We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

October 2015, Issue #198

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Last Words, Audio CD, 12 CDs, unabridged, Running Time: 14.5 hours by Michael Koryta (Hachette Audio, Blackstone Audio)

Last Words, Hardcover by Michael Koryta (Little, Brown & Company)

The Lufthansa Heist: Behind the Six-million Dollar Cash Haul That Shook the World – MP3 CD, Unabridged, 2 MP3-CDs, running time: 13 hours by Henry Hill & Daniel Simone, read by Joe Barrett (Tantor Media)

The Lufthansa Heist: Behind the Six-Million-Dollar Cash Haul That Shook the World – Hardcover by Henry Hill & Daniel Simone (Lyons Press)

Stories of the Civil Rights Movement

Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington – Library Binding by Stephanie Watson (Stories of the Civil Rights Movement Series: Core Library, ABDO Publishing)

Nonviolent Resistance in the Civil Rights Movement – Library Binding by Gail Terp (Stories of the Civil Rights Movement Series: Core Library, ABDO Publishing)

Michael & Maria by Shannon Layne (He Said, She Said Series: Epic Press)

Shawn & Rachel by Shannon Layne (He Said, She Said Series: Epic Press)

The Second Crusade: Holy War on the Periphery of Latin Christendom edited by Jason T. Roche & Janus Møller Jensen (Outremer: Studies in the Crusades and the Latin East Series, Vol. 2: Brepols Publishers)

Butterfly Origami by Roman Diaz, illustrated by Marcio Noguchi, with text by Linda Falken (Origami Books Series: Thunder Bay Press)

Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde edited by Elina Druker & Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (Children's Literature, Culture, and Cognition Series, No 5, John Benjamins Publishing Company)

Never Look Down: A Cal Claxton Oregon Mystery by Warren Easley (Cal Claxton Mysteries Series: Poisoned Pen Press)

Black-Eyed Susans: A Novel of Suspense by Julia Heaberlin (Ballantine Books)

Brides of War by June Tate (Allison & Busby)

Art and Imagination: A Study in the Philosophy of Mind, 1st edition by Roger Scruton (St. Augustine’s Press)

Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity: Jorge J. E. Gracia and His Critics edited by Iván Jaksić (Columbia University Press)

Terrorists at the Table: Why Negotiating is the Only Way to Peace by Jonathan Powell (Palgrave MacMillan, St. Martin’s Press)

Biologic Knee Reconstruction: A Surgeon's Guide, 1st edition by Dr. Brian Cole MD & Joshua Harris MD (Slack Incorporated)

Building on the Foundations of Evangelical Theology: Essays in Honor of John S. Feinberg edited by Gregg R. Allison & Stephen J. Wellum (Crossway)

The Secret of Chabad: Inside the world’s most successful Jewish movement by David Eliezrie (The Toby Press)

The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision by Kevin J. Vanhoozer & Owen Strachan (Baker Academic)

Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions, reprint edition by John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney & Howard Faiffa (Harvard Business Review Press)

The Sexy Science of the Big Bang Theory: Essays on Gender in the Series edited by Nadine Farghaly & Eden Leone (McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers)

Latinos in the United States: Diversity and Change, 1st edition by Rogelio Sáenz & Maria Cristina Morales (Polity Press)


Audio / Literature & Fiction / Thriller

Last Words, Audio CD, 12 CDs, unabridged, Running Time: 14.5 hours by Michael Koryta (Hachette Audio, Blackstone Audio)

Last Words, Hardcover by Michael Koryta (Little, Brown & Company)

In Last Words Markus Novak just wants to come home. An investigator for a Florida-based Death Row defense firm, Novak's life derailed when his wife, Lauren, was killed in the midst of a case the two were working together. Two years later, her murderer is still at large, and Novak's attempts to learn the truth about her death through less-than-legal means and jailhouse bargaining have put his job on the line. Now he's been all but banished, sent to Garrison, Indiana to assess a cold case that he's certain his boss has no intention of taking.

Still mourning the death of his wife, Novak in Last Words accepts a case that may be his undoing. On the same day his wife died, the body of a teenage girl was pulled from the extensive and perilous cave system beneath Southern Indiana. Now the man who rescued the girl, who was believed to be her killer, begs Novak to uncover what really happened. Garrison is much like any place in America, proud and fortified against outsiders. For Mark to delve beneath the town's surface, he must match wits with the man who knows the caverns better than anyone: a man who seemed to have lost his mind – a man who seems to know Novak all too well.

Author Michael Koryta's novels have won the LA Times Book Prize and the Great Lakes Book Award and been nominated for the Edgar, Shamus, Quill and Barry awards. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, he published his first novel at the age of twenty-one.

In Last Words as Novak knows all too well, some crimes never do get solved. But it's not often that the man who many believe got away with murder is the one calling for the case to be reopened. But what's he really up to? And Novak knows why he's so unhappy to be in Garrison – but why are the locals so hostile towards him? The answers lie in the fiendish brain of a dangerous man, the real identity of a mysterious woman, and deep beneath them all, in the network of ancient, stony passages that hold secrets deadlier than he can imagine. Soon Novak is made painfully aware that if he has any chance of returning to the life and career he left behind in Florida, he'll need to find the truth in Garrison first.

You can't put this baby down. – Stephen King
An inventive storyteller who's also a skilled stylist, he's constantly experimenting, which explains why his private eye novel
Last Words doesn't read like one... even on a literal level, Koryta's descriptions of that unknown realm beneath the one we know – with places like the Chapel Room and Maiden Creek and Greenglass River – possess an unearthly beauty. You almost begin to believe... that it's all one big cave down there, with endless interconnected rooms stretching into infinity. – Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
This moving series launch from bestseller Koryta (
Those Who Wish Me Dead) illustrates why he's among today's top thriller writers. Koryta sensitively portrays regret and grief while plunging the reader into exciting, claustrophobic scenes deep inside the massive cave. – Publishers Weekly, starred

Outstanding launch of a new series. Koryta punctuates the intense underground scenes of Last Words with claustrophobia so realistic that it's palpable. He wrings every moment of excitement possible. – Associated Press
Koryta knows what he's talking about. The last page of
Last Words hints at the plot of Koryta's next novel, and I say bring it on. – The Washington Post
Last Words might not make you eager to go underground yourself, but it will make you avid to keep turning the pages.... a promising series kickoff; just be sure to read it in daylight. – Tampa Bay Times
Koryta is a master of plot. –
Bob Cunningham, Toledo Blade
With each book, the talents of New York Times best-selling author Koryta
(The Prophet) just get better. – Library Journal, starred

Koryta continues to expand his subtle, dark horizons with each new release. His latest novel, Last Words, introduces a memorable protagonist who finds himself in a deceptively quiet setting that harbors secrets stretching a decade or more into the past. The result is one of Koryta’s most complex, intense, and possibly best books to date.

Audio / True Crime / Mafia

The Lufthansa Heist: Behind the Six-million Dollar Cash Haul That Shook the World – MP3 CD, Unabridged, 2 MP3-CDs, running time: 13 hours by Henry Hill & Daniel Simone, read by Joe Barrett (Tantor Media)

The Lufthansa Heist: Behind the Six-Million-Dollar Cash Haul That Shook the World – Hardcover by Henry Hill & Daniel Simone (Lyons Press)

On December 11th, 1978, a daring armed robbery rocked Kennedy Airport, resulting in the largest un-recovered cash haul in world history – totaling six million dollars. The perpetrators were never apprehended and thirteen people connected to the crime were murdered in homicides that, like the crime itself, remain unsolved to this day. The burglary has fascinated the public for years, dominating headlines around the globe due to the story’s unending ravel of mysteries that baffled the authorities, it being the subject of two different TV movies and a centerpiece of Martin Scorsese’s iconic gangster film Goodfellas.

The Lufthansa Heist is the inside story – from the organizer himself. This full account brings readers behind the heist that has baffled law enforcement for decades. One of the organizers of the sensational burglary, Henry Hill, who passed away in 2012, in collaboration with Daniel Simone, has penned The Lufthansa Heist, an unprecedented ‘tell-all’ about the robbery with never-before-unveiled details, particulars only known to an insider.

In 2013, this infamous criminal act again flared up in the national news when five reputed gangsters were charged in connection with the robbery. This latest twist lends the project an extraordinary sense of timing, and the legal proceedings of the newly arrested suspects unfold over the next eighteen months, continuing to keep the Lufthansa topic in the news.

Hill entered the Federal Witness Protection Program in 1980 and assisted the government in building cases against forty-six top Mafia associates. He collaborated with author Nick Pileggi on the book Wiseguy, which became a New York Times bestseller. Co-author Daniel Simone is a writer who has co-written autobiographies and published numerous shorter pieces on prominent figures in film, theater, and fiction.
The audio version is read by Joe Barrett, who has been a working stage, screen, and recording booth actor since 1974 and an eight-time Audie Award nominated audiobook narrator since 1999.

Children’s Books / Grades 3-6 / History

Stories of the Civil Rights Movement is an eight volume set. This compelling series from Core Library highlights some of the key events and aspects of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Each title breaks down a significant aspect of the civil rights movement, including historical context, what happened, who was involved, and its impact on the civil rights movement as a whole.

From sit-ins in whites-only diners to the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous speech, the American civil rights movement is filled with stories of brave activists who proudly stood up to racial inequality. Stories of the Civil Rights Movement takes readers into the decisive moments of the 1950s and 1960s by introducing readers to the major issues, key players, strategies, and triumphs big and small.

The series is aligned to Common Core Standards. Core Library supports the Common Core State Standards for grades 3-6 with line of nonfiction books. It features:

  • A wide variety of high-interest topics.
  • Well-researched, clearly written informational text.
  • Primary sources with accompanying questions.
  • Multiple prompts and activities for writing, reading, and critical thinking.
  • Charts, graphs, diagrams, timelines, and maps.

Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington – Library Binding by Stephanie Watson (Stories of the Civil Rights Movement Series: Core Library, ABDO Publishing)

Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington informs readers about Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington, the organizers, the march's purpose, and King's famous speech, "I Have a Dream." Vivid details and primary sources bring this story to life.

Nonviolent Resistance in the Civil Rights Movement – Library Binding by Gail Terp (Stories of the Civil Rights Movement Series: Core Library, ABDO Publishing)

Nonviolent Resistance in the Civil Rights Movement informs readers about nonviolent resistance during the civil rights movement. The title discusses Martin Luther King Jr., who helped organize nonviolent protests, as well as others involved, and the types of nonviolent protests – like sit-ins. Well-chosen photographs and primary sources bring this story to life.

Other titles in this series include:

  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
  • Freedom Summer 1964
  • James Meredith and the University of Mississippi
  • The Little Rock Nine
  • The Passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Children’s Books / Grades 9-12 / Relationships

He Said, She Said is a six-book series from EPIC Press. This series contains explicit content.

Love is in the air for twelve strangers who meet by chance as summer begins. Written from 'his and her' perspectives, the He Said, She Said series contains 6 volumes exploring young love from both a male and female point of view. Whether on a Montana ranch or the sandy beaches of Southern California, the way ‘he and she’ think, feel and experience love can be as different as the stars in the sky.

Michael & Maria by Shannon Layne (He Said, She Said Series: Epic Press)

In Michael & Maria Michael is spending another summer in Montana, hired help at his uncle’s ranch, dreaming of a different life. Maria is a national champion rider from Los Angeles, thrilled to be spending her last summer before college at the Montana ranch with her horse, Moonshine. Sparks fly from the moment Michael and Maria see each other. Can they withstand the storm, or will their love fade with the ending of summer?

A summerlong relationship between an unlikely couple will have readers on the edge of their seats to see if their love can withstand their differences, including family drama and looming college decisions.… Teens will get swept up in the narrators' whirlwind summer romance. While the novel may seem like a typical teen love story line that lacks substance, it has added depth, integrating issues of mental health, death, and single parenthood. The book includes a touching sex scene. This stand-alone title is the first (of six) that … share the "He said, She said" format. They do not have to be read in any specific order. Fans of Sarah Dessen's Along for the Ride (Viking, 2009) will appreciate this love story. VERDICT A good choice for fans of happy endings. – Morgan O'Reilly, Riverdale Country School, NY

Shawn & Rachel by Shannon Layne (He Said, She Said Series: Epic Press)

In Shawn & Rachel Shawn returns to beautiful Saranac Lake as a camp counselor – missing the comfort of his little brother's footsteps behind him. Rachel is a city girl in every sense, but she arrives at camp ready to become someone new. Shawn and Rachel meet on the lakeshore and fall headfirst into something neither is prepared for. Meanwhile, a secret lies beneath the surface. Will these two lovers find common ground in the eye of the storm?
Other titles in the series include:

·        Jacob & Lily

·        Jesse & Savannah

·        Tom & Alice

·        Tristan & Emma

History / Christianity / Crusades

The Second Crusade: Holy War on the Periphery of Latin Christendom edited by Jason T. Roche & Janus Møller Jensen (Outremer: Studies in the Crusades and the Latin East Series, Vol. 2: Brepols Publishers)

A seminal article published by Giles Constable in 1953 focused on the genesis and expansion in scope of the Second Crusade with particular attention to what has become known as the Syrian campaign. His central thesis maintained that by the spring of 1147 the Church ‘viewed and planned’ the Second Crusade as a general Christian offensive against the Muslims of Syria and the Iberian Peninsula and the pagan Wends of the southern Baltic lands. Constable's work remains extremely influential and provides the framework for the recent major works published on this extraordinary twelfth-century phenomenon. The Second Crusade aims to readdress scholarly predilections for concentrating on the venture in the Near East and for narrowly focusing on the accepted targets of the crusade. It instead places established, contentious, and new events and concepts associated with the enterprise in a wider ideological, chronological, geopolitical, and geographical context.

The editors are Jason T. Roche, a Lecturer in Medieval History at Manchester Metropolitan University and Janus Møller Jensen, head of department at Nyborg Castle, Museums of Eastern Funen, Denmark. The book has 11 contributors including the editors.

The recent accumulation of major works on the Second Crusade has thrown a great deal of light on the complex character of this remarkable mid-twelfth-century endeavor. Nonetheless, the inclination to focus on the origins of the well-known expeditions and on the crusade in the Levant has tended to obscure the impact of the various campaigns on the societies they encountered and on the peripheral regions which might have been affected by preaching for the Second Crusade. The Second Crusade readdresses this relative neglect.

The introduction offers an abridged narrative of the scope of the Second Crusade and introduces the major debates associated with the venture. All the contributions to the The Second Crusade are introduced within this framework and their place in the current historiography is highlighted. While serving as a concise introduction to the multifaceted nature of the crusade and, for the first time, drawing attention to the main debates associated with it, this approach also underscores the editors' reasoning for the need for a further collection of articles on this extraordinary phenomenon.

Home & Garden / Arts & Crafts / Origami

Butterfly Origami by Roman Diaz, illustrated by Marcio Noguchi, with text by Linda Falken (Origami Books Series: Thunder Bay Press)

Butterfly Origami includes information about 20 varieties of butterflies and moths found throughout the world. Readers learn about their developmental stages and feeding patterns.

Fresh out of their chrysalis state, the beautiful origami butterflies in Butterfly Origami will add color to any space, or can be used as a special touch on gift packages. The kit includes a book showing readers how to make the folds and 200 sheets of specially designed paper.

Twenty widely recognized species flutter into existence when readers follow the detailed, illustrated instructions. Specially designed paper makes these beauties realistic. Field guide information introduces the most popular types among enthusiasts, including monarchs, swallowtails, blue morphos, and painted ladies. Readers fold their way to a conservatory of delicate beauty.

Other books in the series include:

  • Bird Origami by Seth Friedman
  • Origami Aircraft by Seth Friedman
  • Origami Chess: Cats vs. Dogs by Roman Diaz
  • Flower Origami by Joost Langeveld
  • Noah’s Ark Origami by Seth Friedman

Author Roman Diaz has been practicing origami for nearly 20 years. During this time he has become a well-known origami designer worldwide and has been invited as special guest and lecturer to origami conventions in Spain, France, Argentina, Italy, Germany, Colombia, Chile, Canada, Brazil, England, USA, and Japan. Diaz is a veterinary surgeon working with dogs and cats and pursues his passion for paper folding as a part-time origami artist in his hometown of Montevideo, Uruguay.

Literature & Criticism / Children’s Literature / Art History

Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde edited by Elina Druker & Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (Children's Literature, Culture, and Cognition Series, No 5, John Benjamins Publishing Company)

Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde is the first study that investigates the intricate influence of the avant-garde movements on children’s literature in different countries from the beginning of the 20th century until the present. Examining a wide range of children’s books from Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, the UK, and the US, the individual chapters explore the historical as well as the cultural and political aspects that determine the exceptional character of avant-garde children’s books. Drawing on studies in children’s literature research, art history, and cultural studies, this volume provides insights into the close relationships between avant-garde children’s literature, images of childhood, and contemporary ideas of education. Addressing topics such as the impact of exhibitions, the significance of the Bauhaus, and the influence of poster art and graphic design, Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde illustrates the broad range of issues associated with avant-garde children’s books. More than 60 full-color illustrations demonstrate the impressive variety of design in avant-garde picturebooks and children’s books.

Editors of the volume are Elina Druker, Stockholm University and Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer, University of Tübingen. The book is part of the series, Children's Literature, Culture, and Cognition (CLCC), whose overarching aim is to promote new theoretical approaches in the realm of children's literature research and to emphasize a non-Anglo-American focus, bringing in exciting research from other areas.

According to the introduction to Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde, the notion of avant-garde, initially used as a term to designate progressive and politically engaged art and literature, first became established in France at the end of the nineteenth century, then also in other Romance languages, such as Spanish and Italian, and subsequently in other European countries. Originally attributed to concepts of historical progress and social revolution, the term avant-garde has been transferred to history of art and literary studies and is used to describe those intellectuals, authors, publishers, artists, and groups of artists who, through experimental and radical reformation, aim to push the boundaries of what is accepted as a norm.

Conceptualized as a counter-project to traditional and bourgeois culture and art, the avant-garde encompasses various art movements of the twentieth century, such as Constructivism, Expressionism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Neue Sachlichkeit (New Realism), De Stijl, and Pop Art. These art movements not only left their marks in the arts and literature, but also impacted on mainstream culture and, in the long run, on children's literature.

What distinguishes avant-garde movements is the general belief in the historical progress of art, which in a next step leads to the questioning of the conceptualization of art as a unified organic work. Consequently, avant-garde artists turned towards the material aspects of art and strived toward merging disparate materials, which gave rise to collage and montage, but also to the creation of so-called ‘ready mades’ and ‘objets trouves’.

The theoretical discussion on the definition and function of the avant-garde is still ongoing and the existing studies are far from exhaustive. Within the realm of children's literature the question of what constitutes an avant-garde work is possibly even more complex than within avant-garde studies in general. Children's books that are considered cutting-edge and revolutionary in one regional, cultural, and ideological context may seem diluted and overdone in another environment.

According to Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde, avant-garde ideas about children's literature often reflect a general desire to break free from artistic boundaries and labels, but also from previous norms in children's literature and traditional constructions of childhood. How, then, does the idea of the avant-garde apply to children's literature?

What is especially lacking is a study that shows how these mutual influences not only touch upon single authors and illustrators, but also cross national borders in a multifaceted way. It is uncontested that avant-garde works for children paved the way for the modernization of children's literature starting at the beginning of the twentieth century. They introduced new aesthetic and narrative concepts into children's books and can therefore be considered milestones in the history of European and even non-European children's literature.

Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde arises from an international conference "Children's Literature and European Avant-Garde", which took place at the University of Norrkoping, Sweden, in September 2012. The eleven chapters in this volume discuss the mutual impact of avant-garde movements, ranging from Art Nouveau, Expressionism, and Constructivism to Surrealism and Pop Art, on the development of children's literature in different European countries, but also touch upon the impact of European avant-garde on North American children's literature.
Since very little has previously been written on children's literature and the avant-garde, a great deal of previously unknown material, hidden in archives and libraries and for a long time forgotten, has been discovered as a result of the work for Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde. A particularly striking result of the chapters presented in this study is the finding that the development of avant-garde children's books goes hand in hand with a broader awareness of contemporary political, cultural, and social issues, leading to revisions of traditional concepts of childhood.

The contributions cover multifaceted aspects of the relationship between children's literature and European avant-garde. What is manifested in these children's books is a general idea of progression and change – change in norms and mindsets, and changes that can be traced to movements within arts, education, social systems, and ideologies. Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde demonstrates that even when not recognized or labeled as such by their contemporaries, the various avant-garde movements within children's literature have been fundamental for the modernization of children's literature. Hence the book can be considered as a first step towards the investigation of the complex and mutual influences of avant-garde movements on children's literature in different countries, thus presenting an outstanding opportunity to discuss recent research on this topic from a number of theoretical and historical points of view. The volume is divided into three sections, each focusing on different historical and theoretical aspects of the avant-garde in children's literature. The chapters are chronologically arranged, encompassing more than a century from the end of the nineteenth century up to the beginning of the millennium.

The first four chapters examine the close connection between topical nineteenth-century views on childhood and their impact on art and the rise of avant-garde children's literature in the twentieth century. In her chapter, Marilynn Olson shows that the art critic and social reformer John Ruskin paved the way for the intersection of children's literature with future avant-garde movements, which are mostly built on the child's pristine attachment to art. This aspect is of utmost importance for the changed attitude of avant-garde artists towards children, since children's art and the child's perception of the world influenced their own art works as well as their efforts to collaborate with children.

The chapters by Elina Druker and Samuel Albert treat the development of vanguard tendencies in the artwork of two prominent artists of the first half of the twentieth century, namely Einar Nerman from Sweden and Sandor Bortnyik from Hungary, both of whose children's books are influenced by commercial graphic and poster design.

Kimberley Reynolds focuses on the relationship between historiography and avant-garde by discussing the reasons for the non-consideration of British avant-garde children's books in British histories of children's literature. This chapter shows that only a broad approach that combines cultural history, literary history, and book history is able to investigate the intense discussion on the role of children's books within a national discourse. The result is a specifically British variation of the avant-garde, which is described as a `conservative' or `romantic' Modernism. The four chapters of the second section of Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde focus on the overarching impact of the Russian avant-garde on Russian, Dutch, Danish, and US-American children's books from the 1920s until the end of the 1940s. Sara Pankenier Weld juxtaposes the infantile art of the avant-garde with avant-garde works that actually involve an infantile audience by relating works by Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitzky, and Vladimir Lebedev to children's drawings, perception, and cognition.

Albert Lemmens and Serge-Aljosja Stommels have reconstructed an exhibition of early Soviet picturebooks that was on show in Amsterdam in 1929 by thoroughly studying the Amsterdam exhibition catalogue, the children's book catalogues of the Soviet publishers, and contemporary reviews in Dutch journals. While the exhibition in Amsterdam resulted in the translation of several Soviet picturebooks into Dutch and the encouragement of Dutch picturebook artists to engage with the Russian avant-garde, Nina Christensen explores the impact of Russian picturebooks that were displayed in Copenhagen in 1932 on the aesthetics and the childhood images expressed in Danish picturebooks published in the 1930s and 1940s.

Evgeny Steiner focuses on the creative artworks and educational programs of Soviet avant-garde artists and of modernist leftist artists and progressive educators in Western Europe and the US in the 1920s and 1930s.

The last three chapters study the afterlife of early twentieth-century avant-garde movements in post-war children's literature in several West European countries and the US, showing how the respective artists and writers have relied on prewar and interwar avant-garde experiments. Sandra Beckett's chapter spans the period from the 1920s into the twenty-first century, showing the lasting influence of different avant-garde movements, such as Constructivism, Surrealism, and Pop Art, on French children's literature.

Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer investigates Pop Art picturebooks from seemingly disparate countries, such as Finland, France, Germany, the UK, and the US. While Beckett in her chapter focuses on the French branch of Harlin Quist, Kümmerling-Meibauer concentrates on the situation in the US, where Harlin Quist first established his publishing house. The last chapter, by Philip Nel, turns towards contemporary picturebooks that attempt to explain Surrealism to younger readers as well as children's books that deploy avant-garde strategies. By pointing out the ways in which avant-garde children's literature is both theoretically dubious and a politically empowering genre, Nel asserts that the seminal idea propagated by avant-garde artists of disrupting the perceptual habits reveals a paradoxical approach, since children's perception and world knowledge is usually not fully developed.

Nel's chapter closes the circle of argumentation on the close relationship between avant-garde art, childhood images, and children's literature, thus drawing a line from the late nineteenth century until the present. Consequently, the compositional principle of Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde expresses the ongoing attractiveness of the avant-garde within children's literature and how different avant-garde movements have clearly contributed to the critical scrutiny of traditional concepts of childhood and art for children. Moreover, the volume also demonstrates that a comparative approach towards the study of the mutual relationship between children's literature and the avant-garde is a fruitful undertaking.

This tremendous collection spotlights the generative relationship between avant-garde practices and children's books. Elina Druker and Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer gather a cohort of scholars to explore the historical avant-garde – its emergence and its aftermath, its playfulness and propaganda, its ambiguities and provocations, its sophistication and calculated naiveté – through international artists' deliberate focus on childhood perception and imagination. – Nathalie op de Beeck, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde luminously shows how avant-garde artists rely on self-proclaimed manifestoes and herald the reorganisation of the literary and artistic fields of children's literature. Such forward approach thus succeeds in conveying innovative matters of perception, a rebellion against a rigid set of conventions, which constitutes a major challenge to creation in the international field, as this set of brilliant essays suggests. –Jean Perrot, Paris University

Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde fills a gap in children's literature
research that has often been bemoaned, but had not previously been tackled. This investigation of the subject opens up new insights into the interrelation between literature for children and avant-garde art. Since modern children's literature in many European and even non-European countries has demonstrably been influenced by avant-garde arts during different time periods, this volume reveals a timeless approach which broadens our knowledge of the historical and theoretical context of children's literature, and will hopefully stimulate further research on this complex and exciting issue.

Literature & Fiction / Mystery / Thriller

Never Look Down: A Cal Claxton Oregon Mystery by Warren Easley (Cal Claxton Mysteries Series: Poisoned Pen Press)

Never Look Down is part of the Cal Claxton Mystery series, with the first book in the series being Matters of Doubt and the second, Dead Float. Award-winning author of the series, Warren C. Easley, lives in Oregon where he writes fiction and tutors GED students.

In Never Look Down former prosecutor Cal Claxton left Los Angeles for the wine country of Oregon. He defends people living on the streets in Portland. In his first case in private practice in Oregon, Cal came to the aid of a tagger (graffiti artist) calling himself Picasso, a Banksy*-like figure in Portland. Dividing his time between a wine-country town and the city, the ex-L.A. prosecutor in Never Look Down now encounters another urban teen at risk, Kelly Spence, also a tagger. Using climbing skills learned from her much-loved deceased father, a mountaineer, Kelly places angry tags in visible, hard-to-reach places. A runaway from an abusive foster home and alternative high school student, she lives with her father’s former girl friend.

Kelly is four stories up at 3:00 one morning when she looks down and witnesses the brutal murder of a woman in the parking lot below. Unluckily the killer spies her, but Kelly escapes. The police soon seek her as a witness. Desperate to stay anonymous, she seeks help from someone on the street she trusts. Too soon she finds his mutilated body and becomes even more afraid. Cal is drawn into the case by his volatile Cuban friend and landlord who is devastated by the murder – Hernando Mendez. Nando needs Cal’s help to figure out who would want to kill Claudia Borrego. Her ex is the obvious suspect, but Cal’s instincts lead him in a different direction where he runs into Kelly. Can he get her to talk, or will the killer find her first?

In Never Look Down, Kelly is on the run and Cal is the only person who can help her. Shenanigans by the feds complicate Cal’s case.

VERDICT Lawyer Cal is an appealing knight in rusty armor, seeking justice for the most vulnerable. His latest case (after Dead Float) is complicated but holds the reader’s interest. Easley exquisitely captures Portland’s flavor, and his portrayal of street life is spot-on. Readers of John Hart and Kate Wilhelm will delight in trying a new author. – Library Journal

If you haven't read Warren Easley, you should. Right now. In Never Look Down, the prose is smooth; the characters are nuanced, and the story resonates. – Mike Lawson, award-winning author of the DeMarco Series

Never Look Down is an impeccably crafted novel that hits every note. Memorable characters, a unique plot, and a wonderful sense of place. By all means, get this book and settle in for a great read. – Philip Donlay, acclaimed author of the Donovan Nash series  

* For those who don’t know, ‘Banksy’ is a British graffiti artist who may or may not have been in Portland.

Never Look Down nails Portland.

Literature & Fiction / Thriller / Psychological

Black-Eyed Susans: A Novel of Suspense by Julia Heaberlin (Ballantine Books)

I am the star of screaming headlines and campfire ghost stories. I am one of the four Black-Eyed Susans. The lucky one. – from the book

For fans of Laura Lippman and Gillian Flynn comes an electrifying novel of psychological suspense.
Not only does this publication mark Julia Heaberlin's hardcover debut, but foreign rights have already sold in five territories, including the UK in a major preempt and in France at auction. With excitement at an all-time high, Black-Eyed Susans spotlights Heaberlin's literary talent, making it this summer's must-read thriller.

As a sixteen-year-old, Tessa Cartwright in Black-Eyed Susans was found in a Texas field, barely alive amid a scattering of bones, with only fragments of memory as to how she got there. Ever since, the press has pursued her as the lone surviving ‘Black-Eyed Susan,’ the nickname given to the murder victims because of the yellow carpet of wildflowers that flourished above their shared grave. Tessa’s testimony about those tragic hours put a man on death row.
Now, almost two decades later, Tessa is an artist and single mother. In the desolate cold of February, she is shocked to discover a freshly planted patch of black-eyed Susans – a summertime bloom – just outside her bedroom window. Terrified at the implications – that she sent the wrong man to prison and the real killer remains at large – Tessa turns to the lawyers working to exonerate the man awaiting execution. But the flowers alone are not proof enough, and the forensic investigation of the still-unidentified bones is progressing too slowly. An innocent life hangs in the balance. The legal team appeals to Tessa to undergo hypnosis to retrieve lost memories – and to share the drawings she produced as part of an experimental therapy shortly after her rescue.
What they don’t know is that Tessa and the scared, fragile girl she was have built a fortress of secrets. As the clock ticks toward the execution, Tessa fears for her sanity, but even more for the safety of her teenaged daughter. Is a serial killer still roaming free, taunting Tessa with a trail of clues? She has no choice but to confront old ghosts and lingering nightmares to finally discover what really happened that night.

Through alternating chapters of past and present-day, readers come to intimately know – and doubt – Tessa Cartwright, the sole survivor of a serial killer's vicious attacks in Texas. Convinced the murderer is back to finish what he started nearly 20 years earlier, Tessa is on the dangerous hunt for the truth before time runs out in Black-Eyed Susans.

Do not start this book close to your bed time, because it will most assuredly keep you up reading until very late, and then wedge its way into your dreams. Julia Heaberlin has written a spellbinding tale, at once both completely believable and utterly suspenseful. And once you reach the novel's perfect ending, you will want to read it again. – David R. Dow, author, Things I've Learned from Dying

A masterful thriller that shouldn’t be missed ... brilliantly conceived, beautifully executed ... Heaberlin’s work calls to mind that of Gillian Flynn. Both writers published impressive early novels that were largely overlooked, and then one that couldn’t be: Flynn’s Gone Girl and now Heaberlin’s Black-Eyed Susans. Don’t miss it. – The Washington Post
A terrific plot, matched by the quality of the writing and superbly paced tension. – The Times
A breakout book ... Heaberlin maintains her tight grip on narrative control, expertly maintaining the delightful, nail-biting suspense.... It’s her emerging talent as a masterful storyteller that sets this book apart. – Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Compelling ...
[one of] ten amazing books you need to read this summer. – Cosmopolitan (U.K.)
A tense, slow-burning, beautifully written novel of survival and hope. Highly recommended. – William Landay, New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob
The spectacularly dark and twisty story of what happened to one young Texas girl, and the ghosts who refuse to let her rest. I didn’t want it to end – but I couldn’t put it down
. – Carla Buckley, author of The Deepest Secret

Shocking, intense, and utterly original, Black-Eyed Susans is a dazzling psychological thriller, seamlessly weaving past and present in a searing tale of a young woman whose harrowing memories remain in a field of flowers.

Literature & Fiction / Historical

Brides of War by June Tate (Allison & Busby)

‘Do you love me, Gracie?'

‘Yes I do. Of course I do.'

`Do you want us to have a future together, a place of our own, children?'

She looked into his eyes and knew she didn't want that with anyone else.

Yes, I really do.'

He held her hand tightly. `I know it's asking a great deal of you to come to the States. It won't be easy for you to say goodbye to your family here in the UK, but it's the only way we can be together. You know I'll always take care of you, love you and, in a few years, we’ll save enough to come back for a vacation.' He paused. `What do you say honey?’

She felt the smile spread across her features. `I say yes, darling. I will marry you.'

– from the book

It is 1947 in Brides of War.

In the aftermath of the devastating Second World War, two women leave England for America to begin new lives as GI brides. Uprooted from their lives in England, GI brides Gracie and Valerie must face up to their new surroundings and overcome the troubles that come their way in order to be with the men they love.

Excited and in love, Gracie Brown moves to America with her husband Jeff. With little money and no job prospects, the couple move in with Jeff's parents while they find their feet in a land where promise seems to only come to those who start off far better than they have. Gracie starts her married life with Jeff's overbearing mother-in-law who resents her existence and a rather attractive, vibrant and tearaway brother-in-law whom her husband detests.

The other bride in Brides of War, rich and stylish Valerie Brampton, has just arrived in New York to move into her new swish apartment with American husband Captain Ross Johnson. When Valerie discovers more about Ross' life as she meets more of his family she's left feeling increasingly isolated. Valerie and her lawyer husband have their own property, but with a past girlfriend still holding on to hope of a relationship with him and Ross keen to push the family business in a different direction, all is far from settled.

How will these two women seek to establish themselves in their new world? And as they learn more about their husbands, can their marriages, formed in the uncertain times of war, survive through peacetime?

Author June Tate was born in Southampton and spent the early years of her childhood in the Cotswolds. After leaving school she became a hairdresser on cruise ships the Queen Mary and the Mauritania, meeting many Hollywood film stars and VIPs on her travels. After her marriage to an airline pilot, she lived in Sussex and Hampshire before moving to Estoril in Portugal.

Her debut book caused a stir among Cookson and Cox devotees, and they’ll love this. Compulsive reading – Woman’s Weekly

The strength of the leading ladies in Brides of War and their determination to get what they want out of life, makes the story intriguing and the characters admirable.

Philosophy / Aesthetics

Art and Imagination: A Study in the Philosophy of Mind, 1st edition by Roger Scruton (St. Augustine’s Press)

Art and Imagination presents a theory of aesthetic judgment and appreciation in the spirit of modern empiricism. This work was originally published in 1974. There are three parts: the first deals with questions of philosophical logic, the second with questions in the philosophy of mind, and the third with questions in the philosophy of art. Thus the argument advances from a theory of aesthetic judgment (and in particularly of ‘aesthetic description’) to a theory of aesthetic appreciation, and thence to an account of the nature and value of art. 
Author Roger Scruton is an English philosopher specializing in aesthetics, a lecturer and professor of aesthetics at Birkbeck College, London, from 1971 to 1992.

In Art and Imagination Scruton examines and rejects various attempts made by recent philosophers to demarcate the realm of aesthetic judgment. He argues that the logic of aesthetic judgment does not suffice to distinguish what is ‘aesthetic’ from what is not, for aesthetic judgments must be explained in terms of the conditions for their acceptance rather than the conditions for their truth. These ‘acceptance conditions’ can be understood only if we first know what is meant by aesthetic experience. This theory attempts to show how aesthetic experience can be regarded as autonomous, even though it is intimately connected with ordinary experience, and is indeed dependent on ordinary experience for its full description.

Art and Imagination sketches a theory of aesthetic judgment and appreciation in terms of an empiricist philosophy of mind. For philosophers of an idealist cast aesthetics has never detached itself from the philosophy of mind: such philosophers have produced theories of thought, feeling and imagination that give a central and intelligible place to the activities of aesthetic judgment and appreciation. Empiricists, on the other hand, have found it difficult to account for these activities except by reducing their importance in a way that few will find acceptable. Aesthetics becomes, for such philosophers as Hutcheson and Hume, a matter of 'sentiment': of liking this thing rather than that. Taste is an isolated and inexplicable segment of human psychology, and it is simply a curious but philosophically uninteresting fact, that human beings enjoy some things (such as tragedies, strawberries and fine weather) and recoil from others.

In the chapters in Art and Imagination Scruton suggests how the weaknesses in modern analytical philosophy might be filled. Philosophical aesthetics seems to divide into two parts: firstly, there is the study of aesthetic appreciation, the aesthetic attitude, taste, the aesthetic emotions, and so on. In other words there is the philosophical analysis of an area of human experience, the area involved in our responses to the objects of aesthetic interest. It is a philosophical question how far it is possible to give a description of these attitudes and preferences that is not trivial, and how far it is possible to set them apart as an autonomous segment of mental activity. Secondly, philosophers attempt to analyze judgments about the objects of aesthetic feeling and appreciation. They make value judgments about these objects, and they describe them in various ways which seem to have a peculiar relation to their aesthetic significance. They must discover what these descriptions and evaluations mean, and how they might be supported if they can be supported at all.

Throughout the chapters of Art and Imagination Scruton leans heavily on the distinction between the formal theory of semantics and that part of the theory of meaning which belongs more properly to the philosophy of mind: the theory of understanding. The first contains no presuppositions of an epistemological kind, whereas the second requires an account of human knowledge.

Phenomenology in the tradition of Husserl attempts a study in depth of the first-person case, independently of the criteria that must be invoked in giving the meaning of any psychological term. But as Wittgenstein's discussion makes clear, philosophers must not attempt to answer such questions as `What is the aesthetic experience?' by looking inwards. Their knowledge of their own experiences is immediate, based on nothing. It, therefore, rests on no features of experiences whereby they recognize them for what they are. The noematic observation of experience can tell them nothing about it. The only facts about experience are facts about the experience of others. If they attempt to describe aesthetic experiences in their own case alone, if they attempt to discover features of their experiences that are not publicly observable, and yet on the basis of which they are supposed to classify them into kinds, then they simply characterize their experiences by means of elaborate metaphors, or through the intermediary of some special technical language (such as that invented by Husserl) whose field of reference can never be defined.

In Art and Imagination Scruton refers to phenomenology only where it provides a convenient method of summarizing facts that might equally be stated in terms of what is publicly observable. He borrows from phenomenology the term `aesthetic object', but he uses it only in a material sense, to refer to the item (whether work of art or not) that is the material object of aesthetic interest. However, this does not mean that he disagrees with those phenomenologists (such as Ingarden and Dufrenne) who have argued that the work of art and the `aesthetic object' are distinct. In the sense in which they intended this assertion it is entirely true. The phenomenologist's distinction corresponds at least in part to a distinction he makes between the work of art and its aesthetic character.

His intricate analyses show how the insights of Hegel, Kant, and the phenomenologists, giving art a central place in human experience, can be given a firmer analytic basis in an empiricist philosophy of mind which extends beyond the accounts of Ryle and Wittgenstein. – Choice

This is an important book and one of the best to appear in a long while. There is a special reason to recommend the book to an American audience. Interest in Aesthetics has always been high in this country, but American aestheticians have not always been very clear about what the philosophical problems of aesthetics are, and especially have they not been clear about the kinds of problems they wanted to address. Mr. Scruton is very clear about both of these. – B.R. Tilghman, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

Art and Imagination shows that it is possible to give a systematic account of aesthetic experience in terms of an empiricist philosophy of mind. A small note: at least in the copy this reviewer received, the title itself is misspelled on the front cover!

Philosophy / History / Ethnicity

Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity: Jorge J. E. Gracia and His Critics edited by Iván Jaksić (Columbia University Press)

The philosopher Jorge J. E. Gracia in Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity engages fifteen prominent scholars on race, ethnicity, nationality, and Hispanic/Latino identity in the United States. Their discussion joins two distinct traditions: the philosophy of race begun by African Americans in the nineteenth century, and the search for an understanding of identity initiated by Latin American philosophers in the sixteenth century.

Jorge J. E. Gracia is the Samuel P. Capen Chair and SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Department of Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and editor Iván Jaksić is director of the Santiago Program for the Bing Overseas Studies Program at Stanford University, who has held academic appointments at the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and the University of Notre Dame. Contributors include Linda M. Alcoff, K. Anthony Appiah, Richard J. Bernstein, Lawrence Blum, Robert Gooding-Williams, Eduardo Mendieta, and Lucius T. Outlaw Jr., and their dialogue reflects the analytic, Aristotelian, Continental, literary, Marxist, and pragmatic schools of thought.

These intellectuals start with the philosophy of Hispanics/Latinos in the US and then move to the philosophy of African Americans and Anglo Americans in the US and the philosophy of Latin Americans in Latin America. Gracia and his interlocutors debate the nature of race and ethnicity and their relation to nationality, linguistic rights, matters of identity, and Affirmative Action, binding the concepts of race and ethnicity together in ways that open new paths of inquiry. Gracia's Familial-Historical View of Ethnic and Hispanic/Latino Identity in Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity operates at the center of each of these discussions, providing access to the philosopher's provocative arguments while adding depth to issues that readers struggle to understand.

According to Jaksić in the preface to Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity, the first decade of the twenty-first century has seen an unprecedented interest in, and development of, philosophical issues concerned with the intersection of race, ethnicity, and Hispanic/Latino identity. The exploration of race by philosophers goes back a relatively long way. The exploration of ethnicity is connected to early discussions of race in so far as race and ethnicity have been thought to be closely related by some authors as early as Locke and DuBois, although this has not been the norm. It is at the beginning of the twenty-first century that the interest in race and ethnicity undergoes a substantial expansion with the publication of many books and articles, in part no doubt influenced by the demographic explosion of this ethnic group in the country and its increasing influence in American culture and politics.

Since the year 2000, Gracia has been at the center and forefront of many of the philosophical developments on topics having to do with race, ethnicity, and Hispanic/Latino issues in the US, and many of the discussions in these fields have taken place in the context of public academic sessions devoted to his work. Indeed, it is not easy to find philosophical analyses of Hispanic/Latino/Latin American issues that have not touched in one way or another on his contributions. These discussions constitute an important historical record of the evolution of the field in the US and maintain a current relevance supported by the interest that they continue to elicit.

Gracia's contributions in the areas covered in Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity are informed by his work in other philosophical fields. Particularly significant among these are metaphysics and hermeneutics. This work has made it possible for him to formulate new theories and to develop a careful methodology that he has used to address the questions raised and discussed in the book.

Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity gathers the most significant, critical, and controversial of the discussions, together with Gracia's responses. The topics range from the nature of race and ethnicity to the relation of these phenomena to national Hispanics/Latinos, linguistic rights, the way ethnic labels function, as well as matters of identity and affirmative action. The discussions are gathered under three main topics: race, ethnicity, nationality, and philosophy; Hispanic/Latino identity; and Hispanics/Latinos and philosophy.

Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity is divided into three parts. Part I is concerned with race, ethnicity, nationality, and the meta-philosophical question of the value of a philosophical inquiry of these topics. Part II addresses Hispanic/Latino identity and related questions. Part III turns to Hispanic/Latino philosophy and philosophers in Latin America and the US.

Gracia has revised and expanded his original responses to his critics in order to make them fit the book format, providing a topical account of the philosophical issues at stake, his proposed solutions to these issues, and his answers to the objections that have been brought against them. Although an effort has been made to preserve the original integrity of the pieces written by Gracia's critics, most of them have also undergone revision, sometimes substantial.

Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity records important historical events that have taken place re­cently in the academy regarding significant concerns in contemporary American society. Many features make it unique and valuable. First, many of the participants engaged in the dialogue are not Hispanics/Latinos. This lends the collection a perspective that is particularly useful and pertinent to the population at large. Second, many current philosophical discussions of Hispanics/Latinos ignore the important relation to race and ethnicity. This collection not only does not ignore it but also includes some of the best-known contributors to the conversation on race and ethnicity in the US. Third, the contributors include philosophers from diverse philosophical traditions – Analytic, Aristotelian, Continental, Literary, Marxist, and Pragmatic – which is rarely seen in present-day American philosophy. This gives the volume greater appeal and allows readers to be exposed to widely differing approaches.

Fourth, the diversity among the contributors themselves is wide, including women and men, blacks and whites, Hispanics/Latinos and non-Hispanics/Latinos, and philosophers born in the US and others born elsewhere. Fifth, the very structure of the volume as a set of dialogues in which the authors engage in lively discussion, voicing with strength, but not venom, blatant disagreements on controversial topics, makes the volume an ideal point of departure for anyone interested in some of the most frequently discussed topics that affect not just American but also other, contemporary societies. Sixth, the fact that the debates have taken place at the beginning of the twenty-first century gives the volume currency and sets the tone for future discussions.

Seventh, it is also significant that several of the fifteen philosophers who engage Gracia in these dialogues are among the most distinguished in contemporary philosophy, and all the participants are at the forefront of the discussions of the topics explored in the volume and have put forward views and perspectives that have elicited attention. The sharp contrasts between their views and those of Gracia and each other constitute a unique testament to the vitality and diversity that characterizes the philosophy of race, ethnicity, and Hispanic/Latino identity today.

This book contains the best and most thorough defense of Gracia's Familial-Historical View of Hispanic Identity and original arguments concerning the complex relations among race, ethnicity, and nationality; linguistic rights and Affirmative Action; and the identity, status, and future of Hispanic/Latin American/Latino philosophy. – José Medina, Vanderbilt University

Jorge J. E. Gracia is one of the preeminent theorists of Hispanic/Latino identity, as the distinguished philosophers who discuss his work in this volume confirm. To have these responses gathered in one place together with Gracia's own replies gives the reader a wonderful opportunity to reflect on both the character of ethnic labels and the career of a remarkable thinker. – Robert Bernasconi, Penn State University

The leading scholars in this volume engage key ideas from Gracia's magisterial and comprehensive contributions to the field of race and ethnicity…. Gracia's incisive responses succeed in refocusing and reanimating debate. Altogether, this work will be a classic for study and research on Hispanic/Latino identity as a vital part of the philosophy of race and ethnicity. – Naomi Zack, University of Oregon

… Especially for readers unfamiliar with the literature, this collection of discussions and critiques of Jorge Gracia's work, together with his replies, will provide an invaluable introduction both to crucial philosophical issues of Latino identity and ethnoracial status, and to the writings of one of the major figures of the field, who has been thinking deeply and rigorously about these matters for decades now. – Charles W. Mills, Northwestern University

Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity records an important and heretofore undocumented moment in the history of philosophy in general, and in the philosophy of race in particular, in which two different traditions meet and begin to interact. They meet, first, in the philosophy of Hispanics/Latinos in the United States and subsequently in the philosophy of African Americans and Anglo-Americans in the United States and in the philosophy of Latin Americans in Latin America. Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity captures recent advances in the discussion of these issues by gathering important exchanges between Gracia and other prominent philosophers who have engaged him in dialogue. It provides a coherent and topical account of the philosophical issues at stake, together with solutions and answers to the objections brought against them.

Politics / World

Terrorists at the Table: Why Negotiating is the Only Way to Peace by Jonathan Powell (Palgrave MacMillan, St. Martin’s Press)

In a world plagued by terrorism and political strife, fear runs rampant – and as ISIS continues to commit vicious atrocities, it becomes easy for governments to dismiss the very idea of civilized negotiation. Administrations in all countries and across all political parties say that they do not negotiate with terrorists, but they almost always end up doing so. As Tony Blair's chief of staff for over thirteen years, during which time he was also the chief British negotiator on Northern Ireland dealing with the IRA, Jonathan Powell knows this firsthand.

Without talking to terrorists, argues author Powell in Terrorists at the Table, we will never end armed conflict. As violent insurgencies continue to erupt across the globe, we need people who will brave the depths of the Sri Lankan jungle and scale the heights of the Colombian mountains, painstakingly tracking down the heavily armed and dangerous leaders of these terrorist groups in order to open negotiations with them.

Powell in Terrorists at the Table draws on his own experiences negotiating peace in Northern Ireland and talks to all the major players from the last thirty years – terrorists, Presidents, secret agents and intermediaries – exposing the subterranean world of secret exchanges between governments and armed groups to give readers the inside account of negotiations on the front line. These past negotiations shed light on how today's negotiators can tackle the Taliban, Hammas and al-Qaeda.

Based on the experiences of government figures, leaders of armed groups, and intermediaries, Terrorists at the Table makes the case that bombing and ‘boots on the ground’ are never enough by themselves. In Terrorists at the Table, Powell examines:

  • The patterns behind why certain negotiations succeeded (such as the resolutions in El Salvador, South Africa, Mozambique, and the Oslo talks), and why others failed (Sri Lanka, Colombia, and Angola).
  • The early roots of terrorism – from the ‘Sicarii’ in first-century Judea who attacked the Romans, and ‘the Assassins’ in medieval Persia who murdered religious rivals, all the way to its etymological origins in the French Revolution, and the Fenians, the first real armed terrorist group in 19th century Britain.
  • How the very definition of the word ‘terrorist’ varies by country and culture, and the implications this poses for international diplomacy and dialogue.
  • The main players in the subterranean world of secret negotiations between terrorist groups and governments, and why they wind up at the negotiating table time and again.

Terrorists at the Table argues the provocative point that military action alone will only lead armed groups to resist to the death. Powell proves that sooner or later, every conflict with a terrorist group will require talking, and that fighting and talking at the same time may be the only real path to resolution.

Thoughtful, comprehensive, and illuminating, Powell's book will leave readers with a renewed sense of hope for peace. – Publishers Weekly

Powell's urgent, reasoned, and impassioned argument for negotiation has the potential to contribute significantly to public debate. – Kirkus Review, starred review

There is no one better suited to talk practical sense about this charged and complex subject than Jonathan Powell, who draws not only on gripping historical case studies but on his own considerable experience meeting with terrorists. – Professor William Ury, Harvard Negotiation Project, and author of Getting to Yea

Essential reading for all parties in conflict. – Patrick Cockburn, The Independent

This is an inspiring book. You'll enter the New Year shaking hands with all. – Kirsty Brimelow, The Times

Fascinating. – Michael Ignatieff, Sunday Times

This is an unusual, indeed a unique, book. – Oliver Miles, The Guardian

The book is an enthralling case study of the art, in which Powell carefully establishes his argument for why dialogue with terror groups is usually necessary. – Anthony Loyd, New Statesman

Ultimately, Powell brings us a message of hope: there is no armed conflict anywhere in the world that cannot be resolved if we are prepared to learn from the lessons of the past. Jonathan was my point man for ten long years on the negotiations on Northern Ireland. He was not only a great negotiator but also a brilliant strategist. The lessons he learned there have been put to good use in the work he now does between governments and armed groups around the world. – Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister, UK

Addresses the practice of negotiating with terrorists... Powell's compelling argument on a touchy topic makes one consider that without attempting to engage in negotiations, a resolution cannot be reached. – Library Journal
Over the course of his decade as Blair's most important aide, Powell came to recognize that terrorism cannot be solved exclusively or largely by military means... Powell argues forcefully that historically, conflicts like the one in Afghanistan have ended only through negotiations. –
Fareed Zakaria, The Washington Post
An important book about terrorism... a significant contribution to the understanding of how we can and often do deal with our most adamant opponents. –
David Holahan, The Christian Science Monitor

Terrorists at the Table is a fascinating insider's look at the subterranean world of secret negotiations between terrorist groups and governments. Powell's invaluable experience dealing with terrorists makes him the perfect person to write the book.

Professional & Technical / Medicine & Health Sciences / Clinical / Internal / Surgery / Orthopedics / Reference

Biologic Knee Reconstruction: A Surgeon's Guide, 1st edition by Dr. Brian Cole MD & Joshua Harris MD (Slack Incorporated)

Treatment of articular cartilage pathology in the knees of young and active patients is a challenging and controversial issue. Biologic Knee Reconstruction: A Surgeon's Guide is a how-to, step-by-step guide that addresses the evaluation and management of this unique patient population. Internationally renowned cartilage experts Brian J. Cole and Joshua D. Harris, along with their contributors, present information on normal and abnormal history and physical examination.

Cole, MD, MBA is a Professor in the Department of Orthopedics with a conjoint appointment in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, where he is Chairman of Surgery at Rush Oak Park Hospital. He is the Section Head of the Cartilage Research and Restoration Center at Rush University Medical Center and the head of the Orthopedic Master’s Program. He is the team physician for the Chicago Bulls National Basketball Association team and co-team physician for the Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball team and DePaul University in Chicago. Harris, MD is an Assistant Professor at Houston Methodist Hospital Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in the Institute of Academic Medicine in Houston with a conjoint appointment as Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. He is co-director of the Houston Methodist Cartilage Repair Center and the Houston Methodist Hip Preservation Center. The book has 57 contributors.
Readers learn proper decision-making using a patient-centered approach of treatment, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome. In addition to radiographic assessment of articular cartilage, Biologic Knee Reconstruction discusses the use of biomarkers, defect classification, and patient-reported and surgeon-measured outcomes. Aggressive nonsurgical medical management, including medications, injections, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation, is also presented.
Biologic Knee Reconstruction also discusses the management of concomitant pathologies such as malalignment, meniscal deficiency, and ligamentous instability. Selection of surgical cartilage restorative treatment options is multifactorial, requiring consideration of several patient-, knee-, and defect-specific issues. All contemporary open and arthroscopic cartilage techniques are presented in detail with high resolution figures. A unique feature of Biologic Knee Reconstruction is the presentation of several chapters discussing non-medical issues highly pertinent to the advancement and future of this field: funding of research and cost of new advanced technologies, regulation of advanced cellular, tissue, and genetic technologies, evidence-based medicine and clinical trial design and conduct, and the ethics of allograft tissues and stem cell use.
Features of the book include:

  • Technique preference cards from the experts performing cartilage surgery.
  • Patient education information.
  • The most up-to-date descriptions of advanced cartilage techniques.
  • Unique chapters not covered in books elsewhere, including:
    • Biomarkers.
    • Patient-reported outcomes assessment.
    • Newer injection techniques (PRP, stem cells).
    • One- and two-stage open and arthroscopic techniques using chondrocyte- and stem cell based cell therapies.
    • Costs and public and private funding of research.
    • Barriers to high-quality randomized trials.
    • Governmental regulation and availability/accessibility to patients.
    • Gene therapy and tissue engineering.
    • Ethics of articular cartilage surgery with stem cells, ex-vivo cell manipulation, and juvenile tissue sources.

According to Lars Peterson in the foreword, articular cartilage of the knee can be damaged in a variety of ways, mainly during sports activities. Once injured, articular cartilage does not heal on its own and will progress over time.cret exchanges between governments and armed groups to give readers the inside account of negotiations on the front line. These past negotiations shed light on how today's negotiators can tackle the Taliban, Hammas and al-Qaeda.

Based on the experiences of government figures, leaders of armed groups, and intermediaries, Terrorists at the Table makes the case that bombing and ‘boots on the ground’ are never enough bdecoration: underline; text-underline: single"> Paul and His Recent Interpreters: Some Contemporary Debates by N. T. Wright (Fortress Press)

Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith by Tom Roberts (Orbis Books)

H. P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition: The Master of Horror's Influence on Modern Occultism by John L Steadman (Weiser Books)

Paranormal Petersburg, Vi articular cartilage repair, but now a unique textbook only focusing on articular cartilage is a reality with the publication of Biologic Knee Reconstruction, edited by Dr. Brian Cole and Dr. Joshua Harris. I am honored and happy to endorse this textbook written by some of the world's leading experts on knee articular cartilage surgical treatment.… I am convinced that Biologic Knee Reconstruction will be of great benefit for both treating personnel and patients and should be recommended for everybody with interest in articular cartilage management. – Lars Peterson, MD, PhD, Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Helsinki; Professor Emeritus, Institutions of Surgical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg.

Several textbooks exist that discuss knee articular cartilage repair. However, Biologic Knee Reconstruction is unique. The step-by-step surgical approach chapters are excellent instructional manuals for surgeons and surgeons-in-training. With the most up-to-date content and step-by-step methods for surgical procedures, Biologic Knee Reconstruction is the perfect addition to the bookshelf of the orthopedic surgeon, cartilage researcher, sports physical therapist, or athletic trainer who evaluates and manages this unique patient population. This text is a great reference for sports medicine clinicians, orthopedic surgeons, medical students, basic science researchers, physical therapists, and athletic trainers.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Theology

Building on the Foundations of Evangelical Theology: Essays in Honor of John S. Feinberg edited by Gregg R. Allison & Stephen J. Wellum (Crossway)

John Feinberg is one of the premier evangelical scholars of the last thirty years. His work has influenced countless pastors, scholars, ethicists, and theologians.

Featuring essays by a host of colleagues and former students, such as Graham A. Cole, Bruce A. Ware, Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Robert L. Saucy, and John F. Kilner, Building on the Foundations of Evangelical Theology stands as a testament to Feinberg’s enduring legacy and theological acumen. Three sections focusing on the architecture, foundation, and superstructure of evangelical theology offer a framework for these essays. The volume has a total of 16 contributors. The volume honors both John Feinberg and his wife Pat who is suffering from Huntington’s Chorea. All proceeds from the publication are directed to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America in their honor.

Editors of Building on the Foundations of Evangelical Theology are Gregg R. Allison, Ph.D., professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and secretary of the Evangelical Theological Society and Stephen J. Wellum, Ph.D., professor of Christian theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and editor of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology.

John Samuel Feinberg was born April 2, 1946, in Dallas, the third child and second son of Charles Lee and Anne Priscilla (Fraiman) Feinberg. While pursuing his theological, pastoral, and philosophical training, Feinberg was involved in local ministry in a variety of capacities. As a staff member of the American Board of Missions to the Jews, he engaged in mission work in Los Angeles in 1970–1971 and in the U.S. Midwestern region from 1971 to 1974. He was ordained to the ministry in 1971 and served as the pastor of Elmwood Park Bible Church in Illinois from 1974 to 1976.

It was to a teaching career that Feinberg was called to use his gifts and abilities to serve the larger church. Feinberg served as assistant professor of systematic theology at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary from 1976 to 1981. He then became professor of systematic theology and philosophy, as well as chairman of the Department of Theological Studies, at Liberty Baptist Seminary and College from 1981 to 1983. Feinberg's alma mater sought him out, so he became, first, associate professor (1983-1990), then professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, the position that he has held from 1991 to the present. He has twice served as the chairman of the Division of Biblical and Systematic Theology. In addition to these institutions, Feinberg has taught around the world. He has served as visiting professor or guest lecturer at numerous other venues, including St. Paul, Minnesota; Giessen, West Germany; Badhoevedorp, Netherlands; Finocchio, Italy; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Portland, Oregon; Sydney, Australia; Split, Croatia; Pikermi, Greece; Odessa, Ukraine; Harare, Zimbabwe; Pietersburg, South Africa; Heidelberg, South Africa; Norwood, New Jersey; Kursk, Russia; New York; and Sun Valley, California.

Having spent the majority of his teaching career at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Feinberg is a fixture at TEDS and has mentored hundreds of students who are now working as pastors, teachers, professors, staff in churches and parachurch movements, missionaries, philosophers, ethicists, apologists, evangelists, and denominational leaders. Trinity has also been the community of faith that has walked alongside John and Pat as Huntington's Chorea has slowly whittled away her life.

Throughout his teaching career, Feinberg has established himself as a brilliant thinker, a prodigious scholar and author, an impassioned apologist for the faith, a demanding and fair instructor, a champion of clear and rational thinking, a giving friend, and a supportive mentor. Feinberg is well known in the classroom for his preparation and attention to detail, his careful analysis and critique of theological and philosophical positions and ideas, and his desire to see his students grow in the knowledge of Scripture and theological thinking. The same may also be found in his writing projects – detailed analysis, precision, and incisive biblical and theological exposition and critique.

Feinberg is well known for his many books, including Ethics for a Brave New World, coauthored with his brother Paul; The Many Faces of Evil: Theological Systems and the Problems of Evil; Deceived by God? A Journey through Suffering; his monumental No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God, part of the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series; Where Is God? A Personal Story of Finding God in Grief and Suffering; and Can You Believe It's True? Christian Apologetics in a Modern and Postmodern Era.

Another major activity in which Feinberg has been engaged for more than two decades is serving as general editor of the aforementioned series on eleven major areas of evangelical systematic theology, entitled Foundations of Evangelical Theology. Because Gregg Allison and Steve Wellum, two of Feinberg's former students, are the editors of this volume and contributors to this series, the idea for this Festschrift in Feinberg's honor was born. This volume therefore takes its name from it: Building on the Foundations of Evangelical Theology.

Building on the Foundations of Evangelical Theology consists of three sections that are organized around the metaphor of building. Section 1, entitled "Designing the Architecture of Evangelical Theology," provides essays that discuss the areas of theological method (Kevin Vanhoozer), hermeneutics (Walter Kaiser, Jr.), continuity and discontinuity between the Testaments (Robert Saucy), philosophy (Thom Provenzola), and apologetics (Gary Habermas). The second section, "Setting the Foundations of Evangelical Theology," offers essays covering a wide range of biblical and theological topics such as: theology proper (Bruce Ware), Trinitarianism (Keith Yandell), bibliology (John Morrison), the problem of evil (Thomas McCall), Christology (Stephen Wellum), ecclesiology and pneumatology (Gregg Allison), and biblical reflections from Psalms 146-150 on God's faithfulness and human suffering (Willem VanGemeren). Section 3, "Erecting the Superstructure of Evangelical Theology," features essays on bioethics (John Kilner), Christian living (Graham Cole), globalization and mission in the midst of a rising religious pluralism (Harold Netland), and Womanist theology (Bruce Fields).

Building on the Foundations of Evangelical Theology stands as a testament to Feinberg’s enduring legacy and theological acumen as well as the high esteem in which both he and his wife are held. It offers a coherent and helpful theological framework for evangelical scholars and pastors.

Religion & Spirituality / Judaism / Jewish Life

The Secret of Chabad: Inside the world’s most successful Jewish movement by David Eliezrie (The Toby Press)

In the mid-twentieth century, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson set his sights on worldwide Jewish renaissance. Today his Shluchim – emissaries – are ubiquitous.

How was an army of Rabbis and Rebbetzins trained and encouraged to move to the four corners of the earth to fulfill the Rebbe's mission? How would they live far from friends and family and dedicate their lives to Jewish destiny and the welfare of others? How would they learn to remain true to their ideals and raise their families outside the classical religious community? How did they create environments of openness to Jews of all backgrounds and a culture of welcoming?

Considered one of the most influential movements in modern Judaism, writers have speculated for decades about the unparalleled success of Chabad Lubavitch. In The Secret of Chabad, Rabbi David Eliezrie depicts the events, philosophies, and personalities that have made Chabad Lubavitch a worldwide phenomenon. Eliezrie is a veteran Chabad shliach in Yorba Linda, California, and was previously the Jewish chaplain at the University of Miami. He is the president of the Rabbinical Council of Orange County and Long Beach, sits on the board of the Jewish Federation and Family Services of Orange County, and is active in local and national Jewish affairs. Rabbi Eliezrie is a noted writer and lecturer. He is married and the father of six children and an ever-growing number of grandchildren.

From his unique style weaving together narrative and fact, history and philosophical insight, interviews with Shluchim and Chabad leaders from across the globe, and personal recollection emerges a world rich in tradition and the enormous love for fellow Jews that is embodied by the Shluchim.

Few understood the immense scope of the Rebbe's vision. Those who did, thought the goal difficult, if not impossible to attain. The Secret of Chabad takes readers deep inside Chabad, revealing how this was done.

I have often urged the Harvard Business School to teach the remarkable success of the Chabad movement as a case study in innovation, commitment, and determination. The Secret of Chabad is that case study written by a brilliant insider who really understands ... – Alan M. Dershowitz. Author of Abraham: The World's First (but Certainly Not Last) Jewish Lawyer
David Eliezrie's
The Secret of Chabad is probably the first book by a Chabad insider – and a major one at that – telling the incredible story of what has clearly become the most dynamic Jewish force in the contemporary world ... After reading The Secret of Chabad you will never see your local Chabad rabbi in quite the same way. He and his remarkable wife will be more real – and therefore, even more remarkable. – Dennis Prager, Nationally syndicated radio talk show host, NY Times best-selling author, co-founder Prager University
An insightful, compelling guide to Chabad, one of the great success stories in modern Jewish history. David Eliezrie has the perfect ear for the telling ancedote – and as a highly regarded Chabad insider truly understands Chabad from within. What is the Chabad secret? Read this book and you will know. – Joseph Telushkin, Author of Rebbe: The life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History
I have found Chabad, almost everywhere I have gone in the world. This book is the remarkable story of how a small Chassidic group reaches out to Jews all over with love and purpose. David Eliezrie takes us deep inside the Chabad world for an extraordinary view ... All over the world, 4,000 Chabad shluchim are doing good deeds, educating people, taking care of children, providing opportunities to approach Judaism in a positive way. They turn up everywhere.
The Secret of Chabad tells us what makes these dedicated men and women tick. – Senator Joseph I. Lieberman
The puzzle of the century is the phenomenon known as the Shliach. We have always marveled on how the Rebbe inspired ordinary average young men and women to a life of selfless dedication. But this book deepens our respect and admiration for Shluchim and Shluchos who alone bear the responsibility for Jewish life of today. It's a book to read and re-read. I hope he has another book coming. – Rabbi Manis Freidman, Dean Beth Chana Women's International

In The Secret of Chabad, Rabbi Eliezrie combines the insider's perspective of a long-time Chabad shaliach with the storytelling flair of a prolific writer.

Religion & Spirituality / Theology

The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision by Kevin J. Vanhoozer & Owen Strachan (Baker Academic)

The idea for this book began with a shock (in a cemetery) and a scandal (in a seminary). Kevin was teaching in the University of Edinburgh when he happened to overhear two American tourists visiting Greyfriars Kirk (most come to see the statue of Greyfriars Bobby). The couple were looking at headstones when the wife suddenly blurted out, "Look, honey: they buried two people in one grave!" "What makes you think that?" asked her husband. The woman replied: "It says so right here: `Here lies a pastor and a theologian."' – from the book

Many pastors today see themselves primarily as counselors, leaders, and motivators. Yet this often comes at the expense of the fundamental reality of the pastorate as a theological office. The most important role is to be a theologian mediating God to the people. The church needs pastors who can contextualize the Word of God to help their congregations think theologically about all aspects of their lives, such as work, end-of-life decisions, political involvement, and entertainment choices.
Drawing on the depiction of pastors in the Bible, key figures from church history, and Christian theology, The Pastor as Public Theologian offers a clarion call for pastors to serve as public theologians in their congregations and communities. The church needs pastors to read the world in light of Scripture and to direct their congregations in ways of wisdom, shalom, and human flourishing. The Pastor as Public Theologian calls for a paradigm shift in the very idea of what a pastor is and does, setting forth a positive, alternative picture. It also includes pastoral reflections on the theological task from twelve working pastors.

Authors are Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois and Owen Strachan, associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City and a Fellow with the Center for Pastor Theologians.

This is a timely, more than timely – urgent – book. Kevin Vanhoozer, one of our leading theologians, protests the 'putting asunder' of theology by American pastors. A 'great chasm' has opened up as pastors, more often than not, abandon their vocations as theologians in their congregations for careers in which the secular culture calls all the shots. It was not always this way. Vanhoozer and Strachan skillfully fashion insight and discernment to bring us back to what the church ordained us to do. – Eugene H. Peterson, Regent College, Vancouver; pastor emeritus, Christ Our King Presbyterian, Bel Air, Maryland
Preachers today must present biblical truth to people who are more and more resistant to it. The skillful preacher must understand something of the history of ideas and the baseline cultural narratives of our day in order even to be comprehensible to them. Not only that, but preachers in our cities must often speak to people from several diverse world cultures all at once. I've come to the conclusion that ministers need more robust theological education and training than they did when I came into the ministry forty years ago. This book is an important, ringing call for working pastors and preachers to exercise a higher level of theologically informed leadership in our churches. – Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City
There's not much wrong with the practice of pastoral ministry that can't be cured by a good dose of theological refurbishment. This book gives strong impetus for construing the work of the pastor as authorized, energized, and sanctified by the pastor's theological commitments. A spirited, Spirit-filled book. – William Willimon, Duke Divinity School; retired bishop, United Methodist Church

For years I have told students that they were too smart for the academy, that they should stretch themselves with the harder intellectual work of the parish. And here I thought I was being original. Vanhoozer and Strachan show the original and eschatological unity of two things that modernity has tried to pull apart – the vital parish and the learned pastor. Suddenly the job seems harder and more blessed than ever. – Jason Byassee, Duke Divinity School; senior pastor, Boone United Methodist Church, North Carolina

Timely and urgent, The Pastor as Public Theologian is a brief but accessible guide to a new vision, a paradigm shift. The 12 ‘affidavits’ provide testimony to the importance of reclaiming the vision of the pastorate as a theological vocation and concrete evidence that the vision set forth in the book is being lived out on the ground.

Self-help / Decision-making

Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions, reprint edition by John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney & Howard Faiffa (Harvard Business Review Press)

Have you ever hired someone only to regret your decision two months later? Or looked at your financial portfolio and wondered why you bought the stocks you did? – from the book

People spend the majority of their lives making decisions, both big and small. Yet, even though their success is largely determined by the choices that they make, very few of them are equipped with useful decision-making skills. Because of this, they often approach their choices tentatively, or even fearfully, and avoid giving them the time and thought required to put their best foot forward.

In Smart Choices, authors John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney, and Howard Raiffa – experts with over 100 years of experience resolving complex decision problems – take the guesswork out of the decision-making process and offer a systematic approach to making the right choice. This is a reissue of an award-winning book that sold more than 200,000 copies.

Hammond is an internationally known decision-making consultant specializing in negotiation and corporate strategy, and a former professor at Harvard Business School. Keeney is a Research Professor Emeritus at Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a well-known, decision-making consultant. Raiffa, a pioneer in developing decision and negotiating analysis, is professor emeritus at Harvard Business School.

According to them, most people have problems making decisions because they have never learned how. The authors write:

Despite the importance of decision making to our lives, few of us ever receive any training in it. So we are left to learn from experience. But experience is a costly, inefficient teacher that teaches us bad habits along with good ones. Because decision situations vary so markedly, the experience of making one important decision often seems of little use when facing the next.

In Smart Choices, Hammond, Keeney, and Raiffa offer a proven, straightforward, and flexible roadmap for making better and more impactful decisions, and offer the tools to help people achieve their goals in every aspect of their lives.
This step-by-step approach teaches readers how to:

  • Evaluate their plans.
  • Break their potential decision into its key elements.
  • Identify the key drivers that are most relevant to their goals.
  • Apply systematic thinking.
  • Use the right information to make the smartest choice.

Smart Choices doesn’t tell readers what to decide; it tells them how. As readers routinely use the process, they become more confident in their ability to make decisions at work and at home. And by applying its time-tested methods, they will make better decisions going forward.
Smart Choices outlines eight elements involved in making the right decision, from identifying exactly what the decision is and specifying their objectives to considering risk tolerance and looking at how what they decide today influences what they may decide in the future. The book is full of real-life situations and scenarios that effectively illustrate each element of a good decision.

Through clearly written common sense and everyday examples, the authors convert high-flying theory into practical advice. The best book I know on how to make a decision. – Roger Fisher, Coauthor of the bestselling Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

In Smart Choices, Hammond, Keeney, and Raiffa tell us in plain language how to make optimal decisions in our everyday lives. They combine 100 collective years of experience in an exceptional resource that takes the reader step-by‑step through problem formulation and final decision. – Jerome P. Kassirer, Former Editor in Chief, New England Journal of Medicine

This simplified guide to the decision-making process is a must-read for anyone facing important real estate, personal, or professional decisions. Smart Choices gives you the tools to identify options you may never have considered. – William E. Kiley, Jr., Former President, Hunneman and Co., Coldwell Banker

[The authors] explain decision-analysis techniques and stratagems for the benefit of nonspecialists. They provide substantial, straightforward explanations of concepts (risk tolerance, sunk costs, desirability curves) that sound arcane but may help readers to buy the right car, choose a mutual fund, decide on a school, or plan a vacation.… – Publishers Weekly

The three authors, all of whom come from academic backgrounds and specialize in decision science, argue that "making smart choices is a fundamental life skill" that can be taught. They provide a practical model for decision making and demonstrate that it can be applied in both personal and business situations. They show that the key is to break the decision into its individual elements, identify those that are most important, and analyze potential outcomes. The authors also stress that decisions should be made before they turn into problems.… From choosing a career to planning an employee party, the authors use a wide range of examples to demonstrate their approach. – David Rouse, Booklist

Crammed with examples and free of academic jargon... readers will find themselves applying lessons from Smart Choices long before they've finished the book. – Soundview
There are all kinds of practical road maps here for decision-making
[and] deeply grounded advice from one of the world's great decision theorists, Raiffa. – David Warsh, The Boston Globe

Smart Choices offers a straightforward, easy-to-follow process, which will go a long way toward improving the way readers make decisions – any decision that can help them reach their goals. The authors have created a user-friendly set of techniques for assessing options more clearly and effectively, ultimately empowering readers to make smarter choices. Their step-by-step procedures combine solid research with practical experience and common sense.

Sociology / Literary Criticism / Humor

The Sexy Science of the Big Bang Theory: Essays on Gender in the Series edited by Nadine Farghaly & Eden Leone (McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers)

Knock knock knock, Penny! Knock knock knock, Penny! Knock knock knock, Penny! – from the TV show

This utterance has been printed on mugs, t-shirts, posters, and many other Big Bang Theory-related items, and it has become a repeated as well as a trusted source of entertainment on the CBS hit show featuring Penny, Sheldon, and Leonard, who have become one of TV's most popular threesomes.

The Big Bang Theory's mix of humor, nerdy protagonists, sexy female leads and quirky characters have made the series one of CBS's most successful shows and have brought it international acclaim. Like Friends before it, The Big Bang Theory is touted as the show for the new millennium, bringing together aspects of classic humor applied to modern predicaments, usually sexual in nature. The Sexy Science of the Big Bang Theory is a collection of new essays exploring sexual themes in The Big Bang Theory, interpreted through various critical lenses. Focusing on gender issues, the contributors explore how the series deals with sexuality and the ideals of masculinity, femininity and heterosexuality. Editors are Nadine Farghaly, a Ph.D. student at the University of Salzburg, who lives in Siegsdorf, Germany and Eden Leone, with a Ph.D. in rhetoric and writing from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, who lives in Minnesota.

Since its creation The Big Bang Theory has captured a steady viewership of nearly 17 million. After the first four seasons the network added an additional three seasons without hesitation and recently renewed the show until 2017. It is more popular than ever before and Farghaly and Leone want to know why. Does the show's popularity stem from its quirky but loveable characters? Can it be attributed to the clever mixture of science and popular culture? Is it really true that smart is the new sexy? Some of these questions are answered in The Sexy Science of the Big Bang Theory.

Despite its fun, The Big Bang Theory is not merely a show about two scientists living across the hall from a waitress/aspiring actress. This show can be used as a lens through which to look at and understand society. Popular culture, like nothing else, is able to make complex themes and ideas accessible to everyone. It tackles highly interesting topics such as sexuality (asexuality, homosexuality, queerness, etc.), family, friendship, education, marginalization, and fandom, to name but a few.

As a result, while there are many aspects that make the show a success, there are certain aspects that need to be addressed since the presentation of the characters often is problematic. Throughout its run the show has demonstrated a remarkable capability to reduce women to pretty bedfellows who do not necessarily need a brain or self-esteem; Howard and Raj especially make a point of using (or trying to use) women for sexual gratification and nothing else. Penny is the only character who apparently does not deserve a last name; her naiveté in the first few seasons was hard for many viewers to stomach, and it wasn't until the introduction of Amy Farrah Fowler and Bernadette Rostenkowski that the cast was equipped with long-term female characters whose functions were not as eye candy or sex objects. And, even these characters are problematic. Though she has a Ph.D. and a fabulous job, Bernadette is often portrayed as a stereotypical dumb blonde, who, together with her coworkers, creates super viruses which they then lose track of and consumes Jell-O shots from Petri dishes that were contaminated with yellow fever. It often seems women cannot be pretty and intelligent without being punished for it with some unbelievable character flaw.

While the show demonstrated an uncanny sensibility to its viewers' needs, and the ability to capture its attention episode after episode, one has to wonder about the negative portrayal of women in the show's long-term cast members. To be fair, it should be acknowledged that the male characters make equally dumb mistakes, whether it be Leonard and Howard doing almost anything to please women, like bringing home top secret weaponry or letting a date drive the Mars rover. The Sexy Science of the Big Bang Theory does not answer all the questions one might have about The Big Bang Theory, and, in fact, it brings up more.

Like Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, and Howard gearing up for a quest via their computers, the essays in the book take readers on a trek through various concepts of femininity, masculinity, sexuality, and relationships. "Penny and the Politics of Plausibility" by Raewyn Campbell explores the concepts of nerds, masculinity, and marginality, while Lauren R. Archer's "Science in Stilettos: Shaping Perceptions of Women in Science" examines the portrayal of female scientists and their impact on televised media. Julia Spiegel considers female identity and characterization in "The Big Theory on the (Not So) Bangin' Jewish Mother;" specifically the emergence of the comic representation of a Jewish mother figure, traditionally shaped by females with emphasis on religious or cultural cues of otherness is discussed. Janice Shaw, in "The Adolescent Quest," looks at the traditional notion of the quest in a millennial context.

"Disciplining Heterosexuality: Interrogating the Heterosexual Ideal" by Andrea McClanahan also investigates gender and sexuality, specifically the challenges to hegemonic ideals of masculinity, femininity, and heterosexuality. Female sexuality is further explored in Alissa Burger's "The Mutual Exclusivity Proposition: Female Intellectualism and Sexuality," which examines the dichotomy of women in popular culture and how they are perceived as either intelligent or sexual and how this struggle of perception and characterization is negotiated.

Benjamin Bateman, in "Failed Genders and Fragile Intimacies: Living in and After the Big Bang"; focuses on the notions of loving relationships and the perceived failures used for comic relief but that bring about a deeper level of connectedness. Brian McAllister looks at the worlds of scientist and artist in "Sexualizing Two Cultures: C. P. Snow, F. R. Leavis and The Big Bang Theory." The characterization of females on television, specifically what constitutes smart and sexy, and the cultural impact is further explored in "The American Female Dichotomy: Smart or Sexy" by Abigail G. Scheg. Metrosexuality, homosexuality, and cultural expectations are explored in "The Androgyny of Rajesh Koothrappali" by Ann-Gee Lee.

The Sexy Science of the Big Bang Theory offers a comprehensive reading of The Big Bang Theory in connection with gender and popular culture. Farghaly and Leone create a well-rounded work that not only helps the audience understand the themes addressed in this show, but also engages them in an intellectual and meaningful conversation about something they might not have taken seriously before.

Sociology / Public Policy / History / US

Latinos in the United States: Diversity and Change, 1st edition by Rogelio Sáenz & Maria Cristina Morales (Polity Press)

As the major driver of U.S. demographic change, Latinos are reshaping key aspects of the social, economic, political, and cultural landscape of the country. In the process, Latinos are challenging the longstanding black/white paradigm that has been used as a lens to understand racial and ethnic matters in the United States.
In Latinos in the United States, Rogelio Sáenz and Maria Cristina Morales provide one of the broadest sociological examinations of Latinos in the United States. The book focuses on the numerous diverse groups that constitute the Latino population and the role that the U.S. government has played in establishing immigration from Latin America to the United States. Rogelio Sáenz is Peter Flawn Professor of Demography and Dean of the College of Public Policy at the University of Texas, San Antonio and Maria Cristina Morales is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Latinos in the United States highlights the experiences of Latinos in a variety of domains including education, political engagement, work and economic life, family, religion, health and health care, crime and victimization, and mass media. To address these issues in each chapter the authors engage sociological perspectives, present data examining major trends for both native-born and immigrant populations, and engage readers in thinking about the major issues that Latinos are facing in each of these dimensions. The book illustrates the diverse experiences of the array of Latino groups in the United States, with some of these groups succeeding socially and economically, while other groups continue to experience major social and economic challenges. The book concludes with a discussion of what the future holds for Latinos.

Latinos in the United States consists of 13 chapters. The book begins with an introduction (this chapter) to Latinos, with chapter 2 providing a historical overview of the largest Latino groups in the U.S. To better understand the diversity of the Latino population and the various modes into which they initially arrived in the United States and the ways they have been incorporated into this country, it is useful to examine in this chapter the historical origins of the variety of groups that form the Latino population.

Subsequently, the next two chapters of the book provide an examination of the Latinos' immigration experience (chapter 3) and demography (chapter 4). The book then proceeds to overview the institutional experiences of Latinos, including the areas of political engagement (chapter 5); education (chapter 6); work and economic life (chapter 7); family (chapter 8); religion (chapter 9); health and health care (chapter 10); crime and victimization (chapter 11); and mass media (chapter 12). The chapters on the status of Latinos within several institutions begins with a discussion of relevant theoretical perspectives. Sáenz and Morales then illustrate the patterns of Latinos across selected characteristics associated with the institution using several data sources. Subsequently, the chapters highlight important issues and questions that need to be monitored to improve the lives of Latinos. Lastly, a concluding chapter (chapter 13) provides an overview of the major patterns associated with Latinos and offers a portrait of what the future is likely to hold for Latinos in the U.S.

Looking for an up-to-date sociological portrait of Latinos in the United States? This is the book, providing a comprehensive overview of the contributions made by Latinos and the challenges they face in education, health, work, religion, politics, and other social institutions. Perfect for classroom adoption and for anyone who wants a synthesis of diverse theoretical approaches and recent data. – Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, University of Southern California
Finally we have a comprehensive, theoretically-oriented, data-driven book on Latinos. We now have a one-stop place to get all the information we need on the Latino population in the United States. I salute Sáenz and Morales for putting together this marvelous and extremely useful book. – Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Duke University

Clear and comprehensive, Latinos in the United States is essential reading for undergraduate and graduate students, social scientists, and policymakers interested in Latinos and their place in contemporary society.


Contents this Issue:

Last Words, Audio CD, 12 CDs, unabridged, Running Time: 14.5 hours by Michael Koryta (Hachette Audio, Blackstone Audio)

Last Words, Hardcover by Michael Koryta (Little, Brown & Company)

The Lufthansa Heist: Behind the Six-million Dollar Cash Haul That Shook the World – MP3 CD, Unabridged, 2 MP3-CDs, running time: 13 hours by Henry Hill & Daniel Simone, read by Joe Barrett (Tantor Media)

The Lufthansa Heist: Behind the Six-Million-Dollar Cash Haul That Shook the World – Hardcover by Henry Hill & Daniel Simone (Lyons Press)

Stories of the Civil Rights Movement

Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington – Library Binding by Stephanie Watson (Stories of the Civil Rights Movement Series: Core Library, ABDO Publishing)

Nonviolent Resistance in the Civil Rights Movement – Library Binding by Gail Terp (Stories of the Civil Rights Movement Series: Core Library, ABDO Publishing)

Michael & Maria by Shannon Layne (He Said, She Said Series: Epic Press)

Shawn & Rachel by Shannon Layne (He Said, She Said Series: Epic Press)

The Second Crusade: Holy War on the Periphery of Latin Christendom edited by Jason T. Roche & Janus Møller Jensen (Outremer: Studies in the Crusades and the Latin East Series, Vol. 2: Brepols Publishers)

Butterfly Origami by Roman Diaz, illustrated by Marcio Noguchi, with text by Linda Falken (Origami Books Series: Thunder Bay Press)

Children's Literature and the Avant-Garde edited by Elina Druker & Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (Children's Literature, Culture, and Cognition Series, No 5, John Benjamins Publishing Company)

Never Look Down: A Cal Claxton Oregon Mystery by Warren Easley (Cal Claxton Mysteries Series: Poisoned Pen Press)

Black-Eyed Susans: A Novel of Suspense by Julia Heaberlin (Ballantine Books)

Brides of War by June Tate (Allison & Busby)

Art and Imagination: A Study in the Philosophy of Mind, 1st edition by Roger Scruton (St. Augustine’s Press)

Debating Race, Ethnicity, and Latino Identity: Jorge J. E. Gracia and His Critics edited by Iván Jaksić (Columbia University Press)

Terrorists at the Table: Why Negotiating is the Only Way to Peace by Jonathan Powell (Palgrave MacMillan, St. Martin’s Press)

Biologic Knee Reconstruction: A Surgeon's Guide, 1st edition by Dr. Brian Cole MD & Joshua Harris MD (Slack Incorporated)

Building on the Foundations of Evangelical Theology: Essays in Honor of John S. Feinberg edited by Gregg R. Allison & Stephen J. Wellum (Crossway)

The Secret of Chabad: Inside the world’s most successful Jewish movement by David Eliezrie (The Toby Press)

The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision by Kevin J. Vanhoozer & Owen Strachan (Baker Academic)

Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions, reprint edition by John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney & Howard Faiffa (Harvard Business Review Press)

The Sexy Science of the Big Bang Theory: Essays on Gender in the Series edited by Nadine Farghaly & Eden Leone (McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers)

Latinos in the United States: Diversity and Change, 1st edition by Rogelio Sáenz & Maria Cristina Morales (Polity Press)