuous and beautiful fabric. Focusing first on the kaleidoscopic quality in the symmetry, she innovated new techniques and developed a highly refined, intricate, and distinctive personal aesthetic. The incorporation of related crystalline forms, notably snowflakes, has continued to lead her through an artistic evolution that has encompassed science, history, innovation, and tradition. Each composition offers a fresh revelation of the complexities inherent in Nadelstern's labor-intensive approach. Minute pieces of fabric are joined like slivers of colored glass into a magical whole, the masterful manipulations of color and pattern resulting in scintillating wheels, shifting ellipses, and other movements across the surfaces of the textiles.

…The hard-edged, fractal structure of snowflake and kaleidoscopic images might seem inimical to the seductive softness of a quilt, but in Paula Nadelstern's unique quilt idiom, this provocative tension erases the historical divide between art and quilt. – Stacy C. Hollander, Senior Curator of the American Folk Art Museum, New York

Paula Nadelstern's Kaleidoscope Quilts is an inspiring retrospective revealing Nadelstern as the master of symmetry. Aspiring quilters will find it like having Nadelstern work right by their side, explaining as they create their own kaleidoscope quilt.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Vintage Redux: Remake Classic and Collectible Jewelry by Brenda Schweder (Kalmbach)

Many times reinventing a piece saves it. You may simply rejuvenate a broken or missing clasp, breathe new life into a rhinestone bracelet with replacement crystals, or find just one component from what used to be whole and insert it, perfectly, into its new, rightful home. But mostly it's just fun to mix 'n' match looks – pair the old with the new, the patinated with the polished, and one decade with another. You become part matchmaker, part jewelry wizard, taking bits and pieces from the past and re-creating them into a jewelry New Order. – from the book

  • Mom’s bizarro bracelets.
  • That “what-was-I-thinking?” necklace.
  • Aunt Bertha’s big chunky brooches.

Do you have a collection of jewelry castoffs? A box of broken bijoux? Pieces from the past that are full of meaning but missing a few links? Through Vintage Redux, artist Brenda Schweder guides readers through the process of remaking their discarded treasures into new styles to wear today. The book shows readers how to take a drawer full of jewelry duds and turn them into dreams. More than 30 projects, from traditional to totally over-the-top, offer a wide range of possibilities. The book presents creative projects using jewelry items spanning every decade from 1920 to 1990. Readers learn to reuse and recast iconic jewelry from the past, such as cameos, enameled flower brooches, rhinestones, and more into soon-to-be favorites of today.

A comprehensive guide directs readers as to what tools, materials, and basic techniques they need for each project, and a six-page gallery showcasing work from various artists offers them inspiration. Step-by-step photos, instructions, and tips will help jewelry makers of all experience levels make beautiful pieces.

Brenda's ideas are more than clever – they're accessible. They're a perfect way for a jewelry designer to really explore their own creative spirit. – Cathy Jakicic, BeadStyle Editor

Simple, clearly explained jewelry-making techniques in Vintage Redux help readers transform old into new. Readers will also find inspiration in Schweder’s words, as she guides them through each project. The projects are presented in step-by-step instructions and photos so it is easy to create all-new pieces. Readers can revisit the past and make it better than ever before with Vintage Redux.

Medicine / Neurology

Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently by Gregory Berns (Harvard Business Press)

It's the things people know, that ain't so. – Howard Armstrong

No organization can survive without iconoclasts – innovators who single-handedly upturn conventional wisdom and manage to achieve what so many others deem impossible.
Though indispensable, true iconoclasts are few and far between. In Iconoclast, neuroscientist Gregory Berns explains why. He explores the constraints the human brain places on innovative thinking, including fear of failure, the urge to conform, and the tendency to interpret sensory information in familiar ways.
Through accounts of successful innovators ranging from glass artist Dale Chihuly to physicist Richard Feynman to country/rock trio the Dixie Chicks, Berns, Distinguished Chair of Neuroeconomics, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University and Economics at the Goizueta Business School, reveals the inner workings of the iconoclast's mind. Each chapter describes practical actions readers can take to understand and unleash their own potential to think differently – such as seeking out new environments, novel experiences, and first-time acquaintances.
Berns describes new imaging technologies and breakthrough experiments that have identified circuits in the brain that get in the way of the creative thinking process – and reveals that those circuits are hard-wired to stop creativity dead in its tracks for most people. Berns explains how, in order to make it through a typical day, the brain has become an efficiency machine that expends energy only when necessary. The result: the powerful human propensity to conform to what others think and to cling to ideas that are familiar to us. It is the rare individual who breaks free of these biological limitations.

Berns operationalizes the definition of an iconoclast as a person who does something that others say can't be done. This definition implies that iconoclasts are different from other people. Indeed, this is true, but more precisely, the iconoclast's brain is different, and it is dif­ferent in three distinct ways. Each of these three functions maps onto a different circuit in the brain. For now, it suffices to know that the iconoclastic brain differs in these three functions and the circuits that implement them:

  1. Perception
  2. Fear response
  3. Social intelligence

According to Iconoclast, how a person perceives something is not simply a product of what their eyes or ears transmit to their brain. More than the physical reality of photons or sound waves, perception is a product of the brain. Perception lies at the heart of iconoclasm. Iconoclasts see things differently than other people. They see things differently because their brains do not fall into efficiency traps as much as the average person's brain. Iconoclasts, either because they were born that way or because they learned how to do it, have found ways to work around the perceptual shortcuts that plague most people. By looking at how the brain transforms perception into action, we can see exactly where these physical differences emerge, and where most people's brains fall into the trap of unoriginal thinking, and how the iconoclast's brain is different.

Although the key process for iconoclasm is perception, this is only the beginning. Perception is not something that is immutably hardwired into the brain. It is a process that is learned through experience, which is both a curse and an opportunity for change. The brain faces the fundamental problem of interpreting physi­cal stimuli that originate from the senses. Everything that the brain sees or hears or touches has multiple interpretations. The one that is ulti­mately chosen – the thing that is perceived – is simply the brain's best guess at interpreting what flows into it. In technical terms, these guesses have their basis in the statistical likelihood of one interpreta­tion over another. These guesses are heavily influenced by past experi­ence and, importantly for potential iconoclasts, what other people say.

According to Berns, to see things differently than other people, the most effective solution is to bombard the brain with things it has never encountered before. Novelty releases the perceptual process from the shackles of past experience and forces the brain to make new judgments. Iconoclasts have a preternatural affinity for new experiences. Where most people shy away from things that are different, the iconoclast embraces novelty.

The problem with novelty, however, is that, for most people, novelty triggers the fear system of the brain. Fear is the second major impedi­ment to thinking like an iconoclast and stops the average person dead in his tracks. There are many types of fear, but the two that inhibit icon­oclastic thinking are fear of uncertainty and fear of public ridicule. These may seem like trivial phobias, and some people might say, "Just deal with it." Fear of public speaking, which everyone must do from time to time, afflicts one-third of the population. This is too common to be considered a disorder or mental illness. It is simply a common variant of human nature, but it is one that gets in the way of many potential iconoclasts. The true iconoclast, although he may still experience these fears, does not let them inhibit his actions.

Finally, according to Iconoclast, to make the transition to successful iconoclast, the individual must sell his ideas to other people. This is where social intelligence comes in.

In the last decade, there has been an explosion of knowledge about the social brain. One of the subfields that has emerged out of the neuro­economic movement is how the brain works to coordinate decision mak­ing in groups. Almost every decision we make must be considered in the context of how it might affect the other people in our lives. The true iconoclast does not live in a cabin in the woods. The modern iconoclast navigates a dynamic social network and elicits change that begins with altered perception and ends with effecting change in other people (or dying a failure). Recent neuro­science experiments have revealed which circuits in the brain are responsible for functions like understanding what other people think, empathy, fairness, and social identity. These brain regions play key roles in whether an individual convinces other people of her ideas. Perception plays an important role in social cognition as well. The perception of someone's enthusiasm, or reputation, can make or break a deal. Understanding how perception becomes intertwined with social decision mak­ing shows why successful iconoclasts are so rare: social intelligence depends on perception, but perception itself is subject to social forces. We see things like other people, and the cycle is difficult to break.

According to Iconoclast, it is not easy to be an iconoclast. The iconoclast risks social and professional ostracism, frequently alienates colleagues, and must face a daily reckoning with a high likelihood of failure. He walks a tough road. And although there is a certain romantic notion to the image of the rugged individualist, who, against all odds, triumphs over conformity, the simple fact is that most people don't want to be an icono­clast. Readers can learn to think a bit more iconoclastically by understanding how the three key brain circuits work. For the majority of people who don't want to be iconoclasts, understanding how their brains work can help them manage teams with iconoclastic members.

In Iconoclast, readers meet modern iconoclasts. Some are well known; others are not. Each of them, however, has accomplished something in their field of endeavor that makes them stand out as unique individuals. Most importantly, they are iconoclasts because they had to buck conventional wisdom, sometimes in the face of overwhelming crit­icism, and remain steadfast in their beliefs for what they perceived to be the right and true path. Some examples of iconoclasts discussed in the book include: Walt Disney, Florence Nightingale, Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson, Dixie Chicks, Martin Luther King Jr., Henry Ford, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Ray Kroc, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Warren Buffett, Jonas Salk, and Steve Jobs.

Iconoclast is an eye-opener that will both inform and inspire you. Though most of us want to be innovative thinkers, we just don't understand the barriers in the way of our success. In this book, Gregory Berns deftly blends intriguing case studies with exciting neuroscientific findings to show how and why iconoclasts overcome these barriers and thrive. – Michael J. Mauboussin, Chief Investment Strategist, Legg Mason Capital Management, and author, More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places

Iconoclast introduces you to people in every field who make success look easy. These people can reconcile the brain's quest for certainty with life's inherent uncertainty by seeing different facets of life. They ask questions that do not occur to the population that simply accepts consensus answers. You'll be inspired to emulate these iconoclasts in your own life. – Dean LeBaron, Chairman, virtualquest

In Iconoclast, Gregory Berns tells the stories of monumental events in art, medicine, technology, and more. Through the eyes of a neuroscientist, he helps us understand the underlying processes that either hinder or encourage creativity and an iconoclastic perspective. In today's world we cannot afford to be ignorant of either these processes or our history. – Dan Ariely, Author, Predictably Irrational

Whether hoping to dream up more of one's own innovations, or looking to hire and manage iconoclasts in a business, Iconoclast is the essential guidebook for anyone who wants to stop ‘following the herd’ and start forging new paths to success. Packed with engaging stories of exemplars of iconoclasm, science-based insights, potent practices, and examples from a startling array of disciplines, the book helps readers understand how iconoclasts think and equip them to begin thinking more like an iconoclast themselves. Readers will find themselves innovating more creatively – and able to implement their fresh ideas with major impact.

Mysteries & Thrillers

A Question of Death: An Illustrated Phryne Fisher Treasury by Kerry Greenwood (Hardback: Poisoned Pen Press)

A Question of Death: An Illustrated Phryne Fisher Treasury by Kerry Greenwood (Paperback: Allen & Unwin)

My favorite detective writer, Dorothy Sayers, always included a slab of solid research in her books and I decided, in homage, to do that too. In each of my novels you will find out something different about Melbourne in 1928, as well as the detective story. It is not so much a mission as a gift to the readers.

The process of writing one of these novels is odd. I choose a new aspect of Melbourne which I would like to research – the theatre, the circus, jazz, flying, the docks – and then spend six months finding out all I can about it. About one hundredth of what I actually know about the subject ends up in the novel, but I need to know it to write the book. In fact, I worked out that for each novel I do as much work as a PhD student would for a thesis (but the novels are more fun to read than a thesis). After a while the story starts to build up pressure, and finally it wakes me up at three in the morning and insists on being written. – from the book

The Honorable Phryne Fisher – she of the Lulu bob, green eyes, Cupid's Bow lips, and diamante garters – is the 1920's most elegant and irrepressible sleuth. A Question of Death is sparkling collection of thirteen Phryne short stories and other Phryne miscellany, including Phryne's favorite shoes and hats, cocktail recipes, for example, Welsh rarebit, and absinthe cocktail, and her tips for discouraging unwanted admirers.
Author Kerry Greenwood was born in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and after wandering far and wide, she returned to live there. She has degrees in English and Law from Melbourne University and was admitted to the legal profession on April 1st, 1982, a day which she says she finds both soothing and significant. Greenwood has written twenty novels and a number of plays including The Troubadours with Stephen D'Arcy and is an award-winning children's writer. The Phryne Fisher series (pronounced Fry-knee, to rhyme with briny) began in 1989 with Cocaine Blues, which was a great success. Greenwood has written sixteen books in this series with no sign yet of Miss Fisher hanging up her pearl-handled pistol. Greenwood says that as long as people want to read them, she can keep writing them.

Greenwood says she began to write mysteries because she was trying to get published – “trying very hard, a soul destroying, painful process which I wish never to repeat. … I have written many other novels with other heroines, but Phryne is my favorite and I am delighted every time she drops in with a new book.”

With Phryne Fisher, the indefatigable Greenwood has invented the character-you-fall-in-love-with genre. – The Australian

A Question of Death, lavishly illustrated with divine color illustrations by Beth Norling, is a gorgeously collectable treat. It will bring joy to the hearts of Phryne Fisher fans everywhere.

Mysteries & Thrillers / Historical Fiction

The Sin Eaters by Andrew Beahrs (Toby Press)

The Sin Eaters follows Andrew Beahrs’ debut novel, Strange Saint, from Jacobean England to the Virginia Colony.

An old woman escaping a murderer. A girl, gambled away to a clockmaker. A man paid to take the sins of the dead upon himself. All criminals. All fleeing. All together.

In The Sin Eaters the journey begins when Sarah, a strong, aging, haunted woman, defies Sam Ridley, lord of her small English village. After a cruel punishment prompts Sarah's swift, unforgettable revenge, Ridley takes his own brutal oath of vengeance.

Forced to flee the village, Sarah meets Bill, a sin eater, who believes himself infected by the crimes of the unforgiven dead. Sarah's compelling need to heal Bill – and her own wounded memories – binds them together more strongly than blood. Together with Mary, a young girl freed from the prison of a cold, unwilling marriage, they flee for the coast across a landscape haunted by memory.

The Sin Eaters follows this unforgettable company through the meadows, rain-soaked forests and thriving cities of a spellbindingly reimagined Jacobean England. Their flight from the vengeance of the proud, murderous Sam Ridley will bring them face-to-face with their own pasts – and to a fate as unexpected as it is moving.

The best sort of historical novel – detailed, rich and provocative, but also moving and compelling...a wonderfully researched and absorbing tale of Jacobean England. – David Liss, author of The Whiskey Rebels and A Conspiracy of Paper

Masterfully written, The Sin Eaters is a Jacobean picaresque, an amalgam of keen analysis of the human heart and rich, lush language. Andrew Beahrs evokes a classic tale of vengeance, loyalty; and eventual healing as three unlikely heroes flee for their lives.... I couldn't put it down until I had devoured every beautiful word. – Crystal Wilkinson, author of Blackberries, Blackberries and Water Street

This bewitching story of misfits escaping the horrors of Jacobean England is an exquisitely written, compelling read. Andrew Beahrs' new novel is a fraught and exhilarating journey. – Robin Lippincott, author of In the Meantime and Our Arcadia

A page-turner in the best sense – instructing and inspiring while drawing the reader joyfully to its powerful conclusion. – Neela Vaswani, author of Where the Long Grass Bends

The Sin Eaters is a compelling story, well written, pulling readers along to a surprising and satisfying conclusion.

Mysteries & Thrillers / Thrillers

Sea of Truth by Andrea De Carlo (Rizzoli Ex Libris)

Best-selling contemporary Italian author Andrea De Caro, winner of the Premio Comisso prize for literature in 1981, follows his successful novel Windshift with a new thriller. Set in contemporary time, Sea of Truth is a piercing look at the Catholic Church, population control, and family politics.

Lorenzo Telmari, a globe-trotting sailor, has temporarily retreated to the mountains of central Italy to write a book on shipwrecks, until, one winter morning, he receives a phone call from his brother Fabio, informing him of their father's unexpected death. Lorenzo rushes to Rome to be with his family – Fabio, a politician, and sister-in-law Nicoletta, a TV journalist.

In Sea of Truth, these two brothers, Fabio and Lorenzo – one a corrupt politician, the other an impassioned writer and the novel’s hero – inherit a dangerous secret from their father. Following the funeral, Lorenzo meets Mette, a Danish woman who works with the environmentalist organization Stopwatch. Through her, Lorenzo discovers that his father, a famous virologist, possessed a document with vast ethical and political implications.

From then on, Lorenzo’s life undergoes rapid changes involving political and religious intrigue, narrow escapes, and a life-altering love affair. He learns that at the time of his death his father had two documents written by Ndiogene, a Senegalese cardinal who had recently died of AIDS. These documents denounce, from the inside, the Vatican's policy on birth control and sexually transmitted diseases and a number of other issues.

Before Lorenzo can get his hands on it, Fabio – ever the ambitious political animal – delivers the incendiary document over to the Vatican, so Lorenzo sets off, with Mette, in search of another copy believed to exist. A grand chase for the documents ensues, pitting brother against brother, and results in a crescendo of disappearances and deaths.  

A series of alarming events makes clear the danger they are in, so they flee Rome. The frantic quest takes Fabio and Mette to the coast of Tuscany, to Corsica by sailboat, and to southern Portugal, where they find a copy of the manuscript, but it is left to readers to guess what becomes of it – and of them – once they have it in their possession.

The extremely enjoyable and at the same time astonishing portrait of today's middle class (which includes, of course, all of us) depicted by Andrea De Carlo in... Sea of Truth is perfect and, unfortunately, corresponds to reality. – Antonio D'Orrico, Corriere delta Sera Magazine

De Carlo is a keen observer of social changes, very self assured in finding the necessary words to define transitions and mutations. Politics, religion, ethical, moral questions intertwine in this novel, which has the frantic rhythm of an ecological action movie, while creating some very emblematic characters and dwelling on the deep tensions of contemporary life. – Sergio Pent, La Stampa

A fast-paced novel, Sea of Truth takes a piercing look at contemporary Italy, family relationships, and provocative subjects like the Catholic Church's politics on overpopulation. With its mix of adventure, romance, and suspense, De Carlo confronts controversial issues, with poise, avoiding sensationalism and tempering rage with irony, and equilibrium. De Carlo has executed one of his most engaging and adventurous novels yet, writing with conviction and indignation for the modern world.

Politics

The Art of Politics: The New Betrayal of America and How to Resist It by John Kekes (Encounter Books)

Political goods ... reason, pluralism, necessary limits, liberty, toleration, justice, the right to private property, political and legal equality, democracy, authority, civility...

The political system of contemporary Western democracies is far from perfect. Nevertheless it is the envy of the world. The Art of Politics explains what makes our system as good as it is. It is about the political goods we have reason to value: justice, liberty, order, peace, prosperity, rights, security, and toleration.

The Americans experience today provides us with countless political goods that make this nation's political system the finest in the world. This is not to say that our contemporary democracy does not have its flaws. It is constantly faced with never-ending disagreements about how to approach various external and internal conflicts, from poverty to education, healthcare to warfare. The art of politics is the act of discovering the most favorable resolutions to these conflicts.

In The Art of Politics, John Kekes, a preeminent political philosopher, illustrates how necessary it is not to stray from our fundamental philosophy and how hard we must work to keep stability within our political system. Kekes, former Professor and then Research Professor at the State University of New York and Visiting Professor in Canada, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, Singapore, and the United States Military Academy at West Point, presents a vision of contemporary American politics in which the true division is not between the right and the left, conservatives and liberals, but between those who want to protect our system of democracy and ideologues who want to redesign it to their tastes.

In the past, Marxist, fascist, and even anarchist ideologues have waged sustained attacks on our established political foundations in an effort to achieve extreme ideals. While such sweeping threats may not seem apparent today, radical ideological undercurrents continue to threaten our contemporary democracy. It goes without saying that American society has its ills, but today's radical ideologues point to those problems not as opportunity for reform, but as reason to attack the very foundations of American society. They seek to re-create America in their perfect vision, but, as The Art of Politics reminds us, the fundamental aim of American politics is to balance and protect the enlightened values that make this country the envy of the world.

The unprecedented prosperity, health, liberty, and stability in America give rise to the envy of much of the world. However these privileges cannot defend themselves. We must balance the conflicting claims of our political goods in the midst of ever-changing circumstances and external and internal threats. Reason, pluralism, necessary limits, liberty, tol­eration, justice, the right to private property, democracy, authority, and civility are the goods. The enemies are the ideologues who scorn this system because it falls short of a never-realized theoretical ideal they have borrowed from their European brethren. This effort by the ideologues to change our systems radically is ultimately the betrayal of American politics, and one of the most serious threats we face. This book tells us how to defend ourselves against these threats and how to practice this most valuable art, The Art of Politics.

In the first chapter, Kekes illustrates a balanced approach to politics and explains why the ideological approach to it is destructive. Each subsequent chapter argues against the mistaken ideological interpretations, and in turn, reasons in favor of the balanced approach.

Politics in­volves never-ending disagreements about how to resolve unavoid­able conflicts among goods, and the art of politics is to find, again and again, optimal resolutions. This is formidably difficult because even if we agree about the goods we need, we tend to disagree about their interpretation and respective impor­tance, and because there is no law, principle, or natural order of priority to which we could appeal. No resolution is final and seek­ing it is futile. There are reasonable resolutions but they work only in particular contexts, the contexts continually change, and we must resolve disagreements about what resolutions are reasonable.

This approach to politics is betrayed by ideologues. According to Kekes the betrayal began about forty years ago with protests against the war in Viet­nam but it soon changed into an attack against the rule of law, the universities, the military, the police, family life, and against accepted standards and conventions of morality, politics, education, journalism, civility, and decency. As a result, private relations between men and women, husbands and wives, parents and children, teachers and students have become politicized, and so have institutions, such as newspapers, television, radio, health care, charities, and churches.

As explained in The Art of Politics, societies and values continually change but the changes that have occurred since the '60s are unprecedented in American history. They are deeper than any before, they affect virtually all areas of life, and their cumulative effect is inescapable. The justification ideologues offer for the changes is strident, hypocritical, and spe­cious moralizing. What they condemn is held to be immoral, unjust, exploitative, discriminatory, racist, sexist, imperialist, and the like. They divide Americans into the good, who agree with them, and the bad, who do not. Individuals are seen as selfless or self-serving; perpetrator or victim; one of the haves or of the have-nots; moral or immoral, and the condemnation of those who are accused of falling into the wrong category is vicious. Opponents are demonized, hounded, maligned, and abused.

For example, egalitarian ideology involves the absurd extension of the legal and political equality guaranteed by the Constitution to aspects of life in which equality has no place. Human beings differ in their characters, circumstances, talents and weaknesses, capacities and incapacities, virtues and vices; in their moral standing, political views, religious convictions, aesthetic preferences, and personal projects; in how reasonable or unreasonable they are, how well or badly they develop their inborn endowments, how much they benefit or harm others, how hardworking or disciplined they were in the past and likely to be in the future, and so forth. How could anyone believe that moral and immoral, law-abiding and criminal, prudent and imprudent people have equal worth and should enjoy equal benefits? How could anyone believe that terrorists and their victims, homeowners and burglars, pedophiles and raped children, benefactors and scourges of humanity have or should have equal moral status? How could anyone regard it as an ideal that a sub­stantial portion of people's earnings should be taken from them and given to those who could have but did not earn anything? How could it be accepted as an ideal that all should enjoy the same benefits regardless of how responsible or irresponsible they are, or how much or little they have contributed to producing those ben­efits? Yet it is to this absurd ideal that ideologues appeal in defining good and bad policies, criticizing existing values, identifying moral and immoral people, indoctrinating those who are willing to listen to them, and justifying their attempt to transform American politics from a practical enterprise to the dogmatic pursuit of an indefen­sible ideology.

What should we do to resist ideologues? The first thing is not to be bamboozled or intimidated by their moralistic bullying and to point out as frequently as practicable the absurdity of their dogmatic pronouncements. The other is to reaffirm American politics as a practical enterprise and resist its corruption by egalitarian or any other ideology. The fundamental aim of American politics is to maintain a balance, not to pursue perfection dictated by an ideology. Our values have stood the test of time and have continued to attract the allegiance of the overwhelming majority of Americans. It is not hard to list them: democracy, equality, individual rights, justice, liberty, order, peace, private property, rule of law, security, and stability. They continu­ally conflict, their interpretations and comparative importance in particular situations are often controversial, and it is difficult to know how they should be applied to cope with new problems, emergencies, and interests. The practical aim of American politics has been to cope with these difficulties guided by the laws and limits as defined by the Constitution. Doing so is rarely easy and it has often failed. But the well-being of Americans largely depends on continuing to do as well as possible what fallible politicians have managed to do since the founding of the Republic.

The subjects Kekes considers in the chapters are reason as prudence, the plurality of goods, necessary limits, limited liberty, toleration within reason, justice as having what one deserves, the right to private property, equality as the exclusion of arbitrariness, political democracy, legitimate authority, and civility as a social condition. The complete account of the balanced view emerges only at the end when Kekes provides an overview of the preceding discussions.

In his detailed examination, Kekes demonstrates how the deep division in contemporary American politics is not between conservatives and liberals, nor between the right and the left, but between those who want to pro­tect the political system that has emerged in the course of several centuries of trial and error and the ideologues who want to change it radically. It is our job to protect this gift and The Art of Politics is our guide to how.

John Kekes has done it again. He has written yet another superb treatise on the cultural conditions that undergird an effective democracy. By emphasizing conventions, specifically civility as a value that offers order and predictability to our lives, he creates the intellectual architecture for personal and political authority. – Herbert London, President, Hudson Institute

Kekes's account of the art of politics is a model of philo­sophical lucidity, in which many tricky distinctions (such as that between equality and egalitarianism) are disentangled with immense skill. – Kenneth Minogue, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of London

This is an angry book, and reading it will make you angry too. As always with Professor Kekes's books, however, read­ing it will also make you more lucid. His is an eminently rea­sonable anger. Here he takes aim at ideologues (i.e., all who believe that there is a supreme human good that should inform politics and to which all other goods must be sacri­ficed). He argues instead for a ‘balanced approach,’ one that takes into account the plurality of human goods and the mutability of their relative weighting in particular epochs, societies, and circumstances. He develops this argument not only generally but with regard to a series of key issues, and concludes by pointing the balanced way forward. – Clifford Orwin, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution of Stanford Universiy

The Art of Politics is a thorough and significant argument expressing how we can best protect our political institutions from betrayal. The book will be of interest to thinking people and is not the closed turf of academics and theorists.

Professional & Technical / Engineering / Drafting

Sketching for Engineering Design Visualization by Jon M. Duff & William A. Ross (Delmar Cengage Learning)

A wide range of engineering visualization techniques and practices are presented in Sketching for Engineering Design Visualization. The sketching assignments in the book have been classroom-tested at multiple universities to provide readers with the strongest, most helpful exercises. Comprehensive tear-out sketching sheets follow each chapter to make it a useful resource for students. The editors are Jon M. Duff, who served on the faculty in Engineering Graphics at Ohio State and in Technical Graphics at Purdue and currently teaches modeling, animation, illustration, and technical publishing at Arizona State University; and William A. Ross, Professor Emeritus from Purdue University. Two author philosophies influenced the structure of this text-workbook.

  • Modeling is an introduction to sketching because readers should view sketching as a modeling exercise – albeit limited by pencil and paper.
  • Isometric sketching is necessary before orthographic reading because pictorial sketches are a major tool for visualizing geom­etry.

Sketching for Engineering Design Visualization is based on the concept that modern graphics may be started freehand and subsequently formal­ized by using CAD. In this book readers will find an overview of basic CAD modeling techniques and a full complement of engineering drawing and modeling exercises through sketching. Chapters cover model visualization through orthographic multiviews, missing view problems, isometric pictorials, auxiliary views, section views, assemblies, dimensioning practices, and sketching for fabrication. Each chapter contains a brief overview followed by numerous sketching problems intended to serve as pre-CAD visualization exercises. If readers desire more in-depth information, they can peruse the appropriate chapters in Visualization, Modeling, and Graphics for Engineers.

While coordinated with Visualization, Modeling, and Graphics for Engineers, by Dennis Lieu and Sheryl Sorby, Sketching for Engineering Design Visualization makes an ideal lab manual for a number of engineering design graphics texts. Because of the generic nature of the problems in the book, it may be used in conjunction with any 2D or 3D CAD software textbook. Although the emphasis is on 3D modeling and visualization, the inclusion of traditional engineer­ing drawing practices such as ‘orthographic reading’ and missing view problems make it useful with 2D engineering graphics courses as well.

Sketching for Engineering Design Visualization begins with an introduction to visualization, in this case, through rotations and mental cutting plane exercises. Terminology is pre­sented and standard techniques used in 3D model building are introduced. All subsequent chapters then use these techniques and apply them to the standard practices and conventions used in engineering design graphics and technical drawing. The book is written so readers will be able to visualize, sketch, and solve modeling geometry problems either prior to or during a work session with 3D CAD software. Readers will find the relationship between visualization, preliminary pencil sketching, and the modeling-drawing strengthened. In order to reinforce the value and appearance of planning with sketching, all illustrations, figures, examples, and exercises in this book are presented in a sketched format. Because this is a supplementary text or lab manual, the bulk of each chapter is devoted to practical exercises progressing in difficulty from easy or moderate to complex.

With a strong emphasis on graphical exercises and clear, relevant examples to illustrate concepts along the way, Sketching for Engineering Design Visualization is the ideal resource for learning engineering design and visualization. Logically structured and organized into chapters that reflect the natural progression of topics, from basic to more complex, the book gives special attention to three-dimensional visualization. It is a perfect standalone guide and also a valuable supplement to other CAD or graphics books, designed to enhance the learning experience of anyone seeking a more in-depth understanding of sketching for engineering design visualization.

Professional & Technical / Agricultural Science

The Donkey Companion: Selecting, Training, Breeding, Enjoying & Caring for Donkeys by Sue Weaver (Storey Publishing)

To carry a load without resting, to be not bothered by heat or cold, and to always be content: These things we can learn from the donkey. – Pakistani proverb

Why donkeys? Because their serene, Zen-like demeanor brings peace in this rushed, busy world. Others keep donkeys for adventure, as a business, or to protect vulnerable animals like sheep, alpacas, and goats. Donkeys are friendly, dependable, intelligent, and easy to care for. Their heart-felt braying, ever-alert ears, and expressive brown eyes earn them special status as beloved farm pets.

Donkeys are increasingly prized by small-scale farmers, horse lovers, and animal enthusiasts. Already, there are hundreds of thousands of donkeys and mules in the U.S., and their population is growing steadily. Donkeys not only pull carts, carry riders, and tote gear for hikers, but they also make terrific stable companions and livestock guardians, and they are renowned for their skills in transport, raising water, milling, and farm tillage. They're also gentle with children and the elderly, making them a popular therapy animal and family pet.
A donkey is not simply a long-eared horse, and understanding the donkey's distinctive traits is critical to the animal's well-being and usefulness. The Donkey Companion, by Sue Weaver, who has written many magazine articles on animal raising and husbandry and is a contributing editor for Hobby Farms magazine, offers a comprehensive overview of this hardy creature. The book contains everything donkey enthusiasts need to know about the animal’s history, physiology, behavior, breed characteristics, daily care, and health needs.
The Donkey Companion offers detailed information about different breeds and types; provides tips for finding and selecting the right animal; explains donkeys' daily care and health requirements; and guides readers through the nuances of training, riding, driving, and breeding. The book is enhanced with fun facts, training tips, quotes, photographs, illustrations, and additional resources. From foaling to first aid, and from grooming to professional showing, this extensive guide offers everything a donkey owner needs to get the most out of this gentle, hardworking animal.  

Chapters include an overview of donkey breeds, tips on how to select a veterinarian, donkey behaviors, how to feed and groom a donkey, health care including holistic therapies and training methods. Weaver also explores Fun with Donkeys, including chapters on riding, driving, and pack donkeys; her Donkey Business section gives a complete course in breeding donkeys for profit and manufacturing donkey tack, treats, and equipment to provide owners with all they need to set up a donkey farm.

The Donkey Companion is the most complete, up-to-date reference of its kind. The book offers readers a walk through the wonder and capabilities of this versatile animal. Weaver brings a deep understanding of this equine species, with keen insight into the differences between donkey and horse.

Professional & Technical / Medicine / Physiology

Neuromechanics of Human Movement, 4th Edition by Roger M. Enoka (Human Kinetics)

Drawing on the disciplines of neurophysiology and physics, Neuromechanics of Human Movement, now in its fourth edition, explores how the nervous system controls the actions of muscles to produce human motion in relation to biomechanical principles. This contemporary approach is much different from the traditional approach, which focuses solely on mechanics and does not consider the role of the sensory system in the control of human movement.
Neuromechanics of Human Movement is a popular clinical reference for musculoskeletal and neuromuscular rehabilitation specialists, as well as a guide for professionals in such areas as biomechanics and muscle physiology. Written by Roger Enoka, professor and chair in the department of integrative physiology, and professor in the Health Sciences Center, department of medicine, geriatrics, at the University of Colorado, the book includes an introduction to the biomechanical terms and concepts commonly used to describe movement, an explanation of the essential neurophysiological concepts that help to explain movement produced by the nervous system and muscle, and a description of ways in which the motor system adapts to various types of physical stress.

Because movement is constrained by the laws of physics, both the activation signals generated by the nervous system and the forces exerted by the muscles must accommodate these constraints. Accordingly, the content of the text is derived from the disciplines of neurophysiology (neuro-) and physics (mechanics) to provide a neuromechanical perspective on the study of human movement.

Neuromechanics of Human Movement, Fourth Edition, provides a scientific foundation to the study of human movement, and as such it uses precise terms and definitions when discussing ideas and utilizing the international metric system (SI). Readers will find an appendix that helps in identifying the SI metric units as well as other learning tools, including a glossary of terms and two other appendixes that cover conversion factors and equations. Throughout the text, the content is visually reinforced with more than 750 illustrations, many of which are new or upgraded from the previous edition and include specific illustrations of the neuromechanics involved in sport and rehabilitation movements. Finally, Neuromechanics of Human Movement contains more than 1,500 updated references and suggested reading lists for each chapter.
To further enhance this fourth edition, significant content updates have been made to ensure the latest information is presented for both research and clinical environments:

  • New coverage regarding electromyography (EMG) that demonstrates the connection between the nervous system and the muscle by measuring the activation signal, allowing readers to better understand how motion is activated.
  • Additional examples that underscore recent research developments in reaching and grasping activities for rehabilitation.
  • In-depth coverage of the motor system that addresses excitable membranes, muscle and motor units, and voluntary movement.
  • Expanded discussion of neuromuscular system adaptations to the aging process.
  • Neuromuscular system adaptations with particular application to rehabilitation

To encourage a comprehensive learning experience, this updated edition follows a logical progression where each part builds on the material from the previous section.

Neuromechanics of Human Movement is organized into three parts. Part I focuses on Newton's laws of motion and their application to the study of human movement. This material, typically referred to in a physics text as mechanics, outlines the physical laws that define the properties of movement. The four chapters in part I examine the concepts required to describe motion, the external forces that act on the human body, the forces that exist within the human body, and the techniques that can be used to analyze movement with examples from running, jumping, and throwing. The most significant changes in this section from the third edition are that the material on electro­myography has been moved to chapter 5 on electricity, new figures have been included, and the citations have been updated.

Part II introduces the essential concepts from neurophysiology needed to understand how movement is produced by the nervous system and muscles. Those parts of the human body involved in the production of movement are collectively known as the motor system. The three chapters on the motor system address excitable membranes, muscle and motor units, and volun­tary movement. Chapter 5 deals with electricity, the resting membrane potential, the properties of neurons, synaptic transmission, excitation-contraction coupling, and electromyography. Chapter 6 addresses motor units, muscle mechanics, and the organization and activation of muscles. Chapter 7 examines spinal reflexes, central pattern generators, and supraspinal control of voluntary movement. Part II is completely revised from the third edition. The author uses a ‘bottom-up’ approach that begins with the principles of electricity and extends up to connections within the cerebral cortex. This approach encompasses the essentials of electricity responsible for the excitability of cell membranes and explains the relations between spinal neurons and muscle fibers.
Part III focuses on the acute and chronic changes that can occur in the motor system in response to various interventions. The acute adjustments include warm-up effects, flexibility, muscle soreness and damage, muscle fatigue, muscle potentiation, and arousal. The chronic adaptations comprise the effects of strength and power training, the effects of reduced use, motor recovery from injury, and adaptations with aging. Although part III is similar to that in the third edition, it has been updated to include more recent concepts and citations, as well as many new figures, and the discussion on aging has been reorganized and expanded. Readers will understand how acute adjustments can be made to the motor system through interventions such as warm-up, flexibility, muscle soreness, and muscle fatigue.
There is also a presentation package and image bank that accompany this text. It contains PowerPoint slides that include most of the figures, tables, and photos in Neuromechanics of Human Movement.

The fourth edition of Neuromechanics of Human Movement provides a scientific basis for the study of human movement while continuing to expand current knowledge in the fields of biomechanics and neurophysiology. By integrating these fields in a unique framework, this text offers professionals and students both valuable clinical information and inspiration to deepen their study of human movement, a field still in its infancy.
Reference / Curiosities & Wonders

The Book of the Bizarre: Freaky Facts and Strange Stories by Varla Ventura (Weiser Books)

Did you know duck dander is hallucinogenic? Or that Katherine Hepburn had a phobia of dirty hair? Have you ever wondered about the Magickal Skull of Doom or contemplated the mysterious Transylvanian Tablets?
The Book of the Bizarre is a veritable treasure trove of startling and stranger-than-fiction trivia that spans history, continents, even worlds. Never before have so many truly frightful facts been gathered together in one place.
Teeming with the strange, the shocking, and the downright fantastic, The Book of the Bizarre's thirteen chapters include: Something Wicked: Mysterious Objects & Haunted Homes; Tender Murderers and Malevolent Males: Killingly Good Tales of Terror; and Morbid Writers and Tortured Artists: From Edgar Allan Poe to Vincent Van Gogh. Terrifying topics range from Corpses on Campus to Strange Rock and Roll Stories to Medical Maladies, Conspiracy Theories, Superstitions, Hexes, and even UFOs.
Author Varla Ventura was introduced to the strange and unusual at a young age. Her first game was a Ouija board, and family picnics in cemeteries were common outings. She spent most of her formative years exploring graveyards, underground tunnels, and abandoned mansions in, around, and under Nevada City, California. She is the author of Sheroes and a life long love of the true oddities inspired her to write The Book of the Bizarre. Ventura currently lives in the attic of an 1890's Victorian in the hills of San Francisco with her cat Midnight. Halloween is her favorite holiday.

Readers discover hundreds of freaky facts, including:

  • Otis Redding's greatest hit, "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," was recorded just three days before the singer's plane crashed into a Wisconsin lake, killing him.
  • A grilled-cheese sandwich bearing the image of the Virgin Mary was sold in 2004 for $28,000.
  • The first state to use the gas chamber was Nevada in 1924.
  • In 1958, a Kansas tornado ripped a woman out of her house and deposited her, unharmed, sixty feet away, next to an LP of the song "Stormy Weather."
  • Before he was a rock star, Rod Stewart worked as a gravedigger.
  • Alfred Packer was the first man ever to be convicted of cannibalism, in 1874.
  • In Kentucky, it is against the law to dye a baby chick, duckling, or rabbit – unless six or more are for sale at the same time.
  • The Bible is the number one book stolen in the United States.
  • Ulysses S. Grant's wife's psychic premonition saved Grant from the bullet of John Wilkes Booth.
  • More than 700 million people worldwide host a blood-sucking hookworm.

The Book of the Bizarre is outlandish enough for the eccentric and lovers of the strange, and freaky enough for even the hardest trivia nut.

Reference / Journalism / Editing & Grammar

Effective Editing: A Practical Guide for Students and Professionals by Gene Murray (Marquette Books)

Copyediting is for most aspiring young journalists a difficult concept to grasp.

In Effective Editing Gene Murray has produced a book filled with easy-to-understand exercises, examples and explanations. Murray is professor of mass communication at Grambling Sate University, and formerly editor and reporter for weekly, daily and military newspapers and copy editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Dallas Morning News and the Monroe (La.) News-Star.

Effective Editing stresses fundamental editing tools, including grammar, spelling, punctuation and style. It also covers convergence, online editing, sensitivities, legal and ethical issues, HTML coding and preparation of news releases and broadcast copy.

Murray says his goal was to help professors motivate students, stimulate their interests and prepare them for careers in the mass media. To this end, he includes explanations, examples and exercises taken from real-life situations. Each chapter begins with a vignette or ‘chapter opener’ that sets the scene. The summaries at the end are followed by discussion questions and exercises that emphasize relevant material. Terms are defined in margin glossaries, and a style guide is included in the back of the book.

Effective Editing covers the editing scene from Gutenberg to gigabytes. The book opens in Chapter 1 with a discussion of the profession of copyediting and the changes that have been occurring in newsrooms. It encourages prospective editors to pursue internships and other professional experiences.

Subsequent chapters cover the fundamentals of copyediting (Chapter 2), working with words (Chapter 3), story organization (Chapter 4) and news values (Chapter 5). In Chapter 6, a copy editor explains how to take charge of copy. Chapter 7 tackles online editing and researching. Chapter 8 deals with sensitivity regarding diversity, racism, sexism and ageism.

Writing headlines can be both fun and frustrating according to Murray, as demonstrated in Chapter 9, which is loaded with exercises and examples. Chapter 10, dealing with ethical and legal issues, includes discussions on libel, privacy, fabrication and other legal considerations. Typography, photography and infographics are discussed in Chapter 11, and multiple examples are evident. Chapter 12 opens with a brief discussion by a master designer and continues with design principles and examples. Readers will want to see the results from Eyetrack III, a study about how people read Internet stories.

Effective Editing will assist newspapers across the country in their quest for individuals who have the skills and knowledge to become successful copy editors. The book will be an asset for professional copy editors as well. Professors who teach copyediting will find basic grammar, spelling, punctuation and style covered in this book, with summaries and explanations concerning assignments. Students pursuing a career in print journalism will want to keep Effective Editing for future reference because it contains the essential ingredients necessary to succeed in the newsroom. The target market for this book is students and professionals in all forms of mass media – including public relations, broadcasting, online media – not just print media and newspapers.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

This Little Light: Lessons in Living from Sister Thea Bowman by Michael O'Neill McGrath (Orbis Books)

If you are in grief, let her show you how to live beyond the emptiness. If you are sick, let her show you how to live with the pain. If you are afraid and anxious, let her walk with you awhile and hold your hand. If you have lost sight of your beauty, let her hold up a mirror so you can see how beau­tiful you are. Can't you hear her say, "Maybe I need to see my beauty re­flected in your eyes before I can realize I am a beautiful person. Until I have found the beauty in a person, I cannot help that person." So go ahead, help yourself. These were her reasons for living when she sang and danced among us; these are her reasons, still, in the heavenly choir. – from the Introduction

This Little Light is the story of Sister Thea Bowman’s life and ministry, her humor and her humility. The book is also filed with Michael O’Neill McGrath’s art and poetry.

Brother McGrath, an Oblate of St. Francis deSales, is an artist, writer, and popular speaker. McGrath says, “I like to tell folks that I have a little black nun inside of me. She's my muse, my spiritual friend and inspiration. … She's the late Sr. Thea Bowman (1937-1990) and though I never met her in the flesh I feel I know her well. … But now that I mention it, death and dying are what brought us together in the first place. The paintings in This Little Light tell that story. It's a life and death story of light.

‘Each one teach one,’ she used to say, and so I try to do my bit. ‘When somebody does something for you, don't pay them back, pass it on to someone else.’ Well, that's what I am doing here, sharing these paintings and stories with you, these glimpses into her life which I have been so very blessed to receive.”

McGrath’s sense is that God must be like one of those people who talks louder to foreigners thinking they will understand better. He says this is the best example he has got of a large and startling figure commissioned by God to get his attention. God, weary and hoarse from trying, just gave up and sent the unforgettable, indefatiga­ble Sr. Thea Bowman to teach him a thing or two.

She came to him personally. He was struggling with grief and the realization of being a thirty-five year old orphan, wondering what to do now that he was all grown up. He was bored with his work and intensely restless to see if he could be a ‘real’ artist, one who does it as a day job. He really wanted to actually finish a painting or two because it was beginning to feel as if he had never had that ex­perience. Thea taught him that brooding perfectionism and wallowing in the darkness of self-pity are not the virtues of a full-fledged, practicing artist nor of a baptized Roman Catholic for that matter. Who knew? He thought he was supposed to be eternally melancholy and long-suffering as part of both deals.

According to This Little Light, the Latin root of the word redemption refers to being freed from slav­ery. He didn't realize how enslaved he was until Sr. Thea came along and said he don't HAVE to live as a slave of guilt, anxiety, and fear. Basically what she taught him is to love, to love the life which has been given him to live, to love himself.

Her faith was her life ... her life was a flame that still brightens the darkness of our world today. – Diana L. Hayes

Michael O'Neill McGrath, one of the most talented religious artists of our time, has given us a beautifully drawn and beautifully written book about the life of Sister Thea Bowman. Despite racism, sexism and, later in life, great illness, Sister Thea proclaimed her message of unbounded faith and limitless joy. Read the glorious book and discover – through words and art – one of the great Catholics of our time. – James Martin, SJ

This brief but intensely beautiful and personal work brings to life the coura­geous witness and fierce love of Sister Thea Bowman for her God and her people. Born in the impoverished African American community of delta Mississippi, she overcame and encour­aged countless others, including this author, to overcome any and all obsta­cles in their path, whether personal, physical, or societal. Her faith was her life; her life was a flame that still brightens the darkness of our world today. McGrath's artwork reveals that light in all of its clarity and intensity. – Diana L. Hayes, Georgetown University

A compelling narrative. McGrath weaves anecdote, prayer, personal history and a `communion of and with the saints,' into a gift for the reader. His paintings are ar­resting and filled with the authority that inhabits all true artists. Thea Bowman becomes muse, guide, friend and inspi­ration for McGrath, and he in turn seeks to perform the same role for those who enter into his universe of praise, preach­ing, and joy. – Joseph A. Brown, SJ, author of A Retreat with Thea Bowman and Bede Abram

McGrath in This Little Light shares his story of the way Sr. Bowman transformed his life as an artist and religious brother – luminous art, inspirational words – a fitting tribute to a great lady.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Youth Ministry

Sacred Space: A Hands-On Guide to Creating Multisensory Worship Experiences for Youth Ministry by Dan Kimball & Lilly Lewin (Soul Shaper Series: Zondervan)

In a culture where teenagers are growing up inundated with images, experiences, and media that move and change at the speed of light, it’s no wonder many of them learn better when they’re doing something – not by listening to someone talk to them.
Whether readers are looking to teach a biblical theme, the life of Christ, or a gospel passage, or even celebrate a holiday, they will find step-by-step instructions to create the space and experience necessary to draw students into the story.
Sacred Space provides dozens of ideas to help students engage in scripture and apply the lesson to their own lives. Through art, listening, writing, and multi-sensory prayer stations, students experience God’s Word in a new way.
Sacred Space, with CD, is more than a toolbox for the ministry – it is a holistic way to approach teaching and communicating. Readers will find everything they need (except the actual supplies) to create experiences that can transform the way students encounter God, and help them engage in and learn from the Bible.
For example, rather than stand up front and talk to teach about Jesus calling the disciples to be ‘fishers of men,’ teachers can provide an experience that incorporates the idea of fishing. Using simple things like an inflatable boat and goldfish crackers can turn the ‘old story’ into something new that students think of every time they snack on a goldfish cracker or see a boat. It turns the lesson into an experience.
Authors are Dan Kimball, pastor at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, and Lilly Lewin, curator of Thin Place: a creative resource for folks who want to move their worship beyond preaching and singing and encounter God in fresh ways.

In addition to worship experiences on the life of Christ, readers will find ideas for teaching:

  • The life of David
  • The Sermon on the Mount
  • The Gospel of Luke
  • Women of the Bible
  • Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter
  • Justice

Sacred Space contains dozens of ideas that help create experiences that help students encounter God and engage the Bible. Teachers can use these ideas in a typical gathering to enhance the teaching and musical worship, or develop them into a special event or a new kind of service.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

Death by Love: Letters from the Cross (RE: Lit: Vintage Jesus) by Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears (Crossway Books)

Real people. Real sin. Transformed lives. Death by Love is a compilation of heartfelt letters written from a pastor to his people that explains Jesus’ work on the cross.

Death by Love is a unique book written by Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, and Gerry Breshears, professor of theology and chairman of the division of biblical and theological studies at Western Seminary. While many books debate the finer points of the doctrine of the atonement, what is often lost are the real-life implications of Jesus’ death on the cross for those who have sinned and have been sinned against. Written in the form of pastoral letters, Death by Love outlines the twelve primary effects of Jesus’ death on the cross and connects each to the life of a different individual.

According to Driscoll in the Preface the church finds herself today in yet another of these epic opportu­nities as emerging pastors and churches strive to make up their mind on nearly every belief that has been previously considered Christian. Perhaps chief among them is the doctrine of the atonement or, simply, the accomplishments of Jesus' death on the cross.

Some are emotionally reluctant to embrace the cross because it is a symbol of violence and shame. Others harbor mental resistance to the cross because, throughout the history of the church, various theological explanations have been given to explain what it accomplished, leading to confusion as to whether or not any are in fact true or even helpful. Yet, because it is the crux of both the Christian faith and human history, the implications of the cross cannot be avoided and require thoughtful consideration.

Driscoll and Breshears say they have written the book to make otherwise complicated truths understandable to regular folks. And they want to serve fellow pastors and leaders who bear the responsibility of teaching and leading. Driscoll says they are heartbroken that the cross is under attack, and Death by Love is their attempt to ensure that the cross remains at the crux of all that it means to think and live like Jesus.

Each chapter begins with the introduction of someone Driscoll has worked with in his role as one of the pastors at Mars Hill Church. He then proceeds to write a personal letter to him or her to make the person and work of Jesus practical for that person's life. Driscoll says he is following in the example of many books of the Bible that were essentially letters written from a Christian leader to someone he loved. Personally, Driscoll says this was a very painful book to pen and, although he says he not a man who cries often, much of Death by Love was written through his tears.

The approach is an effort to show that there is no such thing as Christian community or Christian ministry apart from a rigorous the­ology of the cross that is practically applied to the lives of real people. Each chapter of Death by Love teaches the practi­cal and pastoral implications and applications of the work of Jesus on the cross. In each chapter, because of his expertise as a seasoned theologian, Breshears answers the theological questions which arise.

For anyone who thinks that theology is dry, boring, and disconnected to real life, read this book. Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears not only demonstrate the relevance of theology to life, but also convincingly show how it has the most compelling and satisfying answers to life's tough issues. – Clinton E. Arnold, Professor and Chairman, Department of New Testament, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

... I highly recommend this book – for students, professors, Christ followers, or those seeking the truth about Jesus. It will challenge the way you think and subsequently change the way you live. – John Bishop, Senior Pastor, Living Hope Church, Vancouver, Washington; Founder, ONLY GOD network

The stories portrayed in the chapters of this book are all too real, but more importantly, the pastoral responses offer riveting applications of the cross for true and lasting transformation. – Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, Southern Seminary

Practical and powerful. It applies the sufficiency of Jesus to the real-life challenges we face in the church each and every day. If you work with hurting people, you need Death by Love. – Dan Jarrell, Teaching Pastor, ChangePoint Church, Anchorage, Alaska

I can't remember the last time a book about theology made me this emotional. I got angry and uplifted and stunned and encouraged in almost every chapter! This may be the first time you ever found theology outrageous and logical, challenging and comforting, but never boring. – Rene Schlaepfer, Senior Pastor, Twin Lakes Church, Santa Cruz, California

Both deeply theological and intensely practical, Death by Love shows how everyone can find hope through the death of Jesus Christ. The book is practical in nature, pastoral in tone, theological in depth, biblical in content, and worshipful in consequence. What we especially admire about the book is its seriousness, an antidote to the fluffy triumphalism found in many Christian publications.

Religion & Spirituality / New Age / Health, Mind & Body / Self-help

Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life, 30th Anniversary Edition by Shakti Gawain (New World Library)

I do believe, and I have seen in my own life, that creative visualization works. – Oprah Winfrey

In 1978, Shakti wrote her first book, Creative Visualization. We initially printed two thousand copies of the book. We had to borrow money to pay the printing bill. I don't recall that we spent anything at all on promotion; I don't think we sent out even one review copy. But the print run sold out, quickly, purely by word of mouth. Booksellers kept telling us that people would come in, buy a copy, and return a few days later and want five or ten copies to give to their friends. The book initially sold itself – I'm sure it was because of Shakti's clear, beautiful writing as well as the solid content of the book. It was the kind of book people wanted to read and reread, the kind of book people kept in a special place and cherished for everything it had given them. It was the rare kind of book that helps peo­ple make wonderful changes in their lives. – Marc Allen, from the Preface

Creative Visualization helped me find my path in life, just as it has helped others. The time has come for a new revised edition. I have made relatively few changes, simply trying to clarify certain points, deepen certain concepts, and generally update it. If you are already familiar with the first edition, I hope you enjoy the changes. If this is your first experience with Creative Visualization, may it help you create all that your heart and soul desire. – Shakti Gawain

Creative visualization is the art of using mental imagery and affirmation to produce positive change in one’s life. It involves and engages the natural power of imagination, the basic creative energy of the universe. Successfully used in the fields of health, business, the creative arts, and sports, it can have an impact in every area of one’s life. Creative Visualization is a pioneering bestseller and perennial favorite, which helped launch a new movement in personal growth.
A CD containing Creative Visualization Meditations – a series of guided meditations created and narrated by Gawain – has been added to this 30th anniversary edition as well as a ribbon marker. Gawain is a bestselling author and a pioneer in the field of personal growth and consciousness. Her books have sold more than ten million copies in over thirty-five languages worldwide, and she has facilitated thousands of individuals in developing greater awareness, balance, and wholeness in their lives.
This classic guide is filled with meditations, exercises, and imaginative techniques for self-improvement that can help readers change negative habit patterns, improve self-esteem, reach career goals, increase prosperity, develop creativity, increase vitality, improve their health, and experience deep relaxation.

Most people use the power of creative visualization in a relatively unconscious way. Because of deep-seated negative beliefs about life, they automatically and unconsciously expect and imagine lack, limitation, difficulties, and problems to be their lot in life. So, to one degree or another, that is what they continue to create for themselves. In Creative Visualization, Gawain explains step-by-step how we can use our natural creative imagination in a more conscious way to create what we truly want – love, fulfillment, enjoyment, satisfying relationships, rewarding work, self-expression – whatever our hearts desire.

It is my hope and prayer that reading Creative Visualization will help you create exactly the kind of life you want, so that you're truly fulfilled, prosperous, healthy, and filled with creative energy. You hold in your hands a book that has helped a great many people improve the quality of their lives. – Marc Allen, from the Preface

The many different techniques in Creative Visualization can help readers increase their personal mastery of life. One reason for its popularity is that it is short, simple, and practical and has techniques that readers can begin using immediately. Readers may find that it works best not to try to absorb them all at once, but more gradually. Gawain suggests that readers read the book slowly, trying some of the exercises as they go along, and giving themselves the chance to absorb them deeply. Or they could read it once through, then reread it more slowly. This special gift edition is beautifully designed and packaged with a slipcase and a ribbon marker, a treasure for any seeker’s library.

Social Science / Politics / Reference

The Conservative's Handbook: Defining the Right Position on Issues from A to Z by Phil Valentine (Cumberland House Publishing)

It's a book you can give to your co-workers and your kids and those annoying academes and say: "Here. Read this and you'll know all you need to know about conservatism and why it's right."

                        – from the Foreword by Sean Hannity

If, as some have said, conservatives are ruled by facts and liberals by emotions, one would be hard-put to find a better illustration of the aphorism than popular radio talk-show host Phil Valentine's The Conservative's Handbook.

The Conservative's Handbook provides a conservative viewpoint on a wide range of ideas. The book gives an A to Z listing of today's hot issues and topics of perennial interest. Each chapter is dedicated to an in-depth discussion of one particular topic. Among them are guns, global warming, drugs, partial birth abortion, education, political correctness, entrepreneurs, and the wisdom of Ronald Reagan.

Valentine combines personal opinion, fact, and research to provide a persuasive argument in favor or opposing the issue at hand. The knowledge Valentine imparts is more than just information; it is ammunition for conservatives when they are caught up in discussions with friends and arguments with those on the Left. Many arguments between liberals and conservatives degenerate into name-calling and unsubstantiated claims. The Conservative's Handbook distills those raw emotions and extraneous thoughts into a cohesive argument for conservative principles and values, today's fiscal and social issues. It summarizes what it means to be a conservative and will either challenge or reinforce readers' thoughts and assumptions as America readies itself for another presidential election.

“Conservatism is about hope for the future, not fear of it. It's about confronting our problems head-on with rational ideas on how to solve them, not cowering in a corner waiting for someone else to devise a solution," Valentine writes. "You may find this book informative, humorous, and possibly enraging – but if it makes you think, then I've done my job".

We on the Right often talk about moral clarity. We know how important it is to distinguish right from wrong. What has been needed is a book with conservative clarity, one that really spells out all that we believe in and why we believe it.... This book is so insightful and so well researched that it's impossible to read it and not gain a thorough understanding of conservatism, and perhaps even be swayed to its side.… conservatism is based on logic and facts, after all, and this book is full of both.… I have no doubt that, after reading this book, many of you who thought you weren't conservative will learn something new about yourselves. Those who already embrace the conservative philosophy will be thrilled to have this new tool to use in making your arguments.… – Sean Hannity, from the Foreword

Phil Valentine has laid out an extraordinary number of useful and interesting facts that will greatly assist anyone interested in the debate of the great issues of our time. – former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson

The Conservative's Handbook may inform readers, humor them, or anger readers. But if they approach it with an open mind, it will make them think. Covering a wide array of today's issues, the book is rational, and reasonable – comprehensive without being overwhelming. Bound in simulated leather hardcover with a gold half-jacket, The Conservative's Handbook is an attractive gift option.

Travel / Biographies & Memoirs

That Summer in Sicily: A Love Story by Marlena De Blasi (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction Series: Gale Cengage/Thorndike)

That Summer in Sicily: A Love Story by Marlena De Blasi (Ballantine Books)
Sicily is a land of contrasts: grandeur and poverty, beauty and sufferance, illusion and candor. In 1995, bestselling author Marlena de Blasi and her Italian husband, Fernando sought a place to stay in the Sicilian mountains and were directed to the Villa Donnafugata, a grand hunting lodge populated by widows, farmers and an imperious mistress: Tosca Brozzi. “At Villa Donnafugata, long ago is never very far away,” writes de Blasi of the magnificent if somewhat ruined castle in the mountains of Sicily. De Blasi is befriended by Tosca, an elegant and beautiful woman of a certain age who recounts her lifelong love story with the last prince of Sicily descended from the French nobles of Anjou.
That Summer in Sicily re-creates Tosca’s life, from her impoverished childhood to her fairy-tale adoption and initiation into the glittering life of the prince’s palace, to the dawning and recognition of mutual love. When she was nine, Tosca was traded, in exchange for a horse, to a feudal prince, who took her to live with his wife and their two daughters. Early rebellion gave way to affection. Together, in the years following World War II, the prince and his ward brought education, health care and a shared sense of purpose to the village around their manor. But when Prince Leo attempts to better the lives of his peasants, his defiance of the local Mafia’s grim will to maintain the historical imbalance between the haves and the have-nots costs him dearly.
The present-day narrative finds Tosca sharing her considerable inherited wealth with a harmonious society composed of many of the women – now widowed – who once worked the prince’s land alongside their husbands. How the Sicilian widows go about their tasks, care for one another, and celebrate the rituals of a humble, well-lived life is the heart of That Summer in Sicily.

In her fourth Italian memoir (after The Lady in the Palazzo), American writer de Blasi utilizes her personal narrative as merely bookends for a larger story. … This book reads like a suspense novel complete with a surprise ending, and though Tosca's story is compelling, it's in De Blasi's telling of it that the true magic lies. – Publishers Weekly
From de Blasi (The Lady in the Palazzo, 2007, etc.), a fragrant tale of life and love in the mountains of Sicily. …The tale, which comprises most of the book, is a marvel. … Swift, sinuous, deep and brimming with cultural artifacts. – Kirkus Reviews
… De Blasi uncovers Tosca’s past, an extraordinary tale of passion and love stretching over decades of the twentieth century. Admirers of this author will relish her latest volume. – Booklist

Here is an epic drama that takes readers from Sicily’s remote mountains to chaotic post-war Palermo, from the intricacies of forbidden love to the havoc wreaked by Sicily’s eternally bewildering culture. In a luminous and tantalizing voice, showcasing the same writerly gifts as her previous bestsellers, That Summer in Sicily reminds readers that in order to live a rich life, one must embrace both life’s sorrow and its beauty.

Travel / Guidebooks

Great African Adventures: A Guide to the Mother Continent’s Ultimate Outdoor Adventures by Jacques Marais (Struik Publishers)

For all her faults and imperfections, the mother continent remains an awesome home base. This is where I live and this is where my children are experiencing their wonder years. I'm sure they will, like me, see Mama Africa not as a darkling land, but rather as a continent shimmering with infinite light, colour and hope. – from the book

Africa may rate as uncharted territory to the majority of mainstream travelers, but an advance guard of intrepid adventurers has long been exploring this intriguing continent. If readers have yet to experience the countless adventures brimming between Cape Town and Cairo, Great African Adventures contains all the information they need to trip confidently onto the Mother Continent.

Tales of high adventure, in-your-face photography, destination overviews, maps and contact details make Great African Adventures the ultimate adventure primer to Africa. Jacques Marais, respected adventure writer and extreme sports photographer, invites readers to join him and a handful of respected contributors as they track wild animals in a South African game reserve, sail a dhow off the Kenyan coast, river-board the Nile in Uganda, climb Mali's Hand of Fatima, and run the 'Marathon des Sables' in Morocco, to name but a few of the adventures. Destination overviews, maps, contact details, handy tips on equipment and technique, and, of course, tales of daring exploits make Great African Adventures a fine adventure primer to Africa.

Travel rates high on Marais’ personal radar and he has visited more than 20 African countries, as well as off-the-beaten-track destinations such as Borneo, Greenland, Iceland, Cambodia and Bolivia. Among the clients who regularly commission Marais as a photographer are Red Bull, Land Rover, Ferrari, Nike, Rocky Mountain, Giant and Hi-Tec. The flip side to Marais' adventure traveling sees him living a regular life dividing his free time between family and a garage crammed with mountain bikes, surf boards, sea kayaks, fly rods, power kites, river-boards, tents and other adventure gear.

Much of the material in Great African Adventures has been reworked from Marais’ travel journals as well as features and articles Marais has written for a range of local and international magazines over the past decade or so. He focuses the bulk of these adventures on the southern African subcontinent to make them more accessible to readers, but there were the obvious 'big ones' further north that he says absolutely clamored for inclusion in the pages of the book.

According to Great African Adventures, Africa is not for sissies. Early explorers referred to it as the Dark Continent with good reason, and even today, adventurers taking on the rugged terrain do so with a certain amount of trepidation. Vast plains, towering mountains, uncharted rivers and primeval jungles await travelers when they step beyond the edge of the urban creep, and nothing is ever quite as straightforward as travelers think.

According to Marais, dodgy logistics, an overloaded infrastructure and extreme poverty mean readers stand a good chance of being chewed up and spat out by Mama Africa. Planning is a mission, which is partly why the book focuses mainly on adventures presented by reputable operators with an established track record.

He warns travelers not to expect squeaky-clean washrooms, name-tagged guides and air-conditioned transport. This is Third-World travel, so get used to enduring the occasional hardship before plugging into pleasures. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though, because the flip side is that travelers won't have to share their adventure with a thousand other wanna-be adventurers.

That said, the adventures selected for the book are generally well known, and it could only enhance readers’ experience if they do their research before heading out. Droughts, extreme temperatures, the rainy season, civil war and political elections are but a few of the factors that may impact their travel arrangements.

An edgy style, up-to-date content and award-winning photography make Great African Adventures a must-have book for everyone from armchair adventurers to card-carrying members of the outdoor tribe.

Travel / U.S. / Geology

Roadside Geology of Connecticut and Rhode Island by James W. Skehan (Roadside Geology Series: Mountain Press Publishing Company)

Connecticut and Rhode Island may be small, but they contain some of the most interesting geology on earth – 1.2-billion-year-old rocks and the footprints of dinosaurs. This small chunk of North America includes parts of several former continents, microcontinents, and volcanic island chains, each with its own geologic history. Roadside Geology of Connecticut and Rhode Island introduces readers to the sequence of mountain-building collisions that welded the pieces of land together and to the subsequent upwelling of magma that nearly broke them apart again. Written by James W. Skehan, professor emeritus in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Boston College and director emeritus of Weston Observatory, the latest book in the acclaimed Roadside Geology series brings these ancient worlds to life. Road guides, complete with maps, photographs, and diagrams, guide readers to the state highways and nearby parks and historic sites. Readers discover stretched pebbles at Purgatory Chasm, folded marble at Kent Falls State Park, Eubrontes footprints at Dinosaur State Park, and glacial moraines protruding from the waters of Long Island and Block Island Sounds.
With more than 100 color photographs, Roadside Geology of Connecticut and Rhode Island locates and explains the rocks and landforms visible from the states' highways and at nearby parks and historic sites including a tour of Block Island. Using the book as a guide, readers examine the eroded remnants of enormous mountains, tropical beaches, and fiery volcanoes.

Rhode Island and Connecticut contain a huge variety of rock types, many swirled together in complex patterns. More than one hundred rock formations have official names in Con­necticut and Rhode Island, and some of these are further subdivided into named members. Many are difficult for even geologists to identify, and keeping their names straight will challenge anyone. According to Skehan, the reason so many rocks crop out in such a small area is because the bedrock of Connecticut and Rhode Island has been welded together from at least eight separate landmasses, including continents, microcontinents, island arcs, and ocean basins. Every continent or island had its own beaches, alluvial fans, volcanoes, surrounding ocean floors, and other geo­logic, environments. Numerous collisions deformed the rocks that made up the landmasses, so now it is hard to recognize what the rocks originally were. A Micaceous schist may have originally been a muddy seafloor, and an amphibolite may have been a lava flow. Once the bedrock was assembled, it almost split in two again as the earth's crust pulled apart and molten lava spilled out from deep faults in what is now the Hartford Basin. Finally, continental ice sheets swept down from the north and buried much of the bedrock in glacial debris, teasing future bedrock geologists.

As told in Roadside Geology of Connecticut and Rhode Island, the Westerly Granite is so uniform that it has been called the granite stan­dard. At Purgatory Chasm, boulders of quartzite look as if they've been stretched into oblong shapes. A thick vein of quartz filled a fault and now forms the summit of Lantern Hill in southeastern Connecticut.

Readers of Roadside Geology of Connecticut and Rhode Island will enjoy learning about the incredible assortment of rocks and landforms they can see along the roads of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

True Crime / Biographies & Memoirs

The Starker: Big Jack Zelig, the Becker-Rosenthal Case, and the Advent of the Jewish Gangster by Rose Keefe (Cumberland House)

Selig Harry Lefkowitz, alias Big Jack Zelig, was New York's first great gangster boss. Like many of his pre-Prohibition contemporaries, his historical impact has been overshadowed by Al Capone and Murder Inc. He is listed in today's crime anthologies primarily because four members of his gang, along with corrupt cop Charles Becker, died in the electric chair for the July 1912 murder of gambler Herman Rosenthal.

In New York City from 1908 to 1912, however, Zelig inspired admiration and fear, and he was synonymous with the word gangster. Zelig ruled New York’s Lower East Side with an iron fist. New York editor Herbert Bayard Swope recalled that "The Starker (Yiddish for 'Big Boss') threw terror into the heart of the New York underworld like no one has before or since."

Irony and tragedy often join forces, but, according to The Starker, the way they combined in the Becker-Rosenthal affair is harrowing. Lieutenant Becker's job as head of the NYPD’s strong-arm squads, was to eradicate the Manhattan gangs. Yet the city's most powerful gangster, Jack Zelig, was prepared to testify for him and save him from the electric chair. But when Zelig was murdered before he could take the stand, Becker was consequentially doomed.

The question is, Who ordered Zelig killed – and why?

The answer is revealed in The Starker by researcher and historian Rose Keefe. Keefe reveals that Zelig's murder was a political assassination, not retaliation for an alleged robbery, as legend has claimed. Also revealed for the first time is the truth about who ordered Herman Rosenthal murdered.

… Rose Keefe has raised her writer's voice to bring back the Becker-Rosenthal case. In her gunmetal velvet, true-crime style, she captures the mystery of this gaslight era in a voice as plush as the cloak – and the daggers – of 1912. – Ellen Poulsen, author, The Case Against Lucky Luciano” New York's Most Sensational Vice Trial and Don’t Call Us Molls: Women of the John Dillinger Gang

The Starker confirms Rose Keefe as the preeminent authority on the early American gangster. – Tom Prior, True Detective magazine

Once King of the Lower East Side but long consigned to supporting-character status in the Becker-Rosenthal case, Big Jack Zelig reemerges from the shadows nearly a century after his death. …Rose Keefe's Sherlockian research and unique biographer’s skill have unearthed and fleshed out a complex and fascinating individual who was the forerunner of the modern American gangster. The Starker is both a true crime classic and a virtual time trip to 1912 – and the mean streets of old New York to boot! – Rick Mattix, coauthor, The Complete Public Enemy Almanac and publisher of On the Spot Journal

Based on dozens of interviews and years of painstaking research, The Starker introduces readers to a story from New York's criminal past that is dazzling in its audacity and criminal in the success of the people responsible for the murders in covering up their own crimes.

 

Contents this Page

The History of Gardens in Painting by Niles Büttner (Abbeville Press)

Against Medical Advice: One Family's Struggle with an Agonizing Medical Mystery (Unabridged Audio, 4CDs, running time: 6 hours) by James Patterson & Hal Friedman, read by Kevin T. Collins (Hachette Audio)

Against Medical Advice: One Family's Struggle with an Agonizing Medical Mystery by James Patterson & Hal Friedman, read by Kevin T. Collins (Little, Brown and Co.)

The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration and Security Since 9/11 (9 Audio CDs, approximate running time 11 ½ hours) by Edward Alden (Blackstone Audiobooks)

The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality edited by Barry Smith, David M. Mark, & Isaac Ehrlich (Open Court)

Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps: Build the Buzz and Sell the Sizzle (Entrepreneur Magazine) by Susan Gunelius (Entrepreneur Press)

The Handbook of Project-Based Management: Leading Strategic Change in Organizations, 3rd Edition by J. Rodney Turner (McGraw-Hill Professional)

P Is for Piñata: A Mexico Alphabet by Tony Johnston, illustrated by John Parra (Discover the World Series: Sleeping Bear Press)

My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War by Louis A. Meyer (Bloody Jack Adventures Series: Harcourt Children’s)

The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown and Co.)

Developing the Emotionally Literate School by Katherine Weare (PCP Professional Series: Paul Chapman Publishing)

The Engaged Sociologist: Connecting the Classroom to the Community, 2nd Edition by Kathleen Odell Korgen & Jonathan M. White (Pine Forge Press)

Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet: Reconstruction of the Dance & Design for Jeux by Millicent Hodson, general editor: Linda Tomko (The Wendy Hilton Dance and Music Series, No 12: Pendragon Press)

The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life by Dawn Jackson Blatner (McGraw-Hill)

Dreaming Up America by Russell Banks (Seven Stories Press)

Magical Metal Clay Jewelry by Sue Heaser (Krause Publications)

Paula Nadelstern's Kaleidoscope Quilts: An Artist's Journey Continues by Paula Nadelstern (C&T Publishing)

Vintage Redux: Remake Classic and Collectible Jewelry by Brenda Schweder (Kalmbach)

Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently by Gregory Berns (Harvard Business Press)

A Question of Death: An Illustrated Phryne Fisher Treasury by Kerry Greenwood (Hardback: Poisoned Pen Press)

A Question of Death: An Illustrated Phryne Fisher Treasury by Kerry Greenwood (Paperback: Allen & Unwin)

The Sin Eaters by Andrew Beahrs (Toby Press)

Sea of Truth by Andrea De Carlo (Rizzoli Ex Libris)

The Art of Politics: The New Betrayal of America and How to Resist It by John Kekes (Encounter Books)

Sketching for Engineering Design Visualization by Jon M. Duff & William A. Ross (Delmar Cengage Learning)

The Donkey Companion: Selecting, Training, Breeding, Enjoying & Caring for Donkeys by Sue Weaver (Storey Publishing)

Neuromechanics of Human Movement, 4th Edition by Roger M. Enoka (Human Kinetics)

The Book of the Bizarre: Freaky Facts and Strange Stories by Varla Ventura (Weiser Books)

Effective Editing: A Practical Guide for Students and Professionals by Gene Murray (Marquette Books)

This Little Light: Lessons in Living from Sister Thea Bowman by Michael O'Neill McGrath (Orbis Books)

Sacred Space: A Hands-On Guide to Creating Multisensory Worship Experiences for Youth Ministry by Dan Kimball & Lilly Lewin (Soul Shaper Series: Zondervan)

Death by Love: Letters from the Cross (RE: Lit: Vintage Jesus) by Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears (Crossway Books)

Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life, 30th Anniversary Edition by Shakti Gawain (New World Library)

The Conservative's Handbook: Defining the Right Position on Issues from A to Z by Phil Valentine (Cumberland House Publishing)

That Summer in Sicily: A Love Story by Marlena De Blasi (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction Series: Gale Cengage/Thorndike)

Great African Adventures: A Guide to the Mother Continent’s Ultimate Outdoor Adventures by Jacques Marais (Struik Publishers)

Roadside Geology of Connecticut and Rhode Island by James W. Skehan (Roadside Geology Series: Mountain Press Publishing Company)

The Starker: Big Jack Zelig, the Becker-Rosenthal Case, and the Advent of the Jewish Gangster by Rose Keefe (Cumberland House)