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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

October 2010, Issue #138

Contents this issue:

Proust's Overcoat: The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust by Lorenza Foschini, translated by Eric Karpeles (Ecco Press)

Images from the Likeness House by Dan Savard (Royal BC Museum)

Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein (Portfolio)

Alphabeasties Amazing Activity Book by Sharon Werner & Sarah Forss (Blue Apple Books)

The Big Time: A Football Genius Novel by Tim Green (Harper Collins Childrens)

Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5: The Essential Techniques for Imaging Professionals by Richard Harrington (Peachpit Press)

The Learning Tree: Overcoming Learning Disabilities from the Ground Up by Stanley I. Greenspan and Nancy Thorndike Greenspan (A Merloyd Lawrence Book: Da Capo Press/Lifelong Learning Books)

Performing Xenakis translated, compiled and edited by Sharon Kanach (The Iannis Xenakis Series No. 2: Pendragon Press)

Race and the University: A Memoir by George Henderson, with a foreword by David W. Levy (University of Oklahoma Press)

The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership by Yehuda Avner (The Toby Press)

Battleground Prussia: The Assault on Germany's Eastern Front 1944-45 (General Military) by Prit Buttar (Osprey Publishing)

Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman by Cathy Wilkerson (Seven Stories Press)

500 Cabinets: A Showcase of Design & Craftsmanship (500 Series) with senior editor Ray Hemachandra, editor Julie Hale and juror John Grew Sheridan (Lark Crafts)

Will Power by A. J. Hartley (Tor Books)

Come Again No More: A Novel by Jack Todd (Touchstone)

The Wild Mustard Greens by C. W. Eagle (Vantage Press)

The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada: Activism, Policy, and Contested Science by Nathan Young and Ralph Matthews (UBC Press)

The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Prairie Restoration in the Upper Midwest (Bur Oak Guide) by Daryl Smith, Dave Williams, Greg Houseal, and Kirk Henderson (Iowa University Press)

Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife, and Habitat Connectivity edited by Jon P. Beckmann, Anthony P. Clevenger, Marcel P. Huijser, and Jodi A. Hilty, with a foreword by Richard T.T. Forman (Island Press)

Communicology: The New Science of Embodied Discourse edited by Deborah Eicher-Catt and Isaac E. Catt (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press)

Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings by James R. Payton (IVP Academic)

A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life by J. I. Packer (Crossway Books)

Fishers of Men: The Gospel of an Ayahuasca Vision Quest by Adam Elenbaas (Jeremy P. Tarcher)

Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy by Alejandro Jodorowsky (Inner Traditions)

Argentina (Country Guide), 7th edition by Sandra Bao, Gregor Clark, Bridget Gleeson, Andy Symington and Lucas Vidgen (Lonely Planet)


Arts & Literature / Biographies & Memoirs

Proust's Overcoat: The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust by Lorenza Foschini, translated by Eric Karpeles (Ecco Press)

If I try to imagine Proust, I close my eyes and see him in his dark coat, as he was so often described by those who knew him. from the book

Lorenza Foschini, Italian journalist, writer, and television news anchorwoman on RAI, the state-owned Italian radio and television network, and Vatican correspondent, plays literary detective in Proust's Overcoat.

While most of us have a celebrity that peaks our interest, few of us would be willing to stalk a celebrity's family or bribe a star's distant cousin with our life savings for an old piece of the stars clothing. Yet, Proust's Overcoat, a quirky true story about French perfume magnate Jacques Gurin, details how Gurin stalks, worms and bribes his way into a relationship with Proust's family, feeding an obsession that found its crux in the late author's threadbare coat.

Gurin was a prominent businessman at the head of his family's successful perfume company, but his real passion was for rare books and literary manuscripts. From the time he was a young man, he frequented the antiquarian bookshops of Paris in search of lost, forgotten treasures. The ultimate prize? Anything from the hands of Marcel Proust.

Gurin identified with Proust more deeply than with any other writer, and when illness brought him by chance under the care of Marcel's brother, Dr. Robert Proust, he saw it as a remarkable opportunity.

Meanwhile, shamed by Marcel's extravagant writings, embarrassed by his homosexuality, and offended by his disregard for bourgeois respectability, Proust's family began to destroy their inherited mountain of notebooks, letters and manuscripts. Gurin, consumed by envy and desire, ingratiated himself with Proust's heirs in an attempt to safeguard these precious objects for himself and for posterity. Throughout the rest of his long life, Gurin bribed Proust's relations with cash and kindness in exchange for Proust's remaining manuscripts, furniture and personal effects. At last, after years of relentless pursuit, Gurin snagged a prized relic he coveted more than any other: the moth-eaten overcoat Proust had worn every day and used as a blanket at night while writing in bed. Like the novelist's second skin, this coat was as close as Gurin could ever come to touching Proust himself.

Keeping his hard-won trophies all to himself, Gurin would reach the age of ninety before his own imminent death convinced him to share his treasures with the world.

Its exquisite, delicate, fascinating. I put Proust's Overcoat on the same shelf as Serena Vitales Pushkins Button and Umberto Ecos Foucaults Pendulum. Edmund White, author of Hotel De Dream and My Lives
A rare and wonderfully written book of literary detection, that is heartbreaking as well as thrilling, about the afterlife of a writers manuscripts and the things he carried. Michael Ondaatje
I read it in two sittings and just loved it. Andr Aciman, author of Eight White Nights
This book is just my style. In the spirit of La Bohme, a brilliant aria to the coat. Patti Smith
Lorenza Foschinis portrait of Gurin and his Proust obsession is delightful, and the objects themselves take on a life of their own and do a jig in this little volume. Los Angeles Times
[Foschini], elegantly teasing out the relationship between family dynamics and property... highlights the role of objects and spaces in Prousts work, allowing us to see In Search of Lost Time through a different lens. BookForum
Readers pondering what manner of person created the masterpiece In Search of Lost Time will gobble up this tale of family tensions, revenge and collecting as they reflect on a literary legacy that was almost lost. Shelf Awareness

Proust's Overcoat introduces a cast of intriguing characters, each inspired and tormented by Marcel, his writing, and his orphaned objects. Together they reveal a curious and compelling tale of lost and found, of common things and uncommon desires. As strange and fascinating as fiction and filled with unforgettable characters, Proust's Overcoat will enchant Proust enthusiasts and general readers alike.

Art & Photography / Photography

Images from the Likeness House by Dan Savard (Royal BC Museum)

On a winters day in 1889, Tsimshian Chief Arthur Wellington Clah went to Hannah and Richard Maynards photography studio in Victoria to have his portrait taken. Rebekah ask if I going likeness house, he wrote in his diary, So I go, to give myself likeness. Rebekah stand longside me.

In Images from the Likeness House, Dan Savard, senior collections manager of the Anthropology Audio Visual Collection at the Royal BC Museum, explores the relationship between First Peoples in British Columbia, Alaska and Washington and the photographers who made images of them from the late 1850s to the 1920s. He gives examples of the great technological advancements that took place, from wet-glass-plate to nitrate-film negatives, showing the images in their original state, not cropped, corrected or retouched.

Savards research for the volume focused on the historical photographs housed in the Anthropology Department of the Royal BC Museum. The book features the images, as they have survived, without digital enhancements, from the earliest glass-plate photographs made by photographic artists to snapshots taken by amateurs on nitrate film. Savard shares his passion for historical photographs as he discusses the value in each, how or why the photographer produced it, or what the image means to researchers today.

This is not only a book about photography, but a visual statement about perception (and misperception), cultural change and survival. Images from the Likeness House is an outsider's analysis of the first six decades (1860-1920) of interactions between photography enthusiasts and the First Peoples living along the coast of North America from the Olympic Peninsula to the Gulf of Alaska and in the interior of British Columbia. It is not a discourse on colonialism, although some of the photographs certainly document colonialism. Neither does it presume to be the voice of those whose images appear on these pages their portraits speak for themselves. Savard avoids speculation on motive, presentation and purpose, electing instead to restrict his comments on the body of work generated during this era to those that can be supported by empirical evidence.

The photographs in Images from the Likeness House were created by professionals and amateurs, including: Carlo (Charles) Gentile, Naitesket, Frederick Daily, Benjamin Haldane, Hannah and Richard Maynard, George Hunt, Oregon Columbus Hastings, Edward Dossetter, William Case and Herbert Draper, George Thornton Emmons, brothers Edward and Asahel Curtis, James Teit, Charles Frederic Newcombe, Lloyd Winter and Percy Pond, Elbridge Merrill, R.Z. Tashiro, Valient Vivian Vinson, Frank Swannell and Julius Stenberg.

Although the book focuses on the First Nations in British Columbia, it also includes the works of photographers in Alaska who have documented Tlingit and Kaigani Haida peoples, and those Washington photographers whose Makah subjects share cultural relationships with the Nuu-chah-nulth of Vancouver Island.

In Images from the Likeness House, images trump words. Rather than choose photographs to supplement the text, Savard searched for written documentation that helps explain what was recorded by the camera's lens. He selected the photographs based on three criteria: (1) the image had to be ethnographically significant or (2) important to the history of photography of this region during the 60-year period covered by this book, and (3) it had to exist as a high-quality positive or negative, because the amount of information that can be gathered from a photograph often depends on its quality.

In Images from the Likeness House Savard reveals the wealth of First Nations historical photographs housed in the collections of museums, archives and libraries throughout North America. Although these images are becoming more accessible as they are digitized and brought online, many remain in print form only and can be accessed solely by visiting cultural institutions. This book is one means of showing these images to a wider audience. The book will appeal to ethnographers, photographers, art lovers and anyone interested in the history of BC, Alaska and Washington.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein (Portfolio)

It would be so much easier to do great work if not for lingering bureaucracies, outdated technologies, and deeply irrational rules and procedures. We all want to do our best and do it efficiently. But companies love their bureaucracy, and their calcified procedures. Today's top performers are taking matters into their own hands by bypassing sacred structures, using forbidden tools, and ignoring silly corporate edicts to increase their productivity and job satisfaction.
Acclaimed speaker and consultant Bill Jensen teams up with hacker and consultant Josh Klein to expose the cheat codes for work. Once employees learn how to hack their work, they get more stuff done in less time by turning the status quo upside down. Hacking Work shows readers how to:

  • Use their own tools and technologies instead of what the company mandates.
  • Cut through red tape.
  • Circumvent almost any rule so they can work smarter, not harder.

Hacking Work is about making the system ones servant instead of master.

This is not a guide to corporate anarchism far from it. Its about making the system work, so readers can take control of their workload, increase their productivity, and help the company succeed in spite of itself. Hacking Work highlights how to be a benevolent hacker: someone who achieves company goals by bending the rules of an already broken system. These actions are always intended to help the customer and the corporation. For instance, Elizabeth's bosses wouldn't sign off on her plan to improve customer service. So she recorded videos of customers complaining about what needed fixing and posted them on YouTube. Within days, public outcry forced senior management to reverse its decision.

Bill and Josh will help you break free of the shackles of how business is traditionally done and leverage the power of hacking to solve your company's most intractable problems. Eric Ryan, chief brand architect and cofounder, Method

The way were working today sucks. If you've realized that fact, and your organization isn't doing anything about it, Hacking Work will help you achieve your results and not go insane waiting for those around you to wake up. Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, cocreators of the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) and coauthors of Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It

Anyone frustrated by burdensome rituals and processes can now take responsibility for their own success. Jensen and Klein irreverently and cleverly show us the power of hacking work and taking responsibility for one's own success. The ideas within Hacking Work will foster the innovation and creativity so badly needed in these times. Dave Ulrich, professor, Ross School of Business, and coauthor of The Why of Work

Hacking Work is a refreshing antidote to what passes for business wisdom today. Sure organizations need structure and processes. But to get your work done, you need this book. It's the perfect manual for long-overdue corporate insurgency. Find a way to hide it on your expense account! Thomas II. Davenport, President's Distinguished Professor of IT and Management, Babson College. and coauthor of Analytics at Work

The time has come to accept that our outdated business precepts are unraveling. Jensen and Klein reveal a new hope: businesses succeeding and innovating in spite themselves. A brave new world is upon us we can embrace it and excel or deny it and die. Jim McCarthy, consultant and former EVP, Strategic Development. CITGO Petroleum

Hacking Work is a badly needed wake-up call urging executives to remove the manifold limitations standing in the way of true innovation. This book could not be more timely: As our economies move out of recession, it is high time to question and redesign every aspect of doing business that creates obstacles to competitiveness. Jean-Daniel Gerber, State Secretary. Ministry of the Economy, Switzerland

Hacking Work is one of Harvard Business Reviews' "Breakthrough ideas for 2010". It reveals powerful technological and social hacks and shows readers how to apply them to sidestep bureaucratic boundaries and busywork.

Childrens Books / Ages 4-8

Alphabeasties Amazing Activity Book by Sharon Werner & Sarah Forss (Blue Apple Books)

A thrilling spin throughout the alphabet. Publishers Weekly, starred reviewed (for Alphabeasties)

Young readers are invited to join the Alphabeasties and draw, scribble, color, read, write, and sticker from A to Z in Alphabeasties Amazing Activity Book. Kids are engaged with fun, intelligent activities, including mazes, word searches, and rebus puzzles. The book is packed with over 300 full-color stickers.
The award-winning design team of Alphabeasties has created this fresh, original activity book for kids and typography enthusiasts of all ages. Sharon Werner & Sarah Forss are graphic designers at the two-person design studio Werner Design Werks, Inc. in St. Paul. They have had remarkable international impact and have garnered for their studio many graphic design awards, as well as a place in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, Muse de la Poste, Victoria and Albert Museum, Muse des Arts Dcoratifs, and the Cooper Hewitt Museum.

Alphabeasties Amazing Activity Book is full of playful, creative activities that kids will love. Getting comfortable with and learning letters has never been such fun.

Childrens Books / Ages 9-12 / Grades 4-8 / Sports & Activities

The Big Time: A Football Genius Novel by Tim Green (Harper Collins Childrens)

Tim Green, himself an adopted child who has written movingly of his own search for his birth parents in A Man and His Mother, has brought the experience of those feelings to The Big Time in the character of Troy White, whose longing to know his father was evoked in Green's first novel for young readers, the New York Times bestseller Football Genius.

A former star defensive end with the Atlanta Falcons, Green earned his law degree from Syracuse University and began writing bestselling books for adults, including The Dark Side of the Game and False Convictions. He has worked as an NFL analyst for FOX Sports and most recently hosted Find My Family for ABC TV.

In The Big Time, things couldn't be going better for Troy. The Atlanta Falcons' football genius is at the top of his game, helping the team get to the playoffs. Agents and lawyers are knocking on his door with big money offers for the upcoming season. And his own football team has just won the Georgia State Championship. Troy's celebrating with his friends at linebacker Seth Halloway's mansion when another lawyer comes knocking and he says, "I think I'm your father."

In that instant, Troy's life is changed.

Troy's biological father, Drew Edinger, makes a plea to be allowed to become part of his son's life and to represent him in negotiations with other NFL teams. It soon appears that Drew's interest is mainly financial, however. It also becomes evident that he is connected to some shady characters. Troy is ambivalent about his involvement with his father as his attraction to the lifestyle Drew offers creates tension in his relationship with his sensible mother. When federal officials reveal to Troy the extent of  Drew's criminal activities, the boy agrees to help nab his father's associates. Drew is also caught in the web, but the agents offer Troy the possibility of a lighter prison sentence for his father in return for the boy's cooperation.

In previous entries, 12-year-old Troy White parlayed his remarkable play-predicting ability into a high-paying job with his beloved Atlanta Falcons and led his youth league team to a state championship. The story moves along at a brisk clip, the language is straightforward and accessible, and the issues raised are likely to engage readers. Yet even the least sophisticated members of the target audience may find it difficult to accept a scenario in which a 12-year-old garners a $15-million pro football contract and assumes a lead role in a federal sting operation. Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT, School Library Journal

Charged from start to finish, the book is an amazing portrays Troy's struggle to make his lifetime dreams of being with his father come true. Filled with page-turning excitement as a high-stakes deal increases the family tension, The Big Time is an unforgettable experience.

Computers & Internet / Digital Photography & Video

Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5: The Essential Techniques for Imaging Professionals by Richard Harrington (Peachpit Press)

Photoshop is used by everyone from photographers to Web developers, video professionals to graphic designers. Adobe Photoshop is a portal to Adobe's other software applications, but it is more. Mastering Photoshop's tools will teach readers more about creative technology tools than any other program, and with a solid knowledge of Photoshop, they will be well on their way to being comfortable with an entire digital toolbox.

Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5 covers the core image editing techniques in Photoshop CS5 that a professional truly needs to know to succeed. The book covers the basics from acquiring and editing images to making selections and image enhancements to using more advanced features such as layer styles and layer masking. Richard Harrington offers the essential techniques needed to advance readers careers with a focus not just on digital photography, but also the Web, graphic design, multimedia, and video.
Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5, in full-color, includes a DVD over six hours of training with hand-on exercises and practice images as well as 72 new video training tutorials that expand on the lessons in the book and provide a rich multimedia experience for beginning and intermediate Photoshop users. In addition, interactive quizzes help learners check their progress to ensure that the knowledge is sticking. There are also online updates and bonus downloads. Coverage of new Photoshop CS5 features includes Puppet Warp, Merge to HDR Pro, Content-Aware Fill/Scale/Heal, 3D Text, Mixer Brush, and Lens Corrections.
Readers also learn about:

  • Repairing and retouching digital images.
  • Color corrections and enhancements.
  • Blending modes and maximizing filters.
  • Selection tools and techniques.
  • Photoshop actions and automations to speed up workflow.
  • Camera Raw workflow.

According to Harrington, an Adobe and Apple certified trainer and a National Association of Photoshop Professionals Dream Team Instructor, it is important to learn Photoshop with one eye on the present and the other on the future. Harrington says that when he decided to write Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5, it was to fill a need. He had worked with Photoshop students of all levels, from the college classroom to working professionals across all industries. What he heard time and time again was that people wanted an objective book that gave them everything they needed to truly understand Adobe Photoshop. There is no shortage of good books for the professional, but what has happened over the years, as Photoshop has become such an established program, is that we are left with two types of books: those for complete beginners and those for pros looking to dig deep on specific areas of the program. Missing was a book that addresses the need of those who want to understand the important features of Adobe Photoshop, as well as the core technology behind it, to build a solid foundation for future learning as well as immediate success.

If learners are pursuing a career in digital imaging or design, or they are already working in the field, Adobe Photoshop is a tool they need to master. This comprehensive book prepares them for professional success they learn by doing and the book supplies ample opportunity to do that. Every chapter contains extensive hands-on exercises and all the files they need to practice.

If they are learning Photoshop in a classroom, Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5 should combine with their instructor's knowledge to give learners a rich, interactive learning experience. For those working professionals looking to fill in their understanding of Photoshop, the book answers and reinforces the essential information that they need. For both audiences, this book teaches them what they need to succeed in the professional workplace.

Education / Parenting & Families / Special Needs

The Learning Tree: Overcoming Learning Disabilities from the Ground Up by Stanley I. Greenspan and Nancy Thorndike Greenspan (A Merloyd Lawrence Book: Da Capo Press/Lifelong Learning Books)

Young children love to learn. From birth, learning saturates every pulse of their day. Their senses stand alert and eager to absorb more. Yet, for many children, this zest does not endure. Once in school, they fiddle, they squirm, they whisper to friends, they do whatever they can not to pay attention and not to learn.

Using the metaphor of a tree, The Learning Tree explains that the roots represent how children take in the world through what they hear, see, smell, and touch. The trunk represents thinking skills through which children grow both academically and socially. From these, the branches childrens basic abilities to read, write, do math, and organize their work develop.

Offering a new approach to learning problems, The Learning Tree was written by Stanley Greenspan, authority on clinical work with young children, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School and writer and former economist Nancy Thorndike Greenspan. Rather than looking just at symptoms, this new understanding gets to the roots, showing how to find the missing developmental steps that interfere with learning. The solution to each problem comes in knowing what essential skills to strengthen.

The Greenspans provide an overview of the learning problems children face in early development and beyond. Applying techniques such as his trademarked Floortime, Stanley Greenspan not only identifies the symptoms of learning disabilities but the missing developmental steps that cause the symptoms. The Learning Tree covers myriad learning difficulties explaining their origins, offering hope, and supplying concrete solutions so that every child can flourish in school and in life.

Contents of The Learning Tree include:

  1. The Learning Tree Approach

        Sally's Story

        IQ Testing: Uses and Misuses

  1. The Trunk

        Play and Learning: Floortime Building Basic Thinking

        Building Advanced Thinking

        Using All the Thinking Levels: The Sidwell Friends Buddy Project

  1. The Roots

        Getting to the Roots: Avoiding Labels

        Deciphering Sounds

        Making Sense of What We Hear

        Organizing Actions: Motor Planning and Sequencing

        Organizing Thoughts Regulating Sensation

        Making Sense of What We See

        Integrating All the Roots: The Sidwell Friends Nutrition Project

        Helping Sally: Strengthening the Trunk and the Roots

  1. The Branches

        The Learning Tree in Action: The Sidwell Friends Dinosaur Project

        Reading Comprehension

        Expressing Ideas in Writing and Speaking

        Mathematical Thinking and Reasoning         .

        Organizational Skills

        The Learning Tree in Conclusion: The Sidwell Friends Native American Project

The Learning Tree offers a new understanding of learning problems. Appropriate for caregivers of children of all grade levels, and with the wise optimism which has made Greenspan's work indispensable to parents, this book raises the ceiling for children who learn differently or with difficulty and unleashes their full intellectual potential. Both parents and teachers will welcome the sections on finding and solving learning problems early.

Entertainment / Music

Performing Xenakis translated, compiled and edited by Sharon Kanach (The Iannis Xenakis Series No. 2: Pendragon Press)

Performing Xenakis, the second in Pendragons Xenakis Series, is a collection of essays by thirty contributors from fourteen nationalities, all internationally recognized performers of Xenakiss music. Many of these artists have worked closely with Xenakis and several works are discussed by their dedicatees. These testimonies prove, through real life experience and performance, the feasibility of realizing his very difficult writing, not only attested to by those close to the composer during his lifetime, but also by the younger generation that continues to be drawn to it. Each essay gives a new perspective on what the composer was really looking for, on tricks of the trade for negotiating treacherously technical prowess, or on the attainment of an enhanced sense of self through the performance of this music.
Following an extensive Preface by American musician Sharon Kanach, general editor of the Xenakis Series, who collaborated closely with Xenakis from the late 1970s until his death in 2001, Performing Xenakis is divided into chapters organized by family of instruments. Every instrument of the orchestra is discussed by its practitioner; issues unique to the voice, as well as ensemble and orchestral works are explored, and two contributions concern the performance of Xenakis pioneering electronic works. An appendix of his entire oeuvre with selected discography is included.

Chapters in the sections, with contributors, include:

1. Winds: Woodwinds and Brass

Lori Freedman Potent; Benny Sluchin Performing Xenakis on Brass; Wilfriedo Terrazas Xenakis' Wind Glissando Writing & Appendix: Cendrees' Flute Solo

2. Keyboard: Piano, Organ, and Harpsichord

Marie-Francoise Buquet On Evryali; Elisabeth Chojnacka The Harpsichord According to Xenakis; Bernhard Haas Fragments on Gmeeoorh; Claude Helfer On Herma; Erikhthon, and others; Yuji Takahashi Xenakis: Immediate and Experimental; Stefanos Thomopoulos The Olympian Piano: Iannis Xenakis' Synpha; Roger Woodward Conquering Goliath: Preparing and Performing Xenakis' Keqrops

3. Percussion

Sylvio Gualda On Psappha and Persephassa;  Claude Ricou and Jean-Paul Bernard On Persephassa and the Percussions of Strasbourg; Steven Schick X is for Xenakis; David Schotzko Pity and Fear: Iannis Xenakis' Psappha as Aristotelian tragedy

4. Strings and Voice

Irvine Arditti Reflections on Performing the String Music of Iannis Xenakis; Robert Black Theraps; Conrad Harris Mikka and Mikka S; Kevin McFarland Second Generation Interpretation of Xenakis' String Quartets; Genevieve Renon Xenakis' Gifts; Rachid Safir Some Vocal Techniques used in Iannis Xenakis' Nuits and Oresteia; Rohan de Saram Xenakis ... an Ancient Greek born in the Twentieth Century; Spyros Sakkas Singing ... Interpreting Xenakis; Frances-Marie Uitti Notes on Working with Xenakis

5. Ensemble and Orchestra

Riccardo Schulz and Juan Pablo Izquierdo On D mmerschein; Michel Tabachnik Conducting (and Playing) Xenakis' Orchestral Music; Arturo Tamayo Notes on the Interpretation of Iannis Xenakis Jonchaies

6. Electronics

Gerard Pape Interpreting Xenakis' Electro-Acoustic Music: La Legende d'Eer; Peter Nelson Performing the UPIC System of Iannis Xenakis

7. Postface

Milan Kundera Total rejection of inheritance, or Who is Iannis Xenakis?

Performing Xenakis is both an homage and an invitation homage not only by those who knew, loved and worked closely with Iannis Xenakis and without whom some of the works in his extensive catalogue would have, perhaps, never existed, but also a homage to those same performers, now internationally recognized as references in these earliest stages of a Xenakian performance tradition.

According to Kanach in the preface, as a young man, Xenakis was a great athlete, excelling especially in swimming and running, always testing and challenging his endurance, measuring himself first against his own abilities before those of his competitors. This model of self-surpassing was not only his own driving force, it is what he expected of those around him, including his performers. As Willy Terrazas reminds readers in his essay: "To Xenakis, playing an instrument is in many ways like a sport: the challenge is to surpass oneself."' Thomopoulos refers to Xenakis' (and subsequently his performers') Olympian approach to the piano. Xenakis applied such motivations to all his creative and intellectual pursuits.

Kanach believes that the new demands Xenakis made on his performers also stem from the fact that he never `composed' his works the way other composers do. Rather, he built his works like an architect constructs a building. His compositional models were found in realms outside of music: mathematics, the sciences, nature, and indeed, architecture, in a conscious and learned attempt to discover the universal components of our aural art. Consequently, new traditions of instrumental writing were naturally engendered in his scores. Now, with the perspective of more than a half a century's retrospection (regarding his early works from the 1950-60s), the fact that these extended techniques have become the lingua franca of contemporary performance bear witness to Xenakis' role in changing the course of music and the evolution of its history, both traceable in performance.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that for many contemporary percussionists learning how to play has meant learning how to play the music of Iannis Xenakis:" reading such a compelling statement in Performing Xenakis and knowing the same is affirmed by practitioners from all the other families of instruments woodwinds, brass, keyboards, and strings belies, once and for all, the tired claim that the master's insufficient traditional training accounts for the unplayable music he writes. Schick continues, however: "In Xenakis there are truly and verifiably impossible passages but they are positioned just barely out of reach. Such music radiates possibility not discouragement." In this sense, it is important to realize that the challenges certain works by Xenakis pose are not negative dares, exposing performers to what they cannot do. No, this music challenges even the greatest virtuosos to achieve new limits, in the very dignified quest of proving to oneself: Yes, I can! of making the best better. And it is this possibility, this faith not only in a human being's capacity for self-surpassing, but also a belief in technology and progress that accounts for the fact that Xenakis never changed a score or eliminated a passage due to its difficulties. When Xenakis allowed some performers to simply eliminate those unplayable passages or notes, it is clear he had a great belief in the limitlessness of human effort. He furthered the challenge, knowing that any respectable virtuoso will keep trying to get it, and most often do, in the long run. Even notes that don't (yet) exist on the piano keyboard remain. If it seems perfectly normal that Xenakis could conceive of a new instrument for the percussion family; i.e., his sixxen, now part of any percussion ensemble's instrumentarium, then one should not smile when he anticipated a piano with a few more keys!

Xenakis admits to having regularly deviated from results that were calculated on extra-musical models transcribed into mathematics in order to compose the music he wanted. Therefore, it is not ruthless for performers to depart from the written score in order to make an interpretation their own. The question is by how much? It is interesting to note that a fair number of the contributors to Performing Xenakis voice their approach in terms of negotiation. The only truly successful negotiations are ones that result in a win-win result both for the music (composer/composition) and for the interpretation (performer/performance). Bucquet's citation of Arthur Schnabel, her mentor, who recommended that "a performer's freedom must be equal to a composer's in order for an interpretation to be valid" seems particularly well-founded and signifies the mutual respect always shared between Xenakis and his dedicated performers. Finding viable options engages each performer in the music through the score in a way that would never occur were the music easily playable. Thus, the term musicality can also expand to encompass new knowledge, new logics and indeed, progress.

Xenakis systematically replaced the word beautiful by interesting. Often, in order for a performer to create the interesting results Xenakis required in his scores, a certain desecration of traditional performance practices is necessary. Be it due to his experiences and experiments with electronic or computer-generated sounds or not, Xenakis' scores often call for his performers to repossess sound in its most raw state. Through his incredible capacity for abstraction, his own inner ear was able to imagine instrumental sounds as though they were produced by the human voice either fluid or screaming (his infamous cris horribles) and vocal sounds as though an instrument would mechanically produce them. This implies another principle Xenakis cherished: selective amnesia. It is as though, as trained performers, one must forget all the lessons learned to beautify one's sound: how to homogenize instruments' registers, disguise breathing, compensate intonation with lush vibrato... the standard panoply of polishes. Nothing could be more contrary to Xenakis' sound universe! He has written into his scores what needs to be done. The tension, the drive to perilous new limits is inherent; they are not to be ignored. Senza vibrato does not mean less vibrato; a little vibrato can radically misrepresent the primordial and universal intended aural effect.

Taking Xenakis' amnesia principle one step further, we should remember that he often wrote music not that he had already known, but music he discovered along the path of his creative inquiry and process. Likewise, Xenakis' performers, when learning his works, discover unknown or unexpected aspects of their respective instruments be it through new (extended) techniques or through sheer physical or mental demands.

And, as many artists have remarked, if Xenakis' music is so impossible to play, how does one explain the extraordinary and growing number of performances and recordings worldwide? Over time, it seems that a divide has been created between those who can and do integrate Xenakis' works into their repertory and those who choose to skirt the issues and difficulties they pose and prefer to leave many stones of technique and interpretation unturned; between those for whom music is a true vocation versus those for whom it is a day job. For the former, these essays provide both some practical advice and living proof of various possible approaches to join the ranks of the aforesaid Confederacy; for the latter, may these testimonies inspire a reconsideration of the rewards such a demanding attitude can engender when making art means making a difference.

Performing Xenakis offers a welcoming and guiding hand to those students and future professionals who are tempted yet perhaps intimidated by Xenakis' complex writing, by demystifying the ostensibly impossible nature of this music in performance. The book is a compilation of living testimony to the feasibility of Xenakis' most difficult music by some thirty accomplished musicians of fourteen different nationalities, each one having received very different training, some with the guidance of the composer, but just as many who have not, yet have succeeded in championing this important musical legacy.

History / Americas / Social History / Education / Biographies & Memoirs

Race and the University: A Memoir by George Henderson, with a foreword by David W. Levy (University of Oklahoma Press)

In 1967, George Henderson, the son of uneducated Alabama sharecroppers, accepted a full-time professorship at the University of Oklahoma, despite his mentors warning to avoid the redneck school in a backward state. Henderson became the universitys third African American professor, a hire that seemed to suggest the dissolving of racial divides. However, when real estate agents in the university town of Norman denied the Henderson family their first three choices of homes, the sociologist and educator realized he still faced some formidable challenges.

In Race and the University, Henderson recounts his formative years at the University of Oklahoma, during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He describes in graphic detail the obstacles that he and other African Americans faced within the university community, a place of white privilege, black separatism, and campus-wide indifference to bigotry. As an adviser and mentor to young black students who wanted to do something about these conditions, Henderson found himself at the forefront of collective efforts to improve race relations at the university. Henderson is quick to acknowledge that he and his fellow activists did not abolish all vestiges of racial oppression. But they set in motion a host of institutional changes that continue to this day.

Henderson is the Sylvan N. Goldman Professor Emeritus, David Ross Boyd Professor Emeritus, and Regents' Professor Emeritus of Human Relations, Education, and Sociology at the University of Oklahoma, where he founded the Human Relations Program and served as Dean of the College of Liberal Studies.

One of the most interesting aspects of this story is the extent to which the most thoughtful participants in the struggle were guided by the works of a handful of theorists, activists, and social scientists whose books and articles they read and discussed. Those who think that the civil rights conflicts on the campus were fueled entirely by blind anger over injustice and ill treatment will be surprised by Henderson's insistence that those involved studied and discussed the teachings of writers and reformers before deciding how to proceed. There were spirited divisions of opinion, but readers will emerge with a respect for the serious and honest deliberations that were an integral part of the efforts undertaken during these years.

A strong case can be made for the argument that the four years chronicled in Race and the University constituted a turning point in the history of race relations at the University of Oklahoma. In one sense, the movement away from black isolation and white indifference (or worse) was symbolized by the election, in the spring of 1970, of the first African American president of the student body. But there were other signs as well that those earnest and determined students and their mentors and friends on the faculty were able to bring about changes in institutional practices and private feelings that were important and permanent. Few readers will find reason to disagree with Henderson's assessment. "We were ordinary people," he insists, "who sometimes did extraordinary things."

Race and the University conveys the integrity, dignity, and strength of a brilliant scholar who was courageous enough not only to care about fairness and equity but who was willing to fight for it. From cover to cover, it is an engaging, thought-provoking, and inspirational book. Emmett G. Price III, Northeastern University, Boston

This deeply personal memoir is a poignant step toward recovering the narratives of the often unsung and isolated black faculty who helped shepherd the transformative wave of black student militancy at historically white colleges and universities. Clarence Lang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

At once calm but passionate, outraged and understanding, this powerful narrative should be read by all students to give them a sense of where we have been as a people and a nation and to identify what it will take to address the unfinished business of creating a better democracy. James P. Corner, Yale University Child Study Center

A thoughtful, significant contribution to African American studies. Race and the University belongs in academic and public libraries in Oklahoma and throughout the country. Jennifer Greenstreet, Head Librarian, Ada (Okla.) Public Library

An earnest and heartfelt account of the university's journey through trials of segregation, triumphs of integration, and paths to reconciliation. Henderson has found a way to effectively recount this journey as if he were conversing with the reader over coffee. LaQueta L. Wright, Richland College, Dallas, Texas

A moving, powerful, and very engaging memoir. Martha Biondi, author of To Stand and Fight: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City

Captured in this book are the words, thoughts, and images of those individuals who have made the University of Oklahoma what it is today: a first-tier institution committed to the highest order of academic and social excellence. Dennis Kimbro, author of Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice

This stirring memoir captures what was perhaps the most tumultuous era in the history of American higher education. Race and the University includes valuable recollections of former student activists who helped transform the University of Oklahoma into one of the nation's most diverse college campuses.

History / Middle East / Israel / Biographies & Memoirs

The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership by Yehuda Avner (The Toby Press)

The Prime Ministers is the first and only insider account of Israeli politics from the founding of the Jewish State to the near-present day. It reveals details of life-and-death decision-making, top-secret military operations and high level peace negotiations.

It brings readers into the orbits of world figures, including Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana and the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Prime Ministers presents first-hand accounts of major historical events, including: Menachem Begin's decision to bomb Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor; Yitzhak Rabin's handling of the Entebbe rescue mission; the Egypt-Israel peace process; the shelling of the Irgun arms ship, the Altalena, and Deir Yessin.

This is not a conventional biography or memoir, nor is it a work of fiction. It deals with factual events and real people, most notably Prime Ministers Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin, all of whom Yehuda Avner served in one capacity or another, junior and senior, over many years. Having worked in their proximity in all manner of situations, good and bad sometimes so bad as to call into question Israel's very survival Avner, adviser and speechwriter to Israeli Prime Ministers Rabin, Begin, Meir and Eshkol, resurrects episodes which illustrate their responses in times of stress, recreate some unforgettable intimate moments, and reenact their intertwining relationships and dealings with presidents, prime ministers and other dignitaries. Avner is former Israeli Ambassador to Britain, Ireland and Australia, and served in diplomatic positions at the Israeli Consulate in New York and the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

An autobiographical footprint appears in this personal narrative, Avner says, firstly to illustrate the times into which he was born, secondly to introduce some extraordinary characters whose paths he crossed along the way, and thirdly and most significantly, to recapture how he came to be in the company of such amazing individuals, these early leaders of Israel, who were thrust into his life with such collision force that their hold on his imagination is intensely alive and personal still.

The Prime Ministers offers observations of these key personalities among others:

  • Abba Eban: "was lauded in capitals the world over for his intellectual sophistication and Churchillian eloquence, but was derided at home as lacking strategic acumen."
  • Golda Meir: "while totally ignorant of things military, emerged as one of Israel's greatest war leaders."
  • Richard Nixon: "his reputation as an anti-Semite did not preclude his appointment of a German Jewish refugee as his secretary of state, nor his resolve to massively aid the Jewish State when its survival was at stake."
  • Anwar Sadat: "a man of grand gestures, who was convinced his peace mission was a sacred calling, was irritated at Begin's insistence on precise agreements, yet forged with him a bond of mutual trust and friendship so deep as to leave Begin distraught when his peace partner was assassinated."

...  a gripping, intimate, intricately detailed and fast-paced account of Israeli politics at the highest levels ... a front-row seat to the drama of Israeli statecraft in moments of crisis and triumph, tragedy and joy. I couldn't put it down. Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal
... one of the most remarkable accounts we are ever likely to get of how Israel has been governed over the decades....  All of it is here ... the intellectual arguments made and those that were not marshaled; the decisions taken and those that were ducked ... the ultimate insider's account. David Horovitz, The Jerusalem Post
It is extremely rare that a skilled diplomat is placed at the pinnacle of power across several Israeli governments and can truly deliver an insider's perspective with such skill and clarity....  a must-read for anyone seeking to understand Israel. Dore Gold, Former Israeli Ambassador to the UN.
... the rare kind of history which comes alive for any reader, and will stay with them long after they finish the book. Samuel Lewis, Former US Ambassador to Israel

Written in a captivating literary style by a political adviser, speechwriter and diplomat, The Prime Ministers is an enthralling political memoir, and a precisely crafted prism through which to view current Middle East affairs. The Prime Ministers provides unforgettable descriptions of political rivalries, diplomatic blunders, White House and Buckingham Palace banquets and more, to bring Israel's history to life in a way no book has done before.

History / Military / World War II

Battleground Prussia: The Assault on Germany's Eastern Front 1944-45 (General Military) by Prit Buttar (Osprey Publishing)

We had never before seen so clearly the law of war: you or me. Helli Hegen, eyewitness

The terrible months between the arrival of the Red Army on German soil and the final collapse of Hitler's regime were like no other in the Second World War. The Soviet Army's intent to take revenge for the horror that the Nazis had wreaked on their people produced a conflict of implacable brutality in which millions perished.
From the great battles that marked the Soviet conquest of East and West Prussia to the final surrender in the Vistula estuary, Battleground Prussia recounts in chilling detail the desperate struggle of soldiers and civilians alike. These brutal campaigns are brought to life by a combination of previously unseen testimony and astute strategic analysis recognizing a conflict of unprecedented horror and suffering by author Prit Buttar, who joined the Royal Army as a doctor, now a general practitioner. The book includes first-hand accounts from soldiers on both sides, most of which have never been published in English. It is illustrated with action shots and photographs of the main players when possible.

In September 1944, the Soviet Army poured into captured German territory, flooding the martial heartland of the Reich. Prussia massively outnumbered by the human wave of the Red Army, the Wehrmacht battled on, pitching hundreds of thousands of soldiers and the helpless civilians caught in their crossfire into a fight to the death that would shape the outcome of the war and the future of Europe.

Battleground Prussia is the story of the last months of World War II in Northeast Europe. These months saw the final death of any lingering hope that, once the war was over, the old order in the old continent would be restored. Even as one war came to an end a new Cold War began. Specifically, this book describes the Soviet assault into East and West Prussia in 1944 and 1945. The fighting was as tough as any phase of the bitter conflict on the Ostfront (Eastern Front), and it changed the map of Europe forever. The campaigns resulted in one of the largest migrations of Europeans in history and, before the fighting was over, three of the five worst recorded losses of life at sea, which in themselves accounted for about 17,000 lives. And yet, in the English-speaking world, these campaigns and battles in what was northeast Germany remain comparatively unknown.

According to the preface to Battleground Prussia, compared to the war in Western Europe, the fighting on the Ostfront was bitter and brutal, huge in terms of the terrain involved, the armies deployed and the destruction and bloodshed that they wreaked. Both sides treated enemy prisoners and civilians in a manner that was shocking even at the time, and completely at variance with the Western viewpoint, as exemplified by the Hague and Geneva Conventions. The Ostfrontwar was not just one of territorial ambition or strategic gain; from the very start, it was an ideological conflict, a clash between two incompatible visions of the future of mankind. The men who fought in the east, and carried out the most terrible deeds, were portrayed by their enemies as sadistic killers, further stoking the hatred and the ideological differences between the two sides. And yet, for the great majority of the ordinary soldiers this was a war like so many others. They fought because they had to, conscripted into the vast armies that battled their way back and forth over hundreds of kilometres. Many of them were driven by a love of their homeland; for the Soviet soldiers in the first half of the war in the east, and for the Germans in the second half; there was also the great motivation of wishing to protect their beloved homeland from a brutal, implacable enemy. While such factors existed in the west, there was not the additional ideological edge to push the terrible inhumanity of war to the same heights as in the east. The psyche of Germany and the Soviet Union was also different from that of Western nations. Both countries had been under totalitarian rule for many years, and an entire generation of Germans, and two generations of Soviets, had grown up in systems where they were denied access to objective news reports and were encouraged to believe that their own system was inherently superior to any other. It was inevitable that when these two cultures clashed, the result could only be the complete destruction of one or the other.

Battleground Prussia does not allocate blame. War is truly terrible, and drives people to terrible acts. While the atrocities of World War II were on a huge scale, atrocities had occurred in previous conflicts. Indeed, we have even seen them since 1945 in Europe, when Yugoslavia disintegrated in the 1990s. Battleground Prussia simply describes what happened when the Red Army reached German territory, and the desperate battles that followed. The consequences of these campaigns defined the shape of the post-war map of northeast Europe, the full significance of which has only become clear since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

In Battleground Prussia, Buttar spins a mesmerizing tale accompanied by rare photographs and informative maps. These brutal campaigns are brought vividly to life by a combination of previously unseen testimony and astute strategic analysis recognizing a conflict of unprecedented horror and suffering.

History / Social History / Biographies & Memoirs

Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman by Cathy Wilkerson (Seven Stories Press)

One fateful morning in 1970, when her parents were expected home from a vacation, Cathy Wilkerson, like a good, middle-class girl, was ironing sheets in an effort to conceal the fact that she and her political friends had been camping out there. In a moment that changed their lives and the direction of the antiwar movement, the house rose up several feet and then collapsed when a pipe bomb accidentally exploded in the basement. Wilkerson's lover, Terry Robbins, her close friend Ted Gold, and a new acquaintance, Diana Oughton all members of the iconic radical group the Weathermen were killed. Wilkerson, along with fellow Weatherman Kathy Boudin, escaped the wreckage by some miracle, and then disappeared into the subway before anyone could register what had happened. They were put on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list, and the Weathermen were thrust instantly into a new phase of life underground.

Flying Close to the Sun is the memoir of a young lady from Connecticut who became a leader of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and member of the Weather Underground, one of the most notorious groups of the 1960s. Wilkerson, who famously escaped the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion, wrestles with the legacy of the movement, at times finding contradictions that many others have avoided: the absence of womens voices then, and in the retelling; the incompetence and the egos; and the hundreds of bombs detonated in protest, which caused little loss of life but which were also ineffective in fomenting revolution. In searching for new paradigms for change, Wilkerson asserts with brave humanity an assessment of her past of those heady, iconic times and somehow finds hope and faith in a world that at times seems to offer neither. She describes coming into consciousness as a political activist and a feminist and joining the Civil Rights Movement, the SDS, and the Weather Underground with an honesty and candor that challenges and contradicts every other history of this period. Wilkerson, who has been working for the last 20 years as an educator, shares the passion with which she and her peers rose up out of their middle class complacency to address issues of race, social inequality, and an unjust war abroad. She renders the thrill of creating community and relationship and invokes the yearning and struggle to find a voice as a young woman of conscience. She reveals the sexism of the core of movements for social change in the 60s from the SDS and the Black Panthers to the Weathermen and uncovers the ways in which she lost her bearings once she rose up in the echelons of power within the movement, and especially while living as a fugitive from the law.

In Flying Close to the Sun, Wilkerson confronts that fine line between creating social change and making chaos. While underground she learned to make bombs properly in a frustrated rage over her friends' deaths and the state of the world, falling back on the Weathermen's rationale that fighting violence with violence was the only viable tactic. After years of building to this point in her activist life, she spent the subsequent decades reworking her approach to creating change. In the end, Wilkerson has come to very different conclusions than her peers and has written of her life, social responsibility, and the burdens of history.

Wilkerson's writing conveys the urgency of the time as well as the 1960s slogan that all politics is personal. Library Journal

Unsparingly maps the idealism, fanaticism, moral absolutism and person passions that carried her to the town house [explosion]. New York Times

Clear-sighted, self-critical yet unapologetic account....[A] gracefully Flying Close to the Sun is, above all else, a well-written record of Wilkerson's evolving beliefs a point-by-point memoir of innumerable arguments with herself over political philosophies and innovations. Boston Phoenix

A sweeping story, it eloquently details the motives and miscalculations that, however flawed, aimed to start a revolution. Brooklyn Rail

[A] sobering, compelling story for our times. Bust Magazine

Cathy Wilkerson's memoir, Flying Close to the Sun, offers a compelling cautionary tale of what comes from mistaking revolution for a moral choice. The Nation

No one claiming to be compassionate, progressive or even revolutionary should fail to read Flying Close to the Sun, a bolt of sunshine Cathy Wilkerson delivers us. With heartbreaking humility, Cathy recalls glorious days and hard lessons, at once revealing how heavy is the price of real commitment to the struggle for human freedom and that it is a price worth paying. This is a riveting, lyrically told memoir that defines a life worth living, told by a woman warrior whose purity of spirit transcends all theoretical debates about the Weathermen. Elaine Brown, author of A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story

This thoughtful memoir reveals why American policies provoke violence not only among the wretched of the earth but the privileged of the earth as well, and serves as a warning that America's blind approach to terrorism could prompt a violent response from the least-expected quarters. Tom Hayden, author of Ending the War in Iraq

In this remarkable memoir, Cathy Wilkerson... is honest, critical, yet respectful of the motivations that led herself and others into dreadful mistakes. Most important of all, she still believes that another and better world is possible. Staughton Lynd, author of Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising

Finally, a history of the Weather Underground from a woman participant. This is an elegantly written book by a master storyteller.... Cathy Wilkerson has illuminated the history of a generation, with subtly articulated lessons for the present and future. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960-1975

You'll want to plunge right into Cathy Wilkerson's Flying Close to the Sun. If you're a '60s survivor (as I am), you'll know it's the real thing. Carol Brightman, Truthdig

At times exciting and at other times reflective, Flying Close to the Sun is always captivating Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch

Flying Close to the Sun is a widely-acclaimed memoir by one of the survivors of the 1970 townhouse explosion. This eloquent and unflinching, self-examining female voice challenges and contradicts other accounts. A must-read.

Home & Garden / Arts & Crafts / Woodworking

500 Cabinets: A Showcase of Design & Craftsmanship (500 Series) with senior editor Ray Hemachandra, editor Julie Hale and juror John Grew Sheridan (Lark Crafts)

What makes a cabinet more than simply a practical household object? The craftsmanship and skill a maker puts into his or her work. Cabinets often serve as the signature pieces for furniture makers and the greatest expressions of their artistry.

From a closed hutch and bedside table to cupboards, curios, and a waterfall chest of drawers, the 500 contemporary cabinets in 500 Cabinets showcase the art and craft of fine furniture making. These newly made works celebrate shape, joinery, detailing, color, or the subtle combination of all those qualities. In this collection, juried by leading furniture maker John Grew Sheridan, readers discover the innovative, remarkable artistry of contemporary cabinetry. Sheridan encourages readers to examine the diverse cabinets he has chosen for balance, harmony, tension, unexpected materials, and imagination. According to Sheridan, who teaches at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, in addition to paying tribute to qualities like joinery, detailing, and color, 500 Cabinets celebrates the contradictions that make furniture design such a vibrant medium. The book features a range of aesthetics, many of which work in opposition to each another. As they flip through these pages, readers notice the use of traditional as well as improbable materials, the application of cool logic and unbridled imagination, and a reliance on both balance and imbalance, harmony and tension.

A number of artists included in 500 Cabinets emphasize structure by establishing strong contrasts between a cabinet's exterior and what it conceals. Surface appearances to the contrary, their insides are sophisticated full of cubbyholes, shelves, and compartments. Other cabinets direct the viewer's attention to form through surprising details and sculptural approaches to construction. Old-fashioned craftsmanship and precision remain touchstones for many contemporary furniture artists. The natural color and texture of the materials used maple, cedar, and beech shine through in these cabinets, and each piece has a handsome austerity that allows the purity of the design to speak for itself. Other artists toy with the customary idea of what a cabinet is and use convention as a point of departure. By playing outside the parameters, these artists give us new ways of looking at familiar forms.

Without a doubt, a successful piece of furniture must be driven by both material and concept, and the entries in 500 Cabinets reflect this principle. Serving as juror for the book exposed me to a body of breathtaking work and awakened a new sense of excitement on my part regarding the future of furniture making. An ever-evolving medium with a long history, it remains rich with potential. As this collection proves, the possibilities for design seem limitless. Whether they cleave to tradition or reflect a visionary aesthetic, the cabinets and casework on these pages are all wonderful variations on a functional form. Look them over, and you're sure to view furniture in a new light. Sheridan, from the introduction

Readers will be delighted and astonished as they review the diverse, outstanding collection of 500 works included in the beautifully photographed 500 Cabinets. Whether they are looking at the Mesquite Buffet or the Cone Leg Highboy, these are the creative masterpieces of some of the world's finest professional and amateur furniture designers.

Literature & Fiction / Fantasy

Will Power by A. J. Hartley (Tor Books)

From New York Times bestselling author, Shakespearean scholar, screenwriter and director A.J. Hartley, Will Power is a stand-alone fantasy featuring the characters readers grew to love in Act of Will. The British-born Hartley is the Distinguished Professor of Shakespeare in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

While on the run from Empire guards, young actor Will Hawthorne and his band of adventurers are transported by forces beyond their control to a mysterious land that none of them recognize or know how to get home from. Turns out that they've landed right in the middle of a battle between goblins and humans. Their human allies are practically storybook counterparts to the rough sorts they knew in Stavis, speaking in high-flown prose, dressed to the height of fashion, and dripping with wealth and social propriety. Will's companions are quite taken by these fine folks, but the Fair Folk are appalled by Will's unorthodoxy.
In Will Power, at first Will does whatever he can to try to squirm into their good graces, but just when his efforts are feeling totally futile, he begins to wonder if these too-perfect courtiers and warriors have anything to offer beyond their glamour and their burning hatred of the goblins. But is there any recourse for Will and his friends once it turns out that the humans who are sheltering them may not be on the right side of their eternal conflict?

Fans of 2009's Act of Will, Hartley's first tale featuring roguish almost-hero Will Hawthorne, may be disappointed that the adventurers split up early on and two don't reappear until late in the story. Fortunately, all of the fast pacing, outrageous dilemmas, and sharp, cynical humor are back in full force. Will and his intermittently traitorous friends are about to be captured by soldiers of the Diamond Empire when a mysterious ambassador smuggles them out of the city and possibly the world. They're almost immediately enmeshed in a war between goblins and the eerily humanlike Fair Folk, where nothing is certain except Will's ability to make a bad situation worse. Fans will dive in with the gusto of Will quaffing a tankard of beer, and new readers should have no problem keeping up. Publishers Weekly

Will Power is a funny and fleet-footed stand-alone fantasy featuring the characters readers from Act of Will in an all-new adventure. Fans of Terry Pratchett and Shakespearean fiction won't want to miss this rollicking adventure about the danger of first impressions.

Literature & Fiction / Historical

Come Again No More: A Novel by Jack Todd (Touchstone)

From the award-winning author of the acclaimed Sun Going Down comes an intimate portrait of a marriage and a family struggling to survive turbulent times in American history Come Again No More. In Sun Going Down, Jack Todd told the story of four generations of the Paint family, from the California Gold Rush in the 1850s up to the Great Depression. The novel was inspired by letters and diary entries from the author's own family. Todd returns with Come Again No More, a more intimate portrait of a family's struggles during a time that strikingly echoes our own.

Come Again No More is a uniquely American story about a family navigating a changing world and the tough choices it presents. The Paint family built an American empire on the legendary strength of their character, wit, and resolve, but the foreclosures, bank failures, and joblessness of the Great Depression may bring their world down around them. The familys foundation is further weakened by a rift running through two generations, scarred over by stubbornness and pain.

The indomitable family patriarch, Eli, owns everything as far as the eye can see, but there is an emptiness in his heart. After a dramatic accident leaves him struggling for life, he must reckon with the decisions he made that separated him from the daughter he loved most. A chance for redemption presents itself in his granddaughter Emaline. Eli has faced his own mortality many times, but his pride seems to have a death grip on him.

Emaline marries Jake, a womanizing prizefighter who promises to help her realize her dream of making a life on a farm. But Jakes inner demons and nature itself conspire against Emalines fierce determination to make their marriage work. Life sends Emaline many joys when she least expects them, but ultimately, she must make tough decisions about holding on and letting go.

Compelling... the novel based on Todd's family history conveys the tenacity and distress of Americans caught in the vise of the Great Depression. Publishers Weekly

Come Again No More is a bittersweet novel, a moving portrayal of a familys triumphs and tragedies paralleling the glories and shameful underbelly of a nation struggling through the Great Depression. Eli and Emaline learn what matters most and fight to preserve it with a strength of spirit that will capture the hearts of readers.

Literature & Fiction / Historical

The Wild Mustard Greens by C. W. Eagle (Vantage Press)

The Wild Mustard Greens is the story of a boy who is the child of migrant workers. The fictional character Zarco and his family have spent years traversing California, picking nature's bounty wherever the work took them. As the Great Depression takes hold, and as the divide between the haves and the have-nots deepens, life for such working families began to change dramatically.

Author Charlie White-Eagle was born in Los Angeles, California in 1917 the son of a Sioux actor and Wild-West circus performer, and, like the central character in The Wild Mustard Greens, worked for years as a migrant child on farms throughout the state. After joining the U.S. Army in 1940, Eagle served in World War II in the Pacific Theatre and was then called to serve again in the Korean War. Under the G.I. Bill, Eagle studied at the University of California at Berkeley until he dropped out of school after being offered a job with the Bridge Department of California at the burgeoning of the state's freeway system. He retired as an associate engineer after some thirty years of service.

In The Wild Mustard Greens, wild mustard greens are one of many commodity crops picked by migrant laborers in California. For Zarco, the back roads of California farm country have been as familiar to him as his own backyard if he'd ever had a backyard, that is. Zarco and his family traverse the state year after year picking tomatoes in the mild climate of San Diego, corn and walnuts in Bellflower, watermelons in the San Fernando Valley, grapes in San Joaquin, and mustard greens in Delores going wherever the work is. Although the faces change in each camp, familiar elements bind Zarco's days: there are the Mexican-American dances, warm tacos cooking on the cumuli and the security of sleeping under the cool, starry sky. A hardscrabble life, but Zarco, a free spirit, is always eager to greet the next day.

But in the 1930s, things begin to change for migrant families. As the Great Depression begins to take hold and its calamitous effects including a flirtation with Communism begin to be felt, Zarco is caught in the grip of forces he can neither control nor understand.

The Wild Mustard Greens is an unforgettable portrait of a bygone period in American history that seems particularly relevant today. The book vividly and poignantly describes the transient childhood working in the fields. While the book's theme is about a young laborer and his family as they follow the harvest from camp to camp, The Wild Mustard Greens is also a serious reminder as to just how easily a great democratic nation such as ours can become divided.

Outdoors & Nature / Conservation

The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada: Activism, Policy, and Contested Science by Nathan Young and Ralph Matthews (UBC Press)

The farming of aquatic organisms is one of the most promising but controversial new industries in Canada. The industry has the potential to solve food supply problems, but critics believe it poses unacceptable threats to human health, local communities, and the environment. The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada is not about the methods and techniques of aquaculture but an exploration of the controversy itself.

Rather than picking sides, Nathan Young, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Ottawa, and Ralph Matthews, Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at McMaster University, draw on extensive research to determine why the issue has been the centre of intense debate in Canada. They argue that the conflict is both unique, reflecting the specific history of coastal and resource development in Canada, and rooted in major unresolved questions confronting democratic societies around the world: the environment, rights, knowledge, development, and governance. The inability of the industry and its advocates to address the complexities of the controversy, they argue, has given a powerful advantage to aquaculture's opponents and fuelled the debate.

Aquaculture, or the farming of aquatic organisms, has been hailed as a potential solution to serious environmental and food supply problems stemming from global overfishing. To critics, however, it has a dark side that poses unacceptable threats to the environment, human health, and local stakeholders. This conflict has mushroomed over the past several decades to become one of the most bitter and stubborn face-offs over industrial development ever witnessed in Canada. The aquaculture industry and its critics are currently locked in a political and cultural struggle that reaches across courtrooms, laboratories, governments, newsrooms, scholarly journals, and virtual and street-level activism.

In The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada, it is not Young and Matthews intention to reach conclusions about the desirability or sustainability of Canada's aquaculture industry. Rather, they draw on several major research initiatives that they have undertaken over a seven-year period, to present a much-needed analysis of why the controversy exists and how it is perpetuated.

The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada has two aims. First, Young and Matthews analyze the contours of the aquaculture controversy in Canada to ask what it is about the collision of interests and claims concerning this industry that is so contentious and divisive. Second, they explain the controversy by investigating how aquaculture fits in with some of the broader dilemmas and contradictions facing Canada and the world today. They argue that aquaculture has become symbolic of many things to many different people and groups. It has become a metaphor for difficult questions about the collision of humanity and environment, notions of rights and justice, and the rise of intense local/global interactions and conflicts. Understanding the aquaculture controversy in Canada, therefore, also has relevance beyond this sector and beyond Canada. One of the reasons why aquaculture is so controversial in Canada is that it is a latecomer a new claimant to already fragile ecological, economic; and cultural spaces.

According to The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada, at its most basic, aquaculture involves extending the principles of agriculture to marine environments. It typically encompasses the commercial husbandry of fish, plants, and/or shellfish in contained or semi-contained spaces in fresh or ocean waters. For swimming fish or finfish, this usually involves the suspension of nets in nearshore ocean waters, or more simply the stocking of small lakes and pools for later harvest. Shellfish aquaculture usually involves the seeding of artificial habitat (such as bags or socks that are suspended from pontoons) that is then enclosed as private property.

Aquaculture is an ancient activity, and has been practiced for millennia in parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe. The current global controversy over aquaculture is therefore really a controversy over newer, industrial-scale aquaculture. For proponents, aquaculture is simply following the path of terrestrial agriculture, which underwent a green revolution in the latter half of the twentieth century, in which family farms gave way in many parts of the world to consolidated or factory-farms that increased productivity from the land by creating economies of scale and investing heavily in irrigation, fertilizers, and pesticides. For supporters of the industry, aquaculture promises a similar blue revolution that can harness the full productive potential of marine spaces while reducing pressures on rapidly depleting wild fish stocks. For many opponents, however, large-scale aquaculture represents an unjustifiable privatization and industrialization of the oceans. Marine ecosystems are complex and mobile, and cannot be enclosed or isolated from the environmental effects of aquaculture. In opponents' view, high-intensity aquaculture (particularly shrimp and salmon farming) are serious intrusions that may disrupt or destroy ecosystems that are already fragile from years of exploitation and pollution.

While criticisms of shellfish and freshwater aquaculture are becoming more common, salmon aquaculture is the primary target of activism. Environmentalist groups and other opponents routinely accuse the salmon aquaculture industry of causing serious environmental damage, threatening human health, and violating stakeholder rights. Supporters of salmon aquaculture have countered these allegations primarily by arguing that the industry has a minimal environmental footprint and is a major source of employment and stability in economically distressed coastal communities.

The thesis of The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada is that the aquaculture controversy is both unique and rooted in some of the major unresolved questions about environment, development, rights, and governance confronting democratic societies around the world. This analysis is made in three main parts.

Part 1 (Chapters 1 and 2) develops the argument that the aquaculture industry and controversy in Canada are being shaped by the intersection of multiple economic, political, and cultural developments that are unfolding both in coastal regions and in the broader Canadian and global society. In a sense, the industry itself has been guilty of inviting these associations. By claiming that aquaculture can save coastal communities suffering from economic recession and alleviate environmental problems (such as overfishing), the industry itself opened the door for these themes to enter the debate. By casting itself as an economic and environmental problem solver, the industry may have married itself to the problem. This association with some of the most urgent challenges facing coastal Canada leads Young and Matthews to argue that aquaculture has become a metaphor for a myriad of hopes and fears facing coastal stakeholders and concerned citizens elsewhere in the country.

Part 2 (Chapters 3, 4, and 5) of The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada examines knowledge and communications conflicts about aquaculture. Chapter 3 looks at different ways in which science, narrative, and communications strategies are mobilized by activists on all sides of the debate to try to influence public opinion. Chapter 4 looks at data from the survey of aquaculture experts in Canada to examine how individual scientists understand the controversy and their own roles in it. Chapter 5 examines media coverage of aquaculture in Canada. Both supporters and opponents of aquaculture regularly complain that media coverage is biased against their position. Among the most significant findings is that industry voices appear most frequently in media coverage (they are quoted more often than any other group), but that oppositional themes, particularly regarding environmental risks and harms, are much more common than pro-aquaculture themes. This suggests that while industry voices appear to be dominant, they are often being quoted regarding the problems of aquaculture rather than its benefits.

Part 3 (Chapters 6 and 7) examines the political economy of Canadian aquaculture. Chapter 6 looks at the effects of aquaculture on rural economies. Using their survey of aquaculture firms in Canada, The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada addresses the contentious issues of employment and job quality. There are conflicting claims regarding the number of jobs in Canadian aquaculture. Young and Matthews own estimates based on the survey come in at the lower end of the spectrum (between 5,000 and 6,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal jobs Canada-wide). They also find evidence, however, that many aquaculture jobs, particularly in salmon aquaculture, are relatively high paying and stable. Chapter 6 also examines the relationship between aquaculture firms and local economies. The research finds strong evidence that aquaculture firms make significant use of local services through direct contracts and other, informal means. The study of the business community in Port Hardy also finds that few businesses feel that they have been harmed by the aquaculture industry.

Chapter 7 addresses contentious issues surrounding the governance of aquaculture in Canada. The first pressure is economic; the second, environmental; and the third has to do with the legitimacy crisis facing the industry. In order to deal with this triple pressure, federal and provincial governments have mobilized both traditional and innovative policy responses. On the traditional side, governments have created numerous generous subsidy programs to reduce industry costs and thus enhance competitiveness. Alongside these, however, governments have also moved (in limited fashion) to implement principles of what has been called smart regulation, results-based regulation, or self-regulation, which put greater onus on the industry to participate in aquaculture policy development and to monitor environmental compliance.

The concluding chapter of The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada argues that the aquaculture controversy in Canada is about more than it seems. Aquaculture has become a make-or-break issue for many interests on all sides of the debate. While the debate itself is often highly technical, Young and Matthews argue that the controversy endures largely because it has come to mean so many different things to different people. The controversy is similar to an enormous labyrinth, where players hold long-term visions and goals for the future of aquaculture but are forced into immediate actions and reactions that lead in unpredictable directions.

This book successfully negotiates the minefield of partisan positions and provides a clear way to grasp the multidimensional character of the aquaculture controversy. Jeremy Rayner, Political Science, University of Regina

The authors have done an excellent job of presenting the aquaculture story in Canada, especially in BC. They provide an enormous amount of basic information and analysis that permits readers to evaluate key issues such as the extent to which the social and environmental impacts of aquaculture should lead to its expansion or demise. Peter Sinclair, Sociology, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Comprehensive and balanced, The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada addresses one of the most contentious public policy and environmental issues facing the world today.

The book explores the issues at the heart of the aquaculture controversy the relationship between humanity and the environment, notions of rights and justice, and the rise of intense local-global interactions and conflicts. It will appeal to anyone interested in environmental controversies, public policy, natural resources, or coastal issues. It is likely to resonate in many parts of the world dealing with new industries and development in an age of globalization, environmentalism, and the assertion of local rights.

Outdoors & Nature / Conservation

The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Prairie Restoration in the Upper Midwest (Bur Oak Guide) by Daryl Smith, Dave Williams, Greg Houseal, and Kirk Henderson (Iowa University Press)

Although less than 3 percent of the original vast landscape survives, the tallgrass prairie remains a national treasure, glowing with a vast array of colorful wildflowers in spring and summer, enriched by the warm reds and browns of grasses in fall and winter. While no one can recreate the original blacksoil prairie, tallgrass prairie restoration offers the opportunity to reverse environmental damage and provide for the recovery of vital aspects of this lost ecosystem.

The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Prairie Restoration in the Upper Midwest crafted by the staff of the Tallgrass Prairie Center at the University of Northern Iowa, is a companion manual for everyone dedicated to planning, developing, and maintaining all types of prairie restorations and reconstructions in the tallgrass prairie region of Iowa, northern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, southwestern Wisconsin, southwestern Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, eastern Nebraska, northwestern Missouri, and northeastern Kansas.

Authors are staff at the Tallgrass Prairie Center: Daryl Smith is the founding director and professor of biology and science education at the University of Northern Iowa, Dave Williams is the special projects coordinator, Greg Houseal is the program manager for the Iowa Ecotype Project at the Tallgrass Prairie Center, and Kirk Henderson manages the University of Northern Iowa Roadside Program for the Tallgrass Prairie Center

Focusing on conservation plantings, prairie recovery, native landscaping in yards and at schools, roadside plantings, and pasture renovations, the authors who collectively have more than a hundred years of experience with prairie restoration have created a manual for landowners, conservation agency personnel, ecosystem managers, native-seeding contractors, prairie enthusiasts, teachers, and roadside managers. A wealth of color and black-and-white photographs taken in the field as well as checklists and tables support the detailed text, which also includes online and print sources and references, a glossary, and lists of common and scientific names of all plant species discussed.

The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Prairie Restoration in the Upper Midwest is divided into five parts. Part I, Reconstruction Planning, provides an overall summary of the entire process, information about securing good-quality seed, and the design of seed mixes. In Part II, Implementing Reconstruction, the authors consider ways to prepare and seed the site, manage the site in its first growing season, identify seedlings, and evaluate success. Part III, Prairie Restoration and Management, deals with identifying and assessing prairie remnants, working toward a predetermined restoration goal, and managing restored prairie remnants and completed reconstructions, including prescribed burning. Chapters in Part IV, Special Cases, discuss the uses of prairie in public spaces, roadside vegetation management, and landscaping on a smaller scale in yards and outdoor classrooms. Part V, Native Seed Production, describes the processes of harvesting, drying, cleaning, and storing native seed as well as propagating and transplanting native seedlings.

This manual, by four of the most knowledgeable prairie restorationists in the Upper Midwest, brings together absolutely everything that anyone, regardless of background, needs to know for proper tallgrass prairie restoration. In addition to chapters on everything from planning to implementing to managing a prairie, chapters on native seed production and restoring prairies in public spaces and along roadsides cover all that is necessary for successful prairie restorations. This book is an absolute must for anyone in the business of prairie restoration as well as a great read for any prairie enthusiast. Robert H. Mohlenbrock, distinguished professor emeritus of botany, Southern Illinois University

The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Prairie Restoration in the Upper Midwest is a comprehensive manual. Anyone in the Upper Midwest who wishes to improve water quality, reduce flood damage, support species diversity, preserve animal habitats, and enjoy the changing panorama of grasses and wildflowers will benefit from the clear, careful text and the copious illustrations in this authoritative guide.

Outdoors & Nature / Conservation / Science / Environmental Science

Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife, and Habitat Connectivity edited by Jon P. Beckmann, Anthony P. Clevenger, Marcel P. Huijser, and Jodi A. Hilty, with a foreword by Richard T.T. Forman (Island Press)

As human activities continue to spread across the globe, infrastructure such as roads facilitates this expanding human footprint. New roads also inevitably lead to higher rates of human access in areas that were previously relatively more remote. Roads, both a result of the expanding footprint and a driver in human expansion, are a leading cause of habitat fragmentation and the resulting loss of connectivity throughout the world and particularly in North America.

Safe Passages brings together the latest information on the emerging science of road ecology as it relates to mitigating interactions between roads and wildlife. This handbook of tools and examples is designed to assist individuals and organizations thinking about or working toward reducing road-wildlife impacts. The book provides:

  • An overview of the importance of habitat connectivity with regard to roads.
  • Current planning approaches and technologies for mitigating the impacts of highways on both terrestrial and aquatic species.
  • Different facets of public participation in highway-wildlife connectivity mitigation projects.
  • Case studies from partnerships across North America that highlight successful on-the-ground implementation of ecological and engineering solutions.
  • Recent innovative highway-wildlife mitigation developments.

In Safe Passages, detailed case studies span a range of scales, from site-specific wildlife crossing structures, to statewide planning for habitat connectivity, to national legislation. Contributors explore the cooperative efforts that are emerging as a result of diverse organizations including transportation agencies, land and wildlife management agencies, and nongovernmental organizations finding common ground to tackle important road ecology issues and problems.

Editors include Jon P. Beckmann, associate conservation scientist for the Wildlife Conservation Society and affiliated professor at Idaho State University; Anthony P. Clevenger, senior wildlife research scientist at the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University; Marcel P. Huijser, research road ecologist at the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University; and Jodi A. Hilty, director of the Wildlife Conservation Societys North America Program.

Road ecology, a relatively new sub-discipline of ecology, centers on understanding the interactions between road systems and the natural environment. Scientific information is scattered across a variety of disciplines: civil engineering, conservation biology, landscape ecology, wildlife management, and many others.

Safe Passages describes the ingredients of working in successful partnerships to achieve common highway mitigation goals to enhance wildlife conservation even when agencies and conservationists may have differing missions, goals, and objectives.

There are other resources on road ecology available elsewhere, and this book does not attempt to duplicate those efforts. Rather, the purpose of this book is to offer a practical handbook of tools and examples that may assist individuals and organizations thinking about or engaging in reducing road-wildlife impacts, with particular focus on providing insight into habitat connectivity across highways for wildlife, both terrestrial and aquatic. The editors focus on highways because they have the largest ecological footprint, receive the highest use by motorists, and are generally better funded than lower-volume roads to implement mitigation solutions.

The first part of Safe Passages begins with an abbreviated overview (chapter 1) of the importance of connectivity as related to roads. The three following chapters (chapters 2 through 4) review and synthesize current methods of planning approaches and technologies for mitigating the impacts of highways on both terrestrial and aquatic species. In the second part of the book the contributing authors explore the different facets of public participation in highway-wildlife connectivity mitigation projects. Public involvement has increased across North America, national legislation has changed, and there are more opportunities for nongovernmental organizations, communities, and interested individuals to become involved. This second part starts with chapter 5 on progressive planning and what a leading state did to incorporate transportation with concerns for biodiversity and habitat connectivity. Chapter 6 explores public participation from both transportation agency and public interest perspectives. The editors intent is to stimulate better understanding and communication between transportation agencies and public interest groups to arrive at mutually desired highway mitigation outcomes in future transportation plans and projects.

The third part of Safe Passages provides a series of case studies from a variety of partnerships throughout North America highlighting successful implementation of ecological and engineering solutions on the ground. The case studies in chapters 7 through 13 elucidate the cooperative efforts that are emerging as a result of transportation agencies, land and wildlife management agencies, and nongovernmental organizations finding common ground. These examples illustrate varied approaches to developing partnerships, the rationale, unique circumstances that hindered or assisted implementation, the outcomes, and lessons learned from each project. Additionally, each case study chapter discusses any new standards that were developed for the participating agencies as a result of the project.

The fourth and final part of Safe Passages comprises four chapters that describe some recent innovative highway-wildlife mitigation developments. Chapter 14 reviews a project that employed citizen-based science using cutting edge Web technology. Chapter 15 describes how a local tax initiative to support wildlife connectivity including road crossing structures came into being. Chapter 16, a review of available and emerging technologies, may assist those interested in pursuing road-wildlife mitigation projects in the future. Finally, in chapter 17, the editors synthesize emerging themes and lessons from the book. They discuss recommended information needs and future directions as well as improvements of public-private partnerships.

The authors of Safe Passages offer a comprehensive, state-of-the-art synthesis of road ecology, skillfully integrating conservation science, policy, and transportation planning. This book delivers the powerful and hopeful message that it is possible to resolve complex environmental issues through cooperation, collaboration, and coordination. It is essential reading for students and practitioners engaged in developing creative solutions for mitigating the negative impacts of roads on wildlife. Sharon K. Collinge, Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, author of Ecology of Fragmented Landscapes

Wildlife corridors and transportation corridors are literally the collision crossroads of ecology and economy. At this intersection lies one of the greatest conservation challenges of our time aligning the needs of wildlife to move through landscapes for their survival with the needs of people to move to sustain their livelihoods. Safe Passages documents stories of conservation hope and success. Wildlife actually cross the road. Gary M. Tabor, Director, Center for Large Landscape Conservation

Ironically, an increasing proportion of human interactions with wildlife are from the very vehicles that daily litter roadsides with carcasses. This book is a practical guide to a problem that must be solved. Hugh Possingham, Professor of Ecology and Professor of Mathematics, University of Queensland, Australia

Safe Passages thoughtfully explains the importance of integrating wildlife concerns into the transportation project development process and makes a sound case for working collaboratively to minimize the effects of roads on the natural environment. Don't just read this important book consider it a call to action to save what we truly treasure. Mary E. Gray, Environmental Protection Specialist, Federal Highway Administration

Safe Passages is a practical handbook. This book can be a helpful resource as more individuals and organizations focus their attention on ameliorating the impacts of roads on wildlife mortalities, landscape connectivity, aquatic passageways, and other conservation priorities. It will provide transportation and resource management professionals and other stake-holders with a common toolbox of potential measures for mitigating the effects of highways on both terrestrial wildlife and aquatic species.

Safe Passages will be useful to a diverse audience, ranging from transportation professionals to conservation activists, land managers, fish and wildlife agency personnel, and policy makers brought together by a common interest in the conservation of species and their habitats by reducing the impacts of roads. The content may appeal to a broad audience of academic and practicing scientists; agency biologists; county, state, and federal planners; private, state, and federal land managers; private sector transportation consultants; graduate and advanced undergraduate students interested in road ecology; conservation organizations participating in transportation planning and projects; local, regional, and federal policy makers, and local citizens engaging in road-wildlife mitigation projects.

Philosophy / Sociology

Communicology: The New Science of Embodied Discourse edited by Deborah Eicher-Catt and Isaac E. Catt (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press)

In the social sciences, communication is often ignored or treated as a means to more substantive ends. Moreover, much work within discourse study proceeds on deeply held, culturally embedded ontological and epistemological assumptions about communication. Uncritical approaches to communication and discourse prevail. Communicology provides an alternative to readers curious about the fundamental nature of human communication rather than viewing this phenomenon as the mere vehicle for referents or thoughts.

Working within the European human science tradition and the philosophy of American pragmatism, the contributors included in Communicology apply a synthesis of semiotics and phenomenology to the study of the cultural and social conditions of communication. Framed by the themes of human agency and efficacy, these essays focus on the realms of conscious experience in intrapersonal communicology (the self-domain), interpersonal communicology (self-other domain), social communicology (group-organization domain), and cultural communicology (group-to-group domain, including mass media and trans-cultural communication).

Editors are Deborah Eicher-Catt, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University-York and Isaac E. Catt, author and founding member and Fellow of the International Communicology Institute. All contributors are elected Fellows or Scholars of the International Communicology Institute. The purpose of Communicology is to describe communicology by focusing on the core issues of agency and efficacy in human affairs. Most central to the book's theme is the idea that the signs and codes of which discourse consists impose constraints upon human agency and efficacy; yet signs and codes are also instrumental in our lives. Discourse constrains choice but is also the only means for its exercise of human potential. Above all, the contributors in this collection know that communication is a possibility, not a probability, of human expression and information exchange. They expose the semiotic and phenomenological conditions upon which that possibility is actualized.

According to the Catts in the introduction to Communicology, exhibiting postmodern theory, communicology is an idea whose time has come. At its heart of the designation is the refusal of the dominant Logos of discourse (as exemplified in most social science studies of communication) as the only legitimate expression of the humane. Communicology designates a holistic approach to communication, encompassing information theory and the diverse fragments of the field. It accomplishes this approach by calling attention to the fact that communication is first of all and inevitably a lived experience of the human body. Communicology is, therefore, a coherent theory and methodology that explores the existential ground from which subjectivity and intersubjectivity emerge as an embodied semiotic process.

Embodiment of signs has become more difficult to expose and comprehend, as the complexity and subtlety of semiotic constraints become part and parcel of the taken-for-granted information age. More than ever, there is a need to realize that, far from being identical with communication, information may further obfuscate or preclude communication. Foremost, communicologists know that communication is a possibility, not a probability, of human expression and information exchange. Each of the chapters in the book speaks to these issues.

Communicology is divided into four parts addressing, in turn, the levels described above. There are two exemplary research reports at each level. Moving from the self domain of intrapersonal existence to the intergroup domain of culture, contributors explore the theme of agency and efficacy in communicology. All the contributors are communicologists who employ semiotic phenomenology, through variations on a similar paradigmatic methodology, but with methods adapted to their specific research projects. All concentrate their work on issues of embodiment and disembodiment and provide constructive alternative perspectives to the dominant regime of communication.

In part 1, Frank J. Macke and Eric E. Peterson concern themselves with intrapersonal communicology. At this level of discourse, some of the primary concerns include thought processes, identity formation, subjectivity, embodiment, and consciousness. Both articles are very much focused on embodiment. Each author draws a contrast of communicology with dominant methodologies by which we typically understand everyday discourse.

In "Intrapersonal Communicology: Reflection, Reflexivity, and Relational Consciousness in Embodied Subjectivity," Macke describes the intersubjective matrix in which subjectivity is nested by juxtaposing George Herbert Mead's views with continental philosophy. The second essay, "My body Lies over the Keyboard: Agency and Efficacy in Weblog Storytelling" is Peterson's examination of the order of expression in relation to the order of experience, a recursion that implicates the body's participation in "Weblogging."

Part 2 of Communicology takes readers from the self-domain of intrapersonal to the self-other domain of interpersonal relations. At this level of discourse, primary concerns revolve around the self/same and other/different ratio. How is a self distinguished from others while creating a continuity of relations? The two authors here tack back and forth between the cultural semiotic and the embodied phenomenological, dual aspects of conscious experience. Semiotics reveals what we have in common, but equal in importance is what we phenomenologically experience as embodied and distinctive. In "Agency and Efficacy in Interpersonal Communication: Particularity as Once-Occurrence and Noninterchangeability," Corey Anton emphasizes the importance of the unique, singular, and existential in interpersonal communicology. Richard Lanigan describes "Verbal and Nonverbal Codes in Communicology: The Foundation of Interpersonal Agency and Efficacy" in the succeeding essay.

Part 3 moves from the interpersonal to the group-organizational domain of social communicology. At this level of discourse, in addition to the problematics forecast by the previous two levels, the contributors are interested in how the complex interrelationships within organizations and institutions are intrapersonally and interpersonally negotiated. The two essays here thus illustrate communicology as a critical theory of discourse. Both authors are interested in revealing what philosopher and social theorist Pierre Bourdieu has called the illusio, the discursive system beneath the everyday lies that we must tell ourselves to maintain and propagate the structure and institutionalized order of things. In "Communication Is Not a Skill: Critique of Communication Pedagogy as Narcissistic Expression," Isaac E. Catt interrogates the commonsense assumption, reflected in the academy, that communication is identical with self-expression. In "Delegitimizing Violence: Resistance as Communicative Practice in Authoritarian Regimes," Andrew Smith explores issues of symbolic violence and possible emancipatory resistance strategies within restrictive governmental regimes, especially relying on his fieldwork in Morocco.

Part 4 of Communicology brings us into the intergroup cultural domain of discourse. At this level of discourse, the authors are concerned primarily with the interrelations established between and among members of cultural groups including how cultural values, attitudes, and beliefs shape daily existence and how intersubjective communicative praxis shapes culture. The two articles representing this level have different themes, but they are illustrative of how a communicologist might conceive the interplay of the cultural and the personal. Both chapters interweave the public and private spheres of influence.

From the very beginning of communication inquiry in the modern era, the metaphor of health was central to understanding the human experience of communication. Igor Klyukanov reminds us of this repressed metaphor in "Culture in the Context of Communicology." Continuing analysis of the cultural-public sphere, two feminist communicologists, Deborah Eicher-Catt and Jane S. Sutton, explore tropology, the logic of tropes, in "A Communicology of the Oval Office as Figural Rhetoric: Women, the Presidency, and a Politics of the Body."

This first anthology of its kind offers a new way of thinking about communication that moves beyond normative perspectives. The eight essays presented in Communicology are examples of communicology, committed to bracketing the dominant paradigm's commonsense understanding of communication as merely a fact of life. Exhibiting postmodern theory, communicology is an idea whose time has come. The extraordinary depth of philosophical and interdisciplinary theoretical grounding of the communicologists who contributed to Communicology is readily apparent in a brief perusal of the bibliographies for each chapter of this book. Each contributor makes a unique and erudite contribution, illustrating communicology's range of inquiry to be identical with the range of conscious experience and human behavior.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Church History

Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings by James R. Payton (IVP Academic)

Most students of history know that Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the Wittenberg Church door and that John Calvin penned the Institutes of the Christian Religion. However, the Reformation did not unfold in the straightforward, monolithic fashion some may think. It was, in fact, a messy affair.
Using the most current Reformation scholarship, James R. Payton, professor of history at Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario, in Getting the Reformation Wrong exposes, challenges and corrects some common misrepresentations of the Reformation, including:

  • The medieval Catholic Church was monolithic and moribund.
  • The Renaissance was strictly a human-centered movement.
  • The Reformation progressed rapidly and smoothly.
  • The Reformers were in agreement about most theological issues.
  • Sola scriptura means Scripture is our only religious authority.
  • Protestant scholasticism was a return to doctrinal faithfulness.
  • The Reformation was a uniform success.

Payton, Reformation historian and Christian scholar, says he has encountered enough misinformation and half-truth regarding the Reformation to suggest that the Reformers themselves would be surprised and disappointed to hear their life's work misapplied to the situation of the twenty-first-century church. He offers students, pastors and lay leaders a resource for apprehending the Reformation for themselves, and for rightly applying to today's church lessons learned in the sixteenth century.

Since the Reformation succeeded in rescuing the gospel message from the clutter which had piled up to obscure it, we have readily idealized the Reformation and, unaware of its history, treated it almost mythically. Idealizing the development of the Reformation and how the Reformers related to each other ends up distancing them from what goes on among us in the hurly-burly of life in the twenty-first century. Payton says that too often we have seized on these principles of the Reformation and isolated them from the questions the Reformers were dealing with, complicated questions about religious authority and about the basis for our justification which had been wrestled with in medieval Christianity for more than two centuries.

He concludes Getting the Reformation Wrong by labeling the Reformation as both a triumph and a tragedy. In reclaiming the apostolic message and proclaiming it anew, the Reformation sought to purify the church but ended up splitting it. The Reformation set the pattern: Protestants split not only from Rome but also from each other Lutherans versus Reformed with each segment going on to split into further rival bodies, which then split again and again. By our day, this has resulted in multiplied thousands of Protestant denominations. This is a tragic legacy of the Reformation, since it undermines the credibility of the apostolic message.

Getting the Reformation Wrong gets the Reformation right. All students of the Reformation, whether academic or just interested, must read this book. Roger Olson, Truett Theological Seminary

Dr. Payton's new book, Getting the Reformation Wrong, is a refreshing and stimulating look at the events of the sixteenth century and their implications. He combines a solid understanding of the scholarship with a sensitivity to the faith issues involved. Helen Vreugdenhil, Redeemer University College

The book proves to be a lively narrative that tells the story of the most important epoch in the history of the church in a clear, understandable, unfussy manner, yet one rich in detail. I appreciate especially Payton's sober conclusion on the tragic elements of what the sixteenth century wrought. Walter Sundberg, Luther Seminary

Getting the Reformation Wrong presents a responsible, up-to-date, accessible, appreciative assessment of the sixteenth-century Reformation and should prove insightful for readers whether or not they are members of any of the religious bodies that arose out of that movement. It builds on the wealth of careful Reformation scholarship of the last few generations. Each of the chapters in the book draws on the wide-ranging and insightful investigations that have shaped contemporary scholarly assessments of and perspectives on the Reformation. What this volume offers is a presentation of their assessments on a variety of basic questions and topics, which are so widely held that they seem unlikely to be challenged or changed through further research.

Getting the Reformation Wrong is intended for readers from Christian backgrounds who recognize their roots in and look positively on the Reformation of the sixteenth century. It is written for use in Christian university or college upper-level courses on the Reformation in departments of history or religion and theology, as well as for more introductory courses on the history of Western civilization or religion courses that deal with the Reformation. The book is also for church pastors whose preaching or other teaching refers or appeals to the Reformation, as well as teachers in church settings who offer catechetical or other instruction in church history or the Reformation. Many in the larger Lutheran, Reformed/Calvinistic, Free Church and other Protestant communities, as well as interested Roman Catholics, will find the book of interest.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Protestantism / Theology

A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life by J. I. Packer (Crossway Books)

The suggestion that we need the Puritans may prompt some lifting of eyebrows. What could these zealots give us that we need, it is asked.

The answer, in one word, is maturity. Maturity is a compound of wisdom, goodwill, resilience, and creativity. The Puritans exemplified maturity; we don't. They were great believers, great hopers, great doers, and great sufferers. But their sufferings, both sides of the ocean (in old England from the authorities and in New England from the elements), seasoned and ripened them till they gained a stature that was nothing short of heroic. Ease and luxury do not make for maturity; hardship and struggle however do, and the Puritans' battles against the spiritual and climatic wildernesses in which God set them produced a virility of character, undaunted and unsinkable, rising above discouragement and fears, for which the true precedents and models are men like Moses, and Nehemiah, and Peter after Pentecost, and the apostle Paul. from the book

A Quest for Godliness explores the depth and breadth of Puritan spiritual life. Drawing on a lifetime of study, J.I. Packer, Board of Governors Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, surveys the lives and teachings of great Puritan leaders such as John Owen, Richard Baxter, and Jonathan Edwards. He examines the Puritan view of the Bible, spiritual gifts, the Sabbath, worship, social action, and the family. The Puritans faith, Packer argues, stands in marked contrast with the superficiality of modern western Christianity.

In A Quest for Godliness, J. I. Packer paints a vivid portrait of Puritans their piety, church life, and social impulse providing a model of passionate, holy living for today's often-complacent church. Packer's characteristically lucid style and penetrating insights into Christians of old send a vibrant challenge to those of us who follow Christ in this last decade of the twentieth century. I heartily recommend this book. Charles Colson, Founder, Prison Fellowship

Dr. Packer has blended theology, biography, history, and practical exhortation in a book that is a delight to read. But even more, the book speaks to our contemporary church situation and causes us to search our hearts and examine our ministries. Whether you are just getting acquainted with the Puritans or are a long-time friend, A Quest for Godliness will instruct and inspire you. Here is solid spiritual food that contributes to maturity. Warren W. Wiersbe, Retired General Director, Back to the Bible

A rich vision of the Christian life is presented in Packers survey of great Puritan leaders and their teachings. Beautifully written, A Quest for Godliness is a moving and challenging exploration of Puritan life and thought. In a time of failing vision and decaying values, this powerful portrait may offer a beacon of hope that calls readers to radical commitment and action, both desperately needed today.

Religion & Spirituality / New Age / Biographies & Memoirs

Fishers of Men: The Gospel of an Ayahuasca Vision Quest by Adam Elenbaas (Jeremy P. Tarcher)

In the tradition of memoirs like Daniel Pinchbeck's 2012 and Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries, Adam Elenbaas's Fishers of Men chronicles his journey from intense self-destruction and crippling depression to self-acceptance, inner awareness, and spiritual understanding, through participation in mind-expanding and healing ayahuasca ceremonies in South America and beyond.
From his troubled and rebellious youth as a Methodist minister's son in Minnesota, to his embracing Christian fundamentalism, to his sex and substance abuse-fueled downward spiral in Chicago and New York, culminating in a depressive breakdown, Elenbaas is plagued by a feeling of emptiness and a desperate search for meaning for most of his young life. After hitting rock bottom at his grandfather's house in rural Michigan, a chance experience with psychedelic mushrooms convinces him that he must change his ways to achieve the sense of peace that he has always desired. As told in Fishers of Men, several subsequent psychedelic experiences inspire him to embark on a quest to South America and take part in a shamanic ceremony, where he consumes ayahuasca, a jungle vine revered for its spiritual properties.
Over the course of nearly forty ayahuasca ceremonies during four years, Elenbaas discovers the truth about his own life and past, and begins to mend himself from the inside out.

Call it a spiritual memoir, a psychedelic memoir or just an eloquent read, Fishers of Men weaves together two threads. The first tracks Elenbaas's harrowing coming of age. The second thread casts light on a vibrant cultural movement a growing renaissance of spiritual seekers who are looking to connect with a worldwide revival of shamanic practices, including the use of entheogenic, or psychedelic, plant substances for religious insight.

Originally from the Twin Cities of Minnesota, Elenbaas currently lives in New York City where he teaches holistic nutrition, yoga and meditation, is the Co-Director of OmWellness, a holistic nutrition counselor training program, and is one of the founding writers/contributing editors of RealtySandwich.com.

[A]n extremely engaging and original take on the traditional coming-of-age memoir, melding Bible-Belt fundamentalism with psychedelic revelation. Daniel Pinchbeck, bestselling author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl

Adam Elenbaas has given us a beautifully written and powerfully honest narrative of an ayahuasca pilgrimage, a vision quest through his tangled and painful family history, his addictions and failures, and his ultimate arrival at something very much like redemption.... There is a growing literature documenting the gradual absorption of ayahuasca shamanism into North American culture; this profoundly personal book is sure to be one of its classics. Stephan V. Beyer, author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon

In this memoir of his relationship with ayahuasca, Adam Elenbaas manages to balance his way along a spiritual tightrope between Christianity and shamanic tradition, flesh and soul, holding on and letting go, hallucination and reality, his family and the universe, mind and heart, catharsis and illumination exploring his own inner space with considerable honesty and insight. Paul Krasner, editor of Magic Mushrooms and Other Highs

It is rare when a book leaves us knowing we have entered the true territory of mystery and that is exactly what Fishers of Men does. The book is at once a quest and an honest look at the relationship between a son and a father. It leaves us knowing we have experienced mysterium tremendum, at the same time that we have glimpsed the simpler mystery of human love and compassion. Karen McElmurray, author of The Motel of the Stars

Author Elenbaas, a New York writer and therapist who grew up in Minnesota nice until he rebelled into a sex-and-drugs period, writes of his discovery of the curative and transformative power of the psychedelic experience. Elenbaas participated in ayahuasca healing in Peru; ayahuasca is a jungle vine brewed to make a highly purgative, hallucinogenic drink. The healing experiences allow Elenbaas to come to terms with himself and a family history of men who can't figure out what to do with themselves. At the heart of the book is the relationship between Elenbaas and his father, a well-intentioned progressive Midwestern Methodist minister who cares more for his job than for his family. The tension in their relationship is heartbreakingly poignant, and the book's best writing comes when Elenbaas writes with an observer's eye about his family and his experiences. The conclusions he draws are less than profound, but the journey he writes about should not be missed. Less about drugs and more about family, this is a book for fathers and their sons; it beats the swagger of war stories. Publishers Weekly, starred review

The best memoirs not only immerse us in the life of another; they reflect a moment in time and in our culture. Elenbaas accomplishes both in his engrossing, no-holds-barred memoir, Fishers of Men. This harrowing, poignant, and deeply memorable true story of a minister's son escaping his anguished youth in the American heartland, to gain spiritual awareness through the uses of mind-expanding native plants and shamanic rituals in South America. Elenbaas's writing is compulsively readable, and his tale is full of surprising spiritual insights. A talented and singular new voice.

Religion & Spirituality / Occult / Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling

Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy by Alejandro Jodorowsky (Inner Traditions)

Psychomagic describes a healing path using the power of dreams, theater, poetry, and shamanism.

While living in Mexico, legendary filmmaker, visionary writer and psychotherapist Alejandro Jodorowsky became familiar with the colorful and effective cures provided by folk healers. He says he realized that it is easier for the unconscious to understand the language of dreams than that of rationality. Illness can even be seen as a physical dream that reveals unresolved emotional and psychological problems.
Psychomagic presents the shamanic and genealogical principles Jodorowsky discovered to create a healing therapy that could use the powers of dreams, art, and theater to empower individuals to heal wounds that in some cases had traveled through generations. The concrete and often surreal poetic actions Jodorowsky employs are part of an elaborate strategy intended to break apart the dysfunctional persona with whom the patient identifies in order to connect with a deeper self. According to Jodorowsky, that is when true transformation can manifest.
Taking his patients at their words, Jodorowsky in Psychomagic takes the same elements associated with a negative emotional charge and recasts them in an action that will make them positive and enable them to pay the psychological debts hindering their lives. For example, for a young man who complained that he lived only in his head and was unable to grab hold of reality and advance toward the financial autonomy he desired, Jodorowsky gave the prescription to paste two gold coins to the soles of his shoes so that all day he would be walking on gold. A judge whose vanity was ruling his every move was given the task of dressing like a tramp and begging outside one of the fashionable restaurants he loved to frequent while pulling glass doll eyes out of his pockets. The lesson for him was that if a tramp can fill his pockets with eyeballs, then they must be of no value, and thus the eyes of others should have no bearing on who you are and what you do.

Jodorowsky is a brilliant, wise, gentle, and cunning wizard with tremendous depth of imagination and crystalline insight into the human condition. His work is a source of inspiration for me and for many of the most important and innovative artists of our time. Psychomagic is necessary reading for all who long to shock the world into awakening and remembrance of what has always been and what is still to come. Daniel Pinchbeck, author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl
Currently there are books that have become essential to winnow out established ideas and open new horizons. The texts brought together here have that special ability to contemplate old problems from perspectives that were not thought to exist. El Mundo
Alejandro Jodorowsky seamlessly and effortlessly weaves together the worlds of art, the confined social structure, and things we can only touch with an open heart and mind. Erykah Badu, artist/alchemist
The best movie director ever! Marilyn Manson
Writers Gilles Farcet and Javie Esteban draw the secrets of [Jodorowsky's] genius out in Parts I and II of the book. In Part III Jodorowsky offers us 'An Accelerated Course in Creativity.' Simultaneously cutting-edge and down-to-earth, this one's in a category all its own. Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer

Psychomagic shows how psychological realizations can cause true transformation when manifested by concrete poetic acts. It includes many examples of the surreal yet successful actions Jodorowsky has prescribed to those seeking his help.


Travel / South America / Reference

Argentina (Country Guide), 7th edition by Sandra Bao, Gregor Clark, Bridget Gleeson, Andy Symington and Lucas Vidgen (Lonely Planet)

Whether it's as simple as dulce de leche (that delicious milk caramel Argentines spread on just about everything) or as complex as the tango, some things are quintessentially Argentine.

And nobody knows Argentina like Lonely Planet. Argentina, 7th edition features

  • Inspiring color highlights section.
  • Stylish city coverage with the best eating, shopping and nightlife.
  • Full-color outdoors chapter with hiking, cycling, skiing and more.

Argentina (Country Guide) includes Uruguay and it also covers Chilean Patagonia.
This travel guide provides tips along the way. For example, first-class overnight buses often provide wine with dinner. It's a welcome perk, but it's usually a cheap swill. So Argentina travel writers advise travelers to bring their own bottle (and a corkscrew). Not only will it make dinner that much tastier, it will make the bus trip that much more relaxing.

Some highlights include:

The Andes. Stretching nearly the whole length of Argentina's western edge, this amazing mountain range offers high deserts, scenic lakes, great hiking and the continent's highest peak, Cerro Aconcagua.

Gauchos. The gaucho is as much a state of mind as a cultural icon. Travelers can experience both by heading into the pampas, to towns such as Sari Antonio de Areco where tradition trumps all.

Tango. Argentina urges readers to give it a try. So what if it's one of the world's most sophisticated dances? It's so sexy, they will soon be fired up enough to make it through that long Buenos Aires night.

Estancias. There's something definitively Argentine about estancias those don't fence me in ranches with endless views, peace and quid and plenty of home-cooked food. Opportunities for livin' the county life are ample, too.

The Jesuit Missions. Journey to northeast Argentina and even into Paraguay for the day to wander among the astonishing ruins of the Jesuit missions, built by indigenous laborers in the 17th century.

Natural Wonders. With its head in the tropics and its toes in Antarctica, its hardly surprising Argentina kicks out such a barrage of natural wonders. Few places in the world offer so many opportunities for jaw-dropping, speech-stopping encounters with planet Earth. Although the journeys are long, access is usually easy. The rewards? Unforgettable.

Argentines. Ultra-friendly, fun-loving, engaging and warm, Argentines are, without a doubt, one of the highlights of any trip to Argentina. Just asking someone for directions can lead to loads of fun.

Glaciar Perito Moreno. What Iguazu Falls is to water, the Perito Moreno is to ice. The glacier calves with such force into the steel-blue waters of Lago Argentino travelers will forever remember the sounds with glazed-over eyes.

Reserva Faunistica Peninsula Valdes. Never mind the Galapagos, this superb coastal reserve is a wildlife lover's dream, with sea lions, elephant seals, guanacos, rheas, Magellanic penguins, seabirds and most famously endangered southern right whales.

Quebrada de Humahuaca. Etched into the Andes near the Bolivian border, this spectacular valley is home to traditional villages, epic views, unique food and plenty of proof that erosion can be nature's greatest artist. No wonder it made Unesco's World Heritage list!

Iguazu Falls. There are waterfalls and there are waterfalls. And then there's Iguazu. Nothing can prepare travelers for the sight and sound of so much water falling so hard from so many jungle-clad cliffs.

Reserva Provincial Esteros del Ibera. Vast wetlands, shimmering lagoons, fiery red sunsets, gauchos, capybaras, caimans, birds this enormous reserve is the stuff of dreams, where travelers can experience traditional Argentine life and some of the continent's most visible wildlife all in one go.

Vanes Calchaquies. From Parque National Los Cardones, where fawn-colored guanacos dart among giant cacti, to the traditional adobe villages of Cachi and Molinos, this vast network of valleys cradles some of Argentina's most scenic treasures.

Valle de Calingasta. Readers might look a little funny pulling off the road, getting out of their vehicle, throwing their arms into the sky and spinning around in deranged, oblivious bliss but they probably wouldn't be the first. This stretch of the Andes is that beautiful.

The Taste of Argentina. Argentines take barbecuing and beef to heights readers cannot imagine. They make fabulous red, white and sparkling vino (wine). Their pizzas vie with those of New York, Naples and Chicago. The pasta? Superb. The coffee? Excellent. And despite recent inflation, travelers can still eat big while spending less than they would in New York, Chicago, Naples...

Argentina advises travelers that Argentines love to grill, including intestines, blood sausage, kidneys, chewy short ribs and even chewier cuts such as vacio (similar to flank steak), they might consider ordering the prime cuts.

Wine. Exploring Argentina by the glass will take visitors and their palate from the malbecs and cabernets of Mendoza to the crisp torrontes of Cafayate and to the succulent syrahs of San Juan.

Cafes. Nothing beats the feeling of sipping an espresso drink in an old-time cafe, especially in Buenos Aires. Cafe culture has always been a key element in Argentine life.

City Life. Buenos Aires might reign supreme in this category, but Argentina's other cities offer urban fun on an altogether different level. Despite being the country's next biggest cities, they exude a small-town feel, and friendliness seems to permeate most facets of life, from the nightclub floor to the local parrilla (steak house).

Lonely Planet staff members update their guidebooks by visiting thousands of places in person to get the details right. They offer travelers the world's richest travel advice, informed by the collective wisdom of over 350 Lonely Planet authors living in 37 countries and fluent in 70 languages. They tell it like it is without fear or favor in service of the travelers; not clouded by any other motive.

This fully updated edition of Argentina is filled with accurate, practical and honest advice, designed to give travelers the information they need to make the most of their trip. Whether readers want to tango though the night in Buenos Aires, climb glaciers in Patagonia, gallop with gauchos across the Pampas, sample Malbec in Mendoza or savor the worlds best steak, this 7th edition will show them how and make their journey unforgettable.

 

Contents this Issue:

 

Proust's Overcoat: The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust by Lorenza Foschini, translated by Eric Karpeles (Ecco Press)

Images from the Likeness House by Dan Savard (Royal BC Museum)

Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein (Portfolio)

Alphabeasties Amazing Activity Book by Sharon Werner & Sarah Forss (Blue Apple Books)

The Big Time: A Football Genius Novel by Tim Green (Harper Collins Childrens)

Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5: The Essential Techniques for Imaging Professionals by Richard Harrington (Peachpit Press)

The Learning Tree: Overcoming Learning Disabilities from the Ground Up by Stanley I. Greenspan and Nancy Thorndike Greenspan (A Merloyd Lawrence Book: Da Capo Press/Lifelong Learning Books)

Performing Xenakis translated, compiled and edited by Sharon Kanach (The Iannis Xenakis Series No. 2: Pendragon Press)

Race and the University: A Memoir by George Henderson, with a foreword by David W. Levy (University of Oklahoma Press)

The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership by Yehuda Avner (The Toby Press)

Battleground Prussia: The Assault on Germany's Eastern Front 1944-45 (General Military) by Prit Buttar (Osprey Publishing)

Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman by Cathy Wilkerson (Seven Stories Press)

500 Cabinets: A Showcase of Design & Craftsmanship (500 Series) with senior editor Ray Hemachandra, editor Julie Hale and juror John Grew Sheridan (Lark Crafts)

Will Power by A. J. Hartley (Tor Books)

Come Again No More: A Novel by Jack Todd (Touchstone)

The Wild Mustard Greens by C. W. Eagle (Vantage Press)

The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada: Activism, Policy, and Contested Science by Nathan Young and Ralph Matthews (UBC Press)

The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Prairie Restoration in the Upper Midwest (Bur Oak Guide) by Daryl Smith, Dave Williams, Greg Houseal, and Kirk Henderson (Iowa University Press)

Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife, and Habitat Connectivity edited by Jon P. Beckmann, Anthony P. Clevenger, Marcel P. Huijser, and Jodi A. Hilty, with a foreword by Richard T.T. Forman (Island Press)

Communicology: The New Science of Embodied Discourse edited by Deborah Eicher-Catt and Isaac E. Catt (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press)

Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings by James R. Payton (IVP Academic)

A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life by J. I. Packer (Crossway Books)

Fishers of Men: The Gospel of an Ayahuasca Vision Quest by Adam Elenbaas (Jeremy P. Tarcher)

Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy by Alejandro Jodorowsky (Inner Traditions)

Argentina (Country Guide), 7th edition by Sandra Bao, Gregor Clark, Bridget Gleeson, Andy Symington and Lucas Vidgen (Lonely Planet)