We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

December 2010, Issue #140

Current issue contents:   

Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees: Honey Production, Pollination, Bee Health by Malcolm T. Sanford and Richard E. Bonney (Storey's Guide to Raising Series: Storey Publishing)

Dracula by Bram Stoker, read by Greg Wise, and Saskia Reeves, unabridged, 16 CDs, running time 18 hours, 25 minutes (Cover to Cover Series, Audio Go, BBC Audio)

The A3 Workbook: Unlock Your Problem-Solving Mind by Daniel D. Matthews (Productivity Press, CRC Press)

Escape the Improvement Trap: Five Ingredients Missing in Most Improvement Recipes by Michael Bremer and Brian McKibben (Productivity Press, CRC Press)

Carolina Panthers by Brian Joura (Inside the NFL Series: ABDO Publishing Company)

What It Means to Be a Tar Heel: Roy Williams and North Carolina's Greatest Players by Scott Fowler (Triumph Books)

Flavors of Malaysia: A Journey through Time, Tastes, and Traditions by Susheela Raghavan (Hippocrene Books)

Not Your Mother's Fondue by Hallie Harron (Harvard Common Press)

Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France by Joan Nathan (Alfred A. Knopf)

Pat Cooper How Dare You Say How Dare Me! by Pat Cooper, as told to Rich Herschlag & Steve Garrin, with a foreword by Jerry Lewis (Square One Publishers)

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon by Tracey Miller-Zarneke, with a preface by Cressida Cowell and a foreword by Craig Ferguson (Newmarket Press)

The Cranford Companion by Sue Birtwistle and Susie Conklin (Bloomsbury USA)

Total-Body Toning with Lashaun Dale DVD by Lashaun Dale [DVD, running time 89 minutes] (Human Kinetics)

Micronutrients in Health and Disease by Kedar N. Prasad (Informa, CRC Press)

Dialogues with Pain: Internal Body Conversations That Resolve Suffering by Jeanne Taylor Hernandez Ph.D. (Create Space, Crown House Publishing)

The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis edited by Julie Holland M.D. (Park Street Press, Inner Traditions)

Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

War and Sex: A Brief History of Men's Urge for Battle by John Van Houten Dippel (Prometheus Books)

Green Interior Design by Lori Dennis (Allworth Press)

Doctor Who and Philosophy edited by Courtland Lewis and Paula Smithka (Popular Culture and Philosophy Series: Open Court)

Critical Urban Studies: New Directions edited by Jonathan S. Davies and David L. Imbroscio, with an introduction by Clarence N. Stone (SUNY Press)

Practical Greening: The Bottom Line On Sustainable Property Development, Investment and Financing by LEED AP Molly McCabe (Peppertree Press)

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles by Committee to Assess Fuel Economy Technologies for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (National Research Council and Transportation Research Board, National Academies)

Rebel Buddha: On the Road to Freedom by Dzogchen Ponlop (Shambhala)

The Gospel among Religions: Christian Ministry, Theology, and Spirituality in a Multifaith World edited by David R. Brockman and Ruben L. F. Habito (Orbis Books)

Majestie: The King Behind the King James Bible by David Teems and Bob Souer [7 CDs] (Oasis Audio)

God of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality and Recovery from Addiction by Rabbi Shais Taub (KTAV Publishing House)

Energy Myths and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate by Vaclav Smil (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research)

The Sweetness of Freedom: Stories of Immigrants by Stephen Garr Ostrander and Martha Aladjem Bloomfield (Michigan State University Press)

Plains Indians Regalia & Customs by Bad Hand (Schiffer Publishing)

Roadside Geology of Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. by John Means, illustrated by Matthew Moran and Suzannah Moran (Roadside Geology Series: Mountain Press) 

Agricultural Science / Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies / Reference

Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees: Honey Production, Pollination, Bee Health by Malcolm T. Sanford and Richard E. Bonney (Storey's Guide to Raising Series: Storey Publishing)

The importance of honey bees to humans cannot be overstated. Beyond the honey they produce, bees are the most effective pollinators of many of the plants that provide our food. One-third of human food is the result of pollination. This makes the recent news of declining bee populations there are only about half as many colonies in the United States today as there were 50 years ago all the more troublesome. Thankfully, according to the American Beekeeping Federation, the number of home beekeepers is on the rise.

Urban beekeeping is also on the rise as swarms of people do their part to help nurture local food systems, make gardens more productive, connect with nature, and rescue honey bee populations from colony collapse disorder. Honey bee hives now grace the White House Lawn, the roof of Chicago City Hall, the National Arboretum, and the top of the Fairmont Hotel. Even Hagen-Daazs has gotten into the act with its campaign, Help the Honey Bees.

In Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees, Malcolm Sanford and Richard Bonney introduce readers to apiary culture and guide them through the process of beekeeping. The book covers in detail all the necessary topics. Sanford, Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida, is Coordinator of the Apis Information Resource Center and author of The Apis Newsletter, and Bonney, owner of Charlemont Apiaries in Charlemont, Massachusetts, beekeeping teacher at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, was named the Massachusetts Extension Specialist-Apiculture in 1991.
Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees guides readers through every step of beekeeping, including planning a hive, including selecting a location; purchasing equipment; acquiring bees and installing a colony, keeping bees healthy, including understanding and preventing diseases and controlling pests; harvesting honey crops; and encouraging garden and orchard pollination.

Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees, the newest addition to the Storeys Guide to Raising series, also provides an overview of the honey bee nest and colony life, insights into honey bee anatomy and behavior, season-by-season beekeeper responsibilities, and detailed, up-to-date information about diseases and other potential risks to bees.

With the information found in this book, there's no need to be intimidated by beekeeping. Once the hives are set up and bees are introduced, they tend to take care of their own basic needs. Weekly inspections to ensure the hives' well-being throughout the season are sufficient for most small operations. The hives themselves will fit into the unused space of the smallest yards, on rooftops and in city parks.

Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees is the single resource for beekeepers in all settings. This comprehensive and up-to-date reference will appeal to both experienced beekeepers who seek help with specific issues and novices eager to get started. Whatever readers interest in honey bees, this reliable volume has all the expert advice they need to keep a thriving, productive hive.

Audio / Literature & Fiction / Classics

Dracula by Bram Stoker, read by Greg Wise, and Saskia Reeves, unabridged, 16 CDs, running time 18 hours, 25 minutes (Cover to Cover Series, Audio Go, BBC Audio)

Abraham Bram Stoker (1847-1912) was born near Dublin. His first book, Under the Sunset, was written in 1882. He pursued a writing career until he died on April 20, 1912. Dracula is his best-known work, and one of the classic novels of the horror genre. Performers of this audio version are Greg Wise, who has many film and TV credits and Saskia Reeves who has both theatre credits and film and TV appearances. This special unabridged edition of Dracula, comprised of 16 CDs with a running time of 18 hours and 25 minutes, includes a companion eBook in printable PDF format.

In Dracula, a naive young Englishman travels to Transylvania to do business with a client, Count Dracula. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. After showing his true and terrifying colors, Dracula boards a ship for England in search of new, fresh blood. Unexplained disasters begin to occur in the streets of London before the mystery and the evil doer are finally put to rest. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck; and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his Master.

In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries, Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre. Told in a series of realistic but fictional news reports from eyewitness observers to writers of personal diaries (telegrams, letters, ship's logs, and newspaper clippings), the story has a ring of believability that counterbalances nicely with Dracula's too-macabre-to-be-true exploits. Plenty of blood, garlic, stakes to the heart and other details have become staples of this horror genre.

The book sold a million copies in its day. Of the many admiring reviews Stoker's Dracula received when it first appeared in 1897, the most astute praise came from the author's mother, who wrote her son: It is splendid. No book since Mrs. Shelley's Frankenstein or indeed any other at all has come near yours in originality, or terror.

Those who cannot find their own reflection in Bram Stoker's still-living creation are surely the undead. New York Times Review of Books
An exercise in masculine anxiety and nationalist paranoia, Stoker's novel is filled with scenes that are staggeringly lurid and perverse.... The one in Highgate cemetery, where Arthur and Van Helsing drive a stake through the writhing body of the vampirised Lucy Westenra, is my favourite. Sarah Waters, author of The Little Stranger

Dracula is the ultimate vampire story. From a remote, eerie castle in Transylvania, to the strange nocturnal life of its inhabitant, it has it all. Stoker's hypnotic tale of the bloodthirsty Count Dracula, whose atrocities are symbolic of an evil age, old yet forever new, endures as the quintessential story of suspense and horror. The unbridled lusts and desires, the diabolical cravings that Stoker dramatized with such mythical force, render Dracula resonant and unsettling a century later. Dracula represents everything respectable Victorians feared: the irrational, the pagan, the erotic, and the foreign. It remains as relevant today as when first published in 1897.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership / Psychology / Engineering

The A3 Workbook: Unlock Your Problem-Solving Mind by Daniel D. Matthews (Productivity Press, CRC Press)

An effective problem-solving process is a critical part of implementing efficient business practices, and a problem-solving culture is a fundamental component of empowering employees to support business improvements. Taken together, they can help any organization make continuous improvements on the journey to creating a more productive and profitable business.

Encouraging efficiency, clarity, and disciplined thinking, A3 Problem Solving identifies a problem, describes the objective, and summarizes fact-finding and action steps, all on a single A3-sized piece of paper. This approach provides all employees at all levels with a method to quickly identify a problem, analyze it to root cause, select appropriate countermeasures, and communicate necessary actions to decision makers.

The A3 Workbook is designed to teach A3 Problem Solving to workers at every level of the organization. Uniquely qualified to author this workbook, Daniel Matthews is a trainer with 30 years of training experience including Lean implementation and Training within Industry (TWI). Fourteen of those years he spent with the Toyota Company, which created and made use of the A3 as a core component of continuous quality improvement.

There are several documented benefits to using the A3 Problem-Solving approach; it:

  • Provides a methodical approach to problem solving.
  • Provides a succinct format for presenting or reporting facts to others.
  • Documents a trail that others can follow and use to understand the problem-solver's actions and results.
  • Provides a common language and method within an organization.
  • Creates a culture conducive to sustaining Lean Manufacturing concepts.
  • Provides a foundation and lays the groundwork for future change.

The A3 Workbook provides a practical tool for solving specific problems or for making a specific proposal, while also encouraging the development of a corporate culture that empowers all employees to support continuous improvement. The workbook follows the progression of a basic A3 Problem Solving format, offering instructions every step of the way. To reinforce learning, it includes

  • Case studies that readers can use to complete A3s.
  • Tips on how to improve the readability of A3s.
  • Examples of Problem Solving A3s, and a Proposal A3.
  • Exercises to reinforce whats learned.
  • Worksheet templates that can be reproduced for future problem solving.

The goal of The A3 Workbook is for readers to be able to communicate their proposal or problem on a single sheet of paper. ANSI B paper (11x17 inches) and the A3 Problem Solving process makes it possible for them to achieve this goal. In a Lean organization where everyone has multiple functions, there is little time for reading reams of data to understand a particular problem or situation. The A3 effectively condenses large amounts of data into an easy-to-read and understand format. By keeping it simple, they are less likely to lose the attention of readers and possibly their support.

Although workers do not need to create an A3 for every situation, it is a good idea to use the format on a regular basis. The more they use it, the more it will become a natural part of how they approach problem situations. In their daily work, they will encounter many situations requiring action the thought process can be used at any time.

The book contains case studies that readers will use to complete A3s, tips on how to improve the readability of A3s, examples of Problem Solving A3s, and a proposal A3.

Matthews says he realized that although there are some very good books on the market that discuss the A3, there was nothing that walked people block by block through the A3 format and how the problem-solving process fits in with each block. Matthews says he wanted to create a workbook that could be used at every level in the organization to develop the basic problem-solving skills that are required to make continuous improvements.

The A3 Workbook can be used by companies to develop the problem-solving skills of their employees leading not only to improved profit, quality, productivity, safety, and delivery, but also to a culture that understands the value of developing people at every level. With the workbook readers can actually practice applying the skills described in each section. Especially for managers who are realizing that they must develop their entire workforce in order to help their organization achieve its goals and objectives, The A3 Workbook provides anyone at any level within an organization with the tools they need to be effective problem solvers.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

Escape the Improvement Trap: Five Ingredients Missing in Most Improvement Recipes by Michael Bremer and Brian McKibben (Productivity Press, CRC Press)

Despite performance improvement initiatives such as Lean, Six Sigma, and Supply-Chain Management, only a handful of companies actually break out of the pack to transform their enterprises. This problem is not unique to today's improvement methodologies; the same issues existed when organizations first adopted TQM, re-engineering, and other popular improvement methodologies. Providing methods and metrics for effecting true change, Escape the Improvement Trap highlights how to avoid common improvement traps that inhibit many organizations from rising above the rest.

Written by two experts who have dedicated their careers to quality improvement, Escape the Improvement Trap separates itself from other improvement books by looking at why most companies rarely achieve anything more than an average level of improvement maturity. Michael Bremer and Brian McKibben identify five critical ingredients required for successful improvement:

  1. A meaningful business value proposition and strategy that drive key improvement actions.
  2. An engaging environment where people can do their best work.
  3. A focus on meaningful metrics while avoiding irrelevant details.
  4. Process improvement efforts that maximize cross-functional process performance and foster deeper process understanding, innovation, and execution of best work practices.
  5. An executive mindset that focuses on customer value, people development, process performance, and business improvement outcomes, not solely on savings.

Bremer and McKibben consider a variety of situations at Independence Enterprise, a fictional company, based on their own real experiences. They elaborate on the principles that should come into play, look at what Independence Enterprise is doing right and wrong, and suggest deployment actions to help readers apply the principles to their own organization. Bremer, who lead the creation of a company-wide improvement initiative for Beatrice Companies, has served as a Senior Engagement Manager for Motorola University and McKibben, a founding partner of the Cumberland Group-Chicago, has held management roles at several manufacturing companies.

Each chapter of Escape the Improvement Trap begins with a situation at the fictional company. The next section within the chapter begins to outline some basic principles for that particular ingredient. The principles are not a recipe, but are intended to push readers thinking about that ingredient. For example, how can they look at this in a more holistic way? Bremer and McKibben then come back to Independence Enterprise to share how that company has begun to deal with some of the issues for this ingredient. Finally, they close each chapter with suggested deployment actions to help readers apply the principles covered in that chapter to their own organizations.

Bremer and McKibben begin the book (Chapters 1 and 2) with a detailed description of why most companies are average in terms of their improvement maturity. Chapter 3 provides a more detailed summary description of the five critical ingredients that are either missing or weakly applied in most business performance-improvement recipes. Entire books have been devoted to each one of the ingredients. They say they tried to stay focused on how each ingredient impacts an organization's level of maturity for performance improvement. Based on their experience, Bremer and McKibben conclude that many organizations do not do these activities well. The five ingredients that go missing or are significantly underutilized in most improvement initiatives include

  • Chapter 4, Customer Value.
  • Chapter 5, Engage People.
  • Chapter 6, Key Metrics.
  • Chapter 7, Process Thinking.
  • Chapter 8, Executive Mindset.

Several different assessment tools are offered. They close Escape the Improvement Trap in Chapter 9 with a more formal assessment instrument and process for looking at how effectively the five missing ingredients are woven into readers improvement activities.

My cynicism of the quality field is based on hundreds of theoretical books on the subject. They seem to serve little purpose other than the authors pontification of what they think they know, or perhaps serve as a platform for the speaking circuit. Mr. Bremer brings an exception to this otherwise commoditized quality industry. He provides a practical, how-to guide for the organizations improvement all the way to the all important bottom line. His concepts, told through the parable of a real life situation, Independence Enterprise, Inc., give it a feel of a modern day The Goal, the epoch bible of efficiency by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. Mr. Bremer elaborates on RELATIVE gains whereby one compares oneself to their competitors, industry, and even global economy vs. the all too popular ABSOLUTE measure where one measures oneself against oneself. Finally, an author that gets it the ever elusive it. Donald R. McNeeley, Ph.D., President and COO, Chicago Tube and Iron Company

Escape the Improvement Trap is a must read book for all senior executives seeking to change the culture of their organization and drive it to a level 4 or 5 on the Improvement Maturity Curve. We have all suffered from the difficulty of sustaining improvement, and this book lays the sustaining process in a simple common sense way that is easy to read. Basem Hishmeh, Chairman, Sigma-Netics, Inc.

We are entering into a Reset global economy, where a New Normal has clearly been established, filled with much peril and much opportunity, yet with an uncertain path forward for all. Now along comes a book focused on Improvement that can help you avoid the Trap, and develop a path that avoids peril, takes advantage of opportunity, and drives Twenty First century success. Dan McDonnell, Lean Initiative manager, General Electric Transportation

Escape the Improvement Trap is a practical, how-to guide to performance improvement for senior management. It is easy to read, explains concepts simply and provides concrete examples.

Childrens Books / Sports and Activities / Grades 2-3

Carolina Panthers by Brian Joura (Inside the NFL Series: ABDO Publishing Company)

The National Football League (NFL) had humble beginnings before its games were held in sold-out stadiums and televised for millions of viewers. One thing that has always been the same, though, is that the play on the field has been amazing.

Young readers follow the excitement of all 32 teams with the Inside the NFL series. The books in the series, including Carolina Panthers, take readers through each team's highest highs and lowest lows while profiling the gridiron greats from the past and stars of today.

Other volumes in the series include: Arizona CARDINALS, Atlanta FALCONS, Baltimore RAVENS, Buffalo BILLS, Carolina PANTHERS, Chicago BEARS, Cincinnati BENGALS, Cleveland BROWNS, Dallas COWBOYS, Denver BRONCOS, Detroit LIONS, Green Bay PACKERS, Houston TEXANS, Indianapolis COLTS, Jacksonville JAGUARS, Kansas City CHIEFS, Miami DOLPHINS, Minnesota VIKINGS, New England PATRIOTS, New Orleans SAINTS, New York GIANTS, New York JETS, Oakland RAIDERS, Philadelphia EAGLES, Pittsburgh STEELERS, St. Louis RAMS, San Diego CHARGERS, San Francisco 49ERS, Seattle SEAHAWKS, Tampa Bay BUCCANEERS, Tennessee TITANS, and Washington REDSKINS.

As told in Carolina Panthers, the Carolina Panthers finished 1-15 in 2001. It was the worst record in the NFL. Only two seasons later, though, the Panthers had improved a lot. They could compete with any team in the league. They were led by a quarterback Jake Delhomme whose success surprised many football followers, he was one of the stars.

He led them to the Super Bowl after the 2003 season, which remains the brightest highlight in team history. Carolina Panthers details the fourth quarter:

The Patriots scored first, putting them up 21-10. But the Panthers clawed back with three big plays to take the lead. DeShaun Foster scored on a 33-yard run for the first big play. Carolina's two-point conversion try failed. It looked as if the Patriots were going to score again. However, cornerback Reggie Howard came up with the second big play by intercepting a pass from Brady in the end zone. Stuck deep in its own territory, Carolina needed another big play. On third down, the Panthers got it. Delhomme found Muhsin Muhammad for an 85-yard touchdown pass. It set a Super Bowl record for the longest play from scrimmage. The Panthers took a 22-21 lead.

The lead did not last long. Brady drove the Patriots down the field. He threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Mike Vrabel. They then scored on a two-point conversion. Carolina was down by seven points with 2:51 left.

But the Panthers had been called the Cardiac Cats because they had rallied for so many heart-stopping wins during the regular season. They had come this far. Carolina was not going to fold now. Delhomme marched the Panthers down the field. His 12-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Proehl, followed by Kasay's extra point, tied the score at 29-29. There was only 1:08 left to play.

Unfortunately for Carolina, New England had enough time to try to advance the ball into field-goal range. Brady had led the Patriots on a game-winning drive two years earlier in the Super Bowl against the St. Louis Rams. Against the Panthers, he also was able to make key plays down the stretch. The final one was a 17-yard pass to Deion Branch on third-and-three to give New England a shot at a field goal. Adam Vinatieri had made a Super Bowl-winning kick two years earlier. He came through in the clutch again with a 41-yard field goal. There were only four seconds remaining. The Panthers could not return the following kickoff for a touchdown. The Patriots won 32-29 in a classic Super Bowl. The Cardiac Cats were heartbroken.

Carolina's remarkable season had not ended the way the team wanted. But the Panthers had come a long way for a team that had struggled so much just two years earlier and had only begun playing in the NFL in 1995.

With fascinating facts and statistics as well as a glossary, Carolina Panthers and the other 32 volumes in the Inside the NFL series gets readers up to speed with their favorite teams.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Flavors of Malaysia: A Journey through Time, Tastes, and Traditions by Susheela Raghavan (Hippocrene Books)

I have often traveled to many regions of Malaysia to savor their foods, study their culture, take photos, and learn some cooking. I still continue to do so. No matter what, I always make time to sit and enjoy the local hawkers' specialties, while reminiscing about the past. Growing up, hawkers were our 'chefs' and street carts and stalls were our 'restaurants.' I would also visit the bustling wet markets (pasar basah) and night markets (pasar malam), a must-see for any visitor, to sample local foods and observe the culture. from the book

A land of colorful temples, bustling markets, golden beaches, and glorious sunsets, Malaysia's exquisite natural beauty is surpassed only by its luscious cuisine. Flavors of Malaysia celebrates the best of the Malaysian table: sizzling satays, flavorful stir-fries, fragrant rice and noodle dishes, aromatic curries, and Malaysia's signature hot and spicy condiments, the delectable sambals. The book features authentic, easy-to-follow recipes; a color photo insert; an introduction to Malaysian history and its culinary origins; and a guide to Malaysian ingredients and cooking techniques.

For centuries Malaysia was a major centre of the spice trade in Southeast Asia. As seafarers, traders, and immigrant workers from many countries intermarried with locals, new culinary traditions emerged. Over time, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Indonesian and Arab, as well as Dutch, Portuguese, and British influences blended beautifully to create the melange of cultures and intensely vibrant flavors that is Malaysian cuisine today.

Author Susheela Raghavan, who was born and raised in Malaysia, served seven years as an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University. For the last twenty-five years she has lived, worked and traveled throughout Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and the US developing foods, flavors, spice blends and seasonings for commercial and food service applications. From the old port town of Klang where she was born, through historic Malacca with its once fabled spice bazaar, to Malaysia's colorful East Coast fishing villages and West Coast beaches, and the vibrant modern city of Kuala Lumpur, Raghavan in Flavors of Malaysia takes readers on a personally-guided tour through Malaysia's culture and cuisine. A detailed introduction to Malaysian history and its culinary origins, a guide to Malaysian ingredients and cooking techniques, and numerous photos, including sixteen pages of color photographs, bring the enticing flavors of Malaysia to readers tables.

As readers turn the pages and are led along this journey, they discover how it is possible for people very different from one another to come together to find peace and magic in their union, and create something lasting. It is this juxtaposition of old and new, east and west, Hindu and Christian, Muslim and Buddhist that makes it dance. The food is never shy, never afraid to assert itself.

With Flavors of Malaysia, the home cook or chef can create any Malaysian dish, from the well-known satay (grilled chicken or meat), acar (spicy pickled carrot and cucumber), and fragrant nasi lemak (coconut-infused rice), to the less familiar aromatic laksa lemak (noodles in spicy coconut broth), beef rendang (beef slow simmered in coconut milk), or a hot and spicy sambal. In her recipes, Raghavan has taken the edge off the heat, fishiness, and pungency, yet she retains their authentic delicious flavors while satisfying today's taste buds and health concerns. Raghavan has also simplified Malaysian cooking, whenever needed, by giving substitutions for difficult-to-find ingredients, and by modifying traditional cooking techniques. The busy cook will be able to capture the true essence of a recipe and still prepare it in less than an hour and some even within 30 minutes.

Flavors of Malaysia is a masterpiece, a gorgeous introduction to the food and culture of a country as multiethnic as they come. Malaysia's food traditions reflect its waves of migration, settlement, and conquest, each bringing uniquely delicious flavors. The resulting blend is glorious food, beautifully described by Susheela, who appreciates the cultural history of each dish as well as its taste, and makes us want to cook every one of them. Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and author of What to Eat

Beautifully researched and written with personal and historical anecdotes ... you'll discover a world of regional specialties with influences from the Portuguese, Chinese, Indian, Dutch and more. This is a classic that belongs in ever kitchen. Corinne Trang, author Essentials of Asian Cuisine and Noodles Every Day

Susheela's book one of the most comprehensive books on Malaysian cuisine offers an excellent collection of delicious recipes along with the rich history and culture of Malaysias favorite dishes. Full of captivating anecdotes and personal tales, it is both engaging and approachable. We at MATRADE are pleased with the publication of Flavors of Malaysia. It complements the mission of our Malaysia Kitchen for the World Campaign wonderfully. Wan Latiff, Trade Commissioner, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)

Susheela has gifted to the world of food lovers and food history the ultimate guide to Malaysian cookery, and the culture, people and history that shaped it. With these pages at your side, you will be cooking authentic Malaysian fare in no time. I know I will not need or want another Malaysian cookbook for a very long time. Unless, of course, Susheela decides to take us on another journey to explore the foods, history, culture, and people of her fantastic country. Suvir Saran, Owner/Chef, Devi (NYC), and author of Indian Home Cooking and American Masala

This lovingly compiled collection is a love affair between the author and the country and culture that formed her. Flavors of Malaysia is ideal for readers who are curious about a country that is as Asian as any can get. Readers will smell the scents and feel the textures of the marketplaces that enrich the cookery of Malaysia as they read along and discover the rich histories of street-side pantries that have been the muse to thousands of professional chefs, home cooks, and wanderers.

For those who revel in visual stimulation, the photos taken by Raghavan herself, lend a personal touch to Flavors of Malaysia. By forgoing the services of a professional photographer, the heart and soul of the book remained in the hands of the author, which ensures that readers read, cook, taste, and experience Malaysia as Raghavan does.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Not Your Mother's Fondue by Hallie Harron (Harvard Common Press)

Fondue is back on top when it comes to casual entertaining at home. It's easy, interactive, and fun for everyone. According to Not Your Mother's Fondue, now is the time for readers to pull out the fondue pot or invest in a new one, call friends to come over, and prepare some imaginative dippers for the immense variety of fondues they can make at home.

In Not Your Mother's Fondue Hallie Harron, one of the foremost French cooking authorities, who conducts food and wine tours to Paris and Provence through her Maison Mollans programs, includes 125 fresh, contemporary recipes for sweet and savory fondues, with creative suggestions for the best dippers to complement each one. Cheese fondue is the classic, the unrivaled gold standard. An entire chapter of Not Your Mother's Fondue covers cheese in all its molten goodness, from Gruyre to Havarti to Parmesan, from cheddar to goat cheese and even blue.

Chocolate, however, may be the most beloved and indulgent of fondues. There are rich, chocolaty recipes in the desserts chapter using dark, milk, and white chocolates, but Harron also includes other sweet fondues using caramel and butterscotch, rum and bourbon, lemon and raspberries.

Though cheese and chocolate are certainly the most widely known, there are other fondue styles waiting to be explored. Saucy fondue involves dipping tidbits into a sauce. Oil-based fondues, or bourguignon style, involve cooking cubes of meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables in hot seasoned oil before dunking them in dipping sauces. Broth-based fondues, in the shabu-shabu style, let readers dip into flavored broths. Harron covers everything cooks need to get started, including what kind of pots work best, how to serve fondue, how to calculate quantities of fondue and dippers depending on the number of diners, what to serve for sides and drinks, and other tips and techniques that help them put together a fun and frenzy-free fondue party.

Recipes include a wide range of fondues: Parisian Summer Cucumber Fromage Blanc Fondue, Black Bean Fondue, Bruschetta Fondue, French Onion Soup Fondue, Lots of Garlic 'n' Cheese Fondue, Blue Cheese and Walnut Fondue, Creamy Crab Fondue, Shrimp in Spicy Garlic Beer Fondue, Tuscan Chicken Fondue, Bloody Mary Fondue, as well as Darkest-Ever Chocolate Fondue, and Chai Latte Fondue Mongolian Hot Pot, S'Mores Fondue, and Kir Royale Fondue.

Dust off that fondue pot and be prepared to swirl, dip, and sample your way through this delightful book that will redefine how you look at the ubiquitous pot and its uses. Move over cheese fondue and make room for all the other delightful creations that Hallie Harron has in store for you and those you love. Diane Phillips, author of Perfect Party Food

Harron in Not Your Mother's Fondue breathes new life into fondue with her different take on a classic cooking method. The book demonstrates deliciously the versatility of this sometimes-neglected appliance.

Cooking, Food & Wine

Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France by Joan Nathan (Alfred A. Knopf)

What is Jewish cooking in France?
That question haunted Joan Nathan over the years and drove her to dig into the secrets of this hidden cuisine. Now she gives readers the fruits of her quest in Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous, a treasure trove of kosher recipes and the often moving stories behind them, interlaced with the tumultuous two-thousand-year history of the Jewish presence in France. Nathan, host of the nationally syndicated PBS television series Jewish Cooking in America, frequent contributor to The New York Times, and author of numerous books including Jewish Cooking in America and The New American Cooking, both of which won the James Beard Award and the IACP Award, was cofounder the Ninth Avenue Food Festival.

In her search for the Jewish cooking in France, Nathan in Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous takes readers into kitchens in Paris, Alsace, and the Loire Valley; she visits the bustling Belleville market in Little Tunis in Paris; she breaks bread around the observation of the Sabbath and the celebration of special holidays. All across France she finds that Jewish cooking is more alive than ever. Traditional dishes are honored, yet many have acquired a French finesse and reflect regional differences. The influx of Jewish immigrants from North Africa following Algerian independence has brought exciting new flavors and techniques that have infiltrated contemporary French cooking, and the Sephardic influence is more pronounced throughout France today.
Nathan in Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous translates her discoveries for home kitchens:

  •         Appetizers such as Terrine de Poireaux from Alsace or a brik, that flaky little pastry from North Africa, folded over a filling of tuna and cilantro.
  •         Soups such as cold sorrel or Moroccan Provenal Fish Soup with garlicky Rouille.
  •         Salads include a Mediterranean Artichoke and Orange Salad with Saffron Mint and a Tunisian Winter Squash Salad with Coriander and Harissa.
  •         A variety of breads, quiches, and kugels a Brioche for Rosh Hashanah, a baconless quiche Lorraine, or a Sabbath kugel based on a centuries-old recipe.
  •         Main courses of Choucroute de Poisson; a tagine with chicken and quince; Brisket with Ginger, Orange Peel, and Tomato; Southwestern Cassoulet with Duck and Lamb; Tongue with Capers and Cornichons; and Almondeguilles (Algerian meatballs).
  •         Grains, pulses, couscous, rice, and unusual vegetable dishes, from an eggplant gratin to a mlange of Chestnuts, Onions, and Prunes.
  •         Parisian flans and tarts, a Frozen Souffl Rothschild, and a Hanukkah Apple Cake, as well as many other irresistible pastries and cookies.

Documenting traditions, recipes, and rituals ensures their survival; it is vital work. Joan Nathan's beautiful new book goes to the heart of French Jewish life. She is a writer, a historian, an anthropologist, and an extraordinary cook, but above all she is a tireless custodian of a wonderfully rich culture. Alice Waters, author of The Art of Simple Food

When Joan Nathan decides to dig into Jewish heritage anywhere in the world, we readers should just fasten our seat belts and get ready for a glorious ride. Joan's work is always about discovering the unexpected, doing meticulous research, and developing superb recipes, but this book may be her most intriguing yet. She opens the door to what you might call a secret cuisine of France, and to stories we've never heard before. On any given day, you'll have to debate over taking this book to a big comfortable reading chair or propping it up next to the stove. I am doing both. Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table

It's a pure pleasure to follow Joan Nathan's culinary journey through the cities, towns, and back roads of France. This is a comprehensive book, overflowing with adventures, charming photographs, and alluring fare. Patricia Wells, author of Salad as a Meal

I have loved cooking with and for Joan Nathan for years. She always reminds us that no matter how, what, or where you cook, it will reflect your cultural heritage. Here, with so much depth and humanity, Joan shows how two great cultures intersect in the kitchen, resulting in wonderful flavors and stories. Inspiring! Daniel Boulud, chef, restaurateur, and author

Joan Nathan offers a feast for the mind as well as the senses. Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous is not only a culinary tour through Jewish cooking in France, but also a cultural history, a memoir of the author's love affair with French and Jewish cooking, and an ethnographic exploration of contemporary Jewish identity in France by way of the kitchen, I've learned a lot, and especially love the North African recipes. Susan Rubin Suleiman, Harvard University, author of Crises of Memory and the Second World War

Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous is a lovely collection of unique, delectable recipes and their stories. In weaving them together, Nathan creates a book that is a testament to the Jewish people, who, despite waves of persecution, are an integral part of France today.

Entertainment / Humor / Biographies & Memoirs

Pat Cooper How Dare You Say How Dare Me! by Pat Cooper, as told to Rich Herschlag & Steve Garrin, with a foreword by Jerry Lewis (Square One Publishers)

Few comics today can say they have worked with the likes of George Bums, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Bobby Darin but Pat Cooper can. Born Pasquale Caputo, the legendary comedian didn't appear on the show business radar until age thirty-two. But from that moment in 1963, when the young smart-mouthed Brooklynite was beamed into millions of homes via the Jackie Gleason Show, people throughout the country knew that they were watching something special. His brash, irreverent, and hilarious views of what is happening around him have always been honest, unyielding, and colored by his comedic anger. In Pat Cooper How Dare You Say How Dare Me!, told by Cooper to professional writer Rich Herschlag and audio-video editor and producer Steve Garrin, he shares the offbeat story of his life.

Cooper begins his story as a child growing up under the strict hand of Italian immigrant parents. He discusses his early Italian family life in Brooklyn and his debut on the Fox Amateur Hour radio show, where his impressions won him first prize. A seventh-generation bricklayer by trade, he left school and worked as a brick layer and longshoreman before being drafted into the Army and was the man of the house in his early 20s when his parents divorced and his father was mostly absent. He shares typically comical moments from his youth, including the loss of his virginity to a middle-aged yenta, and his efforts to join the military at age seventeen only to be kicked out for having hammerhead toes. Pat recounts performing his stand-up routine in small clubs and theaters at night until he got his big break into the big time. From that point on, Pat pulls no punches in relating story after story of his life as an entertainer.

Cooper proves in Pat Cooper How Dare You Say How Dare Me! that one can succeed in show business without being phony just as long as they learn to duck, and they're not too surprised when they're fired. (Hey, one door closes and another opens.)

beneath the loud and relentless shtick was the darker side typical of many funny men, and he discusses strained relationships with his children, including a daughter who once called in to Stern's radio show to attack him. Still going strong at 80, Cooper believes "... in getting things out of my system," so the warts-and-all approach to his autobiography will come as no surprise to fans. Publishers Weekly

An enjoyable read that deserves a special place on any entertainment biography bookshelf. Library Journal

Without a doubt one of the funniest, most entertaining and elegantly crafted books I've ever read. Lionel (syndicated radio and TV host)

Pat Cooper How Dare You Say How Dare Me! is the hilarious new memoir of an American comedy legend who has always survived by staying true to himself at all costs. Featuring a no-hold-barred style, the book will leave readers roaring.

Entertainment / Movies

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon by Tracey Miller-Zarneke, with a preface by Cressida Cowell and a foreword by Craig Ferguson (Newmarket Press)

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon is the official tie-in book showcasing over 350 images from the DreamWorks Animation feature film, based on Cressida Cowells popular childrens book.

How to Train Your Dragon is the story of a scrawny teenaged Viking, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, who lives on the island of Berk in the North Sea. Hiccup is a member of a Viking tribe and wants to make his father, the chief, proud of him. Entering dragon training, Hiccup has a chance to prove himself. Then, in a world where Dragons and Vikings do not coexist peacefully, Hiccup encounters and ultimately befriends an injured dragon, at which point his world is turned upside down.
The Art of How to Train Your Dragon is a guide to the creative process that went into turning Cowells popular book into a feature-length, animated film. Featuring more than 350 pieces of development artwork, including early character designs, story sketches, and concept paintings never before released by the studio, the book provides an in-depth look at the process involved in bringing mythical Dragon and Viking worlds to life.

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon takes the audience on a visual tour of the Viking and dragon worlds that is as enthralling but far less treacherous as one would experience living among fire-breathing creatures with a boisterous Viking tribe.

Page after page of illustrations show how this movie about the Viking world, "where only the strong can belong," mixed with the dragon world with its fiery furies was conceived in its full glory. There are also behind-the-scenes sections on the cinematic techniques used in creating this original animated movie.

Tracey Miller-Zarneke is the former Production Department Manager for Walt Disney Feature Animation. In addition to filmmaker commentary throughout, the book includes a preface by Cowell on the childhood island that inspired her to write the How to Train Your Dragon stories, and a foreword by Craig Ferguson about how a scene from the movie perfectly captures his own love of flying.

In five sections, The Art of How to Train Your Dragon details every aspect of the film's production:

  • The Dragons provides a guide to the variety of species of dragons that populate How to Train Your Dragon. The production team developed unique traits for each of six species, including behavioral characteristics and firepowers that vary greatly among the different dragon types, from the enormous Red Death to the reclusive Night Fury to the classic Monstrous Nightmare, all illustrated in pencil, marker, and digital paint renditions.
  • The Vikings highlights the cast of human characters, from young hero Hiccup to his fellow trainee Astrid to Viking leader Stoick the Vast, showcasing their development through early sketches, digital paint renditions, all the way to CG models.
  • The Dragon World explores Dragon Island, the home base for the Dragons, in several digital paint concepts, and its dangerous Dragon Cave, whose nooks and crannies presented a particular challenge for the modeling department to create (it was called the Swiss Cheese set).
  • The Viking World showcases the digital sets created by the DreamWorks team for the Viking's home, the Isle of Berk, including its village, Viking houses, and training grounds. Lavish digital paint renditions bring a lush, green oasis nestled between rocky peaks to life, and sketches and illustrations catalog Viking props, iconography, boats and defensive contraptions.
  • Bringing the Worlds Together discusses the roles of the story team, the layout department, the animation team, the effects and lighting departments, and the editorial crew. Storyboards, animation, and special effects show how the elements of the film blend to create the movie-going experience.

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon offers a stunning view of How to Train Your Dragon. It will be a delight for all movie and animation lovers as well as dragon and Viking fans.

Entertainment / Sports

What It Means to Be a Tar Heel: Roy Williams and North Carolina's Greatest Players by Scott Fowler (Triumph Books)

I'm a Tar Heel and always will be. I'm not just the coach here. I'm a Tar Heel. It is in my blood. It is part of me. And it always will be. Roy Williams, from his foreword

The University of North Carolina ranks as one of the great programs in college basketball, with five NCAA Tournament championships and 27 ACC regular season titles to its credit. Along with the wins, the Tar Heels have suffered occasional heartbreak. Yet when former University of North Carolina basketball players recall their years at the school, wins and losses and even Final Four memories often take a backseat to stories about the coaches, teammates, and friends that touched their lives and taught them lessons that remained important long after they played their final game for the school.

What It Means to Be a Tar Heel by Scott Fowler explores the program's vast success and asks the simple question What does it mean to be a Tar Heel? One person or one phrase cannot answer that question completely because so many different emotions encompass Tar Heel basketball. Fowler, national award-winning sports columnist for The Charlotte Observer, the largest newspaper in the Carolinas, was once sports editor of The Daily Tar Heel campus newspaper.

What It Means to Be a Tar Heel brings together the stories, as told by the most outstanding voices of the North Carolina program. It's not just one tradition, one season or one game it's the stories coming from the athletes and coaches who made the magic happen over the decades that capture the essence of representing the University of North Carolina.

In What It Means to Be a Tar Heel, fans relive the iconic moments of the past century and celebrate the traditions of Tar Heel basketball through the firsthand recollections of the men who toiled on the floor of both the Dean Smith Center and Carmichael Auditorium. Fowler tracked down 42 of the greatest names in school history and asked them to share their memories of playing in Chapel Hill. The former Tar Heel greats profiled include All-American center Tyler Hansbrough; NCAA and ACC Player of the Year Phil Ford; NBA Hall of Famers James Worthy and Billy Cunningham; and current NBA stars Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, and Raymond Felton. Forty-two UNC stars from the past, including Larry Brown, George Karl, Eric Montross, Lennie Rosenbluth, Charlie Scott, Bobby Jones, Walter Davis, Sean May, and Ty Lawson share in their own words their fond memories of playing for the Tar Heels. In his foreword, Roy Williams looks back fondly on his years in Chapel Hill as a student and now as the coach who has already won NCAA titles in 2005 and 2009 while striving to carry on Dean Smith's legacy.

While not every UNC player enjoyed basketball success in the pros, all learned important lessons from their Carolina experience. UNC instilled in its players a spirit of hard work and loyalty that has served them well in their post-collegiate careers.

Carolina is more than just a basketball team. It's a family. It's also a formula. It's special. Coach Smith had a platform at Carolina, but he didn't just use it for basketball. Basketball was just his way to get to people, to make them pay attention. If your parents started something good for you, as mine did for me, he just took that and enhanced it. James Worthy

What does it mean to be a Tar Heel? It means a lot. There is a Carolina connection. And not just for the basketball players. You have a connection with everybody who ever went to school there or cheers for the Tar Heels. There's something about the place that just binds people together. Tyler Hansbrough

What It Means to Be a Tar Heel is guaranteed to enhance readers passion for Tax Heel basketball. Readers learn about the traditions of UNC basketball, as well as the life-changing values shaped on the court. The former players stories will remind readers of the value of persevering in the face of extreme challenges and working as a team to achieve common goals themes that speak to what it means to be a Tar Heel.

Entertainment / Television

The Cranford Companion by Sue Birtwistle and Susie Conklin (Bloomsbury USA)

The Cranford Companion takes readers behind the scenes of the beloved, Emmy-nominated Cranford miniseries.

When Cranford aired on PBS's Masterpiece Classics in 2008, it garnered critical praise from all corners, earned a devoted audience, and secured Emmy nominations in nearly every category, from writing and acting to costumes and hairstyling. Its enthusiastic reception led to the extension of the series with Return to Cranford. Starring dames Judi Dench and Eileen Atkins, with a host of other remarkable talents, the series is based on three classic novels by Elizabeth Gaskell Cranford, Mr. Harrison's Confessions, and My Lady Ludlow and follows the residents of a fictional nineteenth-century town in Cheshire, England.

The Cranford Companion gives readers an unprecedented insider look at the making of the instant-classic series from the adaptation of the script, to the scouting of locations across the English countryside, to the breathtaking costumes. With gorgeous photographs throughout from the series and the set, and intimate interviews with the cast and crew, The Cranford Companion is an exclusive entry to Cranford life.

It is the early 1840s, and Cranford, a picturesque Cheshire market town of some two thousand souls, is on the verge of great change. While it is not a complete backwater being on the coaching route from Chester to London Cranford is a tranquil place. None of the town's most respectable inhabitants speak of money because that subject savors of trade and, though some might be poor, they feel compelled to keep up the appearance of gentility they call it `Elegant Economy'. Within these polite circles, an old-fashioned code of etiquette prevails, benignly enforced by the Amazons, the ladies of a certain age who are Cranford's unofficial moral guardians. Foremost among these pillars of the community are Miss Deborah and Miss Matty Jenkyns, Miss Octavia Pole and Mrs. Forrester.

But whether the townsfolk like it or not, change is on the way, and it threatens the old order. The district's most aristocratic family, represented by Lady Ludlow at Hanbury Court, is already in decline. Meanwhile, talented men and women from the lower classes are advancing due to the education that had previously been denied them. Scientific ideas are driving the progress a rigor underpins new medical practices, such as those of the forward-thinking Dr. Harrison; while the recent invention of the steam engine is causing the globe to shrink drastically. Close to home, the imminent arrival of the railway which will link Cranford to the dirty industrial metropolis of Manchester only fifteen miles away, and thence to the wider world threatens to divide the community, and to alter its character for ever.

Authors of The Cranford Companion are Sue Birtwistle and Susie Conklin, co-creators of the Cranford miniseries, which was produced by the BBC. Both also worked on Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Wives and Daughters. Birtwistle and Conklin document the challenges and delights of bringing the Cranford stories to the screen. Perhaps the finest ensemble cast ever seen on British television was assembled in addition to Judi Dench and Eileen Atkins are Francesca Annis, Michael Gambon, Philip Glenister, Julia McKenzie, Jonathan Pryce and Imelda Staunton as well as a production team comprised of some of television's most talented creatives.

The limitations of filming on a tight budget and to a strict deadline meant that the spirit of `Elegant Economy', so much a part of daily life in the fictional Cranford, had to be embraced in the production too. Quite apart from the logistical challenges posed by locations, costumes, machinery and rain, there were numerous sleights-of-hand to be pulled off: among them a train crash, deep snow in high summer, a candlelit operation, a magic show and a cow in pajamas. The secrets of all these episodes, and more, are revealed in The Cranford Companion.

The book is an invitation into this charming town, an opportunity to make the full acquaintance of its inhabitants, and a unique chance to witness the creativity and the camaraderie that characterized the making of the BAFTA- and Emmy-award winning series. With hundreds of photographs taken on and off set, illustrations by artist Posy Simmonds, contributions by the social historian Jenny Uglow, the script writer Heidi Thomas and dozens of key members of the cast and crew, The Cranford Companion is an unmissable treat, whether or not readers have seen the enchanting series.

Health, Mind & Body / Fitness

Total-Body Toning with Lashaun Dale DVD by Lashaun Dale [DVD, running time 89 minutes] (Human Kinetics)

Total-Body Toning asks: Are you ready for a workout that produces results results you can see and feel? If so, look no further than Total-Body Toning with Lashaun Dale, your personal program for slimming, shaping, and sculpting your body.

Through interval training and a blend of traditional and nontraditional resistance exercises, perfecting ones physique has never been easier. Total-Body Toning includes eight workouts on this DVD in 89 minutes:

  • A total-body core workout for defined abs and a tapered waist.
  • Two upper-body workouts for toned arms and sexy shoulders.
  • Two lower-body workouts for a firm butt and shapely legs.
  • Warm-up section, fundamentals, and flow workout.

The DVD's special programming option allows viewers to personalize every workout for their goals, their schedule, and their body. Viewers can target body regions, improve cardio-respiratory fitness, or challenge themselves to a grueling total-body workout. They simply sequence the workouts and create a program. From length to progression to level of intensity, the choice is up to viewers.

This DVD allows viewers to look and feel their best with Total-Body Toning, a personal guide to achieving the ideal physique. Personal trainer Dale guides viewers through one of the most effective cardio and strength exercises for more focused workouts and better results.

Health, Mind & Body / Nutrition / Food Science / Reference

Micronutrients in Health and Disease by Kedar N. Prasad (Informa, CRC Press)

Increased oxidative stress due to the production of excessive amounts of free radicals along with the effects of chronic inflammation play a major role in the initiation and progression of a host of disease states, ranging from cancer to posttraumatic stress disorder. In varying doses, micronutrients, including antioxidants, B vitamins, and minerals have been shown to help ameliorate these effects. However, clinical studies using isolated micronutrients to combat these illnesses have proven that such limited therapy has produced inconsistent results.

Assembling a plethora of rational and scientific evidence, Micronutrients in Health and Disease makes the case that the use of not one but multiple micronutrients working together in combination with a low-fat, high-fiber diet can prove successful in the prevention and management of these chronic conditions. The book is written by Kedar N. Prasad, formerly Professor and Director for the Center for Vitamins and Cancer Research at the Department of Radiology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, President of the International Society of Nutrition and Cancer from 1992-2000, and currently Chief Scientific Officer of the Premier Micronutrient Corporation.

Following an overview of basic facts about micronutrients, oxidative stress, inflammation, the immune system, and the results of various clinical studies, Micronutrients in Health and Disease explores the use of micronutrients in the prevention and improvement of standard therapy in a number of disease states, including:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimers disease
  • Parkinsons disease
  • Hearing disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Adverse effects of radiation
  • Arthritis

Steeped in research and heavily referenced, Micronutrients in Health and Disease concludes with a list of common myths and misconceptions about micronutrient use and a chart with dietary reference intakes (DRIs) of all the major products.

According to Prasad in the introduction, the growing sentiments against the use of micronutrient supplements for improving human health, preventing disease, and improving treatment outcomes among most academic and practicing physicians, and many health professionals, have created confusion and uncertainties in the minds of many consumers and health professionals. These sentiments are primarily based on a few clinical trials in which supplementation with a single dietary antioxidant, primarily vitamin E and beta-carotene, increased the levels of risk factors and/or incidence of the disease in high-risk populations, such as heavy tobacco smokers, patients with coronary artery disease, and cancer survivors. Without critically examining the experimental designs of the trials with respect to the selection of antioxidants, recommendations are being made not to take any micronutrient supplements for health benefits. Such recommendations are alarming from the public health point of view. The adverse health effects of a single antioxidant in high-risk populations were expected, because such populations have high internal oxidative environments in which the individual antioxidants are oxidized and then act as prooxidants.

A few clinical trials with vitamin E alone produced no adverse health effects in normal populations with low internal oxidative environments, whereas others revealed beneficial effects in high-risk populations. Unfortunately, these clinical trials never receive as much publicity as those with negative results. Prasad and others have published several reviews in peer-reviewed journals challenging the current trends of using single antioxidants in high-risk populations for preventing the risk of disease or improving treatment. Prasad has also proposed that multiple micronutrients, including standard dietary and endogenous antioxidants, may be more useful in prevention and management of disease than single antioxidants. These articles failed to have any significant impact on the design of clinical trials, and the inconsistent results on the effect of a single antioxidant continued to be published. The growing anti-micronutrient views promoted by most academic and practicing physicians and science writers of the major news media have alarmed him enough to write Micronutrients in Health and Disease.

Many books and conference proceedings on the value of individual micronutrients in health and disease are available. These books provide both the positive and negative effects of antioxidants on human health and disease. None of the these books have critically analyzed the published data on antioxidants and health, and never questioned whether the experimental designs of the study on which the conclusions are based are scientifically valid, whether the results obtained from the use of a single antioxidant in high-risk populations can be extrapolated to the effect of the same antioxidant in a multiple antioxidant preparation for the same population, and whether they could be extrapolated to normal populations.

In Micronutrients in Health and Disease, Prasad proposes the unified hypothesis that increased oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are primarily responsible for the initiation and progression of most chronic human diseases as well as accelerated aging. Additionally, he contends that the glutamate release that occurs in certain chronic human diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders also plays a role in the maintenance and progression of the disease. They represent a good candidate to help maintain good health and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve the efficacy of current treatment modalities. Based on the specific health conditions, Prasad has developed a series of formulations of multiple micronutrients containing dietary and endogenous antioxidants. He has included only standard micronutrients that have been used by consumers for decades without reported toxicity. He has not included any herbs, herbal antioxidants, or antioxidants from fruits and vegetables in these formulations, because none of them produced any unique effect that can not be produced by standard antioxidants present in the formulation. The rationale for these formulations is discussed with respect to each specific health or disease condition.

In Micronutrients in Health and Disease, Prasad proposes a clinical study design for each disease that can be used to test the efficacy of these micronutrient formulations in healthy aging and prevention and improved treatment of certain common human diseases. Those who are taking daily supplements will be comforted by the information provided in this book, those who are on the sidelines may decide to take a micronutrient supplement daily, and some who are currently opposed to recommending micronutrient supplements will find this book challenging and may decide to test the proposed idea clinically or continue to believe that micronutrient supplements may be harmful. In the latter case, they should provide scientific reasons for their recommendations.

Prasad hopes Micronutrients in Health and Disease will arouse enough passion for and against taking multiple micronutrient supplements to lead to comprehensive, randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled clinical studies in high-risk and normal populations. Meanwhile, Prasad recommends that individuals continue to take appropriately prepared multiple micronutrients in consultation with their physicians and health professionals for healthy aging, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and improved current treatment outcomes.

Filled with research, Micronutrients in Health and Disease is a solid resource for those seeking to promote healthy aging and prevent and manage disease. The book will serve as a reference volume for graduate students in nutrition, instructors teaching courses in nutrition and health, researchers involved in prevention and improving treatments of diseases using micronutrients, primary care and academic physicians interested in complimentary medicine, and health professionals in complimentary medicine and the nutrition industry.

Health, Mind & Body / Pain Management

Dialogues with Pain: Internal Body Conversations That Resolve Suffering by Jeanne Taylor Hernandez Ph.D. (Create Space, Crown House Publishing)

As a psychologist in the Pain Division of a large teaching hospital, I have the opportunity to help people whose lives have been changed by pain, injury, and trauma to carry on or redesign their lives. I spent my years in training studying human resource development, public health and mental health practices, community and clinical psychology, and the hypnotherapy techniques of Milton Erickson and Stephen Gilligan, among many others. Before working in chronic pain management, I treated medical patients with psychosomatic disorders, dissociative disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. I learned about the inter-workings of the unconscious and conscious mind with the body and the impact on us of what goes on around us. now I am certain that, as sophisticated as our surgical and medicinal solutions to pain have become, in the end we do best with pain when we know we can comfort ourselves. To do this, we have to learn to be comfortable with pain signals, stay positive, and stay centered within ourselves. from the book

If readers are among the approximately fifty million Americans living with chronic pain, they must read Dialogues with Pain. In this book they learn to manage pain, differentiate it from suffering, and recognize how grief, stress, anger, and frustration could all become pain. Jeanne Taylor Hernandez explains the psychological aspects of pain and the value of internal body conversations. How do they step onto this path toward healing? How do they turn off the switch that causes suffering and turn on the switch that illuminates a healthier, more comfortable life?

Dialogues with Pain outlines a program utilizing positive, self-hypnotic internal conversations with ones body and with pain. The program explains why and how to have such internal dialogues, which help to recognize, understand, and then control or alleviate pain. This guide addresses questions regarding life's purposes, coping styles, grief, depression, and anger and so many elements that add to physical pain.

According to the book, managing ones pain, at best, entails learning when to focus on the pain and when to ignore it finding the right balance. As readers adjust to new roles and lifestyles they need flexibility and resiliency, even when clear thinking may be hampered by pain, pain medications, or the depression or anxiety that often accompany chronic pain.

Good pain management involves knowing how to keep a positive outlook and how to stay in charge of oneself, self-supportive and self-soothing. In addition, it is essential to maintain social support and stay with ones life purpose as much as possible. Knowing oneself on many levels certainly helps. Hernandez says it is rewarding to help clients learn to distinguish who they are apart from being in pain, and to help them stay focused on their lives.

Humans can influence their physical sensations, their physical well-being, and their return to function more than they think this comes up again and again in Dialogues with Pain.

Readers may never need the services of a pain clinic, but they will experience pain that limits their activities on and off through their lives, and perhaps more consistently in later years. They acquire the ability to put pain into proper perspective and direct their primary attention elsewhere. Dialogues with Pain is written to help readers dissolve any suffering from their pain and converse with their body in ways that keep them centered and in control.

Chapter 1 outlines the many variables influencing both ones perception of pain and the effect pain will have on their life, such as anxiety, depression, resiliency, belief in medical myths, positive outlook, and self-image. The chapter discusses how readers can improve and enhance their coping strategies both on their own and in therapy. Stress management is emphasized, as stress itself can lead to other medical problems. Chapter 1 is lengthy and in fact can stand alone and give readers and their loved ones plenty to work on in understanding and improving pain management.

Chapter 2 describes the several aspects of the personal self the constellation of selves and lays the foundation for Self Relations Psychotherapy. It forms the basis for the self-hypnotic pain management described in Chapters 6 and 7. The chapter describes the unique, personalized vulnerable core self the cognitive self, which handles and stores cognitively learned information and negotiates with the outside world for ones well-being; and the community sense of self which holds a collective consciousness and a bank of socialization skills, and which allows a person to sympathize, love, bond, and socialize. Chapter 2 also describes critical voices from significant others or from society that come in from outside of ones self-constellation. These alien or alienating voices can keep one from hearing and honoring the core self. The suffering that ensues with such self-alienation is often locked away in the form of body memories that are confused with physical pain. Understanding oneself in terms of all the various aspects of oneself relating to each other allows a person to deal with suffering, shame, and pain in healing and constructive ways.

Chapter 3 discusses the emotional and spiritual components of pain management. Suffering and misery, so often more debilitating to chronic pain patients than their injuries, is explored in some depth. The scientific pain community is investigating anew the issue of suffering, because it can initiate pain and magnify awareness of existing pain. Chapter 4 then adds the physical self to the field of ones various selves, including all the neurological, muscular, and emotional feelings felt in the body all to be differentiated from pain. Dialogues with Pain discusses the many types of ongoing communications among the body, mind, and spirit, and describes exactly how pain is an emotional event. Chapter 5 explains memories as constructions resulting from a combination of facts, interpretaions, emotions, and surrounding events; when any one aspect is triggered or recalled, all the other aspects may accompany it. The more important the issue, the more invasive the memory can be; this includes the recollection of pain, which itself is meant to be intrusive. Since expectation of pain is as uncomfortable as pain itself, and since it is relatively easy to recall a physical feeling, this is important to address for good pain management.

Chapter 6 is a transcription of the light self-hypnotic trance recorded on the compact disc that is included with Dialogues with Pain. Chapter 6 also discusses this self-hypnotic approach and explains how to use it. At the end, there is a brief transcription of a session with a client that demonstrates how the internal dialogue self-hypnotic approach worked for her pain. Chapter 7 contains a wide range of phrases to use with a variety of body systems, organs, limbs, and types of pain. The phrases really are conversation starters, with the plan of getting readers comfortable and practiced in carrying on such conversations. By the end of the chapter, they should begin to carry on their own internal conversations using their own words; readers should be moving into areas of their body where the most comfort and healing are needed, and wherever else they want to modify their interpretation of a body signal as pain.

Hernandez, a trained personal life coach, is a practicing clinical psychologist, who has worked for over 30 years in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Public Health and the School of Medicine Departments of Psychiatry and Anesthesiology. Formerly Director of Behavioral Medicine in UNC-Chapel Hill's interdisciplinary Spine and Pain Center, she continues her work assisting clients with pain management, general psychotherapy, and personal life coaching out of her Durham-based private practice, Harmony Coaching and Psychotherapy.

This book emerges from the author's experience over decades with both chronic pain management and self relations psychotherapy. It truly offers hope, an unprecedented perspective, and practical coping skills for the person living with, and suffering from, chronic pain. It also provides healthcare providers a comprehensive understanding of why their chronic pain patients suffer. C. Richard Chapman, Ph.D., former President of the American Pain Society, Director of the University of Utah Pain Research Center

Dr. Hernandez has written an exceptional book on resolving the complex suffering of chronic pain. It provides a very clear and helpful framework, plus many good techniques for healing or transforming pain. Both pain sufferers and health professionals dealing with this challenging issue will benefit immensely from it! Stephen Gilligan, Ph.D., psychologist, author of The Courage to Love, world recognized trainer and practitioner of Ericksonian Hypnosis and Psychotherapy

Dialogues with Pain is a reader-friendly, compelling and inspiring book. If readers suffer from pain, they should read this book. By the end of the book, they will be able to carry on internal conversations comforting themselves and addressing whatever they need in response to pain.

Health, Mind & Body / Professional & Technical / Medicine / Reference

The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis edited by Julie Holland M.D. (Park Street Press, Inner Traditions)

The Pot Book's release comes at a time when laws and social attitudes toward cannabis have reached a tipping point, a time when marijuana use may become legal. Fifteen states have enacted laws that legalize medical marijuana, and seven states have pending legislation or ballot measures to do the same. Most recently, councilmen in Oakland voted to make their city the first in the country to authorize wholesale pot cultivation. According to The New York Times, Oakland faces a $31 million deficit; however, experts estimate that marijuana factories could earn the city up to $38 million annually in fees and taxes.

Exploring the role of cannabis in medicine, politics, history, and society, The Pot Book offers a compendium of the most up-to-date information and scientific research on marijuana from leading experts. Encompassing the broad spectrum of marijuana knowledge from stoner customs to scientific research, the volume investigates the top ten myths of marijuana; its physiological and psychological effects; its risks; why joints are better than water pipes and other harm-reduction tips for users; how humanity and cannabis have co-evolved for millennia; the brains cannabis-based neurochemistry; the complex politics of cannabis law; its potential medicinal uses for cancer, AIDS, Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, and other illnesses; its role in creativity, business, and spirituality; and the complicated world of pot and parenting. As legalization becomes a reality, this book candidly offers necessary facts and authoritative opinions in a society full of marijuana myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes, replacing them with scientifically documented truths.

Author Julie Holland, M.D., a leading expert on recreational drug use, is a psychiatrist who specializes in psychopharmacology and a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.

"The Pot Book explores the role of cannabis in medicine, politics, history, and society," explains Holland. "Our goal was to make it as comprehensive as possible, relying on the most up-to-date information and scientific research on marijuana from leading experts."

Contributors to the book include Harvard Medical School's Lester Grinspoon, M.D.; Allen St. Pierre, director of the National Organization for Reforming Marijuana

Law (NORML); Andrew Weil, M.D., best-selling author and founder of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Michael Pollan, best-selling author and UC-Berkeley professor of journalism; and comedian-actor Tommy Chong.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to help fund therapeutic cannabis research.

With marijuana legislation making headlines almost daily, The Pot Books timing is impeccable. It takes a candid look at all things cannabis from all angles: history, scientific research, medicinal use, our nations drug policy, myths, and misconceptions. I recommend this book as a comprehensive must-have guide for any library. Andrew Weil, M.D., author of the bestselling 8 Weeks to Optimum Health and founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
The Pot Book traces the secret history of marijuana, examines the disconnect between seventy years of prohibition and the American publics personal attitudes toward pot, and offers a clear-eyed look at all the uses of cannabis, including the growing list of its widespread medicinal benefits. Consulting with the top experts in the field, Dr. Julie Holland presents the current science and makes a compelling case for the need for further research, unencumbered by anti-drug hysteria, as well as an immediate change to our nations puritanical drug laws. John Dioso, deputy managing editor of Rolling Stone
The most-up-to-date and reliable source of information on the exploding frontiers of cannabis science written by the top experts in the field. I highly recommend this book. Steven Hager, High Times creative director
Dr. Julie Holland has assembled a virtual dream team of cannabis experts for this marijuana magnum opus. Steve Bloom, publisher of, coauthor of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness, and former editor of High Times
The Pot Book reveals the truth about cannabis in one timely, even-handed volume. Dr. Julie Holland has brought together the top experts discussing every aspect of this persistently misunderstood plant. The Pot Book is now the best single source for information and insights on marijuana. Neal M. Goldsmith, Ph.D., author of Psychedelic Healing
Are you a lover or hater of the pot world? In either case this book is for you, if you want to be enlightened. I knew the book was a winner as soon as I held it and felt the good vibrations. Read it and tell your friends. Tommy Chong, comedian, actor, and cannabis activist
With controversy heating up, and propositions to legalize marijuana appearing all over the nation, a book which educates, dispels myths, and elucidates the issues associated with this plant could not be more timely. Organized in five sections, the book offers important facts and expert opinions regarding marijuana's physiological, neurochemical, and psychological effects; its potential for medicinal uses; and its role in creativity, business, and spiritualityThroughout the book, research-based material is enhanced by interviews and stories, and the contributors' accounts of their personal experiences add a flavor of authenticity. The Pot Book will appeal to a wide audience, and serves as a thorough reference for educators, clinicians, and families, as well as a training consultation manual. This volume makes an excellent transducer to help transform the failing war on marijuana into something more positive and enriching. Richard Skaff, Foreword Magazine, October 2010

Candid, timely and comprehensive, The Pot Book offers the necessary facts and authoritative opinions and is endorsed out the wazoo.

History / Americas / Social Sciences / Biographies & Memoirs

Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Justice Brennan is an insider look at court history and the life of William Brennan (1906-1997), champion of free speech and public access to information, and widely considered the most influential Supreme Court justice of the twentieth century. Brennan served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1956 to 1990 and was known during his term for being a leader of the judicially liberal wing of the Court. But the Court and all of American politics is still roiled by the 40-year long conservative backlash that Brennan's decisions about school prayer, the death penalty, and affirmative action helped fuel. While he remains a hero to two generations of progressive lawyers including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, he is also still the symbol of judicial activism decried by conservatives.

Before his death, Brennan granted coauthor Stephen Wermiel, a Wall Street Journal reporter, who covered the Supreme Court for 12 years and teaches constitutional law at American University Washington College of Law, access to a trove of personal and court materials that will not be available to the public until 2017. Wermiel also conducted more than 60 hours of interviews with Brennan over the course of six years with the justice in his chambers, and often sat in on morning coffee meetings between Brennan and his clerks, or listened while he prepared for oral arguments. No other biographer has enjoyed this kind of access to a Supreme Court justice or to his papers.

Justice Brennan makes public for the first time the contents of what Jeffrey Toobin calls a coveted set of documents, Brennans case histories, in which he recorded the strategizing behind all the major battles of the past half century, including Roe v. Wade, affirmative action, the death penalty, obscenity law, and the constitutional right to privacy.

Revelations on a more intimate scale include how Brennan refused to hire female clerks even as he wrote groundbreaking womens rights decisions, his complex stance as a justice and a Catholic, and new details on Brennans unprecedented working relationship with Chief Justice Earl Warren. This information intensely valuable to readers of all political persuasions will cement Brennans reputation as epic playmaker of the Courts most liberal era.

Coauthor Seth Stern graduated from Harvard Law School in 2001 and has been a reporter for Congressional Quarterly since 2004.

During his tenure from 1956 to 1990, Brennan provided more than 1,350 opinions on a wide variety of issues. The authors trace Brennan's life from corporate attorney to lawyer for the Department of Justice during World War II, subsequent selection as a state judge and then youthful appointment to the Supreme Court. The bulk of Justice Brennan is dedicated to examining the forces at work throughout his tenure, and his deep, abiding passion for, and commitment to, human dignity.

Anyone who wants to appreciate the life, times, and jurisprudence of one of the most interesting and influential liberal justices of the twentieth century must read Justice Brennan. At a time when the very idea of a liberal justice seems out of reach, it is essential for Americans to understand just what our nation has lost. Geoffrey R. Stone, professor of law, University of Chicago

Justice Brennan is a superb account of how a relatively obscure Irish Catholic Republican judge from New Jersey became the most influential Supreme Court justice of the past century, along the way making America into a more just and equal society. This compelling book also provides unparalleled insights into the workings of the Supreme Court. Walter Dellinger, Supreme Court Advocate and former Attorney General

The book's strength is Wermiel's access to Brennan's private case notes (which are closed to the public until 2017) and dozens of interviews with Brennan himself. The case notes provide a detailed and fascinating account of how the Supreme Court functioned during Brennan's long tenure (from 1956 to 1990) that easily outshines recent high-profile books purporting to break the Court's seal of secrecy. Nowhere will readers find a better explanation of how the mix of personality and political philosophy drove, and presumably still drives, the Court. Both legal scholars and general readers will be delighted with this well-written, superbly documented biography, which may make liberals nostalgic for Brennan's court. Publishers Weekly, starred review

The authors balance differing accounts of Brennan the jurist and the man, presenting an evenhanded portrait of the affable but stubborn Justice. Stern and Wermiel thoroughly cover such divisive issues as racial integration, gender inequality, abortion, pornography, the rights of criminal defendants and upholding the death penalty. Despite his outward joviality, Brennan did not reveal personal insights with those closest to him, including his devoted clerks, but his true passion comes through clearly: his love for the potential power of the law to help or harm humanity. A canny consensus broker, though perhaps pedestrian in opinion writing, his legacy as a judicial activist a term deployed both proudly and pejoratively toward Brennan cannot be diminished. The book is dense, and although the authors take pains to explain legal terminology and implications of case outcomes, it may be tough going for those with limited familiarity with court proceedings. Intriguing behind-the-scenes look for readers with an interest in social justice, focusing on how one man's allegiance to guiding principles transformed this nation's judicial system. Kirkus Reviews

Here is a comprehensive biography of the Supreme Court Justice whose liberal agenda profoundly affected public policy in the second half of the 20th century. Sweeping, riveting, Justice Brennan is a revelatory telling of the extraordinary life of the Supreme Court's greatest liberal and preeminent playmaker, based on unprecedented access. The authors balance differing accounts of Brennan the jurist and the man, presenting an evenhanded portrait of the affable but stubborn justice. It is a historic achievement.

History / Military / Social Sciences

War and Sex: A Brief History of Men's Urge for Battle by John Van Houten Dippel (Prometheus Books)

War or sex it's never been a simple either-or choice. In fact, making war and making love have a long, tangled, intimate history.

Why young men voluntarily go off to war has long defied understanding. Eagerly risking one's life seems contrary to the innate instinct for self-preservation. Are young males notorious risk takers courting death out of some irresistible altruistic impulse to sacrifice their lives for a larger cause or, conversely, do they expect something in return?

War and Sex examines the reasons why men go to war, and the subconscious influence women have on this 'urge for battle'. It is in fact a study of how growing gender equality and a concomitant decline in fertility creates resentment and hostility among some groups of men and encourages them to see war as a strategy for improving their reproductive fortunes.

In this exploration, independent historian John Dippel argues that one important subconscious reason young men volunteer for battle is to enhance their status as partners for the women on the home front. For men of little means, becoming soldiers gives them a sexual and reproductive advantage over their civilian counterparts.

Drawing upon extensive literary as well as historical sources, Dippel in War and Sex demonstrates how, in modern times, women gaining economic opportunities and political rights has made men more willing to go to war to regain their masculine prerogatives. The experience of war, fundamentally alters the relations between the sexes, reaffirming the central social importance of men and demoting women to supportive, domestic roles. Reviewing the social circumstances leading up to conflicts from the American Civil War through the Vietnam War and the current clash between the West and Islamic fundamentalists, he shows that gender-based pressures play a significant, if largely overlooked, role in persuading a society to go to war.

If anything, history teaches us that human nature is much more complicated and contradictory: the need to make love and the need to make war are deeply intertwined. It was the lovely Helen, after all, whose fabled face launched a thousand ships and brought about the Trojan War. Gaining access to women has long been one of the major reasons why men have girded their loins for battle. Along with food and more land, warriors have always fought for the rewards of sex, female submission, and genetic immortality.

War and Sex shows how male hostility toward the slaves and empowering women stirred a desire, in both the North and the South, to reassert white-male dominance by embracing a martial masculinity. Similarly, emasculated by defeat, burdensome reparations, Depression-era job loss, and increasing female rights and participation in the workforce, many German and Austrian men sought to regain their primacy by flocking to the banner of an aggressive Nazi movement bent upon war and conquest. Readers learn how members of the greatest generation, happy to forget World War II, proved to be insufficient male role models for their sons, leaving them to spend hours watching The Lone Ranger and playing with toy soldiers. These boyhood heroic fantasies would again play out in real life amid the jungles of Vietnam, ending in disillusionment.

Even milquetoast males benefit from a nation's going to war. To prevail under arms, a society has to undergo an internal transformation a process of militarization that elevates the qualities associated with males (courage, self-sacrifice, stoic perseverance) while demoting those thought of as feminine (compassion, cooperation, kindness). This reordering reinstates a gender hierarchy: men become the admired sex. If they have previously lost some of their distinctive masculine identity or value to society; they can now collectively regain these attributes simply by virtue of their gender.

Going to war alters the power relations between men and women. Females are loath to object to this shift in status because their security, too, is at stake. Disgruntled males can take advantage of this to further their own ends. On the home front, assertive, competitive females are put back in their place that is, in the home, taking care of the kids. Women encountered by soldiers during war are apt to be abused, humiliated, or violated a psychological displacement of male frustration and anger over female usurpation of their prerogatives back home. There is even a plausible connection between the desire for war and the desire to restore male dominance. Many modern wars of choice (that is, those not waged in response to attack or imminent danger) have occurred after women in the bellicose nation have gained new rights and freedoms. When these conflicts have ended with victory, this successful outcome has halted or even reversed the trend toward full female equality and put men firmly back on top. In this sense, men win doubly, on and off the battlefield: winning a war turns the battle of the sexes in their favor.

The wars examined in War and Sex the Civil War, several regional conflicts at the end of the nineteenth century: World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the ongoing confrontation between Islamic fundamentalists and Western nations all conform to this pattern. Each was preceded by substantial progress for women in gaining rights and opportunities the woman's rights movement of the antebellum era, the suffragette protests of the early twentieth century, the expansion of women's economic and domestic power in the 1930s, the stirrings of second wave feminism in the 1960s, and the growing acceptance of women as equals (even in uniform) in recent decades. And each of these wars has resulted in setbacks for females in the victorious nations and greater progress for those on the losing side, where men have been discredited. Seen in this light, wars are not just about defeating external foes or protecting national security. They are also fought consciously or unconsciously to resolve domestic tensions and conflicts over the proper roles for men and women.

War and Sex approaches war not as a condition arbitrarily imposed upon a people, but as social choice made in light of domestic pressures and needs having to do with gender relations. For sexually disadvantaged young men who make up the great bulk of volunteers this outcome can lead to marriage and fatherhood. For them, the impulse to war is really the impulse to life.

Without explicitly blaming feminism for war, Dippel examines the impact of shifting gender roles on masculine impulses. Other contributing factors round out his study, and marriage statistics, birth rates, and plentiful notes and sources both buoy and saddle his argument. Still, his insight and analysis is impressive, and will be of interest to hawks and doves alike. Publishers Weekly

What John Dippel has done here in his fascinating War and Sex is to sharply remind us that wars don't start when the first gun fires. Wars, he persuasively shows us in these wonderfully detailed case studies, are so often motivated by many men's anxieties about their own masculinity and by their imaginings that women's progress threatens their manly privileges. I learned so much from this innovative book. Cynthia Enloe, author of Nimo's War, Emma's War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War

War and sex two small words, each with enormous consequence, and which make many people uncomfortable when combined. But as John Dippel convincingly shows in this brilliant, engrossing book, the connection is all too real, and something we absolutely must understand. Stunningly important and effectively presented. David P. Barash, author of The Three Rs: Retaliation, Revenge and Redirected Aggression

The relationship between human conflict and gender is a vital but under-examined facet of the history of warfare. John V. H. Dippel, in this superbly researched and ably written book, makes perhaps the most comprehensive and incisive contribution to date, taking the discussion of sex and war to a new level. Michael C. C. Adams, author of The Great Adventure: Male Desire and the Coming of World War I

Thoroughly researched and compelling, War and Sex is a unique discussion of men's and women's roles. In a society contemplating war, the book offers much food for thought. Engrossing, persuasive, panoramic in its use of historic research, statistical data, and popular culture and literary references, this is the first book to demonstrate how the sex war between men and women can give rise to wars between nations.

Home & Garden / Interior Design / Architecture & Environment / Reference

Green Interior Design by Lori Dennis (Allworth Press)

Since average Americans spend 90 percent of their lives indoors, it is no wonder they are looking homeward to become more environmentally friendly. While jumping in with both feet works for some, transforming the home into a green Mecca can be overwhelming.

How does one design and craft green interiors? Is it difficult to make the change? With all the product choices flooding the marketplace, how does one choose the right ones? Is designing green too expensive?

In Green Interior Design award-winning interior designer Lori Dennis offers her trade secrets, providing hard to find and practical information for anyone wishing to create green and sustainable interiors. Dennis in Green Interior Design proves interior design can be both stylish and environmentally sustainable, discussing every aspect of interior design furniture and accessories, window treatments, fabrics, surface materials, appliances, plants, and more from a green perspective in terms of reducing waste and pollution and turning a home into a healthy, comfortable environment. Readers learn how to:

  • Use sustainable materials like bamboo, cork, and recycled glass to enhance interiors.
  • Search thrift shops and antique stores for vintage hidden treasure.
  • Find the best vendors for purchasing green products.
  • Use plants and locally cut flowers to improve indoor air quality and brighten up rooms.
  • Replace lawns with indigenous plants and edible gardens.
  • Keep rooms clean with effective and nontoxic products.
  • Use energy efficient lighting and maximize natural light.
  • Apply for different types of green certification.

With over 100 color photographs, lists of the best green vendors, and profiles of green designers, Green Interior Design is a guide for anyone who wants to create beautiful interiors while lessening the waste and pollution generated by the building industry. This manual includes extensive resources and vendors who practice green behavior and business strategics and inspirational and cost-effective tips to creating glamorously green interiors. Dennis also shares checklists (such as green criteria) to help readers develop successful, sustainable projects.

Being raised by a struggling single mother and grandmother who lived through the Great Depression. Dennis says she was taught early to conserve energy, never waste, and recycle. Even though she was captured by the power of interior design by the age of four, her bedroom merely consisted of a cot and a few secondhand toys. One day a package arrived from her aunt bold, happy, comic book sheets that lightened up her room and began her captivation with decoration and design. Twenty-three years later when Dennis started her own interior design firm it only seemed natural that she marry her agenda of green living with the concept of sustainability and she has had great success ever since.

Eco-friendly projects of Denniss business include residential, commercial, and hospitality interiors in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Springs, and New York.

In Green Interior Design a special focus is given to bedrooms and living rooms where occupants spend most of their time, and landscaping and landscape maintenance are scrutinized from a green vantage point. The book concludes with interviews from a number of leading designers and architects who incorporate environmental and health concerns in their projects along with sample images of their favorite rooms.

After many years of receiving phone calls and emails from people throughout the world asking where to find the materials and furnishings they had seen in her designs, she knew that sharing these trade secrets could help people to do the right thing.

"We believe that good design is green design and things that last for many lifetimes are things worth buying," says Dennis. "Our clients are encouraged to buy less, but buy the best they can afford. At our firm the concepts of luxury and green co-exist. Our definition of luxury, however, isn't having a lot of things it is valuing quality over quantity. The quality we are talking about is organic, renewable, recyclable, healthy, and beautiful."

Lori Dennis gives us a comprehensive primer and tool-book for green living. This must-have volume is filled with encyclopedic details, checklists, and source guides everything one needs to know in order to create eco-friendly interiors. Its the new go-to for sustainable interior design principles and practices. Pamela Jaccarino, Editor in Chief, Luxe Interiors + Design
This book is packed with easy-to-understand, practical information and resources that many interior designers have been desperately seeking. Lori Dennis succinctly addresses the challenges green interior designers face and shares her solutions and sources, further solidifying her position as a rising star in the sustainable design movement. ASID is proud to count her among our 36,000 members. Thom Banks, Hon. FASID, ASID Deputy Executive Director
Lori Dennis is a trailblazer, having specialized in green interior design for over a decade. Shes a master at the efficient use of space and has all the resources and trade secrets you need to make any home more environmentally friendly, visually appealing, and comfortable. Phyllis Goldstein, Editorial Director, Small Room Decorating, Cottage Style, and Romantic Country
Lori Dennis offers a thoughtful look at the shades of green that go into living responsibly, comfortably, and beautifully at home. An essential introduction to sustainable domestic design. Jordan Kushins, Assistant Editor, Dwell magazine

Dennis's passion for green living and interior design resonates throughout this book. Easy-to-use, entertaining, and thorough, Green Interior Design provides hard-to-find and practical information for anyone wishing to create green and sustainable interiors and reduce the enormous stream of waste and pollution generated by the building industry.

Homeowners, interior designers, architects, and contractors will be inspired by this innovative and practical manual.

Philosophy / Entertainment / Television

Doctor Who and Philosophy edited by Courtland Lewis and Paula Smithka (Popular Culture and Philosophy Series: Open Court)

Doctor Who is the longest-running science-fiction television show in history. The old (or Classic 1963-1989) Doctor Who series built up a loyal American cult following with regular conventions and other activities. The current series, featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, is breaking all earlier records, in both the UK and the US.

In Doctor Who and Philosophy, a team of mostly human philosophers (who are also fans) looks at the deeper issues raised by the Doctor's mind-blowing adventures. They discuss, among other topics, the Doctor's philosophy of science, the ethics of a universe with millions of intelligent species, what makes one life-form more important than another, whether time travelers can change history, and how the Doctor Who TV show is changing the world we live in.

Doctor Who and Philosophy examines issues of personal identity and explains how the Doctor provides valuable insights into understanding who we are, the volume also discusses Doctor Who's representation of science, logic, speciesism, perception, physics, and causation. The chapters draw freely on both the classic series and the new series. The book includes a collection of entertaining and insightful quotes from Doctor Who plus a complete list of episodes and companions.

Courtland Lewis is a lifelong Doctor Who fan and a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Paula Smithka, coeditor of Community, Diversity, and Difference: Implications for Peace, is associate professor of philosophy at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Opening this book is like opening the door to the TARDIS: we get to spend time with our favorite incarnations of the Doctor whether the First, the Fourth, the Eleventh, or Doctor-Donna, and ponder what it means to travel through time, grow a new personality, fall in love, sacrifice for a greater good, and experience the cosmos for all the wonder it is. Really, Doctor Who and Philosophy is even better than a Sonic Screwdriver. Josef Steiff, Professor of Film at Columbia College Chicago and author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Independent Filmmaking
This dimensionally transcendental volume explains what the Doctor never gets around to until later: the basics of Gallifreyan philosophy and ethics, as translated through Earths philosophers. A fun, informative volume for folks interested in an introduction to philosophy through the vortex of Doctor Who. Lynne M. Thomas, co-editor of Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It
Lewis and Smithka have done all sapient species a brilliant service by introducing Doctor Who and Philosophy into the time continuum. Like the Doctors human companions, we get to travel through a universe of Big Ideas with a caring, clever, and, yes, conflicted friend. Next to a real TARDIS swooping down and carrying us off, nothing could beat the experience of reading this book. Patrick D. Hopkins, editor of Sex/Machine
Doctor Who and Philosophy makes you want to go right back to episodes like Robot and The Brain of Morbius so you can watch them again, now that you know what theyre really about. No series in the entire history of television has lit up all the beacons of classic philosophy like Doctor Who, and this brilliant book is chock full of Time Lord enlightenment. Rob Arp, Consulting Ontologist and author of Scenario Visualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative Problem Solving
An intriguing collection of essays that examines Doctor Who from every philosophical angle imaginable. Do you want theories and contradictions of time travel? Its in there. Do you want a deep examination of the nature of identity, as understood through the Doctor and his regenerative ability? Its in there, too, and it is considered from a variety of philosophical approaches. And so is much, much more. Lewis and Smithka have assembled a fascinating anthology, one that all Who fans, media scholars, and armchair philosophers should want on their shelves. Chris Hansen, editor of Ruminations, Peregrinations, and Regenerations: A Critical Approach to Doctor Who

Fascinating, fun and educational, Doctor Who and Philosophy is a great addition to the popular series, Popular Culture and Philosophy, of which it is volume 55. A section on ethics provides both a nice introduction to ethics and also some important insights into how the Doctor tells us to live the good life.

Political Science / Public Policy / Urban Planning

Critical Urban Studies: New Directions edited by Jonathan S. Davies and David L. Imbroscio, with an introduction by Clarence N. Stone (SUNY Press)

Urban scholarship has had detractors of late, particularly in mainstream political science, where it has been accused of parochialism and insularity.

Critical Urban Studies, edited by Jonathan S. Davies, Reader in Public Policy at the University of Warwick and David L. Imbroscio, Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville, offers a repudiation of this critique, reasserting the need for critical urban scholarship and demonstrating the fundamental importance of urban studies for understanding and changing contemporary social life. Contributors to the volume identify an orthodox perspective in the field, subject it to critique, and map out a future research agenda for the field. The result is a series of essays pointing scholars and students to the major theoretical and policy challenges facing urbanists and other critical social scientists.

In Critical Urban Studies, Davies and Imbroscio demonstrate the vitality of urban studies in a double sense: its fundamental importance for understanding contemporary societies and its qualities as a dynamic and innovative field of inquiry. Urbanists have detractors, particularly scholars in mainstream U.S. political science. In 2007, Bryan D. Jones, a former urbanist, and two graduate students, Joshua Sapotichne and Michelle Wolfe, launched a scathing attack on the urban politics subfield. They argued that it has become parochial and moribund, ignoring significant approaches in mainstream political science and failing to contribute anything to it. Other than urban regime theory, they claimed, it has contributed little of value for two decades or more. In response to challenging orthodox theories, Davies and Imbroscio organized a debate on Critical Urban Studies: New Directions, taking in the whole urban field, to emphasize the falsity of Jones' critique and to engage the field with the renewed spirit of social critique emerging since the late 1990s. Two panels, convened at the 38th meeting of the Urban Affairs Association (UAA), convinced them that critical urban studies is a matter of considerable interest and debate. The first panel looked at developments in critical urban theory, the second critical urban policy; and they have structured Critical Urban Studies accordingly.

Davies and Imbroscio asked each of the contributors to Critical Urban Studies to identify an orthodox perspective in urban studies and subject it to critique, while mapping out a future research agenda for the renewal of critique. As the result of their endeavors, the volume reflects the most recent developments in the practice of critique in the urban field, challenges prevalent orthodoxies, and identifies the key challenges posed for critical urban studies by contemporary city life. It thus reaffirms and renews the tradition of critique through which the international field of urban studies has made its name.

Elvin Wyly opens Part I: Critical Urban Theory with a qualified defense of positivism in urban enquiry. Urbanists have been particularly critical of positivism. However, Wyly argues that the urban discipline is wrong to reject it wholesale. Positivist research, characterized by rigorous observation and measurement, has an important role to play in radical urban inquiry. In Chapter 2, Mara Sidney accepts Wyly's claim about the potential of positivist urban research to be critical, while also revealing the critical potential embodied in an episternic rival to positivism: constructivist and interpretive analysis. She further demonstrates how a constructivist, interpretative approach could do much to revitalize the study of urban politics. Warren Magnusson's contribution in Chapter 3 finds great value in critical urban studies' ability to see like a city envision the world as resulting from distinctively urban practices as opposed to the conventional state-centric view of the world. Seeing like a city rather than seeing like a state presents a profound challenge to orthodox political science by detaching the discipline from its traditional state-oriented moorings. Doing so, Vlagnusson demonstrates, transforms contemporary political science into an urban discipline, as urban political phenomena now marginal to the discipline instead become central to it.

In Chapter 4, Julie-Anne Boudreau also asks that we envision the world as constituted by distinctively urban practices and characteristics. If we do so, she argues, then it is plausible to conceive of a specifically urban standpoint from which to generate knowledge and do research. Such an urban epistemology possesses significant critical potential, while challenging the orthodox view that a researcher can produce knowledge in a disembodied way In Chapter 5, Davies renews his critical engagement with urban regime theory, arguing against Clarence Stone that urban politics needs Marxist theory. In a period of neoliberal crisis and ever-rising inequality; a Marxist conception recommends radically different forms of political action based on the potential for revitalized class struggles. Concluding Part I of Critical Urban Studies David Imbroscio argues in Chapter 6 against the likes of Bryan Jones and his colleagues, and instead suggests that urban politics must resist the allure of the mainstream and its methodological and normative orthodoxies including ontological individualism, pluralism, and (neo)liberal political economy.

Part II, Critical Urban Policy, begins with chapters by Jeff Spinner-Haley (Chapter 7) and Yasminah Beebeejaun (Chapter 8) engaging the issue of diversity. Spinner-Haley questions the orthodox view in urban studies that blames the nefarious actions of the abstract entity of the state for racial and class segregation in the United States. Such a view, he argues, is much too simple a portrayal of the problem and neglects the role played by the actions and preferences of individual citizens. His analysis provides a sobering retort to those urban scholars who fail to come fully to terms with the complexities surrounding efforts to protect minority interests from majoritarian impulses in democratic politics. He argues that multicultural theories and policies based on the goal of racial equality have come under attack in recent years and been replaced by a newly hegemonic policy narrative, community cohesion. He attacks this new orthodoxy, arguing that it reflects a colonial attitude toward black and minority ethnic groups, treating them as immigrants not citizens. She mounts a robust case for multiculturalism, while maintaining that the defense of difference "is empty if not linked to debate about justice and equality."

The next two chapters by James DeFilippis and Jim Fraser (Chapter 9) and Edward Goetz and Karen Chapple (Chapter 10) challenge orthodoxies concerning how best to confront spatially concentrated urban poverty. DeFilippis and Fraser critique the orthodox theoretical justification for creating mixed-income housing and neighborhoods offered by mainstream urban policy analysts. They offer their own theoretical justification for mixed-income housing and neighborhoods, a justification that suggests policies both normatively and programmatically superior. Goetz and Chapple question the related orthodoxy of what Imbroscio elsewhere identifies as the dispersal consensus in U.S. anti-poverty and low-income housing policy. Goetz and Chapple's analysis marshals considerable empirical evidence challenging the dispersalist position by demonstrating that such policies are often both ineffective and unjust.

Finally, in Chapter 11, Thad Williamson takes a critical view of the urban sprawl debate. What troubles Williamson is the overconfidence of much of the conventional critical urban scholarship on sprawl. Such scholarship views the notion that sprawl is a bad thing as a self-evident truth. Williamson takes the defense of sprawl seriously but shows how such a defense ultimately founders on both empirical and normative grounds.

The essays in Critical Urban Studies advance the enterprise of critical urban studies. They challenge a wide range of prevalent orthodoxies and illuminate several new directions on which subsequent critical scholarship and practice can build. They lay the foundation for reconceiving the conduct of empirical inquiry and knowledge production, revamping the nature of disciplinary work in the social sciences and revitalizing the field of urban studies itself with a renewed sense of confidence and intellectual vigor. The contributors provide thorough critiques of established urban policies that hinder social justice while offering progressive alternatives. They also press policy advocates committed to social justice to develop more rigorous and justifiable understandings of the immense challenges posed by contemporary city life.

Critical Urban Studies revisits the tradition of critical scholarship characteristic of the urban studies field. The essays reevaluate and challenge the critiques. The inventive essays will inspire future urban scholars and activists to further advance the theory and practice of critique in even deeper and more transformative directions. By provoking controversy at this time of global crisis, Critical Urban Studies functions to begin the debate.

Professional & Technical / Architecture / Business & Investing / Finance

Practical Greening: The Bottom Line On Sustainable Property Development, Investment and Financing by LEED AP Molly McCabe (Peppertree Press)

We are living in a unique time, facing unimagined challenges: global economic crisis, peak oil, climate change, social and geopolitical shifts. And these are the high level concerns. At the ground level we are dealing with aging infrastructure, an inadequate energy grid, primary fuel sources in foreign hands, diminishing croplands, a newly regulated playing field and unemployment reaching double digits in some cities. Like a perfect storm, few could have imagined these events arising in concert. But, they have complexity is increasing, changing the world as we've known it.

We need the capacity to evolve, to innovate, be agile and flexible and ultimately, resilient. We need to engage and lead. The imperatives of climate change and resource scarcity will change the way we do business. from the book

Molly McCabe, founder and president of Bridger Commercial Funding, is a research fellow for the Responsible Property Investing Center housed at Harvard University. In Practical Greening asks readers to imagine 30,000 acres of pristine land handsome rolling hills full of wildlife, including eagles, great blue heron, bobcats and threatened kit foxes. 30,000 acres is just shy of 47 square miles. The 30,000 acres is located adjacent to a community where the population has almost doubled in 20 years.

McCabe was part of a team that financed the development of an identical piece of land in the mid 1980s. The area was right on the edge of town; perfect for first-time homebuyers and industrial development. Her team helped facilitate a new metropolis in the foothills of California. Over the next few years, they financed office buildings, hotels, industrial properties, warehouses and residential subdivisions. A small town became a city, and the state itself grew twice as fast as the rest of the nation. Yet not once did the question of sustainability come up.

In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) defined sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

It's hard to argue with the U.N.'s basic premise. Sustainability helps balance present and future needs, making it an obvious best practice. Sustainability connotes best practice, a strategic imperative how do we sort through the hype, rhetoric and misinformation that plague the subject? How do we find the nexus between profit and green building?

According to Practical Greening, sustainability isn't a property type. If one has an office building that has sustainable features, it's still an office building. One still needs to operate it efficiently and keep tenants happy. Ninety percent of the risks associated with sustainable properties are the same fundamental real estate risks we deal with every day:

  • Location
  • Design
  • Access
  • Market Conditions
  • Regulatory environment

When one looks at these factors from a traditional real estate perspective, sustainability becomes the next obvious step; its an evolution in the analysis.

Practical Greening asks, does a sustainable property cost more than a conventional property? Not necessarily. Overall costs depend on the design features and on the skill and experience of the construction team, as well as the time frame under study. One also has to take into account government incentives, tax and utility rebates & credits, tax abatements, expedited permitting and density bonuses.

Do sustainable design features automatically lead to higher rents, faster absorption and lower turnover? While it's still too early to say for sure, a growing body of anecdotal evidence suggests that sustainability has a positive impact on absorption, retention and turnover. And increasingly tenants are asking for sustainable features.

How do sustainable property values hold up over the long term? Once again, there is not enough data to formulate a conclusive answer, but logic suggests that higher net operating incomes (due to lower operating expenses) should produce higher long-term values. And, in any case, risk mitigation against potential regulation and changing consumer demand is worth the effort whether sustainable buildings appreciate at the same rate or, as anticipated, better than traditional buildings.

Readers of Practical Greening should also keep in mind that energy costs will continue to exert pressure on overall pricing and availability. If one lowers their exposure to energy price volatility and resource issues, they can reduce their risks which, in turn, should translate to lower cap and discount rates. It is commonly believed that a green-rated or certified building will be more energy efficient. And the higher the rating, the greater the efficiency. But depending on the overall certification parameters, a project with a stamp of approval might be no more efficient than a conventional property. Conversely, a project can meet all its sustainability objectives without receiving official certification. Still, green certification especially Energy Star and LEED has become a major selling point.

While environmental and social factors are part of the equation, economics drives the focus on sustainability. There is an emerging mass of data that demonstrates a direct link between sustainability and financial performance. Lower operating costs, the potential for increased productivity, a healthier work environment (resulting in easier recruitment and retention of employees and possibly bringing down our health costs) and sustainability's intrinsic marketing advantages are all part of the equation.

On the construction side of the ledger, fundamental changes in the cost structure reflected in significant price increases for electricity, steel, copper, cement and fuel have caused property owners and developers to rethink standard building practices. And even with the potential for deflation, there are concerns that global warming legislation and raw material scarcity may fundamentally change profitability equations in the near term.

As readers of Practical Greening might imagine, demand for sustainable buildings has risen dramatically in the United States over the past two years. This presents a perfect opportunity to capitalize on market realities at the same time we re-brand ourselves as sustainable and green. In many major U.S. cities, it's rare to find a new office building that isn't being built to LEED Silver certification. As one large national developer put it: "LEED Silver is the price of entry for Class A office. If you haven't reached that mark, your building is obsolete. Gold or Platinum gets you bonus points.

Molly McCabe's Practical Greening offers a solid overview of the tools with which investors can incorporate sustainability analysis into their daily practice, and a survey of the vital reasons new regulatory environments, changing consumer demands, more efficient uses of resources why they should. Case studies illustrate tactics and strategies, and clear and pointed toolkits will help investors know the right questions to ask on topics ranging from building certification, to retrofitting, to alternative income streams. On every topic, the focus is on how to make investment decisions sharper and more forward-looking. This is a very useful book. David Wood, Director Initiative for Responsible Investment Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organization Harvard University

If you are looking to introduce yourself to sustainability and commercial real estate, this is the ideal book you need. If you are already on track with what is changing the real estate industry, this book will help your colleagues catch up to you. Written by someone who understands sustainability from a commercial lender's and investor's view point, Molly's real estate finance experience and LEED AP rating allows her to provide a framework to put this trend into a usable context for business use. The examples are clear, current and easy to understand, demonstrating how value is created. Not all components of the industry have embraced the change to looking at commercial real estate via sustainable measures, but this is a very helpful roadmap for those on the journey and those planning the trip. William G. Lashbrook III, Senior Vice President, PNC Real Estate Vice Chair, New Jersey Chapter US Green Building Council

A solid overview of sustainability, Practical Greening offers a framework or map for understanding the issues very useful.

Professional & Technical / Science & Technology / Public Policy / Transportation

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles by Committee to Assess Fuel Economy Technologies for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (National Research Council and Transportation Research Board, National Academies)

Liquid fuel consumption by medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) such as tractor-trailers, transit buses, and work trucks has increased more rapidly in both absolute and percentage terms than consumption by other sectors, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that this will continue. EIA projects that in 2035 these classes of vehicles will consume 30 percent of all U.S. transportation liquid fuels and 23 percent of all U.S. liquid fuels. That total will represent 5.1 mbpd, compared with total projected 2035 U.S. liquid fuel consumption of 22.1 mbpd. Thus, the fuel efficiency of these classes of vehicles is of high and increasing importance (DOE, EIA, 2009c). Furthermore, in December 2009 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally declared that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions endanger public health and the environment within the meaning of the Clean Air Act, a decision that compels EPA to consider establishing first-ever GHG emission standards for new motor vehicles, including MHDVs. If the United States is to reduce its reliance on foreign sources of oil, and reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector, it is important to consider how the fuel consumption of MHDVs can be reduced.

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles evaluates various technologies and methods that could improve the fuel economy of MHDVs. The book also recommends approaches that federal agencies could use to regulate these vehicles' fuel consumption. Currently there are no fuel consumption standards for such vehicles.
The miles-per-gallon measure used to regulate the fuel economy of passenger cars is not appropriate for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, which are designed above all to carry loads efficiently. Instead, any regulation of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles should use a metric that reflects the efficiency with which a vehicle moves goods or passengers, such as gallons per ton-mile, a unit that reflects the amount of fuel a vehicle would use to carry a ton of goods one mile. This is called load-specific fuel consumption (LSFC).
Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles estimates the improvements that various technologies could achieve over the next decade in seven vehicle types. For example, using advanced diesel engines in tractor-trailers could lower their fuel consumption by up to 20 percent by 2020, and improved aerodynamics could yield an 11 percent reduction. Hybrid power-trains could lower the fuel consumption of vehicles that stop frequently, such as garbage trucks and transit buses, by as much 35 percent in the same time frame.

Liquid fuel consumption by MHDVs represents 26 percent of all U.S. liquid transportation fuels consumed and has increased more rapidly in both absolute and percentage terms than consumption by other sectors. In early recognition of these trends, which are forecast to continue until 2035, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Section 108, was passed, requiring the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), for the first time in history, to establish fuel economy standards for MHDVs. If the United States is to reduce its reliance on foreign sources of oil, and reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector, it is important to consider how the fuel consumption of MHDVs can be reduced.

Following the passage of EISA, the National Research Council appointed the Committee to Assess Fuel Economy Technologies for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. As told in Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, the committee considered approaches to measuring fuel economy (the committee uses fuel consumption), assessed current and future technologies for reducing fuel consumption, addressed how such technologies may be practically implemented in vehicles, discussed the pros and cons of approaches to improving the fuel efficiency of moving goods as opposed to setting vehicle fuel consumption standards, and identified potential costs and other impacts on the operation of MHDVs.

The legislation also requires DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to conduct its own study on the fuel consumption of commercial medium- and heavy-duty highway vehicles and work trucks and then to establish a rulemaking to implement a commercial medium-and heavy-duty on-highway and work-truck fuel efficiency improvement program.

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles does not address the use of alternative fuels to substitute for fossil-fuel-based diesel or gasoline. Domestic production of alternative fuels such as biodiesel or natural gas could help to reduce demand for imports of petroleum or reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, but these technologies and/or strategies are not addressed. The committee provides some insights in Chapter 6 into the unintended consequences that could arise from various approaches that might be used to reduce the fuel consumption of vehicles. In addition, Chapter 7 explores the advantages and disadvantages of alternative approaches to reducing fuel consumption, since many of these alternatives involve regulatory changes, and Chapter 8 discusses fuel consumption regulatory approaches.

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles begins with a summary of the key findings and recommendations. Chapter 1, the introduction, lays the factual background for readers. Next, Chapter 2 provides vehicle fundamentals necessary for a thorough understanding of the topics addressed in the report. Chapter 3 surveys the current U.S., European, and Asian approaches to fuel economy and regulations. Chapter 4 reviews and assesses power train technologies for reducing load-specific fuel consumption. Chapter 5 covers vehicle technologies for reducing load-specific fuel consumption. The direct and indirect costs and benefits of integrating fuel economy technologies medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are addressed in Chapter 6. Chapter 7 discusses alternative approaches to be considered for reducing the fuel consumption of such vehicles. Chapter 8 discusses approaches to measurement and regulation of fuel consumption. The summary of Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles presents the committee's major findings and recommendations from each chapter; fuller discussion and additional findings are found in the report.

Religion & Spirituality / Buddhism

Rebel Buddha: On the Road to Freedom by Dzogchen Ponlop (Shambhala)

You might begin your analysis by bringing something to mind that the Buddha said, for example, "Although everyone believes that they have a truly existing self, that self is imaginary." Then you might think, "Although the Buddha is a reliable source and I respect his wisdom, I still feel like I have a self. It makes no sense to say there isn't a self; it's contrary to my experience. Here I am. This is me. I'm the same person I was yesterday, the day before, last year, twenty years ago, thirty years ago. In the future, I will retire and travel around the world.

If you examine this statement, then you might ask yourself, "If I'm the same self as a child, as an adult, and as a retiree in old age, then what is it that remains the same? Is my body the same? Is my mind the same? If I say that although my body is not the same, my mind is the same mind, then did my child self know everything that I know now? Is the memory of my child self the same as my memory now? from the book

Theres a rebel within each person, so says Rebel Buddha. Its the part that already knows how to break free of fear and unhappiness. This rebel is the voice of ones own awakened mind. Its their rebel Buddha the sharp, clear intelligence that resists the status quo. It wakes a person up from the sleepy acceptance of their day-to-day reality and shows them the power of their enlightened nature. Its the vibrant, insightful energy that compels one to seek the truth.
Dzogchen Ponlop (1965-) (Mind Beyond Death) in Rebel Buddha focuses on the experiential aspects of Buddhism that transcend culture, in the vein of writer-teacher Stephen Batchelor's idea of Buddhism without beliefs. Ponlop guides readers through the inner revolution. He explains how, by training the mind and understanding ones true nature, people can free themselves from needless suffering. He presents a thorough introduction to the essence of the Buddhas teachings and argues that, if readers are to bring these teachings fully into their personal experience, they must go beyond the cultural trappings of traditional Asian Buddhism. We all want to find some meaningful truth about who we are, he says, but we can only find it guided by our own wisdom by our own rebel buddha within.

Ponlop is one of the foremost scholars and meditation masters of his generation in the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He is known for his sharp intellect, humor, and the lucidity of his teaching style. He is a prolific teacher and author, and an accomplished calligrapher, artist, and poet.

Meditation instructions are included in the appendix.

The traditionally educated Tibetan-American uses straightforward, informal language with fresh analogies to examine a range of basic and more advanced aspects of this wisdom tradition, such as the nonexistence of the self, compassion, and relationships with spiritual teachers.The author's practical approach is disarming, especially when applying Buddhism to the challenges of everyday life. The content is based on two lecture series on dharma and culture; tighter editing would have eased the transition between the spoken and the written word. While more concise primers for the novice practitioner exist, more advanced students of Buddhism who want to explore newer voices may find this book of particular interest. Publishers Weekly

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche shatters old myths and sweeps away cultural baggage, presenting the essence of the Buddhas teachings in a fresh, contemporary voice. With uncommon clarity and authority, he offers a new vision for the future of Buddhism that is at once shocking and hopeful. This is a small book with a big message that is timely and important. Pema Chdrn, author of When Things Fall Apart
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche has a remarkable ability to present the wisdom of the Buddhas teachings in a manner that is as fresh and accessible as it is profound. With Rebel Buddha, he goes straight to the core of the spiritual path, showing how the Buddhas liberating insights transcend race, religion, and culture. This book is sure to provoke, inspire, and move us one step closer to creating a thoroughly modern approach to spirituality. Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, author of The Joy of Living
A seminal work for the growth of Buddhism in contemporary society. Fearlessly and intelligently, Ponlop Rinpoche invites the reader to make these ancient tools meaningful in our lives, without any fetishizing of someone elses culture. Rinpoches voice roars with the relaxed confidence of authenticity, and the fierce urgency of now. In Rebel Buddha, Rinpoche establishes himself as something we need now much more than a Tibetan lama: he is among the first of the American Buddhist masters. Ethan Nichtern, author of One City: A Declaration of Interdependence
This book does a wonderful job of bringing the Buddhas teachings to all of us here in the West. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche has great insights into the workings of our minds, guiding us from delusion to clarity. Sharon Salzberg, author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience

Rebel Buddha is Buddhism updated, fresh, contemporary, practical, readable. If readers didnt get spiritual but not religious before, they will now.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Reference

The Gospel among Religions: Christian Ministry, Theology, and Spirituality in a Multifaith World edited by David R. Brockman and Ruben L. F. Habito (Orbis Books)

An urgent question in the twenty-first century is how Christians can relate to people of other religious traditions, or even non-believers, whose lives truly embody the unconditional divine love given to all at creation. How should Christians understand these differing faith claims? This question is urgent in the world of the twenty-first century, a world beset with many serious problems and marked by a wide variety of religious traditions.
The Gospel among Religions is a collection of texts and essays focused on how the work of Christianity is affected by other religious traditions. The volume explores how Christians relate to and engage religious others in constructive ways as they carry out their tasks of mission and ministry to the world. Editors are David R. Brockman, who teaches at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth and Ruben L. F. Habito, a Filipino who is Professor of World Religions and Spirituality at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.

The first part of The Gospel among Religions, introduced by an essay that surveys attitudes Christians have taken toward religious others and summarizes recent developments in Christian theologies of religions, consists in a collection of readings representing the different ways Christians have thought theologically about other religious traditions, from New Testament texts to more recent theologians. The last segment of this first part includes excerpts from significant church documents that address the question of relating to religious others constructively in the light of Christian self-understanding, mission, and ministry

The essays in the second part of The Gospel among Religions explore ways of living together in ministry that broaden and deepen readers understanding of other traditions and help them become more firmly rooted in their own lives as Christians living in a world of many traditions. This collection of essays explores and describes new horizons in Christian ministry, theology, and spirituality by various authors who have engaged with and continue to learn from members of other religious traditions, while reflecting on the implications of these interreligious encounters for one's own Christian faith.

Imaginatively conceived and brilliantly executed; The Gospel among Religions will be an indispensable resource for all engaged in Christian ministry and theological education in the twenty-first century. Kenneth Cracknell, The Cambridge Theological Federation

The Gospel among Religions is an indispensable collection of texts and essays. The volume is intended to serve as a handy guide and collection of resources for those who serve Christian communities as pastors and ministers, as Christian educators and in other service roles, as well as for general readers seeking to navigate through the issues involved in living in a multireligious global society. The Gospel among Religions can also serve as a reference or as a textbook for courses in seminaries or theological schools preparing students for various forms of Christian ministry and leadership.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Church History / Audio

Majestie: The King Behind the King James Bible by David Teems and Bob Souer [7 CDs] (Oasis Audio)

Any biography of James Stuart, and Majestie is no exception, is a study in paradox, one that entertains as much as it informs. James I waddles through history, sidewise and crablike. Intellectually astute, he can dazzle and charm with the polish of his rhetoric one minute, and speak with the vulgarity of a tavern bawd the next. James is an amusing mix of bombast and majesty, of sparkle and grime, of smut and brilliance, of visionary headship and foolishness. And only he, this all-too-human king, our flawed James, could have given us the great book he did.

Early in his reign, James fashioned himself as the new Solomon, the pacifist prince entering the the land of promise, that is, the England inherited from his cousin Elizabeth. But the milk and honey he expected was a mirage. Still, in many respects he flirts with greatness. He is the first king of a united, or Great Britain. For all his foibles, all his bungling, James possesses an evolved sense of majesty, a type of faith in majesty itself, and wants nothing more than for his new Bible to reflect this majesty, to gild and elevate the reign, to be the great medicine that might heal the realm.

Author David Teems has a full-time ministry as a musician, published songwriter, Bible teacher, worship leader, contributor to Christian magazines, speaker, and published author. The reader, Bob Souer, is a full-time professional storyteller and voice actor.

Disc 7 of Majestie may be inserted into a PC to access a PDF with a chronology, family tree and some governing rules behind the translation.

For generations, Protestant Christians trusted the King James version of the Bible as the only Bible, dictated to good divines word for word, inerrant in every way, and motivated by a true devotion to God and to the Most Holy Faith. Over time, however, scholars have come to dismiss the idea of the inspiration of the King James version, opening the way for a variety of modern biblical translations. So who was this king who commissioned this version of the Bible? Teems's engrossing and entertaining study of King James I offers a multifaceted view of this 17th-century scholar/scoundrel, a man of counterpoints and contradictions. James is presented as a study in contrasts a man given to saintly proclamations and vulgar outbursts, but a man who yearned for his own immortality as well as the perpetuity of the monarchy and the patriarchal order, all enshrined in the pages of his Holy Bible. Teems, an active Bible teacher and musician, pulls together the story of this enigmatic king with humor and pathos. This early entry in a full-court press of books marking the 400th anniversary of the translation is a delightful read in every way. Publishers Weekly

Majestie is both informative and entertaining, presenting King James in all his complexity.

Religion & Spirituality / Judaism / Health, Mind & Body / Recovery

God of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality and Recovery from Addiction by Rabbi Shais Taub (KTAV Publishing House)

Millions of people today claim that help from a Higher Power or God of their understanding has relieved them from addiction and given them a new lease on life. Twelve-Step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous purport to outline a system for attaining just such an awakening. But how do such programs work?

  • Are such methods ever incompatible with the individual's traditions and beliefs?
  • What is the connection between spirituality and addiction?
  • Are the principles of recovery consistent with Jewish belief?
  • What can Judaism teach people of all faiths about addiction?

God of Our Understanding takes a look at the underlying spiritual dynamics of addiction and its treatment through Twelve-Step programs. Rabbi Shais Taub, a world renowned expert in Jewish mysticism as well as a mentor to many thousands of addicts, draws from his unique background to address many of the concerns raised by Jewish addicts in recovery while also using Jewish knowledge to enrich the understanding of the spiritual principles of recovery for addicts of all faiths. Taub, cofounder with his wife, Brocha, of the Jewish recovery community in Milwaukee, currently operates Congregation Conscious Contact, a Jewish prayer and meditation group for the enhancement of Twelve-Step recovery in Pittsburgh.

God of Our Understanding is not an attempt to debunk every misconception that may contribute to the stigma dissuading Jewish addicts from getting help. The book is a collection of insights, observations, and suggestions based on the personal experiences of many people who have begun to relate more meaningfully to God and how that newfound consciousness and the lifestyle that accompanies it has changed their lives.

In God of Our Understanding, Rabbi Taub has masterfully elucidated these concepts. This is a book which should be read by all clergy, therapists, people in recovery people who should be in recovery and their family members. Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D., Founder, Medical Director Emeritus, Gateway Rehabilitation Center
Every now and again I run across a book that just grabs me. Rabbi Taub has written such a book. His understanding of the disease of addiction is refreshing. Instead of focusing on the pathology that causes addiction, he understands our problem from a unique perspective that addiction happens because of what is right about us. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of the interface between spirituality, addiction and recovery. Dr. Allen Berger, Ph.D., author of 12 Stupid Things that Mess Up Recovery and 12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs are Gone

Although the frame of reference is Jewish, anyone wanting to broaden their understanding of the true nature of addiction can benefit from this frank and penetrating book. It imparts an invaluable perspective on the link between spirituality and addiction. If readers, or anyone they know, is recovering from addiction or should be they owe it to themselves to find out what it says in God of Our Understanding.

Science / Environment / Outdoors & Nature

Energy Myths and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate by Vaclav Smil (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research)

Many misconceptions about the future of global energy are presented as fact by the media, politicians, business leaders, activists, and even scientists, wasting time and money and hampering the development of progressive energy policies. Energy Myths and Realities debunks the most common fallacies to make way for a constructive, scientific approach to the global energy challenge. When will the world run out of oil? Should nuclear energy be adopted on a larger scale? Are ethanol and wind power viable sources of energy for the future?

Vaclav Smil, Distinguished Professor of Environment and Environmental Geography at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, advises the public to be wary of exaggerated claims and impossible promises. The global energy transition will be prolonged and expensive and hinges on the development of an extensive new infrastructure. According to Smil, established technologies and traditional energy sources are persistent and adaptable enough to see the world through that transition.

In his Energy Myths and Realities, Smil warns that while the propagation of these incorrect facts appears harmless, it is in fact hampering the development of effective new energy policies and wasting time and money which could be better used in pursuit of a constructive, scientific approach to the global energy challenge. Among the many popular misconceptions about energy that Smil deconstructs:

  • The world will soon run out of oil. Although the share of conventional oil in the global energy supply will gradually decrease, liquid hydrocarbons will remain a major source of energy for decades to come.
  • Large-scale nuclear energy adoption will solve our energy challenge. No rational long-range energy plan should exclude the nuclear option, but past experience with commercial nuclear generation dictates a great deal of caution: We must take into account irrational risk perceptions, dangers of nuclear proliferation, and the need for selection and maintenance of permanent disposal sites for radioactive wastes.
  • Ethanol will replace gasoline as a significant source of automotive fuel. Corn-derived ethanol can provide only a relatively small share of fuel needs. Dramatically scaling up ethanol production would cause widespread environmental degradation.
  • Wind power will soon become the world's leading source of electricity. While wind-powered electricity is a welcome option for large-scale commercial energy conversion, current short-term expectations significantly exaggerate its likely contribution. Natural wind variability, uneven distribution of windy regions, low power density of wind-driven generation, and lack of infrastructure make wind power an inefficient large-scale energy source.

In Energy Myths and Realities Smil adds that traditional energy sources and established energy conversions are persistent and adaptable enough to see the world through that transition.

I recommend this book to everyone who spends time working on energy issues not to cheer them up but to help them have a stronger framework for evaluating energy promises. Smil is able to prove that even if we do our best and innovation is amazing, real change will still take at least 20 years. Smil does a good job of explaining how the figures used for renewable energy installations report peak power output, so you have to divide that by the fraction of the day the energy is available to compare it to plants like nuclear plants that are available over 90% of the time. I don't view Energy Myths and Realities as a doom and gloom book. It is sobering about the mistakes that have been made but Smil ends by listing a number of lessons that come out of the mistaken predictions of the past, all of which I agree with. I think this book will contribute to better energy policies, which is critically important. Bill Gates

Energy is both a technical topic and a political one; all too often, the political claims and assertions get far more play than sober technical reality. In Energy Myths and Realities, Vaclav Smil does a brilliant job of examining the crazy quilt of claims and assertions about energy. With great wit and simple, clear arguments, he shows that most of the wild claims we hear in all directions have no basis in reality. Nathan Myhrvold, CEO, Intellectual Ventures

Vaclav Smil is a giant among energy scientists and historians In this book, he explains why fossil fuels remain dominant, why it is so hard to scale up wind and solar technologies, and why nuclear power, despite having been over-hyped in the past, is one of our best hopes for meeting future energy needs and dealing with global warming. Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenbeiger, coauthors of Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility and cofounders of the Breakthrough Institute

Investment opportunities into new energy sources and related conversion techniques are, at times, molded by preconceived ideas that can sometimes lead to excessively positive and unjustifiably enthusiastic expectations. By criticizing the assorted myths and misconceptions surrounding energy innovations, Vaclav Smil provides readers with refreshing insights that are often missing in today's energy policy debates. Philippe Rohner, senior investment manager Picket Asset Management, Geneva, Switzerland

Vaclav Smil is a master thinker about the master resource of energy. A multidisciplinarian, Smil combines basic economics, technological understanding, and historical insight to skewer false energy visions. Energy reality, he reminds us, is determined by the free marketplace, not by words or wishes. Robert Bradley, founder and CEO, Institute for Research

Before we can create sound energy policies for the future, the world must renounce the many popular myths that cloud our judgment and impede true progress. Energy Myths and Realities brings a scientific perspective to an issue often dominated by groundless assertions, unfounded claims, and uncritical thinking. Based on fact, not fantasy, the book will contribute to better energy policies.

Social Sciences / History / Americas / Immigration

The Sweetness of Freedom: Stories of Immigrants by Stephen Garr Ostrander and Martha Aladjem Bloomfield (Michigan State University Press)

The Sweetness of Freedom, which includes experiences of immigrants and migrants from all over the world, is a timeless story. It would be timely had it been written one hundred years ago and it will be appropriate one hundred years from now. We all need to be reminded of the heroics of people yearning to be free. Bus Spinola, from the foreword

As human beings, we naturally want to choose our own destiny and make our own decisions. We want to do what we want to do, not what someone else wants us to do. We strive to better ourselves and improve our lives. America, and specifically Michigan, has been one of those special destinations where immigrants and migrants still come to realize their dreams or empower their children to realize their own.

Authors Stephen Garr Ostrander, historian, exhibit designer, and writer and Martha Aladjem Bloomfield, interviewer and curator, both at the Michigan Historical Museum interviewed more than eighteen different people of various ethnic backgrounds, all of whom had immigrated or their families had immigrated to the United States. The collection of personal stories they gathered touched the authors so much that they were determined to have them published.

This is a land of immigrants, all of whom, by their individual contributions, helped make the United States a world political and economic power. These personal stories are a testament to why Americans have, for the most part, been lauded for their standards of social, political and economic justice. Each of these personal experiences is evidence that people were attracted to America because of the allure of fairness, common decency, opportunity and justice.

Many native-born, second generation Americans are unaware of the great sacrifices and risks that immigrants have taken to legally enter the country. Thirteen-year-old boys left their homes with little or no money in their pockets, traveling via steerage to enter the golden door. Husbands left wives and children in the old world hoping to earn enough to pay for their family's passage to America. Many times, years would pass before the family could be reunited. Sadly, in some cases the families never were reunited.

The Sweetness of Freedom presents an eclectic collection of oral histories and personal artifacts, documents, and photographs from twentieth- and late-nineteenth-century immigrants and migrants, or their children or grandchildren describing their ancestors' lives, experiences, and remembrances. Originally their stories were the foundation of a research project that evolved into an exhibit called Movers and Seekers: Michigan Immigrants and Migrants at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing in 2005. While Ostrander and Bloomfield did not interview an individual from every ethnic group who ever immigrated to the United States in the last century and a quarter, they researched the history and geography of the various waves of immigration and migration from all over the world to Michigan in the twentieth and late nineteenth centuries and then identified a select number of individuals whose stories were more or less representative of different time periods.

Some people shared their individual stories; others shared multigenerational stories. These future Michiganians came from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Canada. Some came as part of immigration waves like the Great Migration of African Americans in the 1920s and 1930s or the more recent wave of Hispanic immigrants. Some came alone; others came with their families or sent for their families once established in their new homeland. They all came with a reason for leaving their birthplaces, and with a dream for the future.

While these immigrants and migrants had distinct ethnic and cultural identities, languages, and customs, they shared similar challenges. Some individuals actually walked out of their homelands on foot. Others traveled by ship, train, airplane, and automobiles. They settled all over Michigan, in both rural and urban areas. Each person had a vision, often revolving around an individual's or family's survival. Once here, many immigrants and migrants wanted to preserve their heritage, religion, traditions, and ethnic identity. Others wanted to forget their past conflicts and lost family members, so they adapted and assimilated. They all made contributions to Michigan society through their education and work, whether it be manual labor, military service, governmental service, or intellectual and artistic pursuits.

Phil Kwiatkowski, director of the Michigan Historical Museum, and Bloomfield established goals for the Movers and Seekers exhibit, which carry over into The Sweetness of Freedom: to help visitors and readers to understand their own migration and immigration stories and those of their families, the immigration and migrations stories of those who live in Michigan, and the connection between personal history and Michigan's social history. They recognized the need to inspire people to understand their personal, individual, and family histories, the local community's history, and their history and identity in relationship to their country and the world; to increase people's awareness of and sensitivity to others; to help develop tolerance towards others who are different; and to seek positive resolutions to conflict in our complex society.

Building on dialogues with people who lived through the realities of social, economic, religious, and cultural interactions between the Euro/Asian-American populations in a new place, this book illustrates the rich diversity of present-day Michiganians. Geneva Kegler Wiskemann, Founder, Michigan Oral History Association

This book is an absolute must for anyone interested in immigrants who made Michigan. These stories of the immigrant generation are emotional, compelling, and very well told. The authors have captured the spirit, passion, and trepidation of these representatives of the first generations to move to Michigan seeking better lives. Robert Archibald, President, Missouri History Museum

Everyone living in Michigan including the descendants of the native people who arrived here first is an immigrant or the descendant of an immigrant, and Martha Bloomfield and Steve Ostrander have produced a remarkably diverse collection of their stories. Bloomfield and Ostrander have collected the stories, photographs, and artifact images of immigrants who came from all parts of the globe to settle in every corner of Michigan. One cannot read this book without developing a deeper appreciation for the strength present in our state's diverse population. Gordon Olson, Grand Rapids City Historian Emeritus

The Sweetness of Freedom is an important contribution to US and Michigan history. The volume is more than a collection of inspirational stories; it is a larger story of what America is and what being an American means. In a thoughtful and reasonable fashion, it exposes the folly of ethnic, racial and religious hatred. These human-interest stories teach readers that we are the sum of the experiences of our ancestors, thereby illustrating the genius of America.

Sociology / Customs

Plains Indians Regalia & Customs by Bad Hand (Schiffer Publishing)

This original study of Plains Indian cultures of the 19th century is presented through the use of period writings, paintings and early photography that relate how life was carried out. The author Bad Hand juxtaposes the sources with new research and modern color photography of specific replica items. Bad Hand is a Native American author, historian, lecturer and replica maker who has made the study of Plains Indian culture part of his life.

Plains Indians Regalia & Customs documents the seven major tribes: Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Hidatsa, Mandan, and Lakota. Observations of Plains Indian men's and women's habits include procuring food, dancing, developing spiritual beliefs, and experiencing daily life. Prominent leaders and average members of the tribes are introduced and major incidents are explained. True stories come to light through objects that relate to each incident and personality. With an understanding of these cultures, readers learn basic similarities of all people, ancient to present, including today's multi-cultural society.

According to Big Weapon in Plains Indians Regalia & Customs, one focus is to show that the early style of photographic imagery created an aura of the earlier Indian people. The aura is plainly seen in those old tintype images and other styles of early photographs that came and went through that historic Plains Indian period after European/White contact. This aura also extended to anyone who was photographed during that time period. The Old West was certainly a very hard environment to live in, and as the romanticism of the Old West is carried on in stories, books and movies, these haunting images of the past only help to deepen that imagination. The aura extends with early sketches by explorers and artists as well. One example of this observation includes a sketch of a Metis man in Canada wearing a porcupine quilled Metis man's coat. What really caught his attention is the fact that the man was sketched, both front and back. These early sketches deepen the mystique of the Old West, just as early photographs do. The aura is evident in this line drawing. Yet when compared with the original Metis coat of similar quality and age, the realism brings home the fact the color was a reality those early people also saw the same reality we have today.

The same photographic processes of yesteryear were applied to modern Indian people of today. Using modern color photographs, the Indian people who modeled for Plains Indians Regalia & Customs can be compared side by side with the old images. By doing so, no attempt was made to remove any of the mysticism that the early style of imagery unknowingly created with the historic figures, but rather the new color humanizes those individuals from the past and shows that many attractive people with expressions of personality were photographed by the gifted photographers.

Even when creating images of themselves, in their Indian regalia, with early developing techniques, the book provides evidence that really anyone from the Old West, Indian or White, were made larger than life due in part to these images.

Plains Indians Regalia & Customs was not a matter of simply going to a tourist town or a state fair where vendors provide an Old West backdrop and, using modern equipment with grainy film, placing Velcro-taped prop clothing for an Old West portrait. The clothing appearing on these pages is correct to the time period being discussed, and has taken a lifetime to collect and produce.

Just as in all cultures and peoples around the globe, clothing styles and trends came and went for the Native Americans of North America. For instance, the clothing of a Cheyenne person in 1760 would not be the same for a Cheyenne of 1860, nor for any other tribe. Tribal trends and styles flowed, as in any culture and were influenced by many factors. Readers study the images that appear in Plains Indians Regalia & Customs, both old and new, to compare and contrast their color and darkness along with the shadows.

In Plains Indians Regalia & Customs the past comes to life and today's readers learn this history with concrete examples to which they relate. As the old saying goes, A photo speaks a thousand words and these most certainly do.

Travel / Americas / US

Roadside Geology of Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. by John Means, illustrated by Matthew Moran and Suzannah Moran (Roadside Geology Series: Mountain Press)

Maryland has been called Little America. In the morning you can surf in the ocean and in the afternoon snowboard in the mountains. Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia as a region contain geologic formations as diverse as Pleistocene Ice Age dunes and billion-year-old rock that was part of the ancient North American tectonic plate, or craton. The region shows the effects of at least four mountain building episodes and each subsequent mountain erosion and basin deposition. The last such cycle the assembly and rifting of the supercontinent Pangea left many marks on the landscape and is primarily responsible for the creation of the five geological provinces you can see today. Each has its own distinctive, recognizable terrain: Allegheny Plateau, Valley and Ridge, Blue Ridge (here included with Valley and Ridge), Piedmont, and Coastal Plain. In order to understand the regional geology more fully, we need to understand the history of the earth. from the book

The mid-Atlantic area of Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. is known for many things, such as being the First State (Delaware), home to the nation's capital or the birthplace of other national anthem (Maryland), but it is also the home of some incredible geologic features.

From the Chesapeake Bay to Assateague Island National Seashore to Catoctin Mountain Park, readers of Roadside Geology of Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. learn about a diverse array of rocks and landforms assembled during more than 1 billion years of geologic history. From the sandstone ridges and shale and limestone valleys of western Maryland to the sand dunes and tidal estuaries on Delaware's coast, the book steers readers to some of the best geologic features found inside and outside the Beltway. Thirty-five road guides discuss the landforms and rocks visible from a car window, along bike paths, and at nearby waysides and parks, including Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Assateague Island National Seashore, Rock Creek Park, and Cape Henlopen State Park. With this book as a guide, readers find out how the sixth largest impact crater on earth helped shape Chesapeake Bay; discover what moved the rocks at Devils Racecourse in Catoctin Mountain Park; and learn how early settlers put the geology to work, locating major ports where deep tidal rivers issued from mill-friendly, rocky streams.

Author John Means taught geology, physical science, and English at Hagerstown Community College for more than thirty years before retiring in 2005. Suzannah Moran, a geography professor at Hagerstown Community College, teamed up with her husband, Matthew Moran, a visual arts teacher at Seneca Valley High School, to create the maps.

Contents of Roadside Geology of Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. include:

  • Introduction: Understanding the Earth: Plate Tectonics; Rocks; Geologic Time; Geologic History of Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.; Ancient Cratons, Grenville Mountains, Rifting, and Offshore Deposition; Taconic Mountain Building Event and the Queenston Wedge; Acadian Mountain Building Event and the Catskill Wedge; Alleghanian Mountain Building Event; The Rifting of Pangea and Triassic Basins; Erosion of the Appalachians and the Building of the Coastal Plain; Pleistocene Ice Ages
  • Allegheny Plateau: Road Guides
  • Valley and Ridge and Blue Ridge Provinces: Great Valley of Carbonates; Road Guides
  • Piedmont Province: The Fall Line; Road Guides to The Maryland Piedmont; Washington, D.C., and the Capital Beltway Area; Piedmont Sites; Coastal Plain Sites; Baltimore and the Baltimore Beltway Area; Piedmont Sites; Coastal Plain Sites; the Delaware Piedmont; Wilmington Area; Newark Area
  • Coastal Plain: Wedge of Unconsolidated Sediment; Pleistocene Time; Chesapeake Bay; Barrier Beaches; The Future; Road Guides To Southern Maryland; Road Guides to Maryland's Eastern Shore; Road Guides to Delaware's Coastal Plain

Detailed and easy to use, Roadside Geology of Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. also contains a glossary, references, and an index.



Contents this Issue: 

Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees: Honey Production, Pollination, Bee Health by Malcolm T. Sanford and Richard E. Bonney (Storey's Guide to Raising Series: Storey Publishing)

Dracula by Bram Stoker, read by Greg Wise, and Saskia Reeves, unabridged, 16 CDs, running time 18 hours, 25 minutes (Cover to Cover Series, Audio Go, BBC Audio)

The A3 Workbook: Unlock Your Problem-Solving Mind by Daniel D. Matthews (Productivity Press, CRC Press)

Escape the Improvement Trap: Five Ingredients Missing in Most Improvement Recipes by Michael Bremer and Brian McKibben (Productivity Press, CRC Press)

Carolina Panthers by Brian Joura (Inside the NFL Series: ABDO Publishing Company)

What It Means to Be a Tar Heel: Roy Williams and North Carolina's Greatest Players by Scott Fowler (Triumph Books)

Flavors of Malaysia: A Journey through Time, Tastes, and Traditions by Susheela Raghavan (Hippocrene Books)

Not Your Mother's Fondue by Hallie Harron (Harvard Common Press)

Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France by Joan Nathan (Alfred A. Knopf)

Pat Cooper How Dare You Say How Dare Me! by Pat Cooper, as told to Rich Herschlag & Steve Garrin, with a foreword by Jerry Lewis (Square One Publishers)

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon by Tracey Miller-Zarneke, with a preface by Cressida Cowell and a foreword by Craig Ferguson (Newmarket Press)

The Cranford Companion by Sue Birtwistle and Susie Conklin (Bloomsbury USA)

Total-Body Toning with Lashaun Dale DVD by Lashaun Dale [DVD, running time 89 minutes] (Human Kinetics)

Micronutrients in Health and Disease by Kedar N. Prasad (Informa, CRC Press)

Dialogues with Pain: Internal Body Conversations That Resolve Suffering by Jeanne Taylor Hernandez Ph.D. (Create Space, Crown House Publishing)

The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis edited by Julie Holland M.D. (Park Street Press, Inner Traditions)

Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

War and Sex: A Brief History of Men's Urge for Battle by John Van Houten Dippel (Prometheus Books)

Green Interior Design by Lori Dennis (Allworth Press)

Doctor Who and Philosophy edited by Courtland Lewis and Paula Smithka (Popular Culture and Philosophy Series: Open Court)

Critical Urban Studies: New Directions edited by Jonathan S. Davies and David L. Imbroscio, with an introduction by Clarence N. Stone (SUNY Press)

Practical Greening: The Bottom Line On Sustainable Property Development, Investment and Financing by LEED AP Molly McCabe (Peppertree Press)

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles by Committee to Assess Fuel Economy Technologies for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (National Research Council and Transportation Research Board, National Academies)

Rebel Buddha: On the Road to Freedom by Dzogchen Ponlop (Shambhala)

The Gospel among Religions: Christian Ministry, Theology, and Spirituality in a Multifaith World edited by David R. Brockman and Ruben L. F. Habito (Orbis Books)

Majestie: The King Behind the King James Bible by David Teems and Bob Souer [7 CDs] (Oasis Audio)

God of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality and Recovery from Addiction by Rabbi Shais Taub (KTAV Publishing House)

Energy Myths and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate by Vaclav Smil (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research)

The Sweetness of Freedom: Stories of Immigrants by Stephen Garr Ostrander and Martha Aladjem Bloomfield (Michigan State University Press)

Plains Indians Regalia & Customs by Bad Hand (Schiffer Publishing)

Roadside Geology of Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. by John Means, illustrated by Matthew Moran and Suzannah Moran (Roadside Geology Series: Mountain Press)