We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

November 2015, Issue #199

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Guide to Contents this Page 

Soil and Water Chemistry: An Integrative Approach, 2nd edition by Michael E. Essington (CRC Press)

Hydraulic Fracturing by Michael Berry Smith & Carl Montgomery (Emerging Trends and Technologies in Petroleum Engineering Series: CRC Press)

Adapting Nineteenth-Century France: Literature in Film, Theatre, Television, Radio and Print by Kate Griffiths & Andrew Watts (French and Francophone Studies Series: University of Wales Press)

Villainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War by Guy R. Hasegawa, with a foreword by Bill Gurley (Southern Illinois University Press)

My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts by Laura T. Coffey, with photography by Lori Fusaro (New World Library)

Great Big Toy Trucks: Plans and Instructions for Building 9 Giant Vehicles by Les Neufeld (Taunton Press)

One-Skein Wonders for Babies: 101 Knitting Projects for Infants & Toddlers edited by Judith Durant, with photography by Geneve Hoffman (One-Skein Wonders Series: Storey Publishing LLC)

The Woodland Homestead: How to Make Your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the Woods by Brett McLeod, with a foreword by Philip Ackerman-Leist (Storey Publishing LLC)

The Gardens of Arne Maynard by Arne Maynard, with photography by William Collinson, with a foreword by Rosie Atkins (Merrell Publishers)

One Year After: A Novel by William R. Forstchen (Forge Books)

Downton Abbey and Philosophy edited by Adam Barkman & Robert Arp (Popular Culture and Philosophy Series: Open Court)

City Limits: Why Australia's Cities Are Broken and How We Can Fix Them by Jane-Frances Kelly & Paul Donegan (Melbourne University Press)

Low Vision Rehabilitation: A Practical Guide for Occupational Therapists, 2nd edition by Stephen G. Whittaker PhD FAAO OTR/L CLVT, Mitchell Scheiman OD FCOVD FAAO, & Debra A. Sokol-McKay OTR/L SCLV CDE CVRT CLVT (Slack Incorporated)

Essentials of In Vivo Biomedical Imaging, 1st Har/Psc edition edited by Simon R. Cherry, Ramsey D. Badawi, & Jinyi Qi (CRC Press)

Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, 1st Har/Psc edition edited by Ari S. Hoschander, Christopher J. Salgado, Wrood Kassira, & Seth R. Thaller (CRC Press)

Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine, 1st edition by Steven M. Fox (CRC Press)

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, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area by Pamela K. Kinney (Schiffer Publishing Ltd.)


Professional & Technical / Agriculture

Soil and Water Chemistry: An Integrative Approach, 2nd edition by Michael E. Essington (CRC Press)

The second edition of a bestseller, Soil and Water Chemistry maintains the balanced perspective that made the first edition a hugely popular textbook. The second edition includes new figures and tables, new chapters, and expanded exercises in each chapter. It covers topics including soil chemical environment, soil minerals, soil organic matter, cation exchange, oxidation-reduction, mineral weathering and solubility, surface chemistry and adsorption reactions, acidity and salinity in soil materials, and chemical thermodynamics applied to soil systems.

The second edition of Soil and Water Chemistry includes:

  • Extensive section that details the sources, speciation, and the general behavior of elements in soils.
  • Expanded section on crystal structure, updated phyllosillcates classifications scheme, inclusion of sepiolite-palygorskite group, and expanded x-ray diffraction section.
  • Discussion of surface runoff losses of phosphorus from soil and description of the inductivity coupled argon plasma-mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) analytical technique for determining elemental concentrations in soil solution.
  • Coverage of the influence of redox processes on the soil chemistry of nonelectroactive elements.
  • Description of the electrokinetic phenomenon and investigation of the influence of temperature on adsorption.
  • Expanded discussion on the application of chemical thermodynamics to soil systems.

... The breadth and depth of coverage ... make this book one of the most thorough available.... a comprehensive source of information for researchers and professionals [dealing with] the effect of soil-water chemistry, interactions, and processes that impact the environment. – Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 33, No. 4

... sets a higher standard for future environmental science textbooks. I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in the area of soil and water chemistry to purchase this book. – Vadose Zone Journal, May 2005

I continue to be impressed by the quality of writing in this book. The author has a superb command of the subject matter and presents many difficult concepts in an easily understood manner. Material is covered in as complete a fashion as I have seen in any other soil chemistry textbook. – Dr. Gary Pierzynski, Kansas State University

Still one of the only texts on this subject, Soil and Water Chemistry, 2nd edition, provides comprehensive, modern, and balanced coverage of the chemical and mineralogical characteristics of soils and their chemical processes. It contains more information and topic coverage than required for an average, single-semester course. Figures and tables make the information accessible. This format allows students to understand the concepts and recognize that their computations have physical meaning.


Professional & Technical / Petroleum Engineering

Hydraulic Fracturing by Michael Berry Smith & Carl Montgomery (Emerging Trends and Technologies in Petroleum Engineering Series: CRC Press)

Hydraulic Fracturing explains how to properly engineer and optimize a hydraulically fractured well by selecting the right materials, evaluating the economic benefits of the project, and ensuring the safety and success of the people, environment, and equipment. From data estimation to design, operation, and performance management, the text presents a logical, step-by-step process for hydraulic fracturing that aids in proper engineering decision making when stimulating a particular reservoir. Numerous problem sets reinforce the learning and aid in risk assessment.

Authors of Hydraulic Fracturing are Michael Berry Smith, with more than 30 years of experience in rock mechanics, well completions, and hydraulic fracturing, who at Amoco Production Company co-developed the framework for fracturing pressure analysis, which revolutionized the fracturing technology; and Carl T. Montgomery, formerly with ConocoPhillips, Arco, and Dowell Schlumberger and a special member of the petroleum engineering graduate faculty at the University of Oklahoma, Norman.

Hydraulic fracturing is becoming more and more prevalent in connection with the development of unconventional resources all over the world. Understanding the mechanisms associated with this type of completion method and [possessing] knowledge related to state-of-the-art, full 3D fracturing design modeling tools are mandatory for this industry. Unfortunately, the stimulation industry still relies on simplistic and plain wrong modeling and, hence, this book can make a difference.… It represents an update on fracturing technology. – Arthur Bale, Statoil, Bergen, Norway

This book definitely fills an important role of providing practical hydraulic fracturing field experience. The authors clearly explain the sometimes deviations from theoretical predictions. In addition, chapter 15 contains exceptional discussions on shale stimulations and horizontal completions. – Jean-Claude Roegiers, Professor Emeritus, University of Oklahoma, Norman

… definitely a book that all young fracture engineers should have at their side. The book is very well laid out and can be used as a workflow for designing fracture treatments. Its practical writing style makes it easy to understand and comments within the text on potential problem areas are an invaluable source of knowledge. – Kirk Bartko, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Dhahran

Hydraulic Fracturing presents a logical, step-by-step process for hydraulic fracturing, effectively busting the myths associated with hydraulic fracturing.



Arts & Photography / Literature / Media Studies / French

Adapting Nineteenth-Century France: Literature in Film, Theatre, Television, Radio and Print by Kate Griffiths & Andrew Watts (French and Francophone Studies Series: University of Wales Press)

 Arguing that we need to reconceptualize the study of adaptations, Andrew Watts and Kate Griffiths examine six canonical French novelists and the recreations of their works in a variety of media. Rather than viewing the works of Balzac, Hugo, Flaubert, Zola, Maupassant, and Verne as authentic original versions to be defended from the impurities of adapting hands, the authors demonstrate that these ‘originals’ are themselves fashioned from the adapted voices of a host of earlier artists, moments, and media. Analyzing reworkings of canonical literary texts across time and media to emphasize the ways adaptations cast new light on source texts, Adapting Nineteenth-Century France reveals the complexities of both nineteenth-century and contemporary notions of originality and authorial borrowing. It charts such revision through a range of genres encompassing the modern media of radio, silent film, fiction, musical theatre, sound film and television.

Griffiths is a lecturer in French and translation at Cardiff University and Andrew Watts is a lecturer in French studies at the University of Birmingham.

Hanna Diamond and Claire Gorrara, the series editors, say that French and Francophone Studies, of which this book is a part, showcases the work of new and established scholars working in the field. It publishes introductory texts aimed at a student readership, as well as research-orientated monographs at the cutting edge of their discipline area. The series highlights shifting patterns of research in French and francophone studies, to reevaluate traditional representations of French and francophone identities and to encourage the exchange of ideas and perspectives across a wide range of discipline areas.

The French nineteenth century and its cultural products have long fascinated those who adapt. Adaptation, as a cultural phenomenon, is key to the artistic life of this era, characterized as it is by cross-media/genre dialogues as novels, plays, operas and paintings nourish each other adaptively. Such adaptive urges in relation to nineteenth-century France are, though, far from the preserve of the century itself. Each of the case study novelists featured in Adapting Nineteenth-Century France, Zola, Balzac, Flaubert, Hugo, Maupassant and Verne, was not only adapted and re-adapted in his lifetime, but continues to be reinvented across time, media and nation to the present day. In 2012, the screenwriter of Larkrise to Candleford, Bill Gallagher, transposed Zola's Au Bonheur des dames into a BBC television series, swapping Paris for Newcastle, the site of the first British department store (Bainbridge's – now John Lewis).

Adaptation was, as a phenomenon, perhaps even more embedded in the operatic productions of the era. Adaptation, moreover, has driven cinema from its nascent moments. The link between silent cinema and nineteenth-century literature is well established. The adaptive undertakings of television, in its early years, in many respects echo those of radio and its cultural mission.

Griffiths and Watts’ attempt to underline the varying, if at times overlapping, impulses to adapt which characterize each media is deliberate. Critical writing on adaptation tends to privilege theatre and cinema. While inter-fictional adaptation is a growing field of study, writing on adaptation for television – a process usually elided, albeit erroneously, with its larger screen counterpart – is comparatively scarce. Writing on adaptation for radio is practically non-existent. Working against the prevalent approach which seems to imply that one adaptive strategy fits all media, Adapting Nineteenth-Century France seeks to focus on the way in which different media adapt differently, their very different aesthetic frameworks and practical requirements authoring adaptations almost as much as the writer penning them and the various creative identities translating them into different creative forms. As chapter one makes clear, radio, a non-visual medium, strips Zola of the color and detailed panoramas for which he is so renowned. Early film, as chapter two underlines, silences the linguistic exuberance that is the massive Balzacian text. But with such adaptive losses come other adaptive gains. Radio, an intimate, domestic medium, brings the listener closer to the, at times forgotten, intimacy of Zola's novels as they dissect the lives and motivations of their characters in extreme close-up. Comparably, if early film silences Balzac, it also brings to light the unexpected prevalence and importance of silence as a theme in the seemingly ceaseless words of this writer. Griffiths and Watts do not seek to evaluate all of the case study authors across all of the media on which Adapting Nineteenth-Century France focuses. Such a task would be Herculean. Rather, these chapters evaluate the texts of a specific author in relation to a specific medium or art form with which they enjoy a telling affinity. Hence this book assesses Zola in relation to radio adaptation, Balzac on silent film, Flaubert recreated in contemporary fiction, Maupassant as seen on television, Hugo as incarnated in musical theatre and Verne as translated into sound cinema. It does so, first, to attempt to identify the specific adaptive strategies of the media in question and, second, to suggest how, in their affinities with specific media, such adaptations help them better to read the theories, form and content of the authors in question.

The case study authors in Adapting Nineteenth-Century France have been chosen not only for their affin­ities with a specific medium, they have also been selected for the resonance of their authorial approach with contemporary debates on adaptation. If fidelity approaches have dominated adaptation studies since their inception, situating adaptations as necessarily inferior copies of a superior textual original, key critical voices have made clear, and continue to make clear, the need for a more inter-textual approach to the discipline. Brian McFarlane writes that adaptations are best read with an acknowledgement of the inherent inter-textuality of all texts.

While Adapting Nineteenth-Century France is informed by the persuasive voices of such critics of adaptation and by a series of the theorists who perhaps inspired them (notably, Lacan, Kristeva, Bakhtin, de Certeau and Derrida), the book also seeks to showcase the anticipation of elements of intertextual theory in the work of our case study nineteenth-century French novelists. Adaptations, whatever their form and media, of Zola, Balzac, Hugo, Flaubert, Maupassant and Verne, cannot irrevocably be written off as inferior copies of a superior textual original, for these authors, in very different ways, self-consciously borrow from a host of different sources, dramatizing their own acts of adaptation and playfully pointing to their multiple points of origin. Such authors find their own literary originality, paradoxically, by showcasing their own borrowing from elsewhere. Furthermore, the adaptations selected of them for this book frequently engage with their source author's debate on literary originality. Far from being facile, exploitative copies, these adaptations, in their form and content, reflect on their own adaptive act in highly creative ways. They contemplate their derivation from a clearly canonical source, borrowing with a reflexivity comparable to their canonical forebear. While such a claim cannot be made for all adaptations of the authors in question, Adapting Nineteenth-Century France throws into relief the profoundly inter-textual debate on the nature of authorship itself at play between these key nineteenth-century French writers and some of the best of the adaptations made of them.

Structured around some of the key themes of the adaptive process, sound, image, time, spectacle, space and the question of whether any individual can ultimately sign an adaptation as his/her own, each of the chapters takes on a specific theme. Sound is the central focus of chapter one: `Labyrinths of Voices: Emile Zola, Germinal and Radio'. While voices commenting on the work of Emile Zola and its adaptation into film and theatre are numerous, they fall silent in relation to the novelist's adaptation for radio. The national range and extent of adaptations of Zola for radio is such that this critical silence is not driven by a paucity of output in this medium. Rather, it is part of a more general critical silence on literary adaptation in radio, a silence only in part beginning to be broken.

As chapter one of Adapting Nineteenth-Century France focuses on Zola and sound or Zola in sound, chapter two, `Diamond Thieves and Gold Diggers: Balzac, Silent Cinema and the Spoils of Adaptation', moves to contemplate the silence of Balzac in early cinema. While critics have not remained silent on the many early reworkings of Balzac in this medium, such reworkings have not always garnered the critical acclaim they merit. Using two case studies, Jean Epstein's L'Auberge rouge (1923) and Rex Ingram's Eugenie Grandet, The Conquering Power (1921), this chapter shows that, far from being technically underdeveloped artifacts that abbreviate and undo a great artist, these two films tap into key Balzacian themes. In poaching Balzac, ultimately they remain true to Balzac.

Chapter three, `Fragmented Fictions: Time, Textual Memory and the (Re)Writing of Madame Bovary', considers the complexity of adaptive time in relation to inter-fictional adaptations of Flaubert's Madame Bovary. Some twenty-four literary homages to Madame Bovary have appeared in the last thirty years. This chapter, though, focuses in particular on Posy Simmonds's Gemma Bovery (1999) and Philippe Doumenc's Contre-enquete sur la mort d'Emma Bovary (2007) since both works, in keeping with their Flaubertian predecessor, throw into relief the importance of time and temporality in the adaptive process. These texts by Simmonds and Doumenc share their source novel's fascination with how works rewrite earlier texts, adapting them to fit a new era in temporal rewritings which are always, in a sense, at least double, pointing simultaneously to the time of a past work and to the era of the culture for which the rewritings are intended.

Continuing chapter three's consideration of the expanse of matter from which Flaubert and his adaptors fashion their literary originality, chapter four, `Les Miserables, Theatre and the Anxiety of Excess', concentrates too on the question of excess. It takes as its case studies the West End and Broadway musical Les Miserables (1985–) by Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schonberg and Jose Pliya's 2001 play Le Complexe de Thenardier: Critics all too often focus on what is lost as a work, whatever its length, is translated into a different medium. This chapter, however, explores the way Hugo's novel and key adaptations crafted from it revolve around notions of excess, be it in relation to extremes of violence or the fate of the chronically poor. If Hugo, Boubil and Schonberg and Pliya all testify to a certain anxiety in relation to the theme of excess, all resolve it as they strip down and refine the work of their predecessors in their adaptive undertakings.

While Hugo's text is expansive, space in the short stories of Maupassant is usually a far more claustrophobic, restrictive concept. Chapter five, `Chet Maupassant The (In)Visible Space of Television Adaptation', thus looks at how the short story writer is innately suited to the more claustrophobic visual aesthetic and structural rhythms of television as a medium. Despite their prevalence and popularity, television adaptations of Maupassant have largely remained invisible in critical spheres. Focusing on the first two series of France's hugely popular Chez Maupassant, an anthology of adaptations by different renowned directors, this chapter seeks to make visible the critical value and artistic space of this anthology.

This question of who ultimately signs an adaptation as his/her own is taken up, in spectral terms, by Adapting Nineteenth-Century France's final chapter, `Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours Verne, Todd, Coraci and the Spectropoetics of Adaptation'. Adaptations are arguably the most haunted of all art forms, spectrally incarnating Jacques Derrida's reading of the haunted nature of any canonical work's recreation at the hands of its would-be artistic heirs. Though the two case studies of this chapter, a 1956 adaptation of Le Tour du monde produced by Michael Todd and its far less commercially successful counterpart directed by Frank Coraci in 2004, do take great liberties with Verne's source novel, their artistic value lies in their willingness to contemplate and engage with the ghosts at the heart of adaptation. Both contemplate the ghostly presence of Verne's novel and Verne the broader cultural icon. Alongside the Vernian ghost, they dramatize the spectral traces of the authorial influence of their directors, producers and stars. They revel in the spectral inter-textual dialogue that binds them to Verne.

In this volume, key literary works are situated within a highly active network of diverse impulses that extend the critical focus beyond the usual concern of scholars.... This major study attentively probes the multimedia and multifaceted dynamics of adaption. – Bradley Stephens, University of Bristol

Griffiths and Watts break new ground in their invigorated inter-medial exploration of the adaptive afterlives of leading nineteenth-century French novelists. This significant contribution traverses literary criticism, adaptation studies, and media studies, bringing compelling insights, not least in the rarely studied areas of radio and television adaptation. – Susan Harrow, University of Bristol

The collective importance of the case study authors of Adapting Nineteenth-Century France and the selected adaptations made of them is threefold. First, they enact the very different adaptive strategies of specific media and make clear the formal affinities that at times link certain authors with certain art forms. Secondly, they underline the intricate inter-textual dialogues at play in the best of the adaptations of these canonical sources. They also make clear the intriguing analyses on authorship and the originality to be gleaned in the reworking of other texts that lie at the heart of these canonical sources themselves. They underline, in short, that in adaptation, true artistry may be found.

History / U.S. / Politics

Villainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War by Guy R. Hasegawa, with a foreword by Bill Gurley (Southern Illinois University Press)

Hasegawa, a pharmacist and one of the nation's leading experts on Civil War medicine, has uncovered details of a forgotten chapter in the history of American weapons development. His discoveries open our eyes to an array of possible what-ifs. As readers will learn in the chapters to follow, pepper spray, flamethrowers, and chlorine gas shells were just a few of the exotic chemical weapons proposed by patriotic inventors, both blue and gray. Indeed, what if several of these weapons had been developed further or seen wider usage in the Civil War? Perhaps its outcome might have been different.

Villainous Compounds is a significant and fresh contribution to the historiography both of the Civil War and of science and technology. Hasegawa's clear prose and engaging style will appeal to Civil War aficionados with little grounding in chemistry as well as chemists with scant knowledge of the war. Battlefield trampers and armchair historians alike will gain new insights into the scientific and moral underpinnings of America's earliest attempts at developing weapons of mass destruction. – Bill J. Gurley, PhD, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Pharmacy Little Rock, from the foreword

Most studies of modern chemical warfare begin with World War I and the widespread use of poison gas by both sides in the conflict. However, as Guy R. Hasegawa reveals in Villainous Compounds, numerous chemical agents were proposed during the Civil War era. As combat commenced, a few forward-thinking chemists recognized the advantages of weaponizing the noxious, sometimes deadly aspects of certain chemical concoctions. They proposed a host of chemical weapons, from liquid chlorine in artillery shells to cayenne pepper solution sprayed from fire engines. At the same time, ordinary citizens suggested how common poisons might be employed with frightful effect on the battlefield. By demonstrating the role chemical weapons played in the American arms race of the mid-nineteenth century, Hasegawa exposes a disturbing new facet of the Civil War.

Guy R. Hasegawa, a pharmacist, is senior editor of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

Hasegawa in Villainous Compounds describes the potential weapons, the people behind the concepts, and the evolution of some chemical weapon concepts into armaments employed in future wars. As he explains, bureaucrats in the war departments of both armies either delayed or rejected outright most of these unusual weapons, viewing them as unneeded or unworkable. Nevertheless, many of the proposed armaments presaged the widespread use of chemical weapons in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Although many of the ideas for chemical weapons had a historical precedent, most of the suggested agents were used in industry or medicine, and their toxicity was common knowledge. Proponents, including a surprisingly high number of civilian physicians, suggested a wide variety of potential chemical weapons. Some weapons advocates expressed ethical qualms, while others were silent on the matter or justified their suggestions as necessary under current circumstances.

According to Hasegawa, articles describing Civil War proposals for chemical weapons started appearing in periodicals in the 1920s, probably because the recent use of poisonous gases in World War I had spurred interest. Those early works, whose major point seemed to be that chemical weapons were not so new after all, were maddeningly inadequate in documenting their sources, and later articles generally repeated what earlier ones had said. The most valuable published resource by far was Robert V. Bruce's Lincoln and the Tools of War (first published in 1956), because Bruce was unusually thorough in recording his sources, which included those for his few mentions of chemical agents. The documentation in Bruce's book guided Hasegawa to army and navy ordnance files at the National Archives in Washington, DC, that contain descriptions of ‘inventions’ submitted by civilians to US civic and military officials. Those letters dealing specifically with chemical weapons provided much of the information for Villainous Compounds.

Hasegawa says he consulted standard references such as the army Official Records and its navy counterpart, and Internet searches proved useful, especially in providing newspaper accounts of citizens suggesting chemical weapons.

Biographical information about weapons proponents was gleaned from various sources, including city directories and the 1860 census. In a surprising number of instances, the proponents were prominent enough to be mentioned in detailed obituaries or local histories. A simple glossary is included to assist readers with selected terms, especially those whose meaning, although provided once in the text, may be forgotten when they subsequently appear.

Villainous Compounds describes the background of chemical weapons advocates, suggests possible sources and motives for their ideas, evaluates the feasibility of the weapons, and explores whether and how they evolved into more modern counterparts, such as the poison gases of World War I or the crowd control agents used in law enforcement today.

Villainous Compounds also contains proposals found since publication of the Military Medicine article Hasegawa wrote and identifies the original sources for nearly all the suggestions previously described in the secondary literature. This and other documentation in the notes and bibliography should assist future scholars to a greater extent than earlier works on the topic. Additionally, the book describes the incendiary compounds collectively called ‘Greek fire,’ which the article did not.

This book has all the qualities that mark author Guy Hasegawa’s scholarship: an interesting subject, engaging writing, and – especially – impeccable research. Indeed, the bibliography alone is worth the price of this book; readers will be impressed with the breadth of the author’s reliance on primary and period sources. The war unleashed some unconventional – even ‘mad’ – genius among inventors, North and South, and Hasegawa describes it from ‘arsenic’ to ‘zinc.’ – James M. Schmidt, author of Galveston and The Civil War: An Island City in the Maelstrom
One need not have a scientific background to appreciate Hasegawa’s fine study of proposed chemical weapons during the Civil War. Thank goodness government officials, North and South, ignored nearly all the toxic, noxious, malodorous, and incendiary recommendations by inventive civilians that Hasegawa has detailed!
– Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein, Ph.D., author of The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine
Villainous Compounds, Hasegawa shows us how physicians, chemists, and inventors worked to develop new devices to fight war. Given what is happening in today’s world and the information given by Hasegawa, we can again say that history has much to teach. – Gordon E. Dammann, D.D.S., founder of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine 
For the military leadership of the American Civil War, few concepts were more important than honor, and few ideas as pervasive as the goal of engaging in ‘civilized warfare.’ Even as the exigencies of war destroyed these ideals, proposals to use poisonous chemicals in battle were largely rejected. Hasegawa’s masterful and exhaustive exploration of toxic Civil War ingenuity charts the course of such ideas, which would come to horrible fruition in World War I. – Margaret Humphreys, M.D., Ph.D., Josiah Trent Professor in the History of Medicine, Duke University

Villainous Compounds is a fascinating study. Especially timely with today’s increased chemical threats from terrorists and the alleged use of chemical agents in the Syrian Civil War, in chilling detail, it expands the history of chemical warfare and exposes a disturbing new facet of the Civil War.

Home & Garden / Animals & Pets

My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts by Laura T. Coffey, with photography by Lori Fusaro (New World Library)

It makes me so happy that older shelter dogs are being celebrated in this beautiful and important book. – Neko Case, from the foreword

“No Dog Should Die Alone” was the attention-grabbing – and heart-stirring – headline of journalist Laura T. Coffey’s TODAY show website story about photographer Lori Fusaro’s work with senior shelter pets. It generated so much passionate feedback that Coffey and Fusaro decided to team up to work together on My Old Dog. They wanted to document senior-dog success stories, and they spent a good chunk of 2014 traveling all over the United States to find them.

Older dogs tend to be calm and content, loving and loyal – and when they find nice homes and kind treatment in their later years, they give back much more than they get. The people who come to this realization are pretty wonderful, too, and readers will meet plenty of them in My Old Dog. In fact, this is a book that will make readers want to hug every dog and every human in its pages because they will be so happy that dogs and humans like these exist.

While generally calm, easy, and already house-trained, these animals often represent the highest-risk population at shelters. Readers meet endearing elders like Marnie, the irresistible shih tzu who has posed for selfies with Tina Fey, James Franco, and Betty White; Remy, a soulful nine-year-old dog adopted by elderly nuns; George Clooney’s cocker spaniel, Einstein; and Bretagne, the last known surviving search dog from Ground Zero. They may be slower moving and a tad less exuberant than puppies, but these pooches prove that adopting a senior brings immeasurable joy, earnest devotion, and unconditional love.

Of special interest are the book's stories about retired working dogs – such as military dogs, law-enforcement dogs, and racing dogs – who can find themselves languishing in kennels or left in overcrowded shelters after they age out of their vocations. My Old Dog also includes a comprehensive resource guide to help readers take action.

As these stories unfold, the joy and ease of living with older dogs (as opposed to untrained puppies!) become evident. At the conclusion of the book, readers will find care-giving tips for older dogs from veterinarian and bestselling author Marty Becker and senior-specific behavior tips from certified dog trainer Mikkel Becker, as well as ideas for helping senior dogs in all sorts of ways – even if readers can't take one in themselves.

My Old Dog celebrates successful senior-dog rescue stories while also highlighting a sad truth: at shelters across the United States, where nearly four million dogs and cats are put down each year; senior animals often represent the highest-risk population.

Animal-welfare workers see the same distressing scenarios all the time: confronted with financial pressures, illness, or another life upheaval – such as a divorce, a home foreclosure, or even a military deployment – an animal owner is suddenly unable to care for a longtime pet. Another common situation with senior dogs is that their older human owners move into nursing facilities that do not accept pets.

It may be tough to be a discarded senior dog – but a mere decade ago, it was a lot tougher. Grassroots efforts on their behalf began brewing in far-flung parts of North America in the late 1990s. In 1997, Teri Goodman of San Francisco started the Senior Dogs Project, a website designed to encourage senior-dog adoption. To this day, the site offers one of the most extensive online collections of information about helping and caring for older dogs.

In 1999, Deborah Workman started one of the first rescue groups in the United States devoted specifically to older dogs: the Sanctuary for Senior Dogs in Cleveland, Ohio. "When we started the group, we were openly laughed at," Deborah recalled. "It was not a popular thing." Despite the initial ridicule, Deborah remained determined to grow the Sanctuary for Senior Dogs; today, her group still finds homes for about thirty seniors a year. "It amazes me that adopters actually seek out old dogs now," she said. "But they do!"

In 2008, something happened to bring more cohesion to the movement on a national level: Julie Dudley founded the Grey Muzzle Organization, an all-volunteer group that gives grant money to senior-dog programs. "I wanted to do something to help the groups that are doing this, because they are so busy," Julie explained. "Small organizations certainly don't have the time to do national fund-raising." By late 2014, the Grey Muzzle Organization had provided more than $420,000 in grants to shelters and rescue groups across the United States, along with $35,000 worth of orthopedic dog beds to make older dogs' shelter stays more comfortable.

These days, senior-dog programs abound all over North America and overseas. Many rescue groups for dogs of all ages and breeds have special initiatives to help seniors get adopted, and most city and county shelters in the United States promote their older animals in special ways.

The senior-dog movement got another boost in January 2014. That's when Erin O'Sullivan started a Facebook page called "Susie's Senior Dogs" to connect people with older pets up for adoption. Almost immediately, the page had a significant impact on the senior-dog rescue scene; in less than a year, it racked up more than 200,000 followers and helped about 300 dogs find permanent homes. Erin knew from the very beginning that she wanted to spotlight the neediest cases. "I try to go for the dogs that are literally sitting in jail cells," she said. "I feel they are valuable. They are creatures on this earth."

These changes are hugely encouraging for all the older canines out there – but senior dogs still struggle with a serious image problem. Even the term senior can be fraught with peril if you're a dog. According to American Veterinary Medical Association age labels, a fun-loving golden retriever (a larger breed) can be labeled geriatric at age six, and an affectionate shih tzu (a smaller breed) can be considered geriatric at age seven – even though they might have a decade or more of adventures ahead. Dog rescuers say such labels can reduce an animal's chances of being adopted.

Rescuers say the most grateful canines are older dogs from loud, disorienting shelters who receive get-out-of-jail cards. Often, within fifteen minutes of starting new lives in loving homes with soft beds, they fall asleep in that most vulnerable of dog positions: on their backs, bellies exposed, paws flopped contentedly in the air. The same profound relief is shown by retired working dogs – military dogs, racing dogs, law-enforcement dogs, and others – that readers might not expect to end up in kennels or shelters. But they can. For that reason, My Old Dog includes stories of working dogs who needed help securing safe, comfortable places to retire.

If you love dogs, or if you like dogs, or if you’ve ever heard of dogs, or if you’re from planet Earth, you will love this book. – David Rosenfelt, author of Dogtripping and Lessons from Tara
A truly heartwarming celebration. –
Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell
My Old Dog is a truly wonderful book.... Every story reminds me just how resilient dogs are and how strong the human-animal bond can be. – Victoria Stilwell, dog behavior expert and star of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog
Full of wonderful color photos, this beautiful work does a great job of advocating for adult and senior dogs. – Library Journal
This book is a loving celebration of old dogs and of radiant souls that shine through aging eyes. –
Francis Battista, cofounder of Best Friends Animal Society
This book is a wonderful tribute to our ‘sizzlin’ seniors’! – Jill Rappaport, animal advocate and NBC News correspondent
I fell in love with these dogs, and their stories serve to remind us that old dogs are like fine wine – they only get better with age. Four paws up! –
Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association
This exquisite, eye-opening book needs a place on every dog lover’s shelf. –
Maria Goodavage, New York Times-bestselling author of Soldier Dogs and Top Dog

The compelling stories and photographs in My Old Dog will inspire people to adopt older dogs. With gorgeous, joyful photographs and sweet, funny, true tales of ‘old dogs learning new tricks,’ Coffey and Fusaro show that adopting a senior can be even more rewarding than choosing a younger dog.

Home & Garden / Arts & Crafts / Hobbies

Great Big Toy Trucks: Plans and Instructions for Building 9 Giant Vehicles by Les Neufeld (Taunton Press)

The only thing more fun than building a rugged truck is playing with one.

Great Big Toy Trucks is geared for both beginner and experience woodworkers with detailed, step-by-step instructions. All 9 projects were chosen based on retailers' best-selling makes and toy manufacturers' highest-rated models. These trucks are built tough and meant to be played with for hours and hours. The projects include giant machines like a Mining Dump Truck, midsize working trucks, and diverse vehicles such as a School Bus in monster-truck mode.

Author Les Neufeld has been an ardent woodworker since childhood. With early training in the logging and lumber industry, he later became a machinist and went on to earn a master’s degree in education. He received his woodworking and design training at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Wooden toy trucks are great projects for the woodworker who builds them as well as for the kids who will derive hours of pleasure playing with them. There are more than 360 color photographs and 80 detailed illustrations presented in step-by-step fashion in Great Big Toy Trucks.

First and foremost, these toys are meant for kids to play with, so the designs revolve around the primary aim of giving kids some enjoyment. Coming in a close second is enjoyment for the woodworker who makes the toys. Neufeld chooses design features that meet both of those requirements.

Unlike models, toys need to be robust. That dictates much of the design and overrides appearance in importance. For example, Neufeld says he has found that exhaust stacks are susceptible to breaking, so he makes them short and stubby to keep that from happening. The same goes for handles and other controls. Over time, wheels can come off if the axle pins are too short or if they are installed with a less-than-generous amount of glue. So he uses solid heavy axles for the larger toys.

Toys also need to be attractive to kids as well as to adults. Careful wood choice can provide contrast and color, and good proportion helps keeps balance.

A novice woodworker can make these toys, and Neufeld has written Great Big Toy Trucks with that in mind. However, some very accomplished woodworkers will likely make one or two of these toys as well. Likewise, woodworkers will need to adapt instructions here and there because their equipment is slightly different from the author’s or because they have a different way of doing things. Each chapter has a few templates, which Neufeld says he used to simplify the layout of the more complex curved parts.

Neufeld has created an incredibly attractive and easy-to-understand book in Great Big Toy Trucks that will be enjoyed by all.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

One-Skein Wonders for Babies: 101 Knitting Projects for Infants & Toddlers edited by Judith Durant, with photography by Geneve Hoffman (One-Skein Wonders Series: Storey Publishing LLC)

There is nothing more adorable than children's clothes. Those soft, cozy hats, tiny jackets, and ‘blankies’ kids can't live without are treasures when knitted by someone who loves them.

One-Skein Wonders for Babies offers 101 original knitting projects for babies and toddlers – each using just a single skein of yarn. From mittens and hats to tees, sweaters, hoodies, pants, dresses, socks, and bootees, knitters will find the perfect wearable for every child and every occasion. They will also discover beautiful bibs, blankets, and sleep sacks, plus adorable stuffed toys, and blanket buddies. These projects were contributed by designers and crafters around the world, and each comes with step-by-step instructions and a photograph of the finished piece.

Editor Judith Durant, who has been knitting for more than 50 years, is the editor of the best-selling One-Skein Wonders series. In this addition to the 6 volumes already in the series, Durant has now gathered designs from top knitwear designers to offer a variety of styles. With colorful photos and helpful charts, the one-skein approach offers projects for all skill levels and yarn types.

Whether knitters want to knit for a newborn, a toddler, a young child, or even a mother, they will find something in One-Skein Wonders for Babies. Durant has arranged the projects into categories, including tops, bottoms, bootees, hats, blankets, and toys.

Birthday Baby by Melissa Morgan-Oakes is a lovely sweater and hat ensemble for a newborn, and Sleeveless Baby Tees by Gail Gelin are both practical and cute. Baby Gansey Crossover Coat by Deborah Hess will place their three-to-six-month-old on a list of most fashionable babies. If knitters like good-old practical things, they can check out the Old-School Baby Soaker by Diana Foster. They can keep heads of many sizes warm and stylish with the collection of more than two-dozen hats, including the Cutie Pie Baby Hat by Anita Grahn, Hootenanny Hat of Owls by Anna Smegal, and even an Infant Crown by Marcia J. Sommerkamp. There are eight blankets to choose from, ranging from the lacy Falling Leaves Baby Blankie by Myrna A. I. Stahman, to the Four-Squared Stroller Blanket by Liz Nields in which squares are connected as they knit, to the vibrant Colorful Carriage Blanket by Gwen Steege that is made with a series of hexagons. The assortment of toys can help provide their little ones with many hours of amusement, from making noise with Baby Rattles by Lynn M. Wilson, to moving the articulated arms of Toot the Bunny by Noel Margaret, to imagining deep-sea adventures with Lovey the Octopus by Rachel Henry. To help stay organized, knitters can check out the Bath Toy Hammock by Kathy Sasser. And after all that new moms go through in a day, My Mom's Stress Reducer may be just what the doctor ordered.

This charming book should be in every knitter’s library! The yarns are lovely, and there are contributions from a wide range of talented designers. – Jil Eaton, author of Jil Eaton’s Knitting School and knitting pattern designer at MinnowKnits
Judith has done it again with something for every baby and every knitter. There are simple projects and more complex projects, and every one of them is chock-full of cute! – Susan B. Anderson, author of Itty-Bitty Toys and Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys
From garments for baby's head, body, toes, and beyond, this book is bursting with cuteness! – Vickie Howell, Designer, & Yarnspirations International Spokesperson

With One-Skein Wonders for Babies, knitters can make precious items easily, sometimes even in one day. They can knit their beautiful single skeins into darling wearables, toys, blankets, and accessories for baby. Comforting and cozy for infants or stylish and sturdy for active toddlers, with complete step-by-step instructions, there's a pattern for every child, every occasion.

Home & Garden / Forestry / Homesteading

The Woodland Homestead: How to Make Your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the Woods by Brett McLeod, with a foreword by Philip Ackerman-Leist (Storey Publishing LLC)

Why anyone chooses to homestead remains a mystery to many, especially my mother. Why would a person choose to give up the comforts of modern living and consciously return to a point in time when life was tougher, grittier, and less forgiving? I've wrestled with this question myself; it seems even more valid when you're chasing hogs down the highway or building a log cabin with an axe because that's what Granddad did. However, long after the blisters have turned to calluses and the neighbors have been paid off with eggs for the hogs rooting up their yards, I'm left with a simple conclusion: it's just a better way to live. – from the book

A wooded property – even just a small one – is full of possibilities for sustainable use. Whether a reader’s goal is to grow food, harvest wood, or support livestock, forester and homesteader Brett McLeod has the knowledge, tools, and techniques homesteaders need to get the most out of their land. 

The Woodland Homestead shows readers how to use their woodlands to produce everything from wine and mushrooms to firewood and livestock feed. They learn how to take stock of their woods; use axes, bow saws, chainsaws, and other key tools; create pasture and silvopasture for livestock; prune and coppice trees to make fuel, fodder, and furniture; build living fencing and shelters for animals; grow fruit trees and berries in a woodland orchard; and make syrup from birch, walnut, or boxelder trees.

Homesteaders read the stories of other homesteaders who, through innovation and resourcefulness, have realized their dreams of a bountiful woodland home.

Homesteaders make careful plans for making the most of the land they have, whether they're mapping out gardens or creating areas for animals. However, many don't realize that their land's potential doesn't stop at the edge of the pasture. Properly managed, wooded land provides untapped potential for greater self-sufficiency. For instance, in one year on a one-acre homestead forest, a landowner could grow a face cord of firewood, harvest five bushels of fruit, make two gallons of maple syrup, produce $100 of wild mushrooms, and save more than $300 on feed by using natural forage.

In The Woodland Homestead, McLeod – a forestry professor at Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York, author, homesteader, and former professional lumberjack – teaches landowners how to maximize the productivity of their wooded land. His innovative ideas and techniques come from his own experiences on his 25-acre wooded freehold in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York and from working side-by-side with his neighbors.

If readers have ever been out ‘cruising a timber stand’ with a forester, chances are they have encountered a wedge prism: a small beveled piece of glass that the forester holds at arm's length and looks through to determine which trees are to be tallied and which ones are ‘out.’ McLeod gives readers the homesteader's version of this expensive device, made out of a penny, within the first ten pages of this book.

Well-versed in such professional prescriptive assessments of a forested parcel, McLeod nonetheless opts to trade in the wedge prism for a viewing glass that is kaleidoscopic in nature. Readers’ woodlots will become endless and evolving sources of projects and products. They learn how to think about their woodland not only as an ecosystem but also as an ‘ecology of possibilities.’

Homesteaders like McLeod have too often thought of the homestead as a requisite clearing in the woods. In fact, a retrospective of Western and particularly American history begins to look like a history of clearings, paving the way (quite literally now) for civilization. He argues that we need more gems like The Woodland Homestead to remind readers of the pathways back to a more deeply cultured future, one that understands the forces of nature as allies and not perpetual antagonists, one that appreciates the shadows as much as the sunlight.

Crafting one's place in this world is a nearly a lost art, and McLeod's sage advice on how to bring an axe back to life is as much a metaphorical statement as it is a practical guide. To bring back the axe is to rekindle the warm satisfaction of well-honed skills – to opt on occasion for restoration in lieu of simply buying into a manufactured existence.

When you start reading The Woodland Homestead, you’ll learn how to think about your woodland not only as an ecosystem but also as an ‘ecology of possibilities’. – from the foreword by Philip Ackerman-Leist
A friendly and informative book about a subject that intimidates many folks new to homesteading. McLeod makes a walk in the woods a whole new world. – Jenna Woginrich, author of One-Woman Farm, Barnheart, and Chick Days

Whether their property is entirely or only partly wooded, this comprehensive manual is the guide readers need to make the best use of it. The Woodland Homestead offers homesteaders a new lens through which to view their land and the knowledge to unlock its hidden potential. It contains a collection of ideas and techniques from the most innovative and resourceful folks readers have ever met. This ability to develop perspective, see opportunity where others do not, and then offer ingenious and innovative solutions is the mark of a woodland homesteader. This perspective minimizes commercial production of forest products and instead focuses on maximizing utility for the woodland home­steader.

Home & Garden / Garden Design

The Gardens of Arne Maynard by Arne Maynard, with photography by William Collinson, with a foreword by Rosie Atkins (Merrell Publishers)

The Gardens of Arne Maynard is the first book on the work of one of today’s most celebrated and sought-after garden designers. Arne Maynard is known for his award-winning gardens at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show (2000, 2012) and for his beautiful and sympathetic gardens for private houses across the world. Central to his work as a designer is his ability to identify and draw out the essence of a place, something that gives his gardens a particular quality of harmony and belonging.
Maynard is a garden designer known for his large country gardens in Great Britain, Europe and the United States. He draws inspiration from a wide range of disciplines, from architecture to garden history and from interior design to traditional crafts and techniques. Most importantly, he is a passionate and experimental gardener.

William Collinson has been photographing Arne Maynard's gardens for the past two decades. His in-depth understanding of Maynard's work allows him to capture the essence and detail of each garden.

Each of the twelve gardens in the book is specially photographed and is described through the seasons in personal text by Maynard himself, including details of the brief and the plant selection. The Gardens of Arne Maynard also includes fully illustrated features on various topics close to Maynard’s heart, such as growing and using roses, planting borders, creating productive kitchen gardens, incorporating sculpture in the garden, and training trees and shrubs.
Rosie Atkins in the foreword says that Maynard and Collinson bought an almost derelict sixteenth-century manor house in the fens. Guanock House was a garden-magazine editor's dream, and Collinson's pictures, taken for The Gardens of Arne Maynard, instantly transport her to the house and garden the pair brought back to life. She says that nearly thirty years on it is possible to spot recurring motifs in Maynard's gardens: the handcrafted oak gates and fence posts, bespoke greenhouses, clipped trees and timeless planting.

In 2000 Maynard and the Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf collaborated on a garden for Gardens Illustrated at the Chelsea Flower Show, winning a Gold Medal and the award for Best in Show. Their garden showcased cloud hedging, which Maynard uses to dramatic effect in his garden for a Queen Anne house in West Sussex. He went on to win another Gold Medal at Chelsea, and he is now one of the judges.

In 2006 Maynard and Collinson left the fens to create a new garden in the Welsh hills. Allt-y-bela, their medieval tower house, has become a place of pilgrimage for new gardeners and head gardeners seeking inspiration or wanting to hone their gardening skills. This garden is one of those featured in The Gardens of Arne Maynard, offering unique insights into the work in progress and his design methods. Visitors can stay overnight when there are no workshops in progress.

Arne and his loyal and talented team continue to attract clients from around the world. The Gardens of Arne Maynard is a fitting record of how this highly acclaimed designer has refined his skill over the years while celebrating his joy in sharing his ideas with others. – Rosie Atkins, from the foreword

The Gardens of Arne Maynard offers a beautifully photographed selection of gardens by a designer renowned for the elegance and thoughtfulness of his work, with a very personal text that offers unique insight into his gardens. This beautiful book will appeal to garden lovers everywhere, whether armchair gardeners keen to explore the beautiful designs, or hands-on gardeners seeking inspiration and ideas for their own plots. It will also appeal to garden designers and horticultural students.

Literature & Fiction / Science Fiction

One Year After: A Novel by William R. Forstchen (Forge Books)

New York Times bestselling author William R. Forstchen brings a sequel to his hit novel One Second After. Months before publication, One Second After was cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a realistic look at the dangers of EMPs. An EMP is a weapon with the power to destroy the entire United States in a single act of terrorism, in a single second; indeed, it is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. Now, One Year After returns to the small town of Black Mountain, North Carolina, and the man who struggled so hard to rebuild it in the wake of devastation – John Matherson.

Forstchen is the author of numerous other books in diverse subjects ranging from history to science fiction, on some of which he collaborates with Newt Gingrich. Forstchen holds a Ph.D. in history from Purdue University, with specializations in military history and the history of technology. He is currently a faculty fellow and professor of history at Montreat College, near Asheville, North Carolina.

One Year After begins a year after One Second After ends, two years since nuclear weapons were detonated above the United States and brought America to its knees. After months of suffering starvation, war, and countless deaths, the survivors of Black Mountain are beginning to recover the technology and supplies they had once taken for granted, like electricity, radio communications, and medications. When a ‘federal administrator’ arrives in a nearby city, they dare to hope that a new national government is finally emerging.

In One Year After, that hope diminishes quickly when Matherson learns that most of the young men and women in the community are to be drafted into the ‘Army of National Recovery’ and sent to trouble spots hundreds of miles away. He and the people of Black Mountain protest vehemently. But the ‘New Regime’ is already tyrannizing one nearby community.

Will Matherson's friends and neighbors be next?

I've been a fan of Bill Forstchen since the terrific tales in One Second After and Pillar to the Sky. Not only was the science – both hard and social – spot-on, but also the people were so real that I felt as if I had known them for a very long time after just the first few pages. And that, in my book, is true storytelling; the kind that only the rarest of writers ever master. Now comes his latest, One Year After, and, if anything, Bill has perfected his talent. – David Hagberg, New York Times bestselling author of Retribution

Civilization slides into the abyss of a new dark age in this horrifying apocalyptic novel. Forstchen has put Bin Laden's dream on paper and, in the process, taken civilization straight to the rack. – Stephen Coonts, author of The Assassin on the works of William R. Forstchen

One Year After is a thrilling follow-up to One Second After and should delight Forstchen fans in every way.

Philosophy / Culture / TV and Film

Downton Abbey and Philosophy edited by Adam Barkman & Robert Arp (Popular Culture and Philosophy Series: Open Court)

Is it healthy or harmful for people to feel that they ‘know their place’? What does Downton Abbey teach us about the changes in women’s roles since 1912? Do good manners always agree with good morals? How can everybody know what no one will talk about? What’s the justification for a class of people who pride themselves on not having a job? Should we sometimes just accept the reality of social barriers to love, and abandon the pursuit? What happens when community reinforces oppression? All of these and many other issues are discussed in Downton Abbey and Philosophy through a detailed examination of the actual characters and situations in Downton Abbey.

In Downton Abbey and Philosophy, twenty-two professional thinkers uncover the deeper significance of this hugely popular TV saga. Millions of viewers throughout the world have been enthralled by this enactment of a vanished world of decorum and propriety, because it presents them with emotional and interpersonal problems that remain urgent for people in the twenty-first century.
The editors of the volume are Adam Barkman, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Redeemer University College, Ontario and Robert Arp, the author of numerous books in academic and popular philosophy.

Watched today by over 100 million viewers in over 200 countries, Downton Abbey, a UK period drama set in the early twen­tieth century, is a TV series that the uninitiated may think only appeals to older ladies or British conservatives. Indeed, the show is unashamedly quaint, domestic, and homey, which is not the stuff of other international hits such as Baywatch, Lost, and CSI. But just as there are many levels to the actual Abbey – the world of masters above, and the world of servants below – so, too, are there many levels of meaning to Downton Abbey, the show.

The genius of Downton is its ability to incarnate historical accuracy while at the same time raising universal concerns of an ethical, social, and political nature. Haters sometimes claim that the series is a melodramatic, bogus vision of England at the time; their common charge seems to be that the show is beautiful but dumb, or well-acted but superficial in concern. Certainly some episodes revolve around seemingly trivial, gossipy issues such as who stole the snuffbox, but these particular issues are also much more than what they appear.

Readers are encouraged to think of greater things and are rewarded for doing so. There are countless incidents in the five seasons of Downton Abbey covered in Downton Abbey and Philosophy where complex matters lie just below the surface. In fact, if one of the strengths of Downton is that it is a taproot to a vast reality beyond the world of the show, another of its strengths is also highlighting – not necessarily at the same time – the incredible complexities that make up concrete persons in time. That is, while Thomas does play the Satan-figure and Bates the Christ-figure (and many love the show for this), few who have watched the first five seasons would dispute that as concrete persons, and not as types, Bates, Thomas, and even, or especially, Lord Grantham are neither purely hateful, nor purely sympathetic. Thomas constantly plots evil to be sure, yet is also willing to take a beating to spare Jimmy from one. Bates gives money to help a desperate Molesley, but, though questions remain, might have killed at least one person outside of the law. Lord Grantham, too, is virtuous in his concern for the tenants on his land, but cold toward the prospect of his daughters' flourishing as genuine individuals. Viewers love these complexities as windows into their world, and thinking about such complexities – and pointing out contradictions and problems with many of these complexities – is what helps them also think about their own state as such.

The chapters in Downton Abbey and Philosophy discuss the many other instances where universal and particular matters arise with great force. The oft-neglected matter of etiquette are a constant theme, as are women's rights. Philosophies of work and place are brought to viewers’ attention with surprising depth. Wartime ethics and the constant challenge to adapt basic moral principles to very particular, changing battlefields is another important theme, as are philosophies about what a just socio-political order should look like.

In Downton Abbey, the best and worst aspects of the human condition unfold among the upper and lower classes of First World War English society. And wherever we find the human condition, philosophical questions brew like afternoon tea. Downton Abbey and Philosophy turns an insightful eye on moral scandal, political unrest sexuality, death, and individual purpose, telling us more about the colorful characters of Downton, but also more about ourselves. – Jamie Carlin Watson, co-author of Philosophy DeMystifed

If you have enjoyed watching Downton Abbey, you will enjoy this honey of a book. When your viewing is over, these delicious meditations on morality and meaning will prompt you to continue pondering the series…. – Rachel Wagner, author of Godwired: Religion, Ritual, and Virtual Reality

Barkman and Arp's book is the perfect companion for those, like me, who have watched Downton Abbey three times, and are on the verge of a fourth viewing. – Charles Taliaferro, co-author of A Brief History of the Soul

With topics ranging from love and manners to death and war, the fine philosophers in this collection will take you on a philosophical tour of post-Edwardian England. This book is appealing to both those who work downstairs as well as those who don't work at all. You are certain to love this book at least as much as Mr. Bates loves Anna! – Richard V. Greene, co-editor of Girls and Philosophy: This Book Isn't a Metaphor for Anything

… Watching Downton Abbey is anything but a guilty pleasure, as the authors in this volume show by disclosing the philosophical significance of manors, manners, and, yes, snuffboxes. As a result, we learn why Matthew Crawley actually isn't the sweetheart we see him as and what an English lord can teach us about socialism. This is a thought-provoking book for fans and skeptics of the series alike! –Janelle Potzsch, co-editor of Dracula and Philosophy: Dying to Know

Love the show, love the book, a source of many hours of reflection.

Politics / Australia / Current Affairs

City Limits: Why Australia's Cities Are Broken and How We Can Fix Them by Jane-Frances Kelly & Paul Donegan (Melbourne University Press)

Australia is a nation of city-dwellers. Many of the joys of Australian life – its energy, optimism, cultural diversity, good food, green space and passion for sport and the outdoors – are found in cities. Many of its problems are as well.

Instead of bringing people together, Australia's cities are dividing Australians between young and old, rich and poor, the outer suburbs and the inner city. Neglecting the cities has real consequences for lives now, and for future prosperity. Using stories and case studies to show how individuals, families and businesses experience life in cities today, City Limits provides an account of why Australia’s cities are broken, and how to fix them.

Authors are Jane-Frances Kelly, former Cities Program Director at the Grattan Institute from 2009-2014, formerly in the British Prime Minister's Strategy Unit and Paul Donegan, Senior Associate at the Grattan Institute.

Home ownership among younger people is declining, while renters, who make up one in four households, face insecurity and instability. As more people live further from city centers, traffic congestion is getting worse. For many, commuting is becoming intolerable. Social isolation is deepening, while polarization between rich and poor, young and old, the inner city and suburbs, continues to grow. Failure to manage its cities well is hurting Australia’s economy.

City Limits is a book about these problems, and how to solve them. Over the eight chapters, Kelly and Donegan explore what life is like today in Australia's cities. Readers will meet individuals, couples and families, all struggling with situations the cities have imposed on them.

Across the world, leaders, policymakers and experts are paying increasing attention to cities and the benefits they bring. Developing countries know that rapid urbanization is good for the living standards of their population. Australians are lucky that so many of them already live in cities. But they barely recognize their luck, and they are in danger of wasting it. Partly this happens because they are complacent about their cities. They aren't central to their national identity. Australian cities rank highly on international `livability' league tables, giving them an excuse to ignore their problems. But many Australians' lived experience of cities is quite different from what international rankings designed for globetrotting executives suggest.

Chapter 1 of City Limits asks why Australians live in cities, and looks at their evolving role in Australian history. It looks at how cities work, the trade-offs and hard decisions they confront people with, and what they need from them.

Chapter 2 looks at how they depend on cities for jobs and good living standards in the evolving global economy. Readers see how the greatest concentrations of economic activity in Australia are not in the Pilbara and other mining regions, but in the centers of the largest cities.

Chapter 3 looks at how cities affect the opportunities available to them – the `fair go'. If people have no choice but to live far from jobs and transport, they will have fewer jobs they can get to, making it harder to build their skills, and making them more vulnerable if they lose their job. Difficult and expensive commutes can also take a considerable toll on family life, leaving many women in particular to face hard choices.

Chapter 4 looks at social connection, perhaps the most important human psychological need, and how cities can help or hinder it. At a time when single-person and single-parent households are growing fast, the book looks at how limited housing choices and inadequate transport leave many at risk of isolation and loneliness.

Chapter 5 of City Limits looks at how the current housing market often works against the interests of the economy, particularly in preventing people from living in the kinds of dwellings and neighborhoods they would choose if they could. Australians want a mixture of housing options, but the market isn't supplying them. Australia confronts an increasing divide between older home owners and a younger generation that is either locked out of home ownership or pushed to the fringes of cities, far from jobs and good transport.

Chapter 6 looks at how Australians get around their cities. More and more Australians face longer commutes over longer distances. Roads are congested, while public transport is not a realistic alternative to driving on congested roads in many areas, especially outside the inner city.

Chapter 7 looks at why Australians are not only failing to fix these urgent problems, but are barely recognizing them. Cities are caught between the three tiers of Australian government, hardly registering on the agenda of many politicians. Yet their leadership is also poor because many residents are unwilling to consider the possibility that the cities could get better.

Yet there are reasons to be hopeful. Cities have been turned around before. Some overseas cities are models of change and decision-making that have involved all residents in shaping the future. The final chapter of City Limits outlines the kinds of changes that would fix the cities, and build a richer, fairer, better Australia.

An eye-opener … Cities have a much bigger effect on the way the economy works and the way we live than most of us realize. – Ross Gittins, Economic columnist, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

City Limits is an excellent book giving readers insight into urban issues in Australia.

Professional & Technical / Medicine & Health Sciences / Clinical / Allied Health / Occupational Therapy / Reference

Low Vision Rehabilitation: A Practical Guide for Occupational Therapists, 2nd edition by Stephen G. Whittaker PhD FAAO OTR/L CLVT, Mitchell Scheiman OD FCOVD FAAO, & Debra A. Sokol-McKay OTR/L SCLV CDE CVRT CLVT (Slack Incorporated)

Low vision rehabilitation is rapidly growing as a specialty practice for occupational therapists. This growth requires practical, evidence-based information on the evaluation and treatment of the effects of low vision on occupational performance. Responding to this need, Low Vision Rehabilitation blends standards of practice that have been developed for over 50 years by low vision therapists and optometrists with the latest scientific research and the unique perspective of occupational therapists.
This 2nd edition of Low Vision Rehabilitation provides current, evidence-based information on low vision rehabilitation that contains several new and expanded chapters on ADLs, IADLs, and recreation, as well as new online resources and the latest in accessibility devices.
Authors Stephen Whittaker, a low vision researcher, certified low vision therapist and occupational therapist; Mitchell Scheiman, an optometrist and researcher; and Debra Sokol-McKay, an occupational therapist with specialty certification in low vision, vision rehabilitation therapist and diabetes educator, have carefully selected evidence-based evaluations and treatments that focus on clinical practicality and meaningful occupational goals in adults. The book has 2 additional contributors, Paul B. Freeman and Maxine Scheiman.

This new 2nd edition of Low Vision Rehabilitation:

  • Focuses on occupational performance using ‘whatever works,’ whether visual, non-visual, or a combination of these different devices and adaptive techniques.
  • Features the ‘EPIC’ Framework, a general strategy to organize a treatment plan for daily activities using visual and non-visual techniques.
  • Provides access to a companion website designed as a handy clinical reference, with solutions to clinical problems easily searchable and cross-linked to related content.
  • Features the ‘Success-Oriented Approach’ to interventions based on the most recent research on cognitive disability and depression associated with low vision.
  • Adds applications of the latest electronic accessibility devices including smartphones, tablets, and magnifiers that read aloud.
  • Incorporates the AADE 7 Self-Care Behavior framework of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
  • Incorporates concepts from the latest edition of the AOTA Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process.
  • Adds a chapter devoted to field loss, spatial neglect and perceptual impairments resulting from acquired brain injury.
  • Provides the latest in Medicare documentation standards including outcome to G-code conversions and ICD-10 diagnostic coding for low vision.

Low Vision Rehabilitation includes recommended practical evaluation and treatment methods such as a 1-hour evaluation protocol, how to write observable and measurable goals and document outcomes, and specific instructions on how to implement treatments. It prepares therapists for the ACVREP certification as a low vision therapist or vision rehabilitation or AOTA specialty certification in low vision. It emphasizes intervention and low vision rehabilitation treatment including:

  • modification of the environment.
  • adaptive visual and non-visual techniques.
  • selection and use of non-optical assistive devices.
  • selection and use of electronic and optical devices and use of computer technology including smartphones and tablets.

It includes comprehensive case studies on vision impairment resulting from eye disease to head injury, and it provides valuable information on how to start an independent Ipractice in low vision rehabilitation and a chapter on diabetes management. 

The second edition of Low Vision Rehabilitation broadens its appeal to general occupational therapy practitioners and students who have no immediate intention of specializing in low vision. The first chapter enables readers to develop an empathetic understanding of different types of vision impairment using realistic simulations. This chapter describes how to screen for these vision impairments and apply first-response rehabilitation interventions that use generally available materials to enable clients to function while waiting for specialized low vision services. The authors have added information on managing sensory and perceptual vision disability caused by neurological pathology or injury, including an entire chapter on treatment and conditions commonly encountered by the general occupational therapist. They also have incorporated extensive information on nonvisual compensatory strategies in evaluation, treatment, and outcomes definition and assessment.

Chapters on evaluation and treatment of psychosocial complications of vision loss, environmental modification, and lighting and the chapter on diabetic management have been substantially revised. The latest developments in electronic readers, tablet computers, and smart phones are now so widely used, even among older adults, that references to these devices have been incorporated throughout Low Vision Rehabilitation. The authors have included the latest in electronic magnifiers that not only enlarge and enhance text, but read it aloud, as well as newer compact fluorescent lamp and light-emitting diode lighting, especially portable lighting.

For those seeking advanced training, the authors recommend the traditional approach, starting at Chapter 1 and then sequentially through the chapters. The content covers most of the information required for Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP) certification as a certified low vision therapist or American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) specialty certification in low vision. The chapters in Section IV can supplement and update existing texts and readings assigned in a program for certification as a vision rehabilitation therapist or educator for the visually impaired, as well. Low Vision Rehabilitation is especially well suited for readers in clinical practice who can quickly locate information and references as needed to address the vision disability when encountered in the clinic. For advanced training, university-sponsored or other interactive courses of study are recommended because structured programs provide different perspectives from different instructors. However, a self-study is possible and continuing education credits can be earned inexpensively, a chapter at a time, by passing examinations on each chapter online.

The text is written for an international readership; only information on service delivery is specific to the United States. Powerpoint slides are available to faculty who wish to use this book in their educational programs.

… The authors do not base the text just on their clinical skills but provide the reader with the knowledge needed to deliver evidence-based practice.

This second edition of Low Vision Rehabilitation: A Practical Guide for Occupational Therapists is a classic resource for any type of setting. It can be kept and`referenced for years to come. In it you will find the information you need on how you can help your clients optimize performance of their desired occupations. – Theresa M. Smith, PhD, OTR, CLVT, Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy and Department of Rehabilitative Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas

Low Vision Rehabilitation, 2nd edition employs an interdisciplinary perspective that is unique, practical, and credible and will benefit Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant students, as well as practicing clinicians interested in specializing in low vision or other health care practitioners for patients with vision impairment. Low Vision Rehabilitation introduces students and general practitioners to low vision rehabilitation as commonly encountered in medical rehabilitation and provides a conceptual approach to evaluation and treatment that will enrich an advanced practice.

The text is suitable for educators, clinicians, and students alike to learn about eye diseases, optics, low vision evaluations, goal writing, treatment strategies, environmental modifications, nonoptical assistive devices, and software and technology for the visually impaired.

Professional & Technical / Medicine & Health Sciences / Clinical / Biomedical Engineering / Reference

Essentials of In Vivo Biomedical Imaging, 1st Har/Psc edition edited by Simon R. Cherry, Ramsey D. Badawi, & Jinyi Qi (CRC Press)

While there are many excellent texts focused on clinical medical imaging, there are few books that approach in vivo imaging technologies from the perspective of a scientist or physician-scientist using, or interested in using, these techniques in research. It is for these individuals that Essentials of In Vivo Biomedical Imaging is written.

Featuring contributions from leading experts in the field, this authoritative reference text helps answer the following often-asked questions: Can imaging address my question? Which technique should I use? How does it work? What information does it provide? What are its strengths and limitations? What applications is it best suited for? How can I analyze the data? Through attempting to address these questions, the goal is to help scientists choose appropriate in vivo imaging technologies and methods and use them as effectively as possible in their research.

Editors are Simon R. Cherry, distinguished professor, Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology and director, Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging, University of California, Davis; Ramsey D. Badawi, associate professor, Departments of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, chief, Division of Nuclear Medicine and molecular imaging endowed chair, Department of Radiology; and Jinyi Qi, professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, formerly research scientist, Department of Functional Imaging, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California. The book has 13 contributors.

Chapters of Essentials of In Vivo Biomedical Imaging and their authors include:

  1. Overview – Simon R. Cherry, Ramsey D. Badawi, and Jinyi Qi
  2. X-Ray Projection Imaging and Computed Tomography – Kai Yang and John M. Boone
  3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Jeff R. Anderson and Joel R. Garbow
  4. Ultrasound – K. Kirk Shung
  5. Optical and Optoacoustic Imaging – Adrian Taruttis and Vasilis Ntziachristos
  6. Radionuclide Imaging – Pat B. Zanzonico
  7. Quantitative Image Analysis – Hsiao-Ming Wu and Wen-Yih I. Tseng

In vivo biomedical imaging technologies provide a noninvasive window into the structure and function of the living body and have become widely adopted in biomedical research, spanning preclinical studies in animal models through clinical research in human subjects. The technologies and methods of biomedical imaging are used in many disciplines and across many disease areas, and also are increasingly employed by industry in the development and validation of new therapeutic interventions. There is hardly an area of biomedical research in which imaging has not become an essential part of the experimental toolbox. In vivo imaging has unique strengths, which include the ability to noninvasively and nondestructively survey large volumes of tissue (whole organs and often the entire body) and the ability to visualize and quantify changes (often over time) in tissue morphology and function in normal health, in disease, and in response to treatment. Since most imaging techniques are also highly translational, this provides a unified experimental platform for moving across species, from preclinical studies in small or large animal disease models to clinical research studies in humans.

This textbook … makes biomedical imaging accessible to researchers from a wide variety of academic disciplines. – Steven Meikle, Professor of Medical Imaging Physics, The University of Sydney, Australia

… a very good overview of in vivo biomedical imaging technologies … appropriate for biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, and medical physics students. The inclusion of the chapter on quantitative image analysis methods is timely. – John D. Hazle, Professor and Chairman, Department of Imaging Physics, and Bernard W. Biedenharn Chair in Cancer Research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

Terrific book. It is essential reading for anyone using imaging as a research tool. – Michael F. Insana, Willett Professor of Engineering, Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

An ideal overview of medical imaging systems for anyone looking for clarity in presentation of the systems and a simple elegance to understanding them. The authors have achieved a balance of getting to the point and yet providing just enough text and illustration to understand it. – Brian W. Pogue, Professor of Engineering, Physics & Astronomy, and Surgery, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

An excellent book … very comprehensive with ample color figures, which make it easy to read. I strongly recommend this book to students, scientists, and faculty that work in the field of biomedical imaging. – Weibo Cai, Associate Professor of Radiology and Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Readers will gain both pleasure and insight from reading Essentials of In Vivo Biomedical Imaging. By explaining what each imaging technology can measure, describing major methods and approaches, and giving examples demonstrating the rich repertoire of modern biomedical imaging to address a wide range of morphological, functional, metabolic, and molecular parameters in a safe and noninvasive manner, the book helps scientists and physician-scientists choose and utilize the appropriate in vivo imaging technologies and methods for their research.

Essentials of In Vivo Biomedical Imaging is written by leading authorities in the field and with the understanding that readers will come to this book with a wide variety of training and expertise. While material is presented at some depth, using appropriate mathematics, physics, and engineering when necessary for those who really want to dig into a particular imaging technique, it also is a book for the more casual user of imaging. Large fractions of the text are accessible to researchers independent of their specific scientific background, where the emphasis is on explaining what each imaging technology can measure, describing major methods and approaches, and giving examples demonstrating the rich repertoire of modern biomedical imaging to address a wide range of morphological, functional, metabolic, and molecular parameters in a safe and noninvasive manner.

Professional & Technical / Medicine & Health Sciences / Clinical / Internal / Surgery / Plastic Surgery

Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, 1st Har/Psc edition edited by Ari S. Hoschander, Christopher J. Salgado, Wrood Kassira, & Seth R. Thaller (CRC Press)

Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to the most common plastic, aesthetic, and reconstructive procedures. Few resources in the field provide such a detailed description of commonly performed operations in one place. Each chapter presents a well-documented technique for a specific clinical diagnosis. It discusses preoperative markings, intraoperative details, postoperative instructions, and avoidance of complications for each surgical procedure presented.

Editors are Ari S. Hoschander, MD, Miller School of Medicine; Christopher J. Salgado, MD, FACS, Miller School of Medicine; Wrood Kassira, MD, FACS, Miller School of Medicine; Seth R. Thaller, MD, DMD, FACS, Miller School of Medicine, all at the University of Miami, Florida. The book has 72 contributors.

Exactly how to perform each of the most commonly encountered operations is presented. Every plastic surgeon has a handful of procedures that he or she performs regularly and a host of other procedures that are performed only occasionally. This list differs from surgeon to surgeon and locale to locale. The authors of Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery provide a guide for the performance of all of these operations to level the playing field. This will inevitably improve patient safety and outcomes.

Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery uses extensive clinical photographs, drawings, and detailed descriptions to guide readers through each procedure. A list of the essential equipment required for each operation is provided. In addition, the book includes a list of commonly accepted CPT codes associated with the described procedure. In all, 32 procedures are presented including skin grafting, breast reconstruction, liposuction, carpal tunnel release, breast augmentation, brow lift, orbital floor fracture, mandible fracture management, and lower extremity reconstruction.

Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery and their authors include:


1                    Skin grafting and dermal substitute placement – Giorgio Pietramaggiori, Saja S. Scherer-Pietramaggiori, and Dennis P. Orgill

2                    Component separation – Harvey Chim, Karen Kim Evans, and Samir Mardini


4      &nb`.B MmCa $q uu(n5Pmily: Times New Roman">                    Breast reduction: Inferior pedicle, wise pattern – Tarik M. Husain and Seth R. Thaller

6                    Gynecomastia – Devra B. Becker, Shaili Gal, and Christopher J. Salgado

7                    Implant-based breast reconstruction: Tissue expander placement after mastectomy – Ari S. Hoschander and John Oeltjen

8                    Implant-based breast reconstruction: Exchange of tissue expander for permanent implant – Ari S. Hoschander, Michael P. Ogilvie, and John Oeltjen

9                    Breast reconstruction with abdominal flaps – Maurice Y. Nahabedian and Ketan M. Patel

10                Nipple reconstruction – Dennis C. Hammond, Elizabeth A. O'Connor, and Johanna R. Sheer


11                Unilateral and bilateral cleft lip repair – Rizal Lim, Catherine Gordon, and Seth R. Thaller

12                Cleft palate repair: The Furlow double-opposing Z-plasty, the Von Langenbeck palatoplasty, and the V-Y pushback palatoplasty – Jason W Edens, Samuel Golpanian, Kriya Gishen, and Seth R. Thaller

13                Orbital floor fracture – Urmen Desai, William Blass, and Henry K. Kawamoto

14                Mandible fracture management – Larry H. Hollier Jr., Amy S. Xue, and Edward Buchanan

15                Zygomatic and zygomaticomaxillary complex (ZMC) fractures – David E. Morris and Mimis N. Cohen


16                Non-surgical facial rejuvenation with neuromodulators and dermal fillers – Haruko Okada and David J. Rowe

17                Upper lid blepharoplasty – Ari S. Hoschander and Amie J. Kraus

18                Lower eyelid blepharoplasty – Urmen Desai, Andrew Rivera, and Richard Ellenbogen

19                Brow lift – Christopher J. Salgado, Tuan Tran, Steven Schuster, and Elizabeth Yim

20                Facelift: The extended SMAS technique – Ari S. Hoschander and James M. Stuzin

21                Rhinoplasty – Tara E. Brennan, Thomas J. Walker, and Dean M. Toriumi

22                Correction of prominent ear – Alejandra Garcia de Mitchell and H. Steve Byrd

23                Breast augmentation – Elliot M. Hirsch and John Y S. Kim

24                Mastopexy – Leila Harhaus and Ming-Huei Cheng

25         fnbsp;      Abdominoplasty, panniculectomy, and belt lipectomy – Ari S. Hoschander, Jun Tashiro, and Charles K. Herman

26                Brachioplasty – Anselm Wong, Samantha Arzillo, and Wrood Kassira

27                Medial thigh lift – Dennis J. Hurwitz

28                Liposuction – Alan Matarasso and Ryan M. Neinstein


29                Carpal tunnel release: Open – Ali M. Soltani, Jose A. Baez, and Zubin J. Panthaki

30                Endoscopic carpal tunnel release: Anterograde single incision – Ari S. Hoschander, Matthew Mendez-Zfass, and Patrick Owens

31                Open trigger finger release for stenosing tenosynovitis – Benjamin J. Cousins and Haaris S. Mir

32                Surgical approaches to the hand and wrist – Ross Wodicka and Morad Askari

All operations in Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery follow an orderly set of moves. Experience allows seamless deviations as unexpected events arise. Plastic surgery, unlike other surgical specialties, is more about problem solving than seeking a specific operation.

Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery leads readers through detailed, step-by-step depictions of operations. Applicable illustrations complement the text. In addition, a list of the essential equipment required for the operations is provided. Thus, the efficiency of the entire operating staff increases, and patient safety is enhanced. To complete the management of the patient, postoperative instructions as well as measures to diminish complications are provided. Finally, unfortunately demanded by today's health industry and not taught in any curriculum, there are handy lists of the most commonly accepted CPT codes associated with the described procedures.

The editors say they set out to compile Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery because they felt there was a need for its content in the plastic surgery literature. The goal was to create a list of the most commonly performed plastic and reconstructive procedures and then dedicate an entire chapter to teaching readers how to perform the operation. They focus on the technical aspects of the operation and deemphasize the disease process and pathophysiology, which are covered extensively in various other texts. They sought authors from around the world who are considered experts in specific aspects of plastic and reconstructive surgery to write the chapters on topics in their specialty.

The focus in Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery is intraoperative detail. The authors assume readers already have an understanding of specific indications to perform the procedure and of the underlying pathophysiology of the disease. The chapters provide detailed explanations and descriptions of the techniques involved in the successful performance of the operations. Individual chapters provide a table delineating the equipment necessary to complete the procedure. The book may be used as a preoperative guide for operating room staff, improving their ability and efficiency to have the patient and room ready in a timely fashion.

Ari Hoschander and his collaborators are to be congratulated for crafting a refreshing, concise guide for all levels of students of plastic surgery. – Henry K. Kawamoto Jr., DDS, MD, Clinical Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of California Los Aggeles Medical Center, Los Angeles

Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to the most common plastic, aesthetic, and reconstructive procedures. Few resources in the field provide such a detailed description of commonly performed operations in one place.

Written by experts in plastic and reconstructive surgery worldwide, it is a valuable resource for practicing plastic surgeons as well as residents and fellows in plastic surgery. The book will be an asset to residents from surgical subspecialties who rotate through plastic surgery services. The book will also be an educational source of material for the future of plastic, aesthetic, and reconstructive surgery.

Professional & Technical / Medicine & Health Sciences / Veterinary Medicine / Pain Management / Reference

Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine, 1st edition by Steven M. Fox (CRC Press)

Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine describes and illustrates the difficulties and choices facing veterinarians in identifying and treating pain, in addition to providing an account of the neurobiological mechanisms responsible for the pain. The forerunner to this text, Chronic Pain in Small Animal Medicine was groundbreaking for a couple of reasons. First, it was preeminent in companion animal practice as a focus to the challenging conditions of chronic pain. Second, it was a unique attempt to present not only treatment suggestions, but also the neurobiologic mechanisms responsible for pain.

This approach is continued in Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine, which retains the best from the earlier book and expands upon it to include areas beyond chronic pain. By focusing on the latest evidence and contemporary understanding of why and how to treat pain, author Steven M. Fox raises standards in resolving pain management to the best possible practice. Fox, MS, DVM, MBA, PhD, is Surgical Specialist: New Zealand VMA, Independent Consultant, Clive, Iowa, Adjunct Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Adjunct Associate Professor, Massey University, New Zealand.

Topics in Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine include:

  • Pain assessment in small animal medicine.
  • The functional physiology of pain.
  • The use of pharmacologics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Nutraceutical mechanisms and therapy.
  • Management of pain related to canine osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal disease, and cancer.
  • Pain management features unique to cats.

Important features of the book include areas of pain management in small animal medicine. The book reflects the latest evidence on why and how to treat individual animals.

Contents of Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine include:

CHAPTER 1 Background for Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine

Introduction; Clinical use of analgesics over the past 25 years; Reasons for under-dosing analgesics; Pain as the fourth cardinal sign; Committing to management; Personalizing a pain management plan

CHAPTER 2 Communications in Small Animal Medicine Pain Management

Animal Health Technician; AHT opportunities in a client communications role; Informed consent and communications; Meeting client expectations; The AHT as the surrogate pet owner

CHAPTER 3 Pain Assessment in Small Animal Medicine

The challenges of pain assessment; Nociception; Patients' expression of pain; Quality of life

CHAPTER 4 Functional Physiology of Pain

Maladaptive pain; From nociception to pain

CHAPTER 5 Pharmacologics (Various Drug Classes)

Introduction; Pharmacologic principles; Opioids; a2-Agonists; Membrane stabilizers; Local anesthetics; Tricyclic antidepressants; Serotonin; Anticonvulsants; NMDA antagonists; Evidence for pharmacologic treatment of neuropathic pain; Bisphosphonates; Capsaicin; Summary

CHAPTER 6 Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Introduction; Arachidonic acid pathway; COX isozymes; Coxib-class NSAIDs; Dual pathway inhibitors; Aspirin; Acetaminophen (paracetamol); NSAID safety; Comparative NSAID efficacy; NSAID administration; Cats and NSAIDs; Looking to the future; Summary

CHAPTER 7 Nutraceutical Mechanisms and Therapy

Introduction; Nutrigenomics; Background; Chondroitin sulfate; Glucosamine; Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables; Hyaluronic acid; Phycocyanin; Eicosapentaenoic acid; S-adenosylmethionine; Curcuminoids; New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) (Lyprinol); Quality of evidence; Feline joint health products; Joint supplement guidelines and safety; Summary

CHAPTER 8 Multimodal Pain Management

Introduction; Drug classes for multimodal use; Local anesthetics; Acupuncture; Summary

CHAPTER 9 Multimodal Management of Canine Osteoarthritis

Introduction; Quality of evidence; Background; Medical (pharmacologic) management; Nonmedical management; Mesenchymal stem cell therapy; Platelet-rich plasma therapy; Surgical intervention; Summary

CHAPTER 10 Physical Rehabilitation in the Management of Musculoskeletal Disease

Introduction; Environmental modification; Pain pathophysiology related to physical rehabilitation; Cryotherapy; Thermotherapy; Therapeutic exercises; Other rehabilitation techniques  

CHAPTER 11 Cancer Pain

Introduction; Taxonomy; Schemes for classifying cancer pain; Prevalence; Cancer pain assessment in animals; Cancer pain mechanisms; The moving target of cancer pain; Chemotherapy; Radiation therapy; Nutritional management    

CHAPTER 12 Pain Management Features Unique to the Cat

Introduction; Pharmacologic management in cats; Degenerative joint disease in the cat   

CHAPTER 13 Selected Bandages, Casts, and Splints

Introduction; Robert Jones bandage; Casting; Schroeder-Thomas splint; Carpal flexion bandage; Velpeau sling; Ehmer sling; Coaptation bandage complications            

CHAPTER 14 Pain, Lameness, and the Orthopedic Examination

Introduction; The musculoskeletal examination; Characteristics and diagnosis of osteoarthritis    

Fox in Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine explains that many agents with human analgesic features have been adapted `off-label' for veterinary use, but they do not have regulatory agency (Food and Drug Administration) approval. Since many of these agents will never gain approval for veterinary patients, it is incumbent upon the licensed veterinarian to understand the mechanisms of the patient's pain as well as to understand the drug's mode of action (including potential side-effects), and then make a benefit:risk assessment before administering the agent `off label'.

Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine was created for the veterinary healthcare professional seeking a greater depth of knowledge in mechanisms of pain and potential targets for treatment. It meets the needs as a quick reference, but more importantly, it goes beyond the `cookbook protocols' found in many offerings by providing contemporary understandings of `why and how to treat'.

… this book's comprehensive review of pain pathophysiology is one of the best on the market. The diagrams rival those seen in human pain management books, which is something that cannot be said for most veterinary books on the topic. (4 stars) – Maureen McMichael, DVM, DACVECC (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine) in Doody’s Review Service

This ground-breaking and extremely clinician-friendly book constitutes a wonderfully practical handbook for instigating and maintaining a best practice approach to pain management. At the same time it is an invaluable, easy-to-use, quick reference for drug dosages and protocols pre-operatively, post-operatively and in the consulting room. – Debbie Doyle, MA, VetMB, MRCVS, in VETcpd

Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine is a thorough, well-illustrated guide by a leading authority. Fox’s work is preeminent in describing and illustrating clearly and simply the difficulties and choices facing the veterinarian in identifying and treating pain, as well as providing an account of the neurobiological mechanisms responsible for pain.

Emphasizing the latest evidence and contemporary understanding of ‘why’ and ‘how’ to treat pain, Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine enables veterinary healthcare professionals as well as those in training, education, and research to develop a greater depth of knowledge in mechanisms of pain and potential targets for treatment – thereby raising the standard of care for pain management.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity

Paul and His Recent Interpreters: Some Contemporary Debates by N. T. Wright (Fortress Press)

Paul and His Recent Interpreters is a companion volume to N. T. Wright's Paul and the Faithfulness of God and Pauline Perspectives. In the course of this survey, Wright asks searching questions of all of the major contributors to Pauline studies in the last fifty years.

The author, N. T. Wright, the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England and one of the world's leading Bible scholars, is now Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews and is a regular broadcaster on radio and television. He is the author of over sixty books.

According to Wright, the old debates in Pauline studies are still going on; many still pursue them energetically. But the landscape has changed completely. Paul and His Recent Interpreters tries to describe that change; even to explain it. Part of the aim of the book is to place the very different worlds of Pauline discussion side by side, and to suggest that they might like to talk to one another.

Wright says that the main geographical focus of New Testament scholarship in general and Pauline research in particular has shifted in his lifetime from Germany to America. This has coincided with a serious glut in production. Discussions both serious and trivial appear every day on the Internet; monographs flood the markets. This makes generalization impossible.

A different sort of shift has taken place which creates the social and cultural conditions for some of the key elements in the story Paul and His Recent Interpreters tells. In the 1960s, most people who wrote about Paul (there were important exceptions) stood within some kind of Christian confession. Now a good deal of biblical research, particularly in the United States, happens in faculties of `religion'. People in that environment sometimes hint that this setting makes their work `objective', by comparison with the `subjective' or faith-driven work of seminaries, `divinity schools', or even the church itself.

This shift to America, and to `religious studies', has had many spin-offs when it comes to understanding the big picture of Paul and his thought. Two of the early flagships of the movement are still important; Paul and His Recent Interpreters highlights one in Part I and the other in Part III.

Since the 1970s and 1980s there have emerged several new schools of Pauline thought in America in particular. Part of the problem faced by students and teachers alike is that these have often been conducted in isolation, both from one another and from the earlier framing debates. Readers need a map, and Paul and His Recent Interpreters provides one. The three main Parts of the book exemplify the point. In Part I, after the opening chapters setting the scene, readers meet the so-called `new perspective', commonly held to be launched in 1977 by the work of E. P. Sand­ers. In the second Part, they examine the revival of so-called `apocalyptic' interpretations of Paul, associated with J. C. Beker's work of 1980 and J. L. Martyn's 1997 commentary on Galatians. In the third Part, they examine a wider range of discussions centering upon Paul's social and cultural context, a movement whose main flagship remains the 1983 work of Wayne A. Meeks. These three movements have run in parallel for a generation. Each has pursued its own agenda without much reference to the others.

The three main areas, which are the focal points of the three Parts of Paul and His Recent Interpreters, subdivide further. Wright lists ten such subdivisions; there are undoubtedly many others. Part I addresses the first four; Part II, the fifth; Part III, the last five.

  1. The so-called `new perspective on Paul' is regularly associated with the work of Sanders. Sanders's work points to a particular sub-category, namely the study of Paul's own religion.
  2. The `new perspective' has prompted a sharp response. This has now gained its own momentum, often calling itself the `old perspective', and often operating with minimal reference to any of the other categories. It has continued earlier debates about the nature and centre of Pauline theology.
  3. Within a broadly `new perspective' reading of Paul, there have been major developments in areas such as Paul's use of Israel's scriptures.
  4. Sanders's work has rightly been seen as giving new impetus to the study of Paul as a Jew. How did he relate to the Jewish world in which he had grown up? What difference did his Messiah-belief make?
  5. One of the most vigorous recent movements, at least in America, has been the attempt to see Paul as an `apocalyptist'. This movement, focused on J. L. Martyn's commentary on Galatians, has become popular among theologians as well as exegetes. Since Wright’s work in many ways cuts across the line taken by Martyn and his followers, he engages in head-on debate with this whole school in a more direct way, in Part II, than he does with the writers surveyed in Parts I and III.
  6. The study of Paul's social world, with Meeks's 1983 book The First Urban Christians as a flagship, has continued unabated. How can readers appropriately describe Paul's communities, and what conclusions can they draw from that about their beliefs and self-identity?
  7. This vigorous movement has itself subdivided, into what may be called the `social history' branch, represented by Meeks himself, and the `social-anthropological' branch exemplified by the work of the self-styled `Context Group'. The latter bring their anthropological analysis of the `Mediterranean world' to Paul, whereas Meeks and his followers prefer to work from the ground up.
  8. When readers put `apocalyptic' and `social context' together, they ought to expect `political' readings of Paul, and that is what they find in another whole wave of studies, though these are not usually joined up with the worlds of Martyn or Meeks. Here again there is a subdivision. Horsley and others, writing from within the North American context, have explored the possible relation between Paul and `empire'.
  9. While, in Europe, radical philosophers have explored Paul's potential relevance for their ongoing contemporary political dilemmas. This exploration mostly ignores, and is ignored by, the other categories with which it would seem to share much in common.
  10. Others have explored Paul's links with the philosophical movements of his own day. This research would ideally link arms with all the other categories above; in practice this has not usually happened!

These ten movements are all alive and well at the time of writing, but with a few exceptions they are not really talking to one another. Paul and His Recent Interpreters is, in part, a plea that they ought to do so, difficult though that may be. Wright says he hopes that by distinguishing these various strands of thought, and placing them within at least a sketchy social history of scholarship, he gives readers coming to Pauline studies at least a sense of the territory, and hints as to possible connections and overlaps which the detailed focus of so much scholarship sometimes ignores.

Paul and His Recent Interpreters not only maps a large and complex area of scholarly terrain for its own sake, but also explains why certain topics have loomed so large in Wright’s own work, why some issues have become particularly important, and why certain problems now demand a fresh angle of vision.

Like the moon, Paul and His Recent Interpreters is intended to circle its parent volume, shedding a varied and pleasant light on it, now from this angle, now from that. Unlike the parent volume, it aims at being as lean as is compatible with a helpful sketch of the chosen terrain. Thus some topics are missing entirely. Wright does not discuss Paul's so-called `conversion'; nor the standard questions about Pauline chronology, the relationship between the letters and Acts, or the authorship of disputed letters. Nor has he engaged with the other surveys which have appeared from time to time, all of which struggle, as does the present volume, with the confusing plethora of new lines of investigation and angles of vision.

Only Tom Wright could set his hand to write a large-scale critical review of recent scholarship on Paul and produce a page-turner. This is a thoroughly engrossing and deeply illuminating account of major developments in Pauline studies by one of the world's leading Pauline scholars. This book, one of Wright's best, is a must-read for those engaged in advanced study of Paul. – Edward Adams, King's College London

In the last two hundred years only one other survey of biblical scholarship ranks with this book: the blockbuster The Quest of the Historical Jesus by Albert Schweitzer. Most surveys assume neutrality in order to examine the scholarship objectively, but both Schweitzer and Wright convert surveys of scholarship into scholarship itself.... And, like Schweitzer, Wright writes up a report with the kind of prose that prevents the reader from putting the book down. – Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary

A judicious study on Pauline scholarship by the man who has arguably done more than any other in recent decades to shape it. Here is a venerable museum of watershed publications, interpretative revolutions, and scholarly counter-revolutions. By evaluating the past of Pauline studies, Wright sets the agenda for its future. – Michael F. Bird, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia

A masterly survey, Paul and His Recent Interpreters is essential reading for all with a serious interest in Paul, the interpretation of his letters, his appropriation by subsequent thinkers, and his continuing significance today.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Biographies & Memoirs / Women’s Issues

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

Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister is recognized around the world, admired by many and criticized by others for her outspoken and fearless attempts to address the many challenges of a post-Vatican II church.

Joan Chittister is an intimate biography of Chittister – Benedictine nun and writer, a leading voice for spiritual renewal, a prophetic champion of peace and justice, and a champion of the role of women in the church and the world.

Award-winning journalist Tom Roberts' biography Joan Chittister offers a close-up on the life and witness of the noted American Benedictine. Roberts is editor-at-large for the National Catholic Reporter, where he has worked for the past twenty years.

In Joan Chittister, Roberts reveals the interior Joan Chittister, from her childhood in Pennsylvania, to the young woman who found both refuge and purpose in her religious vocation, to the public figure whose brilliance produced a body of written work that stands as one of the most profound expressions of spirituality and women's concerns of this era. Hers is a story of survival – as a child she witnessed domestic violence, as a teenager she was stricken with polio, as a novice she experienced the arbitrariness of religious superiors, and as an adult she accompanied her mother in her struggle with Alzheimer's. Chittister's story is also one of tremendous growth, through immersion in the Benedictine life and tradition, through her education at Notre Dame and Penn State, and her eventual involvement in leadership as the world of religious life began to radically change.

When she joined the Erie Benedictines in 1952, women's religious life seemed settled and stable. But when the Second Vatican Council brought that era to a close, she played a crucial role in helping communities across the country, including her own, navigate the difficult journey of renewal.

As time went on, Chittister's activism resulted in a distancing from church authorities and an end to speaking or teaching in some US dioceses. In one of Joan Chittister's most dramatic chapters, Chittister's insistence on examining the ban on women's ordination became the occasion of a standoff with Vatican authorities, and an international cause celebré. As Roberts shows, Chittister's journey, through deep discovery as well as searing disappointment, from the comfort of certainty to the unsettling abandonment to faith, provides a unique look at one extraordinary life as well as a history of the Catholic church in our time.

Over the years, Chittister became convinced that the journey and how it is traveled are as important as the destination. She grew to understand that doubt is not the enemy of faith, and that questions are not a sign of insubordination but the means for drilling deeper into the truth. She realized that contemplative life is not served by separation from the world, but that God is best served by full engagement with all of creation, especially those at the margins.

Sister Joan Chittister is one of the most powerful women I know. Her power does not come from wealth, celebrity, or office. It is a power that comes from her presence, from values, from beliefs, from within. In this biography, Tom Roberts reveals the long journey she took to find that power. It's a must-read for anyone expanding their faith. – Maria Shriver

I love the stellar witness of this woman! A more faithful, authentic, sustained voice calling for full inclusion of women in the Catholic Church cannot be found. And what a fascinating bud-to-flower woman's life story lies within these pages. I read it deep into the night, long after good sense told me to go to sleep. That's Chittister for you – waking us up and keeping us awake to the radical call of the Gospel. – Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, author, Dead Man Walking

Sister Joan Chittister is one of the most consequential and courageous Catholic women of her generation, a prophetic and inspiring voice. Tom Roberts is one of our moment's wisest, best informed, and eloquent Catholic writers and thinkers. That they have come together here is an enormous blessing and a gift to readers, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. This is an essential book for understanding Catholicism in our time. – E. J. Dionne Jr., author, Souled Out

With keen journalistic acumen, Tom Roberts chronicles the life of one of the most beloved spiritual leaders of our times. Along the way, we learn not only about Sr. Joan Chittister's graced journey but also about the evolution of the Erie Benedictines, post-Vatican II religious life, and the struggle for women's equality in the Catholic Church. Roberts has the biographer's gift of invisibly shaping his material, allowing Chittister's piercing, prophetic life to illuminate – and inspire. A wonderful book! – Christine Schenk, CSJ, Founding Director FutureChurch

Tom Roberts captures the remarkable Sr. Joan Chittister in an extraordinary manner. Joan's life of determination, courage, her humor, her extraordinary talents are revealed from her early years, right to the present. Among Joan's qualities, the gift of endurance is pivotal – the genius of prophets from ancient times until the present. I endorse this publication with great pride and support; it captures the woman Joan, as she follows her `Impossible Dream!' – Theresa Kane, RSM, former president, Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Untold numbers of people know Joan Chittister as a public person. Here is a book that enables everyone to get to know her as an extraordinarily, deeply human person. In opening up her personal life to Tom Roberts, Joan shares her vulnerabilities, her doubts and struggles as she follows a prophetic call to proclaim a message of justice with a special emphasis on full equality for women in the Church and society. – Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Detroit, MI

Joan Chittister is an intimate, highly readable biography. Chittister’s journey, through deep discovery as well as searing disappointment, from the comfort of certainty to the unsettling abandonment to faith, is a spiritual guidebook for our times.

Religion & Spirituality / Occult

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

Modern practicing occultists have argued that renowned horror writer H. P. Lovecraft was in possession of in-depth knowledge of black magick. Literary scholars claim that he was a master of his genre and craft, and his findings are purely psychological, nothing more. Was Lovecraft a practitioner of the dark arts himself? Was he privileged to knowledge that cannot be otherwise explained? Did he have supernatural powers?

Whether readers believe Lovecraft had supernatural powers or not, no one can argue against Lovecraft's profound influence on many modern black arts and the darker currents of western occultism.

Weaving the life story of Lovecraft in and out of an analysis of various modern magickal systems, scholar John L. Steadman in H. P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition has found direct and concrete examples that demonstrate that Lovecraft's works and specifically his Cthulhu Mythos and his creation of the Necronomicon are a legitimate basis for a working magickal system. Steadman is a scholar of H. P. Lovecraft and a college English professor at Olivet College in Michigan.

Since his death in 1937, H. P. Lovecraft has become a major figure in popular culture and critical circles. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos has inspired a variety of theatrical films, television shows, and even children's cartoons, along with a wealth of interactive and role-playing games – all of which have made Lovecraft and his imaginative constructs familiar to a broad range of individuals, young and old alike, many of whom have never read a single word of his writing. As for the critical response, Lovecraft is now indisputably accepted by scholars as one of the leading writers of horror and science fiction in the United States and Europe, due in large part to the labors of S. T. Joshi, who wrote the standard biography H.P. Lovecraft: A Life (1996) and such influential studies as H. P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West (1990).

The fact that Lovecraft has finally ‘arrived’ is further confirmed by the 2005 Library of America publication of Lovecraft's stories, H. P. Lovecraft: Tales and the single volume publication of Lovecraft's fiction, H. P. Lovecraft: The Fiction in the Barnes and Noble Library of Essential Writers series. Both publishers have issued authoritative editions of the writings of Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe. By including Lovecraft among these illustrious authors, they position Lovecraft as more than merely another writer who is simply trying to find original ways to say ‘boo’, but rather as an authentic literary figure with serious purposes to his work. Lovecraft elaborates on his reasons for writing in numerous letters to friends and business acquaintances. Like Poe, Lovecraft is concerned with exploring the psychological and often physiological effects of fear, which he defines as the ‘oldest and strongest emotion of mankind.’ Also, Lovecraft is interested in providing an accurate yet terrifying vision of man's insignificance in the cosmos, a vision that is, according to Peter Straub, ‘fearsome in its pessimistic view of human destiny.’

Many occultists argue that Lovecraft's works are not merely fictional artifacts, but rather that Lovecraft had, either consciously or unconsciously, been ‘initiated’ into the mysteries and thus been in contact with real extraterrestrial entities. In The Magical Revival (1972), Grant claims that Lovecraft was a practicing magickian, but was too terrified to complete his initiation into the higher Qabalistic realms.

H. P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition starts out with a description of the theory and practice of black magick, including a full analysis of the black magickal methodologies as they developed in Africa, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Next, it focuses specifically on the life and works of H. P. Lovecraft. Steadman explains in detail exactly what Lovecraft knew and how much he knew about the Western magickal tradition. He examines the various versions of the Necronomicon, Lovecraft's fictional book of spells used for summoning the Great Old Ones, and determines which of these may, in fact, serve as an efficacious magickal grimoire. He also compares Lovecraft's pantheon of extraterrestrial entities with the archetypes of the other magickal traditions in order to determine their ontological status, and whether or not these so-called ‘fictional’ entities can be used in bona fide magickal workings. Finally, he provides a detailed look into Lovecraft's specific connection with the great black magickal systems of the contemporary world, focusing not only on the more traditional systems, such as the Vodou and Wicca religions, but also on such relatively recent esoteric groups as LaVey's Church of Satan, Grant's Typhonian O.T.O., Carroll's deconstructionist chaos magick rites, and Simon’s Necronomicon Gnosis, which is based on Sumerian mythology.

H.P. Lovecraft's influence on modern horror fiction is indisputable. John L. Steadman explores a more obscure aspect of his legacy, dissecting and analyzing the research into the occult that underpins the Cthulhu mythos, and describing how the rites and metaphysics in Lovecraft's fiction have influenced the practice of contemporary magic. A fascinating and valuable contribution to Lovecraftian scholarship. – Paul McAuley, author of Four Hundred Billion Stars and Fairyland
John L. Steadman has opened the door to the study of neomythology in H. P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition. Funny and dark, cynical and powerful, Mr. Steadman takes on the manyfaced monster that is rising out of the R'lyeh of the collective unconsciousness. – Don Webb, author and occultist
John Steadman offers an admirably clear, concise, and comprehensive account of the instances of black magic featured in H. P. Lovecraft's works, the sources from which he drew his information and – most usefully and most interestingly – the various uses made of Lovecraft's literary inventions by the numerous modern lifestyle fantasists who have taken inspiration from his fiction. – Brian Stableford, author of The Devil's Party: A Brief History of Satanic Abuse
John L. Steadman's fascinating look at the intersection of Lovecraft and the occult is both comprehensive and comprehensible – even to the nonoccultist – and provides a wealth of information and inspiration for the aficionado or the practitioner of the weird tale
.Orrin  Grey, author of Never Bet the Devil and Painted Monsters
John L. Steadman's book is a welcome contribution to an important and neglected subject. Much nonsense has been written about Lovecraft's involvement with occultism, and Steadman brings a refreshing dose of reason and sanity to the discussion. His thorough understanding of Lovecraft's life, work, and thought, and his impressive grounding in all aspects of the occult tradition, make him the ideal scholar to address this controversial topic.
– S. T. Joshi, editor of The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
They say truth is stranger than fiction, but is truth stranger than Lovecraftian fiction? John L. Steadman's in-depth look on Lovecraft and the occult proves that it is! A fascinating mix of literary criticism, subaltern history, and occult minutiae, even for non-occultists like myself. – Nick Mamatas, author of Move Under Ground and Love Is the Law
John L. Steadman may well have created the most thorough and accessible study of the occasionally perilous, often credulous, but always fascinating realm where the fictional mythos of H.P. Lovecraft dovetails with occult praxis.
H. P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition exhibits a blend of scholarly insight and literary panache that is sure to please and enlighten both the Initiate and the weird fiction connoisseur. – Richard Gavin, author of At Fear's Altar
Steadman has written a perceptive, comprehensive, and admirably balanced study of Lovecraft's connection with occultism.
H. P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition provides an important and valuable contribution to this highly contentious aspect of his life and work. – Paul Roland, author of The Curious Case of H.P. Lovecraft

Thorough and accessible, H. P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition will find favor with New Age readers as well as academics, historians, and countless fans of Lovecraft and his weird tales who may find themselves drawn to the field of magick and occultism. Steadman approaches the subject of magick in an objective, scholarly manner, while remaining faithful to the empirical facts, keeping speculation and credulity minimal. He does not try to convince readers to become believers in magick, but rather to keep an open mind.

Travel & Tourism / Occult

Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area by Pamela K. Kinney (Schiffer Publishing Ltd.)

In culture after culture, people believe that the soul lives on after death, that rituals can change the physical world and divine the truth. And that illness and misfortune are caused and alleviated by spirits, ghosts, saints ... and gods. – Steven Pinker

In Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area readers travel south of Richmond to Petersburg, Virginia, and the surrounding areas of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Prince George, Dinwiddie, and nearby Ettrick-Matoaca, Enon, and Chester to discover what spirits, monsters, UFOs, and legends await the unwary.

Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area suggests visitors can:

  • Drink tea with runaway slaves still hiding on the top floor above the Blue Willow Tea Room.
  • Meet the ghosts of Violet Bank Museum that greet guests at the house, hauntingly active as they share space with the living, the dead refuse to give up their undead residency.

Questions raised in Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area:

  • Why are the Union and Confederate spirits still fighting the Civil War in the battlefields?
  • Who is the lady in blue who haunts Weston Plantation House?
  • What will the phantoms at Peter Jones Trading Post do to keep from being photographed?
  • Are Edgar Allan Poe and his bride still on their honeymoon at Hiram Haines Coffee and Ale House?
  • Why does the Goatman stalk young lovers?

Author Pamela K. Kinney writes award-winning fiction where readers journey to fantastic worlds, beyond the stars, and into the vortex of terror. She also has published award-winning paranormal romances as Sapphire Phelan.

While being evocative, Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area approaches the paranormal as if readers were carrying out an investigation; in fact, the introduction focuses on the equipment and procedures for making investigations. Still, this is an off-beat travel book. Written as if it were preparing tourists to be amateur sleuths, it is, in reality, paranormal or occult tourism with history as a primary feature and travel information thrown in. And let us not forget, the author is a fiction writer.


Contents this Issue:

Soil and Water Chemistry: An Integrative Approach, 2nd edition by Michael E. Essington (CRC Press)

Hydraulic Fracturing by Michael Berry Smith & Carl Montgomery (Emerging Trends and Technologies in Petroleum Engineering Series: CRC Press)

Adapting Nineteenth-Century France: Literature in Film, Theatre, Television, Radio and Print by Kate Griffiths & Andrew Watts (French and Francophone Studies Series: University of Wales Press)

Villainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War by Guy R. Hasegawa, with a foreword by Bill Gurley (Southern Illinois University Press)

My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts by Laura T. Coffey, with photography by Lori Fusaro (New World Library)

Great Big Toy Trucks: Plans and Instructions for Building 9 Giant Vehicles by Les Neufeld (Taunton Press)

One-Skein Wonders for Babies: 101 Knitting Projects for Infants & Toddlers edited by Judith Durant, with photography by Geneve Hoffman (One-Skein Wonders Series: Storey Publishing LLC)

The Woodland Homestead: How to Make Your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the Woods by Brett McLeod, with a foreword by Philip Ackerman-Leist (Storey Publishing LLC)

The Gardens of Arne Maynard by Arne Maynard, with photography by William Collinson, with a foreword by Rosie Atkins (Merrell Publishers)

One Year After: A Novel by William R. Forstchen (Forge Books)

Downton Abbey and Philosophy edited by Adam Barkman & Robert Arp (Popular Culture and Philosophy Series: Open Court)

City Limits: Why Australia's Cities Are Broken and How We Can Fix Them by Jane-Frances Kelly & Paul Donegan (Melbourne University Press)

Low Vision Rehabilitation: A Practical Guide for Occupational Therapists, 2nd edition by Stephen G. Whittaker PhD FAAO OTR/L CLVT, Mitchell Scheiman OD FCOVD FAAO, & Debra A. Sokol-McKay OTR/L SCLV CDE CVRT CLVT (Slack Incorporated)

Essentials of In Vivo Biomedical Imaging, 1st Har/Psc edition edited by Simon R. Cherry, Ramsey D. Badawi, & Jinyi Qi (CRC Press)

Operative Procedures in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, 1st Har/Psc edition edited by Ari S. Hoschander, Christopher J. Salgado, Wrood Kassira, & Seth R. Thaller (CRC Press)

Pain Management in Small Animal Medicine, 1st edition by Steven M. Fox (CRC Press)

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, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area by Pamela K. Kinney (Schiffer Publishing Ltd.)