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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

August 2011, Issue #148

Calvinize: Signature Techniques of Photoshop Artist Calvin Hollywood by Calvin Hollywood (Peachpit Press)

Wedding Photojournalism: The Business of Aesthetics: A Guide for Professional Digital Photographers by Paul D. Van Hoy II (Amherst Media)

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris [unabridged, 16 audio CDs, running time: approximately 17 hours] by David McCullough, read by Edward Herrmann & David McCullough (Simon & Schuster Audio)

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris [hardcover, deckle edge] by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster)

Adrift: Charting Our Course Back to a Great Nation by William C. Harris and Steven C. Beschloss, with a foreword by Gov. Bill Richardson (Prometheus Books)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management, 5th Edition by G. Michael Campbell (Alpha Books)

The Red Blazer Girls: The Mistaken Masterpiece by Michael D. Beil (The Red Blazer Girls Series, No. 3: Alfred A. Knopf: Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Playing Sit-and-Go Poker as a Business by Rob Tucker (Cardoza Publishing)

Just 10 Lbs.: Easy Steps to Weighing What You Want (Finally) by Brad Lamm (Hay House, Inc.)

Core Training Anatomy: An Insiders Guide to Building a Strong Core by Abigail Ellsworth (Thunder Bay Press)

Maximize Your Coaching Effectiveness with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Richard Blonna (New Harbinger Publications, Inc.)

Dr. Apple's Symptoms Encyclopedia: The Reassuring Guide to Self-Diagnosis by Michael Apple and Jason Payne-James, edited by Robin Fox, Hugo Hammersley, George Moncrieff and K.S. Pandher (Basic Health Publications)

Violent Encounters: Interviews on Western Massacres by Deborah Lawrence and Jon Lawrence (University of Oklahoma Press)

Made in Hanford: The Bomb That Changed the World by Hill Williams (Washington State University Press)

In the National Interest: Canadian Foreign Policy and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 1909-2009, edited by Greg Donaghy and Michael K. Carroll (Beyond Boundaries: Canadian Defences and Strategy Studies Series: University of Calgary Press)

India: A Portrait by Patrick French (Alfred A. Knopf)

Magic: Interactive Scrapbooks that Dazzle and Delight [Spiral-bound] by Jeanette R. Lynton (Gibbs-Smith)

Creating Cultural Monsters: Serial Murder in America by Julie B. Wiest (CRC Press)

Rebuilding the Ark: New Perspectives on Endangered Species Act Reform edited by Jonathan Alder (The AEI Press)

Environmental Science and Theology in Dialogue by Russell A. Butkus and Steven A. Kolmes, with series editors Russell A. Butkus, Anne Clifford & Carol J. Dempsey (Theology in Dialogue Series: Orbis Books)

What Should I Believe?: Philosophical Essays for Critical Thinking by Paul Gomberg (Broadview Press)

Crohn's Disease: The Complete Guide to Medical Management edited by Gary R. Lichtenstein, with associate editor Ellen J. Scherl (Slack, Inc)

Practical Pulmonary Pathology: A Diagnostic Approach, 2nd edition, Expert Consult: Online and Print by Kevin O. Leslie and Mark R. Wick (Pattern Recognition Series: Elsevier Saunders)

Imaging Painful Spine Disorders Expert Consult by Leo F. Czervionke and Douglas S. Fenton (Elsevier Saunders)

Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2nd edition by Dawn Merton Boothe (Elsevier Saunders)

True and False Reform in the Church, revised edition by Yves Congar, OP, translated with an Introduction by Paul Philibert (Michael Glazier, Liturgical Press)

Listening to God: Inspirational Stories for My Grandchildren by Shlomo Riskin (Maggid Books, distributed in US by The Toby Press)

Forest and Shade Trees of Iowa (Bur Oak Guide), Third Edition by Peter J. van der Linden and Donald R. Farrar (University of Iowa Press) 

Arts & Photography / Computers & Internet / Digital Photography

Calvinize: Signature Techniques of Photoshop Artist Calvin Hollywood by Calvin Hollywood (Peachpit Press)

Calvin Hollywood is an award-winning photo artist from Heidelberg, Germany who combines photography and image editing in a most imaginative way. His personal style is characterized by the hyper sharpness, high contrasts, and the almost painted look of his photos. As seen in Calvinize, digital editing plays an important role in his photographic work, but Hollywood emphasizes getting the shot right from the start. He considers lighting very important, but the surroundings and the model's styling are also key and he always tries to factor textures and details into the shot. Hollywood turns photography and image editing into a world of fantasy. He has been sharing this style in seminars and workshops throughout Germany for many years, and recently began hosting training events in the U.S. as well.

Internationally recognized, Hollywood is known for his unique and imaginative imagery as well as his entertaining teaching style. This man belongs to a new league of movers and shakers within the Photoshop scene, a group of young artists who refuse to hide, who instead choose to impart their knowledge confidently and unconventionally.

Hollywood says he did not create Calvinize to teach readers how to use Photoshop; the book is merely a collection of his best work over the last few years.

Calvinize is a collection containing more than 100 of Hollywood's most spectacular pictures as well as his thoughts on topics such as Photoshop, plug-ins, outfits, lighting, planning, and time management. The book comes with over four hours of video tutorials in which Hollywood walks readers step by step through the signature techniques he used to create several of the images in the book.

A self-taught photographer and photo editor, Hollywood has managed to achieve within just a few years what others would hardly dare dream to accomplish. Not only has Hollywood become one of the most sought-after Photoshop consultants in Germany and neighboring countries, but his individual style has become an inspiration and influence to an entire generation of Photoshop users. The unique Calvinize look is spreading like a wildfire through forums and Internet communities, and Hollywood has become a well-established brand name on the market. In addition to awards won at the Trierenberg Super Circuit and the Sony World Photography Awards, he was honored with the Photoshop Guru Award at the 2009 Photoshop World conference in Boston.

The digital artist has already produced several video tutorials, published his works in specialist publications, and is holding more than 50 seminars a year from Europe to New York and even Dubai. Despite all of these activities and obligations, Hollywood still somehow manages to focus on what matters turning his ideas into successful photo projects. In Calvinize, which contains Hollywood's most spectacular pictures, readers can see why his images have made Hollywood one of the fastest rising stars in the Photoshop community. This photo collection will undoubtedly be a source of inspiration for readers.

Arts & Photography / Photography / Professional

Wedding Photojournalism: The Business of Aesthetics: A Guide for Professional Digital Photographers by Paul D. Van Hoy II (Amherst Media)

Being a wedding photojournalist being in the business of aesthetics requires a vast repertoire of skill and talent. As Paul D. Van Hoy II shows in Wedding Photojournalism, the ability to make strong images is the raw material for building a successful studio, but professionalism, sound business practices, and an ability to adapt and acclimate to any social situation are the most valuable tools of this trade.

The book focuses on what professional wedding photographers need to do to stay competitive and continue winning new assignments, despite an array of challenges. Though wedding budgets are often subject to cuts, photographers will learn how to finesse their operations, improve their marketing, and convert client contacts into reliable job streams. By running a lean business with few excess costs, Wedding Photojournalism, a step-by-step guide, lays out how wedding photographers can draw attention to their studio, generate demand, and create a brand that complements and promotes their unique vision. Included are tips for improving search-engine optimization, marketing, pricing, packaging, and contracts to enable aspiring and experienced professionals alike to follow their passions to success.

Features of Wedding Photojournalism include:

  • Understanding what brides want from their wedding photographer.
  • Getting their work in front of prospective clients through search-engine optimization, bridal shows, and blogging.
  • Refining their pre- and post-wedding workflow for less stress during the shoot and greater efficiency after it.
  • The pros and cons of working with a second shooter or assistant.
  • How an engagement session leads to better wedding-day images.
  • Improving their shooting style so they are ready for anything.
  • The top ten most important wedding-day photos and how to make sure they get them.
  • Tips for dramatic images of the dress, rings, and other wedding-day design elements.
  • Determining the optimal packages and pricing strategy for their market and business model.
  • Choosing equipment that matches their needs and budget.
  • The importance of a solid contract and what it must include.

Professionalism and sound business practices are coupled for Van Hoy with his desire to teach others how to succeed as professional wedding photojournalists and to advance their artistry. Van Hoy, professional wedding photographer and the owner of Fotoimpressions, a destination wedding photography business, says one of the reasons he wrote Wedding Photojournalism was to reveal what has been understated and omitted by so many previously written texts on the topic of professional wedding photography. He is talking about the topic of business strategy for professional wedding photographers, which is largely overlooked in most publications for the industry. As an artist and entrepreneur who braved shark-infested waters and began his business at the age of sixteen, he not only shares the principles of image-making and business practices, but also the headaches and heartbreaks that clutter the road to achieving success within this profession.

Wedding Photojournalism provide aspiring and experienced professionals with a relevant and resourceful text that speaks directly to their passions, interests, and experiences. In it Van Hoy guides and encourages others who possess a similarly ambitious and entrepreneurial spirit to achieve their goals of becoming professional wedding photojournalists. The book is a valuable resource helping readers master the skills they need to succeed in the competitive field of photojournalism.

Audio / History / Europe

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris [unabridged, 16 audio CDs, running time: approximately 17 hours] by David McCullough, read by Edward Herrmann & David McCullough (Simon & Schuster Audio)

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris [hardcover, deckle edge] by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster)

From two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough comes the until now untold story he calls The Greater Journey of the American painters, writers, sculptors, and doctors who journeyed to Paris between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work, fell in love with the city, and changed America with what they achieved.

After risking the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, these Americans embarked on a greater journey in the City of Light. That they achieved so much for themselves and their country profoundly altered American history. As McCullough writes, Not all pioneers went west.

Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America, was one of this intrepid band. Another was Charles Sumner, who enrolled at the Sorbonne because of a burning desire to know more about everything. There he saw black students with the same ambition he had, and when he returned home, he would become the most powerful, unyielding voice for abolition in the U.S. Senate, almost at the cost of his life. As told in The Greater Journey, two staunch friends, James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F. B. Morse, worked unrelentingly every day in Paris, Cooper writing and Morse painting what would be his masterpiece. From something he saw in France, Morse would also bring home his momentous idea for the telegraph.

Pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk from New Orleans launched his spectacular career performing in Paris at age 15. George P. A. Healy, who had almost no money and little education, took the gamble of a lifetime and with no prospects whatsoever in Paris became one of the most celebrated portrait painters of the day. His subjects included Abraham Lincoln. Medical student Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote home of his toil and the exhilaration in being at the center of things in what was then the medical capital of the world. From all they learned in Paris, Holmes and his fellow medicals were to exert lasting influence on the profession of medicine in the United States.

Writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James were all discovering Paris, marveling at the treasures in the Louvre, or out with the Sunday throngs strolling the citys boulevards and gardens. At last I have come into a dreamland, wrote Harriet Beecher Stowe, seeking escape from the notoriety Uncle Toms Cabin had brought her. Almost forgotten today, the heroic American ambassador Elihu Washburne bravely remained at his post through the Franco-Prussian War, the long Siege of Paris and even more atrocious nightmare of the Commune. His vivid account in his diary of the starvation and suffering endured by the people of Paris is one readers will never forget. The genius of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the son of an immigrant shoemaker, and of painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, three of the greatest American artists ever, would flourish in Paris, inspired by the examples of brilliant French masters, and by Paris itself.

Nearly all of these Americans, whatever their troubles learning French, their spells of homesickness, and their suffering in the raw cold winters by the Seine, spent many of the happiest days and nights of their lives in Paris.

The audio book is read by award-winning actor Edward Herrmann who appears regularly as Richard Gilmore in the hit series Gilmore Girls.

From a dazzling beginning that captures the thrill of arriving in Paris in 1830 to the dawn of the 20th century, McCullough chronicles the generations that came, saw and were conquered by Paris. The Greater Journey will satisfy McCullough's legion of loyal fans it will entice a whole new generation of Francophiles, armchair travelers and those Americans lucky enough to go to Paris before they die. Bruce Watson, The San Francisco Chronicle

McCullough's histories have always managed to combine meticulous research with sheer enthusiasm for his subjects, and it's hard not to come away with a sense that you've learned something new and important about whatever he's tackled. The Greater Journey is, like each of McCullough's previous histories, a dazzling and kaleidoscopic foray into American history by one of its greatest living chroniclers. Darryl Campbell, Amazon.com, Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2011

An epic of ideas, as well as an exhilarating book of spells This is history to be savored. Stacy Schiff, The New York Times Book Review

An ambitious, wide-ranging study of how being in Paris helped spark generations of American genius. A gorgeously rich, sparkling patchwork, eliciting stories from diaries and memoirs to create the human drama McCullough depicts so well. Kirkus Reviews, starred review

McCulloughs research is staggering to perceive, and the interpretation he lends to his material is impressive to behold. Expect his latest book to ascend the best-seller lists and be given a place on the year-end best lists. Booklist, starred review
A highly readable and entertaining travelogue of a special sort, an interdisciplinary treat from a tremendously popular Pulitzer Prize-winning historian. Highly recommended. Library Journal, starred review

McCullough has hit the historical jackpot. A colorful parade of educated, Victorian-era American travelers and their life-changing experiences in Paris. Publishers Weekly, starred review
A rich and enjoyable literary experience. There are reminders on almost page why Mr. McCullough is one of the nation's great popular historians. Claude R. Marx, The Washington Times

McCullough tells this sweeping, fascinating story with power and intimacy, bringing readers into the lives of remarkable men and women. Inspiring, enthralling, The Greater Journey is itself a masterpiece.

Business & Investing / Economics / Politics / Government / Public Policy

Adrift: Charting Our Course Back to a Great Nation by William C. Harris and Steven C. Beschloss, with a foreword by Gov. Bill Richardson (Prometheus Books)

Americans have begun to wonder whether their best days are past. Yet at a time of clear urgency and grave need, the nation's politicians seem increasingly unable to get beyond ideological battles and provide genuine leadership.

The threats to our way of life are real, as great as any that earlier generations have struggled against. But instead of working together to face and fix the problems in the grand tradition of America's can-do spirit, the nation finds itself adrift, dragged down by declining educational levels, a shift to entertainment and consumption over making things, a failure of political leadership, an unquestioning presumption of preeminence, and a lack of creativity in forming partnerships to spur innovation and global advantage.

In Adrift, veteran scientist and foundation executive William C. Harris and award-winning journalist Steven C. Beschloss not only diagnose the critical systemic weaknesses plaguing America but also lay out a workable blueprint for tackling the critical challenges we face today. With the intent of spurring a constructive national dialogue, Harris and Beschloss examine how:

  • Americans must be jolted out of their complacency and motivated to bold action and common purpose.
  • Government can work in concert with industry to drive innovation and revitalize the economy.
  • Americans can elevate the quality of their educational system to meet new challenges.
  • Americans must encourage the best and the brightest immigrants from around the world to participate in the nation's future.
  • Individual cities and states are showing the way forward with creativity and strategic partnerships.

According to Harris and Beschloss in Adrift, these and other innovative initiatives can be enacted to create a more secure economic and political future. Harris, president and CEO of Science Foundation Arizona, in the preface says that Americans are not ready to accept a position as a second-rate nation, dwarfed in size and ambition by China, India, and other emerging countries.

Chapter 1 looks at several moments of bold action in the nations recent history and explores whether we have lost the ability to act with common purpose. After that, the book turns to the historical debate about America's decline and the shift away from hard work and excellence as the path to success. The succeeding chapters explore the diminishing faith in government, the decrease in civic education and engagement with the democratic process, the need for educational reform, the importance of foreign-born graduates to achieve global advantage, the centrality of innovation, and the urgency of strategic policy making and moderate decision making at the national, state, and city levels to reinvigorate our economic standing and body politic.

The final chapter of Adrift envisions an informed electorate that demands political leaders who are not narrowly partisan, not rigidly ideological, and not risk averse leaders who are devoted to excellence, comfortable with complexity, global in outlook, capable of inspiring civil discourse and civic responsibility, aware of the urgencies that require attention, willing to speak honestly, and focused on solving problems.

Adrift is a wake-up call for Congress and President Obama. Sen. Ernest (Fritz) Hollings, former U.S. Senator for South Carolina
A tour-de-force of the economic and social changes the U.S. is facing and a call to action. Erich Bloch, Member, The Advisory Group at Huron, former Director of the National Science Foundation, and former Vice President of IBM

Adrift is a most compelling read of how and why the USA is slipping from the top, and one that offers a comprehensive national formula to change course. A must read for everyone who wants the best future for their children and grandchildren. Lt. General John F. Regni, USAF (retired), former Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy

Today's national security threats are fast, flexible, and technologically adept. Staying ahead of these adversaries requires strategic management, wise investment, and public-private partnerships that involve a mosaic of disciplines. Adrift is an astute, well-reasoned look at how America went off course and provides the thoughtful, keen road map the national security establishment needs to assure the nation's safety and prosperity. Cody Monk, professor of strategic intelligence and cyber affairs, National Defense Intelligence College.

This is a book that is just right for this time. William Harris and Steven Beschloss have given the clarion call for urgency in beginning the national conversation. They convinced me that our nation's survival as we know it is imminently at stake. They lay out the case for the critical four 'C's' communication, collaboration, cooperation, and, above all else, commitment to moving our country forward. Now. Sue Clark-Johnson, Executive Director, Morrison Institute for Public Policy/ASU, and former President, Gannett Co. Inc., US Publishing Division

Adrift's immigration chapter should be required reading for all the Democrats and Republicans in Congress who think that preventing the world's smartest people from coming to America is somehow a good idea. Neil Patel, former Chief Policy Advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney and Publisher and co-founder, The Daily Caller
Harris and Beschloss provide a readable and comprehensive overview of the political and economic threats to U.S. competitiveness along with a menu of policy prescriptions. Their examples of what's worked and what hasn't give a clear sense of what's at stake and what might be done about it. David Goldston, former Chief of Staff, U.S. House Committee on Science

A timely book, Adrift is more than a compelling narrative and a candid look at our current discontent. It is an inspiring call to action on how we as a nation can once again attain our full potential and thrive.

Business & Investing / Management & Leadership

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management, 5th Edition by G. Michael Campbell (Alpha Books)

Many project managers guess as a way to estimate the level of effort for a project. However, there is a better way to manage projects. It doesn't take a special certification to manage a project, but it does take special skills to bring projects in on time and within budget. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management is a step-by-step guide to becoming a successful project manager.

Some planning and tracking is involved in moving projects from start to finish, but this book takes the practical approach to the process and puts readers in control. By systematically managing goals and resources, any project, large or small, complicated or straightforward, can be achieved with great profitability. A certified project management professional, G. Michael Campbell shares the latest theories, procedures, and software tools available in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management, a fully updated and revised guide including the newest directive from the Project Management Institute. It explains the best way to approach any project, and also gives all the information necessary to those interested in passing the test to become a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). The book includes the most current terms and concepts on the certification test, and the latest software tools from Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Primavera and advice from an expert with useful, real-life anecdotes from the field.

In The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management, 5th Edition, Campbell, PMP, President of MCA International in Houston, maps out the surest path from start to success. In this guide, readers get:

  • The 12 golden rules of project management success, with tips on building a good team and a workable plan.
  • Expert tips on managing the timing, risks, people, costs, and communications associated with your projects.
  • Foolproof advice on setting achievable goals and developing a project charter.
  • Inspiring ideas for overcoming the most common project problems and setbacks.
  • Concise coverage of the latest software tools and the new Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guidelines.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management, 5th Edition, explains in easy-tounderstand language how the power of time-proven project management methods can help readers mission-critical projects come in on time, on budget, and on target. Readers learn how to point project teams, in spite of politics and personalities, in the same direction and how to manage changes, no matter how frequent, to keep projects on track. They also discover how a Project Management Office (PMO) can enhance their efforts in project management. Finally, they learn that it is skill, not luck or fancy degrees, which makes the difference in making their project a success.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management has seven parts, which provide readers with the steps and tools behind successful project management and offer practical advice they can adapt to the needs of today's fast-moving, ever-changing organizations.

  1. The Power of Project Management explains how to link projects to the business requirements that all project managers must satisfy. Campbell tells readers what it means to be a project manager, and how to get started correctly so they can bring their project in on time and on budget.
  2. The Project Definition Phase presents techniques to start a project off on the right foot with a clear scope and a motivated project team. Readers also learn how to identify and manage stakeholders while controlling project risks.
  3. The Project Planning Phase explains the basic planning processes central to successful project management. Readers observe how to define, schedule, and budget tasks using charting and analysis tools that help them scope out projects of all sorts and sizes.
  4. The Execution Phase presents proven techniques to transform the plan into action focused toward meeting the project's business requirements. The end result of a project is always related to the way the plan is translated into actual work in the real world.
  5. The Controlling Processes talks about ways to monitor, track, and adjust each project so everything stays on schedule, within budget, and with the right quality. Readers find easy-to-follow guidelines for dealing with the most common project problems and for minimizing the impact of the changes that are part of almost every project.
  6. The Close-Out Phase shows how to finish the project and reap the rewards of a job well done. This is often the most ignored part of project management, but readers see why it is so important.
  7. Project Organization and Tools introduces the PMO and some software applications that can help them find out how to put the discipline of project management to work throughout the organization.

An invaluable guide for any manager, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management clearly explains project management and provides the tools to get the job done.

Childrens Books / Ages 10-12 / Adventure / Mysteries / People & Places

The Red Blazer Girls: The Mistaken Masterpiece by Michael D. Beil (The Red Blazer Girls Series, No. 3: Alfred A. Knopf: Knopf Books for Young Readers)

The Mistaken Masterpiece is another charming and engaging adventure starring four every-girl sleuths that is perfect for readers 10 and up.

FADE IN, LIVING ROOM, CHURCH RECTORY DAY

Cut to a shot of four girls sprawled on chairs. Their red blazers have been tossed carelessly on the sofa. One of the girls, Sophie, has a black eye. She looks lost in thought. Father Julian walks in carrying an old shoe box stuffed with hundreds (maybe thousands) of frayed photographs, most in black-and-white.

Father Julian: These may be our only real hope of proving when the canvas was painted. You need to figure out when these pictures were taken.

Becca (wide-eyed): That should be easy enough, right?

Leigh Ann: Wait, how are we supposed to do that? I mean, unless one of them has a guy holding up a sign that says Happy New Year, 1961, how do you prove when a picture was taken? It's impossible.

Margaret (flaunting a determined look): Nothing is impossible. The answer is in here. These pictures are just another code for us to crack. And were getting pretty good at that, if I do say so.

Father Julian (cheerfully): I like what I'm hearing. I had a feeling about you girls the first time I met you. Take good care of these things. They may be our only hope.

Sophie (taking the box): You can trust me, Father. I never lose anything.

FADE OUT

Sophie, Margaret, Becca, and Leigh Ann star in an all-new Red Blazer Girls caper. The Mistaken Masterpiece is the third installment of this series by Michael D. Beil who teaches English at a Catholic high school in New York City and helms the theater program at a New York City high school. In it Sophie is nose to fist with her arch-rival, Livvy, all while taking care of movie-star Nate Etan's dog, when Father Julian hires the Blazers to help him authenticate a painting. Mayhem and mystery follows as the girls attempt to uncover the truth. Oh, and Sophie's friend-who-is-not-a-boyfriend, Raf, is back. . . .

So, here's the deal: You'd think after solving two mysteries, this whole detective business would get a heck of a lot easier. But that hasn't been the case. No. If anything, things have gotten more confusing, and I don't just mean the situation with that boy I never get to see. I'm talking about the fact that my celebrity crush knows me by name. (Like, personally.) And how I actually may be becoming friends with my arch-nemesis after she broke my nose. (No, really!) And then there's that whole thing with that famous painting, and figuring out if it's a fake or not. (Not as easy as it sounds.) The biggest mystery of all? How I find time for all this. (And I didn't even mention that my band landed its first gig. Or, you know, school.) This is the life of a Red Blazer Girl. We wouldn't have it any other way. from the book 

first Red Blazer Girls installment, The Ring of Rocamadour, was hailed as a PG Da Vince Code ... with a fun mystery, great friends, and a bit of romance" (School Library Journal). The second Red Blazer Girls mystery, The Vanishing Violin, was similarly lauded, with Kirkus Reviews saying, "The red blazer gals feel and act like real tweens while tackling everything that comes their way with logic, humor and refreshing savoir faire."

Computers & Internet / Science / Technology / Artificial Intelligence

Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

For centuries, people have dreamed of creating a machine that thinks like a human. Scientists have made progress: computers can now beat chess grand-masters and help prevent terrorist attacks. Yet we still await a machine that exhibits the rich complexity of human thought one that doesn't just crunch numbers, or take us to a relevant Web page, but understands us and gives us what we need.

Final Jeopardy, written by Stephen Baker, Business Week's senior technology writer for a decade, carries readers on a journey from the IBM lab to the podium. The story features brilliant Ph.D.s, Hollywood moguls, knowledge-obsessed Jeopardy masters and a special collection of silicon and circuitry named Watson. It is a classic match of Man vs. Machine, not seen since Deep Blue bested chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. But Watson will need to do more than churn through chess moves or find a relevant web page. It will have to understand language, including puns and irony, and master everything from history and literature to science, arts, and entertainment.

At its heart, Final Jeopardy is about the future of knowledge. What can we teach machines? What will Watsons heirs be capable of in ten or twenty years? And where does that leave humans? These questions have driven a team of engineers at IBM. Over three years, they created Watson and prepared it for a showdown on Jeopardy!, where it would take on two of the game's all-time champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, in a nationally televised event. Final Jeopardy is the story of that computer and that epic match.

After years of training, Watson can find the scrambled state capital in "Hair Gel" ("What is Raleigh?") and even come up with the facial accessory that made Moshe Dayan recognizable worldwide ("What is an eye patch?"). Watson may just be the smartest machine on earth. Final Jeopardy traces the arc of Watson's life, from its birth in the IBM labs to its big night on the podium. Readers meet Hollywood moguls and Jeopardy masters, genius computer programmers and ambitious scientists, including Watson's eccentric creator, David Ferrucci. They gain access to Ferrucci's War Room, where the IBM team works tirelessly to boost Watson's speed to the buzzer, improve its performance in train wreck categories (such as "Books in Espanol"), and fix glitches like the speech defect Watson developed during its testing phase, when it started adding a d to words ending in n ("What is Pakistand?").

Much is at stake, especially for IBM. A new generation of Watsons could transform medicine, the law, marketing, even science itself, as machines process huge amounts of data at lightning speed, answer readers questions, and possibly come up with new hypotheses.

Showdown aside, it's clear that the future has arrived. But with it come questions: Where does it leave humans? Is it time to declare defeat in the realm of facts? What should we teach our children? And what should we carry around in our own heads?

Watson is both an information-processing juggernaut, searching millions of documents per second, and a child-like naf with odd speech impediments that thinks the Al in Alcoa stands for Al Capone (one embarrassing gaffe in a practice match prompted programmers to install a profanity filter). Like a cross between Born Yesterday and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Baker's narrative is both charming and terrifying; as Watson's intelligence relentlessly increases, we envision whole job sectors, from call center operators and marketing analysts to, well, quiz-show contestants, vanishing overnight. The result is an entertaining romp through the field of artificial intelligence and a sobering glimpse of things to come. The book's final chapter, covering the actual games, which will air in mid-February, was not seen by PW. Publishers Weekly, starred review

The book is the place to go if you're really interested in this version of the quest for creating Artificial Intelligence (AI).... lively Seattle Times

Baker skillfully weaves the two threads of the story together, and the book contains many passages that make the reader not only assess what they think but how they think, and how they have absorbed and stored the knowledge they possess. Its books like this that remind us there is still so much we dont understand about our own brains, and that the journey of discovery has only just begun. Culture Mob

Entertaining, illuminating, as fast and fun as the game itself, Final Jeopardy shows how smart machines will fit into our world and how theyll disrupt it.

Entertainment / Games / Gambling

Playing Sit-and-Go Poker as a Business by Rob Tucker (Cardoza Publishing)

Playing Sit-and-Go Poker as a Business is the only book that shows players how to earn cash by playing in satellites for big buy-in no limit holdem tournaments like the World Poker Tour, European Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. Full-time professional poker player Rob Tucker, who has won 18 World Poker Tour main event seats in two years using this method, shows readers how to survive until the top two places of a single-table sit-and-go and either win the valuable main event seat or negotiate a deal for a huge cash profit. Players learn how to play aggressively in the short-stacked super-satellites, more conservatively in the deeper-stacked satellites, and when and how to negotiate deals. Dozens of hand examples, table graphics, and explanations demonstrate how decision making is guided by the objective of playing heads-up.

The moneymaking system in Playing Sit-and-Go Poker as a Business is an untapped secret the pros have been guarding. Readers can make a business out of playing sit-and-goes just like the pros. They only need to know their secret strategies to rake in profits. Poker guru Tucker exposes the formerly hidden plays the pros use to win. Tons of examples and action plays illustrate the dynamic strategies that will lead readers to new levels. According to Tucker, readers can learn to outmaneuver aggressive Internet-style opponents and weak players and dominate super tough opponents to immediately start winning money in sit-and-go tournaments live and on the Internet.

Playing Sit-and-Go Poker as a Business teaches readers how to play two types of sit-and-go events:

  1. Live single-table sit-and-go satellites to win entry into big-money no-limit hold'em tournaments.
  2. Online single-table sit-and-go tournaments to win cash prizes.

After discussing traditional online sit-and-goes, Tucker gets into the meat of Playing Sit-and-Go Poker as a Business, his proven strategies for winning live, two-level, sit-and-go satellites. He explains the format for the profitable satellites he recommends readers play, and dedicates most of the book to successful strategies for playing them.

According to Tucker, by using this new game plan, readers bring a far more optimistic and confident attitude to the table than their opponents. While the lessons in the book are all business, they can gain confidence navigating satellites using a roadmap designed to earn them big payoffs. And since the number of big buy-in tournaments continues to grow, they will find no shortage of opportunities to profit from these satellites.

Making deals in sit-and-go satellites guarantees that they walk away with some money even if they don't win the satellite and ensures that they continue to profit from playing poker. He outlines a mock negotiation scenario that shows readers what they need to think about and say to their opponent in order to earn the profit.

At the end of Playing Sit-and-Go Poker as a Business, Tucker gives readers pointers on pot odds and how to calculate probabilities. He has designed this section to help readers easily execute the basic strategy of winning sit-and-goes.

Health, Mind & Body / Diet & Weight Loss

Just 10 Lbs.: Easy Steps to Weighing What You Want (Finally) by Brad Lamm (Hay House, Inc.)

In Just 10 Lbs., board-registered intervention specialist Brad Lamm brings a fresh eye to weight loss, focusing not on the what of eating, but on the how and why. As a companion piece to The Dr. Oz Shows year-long initiative to change the health of America, this book discards the notion of overhauling life with the vague dream of being thin and challenges readers to focus on losing just 10 pounds.

What Lamm understands is that managing weight isnt just about doing crunches, running miles, or cutting calories; in fact, one of the most powerful parts of success is generally overlooked a healthy relationship with oneself is key to any weight-loss program. In Just 10 Lbs., Lamm outlines ten steps to help readers heal their relationship with themselves and thus change their relationship with food, breaking destructive cycles of disordered and unhealthy eating.

Covering everything from body image to restrictive beliefs to developing a quiet, focusing daily practice, Lamm discusses all aspects of the emotional and self-esteem issues surrounding weight and food. He puts them together into a program that begins with identifying ones eating style emotional eater, pleasure eater, energy eater, external eater, or critical eater and ends with a discussion on the importance of paying it forward, or giving back the gifts they have gotten. Also included is an action-oriented 30-day plan to help readers get a jump start on their weight-loss efforts.

"I'm someone just like you, says Lamm. I used to have a food problem that sent my weight up and down so many times I could have passed for a seesaw. I can't grant you three wishes, but making your dreams a reality is what I'm all about. I can help you discover how to weigh what you want, stop hating yourself every time a piece of candy or a chunk of chocolate crosses your lips, and be at peace with your body.

The goals of Just 10 Lbs.:

  • Lose 10 pounds in 30 days by following the 10 steps in this book.
  • Reclaim the power and emotions they have handed over to food and renounce the food fight.
  • Open up the emotional blockages that clutter their path to living life to its glorious potential.
  • Learn to eat normally and live at a healthy weight.
  • Create a lifestyle that emphasizes the mind, body, emotions, relationships, and spirit.

Just 10 Lbs. offers a jump start for lasting personal transformation. It is based on proven medical science, and I have seen with my own eyes just how effective Brad and his program can be. Mehmet Oz, M.D., from the Foreword

The easy-to-follow steps in Just 10 Lbs. help readers reclaim their power over food and open emotional blockages. Highly motivated and with long-term sobriety himself, Lamms approach is understandable and full of hope.

Health, Mind & Body / Exercise & Fitness

Core Training Anatomy: An Insiders Guide to Building a Strong Core by Abigail Ellsworth (Thunder Bay Press)
Everyday movements depend on core muscles they stabilize the trunk and pelvis, allowing arms and legs to move properly. A strong core means the person moves with efficiency and ease. So, how does one train the core?

In Core Training Anatomy, health and fitness expert Abby Ellsworth gives readers the tools they need to embark on a journey of flat-belly fitness and health, from basic movements to information on how to build a complete exercise plan. With step-by-step instructions and easy-to-follow illustrations of starting positions and movement paths, it's like having ones own personal trainer. Readers learn what to do and what not to do in order to get results and avoid injury. Author and lecturer Ellsworth, with a doctorate of Physical Therapy from Slippery Rock University, is a Certified Pilates Specialist, and the owner of the Pilates, Therapy and Wellness Center of Westchester.
Core Training Anatomy brings a new dimension to workouts, helping readers target this pesky problem area and helping them stay on the path to health and fitness. The book helps readers take the first steps, showing them which muscles make up their core and how they work together. They learn a wide variety of exercises that stabilize and strengthen these muscles including the Foam Roller Challenge, pushing their exercise regimen to the next level.

Full-color photographs and illustrations demonstrate how target muscles work in each exercise. Step-by-step instructions for each movement and sample workouts help readers target the abdominals and other core muscles. Also included is a full-color poster with a detailed guide to anatomy and key exercises to help them achieve a strong body.

Contents include sections devoted to:

  • Stretches
  • Core stability exercises
  • Core strength exercises
  • Foam roller challenge
  • Sample workouts.

A solid understanding of the major core muscles is the key to achieving a healthy, supple body. Core Training Anatomy goes beneath the skin to allow readers to see which muscles they are working out during each exercise. With clear step-by-step instructions for each movement and tips on what to look for, the volume provides essential insights into exercise routines.

Health, Mind & Body / Psychology & Counseling / Coaching

Maximize Your Coaching Effectiveness with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Richard Blonna (New Harbinger Publications, Inc.)

Life coaches help people live purposeful lives that are driven by their deepest values. And although clients may not have diagnosable mental health disorders, it's likely that many of them encounter mental roadblocks such as fear, stress, anxiety, and worry that keep them from reaching their goals and developing their full potential.

Thousands of cognitive behavioral psychologists from around the world rely on a method called acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help their therapeutic clients get unstuck from these barriers and improve their level of functioning. In Maximize Your Coaching Effectiveness with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, readers learn to help their coaching clients harness these powerful psychological techniques to identify their passions, set values-based professional and personal goals, and realize their full potential. Richard Blonna, university professor and author, provides professional life coaches with the skills they need to apply acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) principles to their coaching practices, helping clients to get unstuck from the mental barriers that hold them back, stay motivated, and achieve goals aligned with their personal values. Maximize Your Coaching Effectiveness with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy will not teach coaches to become ACT therapists or how to practice therapy. Without being therapists, readers can use practices derived from ACT as long as they stick to working as a coach with clients who do not need psychotherapy.

Coaching theory and practice revolve around helping to motivate clients to achieve their goals and live purposeful lives driven by their values. Coaches assume their clients know what's best for themselves and are able to plan for the future and solve their own problems. Every day they struggle with unhelpful thoughts and painful emotions that contribute to their becoming psychologically inflexible, stuck in a rut, and unable to meet their goals.

ACT theory and practice revolves around helping clients develop greater psychological flexibility, improve their underlying psychopathology, and become unstuck. According to ACT theory, clients become psychologically inflexible due to six key factors:

  • Attachment to the conceptualized self.
  • Cognitive fusion.
  • Dominance of outmoded scripts and learning.
  • Experiential avoidance.
  • Lack of clarity concerning values.
  • Inaction, impulsivity, and rigidity.

Chapters 1 and 3, spend a lot of time explaining what these factors are and demonstrating how they apply to coaching. Later Maximize Your Coaching Effectiveness with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy describes how these same factors are the root of stress, worry, anxiety, and other pain and suffering that cause coaching clients to get stuck and stop progressing toward their goals.

ACT uses six core therapeutic processes to help clients develop greater psychological flexibility, get unstuck, and begin functioning again:

  • Being present.
  • Defining valued directions.
  • Taking committed action.
  • Seeing the self as context.
  • Practicing acceptance.
  • Using cognitive defusion.

These therapeutic processes are covered in detail in chapter 3 to show coaches how they can modify them for their work with coaching clients.

Maximize Your Coaching Effectiveness with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is the only book targeting professional coaches that integrates acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) principles and practices with coaching. Readers boost their life-coaching practice using the strategies outlined.

Health, Mind & Body / Reference

Dr. Apple's Symptoms Encyclopedia: The Reassuring Guide to Self-Diagnosis by Michael Apple and Jason Payne-James, edited by Robin Fox, Hugo Hammersley, George Moncrieff and K.S. Pandher (Basic Health Publications)

We all like to feel well, so much so that we take our bodies for granted until something goes wrong. Then we enter the uncertain world of symptoms. Some symptoms matter, and some dont the skill is to tell the difference. Dr. Apple's Symptoms Encyclopedia helps readers understand what is going on in their bodies and begin their journey to recovery.

Dr. Apple's Symptoms Encyclopedia, written by two medical doctors, Michael Apple and Jason Payne-James, makes sense out of the complex world of symptoms. It does this by revealing how a doctor thinks when faced with patients telling their stories that is, by ranking the possible diagnosis in terms of probability.

Dr. Apple's Symptoms Encyclopedia has been designed to be easy to use. As Apple and Payne-James explain, there are two ways to use the book, depending on whether readers want to arrive at a diagnosis based on their symptoms or find out more about an illness they may already have.

The diagnoses are divided into:

  • What is probable: the common causes of the symptom such as would immediately spring to a doctor's mind.
  • What is possible, once the probable causes have been excluded.
  • Rare causes. Unless the symptoms happen to match closely the features listed, these diagnoses are unlikely.

Mostly, readers will find it best to start with their symptom or symptoms. If it is easy to put a name to the symptom, such as headache or painful wrist, they can look for it in the index. If the symptom is not quite so obvious, or easily defined, they need to decide if it can be isolated to a single part of the body, such as the knee or abdomen, or whether it is a general whole-body symptom, such as fever or weight loss. In the case of symptoms clearly occurring in one part of the body, or in one body system, they can go straight to the relevant section and look through it. Each part of the body has its own section. The sections are arranged in a logical order, starting at the top of the body and moving downward toward the feet. It ends with general symptoms that cannot be easily isolated to any one part of the body or any one of the body's systems.

Within each section, the order echoes that of Dr. Apple's Symptoms Encyclopedia as a whole: the specific come first and the general come last. Also, symptoms that are obvious to others revealed by clear visual signs such as a rash or a limp are placed first. Inwardly experienced symptoms, or those which only they are likely to know about, such as loss of sense of smell, come last within a section.

In addition, symptoms are grouped like with like, so that, for instance, in the listing for a common cold, shivers, chills, and sweating all occur within the same few pages. Readers simply browse through the relevant section looking for the symptom, or combination of symptoms, that fits their condition. If a symptom cannot be isolated to a single part of the body, readers can go to the General Symptoms section, which comes last in the book.

The second way to use Dr. Apple's Symptoms Encyclopedia is when one already knows or suspects that they have a particular illness and wants to find more information about its symptoms. They simply look up the illness or disease in the index, which will send them straight to the page(s) where it is covered.

For the first time in a popular medical guide, all the symptoms readers could reasonably expect to encounter are put into perspective in Dr. Apple's Symptoms Encyclopedia. The book helps readers engage positively in the process of diagnosis and, armed with this knowledge, act proactively in their own health care. And they can be freed from unnecessary worry but also know when they should seek medical advice.

History / Americas / Military

Violent Encounters: Interviews on Western Massacres by Deborah Lawrence and Jon Lawrence (University of Oklahoma Press)

Nine renowned historians talk frankly about their study of violence in the West.

Merciless killing in the nineteenth-century American West, as Violent Encounters: Interviews on Western Massacres shows, was not as simple as depicted in dime novels and movie Westerns. The scholars interviewed in the book, experts on violence in the West, embrace a wide range of approaches and perspectives and challenge both traditional views of western expansion and politically correct ideologies.

The Battle of the Little Big Horn, the Sand Creek Massacre, the Battle of the Washita, and the Mountain Meadows Massacre are iconic events that have been repeatedly described and analyzed, but the interviews included in Violent Encounters: Interviews on Western Massacres offer new points of view. Other events discussed are little-known today, such as the Camp Grant Massacre, in which Anglo-Americans, Mexican Americans, and Tohono Oodham Indians killed more than a hundred Pinal and Aravaipa Apache men, women, and children.

In addition to specific events, the interviews cover broader themes such as violence in early California; hostilities between the frontier army and the Sioux, including the Santee Sioux Revolt and Wounded Knee; and violence between European Americans and Great Basin tribes, such as the Bear River Massacre. The scholars interviewed include academic historians, public historians, an anthropologist, and a journalist. The interview format provides insights into the methodology and tools of historical research and allows questions and speculations often absent from conventional, written accounts. The scholars share their latest thoughts on longstanding controversies, address the political uses often made of history, and discuss the need to incorporate multiple viewpoints.

Authors are Deborah Lawrence, emeritus faculty member in the English Department, California State University, Fullerton, and Jon Lawrence, professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine, coeditors of Desert Tracks, the quarterly of the Southern Trails chapter of the Oregon-California Trail Association.

Violent Encounters: Interviews on Western Massacres, is made up of interviews conducted on Western violence with these noted historians:

  • Marc Simmons on the McComas Massacre
  • Margot Mifflin on the Oatman Massacre and captivity
  • Will Bagley on the Mountain Meadows Massacre
  • Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh on the Camp Grant Massacre
  • Michael Tate on Indians, emigrants, and the U.S. Army on the Overland Trails
  • Albert Hurtado on the destruction and survival of the California Indians
  • Robert Utley on the Sioux Wars
  • Jerome Greene on the Cheyenne Wars
  • Ned Blackhawk on European-Shoshonean violence

Scholars and students of history and historiography will be fascinated by the nuts-and-bolts information about the practice of history revealed in Violent Encounters: Interviews on Western Massacres. In addition, readers with specific interests in the events discussed will gain much new information and many fresh insights.

History / Americas / Military / World War II / Nuclear Weapons

Made in Hanford: The Bomb That Changed the World by Hill Williams (Washington State University Press)

Hill Williams, a former Seattle Times science writer, has written Made in Hanford. With Hanford's role as a focal point, Made in Hanford details the extraordinary scientific and engineering efforts that led to the atomic bomb, the post-World War II nuclear testing in the Pacific and its effects on the island people, and how it all intersected and changed the author's own life. Additional real-life narrative touches come from an extraordinary source Lt. Col. Franklin T. Matthias, World War II Army commander at Hanford, kept a diary that theoretically was checked at Manhattan headquarters. But Matthias kept his own, unedited copy, and when he loaned it to a professor many years later, Williams was able to gain access.

Made in Hanford traces nuclear physics back to the discovery of neutrons in 1932, and to the eve of World War II, when news of an astonishing breakthrough filtered out of Germany. Physicists in the United States scrambled to verify results and further investigate this new science. With growing fears that the Nazis were on the verge of harnessing nuclear power, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gambled on a program that eventually became the Manhattan Project. The objective was to research and produce uranium for military use. By 1941, experiments led to the identification of plutonium, but large-scale manufacture would be required to generate sufficient quantities measured in pounds, not tons.

As told in Made in Hanford, in 1942, a small plane carrying Lt. Col. Franklin T. Matthias and two DuPont engineers flew over three farming communities in eastern Washington. The passengers agreed; isolated and near the powerful Columbia River, the region was the ideal site for the world's first plutonium factory. Even as research continued, engineers began to construct massive buildings in an isolated eastern Washington farming community. Within two years, Hanford became the world's first plutonium factory. Few of the workers knew what they were building, but on August 9, 1945, when the Fat Man fell on Nagasaki, they finally understood. The facility continued to produce plutonium throughout the Cold War. Williams traces the amazing but also tragic story from the dawn of nuclear science through World War II and Cold War testing in the Marshall Islands.

Personal encounters, along with the clandestine operation's profound influence on his hometown, the surrounding region, and the world, led to the author's enduring interest in the Manhattan Project. He was particularly focused on Hanford's role, often glossed over in other books. "My life as a newspaperman intersected repeatedly with Hanford and nuclear science, and I had an itch to write this book for some time... The last two chapters describe nuclear testing in the Pacific and the impact on island people displaced for the tests. I was there, both as a university employee and as a newspaper reporter."

Made in Hanford draws on personal reminiscences and provides clear scientific explanations as it traces the part eastern Washington played in the story of the plutonium bomb.

History / Americas / Politics / Canada / Policy Studies

In the National Interest: Canadian Foreign Policy and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 1909-2009, edited by Greg Donaghy and Michael K. Carroll (Beyond Boundaries: Canadian Defences and Strategy Studies Series: University of Calgary Press)

Canada's role as a world power and its sense of itself in the global landscape has been shaped and defined by the changing policies and personalities in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). In the National Interest brings together fifteen leading historians and political scientists to discuss a century of Canada's national interests and DFAIT's role in defining and pursuing them. In the National Interest also provides a platform for discussion of Canada's present and future roles on the international stage.

Editors are Greg Donaghy, Head of the Historical Section at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Michael K Carroll, Assistant Professor of History at Grant MacEwan University. According to Donaghy and Carroll in the introduction, over the last two decades, Canadian foreign policy has benefited from an exceptionally rich and vigorous, as well as polarized, discussion of Canada's national interest. The contours of that debate emerged sharply in the mid-1990s, when the end of the Cold War still seemed likely to liberate global politics in general, and Canadian foreign policy in particular, from the traditional constraints of empire, alliance, and power.

In the National Interest, based on a conference convened by the Centre for Military and strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, brings together a variety of historical perspectives on the department's place in the debate over interests and values in Canadian foreign policy.

When the Department of External Affairs was established in June 1909, tucked into pokey offices above a barber shop at the corner of Queen and Bank streets in downtown Ottawa, few would have predicted its eventual importance. "It is not intended it shall be a very numerous department," Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier reassured cost-conscious parliamentarians, or a very heavy department. Tory to the core and convinced that Canada's national interests were best served within the comforting embrace of the British Empire, Sir Joseph Pope, the department's first under-secretary, had only modest ambitions for his new ministry. Arthur Meighen's Liberal successor, Prime Minister W.L. Mackenzie King, had different objectives. He was suspicious of imperial entanglements that might limit Canada's freedom to maneuver and tear at its national unity. He recruited the dean of arts at Queen's University in Kingston, O.D. Skelton, to help. Skelton, as historian Norman Hillmer argues in the opening chapter of In the National Interest, was sure of the national interest, and he set out in the mid-1920s to build a foreign ministry that was both an instrument and expression of Canadian interests. Most important, placing Canada first meant policies that severed its imperial ties with Britain and embraced Canada's destiny as a North American nation.

However compelling in theory, the case for embracing Canada's North American destiny was studded with doubts. The point is made forcefully in Galen Perras's chapter on bilateral defense cooperation in the 1930s. American uncertainty about Canada's very nature and Washington's maladroit diplomacy reinforced concerns on both sides of the border about the value of closer bilateral cooperation. These factors and the strong emotional attachment felt by many Canadians to Britain and its imperial values rendered progress along the American road slower and more uncertain than its supporters might have liked.

Several of the chapters in In the National Interest underline the close but complicated, even treacherous, relationship between popular opinion and the national interest. This is especially true of the chapter by Heather Metcalf, who is preoccupied with questions of public opinion and national identity. Armed with the kind of toolkit found among cultural historians, she links the national interest with national identity. As Metcalfe points out, however, there were profound structural barriers to understanding popular opinion and knowing how to harness it in prewar Canada, barriers which often left elites and intellectuals frustrated by their inability either to understand or influence popular sentiment.

The outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 changed both the parameters of the debate over Canada's national interests and the department's role in that discussion. The war swept away the inward-looking little Canada of the pre-war era, replacing it with a more mature and united nation that was inclined to define its national interests in more international terms. As Lester B. Pearson, who played a vital role in that transformation as both civil servant and politician, later recalled, passive isolation and disinterest gave way to active participation and commitment.

The war also transformed the Department of External Affairs and its policy-making capacity. Forced to embrace new allies, to seek markets in unfamiliar corners of the world, and to build a system for postwar global governance, the department's reach was suddenly global. In 1946, the department regained its own minister for the first time since 1912 when Louis St. Laurent became secretary of state for external affairs, before becoming prime minister in 1948. Serving under him was Pearson, first as under-secretary and then as secretary of state for external affairs.

Striking the right balance between obvious national interests, for instance, Cold War defense or arctic sovereignty, and broader international interests and values was rarely easy. Jack Granatstein makes this point in his chapter by contrasting Skelton's focus on advancing ties with the United States with the quixotic campaign of his successor, Norman Robertson, for nuclear disarmament in the late 1950s.

Historian Adam Chapnick sounds a cautionary note in his chapter on Canada and the United Nations. In the immediate postwar period, Chapnick argues, the success and viability of the new international organization represented a genuine Canadian interest. Realists and functionalists, almost to a man, Canada's diplomats exerted an influence proportionate to Canada's middle-power status. A decade later, prime ministers John Diefenbaker and Mike Pearson embraced the United Nations for its peaceable values and the scope it provided for Canada to build East-West and North-South coalitions, forgetting that the national interest lay elsewhere.

Other assessments of the department's capacity to reconcile and balance competing national interests, a hallmark of Canada's foreign policy since 1945, are more forgiving. In chapter 6, Arctic scholars Whitney Lackenbauer and Peter Kirkett combine new archival evidence with an extensive reading of the existing literature to probe the department's role in shaping policies that reconciled Canadian claims to sovereignty across the Arctic with the country's close Cold War defense relationship with the United States.

Chapters by Robin Gendron and Michael Hart explore different post war interests, national unity and economic prosperity respectively, and endorse this sensible assessment about the capacity of the department to identify and manage these interests. Gendron echoes Metcalfe's observations on the complex connections between public opinion and definitions of the national interest. Shifting popular sentiment and expectations in Quebec thrust national unity to the top of the foreign policy agenda in the early 1960s. More important, this chapter traces the fierce debate between the department's two leading French-Canadians, Jules Leger and Marcel Cadieux, over how to respond to that new priority.

Carleton University trade analyst Michael Hart, the only contributor to In the National Interest to bridge the divide between scholar and practitioner, is a frank realist; but in his economic world, there has been no great betrayal and interests trump ideals. In his long sweeping view of Canadian trade policy, Hart explores the competition between specific and general interests, wryly concluding that "the conjunction between good policy and good politics often proved narrow, difficult to find, and hard to implement." Staking out and defending that middle ground is the policy-maker's role, one that the department excelled in from the 1930s to the 1980s. Foreign and trade policy, Hart concludes, were reconciled through incremental, pragmatic, and cautious policy adjustments.

For Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, elected in the spring of 1968, pragmatism and caution were part of the problem. The prime minister doubted both the value of diplomacy and the dull, grey men at External Affairs, who seemed incapable of responding to Canada's declining international status as postwar recovery in Europe and Japan and the new post-colonial powers of Asia and Africa crowded the global stage. Trudeau opened up the policy-making process and erected a complex set of cabinet and interdepartmental committees that shifted the burden of defining the national interest from the foreign service bureaucracy to the politicians.

The balance of In the National Interest explores how the altered policy-making environment has changed the department's contribution to the debate over the national interest. Tammy Nemeth's chapter on energy policy constitutes a detailed case study of how the Trudeau government defined the national interest and pursued it in one vital sector of the Canadian economy. In Nemeth's view, Trudeau neutered the country's foreign policy specialists, rejected their sound advice, and pursued nationalist policies that undermined the country's interests.

And the shift seems permanent. This, at least, is one of the principal conclusions reflected in Nelson Michaud's chapter on the foreign policy-making role of Canadian prime ministers since Brian Mulroney. Michaud insists that the prime minister's hold on the foreign policy agenda and notions of the national interest is increasingly absolute and irreversible.

But gaps persist. The prime-ministerial agenda is often crowded and his attention span short. Stephen Randall's chapter on Canada-United States relations offers a more nuanced view of the department's continuing relevance in shaping the national interest.

The final contributor to In the National Interest might go even further in asserting the vital importance of a strong foreign and trade ministry. Political scientist Elizabeth Riddell Dixon contends that the turn of the new millennium has been a democratization of the foreign policy process. Canada's involvement in the Beijing Women's Conference demonstrates a broadening of the national interest, which directly involves new players of a decidedly domestic orientation.

Today's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has clearly come a long way from its origins, with operations in 175 countries, a personnel allotment totaling over 13,000 full-time equivalents, and an annual budget of $2.513 billion. Policy-making too has become a messier and more complex business. Amidst these enormous changes, as the papers in In the National Interest make clear, the contemporary department still shares the concern with the national interest that excited its earlier self.

The authors are eminent personalities in their own right and have mined original records and conversations and combined them with informed opinions to present readable and enjoyable descriptions of decision-making processes at the highest level of our government. Highly recommended to anyone who has an interest in Canadian foreign policy. Alex Morrison, Director, School of Peace & Conflict Management, Royal Roads University, former Director of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies.

... adds substantial value to our knowledge of the making of foreign policy. It made me think and I am sure the book will make others think. Dr. Gordon Smith, Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

In the National Interest is engaging and provocative. With its unique combination of administrative and policy history, the book is in a field of its own.

History / Asia / Business & Investing / International / Politics

India: A Portrait by Patrick French (Alfred A. Knopf)

Second only to China in the magnitude of its economic miracle and second to none in its potential to shape the new century, India is fast undergoing one of the most momentous transformations the world has ever seen. In India, award-winning author Patrick French chronicles that epic change, telling human stories to explain a larger national narrative.
Melding on-the-ground reports with a deep knowledge of history, French in India exposes the cultural foundations of Indias political, economic and social complexities. He reveals how a nation identified with some of the most wretched poverty on earth has simultaneously developed an envied culture of entrepreneurship. French shows how, despite the ancient and persistent traditions of caste, as well as a mind-boggling number of ethnicities and languages, India has nevertheless managed to cohere, evolving into the worlds largest democracy, largely fulfilling Jawaharlal Nehrus dream of a secular liberal order.
French goes to the heart of all the puzzlements that modern India presents: Is this country actually rich or poor? Why has its Muslim population, the second largest on earth, resisted radicalization to such a considerable extent? Why do so many children of Indians who have succeeded in the West want to return home, despite never having lived in India? Will India become a natural ally of the West, a geostrategic counterweight to the illiberal rising powers China and Russia? To find the answers, French in India seeks out an astonishing range of characters: from Maoist revolutionaries to Mafia dons, from chained quarry laborers to self-made billionaires. And he delves into the personal lives of the political elite, including the Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, one of the most powerful women in the world.

French says in India that public discourse about India is caught in these old ways of looking. Inside the country itself, responses to recent economic progress are often pinned either to earlier socialist instincts against capital and globalization, or on seeing it as a triumphant riposte to past humiliations. The post-colonial outlook vital in the early years of freedom as a means to take the nation forward, and as an antidote to constant Western assumptions about the restricted destiny of former colonies has become an intellectual straitjacket which limits fresh thought at a time when something new is happening.

In India, French says he has tried to write about the country both from the inside and from the outside or from a distance. The information passes through three different prisms. The first is political, the second economic and the third social. The individual stories, calamities, aspirations and triumphs of many people are at the heart of the narrative. Each of the three sections Rashtra or nation, Lakshmi or wealth, Samaj or society seeks to answer, in an indirect way, the question: why is India like it is today?

Rashtra is about the birth of a nation. For any country, the moment of conception or formation is vital in explaining what happens later (think of Israel or the United States). In those early days, India was a beacon to Asian and African peoples who were seeking freedom from foreign rule. The dream turned stagnant as a controlled, statist mindset took over. India was nominally not aligned in the Cold War and the Soviet Union was its friend but many Indians wished to go West to seek their fortune. New political leaders arose, powered by caste, religion or regional affinity, and politics in India changed, following its own unique conventions and traditions. A handful of families became ever more important; the final chapter in Rashtra looks at how Indian democracy really works, and at the triumph of nepotism.

In Lakshmi, recent economic liberalization is placed in a deeper historical context. Why was international trade rejected with such force and certainty after independence? What makes a new nation prosperous? Why did people raised on a diet of socialism become robustly and even rapaciously capitalist, embracing the idea of economic creativity? Who becomes super-rich, who gets by and who remains super-poor? There was nothing inevitable about India's rise, and Lakshmi uses the personal tales of the poor and the rich to explain how it happened.

The third section of India, Samaj, is more nebulous: it is about broad social patterns, and the characteristics that make India itself. The narrative shows things that might be taken for granted in India the fact the untouchable father of the constitution was not allowed to sit in a classroom, the misconduct of the police and bureaucracy, the role of servants, the genetics of caste, the importance of India's many Muslims and their loyalty to the national ideal, and the deep and enduring influence of forms of faith. Through looking at the past, and sometimes at quite distant moments in history, the apparent peculiarities and continuing problems of the present can be revealed.

With its overlap of extreme wealth and lavish poverty, its mix of the educated and the ignorant, its competing ideologies, its kindness and profound cruelty, its complex relationships with religion, its parallel realities and the rapid speed of social change India is a macrocosm, and may be the world's default setting for the future.

Fizzing with wit, insight and infectious curiosity ... A riveting read One suspects that French could not pen a boring passage if he tried. A thoroughly enjoyable romp through six momentous decades. Sadanand Dhume, The Wall Street Journal Asia

It is a funny, witty book; also dense, gripping, thrilling. What blazes through from each page is French's absolute and uncondescending engagement with India, Indians and the mind-boggling plurality of practices. Neel Mukherjee, The Times (London)

A rich colouring of contemporary characters and events ... sharply observed at first hand ... An accomplished portrait. The Economist

Complex ... Stirringly accurate ... French offers a fascinating analysis, revealing a deeper truth. Salil Tripathi, The Independent

Lives up to its promise ... It's not just readable; it's gripping ... French's writing is touchingly evocative at times ... and hilarious at others. If you're Indian, reading the book is like learning the history of your country in four days. Nandini Kirshnan, New Indian Express

French is the brilliant enfant terrible who can get away with heresies because they are embedded in his deep affection for and intimate knowledge of India. Sunanda K. Datta-Ray, Business Standard

This dazzling panoramic is a monumental biography of the subcontinent and a thrilling revelation. With a familiarity and insight few Westerners could approach, French in India combines his lifelong passion with his scholarly interest to provide a fascinating analysis, a vital corrective to the many outdated notions about a uniquely dynamic and consequential nation.


Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies / Scrapbooking

Magic: Interactive Scrapbooks that Dazzle and Delight [Spiral-bound] by Jeanette R. Lynton (Gibbs-Smith)

What makes a scrapbook interactive? Elements that pull, spin, and slide to reveal additional photos and journaling.

Readers will become master magicians of memories with the 35 patterns and interactive techniques featured in Magic. Each pattern, created by author Jeanette Lynton, features ingenious elements that pull, spin, or slide to reveal more photos or journaling. Readers learn to create photo waterfalls, sliding filmstrips, and explosion flaps. The patterns are reproducible with the book's step-by-step illustrated instructions, cutting patterns, and blueprints. An enclosed DVD includes additional video instructions and pattern templates.

Lynton is the founder of Close To My Heart, one of the largest direct-selling paper crafting and scrapbooking companies in the industry. Lynton's pioneering products include a series of instruction programs for scrapbooking layouts and easy-to-make cards. Magic is the next book in her popular scrapbooking series.

Magic also features 200 full-color photos with easy-to-follow instructions guiding scrapbookers through every step. Projects include:

  • Journal pullouts.
  • Revolving door.
  • Photo waterfall.
  • Photo flaps.
  • Explosion flaps.
  • Button slide.

Each pattern can stand alone as a traditional, non-interactive layout. But with a wave of the magic wand and some step-by-step guidance scrapbook viewers become active participants as they pull, spin, and slide the moving elements on the pages. Readers also find lots of tips on how to apply the interactive techniques to a variety of layouts.    

Lynton says that for her, scrapbooking has always been magical. Bringing photos, paper, embellishments, and story together to preserve a treasured memory is one of the best feelings in the world. Readers will find unique ways to hide journaling, reveal photos, and incorporate moveable elements easily to add interest, dimension, and fun.

The patterns are easy to reproduce with Magic's step-by-step illustrated instructions, cutting patterns, and blueprints.

Law / Crimes & Criminals / Psychology & Counseling / Reference

Creating Cultural Monsters: Serial Murder in America by Julie B. Wiest (CRC Press)

Serial murderers generate an abundance of public interest, media coverage, and law enforcement attention, yet after decades of studies, serial murder researchers have been unable to answer the most important question: Why?

Creating Cultural Monsters draws on the years of dedicated research by Julie B. Wiest. Wiest, assistant professor of communication and sociology at High Point University in High Point, North Carolina, presents six empirically supported arguments that have the potential to revolutionize how serial murder is understood, studied, investigated, and brought to light, including a sociological context as to why most identified serial murderers are white males.

Creating Cultural Monsters explains connections between American culture and the incidence of serial murder. It describes the omnipresence of serial murder in American media and investigates what it would take to decrease its occurrence. This volume:

  • Places the serial murder phenomenon in a cultural context, promoting qualitative understanding and the potential for reducing its frequency.
  • Includes an illustrated model that explains how people utilize cultural values to construct lines of action according to their cultural competencies.
  • Demonstrates how the American cultural milieu fosters serial murder and the creation of white male serial murderers.
  • Provides a critique of the American mass media's role in the development and notoriety of serial murder.
  • Describes the framework on which the majority of definitions of serial murder are based.

According to Wiest in Creating Cultural Monsters, research on serial murder is full of inconsistency and discrepancies. Despite abundant public interest, media coverage, and law enforcement attention, there is limited knowledge and little agreement. No single definition of serial murder exists, which complicates efforts to determine its incidence. Profiles of serial murderers developed by social scientists differ from versions perpetuated in the media, in which many of the killers receive celebrity status. Explanations of serial murder range from biological to sociological, with much of the research from a psychological tradition and the cultural context generally neglected. But, to understand distinctive behavioral patterns, it is necessary to consider the influence of culture to identify those components that affect thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.

The unique and comprehensive explanation of serial murder offered in Creating Cultural Monsters draws clear connections to American culture; explains the reasons behind the higher incidence of serial murder in the United States when compared to other nations, as well as its omnipresence in American media; and investigates what it would take to decrease its occurrence.

The book is divided into two parts. The first outlines established information about serial murder and its sources, especially focusing on definitions, common characteristics of serial murderers, and existing explanations for serial murder. The second part presents an original framework for exploring the sociocultural context of serial murder, including an examination of serial murder in popular culture; the presentation of a model for how culture works to influence thoughts and behaviors; the application of that model to serial murder cases; and a consideration of the implications of these arguments, how they may be used to decrease the incidence of serial murder in the United States, and recommendations for future research. Finally, the Appendix details the methodology employed in the 2009 study, including an explanation of the qualitative content analysis method, the employed sample, data collection sources, and the analytical procedure.

well thought out and scholarly. Heith Copes, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Using an interdisciplinary framework that takes into account culture, gender, and race, the book provides a critical analysis of serial murders in the United States and makes an important contribution to knowledge in culture, gender, race/ethnicity and criminology. Hoan N. Bui, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

I will be adopting this book as a primary source for additional insight and information for teaching an upper division course on Serial Killers. The authors sociocultural approach to understanding serial murder is a much needed theoretical conceptualization. Jacquelyn L. Sandifer, Campbellsville University, Kentucky

The author has written a fascinating, creative, and enlightening examination of our cultural monsters. Anyone who seeks to understand this horrific phenomenon will want to read Wiest's excellent work. Jack  Levin, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts and author of Serial Killers and Sadistic Murderers: Up Close and Personal

Providing a unique and comprehensive exploration, Creating Cultural Monsters presents a new approach to the study of U.S. serial murder, draws clear and well supported conclusions, offers important implications for law enforcement and mass media, and forms a basis for future research on serial murder, murder, and violence in the U.S. and in other nations. It is suitable as a reference as well as a textbook for serial murder, serial violence, and criminal profiling courses.

Law / Outdoors & Nature / Conservation / Politics

Rebuilding the Ark: New Perspectives on Endangered Species Act Reform edited by Jonathan Alder (The AEI Press)

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted in 1973 to conserve animal and plant species threatened with extinction and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The ESA is among the most criticized and controversial of all environmental laws: landowners and private businesses have long decried the Act's regulatory burdens, while conservationists increasingly question the Act's environmental effectiveness. The Act has not been altered for over twenty-five years. Debates over ESA reform are often contentious and hampered by partisan infighting and pressure from interest groups.

In Rebuilding the Ark Case Western Reserve University law professor Jonathan H. Adler leads a group of environmental law experts in evaluating the ESA's successes and failures and exploring multiple avenues for reform. The authors examine methods for incentivizing conservation on private land and water, for revising and standardizing the ESA's regulatory framework, and for increasing transparency, accountability, and public participation in the Fish and Wildlife Service and other conservation agencies. Rebuilding the Ark also considers how the Act should be reformed to address the threat of climate change, and how ESA reform in the United States may affect species conservation overseas. Contributors include the editor and Jamison E. Colburn, David A. Dana, Michael De Alessi, James L. Huffman, Brian F. Mannix, Jonathan Remy Nash, J. B. Ruhl, and R. Neal Wilkins. The contributors present a range of reform proposals from a wide range of perspectives. Not every contributor embraces the ideas put forward by the others, but all share an interest in making species conservation more effective.

Well over 1,200 species have been listed as needing the Act's protection, but few have been restored to healthy status. The law appears to have prevented some species from falling over the brink into extinction. Yet there is little evidence it has restored many species populations to health. Moreover, the Act may have done more harm than good for some species because it has discouraged conservation and antagonized those upon whom species' survival depends.

Alder in Rebuilding the Ark describes the ESAs failings. Despite these failings, Congress has not revised the law in over twenty-five years. Legislative proposals have succumbed to partisan infighting and interest group pressure. In chapter 1, Alder surveys the Act's conservation record with a particular focus on private land. The vast majority of endangered and threatened species dwell on private land, and private land conservation is necessary for their survival. Yet there is evidence the ESAs primary regulatory provisions discourage private land conservation

Section 10 of the ESA authorizes the Fish and Wildlife Service to permit incidental takes of listed species in conjunction with approved habitat conservation plans (HCPs). Numerous HCPs are approved, but we know little about how they are working. To address these shortcomings, in chapter 2, David A. Dana proposes a series of reforms to the HCP process to enhance transparency accountability public participation and conservation.

There is a growing consensus that economic incentives could encourage greater conservation on private land but disagreement about what form such incentives should take. In chapter 3, R. Neal Wilkins summarizes recent incentive efforts and assesses the promise of incentive systems, including conservation banks and recovery crediting. Wilkins argues that the latter, in particular, are a promising tool for encouraging greater habitat protection on private land.

Instead of separating property rights and government permissions, Jamison E. Colburn in chapter 4 of Rebuilding the Ark calls for greater integration of the two, treating regulatory permissions more like property to enhance assessment and certainty. Although nature is infinitely variable, a more standardized regulatory framework could enhance nature's conservation.

The tax code provides a modest incentive for conservation by allowing income tax deductions for the donation of conservation easements. In chapter 5, Jonathan Remy Nash suggests the conservation value of this policy could be increased if the value of the deduction were calibrated to the ecological value of the easement.

Species conservation affects owners of water no less than owners of land. Species-driven conflicts over water use and disposition would appear to place species conservation and water rights at odds. In chapter 6, James L. Huffman suggests this conclusion is misplaced, and that greater protection for property rights in water could improve regulatory incentives and actually enhance species conservation efforts.

Some ESA reform proponents argue that better science will produce better regulatory decisions under the ESA. Drawing on his experience in both state and federal regulatory agencies, Brian F Mannix suggests in chapter 7 that the problem is less inadequate science than the way the Act applies science to its regulatory decisions. Enhancing species conservation requires improving the law more than improving the science.

Even if the ESA has yet to reach its limits, global climate change could overwhelm it. However well the ESA works to address traditional threats to species and the ecosystems upon which they depend, J. B. Ruhl explains in chapter 8 why the Act is completely unsuited to address the threat to endangered species posed by climate change, and how the Act could be reformed to address climate-driven concerns.

The ESA is concerned not only with species in the United States, but with species conservation internationally as well. Yet as Michael De Alessi explains in chapter 9, the Act's regulatory measures may inhibit the development of more effective incentive-driven conservation strategies in other nations. As at home, ESA reform could enhance the prospects for species conservation overseas.

Rebuilding the Ark is not comprehensive. According to Alder, if species are to be conserved, it is a debate that must be joined again, for the ESA's ambitious goals cannot be achieved without significant reform.

Rebuilding the Ark joins the decades-long Endangered Species Act (ESA) dialogue with a fresh look at long-standing issues pertaining to landowner incentives, costs, and effectiveness. Its authors reveal the ESA and its implementation as dynamic, with its evolution moving toward strengthening incentives for private stewardship. Yet tough issues persist, and this collection of essays hits most of the big ones climate change, water issues, pesticides, the sheer scope of the perils species face, and the delicate interface of science and the law. The book offers us a serious look at critical challenges of species protection and how the ESA both advances and limits achieving that goal. Lynn Scarlett, former Deputy Secretary, US Department of the Interior

In Rebuilding the Ark, Jonathan H. Adler and an array of distinguished legal authorities and conservation practitioners argue that Endangered Species Act reform must 'recognize the fundamental importance of protecting whole habitats and ecosystems rather than single species. Indeed, this is the challenge before us.

A workable plan for a twenty-first-century rare species ark for any nation, or any living system on the planet, must at least identify, support, and show how to pay for essential 'construction' materials. Instead of the 'gopher wood' used in Noah's ark, our twenty-first-century ark requires landowner commitment, resource user awareness, sound and objective data shared among significant parties, supportive and encouraging technical service providers, meaningful incentives, and actual willingness to share burdens of retaining species in habitats.

Rebuilding the Ark illustrates how the ESA has been generally ineffectively deployed, how its maladroit application can leave many landowners feeling aggrieved and bitter, and, despite lofty goals based on obviously dwindling numbers of some species, why mandates the Act imposes deserve improvement or replacement. I recommend this book to the active conservationist and serious policymaker for its principled, practical approaches that could help stop the loss of many US species and threatened species across the globe. Brent M. Haglund, president, Sand County Foundation

Rebuilding the Ark contributes to the cause of ESA reform by expanding the debate over the Act's failings and possible avenues for reform. It is a valuable resource for policymakers, conservationists, business owners, and concerned citizens, particularly with regard to exploring the issues related to incentives.

Outdoors & Nature / Environmentalism / Science & Religion

Environmental Science and Theology in Dialogue by Russell A. Butkus and Steven A. Kolmes, with series editors Russell A. Butkus, Anne Clifford & Carol J. Dempsey (Theology in Dialogue Series: Orbis Books)
A compelling Sign of the Times is that our human experience in the twenty-first century is defined in part by increasing ecological degradation. Given the complexity of environmental issues, Environmental Science and Theology in Dialogue argues that creative and strategic collaboration between theology and environmental science is necessary to find and implement practical solutions.
The volume presents a solid grounding in the discipline of ecology in order to create an ecological conscience and an understanding of the major environmental problems of our time: global climate change, ozone depletion, deforestation and depletion of earths resources, collapse of biodiversity, overpopulation and over-consumption, the bioaccumulation of persistent toxins, and achieving ecological sustainability. It also describes the contributions theology can make to the healing of the world. Environmental Science and Theology in Dialogues overall objective is to provide a text that nurtures the learning community in critical reflection and ethical action to benefit the future of our planet and the common good. Each of the eight chapters includes sidebars, discussion questions, and recommended readings.

Both authors are at the University of Portland: Russell A. Butkus is associate professor of theology and environmental studies and associate director of the Environmental Studies Program and Steven A. Kolmes holds the Molter Chair in Science and is director of the Environmental Studies Program.

April 20, 2010 according to Butkus and Kolmes, marks the date and beginning of what many people for years to come will consider one of the worst environmental disasters to unfold in the United States. Deepwater Horizon, a deep-water oil drilling platform, exploded in flames, killing eleven workers and unleashing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. People in the U.S. have been focused on the oil platform leak in the Gulf of Mexico, a debacle that has captured public attention and has left many questions unanswered. How many engineering and safety shortcuts were taken in the name of cost savings?

Scientists studying the aftermaths of major oil spills in the past tell us that a dozen years after the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, one needed only to dig a hole in the apparently clean shoreline to strike a puddle of oil. Roughly one in ten holes dug in the oil-fouled area still hit oil over two decades later, and sea otters (whose populations have not yet fully recovered) dig for food in areas made toxic by these residues.

Butkus and Kolmes remind readers of these events because, like the current catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, they serve to highlight the major reason for Environmental Science and Theology in Dialogue: ecologically unsustainable human conduct threatens future human and non-human generations. These oil spills also underscore broader issues that have accompanied our seemingly unquenchable quest for energy resources and other raw materials. Are there cleaner alternative energy resources that would be more practical and benign to utilize? How can the oceans be saved from pollution of various sorts, oceanic dead zones, ocean acidification, and overfishing?

What can be done to balance economic and ecological needs so that we can correct biogeochemical cycle deformations, like the carbon cycle imbalance that is the major contributor to climatic instability? What are the impacts of toxic pollutants, such as chemical oil dispersants, released into the environment on the development and growth of infants and children; could they prevent children from achieving their full potential for a fulfilling and productive life? Do commonly used chemicals cross the placenta to diminish IQ and increase cancer rates?

In Environmental Science and Theology in Dialogue Butkus and Kolmes ask: How can deforestation and desertification be halted or reversed? Does it make any real difference when people rely on local or regional food resources or eat a diet with less meat in it? What is sustainability and how can it be more than a term favored for advertising campaigns? Are there actually disinformation campaigns being run by identifiable corporations in order to confuse the public about environmental issues?

What is the future of our planet's biodiversity, and what do people mean by the Anthropocene Era? And what about water? How can there be such concern about freshwater supplies for agriculture and drinking when every supermarket has stacks of water bottles for sale and the oceans cover most of the planet? Are our national and international leaders, and indeed our electorate, well enough informed about these issues for us to be making wise decisions?

If the ecology of historical amnesia and arrogance deserves to be examined in these and other dimensions, what about theological and ethical implications of poor human conduct toward the Earth? Are there ethical norms for what we can and cannot forget? Does a shoreline covered in oil still count in prayers for the care of creation, or has it become something we would rather not remember?

Does promoting a social vision in which the ever-increasing consumption of resources is considered a personal good, and indeed a social good, incur any shared responsibility for unintended consequences of resource development that rushes to keep up with economic demand? What do these questions and ecological issues mean for the Christian theological tradition? From a posture of interdisciplinary dialogue, both ecology and theology interpret past and recent environmental disasters as hallmarks of broken relationships between human and human, human and earth, and human and God.

According to Butkus and Kolmes, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I strongly suggests that the root cause of our global environmental crisis is broken relationships. And while Environmental Science and Theology in Dialogue examines the numerous scientific consequences of our broken relationship with the Earth. In the spirit of interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration it proposes a practical vision of hope that broken relationships can be healed and restored and that a sustainable future is achievable, if people are willing to engage in the practice of right relationships required for the planet and all its inhabitants to flourish. They invite readers to move beyond the confines of disciplinary boundaries and engage in a conversation across the borders of science and theology on one of the most pressing issues of the twenty-first century.

Butkus, a Roman Catholic eco-theologian, and Kolmes, an Episcopalian biologist, not only engage in a spirited examination of the historical and current dialogues between Christianity and science among thinkers as diverse as Stephen Hawking and ecofeminist Sallie McFague but also take up several important environmental issues: climate change, biodiversity, water, fossil fuels, and particularly, the environmental toxins affecting children. With its articulation of a vision of hope in a `torn and divided' world, their work is a critical must-read for anyone interested in the 21st century conversations between Christianity and science. Gary Chamberlain, author, Troubled Waters: Religion, Ethics, and the Global Water Crisis

Environmental Science and Theology in Dialogue demonstrates how environmental science and theology can work together to sustain the Earth. It provides students and professors with a text that nurtures both critical thinking and ethical action.

Philosophy / Epistemology / Education / Critical Thinking

What Should I Believe?: Philosophical Essays for Critical Thinking by Paul Gomberg (Broadview Press)

What Should I Believe? is unique in its treatment of critical thinking not as a body of knowledge but instead as a subject for critical reflection. The purpose of the anthology is to turn critical thinking classes into invitations to philosophical conversations. The collection introduces students to difficult philosophical questions that surround critical thinking, moving away from dogmatism and towards philosophical dialogue. In developing these discussions, the anthology introduces students to issues in the philosophy of science, epistemology, and philosophy of religion. Selections include works by Charles S. Peirce, Stephen Jay Gould, Elizabeth Anscombe, and Richard Dawkins.

As a freshman in college, author Paul Gomberg, Professor of Philosophy at Chicago State University, says he took a philosophy class taught by John Searle. As they read Descartes, Hume, Berkeley, and Ayer, Searle was disputing their views. He realized that, whatever his limitations at that time, he was expected to think about the disagreements and develop his own ideas. He was thrilled. Philosophy was a subject where there were questions, not one where there were answers that everyone had to accept.

What Should I Believe? facilitates turning critical thinking classes into real philosophy classes such as the one Searle taught. Professors and instructors teach classes that are required for the general education curriculum or that fulfill a humanities requirement. This is their opportunity to expose students to the joys of philosophical thinking and to invite them into further study of philosophy.

There are two questions about which people may disagree but which most critical thinking classes do not engage: Is it always good to think critically? Can critical thinking be defined clearly? While critical thinking classes are supposed to encourage students to think critically, they may not encourage students to think critically about critical thinking. If students are not encouraged to grapple with the difficult philosophical questions about whether critical thinking can be defined or clearly applied in many contexts (including scientific ones), or about whether critical thinking is always a desirable approach to deciding what to believe, then students are not being encouraged to think critically in the most important philosophical meaning of that phrase.

At the core of What Should I Believe? is the issue of critical belief. Gomberg says he assumes that readers can't think critically and at the same time believe just any old thing that may pop into their mind. But if not, then is it possible to say what critical belief is? The topic of critical belief raises questions such as these: What makes an idea worthy of belief? How do we decide what to believe and what not to believe (assuming this is a matter for decision, which it may not always be)? Does being a critical thinker imply giving up belief in God? We sometimes believe what other people say in both religious and scientific contexts, but does believing others play a different role in the two contexts? Is critical thinking desirable in all situations or only in some? Is there such a thing as scientific method or scientific rationality? Is science objective or does it only inscribe the political and social prejudices of scientists? In developing these discussions What Should I Believe? introduces students to issues in the philosophy of science, epistemology, and philosophy of religion.

The readings are at different levels of difficulty. Some students will find the selections from Peirce, Feyerabend, Anscombe, and James extremely difficult. Gomberg helps where he can, but these selections will inevitably be challenging to beginning students. Other selections including his essays as well as some of the popular science, and parts of Clifford are much easier. Instructors should use their own discretion in deciding which essays to assign, and trial and error may be necessary for their particular students.

This is a wonderful selection of readings for a course in Critical Thinking, as well as wonderful reading for anyone who wonders what critical thinking about difficult and controversial topics consists in a question that concerns all of us as citizens and as human beings. Hilary Putnam, Cogan University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
This is an exciting, path breaking anthology. In taking critical thinking itself as a topic for philosophical reflection, What Should I Believe? moves us on from John Dewey's famous How We Think. Gomberg's insightful commentary molds these essays into a new framework for thinking about society, science, religion and indeed about the very character of belief. This is a fresh approach to critical thinking both for the classroom and for our lives. Arthur Fine, University of Washington

What Should I Believe? is for philosophers who want to introduce students to the difficult philosophical questions that surround critical thinking, moving away from dogmatism to philosophical dialogue. The editorial materials Gomberg adds highlight issues he asks his students to address. Instructors will find these materials will help them develop and frame their own issues and materials and thus become better teachers and better philosophers.

Professional & Technical / Medicine / Internal / Reference

Crohn's Disease: The Complete Guide to Medical Management edited by Gary R. Lichtenstein, with associate editor Ellen J. Scherl (Slack, Inc)

Crohn's Disease, edited by Gary R Lichtenstein, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Director, Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Philadelphia, serves as a definitive source for medical management of Crohn's Disease (CD). Lichtenstein, along with Ellen J. Schell, MD, FACP, AGAF, Director, Jill Roberts Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Jill Roberts Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, has collaborated with over 60 experts from around the world to provide gastroenterologists and those in training with the necessary information to manage the patient with Crohn's disease.

According to Lichtenstein in Crohn's Disease, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis occur at any age, spare no socioeconomic class, and have the potential to significantly impair patient's quality of life. Significant progress has been made in the past decade related to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis; however, the medical therapy of inflammatory bowel disease has had the greatest impact on patients' lives. Although these disorders are remarkably similar in many ways, they have vast differences when comparing response to specific medical therapies. As a consequence, Lichtenstein decided to separately focus on medical therapy of ulcerative colitis and distinguish this from medical therapy of Crohn's disease.

The authors who contributed to Crohn's Disease are regionally and internationally recognized experts in inflammatory bowel disease. In this book, they discuss the current medical therapies and review the clinical trial data that established the foundation for their use. The individual chapters not only review the current medical therapy in use for treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease but they also review the basic pathophysiologic principles supporting the use of these and future therapeutics. In addition, novel therapeutics that have potential impact and significance to the practicing physician are highlighted.

Sections include a general section on the role of the FDA in drug development; pediatric considerations; disease modifiers; a medications section on antibiotic use in treatment of CD, oral budesonide, infliximab, novel biological and non biologic therapies for CD, and Specific Clinical Scenarios on the management of steroid unresponsive CD, management of enteric fistulae, use of pre- and probiotics, medical management of short bowel syndrome, and maintenance therapy of CD.

Features of Crohn's Disease include:

  • Color images, graphs, and tables.
  • Extensive index that includes cross-referencing to Ulcerative Colitis: The Complete Guide to Medical Management.
  • An appendix on Infliximab treatment.
  • Comprehensive references at the end of each chapter.

Chapter in each section include:

Section I: General

  1. The Natural History of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  2. Clinical Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Placebo Response in Clinical Trials
  3. The Role of the FDA in Drug Development in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  4. Utility of Animal Models for the Study and Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  5. Pediatric Considerations in Medical Therapy in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  6. The Limitations of Applying Evidence-Based Medicine to Inflammatory Bowel Disease: What We Do Not Learn from Clinical Trials
  7. Disease Modifiers in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  8. Fertility and Pregnancy in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  9. Medication Adherence in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Section II: Medications

  1. Mesalamine for Maintenance Therapy in Ulcerative Colitis: How Much. How Long?
  2. Antibiotic Use in the Treatment of Crohn's Disease
  3. Corticosteroids in Crohn's Disease
  4. Oral Budesonide for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  5. 6-Mercaptopurine and Azathioprine in Crohn's Disease
  6. Methotrexate in the Treatment of Crohn's Disease
  7. Calcineurin Inhibitors (Cyclosporine A. Tacrolinnis, and Sirolimus) and Myrophenolate Mofetil in Crohn's Disease
  8. Infliximab in Crohn's Disease
  9. Anti-TNFa Therapy From Symptoms to Molecules: Impact of Individual Variability on Anti-TNFa Optimization Strategies
  10. Novel Biological Therapies for Crohn's Disease
  11. Novel Nonbiologic Therapy for Crohn's Disease

Section III: Specific Clinical Scenarios

  1. Assessment of Disease Activity in Crohn's Disease
  2. General Principles of Medical Therapy of Crohn's Disease
  3. Medical Management of Severe Crohn's Disease
  4. Medical Management of Enteric Fistulae in Crohn's Disease
  5. Management of Refractory Crohn's Disease
  6. Medical Management of Postoperative Recurrence of Crohn's Disease
  7. Management of Steroid-Unresponsive Crohn's Disease
  8. Pre- and Probiotics in Crohn's Disease
  9. Management of Crohn's Disease in the Heal-Pouch Anal Anastomosis
  10. Dietary Manipulations: Enteral Therapy for Crohn's Disease
  11. Dietary Manipulations: Parenteral Therapy for Crohn's Disease
  12. Gastroduodenal/Proximal Crohn's Disease
  13. Medical Management of Perianal Fistula
  14. Medical Therapy of Diarrhea Following Bowel Resection
  15. Short Bowel Syndrome
  16. Medical Management of the Patient with an Ostomy
  17. Maintenance Therapy of Crohn's Disease

Gastroenterologists will find Crohn's Disease, with its impressive list of authors, to be essential for future practice in the treatment and care of their patients with either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, as well as in the overall management of those with inflammatory bowel disease. Organized into an easy-to-reference format, the volume threads theory into practice and provides gastroenterology professionals with the most comprehensive information available on this disease state. The other side of inflammatory bowel disease is covered in Lichtenstein and Scherl's Ulcerative Colitis: The Complete Guide to Medical Management.

Professional & Technical / Medicine / Internal / Pulmonary & Thoracic / Reference

Practical Pulmonary Pathology: A Diagnostic Approach, 2nd edition, Expert Consult: Online and Print by Kevin O. Leslie and Mark R. Wick (Pattern Recognition Series: Elsevier Saunders)

Clinicians learn to solve tough diagnostic challenges in lung pathology using the diagnostic referred to as pattern recognition.

With its award-winning, innovative approach, the new edition of Practical Pulmonary Pathology, by Kevin O. Leslie, MD and Mark R. Wick, MD, provides comprehensive, practical guidance in the accurate identification and interpretation of neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases of the lungs. Leslie is Professor and Chair, Division of Anatomic Pathology, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale and Wick is Professor of Pathology, Division of Surgical Pathology, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville.

Illustrated in full color, this resource captures key morphologic patterns for a full range of common and rare conditions and assists in the interpretation of complex diagnostic puzzles. An accessible format with a unique visual index places in-depth diagnostic guidance quickly at readers fingertips in print or online.

Clinicians can identify all major neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases of the lungs with Practical Pulmonary Pathology, a resource whose last edition was named Medical Textbook of the Year by the Royal Society of Medicine/Society of Authors in 2005. Features allow clinicians to:

  • Grasp important concepts thanks to a consistent presentation of key information on each disease and disorder: etiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, pathologic features, and differential diagnosis.
  • Apply practical advice and tips from world-recognized experts, including many time-saving diagnostic clues for interpreting difficult specimens.
  • Improve the accuracy and completeness of their pathology reports with relevant clinical background information and ancillary radiographs, summary tables, charts, and graphs to simplify reference and to facilitate at-a-glance comparison between entities.
  • Use pattern recognition to interpret complex diagnostic puzzles with assistance from key morphologic patterns for a full range of common and rare conditions.
  • A unique visual index directs clinicians to the chapters and specific pages they need for in-depth diagnostic guidance.
  • Stay current with a new chapter on pulmonary CT patterns written by two world-renowned thoracic radiologists; the latest lung cancer staging scheme in reference to therapy with biological agents; new concepts in bronchioloalveolar carcinoma diagnosis; an expanded discussion of neoplasms of the lung and pleura, with inclusion of recently-described entities; and many other updates.
  • Access the fully searchable text anywhere, anytime, along with references, downloadable images, and self-assessment modules at the end of each chapter.

It has been 5 years since Practical Pulmonary Pathology (PPPDA) was first published.

Several features are new to this edition, including additions to, and revisions of, the prior text because of advances in our understanding of the pertinent disease processes. Corresponding references have been added, and they are current through mid-2010. Many illustrative photomicrographs have been changed to improve the visual presentation of the topics discussed. Self-assessment questions tied to all the chapters in the current book have been compiled and are available online.

As before, Leslie and Wick begin Practical Pulmonary Pathology, 2nd edition with the general patterns of disease and then add key morphologic findings that assist readers in focusing on appropriate sections of the book where similar findings are discussed. This approach is facilitated by a structural overlay that limits the patterns. Six general patterns occur, and these are best appreciated at scanning magnification with the microscope. Leslie and Wick say they could begin at an even lower magnification using the high-resolution computed tomogram (CT), and this is what their radiology colleagues commonly do as they assemble a differential diagnosis based on observed findings in this medium (see Chapter 3). In practice, the CT images may not be readily available to the pathologist at the time the biopsy is interpreted; so for the six pathology patterns, they begin with a tissue section mounted on a glass slide.

An overview of the six patterns is presented, and each pattern is then illustrated. Most of the patterns were devised to navigate the diffuse lung diseases commonly referred to as interstitial lung diseases (ILD). Once the overriding or dominant pattern is recognized, the diagnostician assesses the cellular composition and any other distinctive findings that accompany the pattern. Within each pattern, they have attempted to use such qualifying elements to direct readers to the appropriate chapter for further study, reasonably confident that the answer will lie within. For the unusual finding not identified in the list for a given pattern, readers are directed to the appendix, where Leslie and Wick have assembled a visual encyclopedia of distinctive findings and artifacts.

Naturally, overlap occurs between patterns. In fact, some diffuse inflammatory conditions in the lung may manifest five of the six patterns, in different areas of the same biopsy (e.g., rheumatoid lung). Nevertheless, as more and more information is accrued from the biopsy, the differential diagnosis becomes more limited. In some cases, it may be necessary to include several possibilities in the final diagnosis, especially for the non-neoplastic diseases, where the effect of ancillary data not available at the time of diagnosis may be very large.

Unquestionably the best textbook of pulmonary pathology currently available in the market deserves to be part of your library. Modern Pathology, review of the 1st Edition

The new edition of the award winning Practical Pulmonary Pathology delivers practical, hands-on information to solve even the toughest diagnostic challenges in lung pathology using breakthrough pattern recognition. The added self-assessment questions will be useful to pathologists in their maintenance of certification and as a reflection of their mastery of the information in the book.

Professional & Technical / Medicine / Internal / Radiology / Reference

Imaging Painful Spine Disorders Expert Consult by Leo F. Czervionke and Douglas S. Fenton (Elsevier Saunders)

This volume assists clinicians in diagnosing painful spine disorders with high-quality radiographic imagery.

Leo F. Czervionke, MD and Douglas S. Fenton, MD present Imaging Painful Spine Disorders, the diagnostic companion to Image-Guided Spine Intervention, with 1,400 high-quality radiographic images to help clinicians diagnose common and rare spine pain conditions. The full-color, easy-to-navigate format of Imaging Painful Spine Disorders takes readers from Spinal Anatomy, which includes normal CT and MR images of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, to Clinical Disorders, where each chapter is introduced by an actual patient case. No other reference features as many case studies illustrating the imaging presentation of back pain, provides a detailed differential diagnosis, and points out clinical pitfalls and common diagnosis errors like this one. The volume is part of the Expert Consult series in which readers can access the full text and complete image bank online. They can search the complete contents online and download all the illustrations.

Features allow readers to:

  • Access representative cross-sectional images of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, as well as the sacrum, in axial, sagittal, and coronal planes, to understand the imaging appearance of healthy anatomy prior to diagnosis.
  • Get a complete explanation of each clinical disorder, including a detailed description of the condition, as well as relevant clinical and pathological information, to help make more accurate diagnoses.
  • Broaden their recognition of imaging features with case studies that often include additional images of other patients with the same condition, to emphasize the range of features possible for the area being discussed.
  • Stay up to date with the current nomenclature of various types of disc herniations, listed in a separate, illustrated chapter, and get a brief overview of the major treatment options currently available for each particular disorder.

Czervionke and Fenton say that their primary goal in writing this book was to provide a readily accessible reference guide describing the imaging appearance of the major conditions that cause back pain. Imaging Painful Spine Disorders deals with common and some not-so-common disorders that cause back pain, with emphasis on the imaging appearance of disorders that are associated with spine pain.

Imaging Painful Spine Disorders is organized into two major sections: Normal Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Anatomy, and Painful Spine Disorders. An illustrated chapter is also included on the nomenclature currently used to describe the various types of disc herniations. The anatomic sections of the book include normal CT and MR images of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine as well as the sacrum. Representative cross-sectional images are presented in these anatomic areas in axial, sagittal, and coronal planes.

The clinical disorder section of Imaging Painful Spine Disorders is divided into chapters. Each chapter topic is introduced by an actual clinical case of a patient with a given disorder who presents with back pain. Each chapter includes a brief description of the clinical presentation, imaging findings, and clinical course when relevant. The case studies illustrate the imaging presentation of these patients with back pain. A detailed description of the disorder, including relevant clinical and pathologic information, follows. Also included in each chapter is specific information about the imaging appearance of the particular pain-producing condition, emphasizing the radiographic, CT, and MR appearance, and a differential diagnosis with imaging examples.

The images pertaining to the case presentations are the first set in each clinical disorder chapter. They are followed by additional relevant images of the same or other patients with the same condition. These additional images are used to emphasize the range of imaging features possible for the particular topic being discussed. Images of the disorders in the differential diagnosis are also included if available or relevant.

Following the imaging features in each chapter is a brief discussion or listing of the major treatment options currently available for the particular disorder being presented. Not intended to provide an exhaustive discussion of all treatment options for back pain, Imaging Painful Spine Disorders is a practical guide that can be used to aid in the diagnosis of pain-producing spine and paraspinal disorders. Carefully selected references are included at the end of each chapter. References are also included for the disorders described in the differential diagnostic section of each chapter.

Imaging Painful Spine Disorders provides a useful working reference guide for those physicians who diagnose and treat patients with back pain on a daily basis. The volume includes all the major categories of disorders that are associated with back pain and have recognizable imaging findings. It will be a valuable resource for all physicians involved with the diagnosis and treatment of back pain.

Professional & Technical / Veterinary Medicine / Reference

Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2nd edition by Dawn Merton Boothe (Elsevier Saunders)

Here is a complete resource to keep clinicians up to date on pharmacology and therapeutics in small animal veterinary medicine. Readers can use the rapidly growing selection of pharmaceuticals available to treat small animals with Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in both the therapeutic uses of common pharmaceuticals and the pharmacology behind them.

Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2nd Edition gives readers the information they need to design and modify dosing regimens, identify factors that cause drugs to fail, and anticipate adverse drug reactions. Written by Dawn Merton Boothe, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVIM, DACVCP, Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, and Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Director, Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine Texas A&M University, College Station, the volume emphasizes the use of drugs for prevention as well as treatment.

Dosage tables help readers find essential pharmaceutical information at a glance. The pharmacogenetics chapter helps readers understand how to use this emerging science to find the right dose for each patient, optimizing efficiency and minimizing toxicity.

Routes of administration and sample pharmaceutical calculations provide efficient access to comprehensive drug administration in one resource. Multiple chapters on antimicrobial drugs and antimicrobial therapy highlight the impact of antimicrobial resistance on current practice.

Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics is logically organized into three sections for quick access to essential information: Section One focuses on the principles of drug therapy with special attention to clinical relevance; Section Two approaches the use of drugs from a therapeutic category basis; and Section Three addresses drug use from a body systems approach. Features include:

  • A comprehensive approach emphasizes the use of drugs for prevention as well as treatment.
  • Routes of administration and sample pharmaceutical calculations provide fast, efficient access to comprehensive drug administration information.
  • Multiple chapters on antimicrobial drugs and antimicrobial therapy emphasize the impact of antimicrobial resistance on current practice.
  • Dosage tables help readers find essential pharmaceutical information at a glance.
  • The pharmacogenetics chapter helps readers understand how to use this emerging science to determine the right dose for each patient.

Ten years have lapsed between the first and second editions of Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. According to Boothe, an increased recognition of the importance and benefits of the human-companion animal bond by the profession has contributed to the remarkable changes that have occurred in the provision of health care to dogs and cats. Among them, the client's expectation of better care for their pet contributes to an urgency in the provision of quality care to our canine and feline patients. It has been accompanied by an explosion of information, scientific and otherwise, that must be used judiciously.

Among the goals of Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2nd edition is the provision of information that will facilitate this judicious use. Pharmacology is directed physiology. Each dose increases the risk of adversity as a result of therapeutic failure, medication error, or an adverse drug reaction. Today's pharmaceutical market provides fewer approved drugs, leading to increased use of drugs and preparations (e.g., compounded products) that are not approved for use and thus not scientifically studied in the target species. This edition continues to emphasize the basic principles of pharmacology, factors that impact plasma drug concentrations and the nuances of the individual patient that mandate an individualized approach to drug therapy. The second edition includes an increased emphasis on rational antimicrobial use, pharmacogenetics, and, in each chapter, expansion of tabular data that summarizes drug use and the addition of key points to emphasize major concepts.

Among the most time consuming efforts made toward improvement of the second edition is an assessment of the evidentiary basis for the therapeutic intent of each drug. This is manifested in part by a transition from a non-referenced to a reference-based textbook. Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics focuses on evidenced-based therapeutic interventions. Among the limitations of texts such as these is the risk that important, clinically relevant information was potentially missed despite exhaustive data-base reviews.

Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics helps readers stay up to date on small animal pharmacology and therapeutics. This all-in-one resource provides everything readers need to design and modify dosing regimens, identify factors that cause drugs to fail, and anticipate adverse drug reactions. Readers can confidently utilize the rapidly growing selection of pharmaceuticals used to treat small animals. Comprehensive, clear, consistent organization makes it easy to find the information clinicians need when they need it. The book improves patient safety and pharmaceutical outcomes with practical, clinically-oriented guidance.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Catholicism / Theology

True and False Reform in the Church, revised edition by Yves Congar, OP, translated with an Introduction by Paul Philibert (Michael Glazier, Liturgical Press)

The truth can only be served, here as elsewhere, by absolute and total sincerity. By absolute sincerity, I mean without any tinge of subtlety, hidden agendas, or timidity; by total sincerity, I mean honoring the full extent of the truth, according to all its aspects, and thus arriving not by some artificial addition of prudence but by facing facts at a respect for all that needs to be respected. This spirit of respect for the truth is proud and humble at the same time, a respect which belongs to those who stand up for themselves, yet who are aware of their dependency as servants of the truth. They submit themselves to the accepted order, since order is only another name for the truth.

That is why there is nothing said by implication in this book, but only what is loyal, what can be held loyally and understood by any upright and informed person. Cleverness of thought and of style only deceive those who are not worthy of the simple truth, because they are not looking for it in an unconditional manner. By contrast, a completely confident forthrightness is the only attitude conceivable among the children of God who have been given the liberty of Christ (Gal 4:31) and who celebrate forever a passover of sincerity and truth (1 Cor 5:8). from the foreword

Archbishop Angelo Roncalli, who became Pope John XXIII, read True and False Reform in the Church during his years as papal nuncio in France and asked, A reform of the church is such a thing really possible? A decade later as pope, he opened the Second Vatican Council by describing its goals in terms that reflected Yves Congars description of authentic reform: reform that penetrates to the heart of doctrine as a message of salvation for the whole of humanity, that retrieves the meaning of prophecy in a living church, and that is deeply rooted in history rather than superficially related to the apostolic tradition. Pope John called the council not to reform heresy or to denounce errors but to update the churchs capacity to explain itself to the world and to revitalize ecclesial life in all its unique local manifestations.

Congar, OP, a French Dominican who died in 1995, was the most important ecclesiologist in modern times. His writings and his active participation in Vatican II had an immense influence upon the council documents. With a few other contemporaries, Congar pioneered a new style of theological research and writing that linked the great tradition of Scripture and the Fathers to contemporary pastoral questions with lucidity and passion. His key concerns were the unity of the church, lay apostolic life, and a revival of the churchs theology of the Holy Spirit. He was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in recognition of his profound contributions to the Second Vatican Council.

The plan of True and False Reform in the Church is simple. Between an introduction describing the actual reforms we find in progress today and a conclusion, there are three main parts:

  1. Why and in what sense does the church unceasingly reform itself?
  2. Under what conditions can a reform be authentic and be carried out without schism?
  3. The Reformation and Protestantism.

Congar says he had not anticipated the third part in the 1946 version. Several of the questions which are treated there were, however, touched upon briefly, particularly in part 2 under the First Condition. But could one treat the theological problem of reform without raising the question of the Protestant Reformation, and could one raise that question without being obliged to treat it in a sufficiently thorough manner? He says he soon found himself involved in substantial new work, begun in his thinking a long time ago. The volume has thus become notably more weighty.

Congars True and False Reform in the Church, although now five decades old, is perhaps even more relevant for the life of the church today than it was when he first penned it. This volume reflects the singular virtues of Congar, his fidelity to the Great Tradition, his generous ecumenical spirit, and his commitment to authentic ecclesial reform as a manifestation of the work of the Holy Spirit. This elegant yet precise translation by Paul Philibert makes widely accessible what is, perhaps, Congars most important work. Richard R. Gaillardetz, PhD, Murray/Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies, The University of Toledo
Yves Congars book, first published in 1950, gave Roman Catholics permission to view the Protestant Reformers positively and to speak of Reform in their own Church. Today, after fifty years of post-conciliar renewal and recent years of scandals and repression, this book still offers a theology of authenticity, holiness, and honesty in the Church. Its pages hold insights on how the Christian community can pass beyond introverted structures to ecclesial forms of life and ministry. Thomas F. O Meara, OP, Warren Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
Vatican Council II, in the Decree on Ecumenism, proclaimed that Christ summons the Church to perennial reformation, a task that demands learning and wisdom. To accomplish it we have no better guide than Congars True and False Reform in the Church the study that inspired the efforts of Vatican Council II for true reform. Paul Philiberts translation from the French is both fresh and faithful. Ladislas Orsy, SJ, Professor of law at Georgetown University, author of Receiving the Council

Congars masterpiece fills in the blanks of what readers have been missing in the churchs reception of the council and its call to true reform. True and False Reform in the Church was translated by Paul Philibert, OP, who has taught pastoral theology in the United States and abroad and is a Dominican friar of the Southern Province. A pioneering masterpiece which set the stage for reform in the Catholic church.

Religion & Spirituality / Judaism

Listening to God: Inspirational Stories for My Grandchildren by Shlomo Riskin (Maggid Books, distributed in US by The Toby Press)

Many ask the question, "Where is God? How can I find Him?" The answer attributed to the famed Rebbe Menahem Mendel of Kotzk is, "God is to be found wherever you let Him in."

See the divine in every human encounter.

Be receptive to God's voice.

Act out of faith.

These are just a few of the lessons Rabbi Shlomo Riskin imparts in his new collection of inspirational life stories, Listening to God.

Riskin takes readers from his grandmothers Brooklyn Shabbat table to the vibrant community of Efrat, Israel, with stops in Russian Jewish communities struggling to maintain their ethnic identities, New York synagogues tackling political controversies and much more. Riskin is a widely respected spokesperson and activist for Modern Orthodoxy in Israel. He serves as Chief Rabbi of Efrat and Chancellor of the Ohr Torah Stone Institutions, a network of high schools, colleges, seminaries and rabbinical schools. Before moving to Israel in 1983, he was Associate Professor at Yeshiva University, and the founding Rabbi of Lincoln Square Synagogue, New York. Listening to God is published by MAGGID, a division of the venerable Jerusalem publishing house, Koren Publishers Jerusalem. Listening to God is published in cooperation with the Ohr Torah Stone Institutions.

Riskin says he truly believes that the Kotzker Rebbe is correct. The Bible teaches readers that at least since the great Divine Revelation at Sinai, the Almighty continues to communicate: "A great voice that never ceases" (Deuteronomy 5:19). The Hebrew word for divine speech is Middaber (Numbers 7:89), which is a reflexive form meaning that God is constantly speaking to Himself, as it were, constantly emitting divine messages. And from a kabbalistic perspective, the Eternal and Infinite One (Ein Sof) is always emanating rays of splendorous light, ready to be accepted by anyone who is properly prepared to receive the divine emanation (Kabbala).

From this point of view, the most important challenge before people is sensitizing their hearts, minds and souls to be able to accept the divine emanations from wherever they may be coming. Readers learn from Moses that God can sometimes communicate to them from a lowly, prickly thorn bush, and they learn from Balaam that God can even communicate to them from the mouth of a donkey. Rabbeinu Tzaddok, the famed Pri Tzaddik of Lublin, records how he learned one of the most important lessons of his life from a Gentile Polish peasant, who asked his help to gather the hay that had fallen to the ground when his wagon collapsed. "I can't," said the Pri Tzaddik. "You mean you won't," said the peasant farmer. "If you wanted to, you would be able to." What an important lesson he felt that God had taught him through the mouth of a Polish peasant.

Riskin tells this story in the introduction to Listening to God: When the biblical Joseph went in search of his brothers, and could not find them an anonymous person pointed out to Joseph the direction toward which his siblings had gone, to Dotan. Rashi suggests that this unnamed individual was the angel Gabriel, literally a man of God (gavriel). The Ramban (Nahmanides) adds that he was only a mortal, flesh-and-blood human being, through whose help Joseph met up with his brothers, landed up in Egypt and fulfilled God's will and prophecy the Israelite enslavement and subsequent redemption. The world is filled with God-messages and God-messengers who are there to communicate with and direct readers. The challenge is to accept their teaching and hear their words.

Riskin says he has always believed that God has sent him messages through special individuals, special moments, special experiences. It is these divine messages that he have attempted to record in Listening to God. If his grandchildren, and other people's grandchildren, will be inspired by these stories to see God in their lives as well and, even more importantly, to look for Him in every nook and cranny, then he shall have been more than rewarded for his efforts.

Through the poignant, entertaining, often humorous tales in Listening to God, Rabbi Riskin passes on wisdom for the next generation and, indeed for us all.

Sciences / Biological Science

Forest and Shade Trees of Iowa (Bur Oak Guide), Third Edition by Peter J. van der Linden and Donald R. Farrar (University of Iowa Press)

Forest and Shade Trees of Iowa is a guide to Iowa's trees, both native and introduced. Readers of the first two editions will find this third edition looks different, with numerous full-color photos and the information reorganized. There are two main parts, dealing separately with tree identification and the natural history and uses of trees. Following these are shorter chapters describing the planting and care of trees, Iowa's forests, and good places to see trees in Iowa.

Part 1 of Forest and Shade Trees of Iowa focuses on identification, with user-friendly keys to both summer and winter trees and illustrated descriptions of more than one hundred common species. The trees are arranged according to similarities in foliage; each entry includes a large scan of a leafy branch along with two or three smaller photos of buds, flowers, fruits, and winter twigs. The text contains a description of the species, its geographical distribution, and notes on how to distinguish it from similar species.

Part 2 contains discussions about individual trees how and where they grow and how they can be used. Part 2 is divided into conifers and flowering trees. This part of Forest and Shade Trees of Iowa is more comprehensive, including all trees native to Iowa, some less commonly planted trees, and tall native shrubs that might be mistaken for trees. Peter J. van der Linden and Donald R. Farrar provide information about the natural history of individual trees, their ecological requirements, pests and diseases that affect them, and their usefulness for such different purposes as windbreaks, landscaping, wildlife plantings, fuel, lumber, and food. Following these two main parts, three shorter sections describe the planting and care of trees, Iowas forest communities, and good places to see trees in the state; a glossary and a bibliography are also included.

Van der Linden is executive director of Iowa Lakeside Lab and Farrar is professor emeritus in the Department of Evolution and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University. According to them, the nomenclature of plants can be confusing, but fortunately the common names of most trees have become standardized over the years. Where more than one name is in common use, they include the alternate names in the text.

Van der Linden and Farrar say they would not discourage readers from consulting with arborists, foresters, horticulturists, and other experts in their community or from following their advice if it is contrary to theirs. To keep Forest and Shade Trees of Iowa current for as long as possible, they have omitted information that can quickly become obsolete, for example, the best pesticides to use in treating particular problems. Readers will find their county extension office and local garden centers to be good sources of information not included.

Amateur naturalists, professional scientists, and landowners in Iowa and beyond in fact, tree lovers everywhere will enjoy this much-anticipated update of a widely used classic. There is no better way to learn about the surprising diversity of trees in our prairie state than to have a copy of this book in your library or preferably in your hands while exploring woods, fields, backyards, and roadsides. Peter van der Linden and Donald Farrar have once again combined their talents, knowledge, and love of natural history to renew this enduring reference. John Pearson, ecologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Since it was first published in 1984, Forest and Shade Trees of Iowa has been the definitive reference for Iowas trees and larger shrubs. In this third edition, the books information has been expanded, freshly rearranged, and augmented with all-color photographs, making it even more accessible to the lay public as well as professional botanists. With the increasing attention now being paid to Iowas woodland communities and their ecological importance, this book belongs on the desk of everyone who works or plays with trees and shrubs in Iowa. Cornelia F. Mutel, author, The Emerald Horizon: The History of Nature in Iowa

Back in print at last, the classic volume now has a wealth of full-color photographs and updated, reorganized information that will please both new and returning readers. A complete guide to Iowas trees, both native and introduced, this new edition of Forest and Shade Trees of Iowa will be immensely useful to arborists, foresters, horticulturists, landscape architects, gardeners, and all Iowans and Midwesterners who appreciate the beauty and value of trees and want to learn more about them.

 

Contents this Issue:

Calvinize: Signature Techniques of Photoshop Artist Calvin Hollywood by Calvin Hollywood (Peachpit Press)

Wedding Photojournalism: The Business of Aesthetics: A Guide for Professional Digital Photographers by Paul D. Van Hoy II (Amherst Media)

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris [unabridged, 16 audio CDs, running time: approximately 17 hours] by David McCullough, read by Edward Herrmann & David McCullough (Simon & Schuster Audio)

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris [hardcover, deckle edge] by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster)

Adrift: Charting Our Course Back to a Great Nation by William C. Harris and Steven C. Beschloss, with a foreword by Gov. Bill Richardson (Prometheus Books)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management, 5th Edition by G. Michael Campbell (Alpha Books)

The Red Blazer Girls: The Mistaken Masterpiece by Michael D. Beil (The Red Blazer Girls Series, No. 3: Alfred A. Knopf: Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Playing Sit-and-Go Poker as a Business by Rob Tucker (Cardoza Publishing)

Just 10 Lbs.: Easy Steps to Weighing What You Want (Finally) by Brad Lamm (Hay House, Inc.)

Core Training Anatomy: An Insiders Guide to Building a Strong Core by Abigail Ellsworth (Thunder Bay Press)

Maximize Your Coaching Effectiveness with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Richard Blonna (New Harbinger Publications, Inc.)

Dr. Apple's Symptoms Encyclopedia: The Reassuring Guide to Self-Diagnosis by Michael Apple and Jason Payne-James, edited by Robin Fox, Hugo Hammersley, George Moncrieff and K.S. Pandher (Basic Health Publications)

Violent Encounters: Interviews on Western Massacres by Deborah Lawrence and Jon Lawrence (University of Oklahoma Press)

Made in Hanford: The Bomb That Changed the World by Hill Williams (Washington State University Press)

In the National Interest: Canadian Foreign Policy and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 1909-2009, edited by Greg Donaghy and Michael K. Carroll (Beyond Boundaries: Canadian Defences and Strategy Studies Series: University of Calgary Press)

India: A Portrait by Patrick French (Alfred A. Knopf)

Magic: Interactive Scrapbooks that Dazzle and Delight [Spiral-bound] by Jeanette R. Lynton (Gibbs-Smith)

Creating Cultural Monsters: Serial Murder in America by Julie B. Wiest (CRC Press)

Rebuilding the Ark: New Perspectives on Endangered Species Act Reform edited by Jonathan Alder (The AEI Press)

Environmental Science and Theology in Dialogue by Russell A. Butkus and Steven A. Kolmes, with series editors Russell A. Butkus, Anne Clifford & Carol J. Dempsey (Theology in Dialogue Series: Orbis Books)

What Should I Believe?: Philosophical Essays for Critical Thinking by Paul Gomberg (Broadview Press)

Crohn's Disease: The Complete Guide to Medical Management edited by Gary R. Lichtenstein, with associate editor Ellen J. Scherl (Slack, Inc)

Practical Pulmonary Pathology: A Diagnostic Approach, 2nd edition, Expert Consult: Online and Print by Kevin O. Leslie and Mark R. Wick (Pattern Recognition Series: Elsevier Saunders)

Imaging Painful Spine Disorders Expert Consult by Leo F. Czervionke and Douglas S. Fenton (Elsevier Saunders)

Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2nd edition by Dawn Merton Boothe (Elsevier Saunders)

True and False Reform in the Church, revised edition by Yves Congar, OP, translated with an Introduction by Paul Philibert (Michael Glazier, Liturgical Press)

Listening to God: Inspirational Stories for My Grandchildren by Shlomo Riskin (Maggid Books, distributed in US by The Toby Press)

Forest and Shade Trees of Iowa (Bur Oak Guide), Third Edition by Peter J. van der Linden and Donald R. Farrar (University of Iowa Press)