We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

December 2014, Issue #188

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Fine Art Portrait Photography: Lighting, Posing & Postproduction from Concept to Completion by Nylora Bruleigh (Amherst Media)

Rose Gold: An Easy Rawlins Mystery (Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged, running time: 11 hours) by Walter Mosley, read by J.D. Jackson (Random House Audio)

Rose Gold: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley (Doubleday)

More Awesome Than Money: Four Boys and Their Heroic Quest to Save Your Privacy from Facebook by Jim Dwyer (Viking)

Cooking Allergy-Free: Simple Inspired Meals for Everyone by Jenna Short (The Taunton Press)

Faculty Fathers: Toward a New Ideal in the Research University by Margaret W. Sallee (SUNY Press)

Liszt's Legacies edited by James Deaville and Michael Saffle (Franz Liszt Studies Series, No. 15: Pendragon)

Americans Recaptured: Progressive Era Memory of Frontier Captivity by Molly K. Varley (University of Oklahoma Press)

Long Night of the Tankers: Hitler's War against Caribbean Oil by David J. Bercuson & Holger H. Herwig, with series editor Rob Huebert (Beyond Boundaries: Canadian Defense and Strategic Studies Series, No. 4: University of Calgary Press)

Convertible Crystal Jewelry: Reverse it, Twist it, Wear it Many Ways by Diane Whiting (Kalmbach Books)

Inspired by the Beatles: An Art Quilt Challenge by Donna DeSoto (Schiffer Publishing Ltd)

Deeper Than the Grave: A Tai Randolph Mystery by Tina Whittle (Tai Randolph Series: Poisoned Pen Press)

Sent Forth: African Missionary Work in the West by Harvey C. Kwiyani (American Society of Missiology Series, Vol. 51) Orbis Books)

Mysteries and Conspiracies: Detective Stories, Spy Novels and the Making of Modern Societies by Luc Boltanski, translated from the French by Catherine Porter (Polity Press)

In the Light of Science: Our Ancient Quest for Knowledge and the Measure of Modern Physics by Demetris Nicolaides (Prometheus Books)

Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Ports, 3rd edition by Rick Steves (Avalon Travel)

Powder: The Greatest Ski Runs on the Planet by Patrick Thorne, with a foreword by Axel Naglich (Quercus Publishing Plc)


Arts and Photography

Fine Art Portrait Photography: Lighting, Posing & Postproduction from Concept to Completion by Nylora Bruleigh (Amherst Media)

Fine Art Portrait Photography takes readers through the multi-step process from the imagination stage to the completed project of a portrait assignment, be it commissioned or self-assigned.
From vintage charm, to fairytale magic, to mystical moments, Nylora Bruleigh crafts fine art portraits that captivate viewers with their beauty and emotion. In Fine Art Portrait Photography, she takes readers behind the scenes to explore sixty of her favorites, showing how she conceived and executed each image – from start to finish.

The book demonstrates how to:

  • Develop simple ideas into complex images.
  • Use clothing and props to tell a story.
  • Light and pose subjects.
  • Choose locations that set the scene.
  • Perfect images with artistic postproduction.

Bruleigh’s presentation of Fine Art Portrait Photography shows her creativity and ingenuity. Photographers by their very nature are creative, but she takes it more than a step beyond the norm.
Her patience and diligence in creating images such as “Awaiting True Love’s Kiss” with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, “Elegant Egrets”, “Waiting in Suspense”, “Queen of Hearts”, “Black and White” and “Who’s the Fairest of Them All?” are examples of her creativity and perseverance. She shows her before and after images for all of the photographs in this book, and she also gives an explanation as to how she took the thought process through from the initial idea to fruition. She tells how, before coming up with a theme for a portrait session, she scours yard sales or visits antique shops to find just the right prop for a session. The wheels of her mind are in constant motion, sometimes even awakening her in the middle of the night, giving her new concepts with which to experiment.

Her technical skills and talent combine to create imaginative work that is ever-changing. – Steve Bedell, M. Photog. CR and international print juror

Seeing work like hers makes you think and break out of your box! – Ken Sklute, Canon Explorer of Light

Her work is visual poetry that gives form to her emotions in a style all her own. – Thom Rouse, M. Photog. MEI, CR, CPP, F-ASP

The book is a tool for those who are looking for ideas as to how to increase their creativity. If readers are photographers seeking ways to become more visible in their community, interested in creating fine-art portraiture and increasing the bottom line, Fine Art Portrait Photography should be read and re-read.

Audio / Literature & Fiction / Mysteries

Rose Gold: An Easy Rawlins Mystery (Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged, running time: 11 hours) by Walter Mosley, read by J.D. Jackson (Random House Audio)

Rose Gold: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley (Doubleday)

In Rose Gold, set in the Patty Hearst era of radical Black Nationalism and political abductions, a black ex-boxer self-named Uhuru Nolica, the leader of a revolutionary cell called Scorched Earth, has kidnapped Rosemary Goldsmith, the daughter of a weapons manufacturer. If they don't receive the money, weapons, and apology they demand, "Rose Gold" will die – horribly and publicly. So the FBI, the State Department, and the LAPD turn to Easy Rawlins, the one man who can cross the necessary borders to resolve this dangerous standoff.

With twelve previous adventures since 1990, Easy Rawlins is one of the small handful of private eyes in contemporary crime fiction who can be called immortal. Rose Gold continues Mosley’s ongoing and unique achievement in combining the mystery/PI genre form with a rich social history of postwar Los Angeles – and not just the black parts of that sprawling city.

Mosley, winner of numerous awards, is the author of more than forty-two books, most notably twelve Easy Rawlins mysteries, the first of which, Devil in a Blue Dress, was made into an acclaimed film starring Denzel Washington. Always Outnumbered was an HBO film starring Laurence Fishburne, adapted from his first Socrates Fortlow novel. The audio version of Rose Gold is read by J.D. Jackson, an award winning educator and actor.

In Rose Gold, four armed Los Angeles policemen turn up at Easy Rawlins' new LA door on a Sunday afternoon: he’s moving house. He thinks he must be in trouble. He is. The cops want him to find the daughter of a millionaire arms dealer. They think she's with Bob Mantle, a broken-down former boxer recently apparently turned radical, Uhuru Nolica. Easy’s a black man in post-World War II LA; the local cops think he has access to Mantle's world. They know they do not. Easy realizes that, the LA power structure being what it is, he can’t afford to say no to the man.

Mosley sets this new mystery in the 1970s era. Mantle, apparently now the leader of a revolutionary cell called Scorched Earth, seemingly has kidnapped Rosemary from her dorm at University of California Santa Barbara. So after Easy is almost gunned down on his first day on the case, he realizes he'll need more than just his wits to find Rose Gold. Has she actually been kidnapped? Is she colluding with her supposed kidnappers? And what does her father really want?

You know Mosley will bring things to a satisfactory conclusion, so you can let the story fall away in favor of its rich social fabric, rendered in well-observed details of skin color, speech, dress and, of course, neighborhoods. This is the triumph of each Easy Rawlins story – documenting this changing panorama of a city where the migration of Southern blacks, eager to claim it as their new world, is constantly remaking the city as it remakes them. Every Rawlins novel can be read on its own, but it's a far richer experience to read them in sequence and follow Easy's complex evolution as well as that of his ad hoc family and tight circle of friends. These are the folks who provide a fascinating set of roadside attractions as Easy's case rolls on. – Los Angeles Times
When it comes to naming names, Walter Mosley knows no peer. A cop called Frisk, a guru who goes by Vandal, a boxer known as Hardcase Tommy Latour and a black militant with the excellent moniker of Most Grand all figure in Rose Gold, Mosley's endlessly entertaining new Easy Rawlins mystery. – The New York Times Book Review
Fans of Mosley's private investigator were grateful Rawlins survived, and for good reason: Mosley's writing gifts go well beyond the gumshoe genre. With Rawlins, he weaves in a tense racial element throughout, and raises the level of his achievement.
– Associated Press
Set in L.A. during the height of the Vietnam War, Mosley’s impressive 13th Easy Rawlins mystery (after 2013’s Little Green) finds Roger Frisk, special assistant to the police chief, calling on Easy with a job... Easy’s experiences and insights perfectly mirror the turbulent ’60s. – Publishers Weekly, starred review
Mosley has few peers when it comes to crafting sentences, and he's woven some beauties into this swift-moving yet philosophical story that does more for illustrating an iconic period than hours of documentary film could. This Easy Rawlins novel harks back to the great early days of the series. – Booklist, starred review
...The most quotable of all contemporary detectives stirs up enough trouble for scene after memorable scene. – Kirkus Reviews

Rose Gold is the welcome twelfth Easy Rawlins mystery from bestselling, multi-award winning Mosley, the author of more than forty-three books. Mosley's sentences are a delight to read – the prose is tight – he doesn’t waste a word. His descriptions vividly evoke time and place. Mosley always tells a good story, and this one is credible and entertaining. The plot moves at a smooth pace. There are so many other things to like about a Mosley novel, however, that the plot often takes a back seat. Easy peppers his first-person narrative with observations about the state of the nation and the changing world, a world that cannot change fast enough to suit him. And as always, Easy's observations of racial injustice are pointed and personal.

Computers & Internet

More Awesome Than Money: Four Boys and Their Heroic Quest to Save Your Privacy from Facebook by Jim Dwyer (Viking)

– David versus Goliath in Silicon Valley –

At a time when more and more people are worried about internet privacy, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Jim Dwyer's More Awesome Than Money tells the story of four ambitious NYU undergrads who tried to change the world by taking on Facebook – and were swallowed up by their quest to keep everyone’s data safe.

Their idea was simple. They wanted to build a social network that would allow users to control their personal data, instead of surrendering it to big businesses like Facebook. They called it “Diaspora.” Max dreamed of being a CEO. Ilya was the idealist. Dan coded like a pro, and Rafi tried to keep them all on track. But as the months passed and the money ran out, the Diaspora Four fell victim to errors, bad decisions, and their own hubris.

According to More Awesome Than Money, they asked for $10,000 – and raised $200,000, setting a record for crowd-sourced funding. Seven thousand backers from around the world, including many legendary digital innovators, wanted to help make Diaspora a real alternative to the giant social networks that control and sell user data, and another tens of thousands of people began to follow the project. Almost overnight, the Diaspora Four had received a global commission to re-bottle the genie of personal privacy.

For a while, adrenaline and activist fervor drove the boys, who were suddenly being wooed by venture capitalists and advised by the elite of the digital community. But as the months wore on, coding failures, bad business decisions, over-reach and under-organization, and the inevitable conflicts of personality and goals drove the Diaspora Four apart and threatened to derail the project – even with a half million people on a waiting list to join.

The entire digital community was watching as they moved their operation to California and in a wild sprint, managed to keep their promise to build the bones of a social network in which users controlled their information. But their donors and the public and the venture capital community wanted more: they expected the four guys to create a real rival to the major social networks, one that would allow users enough control to maintain true internet privacy. As the money ran out, and tension mounted, the partners began to crack under the expectations. In November 2011, Ilya committed suicide, and soon after Diaspora was passed on to other young hackers. More Awesome Than Money shares the real story of the Diaspora: the network, the movement, and the boys who tried so hard to make good on their great idea – and why it remains a vital cause.

The story reaches far beyond Silicon Valley to the now urgent issues about the future of the Internet. The Diaspora Four tried to do something genuinely revolutionary – nothing less than remapping the lines of power in digital society – and kept faith with that vision. Dwyer asks readers to consider an urgent question: Have we made a devil's bargain in permitting the convergence of connectivity, convenience, privacy, and freedom? Is there any going back now?

Failure is all too common for startups, but this is the best-told story of failure I’ve read. I was rooting for the improbable the whole way. It perfectly captures the texture of Silicon Valley’s humanity and dreams better than any success story could. – Kevin Kelly, founding editor of Wired, and author of What Technology Wants

Books have been written about those who struck it rich in Silicon Valley. The four young idealists in this engrossing book did not.… In the deft hands of author Jim Dwyer, they are ‘cool,’ and complicated. We follow them down the rabbit hole as they, like other forgotten names, travel from euphoria, to doubt, to dissension, to dissolution. Readers of this suspenseful narrative will not soon forget the mountaintop-to-valley drama they endured, the classic business and human mistakes they made, nor the nobility of what they hoped to do. – Ken Auletta, author of Googled and Greed and Glory on Wall Street
The courageous and ingenious actions of these four NYU students and the Diaspora hackers who come in their wake will make you want to stand up and cheer. In an age of self-absorbed tweeting and friending, these young people are our Rocky Balboas and Martin Luther Kings. This book is proof that we are no longer customers of social networks, but rather the merchandise. The advertisers are the true customers, and our private thoughts, desires, and needs are exploited, sold, and bartered among them like trading cards – long after we’ve hit the delete button. The tragic death of the talented programmer Ilya Zhitomirskiy stands as testimony to our own inertia about the commercial forces that seek to control us. I’m glad I met this young man on these pages, and I'm glad that the deeply talented Jim Dwyer – who also wrote the best book on 9-11 you'll ever read – brought him and his friends to us with such stirring clarity. It’s a superb work, and a great read
. – James McBride, author of The Good Lord Bird and The Color of Water, winner of the National Book Award
Jim Dwyer’s More Awesome Than Money is the story of four young men who dared to go up against the (new) machine – in this case, Facebook. By turns funny, poignant, scary, heartbreaking, and hopeful, More Awesome Than Money includes everything you need to know about how your personal information is being manipulated on the Internet, and what to do about it. – Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd

More Awesome Than Money is a compelling chronicle of young people coming of age on the lip of a socio-technological volcano, told with empathy for them and admiration for their goals. It is a riveting story of four ambitious and naive young men who tried to rebottle the genie of personal privacy – and paid the ultimate price. And it is also a clear survey of the debates and ethical questions surrounding internet privacy, and a wake-up call for everyone who tweets, Googles, or signs into Facebook without a second thought.

Cooking, Food & Wine / Health & Fitness

Cooking Allergy-Free: Simple Inspired Meals for Everyone by Jenna Short (The Taunton Press)

Today, it's not unusual for at least one person sitting at the dinner table to have a food intolerance or allergy. That person might feel left out of a great meal if the cook didn't account for their needs.

But Jenna Short is on a mission – to help home cooks create meals that are safe – and delicious – for anyone who suffers from food allergies or who follows a special diet. As a caterer who specializes in events suitable for those who choose a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, or kosher lifestyle, Short knows it's not easy to meet these different needs at the same time. In Cooking Allergy-Free, Short comes to the rescue, with 150 recipes that are suitable for weeknight cooking as well as entertaining. Short, owner of, formerly worked as a sous chef and graphic designer at Bon Appetit magazine and studied design at the Art Institute of Boston and culinary arts at Lorenzo de Medici in Florence. 

Each recipe is free of one or more of the most common food allergens – wheat, milk, eggs, nuts, shellfish, fish, soy and corn – identified by colorful icons, and includes substitutions to convert the recipe for other allergens. Icons also indicate recipes appropriate for those who follow a gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan diet.

Short's collection of recipes in Cooking Allergy-Free includes starters, soups, salads, main dishes, sides, desserts, and breads. Readers sample the Mustard Raisin Marmalade on Toasted Crostini, Moroccan Stuffed Tomatoes, Rosemary Skillet Chicken with Mushrooms and Potatoes, Sloppy Joes, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Blackened Fish Tacos with Guacamole and Cilantro-Lime Slaw, Blueberry Lemon Crumble Pie, Mini Fudge Brownie Bites, and Granola Bars. Menu options for everything from New Year's brunch (Minis Topped with Lemon Whip and Smoked Salmon) to game day open house (Edamame Sliders with Sweet Red Pepper Jam), dessert buffet (Oatmeal, Ginger, and Golden Raisin Cookies and Apple Spiced Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting), baby shower (Herb Pesto-Stuffed Mushrooms), and Thanksgiving dinner (Oven-Roasted Herb and Ginger Turkey and Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Dried Cherry Vinaigrette) mean no one is left out and nothing is off-limits.

But Short and Cooking Allergy-Free go beyond providing just recipes. Readers find information about cooking with fresh, healthy foods. The book includes simple substitutions to convert the recipe for various allergens. And all recipes are kosher.

An entire chapter is devoted to essential information on grocery shopping, stocking the pantry, and strategies for setting up the kitchen to be allergen-friendly. Plus, menu suggestions make it easy to plan a quick weeknight meal or party.

Cooking Allergy-Free is also a way to add versatility to one’s cooking repertoire. Readers will find the recipes in the book unique, delicious, and inspiring. It is the perfect resource for the home cook who is cooking for someone with a food allergy. Readers discover flavorful, easy-to-make dishes that aren't off limits. Menu suggestions for setting up a kitchen to be allergen-friendly, and essentials for stocking the pantry will make Cooking Allergy-Free readers’ most trusted source for delicious cooking.

Education & Training / Higher Education / Politics & Social Sciences / Gender Studies

Faculty Fathers: Toward a New Ideal in the Research University by Margaret W. Sallee (SUNY Press)

Faculty Fathers explores the challenges faculty fathers face in navigating the demands of work and family.
For the past two decades, colleges and universities have focused significant attention on helping female faculty balance work and family by implementing a series of family-friendly policies. Although most policies included both men and women, women were intended as the primary targets and recipients. Faculty Fathers makes clear that including faculty fathers in institutional efforts is necessary for campuses to attain gender equity. Based on interviews with seventy faculty fathers at four research universities around the United States, Faculty Fathers explores the challenges faculty fathers – from assistant professors to endowed chairs – face in finding a work/life balance. Author Margaret W. Sallee shows how universities frequently punish men who want to be involved fathers and suggests that cultural change is necessary – not only to help men who wish to take a greater role with their children, but also to help women and spouses who are expected to do the same.
Sallee is Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York. She is coeditor (with Jaime Lester) of Establishing the Family-Friendly Campus: Models for Effective Practice.

Men are praised for being involved parents; a father parenting his child is regarded by many as exceeding what is generally expected of fathers. In contrast, a woman is generally expected to engage in the same behaviors as a natural part of mothering. Yet, while men might be praised for being involved fathers, they are simultaneously regarded with suspicion, as if they are violating assigned roles in the workplace. For example, taking an extended leave of absence following the birth of a child would challenge gender norms that prescribe work for men and caregiving for women.

It is this tension that Faculty Fathers explores.

Work/life balance is nearly always framed as a woman's issue. As Sallee in Faculty Fathers discusses, ample evidence suggests that women experience both personal and professional consequences for becoming mothers. The stakes are com­pounded for female academics because faculty work places heavy expectations on those forging careers in the academy. However, simply because women experience pressure does not mean that men do not. And yet, despite the significant attention given to the challenges that women face in the academy, few studies have focused explicitly on the challenges that male academics face.

As Sallee suggests in Faculty Fathers, gender norms have dictated the types of acceptable behaviors for men and women to adopt, including norms around child rearing. While these norms have influenced behaviors in the home, they have also influenced the attitudes of organizations around work and family. Historically, organizations were more likely to provide accommodations to new mothers than to new fathers because women were expected to be the primary caregivers. Although workplaces are becoming more accommodating to fathers and beginning to recognize work/life demands placed upon them, men are less likely than their female colleagues to use the policies.

Universities have a unique opportunity to be catalysts in changing these dated and constraining gender norms. In the United States, universities have frequently been pioneers in adopting values more progressive than those of the country as a whole. As the civil rights protests of the 1960s illustrate, higher education institutions continued to serve as sites of revolution and change throughout the 20th century. In the 21st century, the trend continues. Many campuses have established themselves at the forefront of the movement by providing an array of policies for faculty and staff that far exceeds what is available at the federal level. Whether these actions are motivated by a concern for challenging societal norms about balancing work and family or are simply a recruitment and retention tool to compete with their peer institutions, the result is that some institutions are more pro-family than U.S. society as a whole.

The book begins with an overview of the types of family-friendly policies that universities typically offer to provide some context for the family-friendliness of the four universities at the focus of Faculty Fathers – referred to as Eastern University, Midwestern University, Southern University, and Western University. Sallee then introduces the universities and fathers profiled in the book before giving an overview of the chapters to come. She also provides an introduction to the theories along with the campuses and fathers that she considers throughout the text.

Faculty Fathers explores the conflict between gender norms, the ideal worker, and university culture. Chapter 2, "Con­flicting Roles: The Ideal Worker or the Ideal Father?" delves more deeply into norms of the ideal worker and explores how its two main tenets – the faculty member as one who is always working and has no responsibilities in the home – affect men's lives. In particular, it focuses on how assumptions about the divisions between breadwinner and caregiver shape men's beliefs about the appropriateness of using institutional accommodations or otherwise prioritizing parenthood. Chapters 3 and 4 describe a cultural analysis Sallee conducted of the experiences of faculty fathers by campus and by discipline, respectively. Chapter 3, "Family-Friendly or Father-Friendly: Institutional Culture and the Ideal Worker," compares the organizational culture and gender norms of the two institutions nationally recognized as family-friendly campuses (Western University and Midwestern University) with the organizational culture of the two other campuses (Southern University and Eastern University). Fathers on the more progressive campuses faced less resistance and less hesitation to use policies, which point to the ways in which organizational culture shapes individuals' experiences.

Although institutional culture matters, disciplinary culture matters as well; these disciplinary differences are the focus of chapter 4, "Disciplinary Culture and the Ideal Worker." This chapter compares the experiences of fathers in the professional schools (medicine, dentistry, law, and others); fathers in the sciences and engineering; and fathers in the humanities and social sciences. Each group of disciplines sends different messages about the appropriateness of men balancing work and family. Faculty in the professional schools and science and engineering noted cultures that emphasized long hours in the office and the importance of external funding, which often led faculty to feel compelled to prioritize work over family. In contrast, men in the humanities and social sciences reported being able to structure their time in ways that allowed them to balance family and career. Furthermore, men in these disciplines were more likely to report receiving messages from their colleagues that taking time off for family was valued. In this chapter, Sallee discusses these differences and consider the role that disciplinary culture plays in reinforcing or challenging hegemonic masculinity and assumptions of the ideal worker.

In chapter 5 of Faculty Fathers, "How Family Life Affects Faculty Life," she considers how familial responsibilities affect the fathers' careers and focuses in particular on notions of productivity and scholarly engagement. Despite their commitment to their own families, many of the men professed a belief that scholars could not be committed academics and involved parents. While a few fathers reported that their productivity had increased since becoming parents, many catalogued the ways they had pulled back from professional obligations and seen their productivity plummet. While many lamented this shift, others suggested that the trade-off was worth it.

Chapter 6, "The Ideal Worker Inside or Outside the Home?" leaves the campus to visit the home and examines the division of labor between husbands and wives. While many fathers were active co-participants in child rearing, men tended to perform different tasks than their wives; generally men were noted for performing tasks that were more fun while their wives were solely responsible for the daily, more mundane, details of the household. While these trends were true across many couples, the employment status of the wife further shaped the provision of care. Men in couples in which the wife worked full time outside of the home adopted different behaviors in the home than their counterparts whose wives worked fewer than 40 hours a week outside the home. One particular group who was more likely to adopt different behaviors in the home was the newest crop of fathers in the academy: the assistant professors. These men are the focus of chapter 7, "Tenure versus Fatherhood: How Generation X Faculty Eschew the Ideal Worker." All were contending with fatherhood in possibly one of the more stressful times in their careers. These men also belonged to Generation X – a generation that has been defined by greater gender equality and a prioritization of work/life issues. Despite feeling the push to publish, many of these fathers expressed less interest in prioritizing their careers than their more senior colleagues, pointing to the ways in which ideal worker norms might be shifting slowly, as older cohorts retire.

In Faculty Fathers's concluding chapter, "Redefining the Ideal," Sallee reviews the experiences of the fathers across campuses and returns to the norms of the ideal worker and hegemonic masculinity to consider the role that universities play in shaping a culture that either promotes or stymies a father's involvement in the home. She concludes by offering suggestions for institutions that are interested in creating cultures in which all parents – men and women – are encouraged to be productive in the workplace and involved in the home.

Despite the significant attention given to the challenges that women face in the academy, few studies have focused explicitly on the challenges that male academics face; Faculty Fathers fills that gap. This groundbreaking book makes clear that including faculty fathers in institutional efforts is necessary for campuses to attain gender equity.

Entertainment / Music / Classical

Liszt's Legacies edited by James Deaville and Michael Saffle (Franz Liszt Studies Series, No. 15: Pendragon)

Franz Liszt (1811-1896) has long been written about from the perspectives of his own life, relationships, and accomplishments, especially as composer and performer. What, however, of his complex legacy? Liszt influenced many of his contemporaries as well as subsequent generations of musicians, critics, and scholars. Among others, he exerted a profound influence on Béta Bartók and Arnold Schoenberg, and Liszt’s legacy extended throughout the twentieth century to North America and, more recently, to China. And we are still in the process of sorting out and understanding the legacies of the past and his times that influenced Liszt and his work. Liszt's Legacies assembles a collection of essays devoted to these subjects as well as operatic aspects of the symphonic works, Liszt and theories of degenerate genius, and Liszt in Hollywood film. An appendix includes studies of Liszt’s documentary legacy. The book is profusely illustrated with musical examples, documentary facsimiles, and film stills.
The editors are James Deaville of Charleton University, a Musicologist specializing in music, composers and musical practices and institutions of the 19th and 20th centuries, and Michael Saffle, who has taught music and humanities at Virginia Tech since 1978.

Liszt was arguably the best-known nineteenth-century European musician. He was also the most influential by virtue of his legacies: as a legendary pianist, an innovative composer, a sought-after teacher, and an arresting personality. It is this wide dispersal across diverse fields of activity that distinguishes Liszt from contemporaries such as Wagner. For this reason especially, Liszt researchers recognize a plurality of legacies emanating from their subject.

Deaville and Saffle in Liszt's Legacies propose that Liszt's legacy is multifarious – thus ‘legacies’ – and, as a plurality of actions, burdens, diversions, dismissals, inheritances, and rediscoveries, has necessarily come into contact with the legacies of other art-works, individuals, and nations in a never-ending play of relationships, such as occurred within the Liszt/Wagner spheres of influence, or between Liszt's Weimar and those of Germany past ("The Golden Age") and future (the Third Reich and the German Democratic Republic). As a result, the phrase ‘Liszt's Legacies– the present collection's title – suggests something real, yet ambiguous, palimpsestic, and unstable: a collection of continually (re)inscribed memories and inheritances that can never be encompassed once and for all. At the same time, and as a figure of cultural, musical, political, and social influence, Liszt unmistakably stands today at the nexus of past, present and future. He represents the site where productive dialogues between and among artistic Classicism, Romanticism, and Modernism; Hungarian, French and German identities; and the public, traditions, and individuals can and indeed do take place.

Liszt's Legacies represents the first attempt to examine several of the roles played by Liszt, with or without his consent, and throughout history. Dismissed by many critics as a popular/shallow virtuoso, dangerous reformer, and generally unhealthy influence, Liszt did not become a legitimate subject for scholarly study (after initial researches and editions by his pupils and associates) until the 1970s. Moreover, the difficulty of sorting out his activities and their long-term effects has hindered researchers from engaging closely with them.

The composer has sometimes been dismissed or damned, but he has also been praised to the skies. Whether serious or satiric, the ‘Liszt vitrine’ that provides the frontispiece for Liszt's Legacies testifies to the veneration often associated with him. In light of these attributions of ‘transcendent greatness’ or insignificance, the contexts of Liszt's many legacies remain incompletely understood, including both the influences he absorbed and the impacts he has had upon posterity. Liszt's Legacies attempts to fill the gap through a series of case studies that are grouped both topically and, to a lesser extent, geopolitically.

In Liszt's Legacies, Joanne Cormac, James Deaville, Dana Gooley, Kenneth Hamilton, Jonathan Kregor, Shay Loya, and James K. Wright have tackled quite different aspects of Liszt's creative legacy, producing studies of his Italian sojourn and borrowings (Gooley); his symphonic poem Orpheus and its relationship with Gluck's celebrated opera (Cormac); his transcriptions (Deaville and Kregor); his pianistic legacy (Hamilton); his ‘Hungarian’ compositions, however they have been understood in the past or should be understood today (Loya); and his influence on modernist and composer-theorist Arnold Schoenberg (Wright). In these studies, Gooley and Hamilton also deal with improvisation, while Deaville, Andrew Haringer, Kregor, Loya, and Wright are more concerned with published compositions. Religious issues of several kinds are addressed by Nicolas Dufetel and Haringer: the former in terms of the composer's lifelong interest in liturgical melodies and ways of using them in his own works; the latter in terms of Liszt's interactions with the poet, politician, and Catholic thinker Alphone de Lamartine as well as both versions of Liszt's Harmonies poetiques et religieuses. In certain respects Dufetel and Haringer suggest the surprising breadth of their subject's spiritual enthusiasms, which ranged from quite conservative to surprisingly liberal.

Liszt, however, was no ‘mere’ musician: he was a cosmopolitan as well as an Hungarian patriot, a believing Catholic as well as a progressive social thinker, and a world-wide phenomenon when it came to his own reputation and reception. Erika Quinn and Daniel Ortuno-Stuhring in Liszt's Legacies examine Liszt's relationship with music and politics – themselves often closely intertwined subjects – primarily in terms of 1850s and 1860s Germany. Alan Davison and Michael Saffle, on the other hand, evaluate Liszt's fluctuating reputation during the later nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries, both as genius in terms of psychological theory, and as a subject of The Etude, an important and long-lived American music magazine. Like Davison and Saffle, Cornelia Szabo-Knotik, John Tibbetts, Emile Wennekes, and Hon-Lun Yang discuss Liszt's increasingly widespread reputation. Tibbetts, for instance, examines Liszt in European and American films of the past seventy years. Szabo-Knotik considers representations of the composer as a native son of Austria's Burgenland between and especially during two ‘Liszt years’: 1936 (the fiftieth anniversary of his death) and 2011 (the bicentenary of his birth). Wennekes reveals a great deal about nineteenth- as well as twentieth-century Holland's Liszt reception, while Yang discusses Liszt's reception in post-World War II China. For Davison and Saffle, however, ‘character’ as understood in both moral and psychological senses of that word has shaped Liszt's reputation in ways that have had comparatively little to do with his compositions or legendary performing career.

As a supplement to all of these studies, three other scholars – Paul Bertagnolli, Evangelia Mitsopoulou, and William Wright – deal with particular aspects of the documentary Liszt legacy. Bertagnolli discusses the musical manuscript, especially manuscript and printed sources for Liszt's Prometheus works. Mitsopoulou considers several letters associated with the composer's plans to mount an audio-visual production of his own Dante symphony, while Wright (William, in this case, rather than James) identifies and explains the significance of certain very early links between Liszt, Czerny, and the musical life of 1820s England. Finally, a fourth contributor to Liszt's Legacies – pianist and film maker Ophra Yerushalmi – explains how and why she produced and directed Liszt's Dance with the Devil, a documentary devoted to contemporary Lisztians and their opinions of the composer's posthumous reputation and significance.

History / Americas

Americans Recaptured: Progressive Era Memory of Frontier Captivity by Molly K. Varley (University of Oklahoma Press)

It was on the frontier, where ‘civilized’ men and women confronted the ‘wilderness,’ that Europeans first became Americans – or so authorities from Frederick Jackson Turner to Theodore Roosevelt claimed. But as the frontier disappeared, Americans believed they needed a new mechanism for fixing their collective identity; and they found it, historian Molly K. Varley in Americans Recaptured suggests, in tales of white Americans held captive by Indians.
For Americans in the Progressive Era (1890–1916) these stories of Indian captivity seemed to prove that the violence of national expansion had been justified, that citizens’ individual suffering had been heroic, and that settlers’ contact with Indians and wilderness still characterized the nation’s ‘soul.’ Furthermore, in the act of memorializing white Indian captives – through statues, parks, and reissued narratives – small towns found a way of inscribing themselves into the national story.
By drawing out the connections between actual captivity, captivity narratives, and the memorializing of white captives, Varley in Americans Recaptured shows how Indian captivity became a means for Progressive Era Americans to look forward by looking back. Local boosters and cultural commentators used Indian captivity to define ‘Americanism’ and to renew those frontier qualities deemed vital to the survival of the nation in the post-frontier world, such as individualism, bravery, ingenuity, enthusiasm, ‘manliness,’ and patriotism. In Varley’s analysis of the Progressive Era mentality, contact between white captives and Indians represented a stage in the evolution of a new American people and affirmed the contemporary notion of America as a melting pot.

Americans Recaptured makes important connections among actual captivity, captivity narratives, and monuments memorializing and celebrating white captives during the Progressive Era. While the topic of captivity has attracted a great deal of attention in the past several decades, no book competes with this one in terms of period or emphasis. Molly K. Varley weaves together history, literature, and material culture to analyze the uses of captivity in innovative and illuminating ways. – Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola, author of War in Words: Reading the Dakota Conflict through the Captivity Literature, and editor of Women’s Indian Captivity Narratives

Revealing how the recitation and interpretation of these captivity narratives changed over time – with shifting emphasis on brutality, gender, and ethnographic and historical accuracy – Americans Recaptured shows that tales of Indian captivity were no more fixed than American identity, but were consistently used to give that identity its own useful, ever-evolving shape.

History / US / Military / Holiday

A Christmas Far from Home: An Epic Tale of Courage and Survival during the Korean War by Stanley Weintraub (DaCapo Press)

A Military Book Club Main Selection

Priorities beyond tomorrow began with loyalty to your unit and to the guys at your side. Everything else, beyond enduring the war, was almost irrelevant. Finishing a war was why you fought it, and that meant, at the end or earlier, going home. – from the Preface

The day after Thanksgiving, five months into the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur flew to American positions in the north and grandly announced an end-the-war-by-Christmas offensive, despite recent evidence of intervention by Mao's Chinese troops. Marching north in plunging temperatures, General Edward Almond's X Corps, which included a Marine division under the able leadership of General Oliver Smith, encountered little resistance. But thousands of Chinese, who had infiltrated across the frozen Yalu River, were lying in wait and would soon trap tens of thousands of US troops in the Chosin Reservoir near the Yalu River border.
Led by the Marines, an overwhelmed X Corps evacuated the frigid, mountainous Chosin Reservoir vastness and fought a swarming enemy and treacherous snow and ice to reach the coast. Weather, terrain, Chinese firepower, and a 4,000-foot chasm made escape seem impossible in the face of a vanishing Christmas. But endurance and sacrifice prevailed, and the last troopships weighed anchor on Christmas Eve.
Author Stanley Weintraub is an award-winning author of notable histories and biographies, including the bestselling books on wartime Christmas seasons Pearl Harbor Christmas and Silent Night.

In A Christmas Far from Home, Weintraub weaves together first-person accounts of military on the ground with their commanders' tactical plans and political rhetoric to give readers a well-rounded narrative of the bloody conflict. Lending his expertise – both as an historian and as an Army officer in the Korean War – Weintraub details the daily challenges of U.S. servicemen fighting a numerically overwhelming and determined enemy, and exposes the flaws of General MacArthur's strategy, painting a realistic portrait of the hubristic commander whose misjudgments nearly resulted in disaster.

The tragic tale of how the arrogance of a general led to disastrous consequences for the American troops in North Korea in 1950... Weintraub expertly delineates the unraveling disaster for the entrapped, frozen, dispirited troops on the ground. – Kirkus Reviews

[Weintraub] portrays MacArthur as ego-driven and politically ambitious; he surrounded himself with yes-men when he would have benefited from those advising caution... The heroes in this account are the troops in the field who endured appalling conditions, maintained discipline, and staved off complete collapse. – Booklist

In the tradition of his Silent Night and Pearl Harbor Christmas, Weintraub presents another gripping narrative of a wartime Christmas season in A Christmas Far from Home. This holiday season, readers can look back at the resulting clash and remember the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers and Marines during the ‘Forgotten War.’

History / Military / World War II

Long Night of the Tankers: Hitler's War against Caribbean Oil by David J. Bercuson & Holger H. Herwig, with series editor Rob Huebert (Beyond Boundaries: Canadian Defense and Strategic Studies Series, No. 4: University of Calgary Press)

Long Night of the Tankers presents a fresh account of a lesser-known but critical component of the Atlantic naval theatre during World War II. Using war diaries, after-action reports, and firsthand accounts, the authors examine the story behind Operation Neuland, the German plan to interrupt vital oil supplies from reaching the United States and the United Kingdom by preventing Allied oil tankers from leaving refineries in the Caribbean. The story begins in February 1942 and follows this German attempt to scuttle the Allied war machine through to the end of the war. It details the planning and execution of the Germans and the diplomatic, political, and military responses of the Allies, particularly the United States, to overcome the German effort.

Authors are David J. Bercuson, Director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary and Holger H. Herwig, the Canada Research Chair in the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies and Professor in the Department of History at the University of Calgary.

Starting in February 1942 with the initial German success in choking the oil supply to the Allied war machine, Long Night of the Tankers details the planning and execution of German operations and the subsequent diplomatic, political, and military responses of the Allies that ultimately overcame the German effort and transformed the Caribbean shipping lanes into a death trap for German U-boats.

Long Night of the Tankers discusses in detail the issue of oil supplies for the Allied Forces. Great Britain and the east coasts of the U.S. and Canada depended heavily, almost exclusively, on oil sourced from and processed in the Caribbean. Crude oil from Venezuela and refined products from huge refineries on the islands of Curacao, Trinidad, and Aruba, had to be transported in tankers both within and from the Caribbean region. And Germany saw an opportunity to strike a devastating blow by launching a U-Boat campaign against the tankers right in the Caribbean.
The authors cover the issue from many directions. There is the expected coverage of the planning and decision making within the German military as well as descriptions of U-Boat deployments, specific operations and engagements, and conditions for the crews. The feeble initial Allied defenses are discussed, and their frantic attempts to counter the highly successful early attacks on tankers and other merchant shipping. The debate on attack strategy went on at the highest levels of the German military and government is: Attack only tankers? Concentrate attacks on refinery facilities and ports? Sink anything that floats? The chosen target strategy was crucial, because U-Boats didn't carry very many torpedoes to start with, and a high percentage of those malfunctioned.
Long Night of the Tankers also gives a detailed description of the life aboard German submarines operating in the Caribbean Sea and South Atlantic and the operations that the Allied forces used to eventually bring them under control.
Bercuson and Herwig – both with extensive backgrounds in military studies – follow the course of the conflict from beginning to end using primary sources of military reports and records, statistics, first-hand accounts, news stories, memoirs, and the like. The co-authors not only organize a great deal of material for an understanding of the chronology of the warfare in the region and a perspective on it, but also focus on factors favoring one side or the other at different times, how the Allies gradually gained the upper hand, the place given to the Caribbean theater in the German military outlook, technological developments of planes and ships, down to the actions of individual U-boats and activities regarding certain Allied merchant and naval ships and individuals connected with them. They even go into the diplomatic maneuvering complicating initiation and continuation of military operations because of shifting sympathies of nations in the Caribbean and throughout Latin America.
Long Night of the Tankers satisfies the interests of popular military history buffs as well as historians and researchers looking for a complete picture of the Caribbean naval conflict during World War II based on extensive research as reflected in the text and recorded in the back matter of notes and bibliography. The book does not, however, contain detailed maps.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Convertible Crystal Jewelry: Reverse it, Twist it, Wear it Many Ways by Diane Whiting (Kalmbach Books)

Diane Whiting in Convertible Crystal Jewelry presents the idea that convertibility isn’t just about using pieces in multiple ways; it is also about using skills and creativity in multiple ways. Using sparkling crystals, Whiting showcases design elements through various techniques for fun, easy, fashionable jewelry. With 25 projects, readers can choose from bracelets, necklaces, and earrings that match any outfit or style. An ambassador for the Swarovski Elements Create Your Style campaign, Whiting teaches at many notable bead shows, bead societies, and local bead stores.

With just a flip or a twist, readers can double the possibilities of the bracelets, necklaces and pendants in Convertible Crystal Jewelry. Every project includes instructions and photos, plus tips and ideas for taking the design to the next step. Every project can be reversed, changed, or modified to show a brand-new look. Readers can make one project and wear it multiple ways, or complete many different designs for hundreds of wardrobe-enhancing accessories.

Whiting says she want readers to think of their jewelry the same way they think of the clothes they wear. Whether they are dressing for work or for leisure, their wardrobe probably follows this idea: component pieces that work together. A few pairs of pants match with dozens of t-shirts, sweaters, blouses, tanks, dusters, twin sets, etc. This is also true of jewelry.

The pieces she presents in the book can all be worn in more than one way. Some are reversible; flip them over and readers are wearing a different color version of the same design. Some can be layered; multiple strands in different colors mixed together and worn as long necklaces or doubled over or twisted into shorter versions. Some come apart and can be reassembled into two or more pieces. Some have pendants or tassels that can be attached or removed to fit a neckline or event.

All of the pieces share one common material: Swarovski Elements. The designs in Convertible Crystal Jewelry allow readers to use Swarovski Elements in all their pieces. For example, readers can buy one large pendant and use it with a variety of neckpieces – "Tila for Two" and "Peyote Pathway" use the same crystal beads for both sides of the bracelets. The "Buttonhole Bracelet" and "Buttonhole Pendant" allow for the filigree or button focals to be used in either a necklace or a bracelet.

Convertible Crystal Jewelry is for brand-new and seasoned jewelry makers alike. Readers begin with the simplest and easiest projects at the front of the book, and progress to more complex pieces as they develop their skills. With 25 projects – all shown with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions – readers find countless options for swappable style.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies / Memorabilia

Inspired by the Beatles: An Art Quilt Challenge by Donna DeSoto (Schiffer Publishing Ltd)

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles first visit to the United States, 150 artists chose a different Beatles song to portray as a 24” x 24” fiber art quilt. Inspired by the vast array of Beatles' music and lyrics, they have merged talent with imagination to create beautiful works of art. Accompanied by 169 images, Inspired by the Beatles provides a personal narrative from each artist. Readers discover the stories behind their quilts and why certain songs were chosen. They also read some of the personal memories the artists have of the Beatles, and hear many descriptions and details related to the making of these unique pieces.

Author Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto is a collector of quilts. She has been a quilt maker for more than twenty years, and her work has appeared in numerous exhibits and publications.

Desoto says that art comes from inspiration, and one of the ways fiber artists find inspiration is by participating in a group challenge. Someone, somewhere, announces an idea and comes up with guidelines. In early 2013, DeSoto asked several members of the Playing Outside the Block quilt group (‘Playgroup,’ for short) if anyone had an idea for a new challenge. The one person who took her call for suggestions to heart was Jennifer Weilbach. She e-mailed DeSoto a unique list of ideas discovered, in part, from a quick search on the Internet. She read them all and one jumped right off the page: "OK, February 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles USA tour."

Details and rules of the challenge were quickly determined: each participant would choose a song from a master list of Beatles' songs, with no duplicates allowed. Each finished quilt had to measure 24" x 24" and could not contain any copyrighted images or lyrics. DeSoto put together a list of Beatles' songs and an announcement of the challenge was made to the Playgroup. In just six months' time, the "Fiber Beatles Project" became Inspired by the Beatlesone hundred and fifty quilts inspired by the Beatles.

Over the years, DeSoto has come to trust Playgroup to rally and produce. What no one realized was how this idea would ‘go viral’ and spread from Fairfax, Virginia, to points north, south, east, and west. Friends encouraged friends, and all who wanted to participate were welcome. Along with the bounty of quilts born from this challenge came a special camaraderie; the Beatles Art Quilt Challenge linked them together while they busily planned and made the quilts. The Internet made it possible for those at a distance to make introductions, share ideas, and spread joy and enthusiasm.

The first Beatles songs claimed were some of the most popular tunes. An entire collection could have been gathered from quilts of just four songs: "Yellow Submarine," "Octopus's Garden," "Blackbird," and "The Long and Winding Road." The list of three hundred songs provided something for everyone.

The quilts featured in Inspired by the Beatles contain a wide variety of techniques, styles, and interpretations. The interests, background, and skills of the artists are as broad as the assortment of Beatles songs. Some participants worked with the song title while others examined the deeper meanings contained in the lyrics. Criteria for participation were not artistry or craftsmanship, although those can't be denied; instead, these are emotional responses of where the Beatles' music takes people.

However, Inspired by the Beatles isn't just about the quilts. Readers get to know the artists through both common and varied personal narratives describing the influence of music on their lives as fiber artists. Something remarkable DeSoto says she discovered in writing this book was how many of the artists sat, transfixed, on February 9, 1964. A record-setting seventy-three million people, over forty percent of every man, woman, and child living in America, tuned in to The Ed Sullivan Show that night – that was 45.3% of households with television sets in 23,240,000 American homes. These recollections are told on the pages of the book again and again, almost as a refrain.

Readers will enjoy this visual rendition of the era-defining music that is the Beatles. Just as participants in this fiber arts quilt challenge, inspired by the Beatles, used songs to provoke creativity, readers will likewise find inspiration in the words and art contained in Inspired by the Beatles. The book is a great resource for art quilters and music lovers and a wonderful keepsake for Beatles fans.

Literature & Fiction / Mystery

Deeper Than the Grave: A Tai Randolph Mystery by Tina Whittle (Tai Randolph Series: Poisoned Pen Press)

Deeper Than the Grave is the fourth in the Tai Randolph series by Tina Whittle. Whittle is a mystery writer living and working in the Georgia Low Country.

In Deeper Than the Grave, it’s taken almost a year, but Tai Randolph has her new life together. She’s running a semi-successful Atlanta gun shop catering to Civil War re-enactors. Her lover, the sexy-if-security-obsessed Trey Seaver, an ex-cop working for Phoenix Corporate Security, is sorting out his challenges. There’s not a single corpse on her horizon, and her previously haphazard existence is finally stable, secure… and unsurprising. Then a tornado blows by a Kennesaw Mountain cemetery, scattering the skeletal remains of a Confederate hero. Assisting the bones recovery effort is a job her late Uncle Dexter would have relished, as does Tai. Does she hit the jackpot on discovering a jumble of bones in the underbrush?

No. The bones reveal a more recent murder, with Uncle Dexter leading the suspect list.

The tornado has alighted instead on the tomb of Pvt. Braxton Amberdecker, the Confederate soldier whose remains were recovered and interred only two years ago, and scattered his bones all over the landscape. This is bad news for the current day Amberdeckers and especially the matriarch of the clan, Rose. The most cursory examination reveals telltale clues, like the presence of a NASCAR belt buckle, that the bones aren't Braxton's at all but those of Lucius Dufrene, a convicted thief who'd worked for Uncle Dexter and slept with Rose's daughter, Chelsea, who is engaged to a guy who knows nothing about the affair. A little bit of digging persuades Tai and Trey that the reason Lucius' bones ended up in Braxton's tomb has as much to do with Braxton as with Lucius.

To unearth the connection between the two corpses, Tai will have to tangle with Civil War re-enactors, relic traders from the Russian Mafia and a ring of thieves stealing laundry detergent. As Tai in Deeper Than the Grave struggles to clear Uncle Dexter’s name – and save the business he left her – she uncovers deadly secrets also buried in the red Georgia clay. And she realizes there’s a live murderer on the loose, a clever killer who has tried to conceal the crimes of the present in the stories of the past. As she risks her own life to unravel two mysteries – one from a previous century, one literally at her doorstep – Tai rediscovers her dangerous taste for murder and mayhem.

Smoldering, sinister, and consistently entertaining. – Hank Phillippi Ryan

… Tai's fourth connects murders past and present – not to mention the mystery and the hot-sheets romance – with gratifying conviction. – Kirkus Reviews

Earlier books in the Tai Randolph series include: The Dangerous Edge of Things, Darker Than Any Shadow, and Blood, Ash, and Bone.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

Sent Forth: African Missionary Work in the West by Harvey C. Kwiyani (American Society of Missiology Series, Vol. 51) Orbis Books)

In Sent Forth, an African missionary who has served in several Western countries addresses the reality of the need for and the growing presence of African-born missionaries in the West. Author Harvey Kwiyani shows that historically African Christianity has held a missionary in impulse since the days of the early Church, one that continued throughout history in many contexts including the United States. Kwiyani is pastor at St. Paul Vineyard Church in St. Paul. He has spent over ten years working both as a scholar and a practitioner in missions in Europe and North America, and holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Missions from Luther Seminary.

Kwiyani says he wrote Sent Forth while living and working in Saint Paul, a place that he has called home for the past six years. He came to Minnesota after an exciting seven-year journey working in Christian missions in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and England. However, his life journey started long ago in Malawi, Central Africa, where he was born in a small town called Namadzi, just two miles north of the once-famous village of Magomero. This is the Magomero that is permanently engraved in Malawian history as the place of the first Christian missionary work in the country, and possibly in the entire region of Central Africa, the place where the renowned Scottish missionary-explorer David Livingstone brought Bishop Charles McKenzie and the first Universities' Mission to Central Africa (UMCA) missionaries to Africa in 1861. He focuses on the African missionary movement, where descendants of the Africans who were converted by the nineteenth- and twentieth-century missionaries are now taking the gospel back to Europe and North America to convert those missionaries' descendants.

Kwiyani grew up listening to stories about local missionaries and colonial agents. The oral history that still informs most Africans taught him about the days when the missionaries who had come from Europe and North America had gone from village to village, preaching about a forgiving God who loved the world so much that God's own son had to die to save the world. Often, he says his grandparents would digress to tell them of the colonialists, but they were more interested in the missionaries.

He says he grew up with a romantic image of the missionary. Missionaries in his generation will be men and women from all parts of the world serving in any other part of the same. The implications of the worldwide spread of Christianity on Christianity itself and on the world as a whole will be manifest.

According to Kwiyani in Sent Forth, in this age of globalization and migration, especially in a world where migration trends are moving people in every direction imaginable, these contextual Christianities are coming into frequent contact with one another and with Western Christianity. As we go deeper into the century, we will see these world Christianities engage one another more and more often. For the first time in several centuries, Christianity is facing a significant amount of diversity within its own base: cultural, racial, and theological. Christian leaders in this century will have to work hard to help their followers process this diversity. Before the churches can effectively engage the cultural diversity of the world in which they are located, they have to negotiate the cultural diversity within Christianity itself.

In Sent Forth, Kwiyani explores one such encounter: that of African Christianity and Western Christianity in the West. There are many other Africans who share his story. In his conversations with African Christians in Germany, England, and the United States, he says he has heard countless times, "My great-grandfather was converted by the missionaries, and now Christianity runs in the family."

Long ago, when the Western missionary movement was just picking up in the early 1800s, missionaries looked forward to the day when Christians from the then-unevangelized lands would come to the West to reinvigorate Western Christianity. They called this ‘the blessed reflex.’ Fast-forward two hundred years, and we are witnessing the blessed reflex taking place, with many non-Western Christians now making up a significant percentage of the Christian population of the West.

Sent Forth discusses the African portion of the blessed reflex. Kwiyani believes that the movement of non-Western Christians to the West is inevitable. Many of them have migrated for a better living standard, but as they migrate, they bring their faith along. This is normal for the spread of Christianity or other religions. For many various reasons, thousands of non-Westerners will keep migrating to the West for the next few decades, and they will keep on bringing their religions with them.

Sent Forth initiates a conversation to encourage a multicultural missionary movement that will be able to proclaim the gospel in the culturally pluralistic Western context.

Harvey Kwiyani contributes a unique and valuable voice to the emerging conversation about African mission to the West as both a scholar and experienced African missionary in Europe and the U.S. This book brings to the forefront the migratory dimension of God's mission, the centrality of the Spirit, and the promises and complexities of migration and mission in a globalized world. – Dwight Zscheile, Luther Seminary

Harvey Kwiyani's work is at the new frontier of understanding what mission means today in light of the radically changing nature of world Christianity. He tells the new stories that are reshaping the ongoing pilgrimage of Christian witness—stories which he has not only researched, but has lived. If you wonder how God's mission is creatively moving ahead of us in the world, read this book. – Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, author, From Times Square to Timbuktu: The Post-Christian West Meets the Non-Western Church

Sent Forth has the potential to help people get over negative experiences and start down a path that leads to life-giving relationships and missional collaborations that will enable them to partner better in mission in the Western world in the twenty-first century.

Scholars, researchers, and students interested in understanding the current trends within contemporary missiology, in particular the presence and influence of African Christians and missionaries in Europe and North America, will find Sent Forth relevant to their work. It also speaks to pastors and congregational leaders who wish to understand how to work effectively with African immigrant Christians showing up in their cities and attending their churches. Finally, the book also speaks to African Christians who wish to understand the current Western mission field and how to be effective missionaries in the West.

Sociology / Literature & Fiction / Literary Criticism

Mysteries and Conspiracies: Detective Stories, Spy Novels and the Making of Modern Societies by Luc Boltanski, translated from the French by Catherine Porter (Polity Press)

The incredible pleasure and good humor of Boltanski's unfolding of the detective novel and the spy novel, genres wholly familiar to us revealed in entirely unfamiliar ways, is as much a wonder of artistic and readerly ingenuity, however, as it is a surprisingly convincing scientific strategy to capture a difficult social reality. – Mark Greif, Assistant Professor of Literary Studies at The New School, New York, from the preface

The detective story, focused on inquiries, and in its wake the spy novel, built around conspiracies, developed as genres in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During the same period, psychiatry was inventing paranoia, sociology was devising new forms of causality to explain the social lives of individuals and groups and political science was shifting the problematics of paranoia from the psychic to the social realm and seeking to explain historical events in terms of conspiracy theories. In each instance, social reality was cast into doubt. We owe the project of organizing and unifying this reality for a particular population and territory to the nation-state as it took shape at the end of the nineteenth century.
Thus the figure of conspiracy became the focal point for suspicions concerning the exercise of power. Where does power really lie, and who actually holds it? Crime fiction and spy fiction, paranoia and sociology – more or less concomitant inventions – had in common a new way of problematizing reality and of working through the contradictions inherit in it.
The adventures of the conflict between these two realities – superficial versus real – provide the framework for Mysteries and Conspiracies. Through an exploration of the work of the great masters of detective stories and spy novels – G.K. Chesterton, Arthur Conan Doyle, John Le Carré and Graham Greene among others – Luc Boltanski shows that these works of fiction and imagination tell us something fundamental about the nature of modern societies and the modern state. Boltanski is Professor of Sociology at the L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. The book is translated from the French by Catherine Porter.

As described in the preface, Mysteries and Conspiracies takes as its subject the thematics of mystery, conspiracy, and inquiry. It seeks to understand the prominent place these thematics have occupied in the representation of reality since the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

For Mysteries and Conspiraciesdevoted to the human and social sciences – Boltanski draws essential material from three fields in particular. First, psychiatry: at the dawn of the twentieth century, psychiatry invented a new nosological entity, paranoia, one of whose chief symptoms is the tendency to undertake interminable inquiries and prolong them to the point of delirium. Second, political science: this discipline has taken up the problematics of paranoia and displaced it from the psychic to the social level, looking on the one hand at conspiracies and on the other at the tendency to explain historical events in terms of `conspiracy theories' (chapter 5). Third, sociology: this discipline pays special attention to the problems it encounters when it seeks to equip itself with specific forms of `social' causality and to identify the individual or collective entities to which it can attribute the events that punctuate the lives of persons and groups or even the course of history.

The articulation among these seemingly disparate objects is established by positing the analytic framework. This framework seeks to pin down the social and political conjuncture in which, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the thematics of mystery and conspiracy became tropes destined to play a prominent role both in fiction and in the interpretation of historical events and the workings of society. It is to the nation-state as it developed in the late nineteenth century that we owe the project of organizing and unifying reality, or, as sociology puts it today, of constructing reality, for a given population on a given territory.

As for the thematics of conspiracy, it is the focal point for suspicions about the exercise of power. Where does power really lie, and who really holds it? State authorities, who are supposed to take charge of it, or other agencies, acting in the shadows: bankers, anarchists, secret societies, the ruling class...? A surface reality, apparent but probably illusory even though it has an official status, is countered by a deep, hidden, threatening reality, which is unofficial but much more real. The contingencies of the conflict between these two realities constitute the guiding thread of Mysteries and Conspiracies.

It is certainly possible to challenge an approach that consists in grasping the question of reality by relying at the outset on a documentary corpus made up of works intentionally presented as fictions. All the more so since, in the narratives at issue, it is conventional to leave a maximum of free play to the imagination for the explicit purpose of entertaining readers – that is, precisely in order to remove readers from the pressures and constraints of daily life and thus of reality. Nevertheless, crime novels and spy stories have arguably been the chief means for exposing to a broad public certain concerns that, precisely because they go to the heart of political arrangements and call into question the very contours of modernity, could not easily have been approached head on, outside of limited circles. According to this logic, it is precisely because uncertainties about what may be called the reality of reality are so crucial that they find themselves deflected towards the realm of the imaginary.

Crime novels and spy novels made a sudden appearance in English and French literature at the end of the nineteenth century and in the first half of the twentieth, and they spread very broadly with remarkable speed. Initially associated with so-called popular literature, these narrative forms, organized around the thematics of mystery, conspiracy and inquiry, were rapidly extended to more ambitious literature, which took over their predominant themes. But the appearance and rapid development of these genres are more than interesting phenomena within the history of western literature. Detective stories and tales of espionage, which have been proliferating continually since the early twentieth century, first in written form and then through films and television, are the most widespread narrative forms today on a planetary scale. Thus they play an unprecedented role in the representation of reality that is offered henceforth to all human beings, even illiterates, provided that they have access to modern media.

On the conceptual level, Boltanski says Mysteries and Conspiracies has given him an opportunity to deal with questions that he had carefully avoided earlier, questions that he not only was unable to answer but that he did not even know how to formulate. The first of these is the question of the state, which is probably the hardest for sociology to address, precisely owing to the foundational ties that link the apparatus of state power with this apparatus of knowledge. He also mentions the question of social causality, one that has been largely abandoned by contemporary sociology; the question of which entities are pertinent for sociological analysis; the question of relations of scale (micro- and macrosociology); and the question, finally, of the place that should be attributed to events in the descriptions proposed by the discipline of sociology.

An ambitious investigation of crime fiction and its relation to modern society – Times Higher Education
Most of us take for granted the idea that the social world has a front stage made of rules and norms and a backstage of “intrigues,” “invisible plots,” and “hidden intentions.” When did that sense of a reality behind the reality of things develop? In this enigmatic book, Boltanski tracks down this new construction of a paranoid reality through a highly original reading of detective and spy novels, in which he detects the emergence of a sense that a sense that the real reality of things is concealed and malevolent. This book is both singular and provocative and resembles no other work of sociology I have read. It is a mixture of sociology of literature, of meta-sociological theory, sociology of institutions, and, perhaps mostly, sociology of modernity. It will be a needed complement to the classic
The Social Construction of Reality. – Eva Illouz, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

With Mysteries and Conspiracies, Polity completes its admirable task of making the principal works of the sociologist Luc Boltanski available in English, making accessible to British and American readers one of the major bodies of post-Bourdieusian European social theory. In it, Boltanski confirms his admission to the fraternity of great literary sociologists and sociologists of literature. The book should appeal to readers who are not sociologists but practitioners of other disciplines (or even of no discipline at all). Using symbolic forms outside classic sociology or literary studies, he makes a unique contribution with this highly original work.

Science / Physics

In the Light of Science: Our Ancient Quest for Knowledge and the Measure of Modern Physics by Demetris Nicolaides (Prometheus Books)

The birth of science in ancient Greece had a historical impact that is still being felt today. Physicist Demetris Nicolaides in In the Light of Science examines the epochal shift in thinking that led pre-Socratic philosophers of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE to abandon the prevailing mythologies of the age and, for the first time, to analyze the natural world in terms of impersonal, rationally understood principles. He argues not only that their conceptual breakthroughs anticipated much of later science but that scientists of the twenty-first century are still grappling with the fundamental problems raised twenty-five hundred years ago. Nicolaides is an award-winning professor of physics at Bloomfield College and a member of the American Physical Society and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Looking at the vast sweep of human history, Nicolaides in In the Light of Science delves into the factors that led to the birth of science: urbanization, the role of religion, and in Greece a progressive intellectual curiosity that was unafraid to question tradition.
Why did the first scientific approach to understanding the world take place in Greece? The author makes a convincing case that, aside from factors of geography and politics, the power of the Greek language and a cultural proclivity for critical thinking played a large role.

In an attempt to discover the roots of science and understand the development of our scientific knowledge about nature as a series of logical progressions, In the Light of Science narrates a concise history of humans from the ‘beginning’ (from when Homo sapiens evolved two hundred thousand years ago), by investigating, in the light of science, subtle interconnections among the three most significant cultural landmarks of humanity: (1) the culturally explosive urbanization, ten thousand years ago, and the unavoidable birth of civilization gradually thereafter – phenomenal events that triggered a wealth of new pursuits including religion; (2) the intellectually revolutionary birth of science, 2,600 years ago, which broke the bonds of superstition; and (3) the scientifically extraordinary modern era of quantum physics, relativity, string theory, and ‘the God Particle’ – of mind-boggling science that contributed to a better understanding of the universe and skyrocketed progress in technology, although it also challenged society.

Nicolaides traces the intellectual continuity in human efforts to know nature by describing human life when it was primitive, outlining the pivotal transition in lifestyle from nomadic hunting-gathering to settled urban communities (i.e., to the birth of civilization), discussing the life-changing birth of religion and its influence on the eye-opening birth of science, as well as the intellectual evolution from mythology to science and its causes, thus offering humanity the first scientific theories, conceived during the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, analyzed from the context of modern science.

Overall, part I of In the Light of Science presents a brief history of humans with the goal of understanding the main events leading to the most critical transition in the evolution of human thought, the shift from mythology to science – from the mythological and apparent worldview of deceptive senses to the rational yet intangible worldview of inventive intellect. Contributing to this transition was the rise of the Greek civilization. About 2,600 years ago the ancient Greeks had a magnificent intellectual awakening. A profound transition in human thought took place that was a consequence of the realization by these Greeks that nature is comprehensible. A simple question emerged: what is the nature of nature? The prolific answers Greek thinkers offered ascribed purely naturalistic causes to all phenomena in nature and gave birth to science.

This part examines the birth of science and discusses why Greece may be considered its birthplace. Nicolaides argues that while the generally accepted conditions (those dealing with geography, economics, religion, and political structure) might have been necessary for the rise of Greek civilization and particularly for the birth of science, they were hardly sufficient. Thus a hypothesis is proposed: that these together with three other conditions – (1) the influence of the evolving ancient Greek language, (2) the force of intellectual habits, and (3) the intriguing ancient Greek idiosyncrasy – all had a critical role to play.

The factor of language has not been sufficiently appreciated, but neither has the unusual factor of intellectual habits, through which he explores how the phenomenon of natural selection from biological evolution has contributed to the birth and constant development of the scientific outlook at the expense of the mythological one. Moreover, the factor of Greek idiosyncrasy is often overlooked, but he believes that any effort to understand the rise of a civilization is probably incomplete without also an attempt to understand the idiosyncrasy of the people who caused such a rise.

In an effort to trace the beginnings of science, part II of In the Light of Science introduces the most important scientific theories of the most famous pre-Socratics, including Pythagoras and Democritus, and analyzes them within the context of modern physics, or science in general. They had ideas that were so phenomenal, fascinating, unique, strange, and daring that some actually anticipated various aspects of modern science that were well ahead of their time. And some of these ancient ideas, while defying common sense and apparent reality, have not yet been refuted – they remain still unsolved mysteries. These Greek theories are not as obsolete as is often assumed. Hence the intellectual trip of In the Light of Science exposes the most beautiful and mind-blowing laws of nature and shows that, despite the two-and-a-half-millennia time difference, ancient and modern science share a fundamental qualitative similarity more often than is usually thought, and they complement each other's scientific uniqueness.

Ancient rationales are used to reexamine and reassess some of the fundamental premises of current theories of physics. And while one of our basic questions is how ancient science measures up to modern physics, we may often find that the question can be reversed: how does modern physics measure up to ancient science?

If the Greek philosophers, i.e., Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, are correct and philosophy truly does begin in wonder, and if natural philosophy is the precursor to what we now know as science, then it makes perfect sense that the urge to ask questions and to seek answers is a critical part of the scientific state of mind and its rise from the darkness of superstition to the light of knowledge.

And again, the story of science told in In the Light of Science is based on the key question: What is the nature of nature? It's a deceptively simple question but one that has packed within it the many additional questions outlined above and many more besides. Two and a half millennia ago this fundamental question captivated the minds of the ancient Greeks and led them to strange but rational answers that demystified and demythologized nature and gave birth to science. From that time on, science has been influencing the world by guiding it out of the cave of ignorance and into the light of truth.

Knits together history, religion, science, and philosophy.... Readers looking for an informal introduction to the early history of science and its philosophical links to modem physics will find an accessible introduction here. – Publishers Weekly

An engaging crosswalk between key Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers' concepts of the natural world and current cutting-edge physics research.... This book's unusual approach to history, philosophy, and modern physics should be enjoyable to readers from high schoolers through adult. – Library Journal

A fascinating book for the nonspecialized reader interested in a broad and new interpretation of the history of science, as well as one who is curious about science itself.… All in all, a must-read book! – Klimis Ntalianis, PhD, assistant professor of engineering, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece
The author explores the human desire to understand the most fundamental of questions about the universe by narrating a succinct history of our species since its evolution 200,000 years ago and by taking an exciting new approach in the comparison of ancient Greek philosophy with the theories of modern physics. – Ivana Djuric, PhD, professor of physics, Passaic County Community College
The thing I find most interesting is the discussions of how modern physics builds on and thus coincides in many ways with the philosophic speculations of the ancient Greeks. – Dennis Organ, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of English, and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Harding University

In the Light of Science is a unique approach to the history of science revealing the important links between the ancient past and the present scientific endeavor to understand the universe. A readable and inspirational presentation.

Travel / Mediterranean

Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Ports, 3rd edition by Rick Steves (Avalon Travel)

Imagine yourself lazing on the deck of a floating city as you glide past the rooftops of Monaco, Venice, Mykonos, or Istanbul. Stepping off the gangway, you're immersed in the vivid life of a different European city each day. Tour some of the world's top museums, explore the ruins of an ancient metropolis, nurse a cap latte while you people-watch from a prime sidewalk cafe, or take a dip in the Aegean at a pebbly beach. After a busy day in port, you can head back to the same cozy bedroom each night, without ever having to pack a suitcase or catch a train. As the sun sets and the ship pulls out of port, you have your choice of dining options – from a tuxedos-and-evening-gowns affair to a poolside burger after a swim – followed by a world of nightlife. Plying the calm Mediterranean waters through the night, you wake up refreshed in a whole new city – ready to do it all again. – from the book

In this guide, Rick Steves focuses on some of the grandest sights in Europe. As always, he has a plan to help travelers have a meaningful cultural experience while they are there – even with just a few hours in port. Steves produces a public television series, a public radio show, and an app and podcast; writes a bestselling series of guidebooks and a nationally syndicated newspaper column; and organizes guided tours that take thousands of travelers to Europe annually.
In Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Ports readers will find one-day itineraries for sightseeing at or near the major Mediterranean ports of call, including:

  • Barcelona, Marseille, and the French Riviera
  • Florence, Rome, Naples, and Venice
  • Dubrovnik, Split, Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini
  • Istanbul and Ephesus

Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Ports explains how to get into town from the cruise terminal, shares sightseeing tips, and includes self-guided walks and tours. Travelers learn which destinations are best for an excursion – and which they can confidently visit on their own. They also get tips on booking a cruise, plus hints for saving time and money on the ship and in port.

Unlike most cruising guidebooks, which dote on details about this ship's restaurants or that ship's staterooms Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Ports focuses on the main attraction: some of the grandest cities in Europe. Even if they have just eight hours in port, readers can still ramble the colorful Ramblas of Barcelona, kick the pebbles that stuck in Julius Caesar's sandals at the Roman Forum, hike to the top of Athens' Acropolis, and hear the Muslim call to prayer warble across the rooftops from an Istanbul minaret.

Each of this book's destination chapters is designed as a mini-vacation of its own, with advice about what to do and detailed sightseeing information for each port.

Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Ports is divided into three parts: First, Steves suggests strategies for choosing which cruise to take, including a rundown of the major cruise lines, and explain the procedure for booking a cruise. Next, he gives a ‘Cruising 101’-type, travel-skills briefing, with advice about what travelers should know before they go, and strategies for making the most of their time both on and off the ship. And finally, the vast majority of this book is dedicated to the European ports they will visit, with complete plans for packing each day full of unforgettable experiences.

Readers can count on Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Ports to tell them what they really need to know when cruising the Mediterranean. Steves hasn't skimped on coverage of the sights, which is why it's a bricklike tome. In each port, readers get all the specifics and opinions necessary to wring the maximum value out of their limited time and money.

The book offers a balanced, comfortable mix of the predictable biggies and a healthy dose of ‘Back Door’ intimacy.

Travel / Sports & Entertainment / Outdoors & Nature

Powder: The Greatest Ski Runs on the Planet by Patrick Thorne, with a foreword by Axel Naglich (Quercus Publishing Plc)

… I grew up in Kitzbühel, Austria, right at the bottom of Hahnenkamm, and as a result I find it hard to look at snowy mountains without considering different – and often steep and scary – lines off those mountains.… I've never claimed to be the best extreme skier in the world, but I do think I have the most fun on skis of anybody I know.

Powder offers a glimpse into that world and guides you through the world's 50 most extreme – yet still accessible – runs for those readers who are accomplished enough skiers to attempt them. – Axel Nagtich, in the foreword

Long descents, big verts, challenging pistes and stunning scenery, Powder is a guide to the best and most feared ski runs on the planet. Along with classic runs in Chamonix, Whistler and Jackson Hole, Powder also takes armchair travelers to offbeat and exotic locations such as the Himalayas, the Atlas Mountains and the 2014 Olympic destination of Sochi in Russia – places notable not only for skiing and snowboarding, but also for their extraordinary scenery.

Contents include: Mount St Elias, Alaska; Whitehorn 2, Lake Louise, Canada; Inferno, Murren, Switzerland; Tortin, Verbier, Switzerland; Aiguille Rouge, Les Arcs, France; Klein Matterhorn Descent, Cervinia, Italy; Lyngen Peninsula, Norway; Sochi Olympic Downhill, Rosa Khutor, Russia; Mizuno no Sawa, Niseko, Japan; Everest, Mount Everest, Nepal; The Motatapu Chutes, Treble Cone, New Zealand; Fast One, Mount Buller, Australia; Mount Vinson, Antarctica.

Author Patrick 'Snowhunter' Thorne has been a writer most of his life. He worked as a journalist and editor before setting out on a quest to ski every skiable location on the planet. He went on to build the most extensive database of skiing destinations in the world, compiling more than 6,000 areas in 80 countries – a database that today lies behind many of the world's ski-related websites and literature.

Thorne's narrative explains why each run merits inclusion, detailing the infamous slopes that have become the stuff of legend. Each chapter includes a locator map and a fact file of vital statistics, rating the toughness and `fear factor', measuring the vertical drop from start to finish and revealing the fastest time in which the run has been completed.

According to Thorne in Powder, a near-vertical drop or a gentle cruise, virgin powder or well groomed, long and sustained or fast and furious – everyone has their own idea of what makes the best ski run for them. In any après-ski bar the world over, one hears the same debate: `Which are the best ski runs in the world?'

This is, of course, a never-ending discussion and opinions vary. With more than 5,000 ski resorts in 80 countries worldwide, and many more virgin slopes to hike up or perhaps take a helicopter to, no one would ever have the chance to ski them all to make a judgment anyway.

But there are some runs that just keep coming up in that après-ski bar conversation – descents that have become the stuff of legend, runs that appear on any skier or snowboarder's bucket list. The names of many of these runs – the Vallée Blanche, the Hahnenkamm – are well known, sometimes for their magnificent isolation or spectacular views as much as their skiing satisfaction; more often we recognize the names of resorts that are known to include great runs, but not the runs themselves. Whistler and Niseko are well known, for instance, but their most exciting runs are largely not. Then there are certain select runs in remote locations around the world, known only to a lucky few who would certainly count them among their personal favorites.

Some of these descents have now been skied for more than a century and people ski or board down them in the tracks of some of the most famous names in skiing history. Others are new, first skied in only the past year or two. But in all these cases, often little is really known of the runs themselves, beyond their names.

Powder is the ultimate bucket list for snowsports enthusiasts, challenging beginners and experts alike to take on the most breathtaking runs the world has to offer. It is the most up-to-date, comprehensive and stylish tribute to the planet's greatest ski runs. Ideal for both armchair aficionados and seasoned skiers alike, and with over 250 breathtaking photographs, Powder is the definitive guide to the most spectacular and most extreme skiing destinations on the planet. Whether readers are serious off-piste skiers or novices with alpine ambitions, this visually stunning guide will undoubtedly inspire their inner winter Olympian.


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