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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

December 2008, Issue #116

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership / Human Resources / Reference

The Masterful Coaching Fieldbook: Grow Your Business, Multiply Your Profits, Win the Talent War!, 2nd Edition by Robert Hargrove (Pfeiffer)

As we move from the age of the machine to the age of talent, coaching has become an idea whose time has come.

In The Masterful Coaching Fieldbook Robert Hargrove, founder of Masterful Coaching, Inc., shares his secrets as a master coach with leaders of all levels: Coaching is about winning at the game of business, not just about changing attitudes and behaviors. The book describes:

  • How to find the best talent on earth.
  • How to create an impossible future and ‘WIN’ in business.
  • How to create a winning game plan.
  • How business can be the ultimate self-development and growth experience.

Hargrove has been coaching top executives for a decade. When he wrote Masterful Coaching in 1995, he wanted to map the territory of coaching. He articu­lated the notion that the fastest, most powerful way to develop extraordinary leaders is to coach them to produce extraordinary and tangible results. At the same time, what makes the journey to masterful coaching so fascinating and intriguing is that coaching people in business is the perfect alchemical cauldron where people can have the ultimate self-development and growth experience.

Since he wrote Masterful Coaching, coaching has crossed the chasm; it has gone from being a new, good idea that a small cadre of leading CEOs and companies were experimenting with to a game-changing idea whose time has finally come, one that is ready to go mainstream. It is already transforming the definition of what it is to be a business leader at a time when most managers have a talent war raging right outside their window and business is fraught with change, complexity, and competition. It is already displacing the role of both training and consulting in many organizations because it focuses on implementation and winning results.

Hargrove sees his job as being not just a leader, coach, and mentor but also a change insurgent. In The Masterful Coaching Fieldbook he shares his secrets of masterful coaching with leaders at all levels. He says he has discovered that even though companies value executive coaches from the outside, they want to be able to bring coaching deep inside their organizations. They want to develop leaders and managers who are masterful coaches in their own right and human resource departments that are coaching centers of excellence and that have coaches skilled both in working with executives and in leading people and groups to experience their own greatness.

The Masterful Coaching Fieldbook is designed not just for CEOs but for leaders at all levels who aspire to become master­ful coaches, whether in Fortune 500-type firms or emerging businesses and whether living in the United States, Europe, China, India, Brazil, Korea, Russia, or wherever. He invites readers to engage in the journey to masterful coaching, and at the same time gives them not just the roadmap but also all the gear they need to be successful.

The Masterful Coaching Fieldbook is a field book, chock-full of everything readers need to know to become masterful coaches. Hargraves suggests readers first get grounded in the masterful coaching mind-set and methods; then use the book as a reference guide. The book starts with defining the role of human resources (HR) in a new way: HR (Talent) Strategy = Business Strategy, and HR Professional = Business Part­ner, Coach, and Mentor. The Introduction and Part One give readers the mindset, guiding ideas, tools, and methods. Part Two teaches readers to realize an impossible future and win in their business.

Part Three covers leaders who are bringing coaching into their company – colleagues in their own profession who have created powerful partnerships with their CEOs and designed coaching and mentoring programs.

  • Herb Kelleher, chairman of Southwest Airlines, developed and shared a TPOV that makes every employee think, talk, and act like a CEO and full-fledged businessperson.
  • Mike Eskew, CEO of UPS, is using coaching both to create a game-changing strategy for Big Brown and to develop a leadership pipeline.
  • Frank Sterns of a large oil company has used masterful coaching to transform business operations and make hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • CEO Jeff Fettig and human resource director David Binkley at Whirlpool have developed a world-class leadership development, coaching, and mentoring program consistent with the masterful coaching approach.

Impossible dreams are more possible with The Masterful Coaching Fieldbook.

Aiming especially at human resource professionals, Hargraves provides the inspiration, empowerment, coaching skills, and capabilities to make the difference they have always wanted to make. He takes the best of the best of the masterful coaching approach and puts it in this book – ideas and practices have been field-tested, proven, and made relatively foolproof.

Computers & Internet / Criminology / Law

Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime: An Introduction, 2nd Edition by Marjie T. Britz (Prentice Hall)

This text is an excellent first step for anyone who wishes to learn about the investigation of computer crime, and the forensic processing of seized computer data. It is also an excellent reference for major cases involving computer prosecutions.… I was impressed by the amount of excellent legal research and references for cases and case law. Dr. Britz has done an excellent job of documenting the statutes and cases involv­ing key issues in the investigation and prosecution of computer crimes. The primary federal computer statutes used for prosecuting computer crime are well identified.…One of the best parts is that the text provides an excellent overview of procedures and suggestions on how to create a forensic process and make your process defensible in court. – Dan Mare, IRS (ret.), Owner, Mares and Company LLC.

Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime explores the current state of computer crime within the United States. Completely updated in a new edition, the book defines computer-related crime and the legal issues involved in its investigation. Reorganized with different chapter headings for better understanding of the subject, it provides a framework for the development of a computer crime unit. Updated with new information on technology, this book is a comprehensive examination of computer-related crime and its investigation.  It includes an exhaustive discussion of legal and social issues and provides specific examples of criminal activities involving computers, while discussing the phenomenon in the context of the criminal justice system. Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime, 2nd edition analyzes current case law, constitutional challenges, and government legislation. New to this edition is a chapter on Organized Crime & Terrorism and how it relates to computer related crime as well as more comprehensive information on Processing Evidence and Report Preparation. 
Beginning with the 1970s, this work traces the history of technological crime, and identifies areas ripe for exploitation from technology savvy deviants. The book evaluates forensic practices and software in light of government legislation while providing an analysis of emerging case law in a jurisprudential climate. The book outlines comprehensive guidelines for the development of computer forensic laboratories, the creation of computer crime task forces, and search and seizures of electronic equipment.
Written by Marjie T. Britz, associate professor of criminal justice at Clemson University, Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime provides information for students and those needing it for research and exposure to computer crime investigations. Britz goes step by step and assumes readers are novices at computer investigation. The text starts out by explaining what Cyberspace is, how the Internet, criminal behavior, and computer crime have evolved, and how it all affects law enforcement. She identifies the problems law enforcement has with maintaining state-of-the-art investigations and support for the investigations. The lack of law enforcement resources in both financial and management support is brought to light. In addition, she brings out problems identified with the lack of judicial con­sistency in both the laws and cases prosecuted.

Everyone involved in the investigation of any type of crime is well aware of the responsibility of investigators to uphold and support the Constitution while performing investigations. The safeguard­ing of a person's First and Fourth Amendment rights is covered throughout this text. There are entire chapters dealing with the First and Fourth Amendments as they relate to computer investigations, search warrants, and seizures of computers. The legal chapters are followed with content concerning forensic and computer investigation termi­nology and procedures for conducting forensic analysis. Britz takes readers though the basics of computer terminology relating to forensics and includes a significant number of technical terms which investigators and analysts need to know to conduct an analysis.

Chapters 10, 11, and 12 explain how to develop forensic capabilities and some standard operating procedures for processing computer evidence. A typical computer lab setup is discussed, so novices will have a starting point with which to supply a lab. Readers are given some basics on how to process computer evidence and how to build procedures that will allow analysts to defend their activities against defense challenges. Problems involved with finding, preserving, and presenting digital evidence are also discussed.

Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime likely constitute(s) the most definitive reference material on the subject of computer-related crime, cyber crime law, and computer crime investigation including the management and custody of evidence. Although the number of books prepared on the subject of computer-related crime and investigations has increased quite a bit in quantity and quality during the last two years, to my knowledge, they are not as thorough, comprehensive, and easy-to-read as this one ... this text is far superior to any of those... This book could very well become the Bible for computer crime across the U.S. and possibly in Britain, Canada, and elsewhere too. – Scott Senja, Weber State University, Ogden, UT

This is the most extensive and comprehensive text reviewed in our quest for appropriate material. – Karen Weston, Gannon University, Eric, PA

Updated in this second edition, Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime is an excellent text for readers wanting to expand their knowledge in the area of computer crime investigation and computer forensics. It fills the gap between texts that assume readers already have a full understanding of the legal and technical knowledge necessary to get involved with computer forensics and investigations and those who know very little about what computer forensics is. By providing a good basis of legal considerations along with a basic overview of forensic pro­cessing, readers are shown the steps necessary to expand their knowledge base and to become proficient computer examiners. Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime is appropriate for computer crime investigators, police chiefs, sheriffs, district attorneys, public defenders, and defense attorneys.

Computers & Internet / Handheld & Mobile Devices

The iPhone Book: How to Do the Most Important, Useful & Fun Stuff with Your iPhone, 2nd Edition by Scott Kelby & Terry White (Peachpit Press)

There are basically two types of iPhone books out there: first is the ‘tell-me-all-about-it’ kind, which includes in-depth discussions on everything from wireless network protocols to advanced compression codes. Then there is The iPhone Book, which instead is a ‘show-me-how-to-do-it’ book that skips the techno-jargon and explains exactly how to use the iPhone features.

The first edition of The iPhone Book was named Best Computer Book of 2007 and, in this revision, updated to cover Apple's new iPhone 3G, Scott Kelby and Terry White have added more tips and tricks and made it easier by focusing on the most useful and most requested features. Kelby is the award-winning author of the smash bestseller The iPod Book, who takes the same straight-to-the-point concept and layout and brings it to learning Apple's iPhone. Kelby teams up again with tech guru and leading iPhone authority White.

The first chapter is for absolute beginners, so if readers have had their iPhone for a few months and they already know how to turn it on, zoom in, navigate around, put it to sleep, etc., they can skip to Chapter 2.

Outside of that first I-just-opened-the-box chapter, The iPhone Book is a ‘jump-in-anywhere’ book. Readers don't have to read it chapter by chapter, so if they want to learn how to do a certain thing, they can find the topic in the Table of Contents. Each page shows how to do just one important thing. For example, if readers want to learn how to delete an email, the book shows, step by step, how to do exactly that.

Kelby and White didn't totally ‘geek out;’ they wrote everything as if a friend came over to their house, pulled out their new iPhone, and started asking them questions. There is a bonus video they shot to give readers some extra iPhone tips, show off some of their favorite accessories, and share some of the ways they use their iPhones.

The introductory pages at the beginning of each chapter are designed to give readers a quick mental break, and they have little to do with the chapter – writing these off-the-wall chapter intros is kind of a tradition of Kelby’s.

There's also a bonus tips chapter in the book – stuff like little-known shortcuts, suggestions, or tricks that can make using the iPhone easier or more fun, a bonus chapter of nothing but ‘killer’ tips (Chapter 9).

If readers have an iPod touch, they may realize that it is pretty much an iPhone without the phone, but everything else is nearly identical (they use the same iPod, calendar, contacts, email, Web browser, and even the iTunes App Store), so iPod touch users can skip the phone chapter (Chapter 2) and the stuff about the built-in camera.

The iPhone Book's layout is brilliant. Readers will quickly learn how to use the most useful and most requested iPhone features so they can start using their iPhone. Finding information is quick and easy, with a large full-color photo on each page so readers can see exactly how it works. If readers are ready to learn just the funk and not the junk, it is all here in the only book of its kind.

Cooking, Food & Wine / Archaeology

Chocolate: Pathway to the Gods by Meredith L. Dreiss & Sharon Edgar Greenhill (University of Arizona Press)

Chocolate. The very mention of the word makes us yearn for this delectable treat. Biting into that luscious bar of chocolate, would one ever guess that this tempting food has a 3,000-year history dating back to ancient Mesoamerica? Authors Meredith Dreiss and Sharon Edgar Greenhill offer a history lesson in Chocolate.

Chocolate journeys through 3,000 years of the history of chocolate, a trip filled with surprises. This illustrated tour features132 color photographs and a sixty-minute DVD documentary. Along the way, readers learn about the mystical allure of chocolate for the peoples of Mesoamerica, who were the first to make it and who still incorporate it into their lives and ceremonies. Although it didn’t receive its Western scientific name, Theobroma cacao – ‘food of the gods’ – until the eighteenth century, the cacao tree produces the seeds from which chocolate is extracted and is also symbolically endowed with cosmic powers that enabled a dialogue between humans and their gods. From the pre-Columbian images included in Chocolate, readers can see for themselves the importance of chocolate to the Maya, Aztecs, Olmecs, Mixtecs, and Zapotecs, who grew, produced, traded, and fought over the prized substance.

Through archaeological and other ethno-historic research, authors Dreiss, research fellow at the Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, and Greenhill, document the significance of chocolate. The illustrations allow readers to envision the many ancient uses of this magical elixir: in divination ceremonies, in human sacrifices, and even in ball games. And as mythological connections between cacao trees, primordial rainforests, and biodiversity are unveiled, our own quest for ecological balance is reignited.

Some interesting facts from Chocolate:

  • The origination of the tropical rainforest tree Theobroma cacao is shrouded in mystery and is thought to be about 10 to 15 thousand years old.
  • Tiny flying insects called midges pollinate the flowers from the cacao tree. These pollinated flowers produce football sized pods containing twenty-five to forty almond shaped seeds surrounded by a sweet juicy pulp.
  • The cacao tree does not drop its fruit, but relies on animals like parrots, monkeys, and birds to break off the fruit, gnaw open the pods, and discard the seeds, thus allowing new ones to sprout.
  • The seeds of the cacao tree do not taste anything like chocolate. In fact, the seeds when fresh and unprocessed taste quite bitter and astringent with a slightly nutty flavor and floral overtone.
  • Many people work to produce the final product – the processing steps to make the chocolate delectable include fermenting the seeds and pulp, drying and roasting the beans, using a hydraulic press to extract the cocoa butter, and grinding the chocolate mix.
  • The health of the cacao tree is dependent on the health of the rainforest. Approximately 40% of the world's cocoa crop is lost due to disease, which is a direct result of increased rainforest deforestation.
  • As a shade-grown crop, the cacao tree and a hectare of its surrounding forest system can store or capture twenty to one hundred times more carbon dioxide than an equal area of farmland or pasture.

Dreiss and Greenhill have given us an eloquent and beautifully illustrated tribute to chocolate as the sacred ‘food of the gods’. Grounded in the latest scholarship, this book reminds us that in the countries of its origin, chocolate was more than a mere confection. Highly recommended to chocolate lovers everywhere! – Michael Coe, co-author of The True History of Chocolate

Chocolate holds our hand and leads us on a cultural journey through ancient Mesoamerica and in doing so adds flavor and insight into the spirit and soul of chocolate. Chocolate will never taste the same again! – Gary Guittard, owner of the Guittard Chocolate Company

Chocolate is a book for all chocoholics. Dreiss and Greenhill stimulate and delight the mind as chocolate stimulates and delights the palate. A truly satisfying book – and the perfect gift for all your chocolate loving friends. – Jane Goodall, founder of the Endangered Species Chocolate Company

Dreiss and Greenhill do a wonderful job tracing the significance of cacao – and chocolate – from myth and legend through archeology to modern-day Mesoamerican practices.... Anyone interested in pre-Columbian America (or chocolate!) will find their work fascinating and delightful. – Teresa Graedon, co-author of Best Choices from The People's Pharmacy

Chocolate is a beautifully illustrated tour featuring vibrant color photographs and a captivating  documentary DVD, providing new reasons, if any are needed, to celebrate this wondrous concoction. Making it accessible to general readers and scholars alike, the authors document the significance of chocolate in Mesoamerica.

Education / College

Most College Students Are Women: Implications for Teaching, Learning, and Policy edited by Jeanie K. Allen, Susan J. Bracken, Diane R. Dean, with a foreword by David Sadker (Women in Academe Series: Stylus Publishing)
What are the realities behind recent press reports suggesting that women students have taken over higher education, both outnumbering males and academically outperforming them? Does women’s development during college diverge from the commonly accepted model of cognitive growth? Does pedagogy in higher education take into account their different ways of knowing? Are there still barriers to women’s educational achievement?
In answering these questions, Most College Students Are Women’s overarching message is that the application of research on women’s college experiences has enriched teaching and learning for all students. The book describes the broad benefits of new pedagogical models, and how feminist education aligns with the new call for civic education for all students.
Most College Students Are Women also examines conditions and disciplines that remain barriers for women’s educational success, particularly in quantitative and scientific fields. It explores problems that arise at the intersection of race and gender. It considers the impact of the campus environment – such as the rise of binge drinking, sexual assault, and homophobic behaviors – on women students’ progress, and suggests means for improving the peer culture for all students. It concludes with an auto-narrative analysis of teaching women's studies to undergraduates that offers insights into the practicalities and joys of teaching.
The editors include Jeanie K. Allen, Visiting Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Drury University; Diane R. Dean, Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration and Policy, Illinois State University; and Susan J. Bracken, Assistant Professor of Adult Education, North Carolina State University. The contributors include:  Jeanie K. Allen, Marcia Baxter Magolda, Marilyn K. Simon, Sue Bracken, Catherine Marienau, Teri Sosa Diane R. Dean, Betsy Palmer, Kathleen Taylor, Adrienne Dixson, Becky Ropers-Huilman, Crystal Gafford Muhammad, and David Sadker.

According to David Sadker in the preface, there seems to be an endless need for books like Most College Students Are Women – unless we continue reminding academe of gender bias, it quickly takes root. Feminist pedagogy has taught us important lessons, but Sadker believes that they are lessons that go beyond gender. Women's experiences need to be recognized and honored in (and beyond) schools. Too often they are not, as we are taught the ‘right way’ to see things and do things. Feminists have given us an enduring lesson, a lesson of connection, of learning from one another and not simply from an authority figure or in a competitive climate. Schools and colleges need to work harder to follow the feminist lead and explore multiple ways of teaching and learning in the academy.

The ideas and approaches in Most College Students Are Women offer per­spectives that help us unravel the cultural blinders that limit our vision. This book begins the journey of honoring students who learn differently, but well, and of honoring the sacred human spirit that we all share.

Most College Students Are Women constitutes the third and final volume in the Women in Academe series. Allen, Dean and Bracken, the coeditors, owe the origination of this series to their involvement as past chairs of the former American Association for Higher Education's Women's Caucus. The Balancing Act, the first volume in the series, examined women's lives as faculty members, noting the barriers that appear to obstruct women's pathway to tenure. The second volume, Women in Academic Leadership sought to present research regarding the under-representation of women in administra­tive positions, illuminating challenges and experiences from successful women administrators at all levels. This third and final volume features a collection of studies regarding the current status of research on women's ex­periences as learners in higher education.

According to the editors Allen, Dean and Bracken, for at least the past 40 years, the majority of students in higher education have been women. Women of all ages sought, and continue to seek, the rewards of postsecondary degrees. As more female students arrived on cam­puses, questions emerged about discriminatory policies; a seemingly masculine environment, curriculum, and pedagogy; and equal funding. These questions led to a variety of important research projects and a rich array of publications. Most College Students Are Women contains recent works that build on this body of research. Thus, the editors begin by examining a few of the scholars who originated these queries.

As Allen, Bracken and Dean discussed the major overarching themes that arise from the increasing female population in higher education, they settled on three: the different perspectives that emerge when women become the focus of research, the different voice that may be present when discussing women's styles of learning, and the different pedagogical strategies that might be considered when examining classrooms largely made up of female learners. Therefore, they begin Most College Students Are Women with a brief examination of three major works relevant to understanding women students: Toward a New Psy­chology of Women (Miller, 1976/1986); Women's Ways of Knowing: The Devel­opment of Self, Voice, and Mind (Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule, 1986/1997); and Failing at Fairness: How Our Schools Cheat Girls (Sadker & Sadker, 1994).

In chapter 1, Becky Ropers-Huilman and Betsy Palmer extend the per­ceptions of feminist pedagogy by discussing the overlap between feminist pedagogy and the call for all institutions of higher education to engage in civic education. Marcia Baxter Magolda in chapter 2 provides a model of pedagogy that incorporates different pathways that she titles ‘gender re­lated.’ Her Learning Partnership Model expands on her research and contri­butes concrete suggestions for designing classes to meet all students' needs. Kathleen Taylor and Catherine Marienau in chapter 3 demonstrate ways in which their previous research on women adult learners is now being vali­dated by neuro-psychology. These discoveries provide a strong link between the social and physical sciences, a link that shows potential in improving learning for all.

However, all barriers and challenges for women students have not been overcome. We continue to see lower enrollment for female learners in the sciences and technology fields. Teri Sosa (chapter 4) provides the latest research on this phenomenon, as well as examples of programs that recruit and retain women students in these important fields. Marilyn Simon (chapter 5) discusses the difficulties that still seem to surface for female learners in the field of statistics, suggesting a relationship to previous research on mathemat­ics education and women. She also includes suggestions about the growing field of online learning and methods that enhance women's success in that venue.

The intersection of gender and race presents another barrier for women, and men, students. Crystal Gafford Muhammad and Adrienne Dixson (chapter 6) describe the results of classroom exercises designed to engage stu­dents in understanding the role that race plays in the learning environment and society. The co-curricular environment continues to promote a subordi­nate and passive role for women students, and Jeanie K. Allen (chapter 7) examines this seemingly ‘chilly’ out-of-class experience through the lens of developmental models. She provides suggestions that schools might consider to improve the out-of-class experience for all students. Susan J. Bracken (chapter 8) ends this volume with a discussion about teaching women's stud­ies in the context of adult learning as a field of study. She examines the idea of submerged feminism as she elaborates on the adult learner's tendency to state, "I'm not a feminist, but ..."

The chapters in Most College Students Are Women cannot present the broad array of significant contributions being made by scholars all over the world regarding the role of gender in society; the editors intentionally created a brief volume of a variety of works dedicated to enhancing the learning environment for women students, a project that in turn improves higher education for all students. However, the book provides a snapshot of the issues facing women students in higher education. At a time when women constitute the majority of students on most campuses, the book offers insights for all teachers, male and female, into how to help them to excel; and at the same time how to engage all their students, in all their diversity, through the application of feminist pedagogy. It also reveals continuing barriers to success for women students. Each of the authors in Most College Students Are Women speaks from her own voice and experience, highlight­ing both progressive thinking that has come about through research on women learners and the barriers that remain.

Education / Elementary

The Upper Elementary Years: Ensuring Success in Grades 3-6 by Christine R. Finnan (Corwin Press)

A positive educational experience in the upper elementary years sets the stage for a child's long-term success in school. With increased testing and accountability requirements, upper elementary teachers are challenged to help students master required content while responding to each child's unique needs and way of learning. The Upper Elementary Years presents a child-centered teaching approach for Grades 3-6, one that helps build students’ sense of confidence, belonging, and accomplishment.

Written by a passionate advocate for upper elementary students, Christine Finnan, associate professor in the Foundations, Secondary, and Special Education Department and the Anthropology Department at the College of Charleston, this guide offers teachers detailed information about child development and effective teaching practices uniquely targeted for 8- to 12-year-olds. Readers will find:

  • A thorough look at how upper elementary children develop as learners, based on comprehensive research.
  • Teaching strategies and assessment techniques to help students master the upper elementary curriculum.
  • A discussion of diversity issues, including race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background, language, and exceptionalities.
  • Case studies and firsthand insights from students, teachers, and administrators.

The organization of The Upper Elementary Years reflects its primary emphasis: It balances knowledge of students and their lives with knowledge of their learning environments and the teaching and learning process. Chapter 1 clarifies the need for a focus on upper elementary students and grades and identi­fies key issues that are developed in subsequent chapters. Chapters 2 through 4 examine all aspects of upper elementary student development, focusing on development as learners, members of society, and physical beings. These chapters explore general developmental trends of all 8- to 12-year-olds (Chapter 2), general trends by group affiliation (Chapter 3), and individual differences across all children (Chapter 4). Chapters 5 through 7 examine environments in which children develop, working from the assumption that children flourish in environments that develop their sense of accomplishment, belonging, and engagement. Chapter 5 explores influences outside of school, and Chapters 6 and 7 shift the focus to schools (Chapter 6) and classrooms (Chapter 7). Chapter 8 targets the primary classroom purpose, teaching and learning, examining the influ­ence of teaching and assessment on students' growing sense of accom­plishment, belonging, and engagement. Chapter 9 serves as a call to action. It proposes a framework for upper elementary developmentally appropri­ate practice, calls for targeted supports for upper elementary teacher pro­fessionalism, and advocates for a concerted examination of research and policy to best meet the needs of upper elementary children.

The data for The Upper Elementary Years draw from many sources, including a review of the literature, interviews with teachers, observations in classrooms, informal conversations with children, student essays, future teacher essays, and conversations with colleagues. The book was largely shaped by Finnan’s experi­ences working with schools and future teachers and as a parent. She spent twenty years working with a major school reform model, Accelerated Schools plus. This involvement gave her access to schools across the country that are committed to improving stu­dents' lives; she have taught hundreds of future teachers in a variety of teacher education courses, and she raised two daughters.

In sev­eral schools students wrote to writing prompts that had been developed by students in a fifth-grade class. These prompts (What makes you spe­cial? Why do you like to go to school? What makes a teacher fun?) provide much of the student voice in The Upper Elementary Years. Finnan also collected data from future teachers by asking them to share their memories of being in upper elemen­tary grades and their reasons for wanting to teach upper elementary chil­dren.

In most states, tests designed within the context of accountability mandates target students in Grades 3 through 8. The more we understand about middle childhood, the more we as educators are able to meet children's needs and the demands placed on educators by accountability legislation. The author makes a substantial contribution to this increased understanding. – Lorin W. Anderson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus This book reminds me that I became a fifth grade teacher because that time in a child's life is amazing and critical. This book should be required reading for every teacher, especially ones going into the upper elementary grade levels. – Tracy Pinnell, Fifth-Grade Teacher, Sheppard Accelerated Elementary School, Santa Rosa, CA

Finnan elaborates on the needs for educating upper elementary students: acknowledging their strengths, ensuring their engagement in learning curriculum content, and delineating the required professional development and supports for teachers. – Belinda Williams, Cognitive Psychologist

This book introduces the complex, multifaceted world of the upper elementary school student. With so much focus on standards-based learning, teachers must consider the whole child. The author presents research showing that children come from distinct and different backgrounds that affect the way they approach learning. Educators can use this information to help these children navigate the complexities of their lives and the expectations placed on them. – Renee Ponce-Nealon, Third-Grade Teacher

Due to being “an avid ‘kid-watcher’ and question-asker” Finnan is in touch with kids and teachers. Teachers can gain the knowledge they need to grow professionally and serve their upper elementary students more effectively with The Upper Elementary Years. The book helps teachers help students thrive and achieve – the case studies are very informative.

Entertainment / Biographies & Memoirs

Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream by Steven Watts (Wiley)

Gorgeous young women in revealing poses; extravagant mansion parties packed with celebrities; a hot-tub grotto, elegant smoking jackets, and round rotating beds; the hedonistic pursuit of uninhibited sex. Put these images together and a single name springs to mind – Hugh Hefner.

From his spectacular launch of Playboy magazine to his recent television hit The Girls Next Door, Hefner has attracted public attention and controversy for decades. But how did a man who is at once socially astute and morally unconventional, part Bill Gates and part Casanova, also evolve into a figure at the forefront of cultural change?

Granted unprecedented access to the man and his enterprise, historian and biographer Steven Watts argues that Hefner has profoundly altered American life and values.

In Mr. Playboy, Watts argues that, in the process of becoming fabulously wealthy and famous, Hefner has profoundly altered American life and values. Watts traces Hef's life and career from his Midwestern, Methodist upbringing and the first publication of Playboy in 1953 through the turbulent sixties, self-indulgent seventies, reactionary eighties, and traditionalist nineties, up to the present. He reveals that Hefner, from the beginning, believed he could overturn social norms and take America with him.

This portrait illustrates four ways in which Hefner and Playboy stood at the center of several cultural upheavals that remade the postwar United States. The publisher played a crucial role in the sexual revolution that upended traditional notions of behavior and expectation regarding sex. He emerged as one of the most influential advocates of a rapidly developing consumer culture, flooding Playboy readers with images of material abundance and a leisurely lifestyle. He proved instrumental – with his influential magazine, syndicated television shows, fashionable nightclubs, swanky resorts, and movie and musical projects – in making popular culture into a dominant force in many people's lives. Ironically, Hefner also became a controversial force in the movement for women's rights. Although advocating women's sexual freedom and their liberation from traditional family constraints, the publisher became a whipping boy for feminists who viewed him as a prophet for a new kind of male domination.

Throughout Mr. Playboy, Watts, Professor of History at the University of Missouri, offers insights into the man behind the flamboyant public persona. He shows Hefner's personal dichotomies – the pleasure seeker and the workaholic, the consort of countless Playmates and the genuine romantic, the family man and the Gatsby-like host of lavish parties at his Chicago and Los Angeles mansions who enjoys well-publicized affairs with numerous Playmates, the fan of life's simple pleasures who hobnobs with the Hollywood elite.

The book looks at what Hefner went on to become after the first publication of his magazine in December, 1952: one of the most envied celebrities in the world who dated a long list of his magazine's beauties, a critic of longstanding notions of decency and moral uprightness, and a prophet of new notions of personal self-fulfillment. But through all the controversy stood a man who would become an icon of modern America, a man whose magazine would become a brand name as recognizable as Coca Cola and Ford.

… Watts skillfully charts the intersection of Hefner's professional and personal history: the sexual titillation of his first issue; his mid- to late-1960s championing of leftist politics and writers such as Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut; his 1970s retrenchment after assaults by the women's liberation movement; his financial and personal troubles in the '80s and '90s; and his current position as the retro cool figurehead of an institution that is now a midsize communications and entertainment company. Watts evokes a time when Playboy was seen by its critics as a key symptom of decadence in American life, and is at his best when exploring his subject's early years…. – Publishers Weekly
… Watts … constructs a nuanced portrait of Hefner's life that also serves as a panorama of hip culture from the 1950s onward – Sinatra, JFK and many others put in appearances. Watts convincingly argues that Hefner anticipated a number of distinct trends that transformed American society, including postwar consumerism, feminism (whose adherents, generally speaking, castigated Hef) and, of course, the '60s sexual revolution. Watts unearths the narrative of Hefner's childhood in Chicago in the '30s. … As an unhappy young man with fond memories of his high-school popularity, Hefner synthesized these personal interests into the legendary 1953 ‘homemade’ first issue of Playboy. (An early nude picture of Marilyn Monroe demonstrated his acumen.) Hefner described the magazine as ‘a pleasure-primer styled to the masculine taste,’ and it took off. … Hefner resembles a chameleon in Watts's mostly sympathetic portrait, variously appearing as a prescient social critic, an early supporter of civil rights, a generous Gatsby figure and a cranky, obsessive sex addict. … – Kirkus Reviews
… Clocking in at over 500 pages, this is not a gossip book but a well-documented biography written with access to Hefner's over 1800 scrapbooks, the company archives, and interviews. Watts finds Hefner comparable to the subjects of his other books about Henry Ford and Walt Disney in that all were major contributors to aspects of the American dream. Recommended for public libraries and cultural studies collections. – Lani Smith, Ohlone Coll. Library, Neward, CA, Library Journal, September 1, 2008

Written with unprecedented access to Hefner and the Playboy empire, Mr. Playboy offers singular insights into the man, his life, and his influence on American culture. Punctuated throughout with descriptions and anecdotes of life at the Playboy Mansions, the book tells the compelling and uniquely American story of how one person with a provocative idea, a finger on the pulse of popular opinion, and a passion for his work altered the course of modern history.

Entertainment / Movies / History & Criticism

Framing the Fifties: Cinema in a Divided Germany edited by John Davidson & Sabine Hake (Film Europa: German Cinema in an International Context Series: Berghahn Books)

The demise of the New German Cinema and the return of popular cinema since the 1990s have led to a renewed interest in the postwar years and the complicated relationship between East and West German cinema in particular. A survey of the 1950s, Framing the Fifties is therefore long overdue. Moving beyond the contempt for Papa’s Kino and the nostalgia for the fifties found in much of the existing literature, this anthology explores uncharted territories, traces hidden connections, discovers unknown treasures, and challenges conventional interpretations. Informed by cultural studies, gender studies, and the study of popular cinema, this anthology offers a more complete account by focusing on popular genres, famous stars, and dominant practices, by taking into account the complicated relationships between East vs. West German, German vs. European, and European vs. American cinemas, and by paying close attention to the economic and political conditions of film production and reception during this little-known period of German film history.

The editors of Framing the Fifties are John Davidson, Director of the Program of Film Studies and Associate Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the Ohio State University; and Sabine Hake, Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. The book is part of the Series Film Europa: German Cinema in an International Context with series editors Hans-Michael Bock, Tim Bergfelder and Sabine Hake. German cinema is normally seen as a distinct form, but this series emphasizes connections, influences, and exchanges of German cinema across national borders, as well as its links with other media and art forms. Individual titles present traditional historical research (archival work, in­dustry studies) as well as new critical approaches in film and media studies (theories of the transnational), with a special emphasis on the continuities associated with popular traditions and local perspectives.

Whereas the ideologi­cal divisions of the Cold War are now a thing of the past, the 1950s seem to resonate deeply with concerns about the place of the nation-state and of national identity in a post-national world dominated by transna­tional actors and international events; about the role of national history and high culture in a mass-produced global entertainment culture; and about the promises and dangers of a multiethnic and multicultural society. All of these concerns find surprising historical precedents in the ways in which 1950s culture completed the larger project of postwar reconstruc­tion by formulating its modernized visions of Germanness against the legacies of the Third Reich and the threat of Americanization and by seeking new sites of positive identification in the discourses of history, memory, and nostalgia. The cinema played a key role in these transforma­tions, confrontations, and negotiations.

A closer look at both the extraordinary and ordinary films from the period reveals a film culture that deals with the central issues of the period in much more complex and complicated ways that previously assumed or acknowledged: the legacies of anti-Semitism, Nazism, and antifascism; the consequences of war, genocide, exile, and displacement; the promises of social mobility and mass consumption in the West and the dreams of social justice and economic equality in the East; and last, but not least, their competing visions of nation, society, community, and Heimat (homeland).

As a part of revisionist tendencies in German cultural studies and film studies, Davidson and Hake’s anthology Framing the Fifties pursues two main goals. First, they hope to familiarize English-language readers with a little-known period of German film history by presenting some of its most successful films, pop­ular genres, talented actors, innovative directors, and influential debates. Second, they wish to expand the standard treatments of the period in sig­nificant ways: toward more contextual readings and historical analyses (including institutional perspectives); toward lesser known genres and stars (especially those with a transnational appeal); and toward greater critical awareness of the role of popular cinema in consumer culture, musical styles, educational life as well as social movements and political ideologies. The format of the anthology allows Davidson and Hake both to be selective in their choice of topics and issues and to be suggestive in their presentation of the broader implications for film history and historiography. There is no doubt that some of the readings and contributions are colored by contemporary concerns, and it is precisely with acute awareness of their own research interest in the period that they are offering a first road map for the surprisingly complex topographies of postwar cinema.

The individual contributions to Framing the Fifties reflect the overall orientation toward cultural studies approaches and historically contextualized read­ings. Arguing for the continuing relevance of the immediate postwar years for the diverging projects of nation-building, Jaimey Fisher discusses the central role of the discourse on youth and education by looking at two films directed by re-émigrés, the West German production Der Ruf (The Last Illusion, 1949) by Fritz Kortner and the East German film studio Deutsche Film Aktiengesellschaft (DEFA) film Und wieder 48! ('48 All Over Again!, 1948) by Gustav von Wangenheim. Continuing this line of argumentation, the next two pieces offer case studies of remigration, the first in the terms of film authorship, the second through the star phenom­enon. Barbara Mennel uses a famous re-émigré, Fritz Lang, to shed light on two rarely examined connections: the close affinities between modernism and orientalism in Lang's status as auteur and the unique contribution of two of his later films, Der Tiger von Eschnapur (The Tiger of Eschnapur, 1959) and Das indische Grabmal (The Indian Tomb, 1959), to the self-presen­tation of West German cinema as an integral part of German film history. Tim Bergfelder examines the contradictory star persona of Peter van Eyck and what he describes as the actor's liminality vis-à-vis nationhood and gender to challenge two widespread assumptions about West German cinema: its parochialism and provincialism and its conservative identity politics. The next two contributors deal with two surprisingly adaptive genres, the detective film and the Heimatfilm (homeland film), to recon­struct the postwar strategies of remembering and forgetting.

The experience of displacement and the desire for belonging also provide a thematic focus for the next two articles on DEFA cinema and on its own founding myths and patterns of identity. Moving from West to East Germany, Framing the Fifties continues with two contributions that show the repeated efforts by the DEFA studio to reconcile popular tastes and prefer­ences with the political objectives of the Cold War. Russel Lemmons reconstructs the production history of the famous Ernst Thalmann films of 1954 and 1955 in order to shed new light on the complicated connection between antifascism and socialist hagiography during the freezes and thaws of the 1950s. The interrelatedness of cinema in East and West is even more apparent in the only contribution dealing with a nonnarrative genre Mat­thias Steinle's overview of the representation of the ‘other’ Germany in the documentaries of the Federal Republic and the German Demo­cratic Republic confirms the important and often problematic role of non-narrative forms (e.g., newsreels and cultural films) in the making of Ger­man national identity.

Returning to the nexus of politics and entertainment that sustained cinema culture in the West, Jennifer Kapczynski's close reading of Geza von Radvanyi's Der Arzt von Stalingrad (The Doctor of Stalingrad, 1958) connects the reassertion of traditional masculinity in the war film to the remilitarization of postwar society. Confirming the centrality of gender and sexuality to this process, Hester Baer's discussion of the influential women's magazine Film and Frau illuminates the close ties between film culture and consumer culture by looking at typical women's issues such as balancing career and family, organizing the postwar household, and reconciling old and new definitions of femininity. Carrying the political divisions of the 1950s into decidedly popular forms, the next two contri­butions share an acute awareness both of the over-determined function of genre cinema in negotiating conflicting needs and desires, and of the importance of genre analysis in uncovering the deeper contradictions of postwar culture and society. Thus, in her Lacanian reading of R. A. Stemmle's Toxi, Angelica Fenner uses the filmic representation of an Afro-German child to uncover the libidinal investments required in coming to terms with the past and mastering the present. In his analysis of Rolf Thiele's Das Mädchen Rosemarie (The Girl Rosemarie, 1958) Larson Powell turns attention to the sound track and its self-reflexive play with modern­ist influences, thus also connecting the generic conventions of ‘Daddy's Cinema’ to the artistic ambitions identified with Oberhausen. Finally, an overview of the West German film industry by Knut Hickethier shows the difficulties of restarting film production, distribution, and exhibi­tion during the period of postwar reconstruction and adjusting economic practices and policies to the changing role of cinema in the public sphere. The account of postwar cinema in East and West in Framing the Fifties would not be complete without some recognition of the fluid boundaries that have defined German-language cinema since the introduction of film sound. Accord­ingly, Mary Wauchope's overview of the Austrian cinema of the 1950s not only confirms the close ties between the West German and Austrian film industries, but also complicates the divisions of the Cold War through her triangulation of what could be called a German-language cinema with particular regional traditions and perspectives.

This sequencing of individual contributions in a vaguely chronologi­cal fashion represents only one way of establishing connections around key issues and debates. Postwar cinema has always been, and continues to be, linked to the difficult project of Vergangenheits-bewaltigung (‘coming to terms with the past’). Questioning the category of national cinema, Bergfelder's case study of Peter van Eyck effectively dissolves the distinction between German and European film production. And as the contributions by Fisher, Wauchope, von Moltke, and Steinle suggest, the differences suggested by political borders were much less pronounced and the similarities much more developed than often assumed; it is the changed perspective of a unified Germany and unified Europe that has made possible these crucial insights.

Throughout, Framing the Fifties confirms genre as a key category in Ger­man film studies. But genre criticism provides access not only to social problems and cultural crises; it also sheds new light on film historical influences and traditions. But even a typical ‘German’ genre such as the Heimatfilm defies conventional catego­ries of national through its regional orientation and migratory trajectories and brings into relief the complicated relationships among the Austrian, West German, and East German film industries and their equally ambiva­lent relationship to Hollywood. Similarly, the West German war films responded to the wave of World War II films produced by Hollywood but, as suggested by Kapczynski, also followed unique German traditions in the representation of male subjectivity, a point confirmed by Lemmon's discussion of one particular political hagiography. And even the postwar versions of orientalism cannot be understood outside the long history of a fascination with the Other reaching back to the Weimar films and their versions of Americanism and Film Europe.

Entertainment / Music

Behind the Grand Ole Opry Curtain: Tales of Romance and Tragedy by Robert K. Oermann (Center Street)

The Grand Ole Opry has been home to the greatest legends of country music for over eighty years, and in that time it has seen some of country music's most dramatic stories unfold. Any of its members will say, the Grand Ole Opry is not a place, it's a family. Like all families, those who perform on the Opry stage have celebrated and suffered experienced heart-wrenching tragedy and exhilarating triumphs.

In Behind the Grand Ole Opry Curtain readers hear of the great love stories ranging from Johnny Cash and June Carter in the 1960s to Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, who married in 2005. They learn how after being stabbed, shot, and maimed, Trace Adkins calls his early honky-tonk years ‘combat country,’ and they find inspiration from DeFord Bailey, an African American harmonica player in 1927 crippled by childhood polio who rose to fame as one of the first Opry stars. And readers’ hearts will break for Willie Nelson, who lost his only son on Christmas Day.
Dubbed ‘the dean of Nashville's entertainment journalists,’ Robert K. Oermann writes two weekly columns for Music Row magazine, is the chairman of the country committee for the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles and serves on the Hall of Fame and awards committees for the Country Music Association (CMA). Oermann in Behind the Grand Ole Opry Curtain reveals the intimate stories of the Opry's greatest stars, who share the most emotional moments of their lives, including:

  • Dolly Parton, opening up about her marriage to Carl Dean.
  • The mystery surrounding the death of the king of country music, Hank Williams.
  • Dierks Bentley on how he came to marry his childhood sweetheart.
  • The shocking murder of Hee Haw comedian Stringbean.

Based on over 150 firsthand interviews with the stars themselves, these are the private lives behind the public personas from which the most beloved country music songs are drawn. From Deford Bailey who rose to stardom despite being struck with polio during the epidemic of the early 1900s, through the devastating loss of Patsy Cline and five other Opry personalities in the same month, which prompted rumors of ‘The Opry Curse,’ to the controversial romance between country star Vince Gill and Christian star Amy Grant.

Readers step backstage at the birthplace of country music in Behind the Grand Ole Opry Curtain and hear the love stories and heartbreaking tragedies. These are stories that tell the heart of country – the lives lived that inspire the songs. Tearjerker material? You bettcha!

Entertainment / Sports

Madmen's Ball: The Continuing Saga of Kobe, Phil, and the Los Angeles Lakers by Mark Heisler, with a foreword by Jerry West (Triumph Books)

Nine world championships. Twenty-three NBA Finals appearances, including eight during the 1980s alone. Twenty Hall of Famers, among them some of the greatest players and coaches in basketball history.

Win or lose, one thing the Los Angeles Lakers have never been is boring. Since they moved to the world capitol of glitz and seduction in 1960, no franchise in sports has been as consistently stressed-out, wacky, or tumultuous as the Lakers. Along the way there have been devastating heartbreaks and glorious triumphs, relationships formed and relationships lost. And there are enough superstars, oversized egos, media attention, scandals, heroes, goats, and backstabbing to last a lifetime.

Madmen's Ball is a book about all the characters that made the Lakers great, so many of whom went at least a little out of their minds in the process. This is the story of Jerry West, the icon who was so haunted by the memory of failure that he couldn't bear to be present when the dynasty he resurrected began winning titles again; Pat Riley, the nobody who became a coaching legend, then grew so full of himself that he burst like a balloon; Magic Johnson, who was lionized during his career and then reviled at the end of it when his secrets came out; the flamboyant Wilt Chamberlain; the forbidding Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; the eccentric Jerry Buss; the enigmatic Phil Jackson; and the ‘Golden Child’ himself, Kobe Bean Bryant, the man who embodies the history of the Lakers franchise like no other.

In this revised and expanded edition of Madmen's Ball, acclaimed author and Los Angeles Times journalist Mark Heisler details the colorful, dysfunctional, and often hard-to-believe stories behind the greatest and worst moments in the team's history, the power struggles that ensued when too many people tried to take credit for the success of the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s; the acquisitions of Shaquille O'Neal and Bryant that had visions of dynasties dancing in fans' heads – until it all came crashing down in a blaze of jealousy and accusations against the backdrop of Bryant's arrest for sexual assault; and finally the team's apparent resurrection in 2008, as newcomers like Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum helped lead the Lakers back to the top of the NBA's Western Conference. If readers have ever wondered exactly how the Lakers ever got this nuts, the answer is they've been practicing for years.

Mark Heisler is the heart, soul, and conscience of the L.A. basketball scene. His passion, perspective, and persistence, coupled with insight, access, and uncanny anticipation and foresight, separates him from the multitude of pretenders. – Bill Walton

Madmen's Ball is an insider's look at how big egos, big salaries, big media exposure and even bigger expectations have combined over the years to make the L.A. Lakers a cauldron of high emotions and bitter clashes no matter who is playing, coaching, owning or running the organization. In this revised and expanded edition, Heisler details the colorful, dysfunctional, and often hard-to-believe stories behind all of the greatest and worst moments in the team's history.

Entertainment / Sports / Basketball

In the Footsteps of Champions: The University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers, the First Three Decades by Debby Schriver, with a foreword by Mia Hamm (The University of Tennessee Press)

The development of women's intercollegiate athletics has been a special point of pride and excitement during  my tenure at the University of Tennessee. I don't think any of us could have predicted the extent of growth that has occurred over a relatively short span of time. – Dr. Joseph Johnson, President Emeritus, The University of Tennessee

In the Footsteps of Champions is the story of people whose enthusiasm, determination, and vision created the foundations for one of the nation's leading women's intercollegiate athletic programs. The book invites readers to experience the journey from the beginning to the present day. While the record-setting basketball dynasty of Coach Pat Summitt and the regional and national successes of ten other sports teams are fascinating stories in themselves, the saga of the Lady Volunteers begins as early as 1893, when the first women enrolled as students at the University of Tennessee.

Written by Debby Schriver, retired associate dean of student conduct and orientation, In the Footsteps of Champions tells the story of those who created the foundations for this lead­ing women's athletic program. Student-athletes, coaches, fans, faculty, and staff share their memories of the years prior to Title IX legislation, the first years of the program's development as a free-standing department, and the strong presence that the Lady Volunteer program has today. Special features include first-person stories by student-athletes and coaches from the era before 1976 and the three following decades. Views from behind the scenes, all-time team results, plus the largest collection of photographs featuring women's intercollegiate athletics ever published, speaks to the interests of historians, sports enthusiasts, and followers of women's athletics. Readers trace the journeys of their favorite Lady Volun­teers from childhood through college and to the successful lives they lead today. The perspectives of these student-athletes provide insight on the role of sports in education and human develop­ment.

Under the vision and direc­tion of Women's Athletics Director Joan Cronan, the

University of Tennessee Lady Vols have garnered a reputation as one of the most visible and re­spected programs throughout the nation. In 2005, Cronan received the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators' (NACWAA) Athletic Director of the Year award. Cronan's efforts in facilitating the operation of a first-class program captured the Southeastern Conference's Women's All-Sport Award from the New York Times for the third straight year.

Pat Head Summitt, head coach of the University of the Tennessee Lady Volunteer

basketball team, is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history (men or women) with 983 victories. On November 12, 2007, Summitt was recognized as one of Americas Best Leaders for 2007 as released by the U.S. News & World Report. She was the only sports figure elected. She holds countless awards and accolades for her superior leadership and performance as a professional, as a mentor, and in public service.

Photographs and personal accounts provide a guided journey, beginning with this early history to the present day. Voices of fans, university faculty and staff, coaches, and student-athletes speak at a unique mo­ment in time to share firsthand their memo­ries of a program from its early development to the undeniable presence it has today.

In the Footsteps of Champions follows the chronology of de­partmental growth over three decades, 1976-2006. The main sections, each dedicated to one decade, begin with a timeline pro­viding an overview of events and coaches. Descriptions of departmental functions, sports additions, and community involve­ment and impact define the tenor of every decade. Characteristics of each decade find expression through first-person narratives by student-athletes of the period. The ap­pendixes provide season summaries, All-America honors of student-athletes, the Lady Volunteer Hall of Fame, and a roster of all Lady Volunteers known to date. As in all intercollegiate athletic departments, action is never still.

In the Footsteps of Champions does not attempt to recount all the record-breaking accomplishments throughout the years. The extraordinary women of the Lady Volunteers have achieved countless ‘firsts.’ For each story told there are countless others that make up the fabric of the UT women's athletics program. The women featured are symbols of every Lady Vol whose determination, undeniable enthusiasm, strength, and courage stretched further than anyone ever thought possible.

In the Footsteps of Champions is fun to read, inspiring, and appealing to anyone who enjoys sports. It captures the enthusiasm, determination and vision of those who created this sports program and will appeal especially to historians, sports enthusiasts and followers of women’s athletics. The community feeling of the programs comes through – as the saying goes “Once a Lady Vol – always a Lady Vol.”

Health, Mind & Body / Alternative Medicine / Psychology & Counseling

The Healing Power of Meditation: Your Prescription for Getting Well and Staying Well with Meditation by Gabriel Weiss (Basic Health Publications)

Medical research confirms something that Buddhists have maintained for centuries: meditation can cause physical changes in the brain and body.

As a medical intern thirty years ago, Gabriel Weiss, general practitioner and founder and medical director of the Asclepius Wellness Center, observed that meditation healed symptoms of stress and was preferable to tranquilizers, which often cause adverse side effects. Since then, meditation has become an important part of Weiss’s practice, helping his patients recover from many medical conditions. Pain, heart disease, cancer, and depression are just a few of the common conditions meditation can help. Meditation can also be used to treat or prevent high blood pressure, asthma, stomach ulcers, insomnia, chronic fatigue, and premenstrual syndrome. Weiss says he often encounters patients with problems that won’t respond to medication, but will lessen or resolve with medication. In this book, he shows how to unlock this self-healing power.

The Healing Power of Meditation teaches readers how to meditate, and explains how the practice of meditation can help to heal health prob­lems, increase happiness, and reduce human suffering. The book combines medical studies, neuro-scientific research, clinical case histories, spiritual wisdom, jazz lyrics, poems, paintings, and Zen philosophy, weaving together a set of principles and meditative practices that readers can integrate into their lives. Sections incorporate simple exercises to help readers take the ideas and practices discussed to a deeper level. The book is divided into seven chapters:

Chapter 1, Meditation and Wellness, defines what meditation is, and describes the benefits that can come from practicing it. Most impor­tantly, using detailed step-by-step practice instructions, this section teaches readers how to meditate. The practice of mindfulness is explained.

Chapter 2, Healing Illness, presents medical case histories, anecdotes, and advice about how meditation can be used to help heal many com­mon illnesses and maladies. Relevant medical research studies are reviewed. Whole-person health care is outlined.

Chapter 3, Zen Perspective, describes how to reduce suffering and enhance well-being by practicing a balanced life of wisdom, morali­ty, and meditation. This chapter also illustrates the healing synergism that occurs when we apply the practice of meditation within the context of a Zen-like philosophy of life. A perspective on birth and death is offered as well as a brief history of the origin of Zen.

Chapter 4, Meditation and Healing Exercises for Expanding Your Practice, presents a series of traditional practices and contemporary meditations to help readers reinforce the key Zen concepts presented in Chapter 3. Included are descriptions of how to practice walking meditation, special breathing exercises, music meditation, an exercise called Meditation on the Whole Person, and other alternate medita­tion exercises. This chapter also explains how to use meditation tech­niques to reduce physical pain and transform anger.

Chapter 5, Advanced Meditation Concepts for Deepening Your Prac­tice, provides details on how the practice of meditation can be rou­tinely applied throughout the day to reduce anxiety, fear, frustration, and other negative states of mind that interfere with well-being. Ways to promote positive states of mind like joy and compassion, as well as ways to encourage insight are described. This chapter also explores Zen concepts about the ‘self,’ the community (sangha), true love, and the ‘ultimate dimension.’

Chapter 6, Mindful Art, demonstrates that the arts give us one of the most direct ways we have to express the feeling and practice of med­itation and Zen. This chapter contains excerpts from mindful poems, songs, and literature, plus examples of meditative painting, calligra­phy, sculpture art, and photography.

Chapter 7, The Nature of Reality and Consciousness, compares a Western scientific understanding about the nature of reality and how the mind works to key aspects of meditation and Zen teachings. Evo­lution, feelings, consciousness, learning, and wisdom are some of the topics explored. The chapter ends with an explanation of the neuro­biology of how meditation works to heal the mind and body. This summation provides a scientific understanding of what is going on inside the brain during meditation and the mechanisms that give med­itation its power to heal.

The perspective of The Healing Power of Meditation is different from most books about meditation in that it is written by a doctor whose career and passion has been devoted to serving people as they cope with ill health in its many manifestations. The book presents specific diseases and conditions that are linked to specific salutary meditation exercises. Weiss says it is important to develop a philosophy of life that links the practice of meditation to a compatible worldview, a ‘Zen perspec­tive.’ When people can connect their philosophy of life to the practice of meditation, it deepens their motivation to practice regularly. Then, when they personally feel the healing power of meditation, it becomes even more self-reinforcing.

There are many healing elements available in us and around is and it is possible to make use of them right away. Dr. Gabriel S. Weiss shows us in this book how to do so. He is a skilled practitioner of medicine and meditation. He has practiced meditation with us at Deer Park Monastery for several years and has a beautiful dharma name; Compassionate Service of the Heart. Enjoy this wonderful book and allow it to water the seeds of wisdom and compassion in you, which will bring healing and happiness to you and your beloved ones. – Thigh Nhat Hanh, Zen Master

Our shelves are filled with useful perspectives on meditation, but as a physician attempting to help others make practical use of this growing literature, it is clear that The Healing Power of Meditation fills a true need. No other contribution brings together specific medical problems with pragmatic instruction, while also showing us how the meditative, contemplative, and scientific traditions share a common biological basis. – Thomas J. Chippendale, M.D., Ph.D., Practicing Neurologist; Medical Director of the Neurosciences and Stroke Programs for Scripps Hospital, Encinitas, California

In his book, Dr. Gabriel Weiss, whom I have known for many years, gives a very descriptive and practical approach to meditation. I will be recommending this book as an important tool to be used in the healing process of patients and to anyone who wishes to decrease stress and anxiety in their daily life. – Daniel Vicario, M.D., Medical Oncologist; Co-Founder, San Diego Cancer Center (SDCC); and Director, SDCC Integrative Medicine Program

Written for people with little time for formal daily meditation exercise, The Healing Power of Meditation teaches that, with practice, readers can learn to unlock and benefit of meditation’s healing power almost anywhere, anytime. Backed by years of experience, solid scientific research, and a clear understanding of neuroscience, Weiss insightfully explains how meditation can be used to treat or prevent many common illnesses and maladies.

Health, Mind & Body / Diets

Refuse to Regain! : 12 Tough Rules to Maintain the Body You've Earned! by Barbara Berkeley (Quill Driver Books)

Diets work, but what good are they if the weight returns? Statistics show that 80 to 90 percent of dieters regain every lost pound. This fact represents the largest and least addressed problem in obesity management. The recidivism of dieters fuels a $30 billion weight-loss industry, an industry that would shrink like Al Roker’s waistline if the newly-thin could only make weight loss stick. But here is the problem: The skills needed to maintain a new, smaller body size are not obvious or intuitive; they must be taught. Inexplicably, books that deal successfully with ways to prevent regain have gone unwritten.

Refuse to Regain! by long-time weight-management authority Barbara Berkeley fills this void. She will be the first to tell readers that any weight-loss treatment is only as good as each dieter's ability to avoid regaining the weight. Because of her own frustration with the lack of practical materials for post-dieters, Berkeley wrote Refuse to Regain!

Berkeley began her career in obesity management as medical director of the Mt. Sinai Medical Weight Management Program in Cleveland. This program pioneered the use of the OPTIFAST supplement, a treatment she still employs for weight reduction. Currently, Berkeley has a private practice devoted solely to obesity management. She is also medical director of the weight loss program at the Lake Hospital System Center for Weight and Wellness.

Refuse to Regain! provides a comprehensive game plan to help readers lock in their new weight. As coach, instructor, and cheerleader, Berkeley teaches people to use a set of tools and principles that will help them maintain an ideal weight. Included are 12 tough rules that guide readers through the numerous eating choices they face every day. They also learn eye-opening information on how genes and metabolism affect weight gain, and receive expert advice on how to cope with distractions and saboteurs, both emotional and physical, that seek to derail new eating habits.

Refuse to Regain! offers:

  • A complete program – guided by clear principles – to staying fit and healthy.
  • 12 rules that will transform the way readers think about eating and help them keep the weight off.
  • Recipes to help readers with their transition.
  • A wallet card to help maintain the diet on the road.

The 12 tough rules are:

Rule 1: Be Tough, Not Moderate

Rule 2: Commit Yourself to a Three Month Opt Out Period

Rule 3: Weigh Yourself Every Day

Rule 4: Reverse Small Regains Immediately

Rule 5: Eat Primarian 90 Percent of the Time

Rule 6: Eat One Major Meal Per Day

Rule 7: Perform a Daily "Scan and Plan"

Rule 8: Stop Eating at 8 P.M

Rule 9: Eat from a Limited Menu

Rule 10: Have One Acceptable Treat per Day

Rule 11: Have a Love Affair with Exercise

Rule 12: Maintain with Support and Support Others

Losing weight is incredibly difficult, and keeping it off is even harder. In Refuse to Regain! , Dr. Berkeley combines equal parts sci­ence, experience as a practicing physician, and common sense to offer a no-nonsense prescription for success. – Mitchell A. Lazar, M.D., Ph.D.; Director, Institute for Diabe­tes, Obesity, and Metabolism, University of Pennsylvania

Do you honestly want to keep off the weight you've lost? You will find this groundbreaking book your best friend and guide to accomplish that goal. Based on a wealth of experience, sound reasoning, a keen understanding of human nature (as it functions in our modern food-rich environment), and a firm grasp of the best in nutritional science, Dr. Barbara Berkeley has developed an intelligent and effective formula. – Anthony Sebastian, M.D.; Professor of Medicine, University of California San Francisco

Dr. Berkeley has done a superb job of presenting a practical, easy to follow lifetime plan for eating that is virtually consistent with the diet to which humans are genetically adapted. This book is lively, to the point, and transforms difficult scientific concepts into easily understood explanations. – Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Diet for Athletes, and The Dietary Cure for Acne

Losing weight is tough, but keeping it off is tougher. Berkeley, who faithfully practices the principles laid out in the book as a method for controlling her own weight, in Refuse to Regain! says readers can avoid the frustration of regaining weight and enjoy the benefits of being a new and healthier person, and she backs it up with specific guidelines plus her own experience. Berkeley's heartfelt desire to see readers succeed reverberates throughout the book.

Health, Mind & Body / Emergency Medicine / Safety & First Aid / Reference

On-Board Medical Emergency Handbook: First Aid at Sea by Spike Briggs & Campbell Mackenzie (International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press (McGraw-Hill))

Remote, desolate oceans provide the ultimate wilderness in which to practice medicine. More and more yachts – single-handed, double-handed, or fully crewed and perhaps carrying children – are venturing into these watery wastelands. Whether readers are racing, rallying, or cruising, self-sufficiency is essential, and never more so than when faced with medical crises. A yacht sailing beyond the immediate range of helicopter rescue must be prepared to cope with all its own medical problems.

Designed to be of assistance to all who sail – whether they are taking a day excursion, a holiday cruise, or a longer trip – the On-Board Medical Emergency Handbook provides practical advice, boosts readers’ confidence, solves problems, and minimizes danger. Packaged for use on the boat, the book has waterproof covers and features 50 quick-reference flow charts to guide readers through the proper responses to injuries and illnesses on board.

Authors are Spike Briggs, consultant in intensive care medicine and anesthesia and medical advisor/fleet medical officer to the Challenge Business; and Campbell Mackenzie, retired Surgeon Commander, formerly of the Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserve, and instructor for the Royal Yachting Association First Aid course.

The On-Board Medical Emergency Handbook provides a vade-­mecum, literally a ‘take with you’ ready reference book that answers the burning question when faced with a sick or traumatized sailor, ‘What do I do?’ For the yacht or ship with an on-board medic of some experience, it acts as an aide-memoire for recalling medical knowledge, while reassuring and confirming that the correct action is being taken.

The phrase ‘common things happen most commonly’ applies equally to injuries and illnesses, both on land and at sea. Therefore, this handbook concentrates on the sort of simple, minor problems readers are most likely to encounter at sea and supplies the basic information on what to do, with simple, easy-to-follow illustrations on how to do it. It also gives guidance on assessing the severity of medical problems, outlining whether the casualty should be managed on board, landed, or evacuated at sea.

If the crew can avoid going overboard, being struck on the head by the boom, or falling below deck, serious problems are, fortunately, remarkably uncommon. However, boats can injure people. Bad weather may hasten the onset of medical problems and will invariably make injuries and illnesses appear more serious than they really are. It is undoubtedly more difficult to treat casualties on a wildly pitching boat, surrounded by seasick crew, than it is on land. When spray peppers the cockpit like buckshot, solid water sweeps the deck, and the boat's motion is erratic and nauseating, breakages occur, equipment fails, and great demands are made on the crew. It is at this, most inconvenient time that injuries are most likely to occur. These are the situations when the On-Board Medical Emergency Handbook will be immensely useful, making it an essential part of the ship's library. It will be invaluable when faced with a casualty, whatever the position of the yacht, especially when it is difficult to establish communications with shore.

On-Board Medical Emergency Handbook is divided into five chapters and within those into individual entries. Before readers depart, they should read the Preparation chapter, where they will learn how to equip the boat and make ready the medics and crew. At sea, the chapter they choose will depend on the circumstances: Emergencies: How to Save and Preserve Life; Accidents and Trauma; or Medical Disorders and Treatments. All three of these chapters will refer readers to the final chapter, Emergency Procedures, where readers will find step-by-step instructions on making vital assessments, performing minor wound repair, stabilizing injuries, and carrying out emergency procedures.

The handbook is an at-a-glance reference, from pre-voyage preparations and establishing emergency procedures, first-response and assessment of illnesses and injury, to offshore aftercare and recovery. On-Board Medical Emergency Handbook provides easy-to-follow advice and guidance on how to prevent, treat, and care for the sick or injured at sea, fully illustrated step-by-step instructions and techniques for both novices and experienced sailors, and flow charts and easy-to-follow illustrations. It is the only boater’s emergency medical guide designed to provide fast answers in an emergency and to withstand the marine environment.

Health, Mind & Body / Social Sciences / Relationships

The Marriage Benefit: The Surprising Rewards of Staying Together by Mark O'Connell (Springboard)

The findings are being published as we speak: long-term intimate relations are good for our lives and our health. The emotional fulfillment, the wonderful memories that never fade, the opportunity to see ourselves through others' eyes and so know ourselves better, the feelings of security and contentment that neu­tralize stress, the joy that leads to a desire to share our happiness with the world ... the list goes on and on.

Knowing the benefits of marriage can help us all – from those whose relationships are characterized by distance, acrimony, injury, and mistrust, to those lucky couples who are living happily ever after.

And if you're in midlife, I have a special message, because a lasting, loving relationship helps us meet the challenges of growing older. It mitigates the too-swift passing of time and the reality of necessary losses with just the right mix of realism, vitality, and hope. – the author

Baby boomers' expectations for their marriages are often unrealistic. When their relationships come up short on romance and sex, but seem long on disagreements and strife, many boomers choose to leave.
The Marriage Benefit is less a book about how to make relationships better than it is about how relationships can make readers better if they work on their expectations and improve communications. Harvard Medical School clinical instructor and psychotherapist Mark O'Connell offers a peek behind the door of a marriage therapist, where readers can see that their problems are not unique.
Through anecdotes of couples with problems many face: long-held bitterness, diminished sexuality, the scars of infidelity, and the search for authentic meaning, O'Connell shows how by respecting each other's individuality, looking for ‘real’ sex, and learning how to play with each other again, readers can reap the benefits of the long-term emotional investment they have made. In this un­censored look inside a marriage therapist's office, O'Connell shows readers why it is almost always worthwhile to do the work and make the hard decision to stay together. Through case histories, readers meet people who have faced impasses similar to their own. And they discover tried-and-true ways to make their own mar­riage infinitely and intimately better as they:

  • Celebrate their differences.
  • Learn to forgive and give thanks.
  • Get fulfillment from commitments outside the marriage as well as in it.
  • Experience the special joys that sex with a longtime partner brings.

And even if they are in the difficult position of being the only party interested in saving an ailing relationship, O'Connell provides enlight­ening advice on how to do so.

If readers are still asking, "Why stay married?" they may find the answer he offers inspiring: Because having a loving marriage helps people know themselves more deeply, be more generous and less self-centered, and, most important, live richer, more satisfying lives.

The Marriage Benefit is about marriage, but it's not the kind of "how to make your marriage better" book that readers might expect. This is a book about how stretching the boundaries of what readers imagine to be possible can turn intimate relationships into remarkable opportunities for growth and change. This is a book about how relationships can make readers better.

The Marriage Benefit offers a radical and contemporary answer to the age-old question: Why stay married? Because long-term relationships can, at their best, help readers to navigate the maddeningly relentless passage of time. They can teach readers how to find purpose and meaning even in the face of life's most immovable limits, making growing older an expanding, rather than a diminishing, experience.

History / Europe / Archaeology / Geography / Landscape

Landscapes, Documents and Maps: Village Plans in Northern England and Beyond: AD 900-1250 by Brian K. Roberts (Oxbow Books)

The last half century has seen many studies of the origin of the English village. As a cross-disciplinary enquiry Landscapes, Documents and Maps integrates materials from geography, history, economic history, archaeology, place-name studies, anthropology and even church architecture. These provide varied foundations, but the underlying subject matter always engages with landscape studies. Beginning with a rigorous examination of evidence hidden within the surviving village and hamlet plans seen on eighteenth and nineteenth century maps, the first half of the book shows how these can be classified, mapped, analyzed and then interpreted as important parts of former medieval landscapes. Many specific case-studies are built into the argument, all being drawn from author Brian K. Roberts's lifetime work on northern England, and accessible language is employed. From this base, the argument develops, with the objective of integrating landscape studies with the descriptive and analytical practices of history, and drawing these together by using the cartographic methods of historical geography. This foundation leads into deeper waters; to the landed estates in which all settlements developed and the farming and social systems of which they were a part; to the land holding arrangements that were integrated into the physical plans, providing methods of sharing out the agricultural resources of arable, meadow, woodland and common grazings; and finally to the social divisions present within a changing society. A wholly new theme is found in the argument that certain types of land tenure were associated with a class of officer, land agent or dreng, who in northern England was often linked with the provision of tenants for new villages. It is clear from the evidence amassed that the deliberate founding of new villages and the establishment of new plans on older sites was taking place in the centuries between about AD 900 and 1250. Finally, Landscapes, Documents and Maps moves beyond the North of England to review the European roots of planned villages and hamlets, and concludes with a challenging hypothesis about their origin in the whole of England. This provides pointers towards future enquiry.

Roberts, Professor Emeritus at the University of Durham Department of Geography, says that when he moved to Durham in 1963 it was assumed that he might continue work first undertaken in the late 1940s by Harry Thorpe and encapsulated in a single paper entitled The Green Villages of County Durham. His aims, so far as they were defined, differed, but in those days there was a robust practice in his department of sending out all new members of staff to lead a field excursion for the new students. What emerged from these excursions, from fieldwork linked to third year teaching, and eventually weeklong field classes in the local region, was a sharp awareness of the presence of repetitious regularities found throughout northern nucleated settlements. The same or similar plans appeared again and again, repeating themselves with minor differences and some variations in size, while work in Yorkshire by June Sheppard, Margaret Allerston and Mary Harvey showed him that regular and part-regular plans extended into that county. While they are by no means wholly absent, such forms are generally less visible in the Midlands and elsewhere, although they are often present, concealed amid more complex plans. The presence of both underlying regularities and a uniform structural geometry provided clear prima facie evidence of ‘planning’. This observational data, seen in cultural landscapes and on maps, remains the most cogent evidence for events and activities that, as subsequent studies have revealed, lie at the edge of active documentation. There is indeed a limited amount of material that allows the presence of plan-regularity in some Durham villages to be documented by the earlier twelfth century. Nevertheless, the bulk of the evidence is found in the villages themselves, in their plans, in the limited number of excavations of deserted sites but above all in the presence of numbers of geometrically regular plans throughout Durham, Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland and Yorkshire. These pose questions that cannot readily be resolved. Were all of the plans that can be categorized as ‘part regular’ once wholly regular? Over what time period were the plans created? Was this short or was it long, or are we seeing the result of several waves or cycles of planning activity? Who did the planning? Why was it done? From what context or contexts did it emerge? Is it really ‘planning’ in the full sense, or the result of the repetition of convergent logical steps? Here were a series of research questions deeply lodged in the realities of northern landscapes. Landscapes, Documents and Maps is a re-exploration of some of them.

According to Roberts, the thing is clear: geometrically regular settlements are present throughout northern England in large quantities. At the present time even gross national figures are difficult to provide. It is inevitable that such figures adjust as more and more elements of a settlement pattern are identified, analyzed and interpreted, but an overall figure of 80% may not be unrealistic for the proportion of regular town, village and hamlet plans of the north of England. By any measure this is an amazing total, and the present review is designed to provide a substantive foundation for future work in both Durham and the rest of England. Beginning simply with the characteristics of settlement patterns and forms, the argument proceeds, more controversially, to an examination of some of the more obscure aspects of pre-1200 land-ownership and tenure. Ultimately all rural settlement reflects rural economy, social structure and tenure interacting within the contexts provided by terrain, land quality and farming systems. These factors underlie the substance, maintenance and destruction of settlement arrangements. The potential is vast, and this both fuels the imagination and sets a course for the methodology of future research in historical geography.

Landscapes, Documents and Maps, focusing on the evidence for village planning in the centuries before about 1250, seeks to do two things: first, to integrate the relatively new techniques of morphological analysis, used by historical geography and landscape archaeology, with the techniques of rigorous documentary analysis used by many generations of historians. Second, within this frame, the investigation demonstrates the potential of cartographic analysis, at local, regional and national scales, as a powerful research tool, particularly when aided by computer-generated graphics. Furthermore, throughout the whole study existential models, i.e. empirical models of reality, loom large as ways of generalizing from specific cases. These have the advantage that they can be tested, and paradoxically, because they are based upon many individual cases and professional experience over many years, the models may transcend even errors and misinterpretations in the particular examples cited. The ingredient of reiteration found in using the same case in different contexts reveals in Roberts's own process of testing and re-evaluation of evidence. The argument is illustrated by numerous maps and diagrams, and these fall into three categories; first, the models generalize and draw together much empirical evidence, second, the distribution maps both describe and pose questions, while third, the numerous settlements plans correspond to the footnoting of conventional historical presentations. Roberts says he would not be honest if he did not say that Landscapes, Documents and Maps, while ostensibly being an analysis of the macro-region of northern England, really seeks to demonstrate the checks and opportunities on the bridge between generalizations at a national, or even a continental, scale and often elegant, accessible but essentially myopic local studies. The ground between these two scales is fertile soil, worthy of tillage and with great potential, although there is much wood felling and stone-clearance needed before the rich but often intractable soils of the middle scales can produce their latent harvests. Perhaps a rather ponderous analogy, but in this Roberts presents a challenge, to geographers, historians and archaeologists alike.

By demonstrating that new villages were being founded and developments were being planned on older sites, Landscapes, Documents and Maps challenges our view of the ‘old country’ of Anglo-Saxon England. To make the language as accessible as possible, Roberts defines highly technical terms at the first time of use, and then uses the simplest version thereafter, making the study highly readable.

History / Military / Naval

Seals: The US Navy's Elite Fighting Force by Mir Bahmanyar with Chris Osman (General Military Series: Osprey Publishing)

They were expecting us to come in. They knew we were coming for that, but they had dug in completely surrounding A1 Faw. They thought we were coming from the outside. They had no idea we were going to land in the middle. So, of course, when we landed in the middle there were 16 of us in there, surrounded by about 300 dudes dug into the trenches. – Kyle, SEAL Team 3

In the 25 years since the U.S. Navy SEALs came into existence, they have become famous for their daring missions, advanced and unconventional tactics, hard training and hard-fought successes. The SEALs take on the toughest missions in the most inhospitable of environments and do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Formed in 1983 out to all of the Underwater Demolition Teams as a response to U.S. failures in special operations missions during the 1970s, their role has become invaluable. SEALs have taken part in numerous conflicts ranging from Grenada in 1983, the invasion of Panama, and operations in Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, and Liberia. Most recently, SEAL units have participated in the ongoing missions in Afghanistan and in Iraq.
Seals introduces the development and history of the SEALs, from their origins through to today. In the book, authors Mir Bahtnanyar, former U.S. Army machine gunner, and Chris Osman, ex-Navy SEAL, cover the organization of the SEALS, their famously demanding training, their equipment, and their missions. The book focuses on modern combat operations and the development of tactics and weapons. It analyzes the effectiveness of the SEALs in view of the wider outcome of conflicts. And it includes first-hand accounts from SEALs on the ground from those currently involved in operations in Afghanistan and |st1:place w:st="on">Iraq to former SEALs.

Seals features over 200 photographs, many of them taken by the SEALs themselves while on operations, and never before published.

The edgiest, most realistic look at our nation's finest, most secretive warriors to date. The closest you'll ever get inside the mind of a frogman. – David Sparks, US Navy SEAL, combat veteran – SEAL Team 1, BUD/S Instructor of the Year, 2004

These true stories from across the Special Operations battlefields... told by the US Navy SEALs... are simply better than most fiction. – Ethan Reiff, Sleeper Cell

For those readers looking to become SEALs I suggest you read this book cover to cover and then read it again…. For those readers just wanting to gain knowledge and an understanding about the SEALs and the SEAL community there is no other book you need to read. – Marcus Lutrell, author of Lone Survivor

Seals provides eye-opening insight into the world of Navy SEALs. Bahmanyar and Osman reveal this dangerous and mysterious world using the words of the men themselves, and unique and exciting photos bring the story to life.

History / Military / World War II

Once Upon a Time in War: The 99th Division in World War II by Robert E. Humphrey, Gregory J.W. Urwin, series editor (Campaigns & Commanders Series, Volume 18: University of Oklahoma Press)

Most 99ers have gone to their graves without sharing what they endured. But those with whom I spoke related experiences that had been seared and sealed into their memory banks. During these interviews a few men displayed distressful emo­tions recalling painful events they had kept bottled up for so many years, not wanting to relive incidents that produced horror and sor­row. Many interviewees told me I was the first person to ask them directly about their harrowing trials in combat. – from the Preface

For the soldier on the front lines of World War II, a lifetime of terror and suffering could be crammed into a few horrific hours of combat. This was especially true for members of the 99th Infantry Division who repelled the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge and engaged in some of the most dramatic, hard-fought actions of the war.

Once Upon a Time in War presents a view of combat from the perspective of the common soldier. Author Robert E. Humphrey, Professor of Communication Studies at California State University, Sacramento, personally retraced the path of the 99th through Belgium and Germany and conducted extensive interviews with more than three hundred surviving veterans.

When Humphrey discovered that many 99ers had gone to their graves without telling their stories, he set out to honor their service and coax recollections from survivors. The memories recounted in the book, many of them painful and long repressed, are remarkable for their clarity. These narratives, woven together to create a collective biography, offer a reenactment of World War II from the enlisted man's point of view.
War came suddenly and violently to the United States in 1941. Inad­equately prepared for a global conflict, the government needed to build up a huge military force quickly to combat formidable enemies who represented a serious military and political threat. Eventually the army created eighty-seven active divisions (forty-two served in Northern Europe). The 99th became one of the many new infantry divisions that comprised the emergency army of the United States, distinguishing it from the small number of regular army divisions and eighteen National Guard divisions. Also called the Checkerboard Division, with its identifying left shoulder patch of blue and white squares superimposed on a five-sided black shield, the 99th came into existence in November 1942.

The 99th Division first assembled and trained at Camp Van Dorn in southwestern Mississippi. Following combat maneuvers in Missis­sippi and Louisiana, the division relocated to a training facility at Camp Maxey in northeastern Texas. When the army transferred three thousand enlisted men from the 99th to the 85th and 88th Infantry Divisions, replacements came from the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), which had placed bright GIs in colleges and univer­sities to produce engineers, doctors, dentists, and language specialists. Disappointed and unhappy about the program's cancellation, ASTPers lost an opportunity to complete a free college education; worse yet they became privates in an infantry division. Most thought their abilities and skills could be better utilized than as cannon fodder.

After weeks of basic and advanced infantry training, the 99th Divi­sion left Camp Maxey for the Port of Embarkation, Boston Harbor, departing on September 29, 1944, for Great Britain and, ultimately, the Continent. In early November they rode in trucks from the destroyed harbor of Le Havre, France, to forested front lines in the Ardennes (Belgium), at the time a quiet sector where wintry weather conditions and difficult terrain would, it was thought, guarantee limited combat. For a month this prognostication proved accurate, and some believed the war would end by Christmas.

According to Once Upon a Time in War, everything changed on December 16, 1944, when the Wehrmacht launched a massive counterattack that came to be known as the Battle of the Bulge, the largest battle involving American forces in World War II. Greatly outnumbered with limited tank and fighter support, many companies of the 99th incurred serious losses. After putting up a stout fight, they withdrew to the high, barren ground of Elsen­born Ridge and established defensive lines that stopped elements of the German Army from breaking through in their sector. During the six weeks that followed, infantry soldiers of the 99th endured three infantry attacks, artillery bombardment, sniper fire, and unre­lenting cold and snow without stoves, adequate clothing, or warm, waterproof boots.

After a brief respite behind the lines, the division moved across the Cologne Plain, reaching the Rhine River near Düsseldorf in early March 1945. Almost imme­diately the 99th rushed southward after the capture of the Luden­dorff Bridge, crossed the Rhine at Remagen, and advanced east and then north, where they participated in the encirclement and capture of German forces in the Ruhr pocket. With barely a day's rest, 99ers piled onto trucks and joined George Patton's Third Army near Bam­berg. From there they proceeded past Nuremberg and advanced to the Danube River, which the troops crossed on the 27th of April. A few days later, on May 8, 1945, the war came to an official end, six months after the division's initial combat, and the victorious Checkerboarders relocated to northern Bavaria and settled into postwar occupation of Germany. They accomplished their mission at a cost of 1,134 killed, 3,954 wounded, and 6,103 nonbattle casualties.

Composed of young men from all parts of the country, the men in the 99th Infantry Division served out of a sense of duty and patriotism, not unlike millions of other GI Joes. This narrative history focuses on the physical and psychological hardships these men endured and how they coped with stress, fear, killing, capture, death, and the miserable conditions of infantry combat.

An absorbing social history of the common soldiers of the Checkerboard Division and their role in the Great Crusade in Europe during World War II. Genuine and credible – a captivating story told mainly in the words of the GIs themselves. – Peter R. Mansoor, author of The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941-1945

Robert Humphrey portrays the common GI with a raw honesty missing from too many accounts of humanity's largest and most hideous war. – Gregory J. W. Urwin, author of Facing Fearful Odds: The Siege of Wake Island

I love the infantry because they are the underdogs. They are the mud­-rain-frost-and-wind boys. They have no comforts, and they even learn to live without the necessities. And in the end they are the guys that wars can't be won without. – Ernie Pyle, World War II correspondent, May 1, 1943

Harrowing combat experiences are revealed in Once Upon a Time in War – many for the first time. The stirring stories are seamlessly woven together to form a gritty narrative. Although focused on a single division, the book captures the experiences of American GIs who fought in Europe. For readers captivated by Band of Brothers, this book offers an often tragic, sometimes heartwarming, but always compelling read.

The book is Volume 18 in the Campaigns and Commanders series under the general editorship of Gregory J.W. Urwin.

History / U.S. / Biographies & Memoirs

Aghvook, White Eskimo: Otto Geist and Alaskan Archaeology by Charles J. Keim, with a foreword by Olaus J. Murie (University of Alaska Press)

Otto William Geist would have been an exceptional person if fame, recognition, and honors had not meant something to him. But, knowing Otto as I think I did, I am ready to say that in his heart, when he thought back on all his rich and stren­uous years, he treasured most the sharing in human lives, the part he was able to play in them, the warm regard, the love, in which he was held by Eskimos, Indians, and white men and women all over the Arctic land that he loved. – from the foreword by Olaus J. Murie

This biography recounts the life and work of Otto Geist, an archaeologist who spent his career studying Eskimo cultures. Given the name ‘Aghvook’ by St. Lawrence Islanders, Otto Geist (1888-1963) did pioneering field work with Alaskan native cultures and his journal notes are reproduced in Aghvook, White Eskimo. Charles J. Keim also chronicles Geist’s personal life, from his German childhood to his service in World Wars I and II to his vast collection of Alaskan artifacts and natural specimens.

Keim, professor of journalism and English and dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Alaska, brings to life the adventures and work of Geist, a true pioneer in the fields of Alaska archaeology, geography, and paleontology. Geist worked in areas untouched by most professionals and under the most arduous conditions. His salient observations of Eskimo life on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea were recorded before their lives were altered by association with whites. Geist recorded the islanders' stories of the famine and debilitating epidemic of 1879 and 1880, their contacts with Siberian Eskimos, the ceremonies that were conducted to ensure good hunting for whales and other sea mammals, their funerals and marriage customs, his own participation in the hunts, and his work in painstakingly excavating the Kukulik mound. To signify their acceptance of him, the St. Lawrence Islanders gave Geist the name ‘Aghvook’ and tattooed his arm with the design of a bowhead whale, or aghvook.

Using Geist's journals and field notes, Keim draws an accurate and compelling biography of one of the most vital characters ever to work in the territory and state of Alaska, chronicling the milestones in Geist's professional and personal life: his boyhood in Upper Bavaria; his service as a mechanic in the Mexican Border Campaign; his brief careers as gold miner and second engineer on an Alaska riverboat; his service as a truck driver and chauffeur in World War I in the U.S. and overseas; his appointment as quartermaster for the Alaska Territorial Guard during World War II; and his amazing collection of thousands of artifacts and natural history specimens, which later formed the basis of the outstanding collection housed at the University of Alaska.

Readable and compelling, Aghvook, White Eskimo offers a fascinating and rather remarkable biographical study of one of America’s pioneering scientists. 

History / U.S. / Political Science / Biographies & Memoirs

Senator Howard Cannon of Nevada: A Biography by Michael Vernetti (Wilber S. Shepperson Series in Nevada History Series University of Nevada Press)

Senator Howard Cannon of Nevada is the story of one of the US Senate’s least understood but most successful members.

Howard Cannon, who represented Nevada in the U.S. Senate from 1958 until 1982, acquired a reputation as one of its most productive and influential members. And because he was a modest man more comfortable with hard work than self-aggrandizement, he was also one of the Senate’s most underappreciated. Nonetheless, Cannon’s career influenced many major changes in American politics and policies during his time in office. 

Born to a devout Mormon family in a small farming community in southwest Utah, Cannon served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II and emerged from the war as a hero. Soon he was part of the postwar migration of ambitious and adventurous Americans to the booming desert city of Las Vegas, where he practiced law and entered local politics. In 1958 he was elected to the U.S. Senate and joined a group of influential young Democratic senators who were to play a major role in shaping the country’s future.

His service on the Commerce Science and Transportation, Armed Services and Rules Committees led to major changes in the transportation industry, U.S. election laws, and national military preparedness, as well as significant measures that were important to the development of Nevada.

Author Michael Vernetti served as Cannon's press secretary from 1977 until the end of Cannon's fourth and final term. His intimacy with the inner workings of Cannon's office gives this biography insight into Cannon's personality and ideas. Dozens of interviews with Cannon associates further enhance the story told in Senator Howard Cannon of Nevada.

Early on, Cannon made a bargain with the votes of Nevada: You may not warm up to me, but if you vote for me I’ll work harder for you than you can imagine and I’ll produce results like you’ve never seen. Cannon fulfilled his end of the bargain. As a freshman senator, his record was outstanding. That record and his hard work enabled him to prevail – by the narrowest of margins – against Laxalt's ferocious attack in 1964. His accomplishments sheltered him from serious political opposition until 1980, when allegations of a corrupt deal with the Teamsters Union put him on the defensive. Cannon failed to respond strongly, quickly, and decisively enough. The facts later proved him right, but the facts were not enough against the calculated attack on his integrity during his last campaign.

Cannon's rise and fall is a very American story: how a young man from the small town of St. George, Utah, became one of the most pow­erful men in the Senate before his innate shyness mixed with stubborn pride – an Achilles-like flaw – helped bring him down. It is also a universal story. When Cannon came back from the war in late September 1945, he had already decided to make Las Vegas his home. He was hardly alone in recognizing that Las Vegas had enormous potential for growth. The population almost tripled in a decade, growing from 8,422 in 1940 to 24,624 in 1950. Nevada had legalized gambling in 1931, and casinos were beginning to flour­ish. There was money to be made in gambling, a lot of money, and men like Bugsy Siegel and Benny Binion, who would have been considered outlaws in any other state, found a place within or near the law in Nevada. Nevada's divorce laws, the most liberal in the nation at the time, drew stars of stage and screen, heiresses and chorus girls, the rich, the famous, and the notori­ous. It took only six weeks to establish residency and then the divorce became final, but something had to fill the empty hours. The divorce may or may not have been devastating, but after a week or two of decorous seclusion the soon-to-be­single-again wanted action.

In the excitement of the postwar boom, nobody thought much about the workers who built Boulder Dam in the 1930s and stayed on to build Las Vegas in the 1940s and 1950s, or the defense workers who came to the Basic Magnesium Plant in nearby Henderson, liked the climate, and remained to do the work of the city. According to Senator Howard Cannon of Nevada, the high rollers were making the city famous, but those who put down roots made the city work and made it grow. Among them were the lawyers who migrated to Las Vegas to lead all those people through the divorce process, or to keep the men in the gaming business out of the kinds of trouble that are often associated with it. Among those lawyers was a small-town Mormon boy, Howard Cannon – right there at the center of the city that sin built.

A perceptive and thorough study of a very important figure not only in Nevada history, but also on the national level. – Michael Green, co-author of Las Vegas: A Centennial History

Senator Howard Cannon of Nevada is a thoroughly engaging portrait of a brilliant man whose dedication and integrity were ultimately undercut by his stubborn reticence and characteristic modesty. The book is also a revealing glimpse into the workings of politics in Nevada and Washington during these tumultuous decades in the nation’s history.

Literature & Fiction

Life After Genius: A Novel by M. Ann Jacoby (Grand Central Publishing)
M. Ann Jacoby has been an art director at Penguin Group USA for the past 20 years; Life After Genius is her first novel, equal parts thriller and coming-of-age story.

Theodore Mead Fegley has always been the smartest person he knows. While his domineering mother looked over his shoulder and his father ran a funeral home and furniture store, Mead's early years were defined by bullies and comparisons to his popular, athletic cousin Percy. By age 12, he was in high school, and by 15 he was accepted to the prestigious Chicago University and put on the accelerated track to graduate in three years. And now, at the tender age of 18, with the help of the eccentric Dr. Alexander, Mead is determined to solve the Riemann Hypothesis, a conundrum that has plagued mathematicians for over a century. But Mead's life is thrown into disarray by Herman Weinstein, a fellow math student, and, as graduation – where Mead is supposed to give a much anticipated presentation – nears, Mead grows increasingly insecure. Only days before graduation, Mead suddenly packs his bags and flees home to rural Illinois. What has caused him to flee remains a mystery to all but Mead and a classmate whose quest for success has turned into a dangerous obsession.
At home, Mead finds little solace. His past ghosts haunt him; his parents don't understand the agony his genius has caused him, nor his desire to be a normal kid, and his dreams seem crushed forever. He embarks on a new life's journey – learning the family business of selling furniture and embalming the dead – that disappoints and surprises all who knew him as ‘the young Fegley genius.’

A boy genius has a rough go of it in college in Jacoby's uneven debut. … The tropes are familiar – troubled genius, overbearing mother, kooky mentor – and Jacoby, sadly, doesn't do much to tweak the formula. It's a pleasant enough diversion, but there's nothing especially exciting or original going on. – Publishers Weekly
Offbeat, funny, and swift. A kid from a family of funeral home operators is set apart by his genius and sent to college too young, where he learns about life and betrayal, and comes to understand his duties to his gift. M. Ann Jacoby has delivered a fast paced and surprising novel, written in clean spiky prose, governed by an obvious regard for oddballs and other smart people. – Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone

We are caught up in the mystery of Life After Genius instantly upon reading its provocative opening lines, but what really distinguishes this novel is the author's fearlessness in seeing her protagonist through every stage of his singular journey. M. Ann Jacoby writes with a mixture of ruthlessness and devotion – a combination, it seems to me, any writer would be blessed to have. – Leah Hager Cohen, author of House Lights

A poignant coming-of-age story, Life After Genius follows the remarkable journey of a young man who must discover that the heart may know what the head hasn't yet learned.
Literature and Fiction

The Right Mistake: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow by Walter Mosley (Socrates Fortlow Series: Basic Civitas Books)

Mosely has constructed a perfect Socrates for millennium’s end – a principled man who finds that the highest meaning of life can be attained through self-knowledge, and who convinces others of the power and value of looking within. – San Francisco Chronicle

After ten years, the street philosopher Socrates Fortlow – of Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned and Walkin' the Dog – returns in a major new novel, The Right Mistake by best-selling author Walter Mosley, creator of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins series of mysteries.

Living in South Central L.A., Socrates Fortlow is a sixty-year-old ex-convict, still strong enough to kill men with his bare hands. Freed after serving twenty-seven years in prison, he is filled with guilt about his own crimes and disheartened by the chaos of the streets. Socrates leases a tin-plated house known as the ‘Big Nickel’ and begins a weekly meeting destined to be known as the ‘Thinkers Club.’ Along with his gambler friend Billy Psalms, Socrates calls together local people of all races from their different social stations – lawyers, gangsters, preachers, Buddhists, businessmen – to conduct meetings where all can discuss the unanswerable questions in life.

"We are here because the world ... the whole damn world is messed up," Socrates in The Right Mistake says during his inaugural meeting, "An' all we do every day is shut our eyes hopin' that it'll get bettah while we ain't lookin." The street philosopher enjoins his friends to explore – even in the knowledge that there’s nothing that they personally can do to change the ways of the world – what might be done anyway, what it would take to change themselves and their own lives.

No topic is off limits, which causes hot-blooded discussion week after week. Tensions rise as hot-blooded gangsters and respectable deacons fight over issues of personal and social responsibility. Yet violence never erupts. The unlikely group of thinkers often comes to a mutual understanding on these issues. Some even form lasting bonds of friendship and love. Together the group endures being infiltrated by undercover police, a near-deadly shooting of one of its members, and a murder trial. They also share in the joy of a wedding and a birth and find renewed faith in themselves and society. Simply by asking questions about racial authenticity, street justice, infidelity, poverty, and the possibility of mutual understanding, Socrates and his unlikely crew actually begin to make a difference.

In turns outraged and affectionate, The Right Mistake offers a profoundly literary and ultimately redemptive exploration of the possibility of moral action in a violent and fallen world.

Literature & Fiction / Humor / Political

Supreme Courtship: A Novel by Christopher Buckley (Twelve)

…I've written satires about other Washington institutions. It never occurred to me to try one about the Supreme Court, for the reason that I never found it particularly funny. It was my editor, Jonathan Karp, who suggested it, and if the book turns out to be a stinkeroo and bombs, I am going to petition the Court to have him lethally injected.

At some point, while scratching my noggin and trying to come up with some way into a satire about the Marble Palace, I scribbled on a legal pad (how appropriate is that?): Judge Judy on the Court.

I called Karp and ran it past him. He laughed, which I always take as a good sign, since he doesn't laugh at 99 out of 100 of my genius ideas.

My Judge Judy is a sexy Texan named Pepper Cartwright. She was an actual judge before she became a TV hottie. How, you ask, did she get on the Court in the first place? Well, it all starts on page one where – did I mention how moderately priced the book is? – Christopher Buckley

In bestselling author Christopher Buckley's novel, Supreme Courtship, the President of the United States, Donald Vanderdamp, ticked off at the Senate for rejecting his nominees – one nominee is rejected for insufficiently appreciating To Kill A Mockingbird – decides to get even. He chooses someone so beloved by voters that the Senate won't have the guts to reject her – Judge Pepper Cartwright, the star of the nation's most popular reality show, Courtroom Six.
Will Pepper, a straight-talking Texan, survive a confirmation battle in the Senate? Will becoming one of the most powerful women in the world ruin her love life? And even if she can make it to the Supreme Court, how will she get along with her eight highly skeptical colleagues, including a floundering Chief Justice who, after legalizing gay marriage, learns that his wife has left him for another woman. Soon, Pepper finds herself in the middle of a constitutional crisis, a presidential reelection campaign that the president is determined to lose, and oral arguments of a romantic nature.
Buckley, ‘the quintessential political novelist of his time’ according to Fortune magazine, is the winner of the distinguished ninth annual Thurber Prize for American Humor. Tom Wolfe has described him as "one of the funniest writers in the English language." Buckley, son of William F., is the author of eleven books, many of them national bestsellers, including Thank You For Smoking, God Is My Broker, No Way To Treat A First Lady, and Florence of Arabia.

Christopher Buckley is America's greatest living political satirist. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it . . . Just take my word for it, and the word is: delicious. – Seattle Times, Adam Woog
You can't make this stuff up . . . Unless of course you are Christopher Buckley, son of the late William, whose fictional satires are must-reads for those looking to understand our cultural moment, or at least have a few laughs at it. Buckley is a master at cooking up scenarios that are wild without being entirely absurd and populating them with attractive characters... – Chicago Sun Times
[Supreme Courtship] is full of such tasty nuggets, along with arcane Latin phrases and mirth-inducing names like Blyster Forkmorgan . . . One of the book's telling points is that he never mentions which political parties these folks represent, and you realize it doesn't much matter. When you are sketching a political cartoon, donkeys and elephants alike are juicy targets. – Hartford Courant
As Jon Stewart proves, Washington is an easy target to satirize with its hypocrisy, ego-powered politicians and endless hot-air emissions. What sets Buckley apart is his ability to mock Washington yet convey a genuine admiration for many of its residents…. – USA Today
Hilarious . . . the book is full of wry observations on the follies of Washington high life. What makes it laugh-out-loud funny is Buckley's sense of how little you have to exaggerate to make Washington seem absurd. – New York Daily News
… A onetime speechwriter for George H.W. Bush, he knows the monograms on the linens and has supped with kings. … His villains are Washington's ideologues, left and right, whose principles always boil down to self-regard. Buckley's heart belongs to the outsiders and mavericks who see through all the spin. Each of his novels may be light as air, but bit by bit they're building up into a significant social portrait, the beginnings of a vast Comédie-Washingtonienne . . . At a time of high political absurdity, Buckley remains our sharpest guide to the capital, and a more serious one than we may suppose. – New York Times Review of Books, Blake Wilson

The premise of Christopher Buckley's new political comedy, Supreme Courtship, isn't all that far-fetched. In fact, after Fred Thompson's bid to bring law and order to the White House, this novel could more accurately be called near-fetched – disarmingly, hilariously so. … You'll be belly-laughing through Buckley's Byzantine plot, which includes Peester v. Spendo-Max Corp., a case in which a male shoplifter stuffing merchandise into a burqa sues the Reno police force for racial and religious profiling, and ends with the Supreme Court deciding a presidential election. As the president sighs, "It's not as though we haven't been there before." Last go-around, it wasn't quite so uproarious. – The Washington Post

Supreme Courtship is another hilarious, classic Buckley comedy about the Washington institutions most deserving of ridicule.

Literature & Fiction / World / U.S. / History & Criticism

All Possible Art: George Herbert's The Country Parson by Kristine A. Wolberg (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press)

Long studied for historical, biographical, or sociological purposes, George Herbert's The Country Parson has not received the literary appreciation it deserves. Through a literary analysis exploring genre, themes, topics, emphasis, context, and models, All Possible Art finds The Country Parson to be a carefully conceived and executed piece of literary prose. Herbert wrote this work after the popular Renaissance courtesy book rather than in the more common homiletic style of contemporary clerical manuals. While his techniques for artful self-fashioning might have been borrowed from the pages of Castiglione or Della Casa, his purposes could not. Herbert believed in the mimetic effects of outer behavior in shaping the inner man. In The Country Parson Herbert used ‘all possible art’ to both describe and inspire the ‘Form and Character of a true Pastour’, that he and his fellow clergy might have a ‘Mark to aim at.’

While most of the scholarship on The Country Parson has been historical or sociological in method or focus, this work looks at it as a literary work and in its literary context, i.e., as an anomaly within the clerical manual genre. All Possible Art, written by independent scholar Kristine Wolberg, offers a new apprecia­tion of the intentional art Herbert employed in The Country Parson, the only work he prepared for publication.

The Country Parson is examined against the background of the burgeoning genre of clerical manuals; no previous study exists that compares it with other clerical manuals of Herbert's day. Unlike his contemporaries, Herbert stresses the importance of appear­ance while minimizing the role of the parson's inner life; he exalts the efficacy of experience rather than that of doctrine, and ‘good works’ usurp the central role usually assigned to faith in Protestant thinking. In areas of doctrine, exegesis, homiletics, and church appearances, Herbert recommends strategies that cross party lines; he offers a via media for the largely Puritan-dominated genre. He brings elements from the Puritan and Anglo-Catholic traditions together in his pastoral manual.

In purpose, temper, diction, subject matter, and clas­sical influence this work shows undeni­able affinities to popular Renaissance courtesy books. A particular courtesy book may have served as a model for Herbert's: the well-known Italian work of Stefano Guazzo, The Civile Conversation. Pious, scriptural, and proverb-laden, it would have strongly appealed to Herbert's tastes. Responding to what Herbert saw as a need among clergy for guidance on behavior and man­ners, The Country Parson is examined in the light of the important courtesy theme of Seeming and Being. While the traditional courtesy authors are shown to prefer ‘seeming’ to ‘being,’ both Herbert and Guazzo show that ‘seeming’ has a profound mimetic effect on ‘being’ and urge their readers to improve outward ‘seem­ing’ for the sake of spiritual ‘being.’

The Country Parson may be seen as a carefully crafted piece of literary prose working within, but also transforming, the popular genres of clerical manual and courtesy book, using ‘all possible art’ to please and instruct both pastor and church member and ultimately (as Herbert hoped) to serve God. Literary historians, Herbert students, and cultural historians will find All Possible Art worth their examination.

Parenting & Families

Being with Babies: Understanding and Responding to the Infants in Your Care by Beverly Kovach & Denise Da Ros-Voseles (Best Practices for Caregivers Series: Gryphon House)

Being with Babies is a great resource for both beginning and experienced caregivers. Each chapter includes information on the developmental stages of babies and describes issues that caregivers face every day. The book offers scenarios that illustrate these challenges, then suggests solutions caregivers can use to address the issues while still meeting the needs of the babies. It concludes with a review of key points.

Chapters include information on:

  • Developing relationships.
  • Teaching through observation.
  • Communicating with babies.
  • Appropriate toys.
  • Room setup and environment.

Following the Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) approach and philosophy, Beverly A. Kovach, and Denise A. Da Ros-Voseles in Being with Babies demonstrate that from the day of birth, infants are unique individuals with a capacity to participate in relationships and interact with the people and objects in their environment. Kovach is a Montessori teacher trainer, a consultant trainer, and a regular presenter at both national and international conferences and Da Ros-Voseles is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Northeastern State University.

Being with Babies is about the importance of caregivers and babies forming relationships through everyday caregiving interactions. The term caregiver is used throughout the book because it is Kovach and Ros-Voseles' belief that caring for babies is essential for a healthy society. Without caring and caregiving, the long-term well-being of a culture is compromised.

Caregivers influence how babies think and interact as well as how they develop. The question is how will they make a difference? The authors believe that depends on how caregivers and infants react, respond, and relate to each other. Caregivers affect how babies view themselves and how they will relate to others in the future by the way they approach caring for and handling babies as well as responding to babies' needs.

Being with Babies provides beginning caregivers with a step-by-step guide to respectful practices, with explanations. More experienced caregivers may find individual chapters helpful when a situation or an issue arises. If readers already instinctively involve babies in their caregiver practices, the content of this book will support why they provide care in certain ways. Or this book may prompt readers to think more about their present caregiving practice. Teachers, trainers, and educators can use this book as a resource to highlight and support the importance of forming more secure attachments and relationships with babies.

Practical and informative, Being with Babies fills an important need in the infant-care field. It helps caregivers handle everyday challenges with ease. This hands-on resource is perfect for caregivers of children six weeks to eighteen months old, as well as for staff development and resource libraries.

Religion & Spirituality / Buddhism

The Karmapa's Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate, A Commentary on Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara by the Ninth Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje, translated by Tyler Dewar (Snow Lion Publications)

The Karmapa's Middle Way contains the Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje's comprehensive commentary on the Indian master Chandrakirti's seminal text, the Entrance to the Middle Way, with poetry, analysis, and instructions on breaking through the veils of confusion to independently experience the true nature of things. This commentary, Feast for the Fortunate, is the Ninth Karmapa's abridgement of the Eighth Karmapa Mikyo Dorje's masterpiece, the Chariot of the Takpo Kagyu Siddhas. In it readers will find previously unavailable material on the Karmapa's Middle Way view and a rare window into a philosophically charged era of Middle Way exposition in Tibetan Buddhism. In The Karmapa's Middle Way, Chandrakirti and the Karmapa present in precise detail the vital Buddhist concept of emptiness, through which the Mahayana path of compassionate altruism becomes complete. Chandrakirti's root text to the Entrance to the Middle Way and its commen­tary by the Ninth Karmapa, entitled Feast for the Fortunate, provide an informative introduction detailing the history of the Middle Way, key Middle Way philosophical principles, and the main points of each chapter of the text; a thoroughly annotated translation of a famous excerpt of Chandrakirti's Lucid Words; and other useful appendices and reference materials. Introductory material, copious footnotes, appendices, and a reader-centric approach to the language make this volume equally ac­cessible to the seasoned scholar of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and the newly curious nonspecialist alike.

Chandrakirti (ca. seventh century CE) is a revered figure from the tradition of Nalanda University, the most celebrated Buddhist educational institution of all time. His writings have been held by the majority of Tibetan lineages to proclaim the most profound approach to the teachings of Nagarjuna, founder of the Middle Way philosophical tradition. In particular, the Entrance to the Middle Way, his most renowned text, is taught in all major Tibetan monastic colleges as the authoritative introduction to Middle Way studies.

Wangchuk Dorje (1556-1603), a prolific writer, was born in the Trewö region of eastern Tibet and is one of the most important figures of Tibetan Buddhism's Kagyu lineage. Most renowned for his powerful writings on the meditation system known as Mahamudra, he also played a vital role in ensuring the continuity of the Kagyü lineage's longstanding tradition of academic studies. His authorship of the text translated in The Karmapa's Middle Way in particular is considered to be a special contribution because of his ability to condense the extensive writings of the Eighth Karmapa into a more readily digestible format while still retaining all of the Eighth Karmapa's unique approaches to philosophy.

Translator Tyler Dewar is a student of The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. A founding member of the Nitartha Translation Network, he serves both as an oral and literary translator and as a teacher for Nalandabodhi, an international organization of Buddhist centers, and Nitartha Institute, an educational organization devoted to preserving and making accessible to the West the vibrant tradition of Buddhist intellectual studies.

This book is an indispensable contribution to the study of Buddhist philosophy in Tibet. – Cyrus Stearns, author of Taking the Result as the Path and King of the Empty Plain
Of all the philosophical traditions that claim to be the Middle Way, it is only the view of Nagarjuna, the Middle Way tradition's progenitor, that is universally accepted as the Middle Way. Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara, moreover, is renowned in all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism as the supreme commentary on Nagarjuna's approach to emptiness and is considered mandatory reading in all Tibetan Buddhist colleges. The Karmapa's Middle Way is a presentation of the full text of the Madhyamakavatara along with an illuminating and at times controversial commentary by the Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje of Tibet's Karma Kagyu lineage. By elucidating the intention of the Eighth Karmapa Mikyo Dorje's Chariot of the Takpo Kagyu Siddhas, this book will provide a great contribution to the field of Middle Way studies and enlighten English language readers as to a unique and relatively unexplored presentation of the vital concept of emptiness. – Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

The Ninth Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje’s succinct commentary on the Madbyamakavatadra is one of the finest masterpieces of the Kagyü tradition. The remarkable translation by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Tyler Dewar does superb justice to this text. This is the way an authentic translation should sound: a partnership of the pandit and the lotsawa, both working with love of their mother tongues. – E. Gene Smith, author of Among Tibetan Texts and founder of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center

Marked by eloquent poetry, vigorous and extensive analysis, and heart instructions on breaking through to the true nature of things, The Karmapa's Middle Way is an authoritative introduction providing a rare window into the important era of Tibetan Buddhism Middle Way exposition.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / History

Medieval Christianity: A People's History of Christianity edited by Daniel Ethan Bornstein, with General Editor, Denis R. Janz (A People’s History of Christianity Series, Volume 4: Fortress Press)

The fourth volume in A People's History of Christianity series accents the astounding range of cultural and religious experience within medieval Christianity and the ways in which religious life structured all aspects of the daily lives of ordinary Christians. Often caricatured or dismissed, the medieval period actually evinces deep variety and color. With fifty illustrations, maps, and an eight-page color gallery, this volume of A People's History of Christianity conveys something of the folkways and even the emotional ambiance of medieval piety among ordinary Christians.

With ranking scholars from the U.S. and the Continent, Medieval Christianity explores rituals of birth and death, daily parish life, lay-clerical relations, and relations with Jews and Muslims through a thousand years and many lands. Along with editor Daniel E. Bornstein, Professor of History and Religious Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, holder of the Stella K. Darros Chair in Catholic Studies, the historians participating in this volume include Gary Dickson, Bonnie Effros, Katherine L. French, Yitzhak Hen, Richard Kieckbefer, Grado G. Merlo, Teofilo E Ruiz, Roberto Rusconi, R. N. Swanson, André  Vauchez, and Diana Webb. The series is under the general editorship of Denis R. Janz, Provost Distinguished Professor of the History of Christianity at Loyola University.

From the fall of Rome and the conversion of the Germanic tribes to the dawn of the Reformation, here is an exploration of the reli­gious life ways and spirituality of medieval peasants and artisans, warriors and clerics, wives and chil­dren, and even the dead, in their daily interactions with each other, the church, the saints, and God. Medieval Christianity probes the handbooks and registers, sermons and confessional manuals, illuminated manuscripts and altarpieces to understand popular religion and its fascinating array of art and architecture, ascetic and devotional practices, pil­grimages and relics, heresies and revivals, as well as its crusades and pogroms.

Borstein in the Introduction to Medieval Christianity says that anyone setting out to write a people's history of Christianity, or the history of Christianity as a living part of people's lives, faces the fundamental problem of defining what is meant by ‘the people.’ This problem is especially acute for the European Middle Ages, that long span of a thousand years stretching from the breakup of the Roman Empire in the fifth century to the discovery of new worlds in the fif­teenth century. To be sure, there were tremendous changes – social, cultural, political, economic, and religious – over the course of that millennium, just as there were striking variations from place to place on the European continent. One abiding constant, however, was that learning remained the special preserve of a privileged minority, albeit a minority that grew somewhat larger starting in the eleventh century. These learned men (and a very few exceptional women) wrote about theology and philosophy, medicine and law, love and commerce, in Latin, which remained the language of learning, literature, gover­nance, and worship long after it ceased to be used in everyday speech. Literacy meant knowledge of Latin letters; a person able to read and write only his or her native vernacular could be termed illiterate.

One way of identifying the Christian people, then, would be to invoke this contrast between the priesthood – set apart from ordinary folk by the sacred rite of ordination, by their mastery of the sacred Latin of the liturgy, and by their commitment to a life apart from the corrupting trammels of sexual and commercial relations – and the laity. Such a distinction, however, is fraught with problems. For one thing, the clergy did not form a single compact body.

By a sys­tem of proprietary churches that Christianity gradually penetrated the countryside, where the vast bulk of Europe's people lived. In that rural world, the village priests were barely distinguishable from their parishioners in their manner of life, cultural formation, and religious beliefs. Minimally literate, they often had only a rote mastery of the liturgy it was their responsibility to celebrate. Like their fellow villagers, they were domestically settled: with legal wives right through the tenth century (and beyond, in some corners of Europe) and then, when monastic-minded reformers banned clerical marriage in the eleventh century, with unofficial domestic partners. The new norm of clerical celibacy met prolonged resistance not simply because of human weakness in the face of sexual desire but because it set the priest apart from his flock in a new and often unwelcome way. As Andre Vauchez dem­onstrates in his contribution to Medieval Christianity, the practice of clerical celibacy, like the canonical norm that called for it, has a complex and revealing history.

If the Christian people cannot be defined as the laity, as distinct from the clergy, neither can they be defined as the masses of the faithful, as distinct from social and political elites. The warrior elites who dominated early medieval Europe were every bit as unschooled as any of their followers and fully shared their cultural outlook. When the Frankish ruler Clovis converted around 497, so too did his followers, who received baptism en masse in a church adorned with white hangings, perfumed tapers, and clouds of incense. With this act, the Franks officially became Catholic, the first of the Germanic peoples to do so. Their conversion indicates the character of their religion: formal, public, gestural, perhaps superficial – a religion defined by actions and objects rather than by doctrine and belief. They also followed the guidelines proposed by Pope Gregory the Great in 601 when he sent missionaries to bring the new religion to England: the idols should be destroyed, but the temples themselves purified with holy water and converted to Christian use; pagan sacrifices should be replaced by Christian festivities. In short, existing holy places and times were to be Christianized, and so could remain holy. Gradually, Christian notions of time and space, the good life and the proper death, came to shape the mental landscape of medieval Europe, in processes elucidated in Medieval Christianity by Yitzhak Hen and Bonnie Effros.

In compiling this people's history of Christianity, Bornstein says his first precept had to be that the religion of the people is additive, not subtractive. It is not Christianity minus monks, minus priests, minus bishops and popes, theologians and saints, kings and emperors. Those social and religious elites (of one sort or another, by one standard or another) can't be left out of the picture, although they are no longer its focus. They appear in the contributions to Medieval Christianity, but so do many more people: peasants, artisans, warriors, women, children, the dead and those they have left behind. This social inclusiveness grows out of the recognition that religious conviction and heartfelt devotion were not limited to monastic and clerical elites, the authors of the texts tradi­tionally associated with the history of spirituality. When spirituality is defined more broadly as the manner in which people express and live their faith in a given historical and cultural setting, it is easy to see that the illiterate and inarticulate might have religious feelings every bit as strong as the most devout monk and a spiritual life as rich and com­plex as the most intense mystic.

Hidden for centuries by their anonymity and illiteracy, the people of God – the body of Christ, the church – are finally having their story told, and by some of today's finest historians of the church. The saints, bishops, and theologians of traditional histories can now be placed against the panoramic and fascinating backdrop of the lived religion of ordinary men and women of faith. Highly recommended. – Mark U. Edwards Jr., Harvard Divinity School

The concept of this ‘people's history’ represents a virtual revolution in the writing of Christian history, a change that means something dynamic, something that should draw the attention of many who do not think of themselves as likers of history.... These stories may come up from the basement of church history, but news about their existence deserves to be shouted from the housetops. – Martin E. Marty, University of Chicago Divinity School

Medieval Christianity, written by illustrious historians, brings alive the lost world of the middle ages. Wonderfully researched and written, this volume affords glimpses of real people in their daily struggles and their overriding search for salvation. The book strikingly conveys, in rich and concrete detail the movement of medieval Christianity in peoples’ lives.

Religion & Spirituality / Islam / Qur’an / Current Events / Terrorism

The 9/11 Verses: Terrorist Teachings in the Koran by Karl Trautwein (Now I See Publishing)

When you encounter the infidels (non-Muslims), strike off their heads and make a great slaughter among them. – The Koran, Chapter 47:4-9

Allah's Messenger said: When it will be the day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from Hell-Fire. – Muslim Hadith, Book 037, Number 6665

Believers! Wage war against such of the infidels as are your neighbors ... – The Koran, Chapter 9:123

If anyone fights in Allah's path... Paradise will be assured for him. If anyone sincerely asks Allah for being killed and then dies or is killed, there will be a reward of a martyr for him. – Muslim Hadith, Book 14, Number 2535

Karl J. Trautwein suggests readers imagine growing up in a culture where they are taught that human beings of other faiths are going to be burned in hell to save them, their most holy religious book commands them to kill people for not believing in their God, and the father of their faith preached that being killed while attacking non-believers was their guaranteed ticket to heaven. This is the situation in which Muslims find themselves today.

The 9/11 Verses outlines violent Islamic teachings that have not been widely disseminated to the public. The book attempts to place readers inside the mind of the terrorist, explaining the causes of terrorism.

Soon after the 9/11 Islamic terrorist attacks, Trautwein began searching for direct connections between what is written in the Koran and the growing threat of worldwide terrorism. He studied the Islamic faith, the Koran, the Hadith (the sayings and deeds of Muhammad), and the writings of numerous Islamic scholars and commentators. From his years of research, Trautwein in The 9/11 Verses delineates the connections between the words of the holy Islamic texts and world terrorism.

According to Trautwein, the Koran contains shocking teachings of hate and violence. Fundamentalist Muslims have obeyed these commands and perpetrated over 11,000 terrorist attacks since 9/11. In August 2008 alone there were 205 separate terror attacks by Muslims in 21 countries worldwide. These attacks caused 1101 deaths and 1811 critical injuries.

Using teachings from the Koran and the Prophet Muhammad, the book details the four main elements of Islamic teaching likely to inflame the heart of the Muslim terrorist to violence. Throughout the book comparisons are drawn between Christian and Islamic teachings showing how the beliefs of the two faiths differ regarding violence.
Trautwein, a former corporate officer who currently divides his time between real estate investment and writing, has organized these ‘terrorist teachings’ in The 9/11 Verses.

Reading The 9/11 Verses may help readers understand:

  • How the four main elements of Islamic teaching inflame the heart of the terrorist to violence.
  • How modern day terrorists use the Koran to justify what they do.
  • The cause of Islamic terrorism is not economic or political but religious.
  • Why winning ‘the war on terror’ is critical to preserving our freedom.

The 9/11 Verses ends on an optimistic note explaining why the author believes that Islamic terrorism will ultimately be defeated.

In this very well documented book, Kart Trautwein describes the dangers of a culture fed with hatred that few understand as well as he does. – Pierre Rehov, award-winning producer, Suicide Killers and other Middle East documentaries

The 9/11 Verses exposes the inflammatory teachings from the Koran and the Prophet Muhammad. The book presents the correlation between the scriptures of Islam and the death and destruction the world has suffered at the hands of Muslim terrorists. Trautwein documents his case by category in easy-to-follow chapters. It must be said that the language used in the book is itself inflammatory.

Religion & Spirituality / New Age / Philosophy

Awakening the Global Mind: A New Philosophy for Healing Ourselves and Our World (Sounds True Audio Learning Course) (6 Audio CDs: running time 7 ½ hours) by Ashok Gangadean (Sounds True)

The most profound spiritual truths cannot be expressed in words.

Is that truly the case, or can we develop a higher literacy that serves as a pathway to global wisdom?

Philosopher Ashok Gangadean, professor and chairman of philosophy at Haverford College and founder and director of the Global Dialogue Institute, has spent more than three decades bringing forth such a language – a new spiritual grammar that builds on the planet's wisdom traditions and unlocks the transformative power of the mind's inner and outer dialogues. With Awakening the Global Mind, Gangadean introduces readers to this teaching.

With Awakening the Global Mind Gangadean focuses on the essential teachings that are missing from modern thought and articulates a new approach to global dialogue that he says is vital for our sustainability in the 21st century. Integrating the principles of Western, Eastern, and indigenous traditions, he presents a blueprint for a shift in consciousness that can take us away from the trap of ‘egomental thinking’ to ignite a new global wisdom.  

According to Gangadean, the concept of this primal Logos has been with us throughout history, described in many names and forms by our greatest thinkers. Our cultures have been shaped by such luminaries as Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu, and Socrates, but we seem to be stuck in old, dysfunctional patterns that fail to live up to our highest wisdom. Why? As Gangadean observes, humanity has been limited to interpreting profound cosmic truths through the lens of ego-based thinking. This self-imposed limit can be overcome with the missing primal language and dilation of our global mind.

Modern research shows that our language creates the fundamental ‘operating system’ of the human mind. A deep restructuring of consciousness turns each moment of life into an opening of awakening – whether readers are contemplating spiritual teachings, engaging in deep dialogue with themselves and others, or simply enjoying their morning coffee with complete presence and mindfulness.

Highlights of Awakening the Global Mind include:

  • Encountering Logos: the all-encompassing truth that integrates the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the universe.
  • The forces that give rise to the ‘egomental’ thinking that separates us from Logos.
  • Using ‘((Double Bracket))’ Technology: a holistic process for breaking limiting egomental patterns.
  • From Socrates to post-modernism: tracing the search for Logos through the evolution of Western philosophy, spirituality, and science.
  • The genius of Eastern meditative teachings, from the Taoist wisdom of Lao Tzu to the Buddha's Four Noble Truths.
  • Widening the ‘global lens’ to tap the hidden meaning in mythology and spiritual teachings.
  • Deep Dialogue: a potent system for expanding consciousness to encompass multiple worldviews and communicate with authenticity.
  • How we can reinvent education by understanding children as sacred beings.
  • ‘Logonomics’: dispelling the myth of scarcity to invite abundance into financial reality.
  • Six sessions of wisdom, insights, and tools for personal and global transformation.

Awakening the Global Mind is an invitation to join in a dimensional shift in human evolution – and take part in the journey into Logos. Readers discover a new ‘technology of consciousness’ in unifying language. The book may provide a key to rewriting that system to find a personal access code to personal flourishing.

Science / Astronomy

The Handy Astronomy Answer Book, 2nd Edition by Charles Liu (The Handy Answer Book Series: Visible Ink Press)

  • Is the universe infinite?
  • What would happen if you fell into a black hole?
  • What are the basic concepts of Einstein's special theory of relativity?
  • Who was the first person in space?
  • Can cosmic strings be used to travel backward in time?
  • How will the universe end?
  • What is the twin paradox?
  • What's the world's largest telescope?
  • Who were the first astronauts? (hint: they weren't human!)

The universe, galaxies, stars, planets, space exploration...

Outer space has always held our fascination. Its sheer limitlessness draws us in and sparks our imagination with infinite questions.

Since the dawn of civilization, people have tried to understand the objects in the heavens – what they are, how they move, and why. At first, it was a total mystery. To deal with the great unknown, our ancient ancestors created myths and stories, and ascribed supernatural qualities to the stars and planets. Eventually, they learned that the heavens and its contents were natural, not supernatural, and that everyone, not just a privileged few, could understand them. Slowly, the science of astronomy was born.

The Handy Astronomy Answer Book takes readers from the basic physics and history of astronomy to fascinating facts about planets and stars, and from space mission programs and heroic astronauts and cosmonauts to the greatest adventure of all – the search for life beyond Earth. Written by Charles Liu, professor of astrophysics at the City University of New York's College of Staten Island, an associate with the Hayden Planetarium and department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the book tells the story of astronomy – of the cosmos and its contents, and of humanity's efforts throughout history to unlock its secrets and solve its mysteries. Within these pages are the answers to more than 1,000 questions on virtually every topic related to the cosmos. Containing more than 100 color illustrations and photos, with chapters broken into various astronomical studies – including the universe, galaxies, planets, and space exploration – The Handy Astronomy Answer Book is a companion for students, teachers, and amateur astronomers.

Poses hundreds of heady questions about such matters as the Big Bang, sunspots, black holes, quarks, neutrinos and Carl Sagan. [A] handy reference . . . accessible writing and careful structure [convey] the pleasures of science and discovery. – Kirkus Reviews

A valuable resource that can be used by both teachers and students as a reference or read from cover to cover. – National Science Teachers Association

Concise reference explaining all manner of space topics. – Dallas Morning News

If you have questions about space or astronomy, this book will provide what you want to know. – San Antonio Express-News

True to its title . . . all that and more. Amazingly brief entries cover enormous topics.  – Seattle Times

This book brings the wonders of the universe to life. From the basic physics and history of astronomy to fascinating facts about planets and stars, and from space mission programs and heroic astronauts and cosmonauts to the greatest adventure of all – the search for life beyond Earth – The Handy Astronomy Answer Book includes information on virtually every topic related to outer space. From planetary movements and the exploration of our solar system to black holes and dark matter, The Handy Astronomy Answer Book is a comprehensive reference simplifying all aspects of astronomy with an approachable question-and-answer format. Casual readers and astronomy buffs alike will find the study of the cosmos richer, more compelling, and more understandable with the help of this valuable reference.

Science / Biological Sciences / Zoology

The Primate Family Tree: The Amazing Diversity of Our Closest Relatives by Ian Redmond, with a foreword by Jane Goodall (Firefly Books)

Apes, monkeys, lemurs – and other family members.

In 1953 a young female Japanese macaque was seen washing sand off her sweet potatoes before eating them. This finding thrilled researchers and captured the public's imagination. Since then, Sumatran orangutans have been observed using sticks to extract honey from bees' nests or termites in tree holes, and chimpanzees, the ‘cultured apes,’ have been discovered cracking nuts with rocks and using leafy sticks as flyswatters. They also use leaves as napkins to clean themselves or dab a wound and, when water is scarce, will chew up leaves to make sponges for soaking it up from hard-to-reach tree holes.

Slightly unnerved, we are nonetheless intrigued. The eerily familiar eyes and complex social behaviors of primates have long fascinated humans. Wherever we have lived in proximity, a wide variety of myths, stories and beliefs about them have taken hold. Plato called them ‘hideous.’ They appeared in medieval paintings as symbols of sin and death. Explorers returned with tales of ‘hairy humans’ in far-off jungles and sailors kept them as ship mascots. Some eastern religions uphold monkeys as guides on the path to enlightenment. Farmers battle with those that raid crops, while in some places the monkeys themselves are the harvest. While the Victorian era saw the capture and abuse of primates rise to new levels, the type of brutality we see now, though different, is no less devastating. Today we live side by side in a precarious relationship characterized by misguided beliefs, competition for resources and violent exploitation. It is a relationship that does not bode well for our primate cousins. – from the book

The Primate Family Tree is a comprehensive resource on the subject of our animal relatives. Readers will find up-to-date facts, review the latest research and conservation efforts, and discover the characteristics that all primates – including humans – share.

Accompanied by primate profiles, species charts, range maps and color photographs, Ian Redmond's text provides a brief history of primate research, including the most recent revelations, and describes many primate species at length. Each page reveals details of the day-to-day lives of these fascinating animals, from family life and methods of communication to how they deal with predators. The most significant discoveries, and the pioneering work of researchers such as Richard Leakey, Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall, are also discussed, as are the crises in primate populations and the ongoing efforts to combat threats posed by climate change, loss of habitat and human intervention.

Wildlife biologist Redmond, former field assistant to Dian Fossey, chief consultant for the UNEP/ UNESCO Great Apes Survival Project, and founder of the Ape Alliance, has structured The Primate Family Tree according to the four main branches of the primate family tree. The book contains expert information on the natural history, characteristics and behavior of over 250 species, along with maps showing the ranges of the species. Some of the topics covered are:

  • Definition of a primate.
  • Darwin's big idea, anthropological theories, DNA.
  • Distribution of species, including lorises and lemurs.
  • Diet, habitat, life cycles, social structure, communication.
  • Primate emotions.
  • Primates as ‘gardeners of the forest’.
  • Issues involving conservation, bush meat, civil war, habitat loss.
  • Primate tourism: Does it help or hurt?

The Primate Family Tree is a compelling introduction to all the world's primates exploring the remarkable biology and behavior universal to primates. With its authoritative text, color photographs taken in the field, range maps and classification diagrams, The Primate Family Tree is a comprehensive reference on a subject that is vitally important to humans. Beautifully illustrated and easy to read and use, it encourages a greater understanding of our primate cousins and of our own survival as the human primate.

Science / Popular Culture / History & Philosophy

Science Talk: Changing Notions of Science in American Culture by Daniel Patrick Thurs (Rutgers University Press)
Science news is met by the public with a mixture of fascination and disengagement. On the one hand, Americans are deeply interested in topics ranging from the question of whether or not Pluto is a planet to the ethics of stem-cell research. But on the other hand, the complexity of scientific research can be confusing and overwhelming, causing many to divert their attentions elsewhere and leave science to the 'experts.'
But whether they follow science news closely or not, Americans take for granted that discoveries in the sciences are constantly occurring. Few, however, stop to consider how these advances – and the debates they sometimes lead to – contribute to the changing definition of the term 'science' itself. Going beyond the issue-centered debates, Daniel Patrick Thurs, fellow at the New York University's Draper Program, former instructor at Oregon State University and the University of Portland, in Science Talk examines what these controversies say about how popular culture understands science now and in the future. Drawing on his analysis of magazines, newspapers, journals and other forms of public discourse, Thurs describes how science – originally used as a synonym for general knowledge – became a term to distinguish particular subjects as elite forms of study accessible only to the highly educated.  

Modern science suffers from a paradox. Observers have noted ‘the awesome authority that science possesses’ in the western world. Science has, by most accounts, become a powerful incantation in American popular culture, even to the point of inspir­ing supposedly ‘childlike faith.’ In a variety of surveys, Americans have consistently expressed their positive views of science as an engine of progress and a force for good in the world. American consumers have routinely demonstrated their enthusiasm for science-enabled technologies. By the closing decade of the twentieth century, anthropologist Christopher Tourney reflected that the symbolic power of science as a means to ‘answer any of life's questions’ was so great that American citizens respected it ‘as a kind of religion.’

But the ways people talk suggest a much more complex and ambiguous relationship with the scientific as a category. The very same language that public commentators used to laud science as an independent and prestigious brand of knowledge could simultaneously make the scientific remote, raise challenges to depicting science or its methods as broadly relevant to ordinary life, and justify rejection, resistance, or even ignorance. Of course, modern habits of depicting science did not come from nowhere. They have a his­tory and, in the chapters of Science Talk, Thurs follows that history through a number of high-profile public debates over the scientific status of certain ideas, including phrenology, evolution, relativity, and UFOs. Each contro­versy pushed people to define what they meant by science or to dispute the definition of others. They also provided crucibles where new conceptions of the scientific sometimes formed. Thurs concludes by tracing the themes that emerge from this story as they have appeared amidst present-day discussion of intelligent design. Finally, Thurs takes the opportunity of the intelligent design debate to reflect on some of the possible responses to the ‘paradox’ posed by modem talk about science.

In this pioneering exploration of nearly 200 years of popular writing about science in America, Daniel Thurs finally puts 'science' into the history of science. – Ronald L. Numbers, author of The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design
This volume is a controversial and important contribution that helps clarify some of the reasons why we, as a culture, are so deeply conflicted about a major, if not the major force driving the modern world. – James Gilbert, author of Redeeming Culture: American Religion in an Age of Science

Thurs shows how deeply conflicted Americans are about science, the ways we talk about it, and how the conceptual resources we possess have helped create the conflict. The notion of science talk as Thurs outlines it in Science Talk abandons the quest to know what people have really thought about science or to bind individ­ual depictions of science together as manifestations of a semi-occult ‘popu­lar mind.’ The book helps readers see the patterns in modern talk about science.

Science Fiction & Fantasy / Anthologies

The Darker Mask: Heroes from the Shadows edited by Gary Phillips & Christopher Chambers (Tor Books)

Expanding on the concept behind Byron Preiss's Weird Heroes from the 1970s, George R. R. Martin's Wild Card series, and Michael Chabon's McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, The Darker Mask is a collection of original prose stories recalling the derring-do of the beings we call Superheroes and the worlds they fight to save.  These plots and characters are unique in that they color a literary universe outside of what has been predominantly white, idiosyncratic, and male in previous homages to pulp. This is the stuff of urban legends, new mythos, and extraordinary folks who might live in a soon-to-be-gentrified ghetto, the dreary rust-belt of the city, or in another dimension or planet entirely. 

The Darker Mask including stories by Walter Mosley, L. A. Banks, Naomi Hirahara, Lorenzo Carcaterra, Tananarive Due and Stephen Barnes, Mike Gonzales, Gar Anthony Haywood, Ann Nocenti, Jerry Rodriguez, Reed Farrell Coleman, Doselle Young, Mat Johnson, Peter Spiegelman, Alexandra Sokoloff, Christopher Chambers, Gary Phillips, Victor LaValle, and Wayne Wilson. The editors are Christopher Chambers, author of Sympathy for the Devil and A Prayer for Deliverance, and Gary Phillips, author of the Ivan Monk series and the Martha Chainey series, as well as Bangers and the Perpetrators. 

According to editors Phillips and Chambers, scientists say our brains are hardwired for stories. As they see it, something happened in those few ticks of the evolutionary clock between the minute we dragged ourselves out of the muck, and the minute somebody scratched two sticks together and built a fire. We gathered around that fire for warmth and comfort and to cook meat. But something germinating in our brains also told us that the fire was our way of howling back at what was terrifying and evil and unconquerable about the night. In our first stories, told by elders and warriors and sooth-saying mothers, you could hear that howl. Soon we took that next great hard-wired step. Why talk when you can dust and paint a wall with your tale? Our brains told us we are creatures who love tales of derring-do. Real life was dangerous enough back then let alone now in this time of global warming, wars and rendition.

A tick of the clock later and our wiring eschewed the Torah and Bible and Quran for Dumas and Poe, then the ‘penny dreadfuls’ which begat the pulp novels and muscle bound lugs with names like Conan or Tarzan which begat the sus­pense and thriller denizens of radio, of movie serials, comic strips and then comic books. And now, fully evolved and circuits overloaded, we have Heroes' indestructible cheerleader (Captain Scarlet, Wolverine et al.), and ‘Master Chief’ in HALO.

Are we wired to crave only one type of hero? Does a hero always have to be a do-gooder all-American quarterback or paranoid ex-drunk don­ning a cape or cowl or brandishing a shield? The heroes in those first stories were not Clark Kents or Bruce Waynes or Sue Richards. They were plain old us – flawed and scared. Blind and groping. Striving not to save the world, but to save one life or to right one wrong. In the process, they save something of themselves as well. For in their adventures we find the spark that inspires us to step up, to take a stand.

The string of tales, The Darker Mask, is a paean to the long-forgotten storytellers at the fire, or at the cave wall, Phillips and Chambers want to give life to the stories of people who've been ignored, forgotten, trivialized or stereotyped. These are stories of the hero, rediscovered. In this collection readers will find humble house cleaners, anonymous civil servants, refugees and teenagers searching for their place in the world. Some of the characters have been born, or cursed, the way they are, others have had their powers bestowed upon them after a particular incident or accident, while others have willingly held out their hands to grasp the future held dear in the sparkly night.

So in The Darker Mask Phillips and Chambers launch their pantheon of extraordinary folk – given bone and gristle in the text and illustrations by some of the best illustrators of our time: Sean Wang, Shawn Martinbrough, Jeff Fisher, and Brian Hurtt. And given blood and soul by the likes of Walter Mosley in "Picket." Lorenzo Carcaterra opens another tale from his childhood far beyond Sleepers for the eerie aveng­ing "Strega's Last Dance." Costumed and unlikely and very human heroes abound in Victor Lavalle's "The Angel of Loneliness," Peter Spiegelman's "In Vino, Veritas," and Mat Johnson's "Henchman." We feel the dreamlike, gothic twinge of Alexandra Sokoloff's riff on super powers and adolescence in "The Edge of Seventeen." Flawed souls redeem themselves in Reed Farrel Coleman's "Accidentally, Like a Martyr." Gritty new crusaders romp in Michael Gonzales's "The Whores of Onyx City," Jerry Rodriguez's "Dred," and Gar Anthony Haywood's "Heatseeker." Those who are ordinary and forgettable in our world defend us in another, thanks to L. A. Banks's badass vanquisher in "Dream Knights," Annie Nocenti's monster-slayer in "Switchback," and Doselle Young's meek maid in "Housework." Wayne Wilson's hero radiates light and hope in "The Messenger." And we come full circle to good conquer­ing evil as chronicled upon cave walls and in the campfire songs of elders – compliments of Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due's tale, "Trickster." The editors, purveyors of the darker mask, humbly offer their stories "And What Shall We Call You?" and "Avatar" – exemplars of heroes who arise from nothing to protect us all.

Themed along the grayer areas of superhero fiction, this anthology of 18 original stories nonetheless covers a wide spectrum. One standout is Switchback, by Ann Nocenti (Daredevil), in which teenage Mimi must try to cope with both her strange mind-control powers and the shards of familial ties that still bind her to her broken family. In Tat Master, Edgar award-winner Naomi Hirahara (Snakeskin Shamisen) introduces tattoo artist Eye, who discovers the ability to bring her designs to life while on the run from her abusive boyfriend. Shamus winner Peter Spiegelman (Black Maps) pulls off a classic tale of super heroics meeting reality with In Vino, Veritas, delving into a simple tale of ethics and love through the viewpoint of lie-detecting Veritas. Deceptively simple and entertaining while never skimping on serious topics, this tight anthology will satisfy any superhero enthusiast. – Publishers Weekly

The Darker Mask offers an eclectic mix of popular fiction writers exploring worlds gritty, visceral, and fantastic.

Social Sciences / Folklore & Mythology / Popular Culture

The Reality Overload: The Modern World's Assault on the Imaginal Realm by Annie Le Brun, translated from the French by Jon E. Graham (Inner Traditions)

There are some books that a person would rather not write. But the abject nature of our time is such that I feel obliged to break my silence, especially when such great efforts are being made to convince us that no revolt is taking place. On this point as on many others, I find it repugnant to put faith in the word of a faithless society that finds its preferred mode of expression in denial. – Le Brun

What underlies the many problems of the modern world – from accelerating rates of extinction and desertification to the increased alienation of the individual – is a reality overload, an increasingly invasive mechanization and homogenization of modern life that glorifies consumption and conformity. This overload has been created from the constant force-feeding of too much information, a phenomenon that dispossesses us of our deepest connections to time, our physical world, and each other.

The Reality Overload offers a critique of the increasing mechanization and homogenization of modern life. Author Annie Le Brun explains that the degradation of the environment mirrors the devastation going on in our minds revealing a link between genetically modified foods and the transformation and decay of our language and communication. According to Le Brun, French Surrealist poet and essayist, there is a direct relationship between the rupture of the great biological balances that govern the planet and the equally devastating rupture in our imaginal realm. The imaginal realm is the home of our dreams and the perceptions that feed our thoughts, individuality, and creativity. Without its influence we are forced to live a drab, alienated lifestyle based on consumption alone. If, as Shakespeare claims, “we are such stuff as dreams are made on,” this theft of our imagination by the reality overload threatens the very foundations of our existence.

A word about the work of Le Brun (1942- ), only a small portion of which has been translated into English – as a surrealist poet, her writ­ing is that of a communicating vessel in which the poetic and the critical, the sensorial and the intellectual are constantly shaping and reinvesting themselves in each other. According to Jon E. Graham in the Translator’s Foreword, the heightened intricacies and layers of meaning this creates allows her to sidestep the common ideological and theoretical constructs that now claim the cultural landscape as their domain and restore to the creative act of communication transformational – or what could also be called magical – power. Though she disdains the label of writer as a profession, Le Brun has produced a body of work whose sophistication and subtlety resists superficial reading and offers unique and unparalleled insights for those who join her on her poetic soundings of the contemporary landscape.

Peppering The Reality Overload are phrases that function like anti-advertising slogans. These phrases reveal the various strategies that make our cultural and environmental terrains hostile to anything that would obstruct or curtail their current functioning. One of the primary weap­ons in this process is what Le Brun calls the rationality of inconsistency, which is used to create severe cognitive dissonance in our minds. Other unique Le Brun phrases include corporeal illiteracy, concrete demateri­alization, reciprocal neutralization, and lateral critique. As one example, ‘lateral critique’ refers to the numerous discussions found in academic and political arenas that provide only sideways commentaries. They never get to the bottom of the topic at hand. Opposing viewpoints offered merely for their ‘recip­rocal neutralization’ are painfully visible in the canned television debate shows providing political analyses before and after every announcement, decision, or event. When Jon Stewart, the host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, appeared on the program Crossfire, he wasted no time scold­ing the two hosts for their ‘partisan hackery’ and asked them to stop hurting the country with their charade. While Crossfire never recovered from this criticism and was pulled from the air, other shows continue to offer the political equivalent of staged wrestling matches.

More important is Le Brun's rejection in The Reality Overload of the rationalist model in favor of an analogical one. Even modernism's most acute critics of the ravages caused by unchecked rationalism were incapable of formulat­ing their critiques without resorting to reason. By operating within the rationalist confines, these critics removed whatever transformational power their arguments might otherwise have had. Analogy can connect body and mind, objective space and subjective space, and the animal, plant, and mineral realms in a way that logic cannot. It is the key to the correlations Le Brun makes between the environmental deg­radation of our physical world and the ravages suffered by the imaginal realm of our minds. The relationship between the disappearance of the great mammals like the blue whale and the great rebels of times past is the same insidious and pervasive decay as the depreciation and adultera­tion of language and the genetic modification of the foods we eat. In all the cases she cites, it is clear that the shackles placed on human imagina­tion have made possible the environmental and social degradation that pervades our modern world. For Le Brun, the most horrendous ecological catastrophe is found in "the growing impossibility to imagine the symbolic exchange that never stops occurring between ideas, beings, and things."

The fierceness of Le Brun's criticism stems from the fact that there are many who are actively seeking to stop environmental stewardship in the interests of the mercantile relationships that are the core of the modern world. The reality overload is, as if by design, best at cre­ating the kind of sensorial climate control in which all critical meaning is diluted, discouraged, and eliminated. As Le Brun shows, there are multiple enterprises at work to replace the imaginary with the virtual, which smothers the subversive poetic charge – a charge that has been a core feature of the great works of art, literature, and phi­losophy produced over the centuries. Just as an environment constantly filled with noise creates dysfunctional reactions in people and animals, the overabundance of lateral critique by the academic community and established ‘experts’ in these fields makes it impossible for the poetic charge of these works to function properly. The very analysis and exces­sive commentary on what the work is in effect buries the work and makes it impossible to see what it actually is.

But Le Brun in The Reality Overload takes pains to point out that this information overload does not, in fact, lead to an overwhelming amount of choices, as some analysts have suggested. Rather, she says, it is "the impossibility of being put back within a consistent, tangible arrangement that makes any one piece of information – whether worthless or important – seem condemned to being lost in the flow of all the rest. What's more, the uninterrupted procession of this information shuts down every perspec­tive, one by one – perspectives that until now were the natural sites in which the imagination could project itself past simple data in order to grasp a being, an event, or a situation."

It’s a common complaint that we have more information than we know what to do with. Annie Le Brun reveals that the problem is not just information overload, it’s lack of imagination and an information-drenched reality. The Reality Overload will make you think twice about what really matters. – Christian de Quincey, author of Radical Knowing and Consciousness from Zombies to Angels
Annie Le Brun skillfully defines why we have lost our natural balance and points the way to regaining harmony with ourselves and the world. A timely and eloquent resource, The Reality Overload offers a journey of awakening and revitalization. I encourage you to embark on it. – Kenneth Smith, author of Awakening the Energy Body

With a powerful critique of modern society, The Reality Overload points out how little freedom and how little creativity we have left and how hopeless it is to try to combat the decline. If there was any sign of hope in the book, we couldn’t find it.

Travel / Guidebooks / Reference / Photography

The New England Coast: The Most Spectacular Sights & Destinations by Kim Knox Beckius, with photography by William H. Johnson (Voyageur Press)

To explore the New England Coast is to explore the roots of the nation, from the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock to the Battle of Bunker Hill. It is to experience the traditions that have shaped America’s culture and livelihood, from the quaint fishing villages at land’s end to the prestigious colleges of Boston. And it is to witness the natural wonders of Cape Cod’s miles of open beach, the rugged cliffs along the Maine Coast, and the dense forests of Acadia National Park.

In The New England Coast, New England writer Kim Knox Beckius and award-winning photographer William H. Johnson present the sights and experiences that make this region one of the country’s most popular destinations, beloved by year-round residents and vacationers alike. New England’s glorious coast harbors a plethora of historic and scenic landmarks, state and national parks, lighthouses and lobster pounds, and other hidden treasures waiting to be explored. The soul of the region is revealed in the stories of coastal New Englanders, like the Maine lobsterman who hauls traps with his young grandson by his side, the keeper of the last manned lighthouse in the nation, and the residents of Connecticut’s tiny Thimble Islands. Also included are tales of whale watching, sailing, beach going, and feasting on fried clams and chowder along the New England coast.

In 150 color photographs and eight chapters, a rich and diverse natural and human history is portrayed, from the wilds of Maine to the celebrated dunes of Cape Cod, the splendor of Newport, Rhode Island, and the vibrancy of the historic city of Boston. As it highlights the coast’s history and culture, The New England Coast also offers travel information and suggestions for the best ways to explore the region.

From the rugged cliffs of Maine’s windswept Bold Coast to the suburban beaches of Connecticut’s affluent Gold Coast, the diverse New England shoreline offers an abundance of extraordinary sights and experiences. Within this breathtakingly beautiful region are natural treasures including Acadia National Park; important historic sites like Plymouth Rock and Mystic Seaport; the working fishing villages of Galilee and Gloucester; and seaside playgrounds like Newport, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard.

The New England Coast pays tribute to this incomparable coastline. The perfect souvenir for seasonal visitors and a treasured keepsake for residents, The New England Coast features the best this visually stunning region has to offer. It is an ideal companion for the millions who flock to the New England Coast every summer, as well as perfect fireside reading during the harsh Atlantic winters.

Travel / Reference

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009: 850 Trends, Destinations, Journeys & Experiences for the Year Ahead by Lonely Planet Publications (General Reference Series: Lonely Planet)

There's an underlying current in this edition ... water. Lonely Planet has dedicated a special section in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009 to it. Water's the ultimate traveller, flowing around the globe, up into the atmosphere and back down again – and it started the ball rolling for the great travelers, from ancient voyages that settled Australia 40,000 years ago to later explorations. Today we swim in it, float on it, skate on its frozen surface, climb snowy peaks and throw snowballs at each other. But it's having its own way too, as it has over the aeons, shaping the land, and shaping the way we travel upon it. Importantly, it's telling us something about our effect on the planet. As climate change becomes more apparent, it is water – its abundance, its scarcity, its changing nature – that we tend to notice.

It is time to plan a break from the routines of the everyday, and think of the kind of travel that will sustain travelers through the less exciting times of the year. Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009 features the best places to go and things to do all around the world right now. Drawing on the knowledge, passion and miles traveled by Lonely Planet's staff and authors, and especially by cofounder, Tony Wheeler, travelers have got a year's worth of travel inspiration to take them out of the ordinary and into some unforgettable experiences. The book contains 850 travel experiences, and it provides a complete worldview: an annual rundown of every country in the world. Lonely Planet takes on the world's hottest trends, destinations, journeys, and experiences, profiling unique travel adventures. It contains snapshots on every country in the world, and sets the year's travel agenda with the top pick cities, countries, and regions.

Travel is two things: destination and experience. Well, maybe three – the journey is definitely part of the story. Flipping through Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009, readers will find a mix of these. The book lists the top cities, regions and countries to explore in 2009. That's 30 great places, from the more challenging (Sierra Leone is not for the faint-hearted) to the spectacular: awesome ice anyone? Try Greenland. And there are options that include wide open spaces (try Kyrgyzstan for some nomadic wandering). For urban experiences choose from racing-to-the-future Shanghai or old-world-charm-meets-party-girl Lisbon. It's also time for Beirut, once more rising from the rubble of conflict.

Readers might make some plans by randomly opening a page of the Top Travel Lists and planting a finger – who knows what they might end up doing? These picks are morsels of inspiration that should get them off the beaten track and into the eclectic and bizarre. It might be cave-diving in Mexico or catching a whiff of the startling rafflesia flower in Malaysia. How about tracking yeti in the Himalaya, stealing a kiss in Casablanca, or taking a bath in a rather large champagne glass...

Wheeler says his 2008 travels included two favor­ite activities – walking and weird-lands. Years ago he says he resolved to do at least one long walk (i.e., lasting at least a week) every year. In 2008 it was a town-to-town trek through Tuscany: interesting walking, Etruscan history, medieval hilltop towns, good food and wine, and comfortable hotels – could walking get any better?

Highlights of Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009 include:

  • Top 10 Cities, Regions and Countries: Written by destination-expert authors, this is Lonely Planet's top 10 recommendations for what's hot in 2009.
  • Top Travel Lists: Contains 850 travel experiences including ‘Best Place to Have a Midlife Crisis’, ‘Flashiest Lighthouses’, ‘Best Things to Throw Yourself Off’, ‘Weirdest Plants (and where to find them)’, ‘Best Places for Deadly Sins’ and ‘Lost Cities of the World’.
  • World Profiles: An annual snapshot of every country in the world, outlining key events and trends to watch out for in 2009.
  • 2009 travel planner: 50 adventures mapped out month-by-month.

Lonely Planet captures the world's hottest travel trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the year ahead in one book: Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009.

Formerly known as Lonely Planet's Bluelist, the guide is crammed full of all new content featuring diverse, stand-out travel experiences and stunning photos to inspire travelers. These picks are sure to be morsels of inspiration that will get readers off the beaten track and into the eclectic and varied wonders of our world.

 

Contents this page

The Masterful Coaching Fieldbook: Grow Your Business, Multiply Your Profits, Win the Talent War!, 2nd Edition by Robert Hargrove

Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime: An Introduction, 2nd Edition by Marjie T. Britz

The iPhone Book: How to Do the Most Important, Useful & Fun Stuff with Your iPhone, 2nd Edition by Scott Kelby & Terry White

Chocolate: Pathway to the Gods by Meredith L. Dreiss & Sharon Edgar Greenhill

Most College Students Are Women: Implications for Teaching, Learning, and Policy edited by Jeanie K. Allen, Susan J. Bracken, Diane R. Dean, with a foreword by David Sadker

The Upper Elementary Years: Ensuring Success in Grades 3-6 by Christine R. Finnan

Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream by Steven Watts

Framing the Fifties: Cinema in a Divided Germany edited by John Davidson & Sabine Hake

Behind the Grand Ole Opry Curtain: Tales of Romance and Tragedy by Robert K. Oermann

Madmen's Ball: The Continuing Saga of Kobe, Phil, and the Los Angeles Lakers by Mark Heisler, with a foreword by Jerry West

In the Footsteps of Champions: The University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers, the First Three Decades by Debby Schriver, with a foreword by Mia Hamm

The Healing Power of Meditation: Your Prescription for Getting Well and Staying Well with Meditation by Gabriel Weiss

Refuse to Regain! : 12 Tough Rules to Maintain the Body You've Earned! by Barbara Berkeley

On-Board Medical Emergency Handbook: First Aid at Sea by Spike Briggs & Campbell Mackenzie

The Marriage Benefit: The Surprising Rewards of Staying Together by Mark O'Connell

Landscapes, Documents and Maps: Village Plans in Northern England and Beyond: AD 900-1250 by Brian K. Roberts

Seals: The US Navy's Elite Fighting Force by Mir Bahmanyar with Chris Osman

Once Upon a Time in War: The 99th Division in World War II by Robert E. Humphrey, Gregory J.W. Urwin, series editor

Aghvook, White Eskimo: Otto Geist and Alaskan Archaeology by Charles J. Keim, with a foreword by Olaus J. Murie

Senator Howard Cannon of Nevada: A Biography by Michael Vernetti

Life After Genius: A Novel by M. Ann Jacoby

The Right Mistake: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow by Walter Mosley

Supreme Courtship: A Novel by Christopher Buckley

All Possible Art: George Herbert's The Country Parson by Kristine A. Wolberg

Being with Babies: Understanding and Responding to the Infants in Your Care by Beverly Kovach & Denise Da Ros-Voseles

The Karmapa's Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate, A Commentary on Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara by the Ninth Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje, translated by Tyler Dewar

Medieval Christianity: A People's History of Christianity edited by Daniel Ethan Bornstein, with General Editor, Denis R. Janz

The 9/11 Verses: Terrorist Teachings in the Koran by Karl Trautwein

Awakening the Global Mind: A New Philosophy for Healing Ourselves and Our World

The Handy Astronomy Answer Book, 2nd Edition by Charles Liu

The Primate Family Tree: The Amazing Diversity of Our Closest Relatives by Ian Redmond, with a foreword by Jane Goodall

Science Talk: Changing Notions of Science in American Culture by Daniel Patrick Thurs

The Darker Mask: Heroes from the Shadows edited by Gary Phillips & Christopher Chambers

The Reality Overload: The Modern World's Assault on the Imaginal Realm by Annie Le Brun, translated from the French by Jon E. Graham

The New England Coast: The Most Spectacular Sights & Destinations by Kim Knox Beckius, with photography by William H. Johnson

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009: 850 Trends, Destinations, Journeys & Experiences for the Year Ahead by Lonely Planet Publications