We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

August 2017, Issue #220

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Guide to Contents this Page 

Under a Dark Eye: A Family Story by Sharon Dunn (Texas Tech University Press)

Floating: A Life Regained by Joe Minihane (The Overlook Press/Duckworth)

Business Models for Teams: See How Your Organization Really Works and How Each Person Fits In by Tim Clark & Bruce Hazen, with a foreword by Yves Pigneur (Portfolio/Penguin)

Murphy's Ticket: The Goofy Start and Glorious End of the Chicago Cubs Billy Goat Curse by Brad Herzog, illustrated by David Leonard (Sleeping Bear Press)

The Handy Diabetes Answer Book by Patricia Barnes-Svarney & Thomas E. Svarney (The Handy Answer Book Series: Visible Ink)

Lone Eagle: The Fighter Pilot Experience – From World War I and World War II to the Jet Age by Philip Kaplan (Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.)

Out of the Shadows: Portugal from Revolution to the Present Day by Neill Lochery (Bloomsbury Continuum)

Big Knit Love: 20 Chunky Knit Fashions by Linda Zemba Burhance (The Taunton Press)

Creative Beading, Vol. 12: The best projects from a year of Bead&Button magazine by the Editors of Bead&Button Magazine (Creative Beading Series: Kalmbach Books)

World War II Quilts, 2nd edition by Sue Reich (Schiffer Publishing Ltd)

Treasures in Trusted Hands: Negotiating the Future of Colonial Cultural Objects by Jos van Beurden (Clues Series, Book 3: Sidestone Press)

Devil's Due by Taylor Anderson (Destroyermen Series: Ace)

The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker (A 4MK Thriller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine by Nathan Thrall (Metropolitan Books)

Patkau Architects: Material Operations by Patkau Architects (Princeton Architectural Press)

Passionate Embrace: Luther on Love, Body, and Sensual Presence by Elisabeth Gerle (Cascade Books)

Saint Benedict for Boomers: Wisdom for the Next Stage of Life by Christine M. Fletcher (Liturgical Press)

The Myth of Equality: Uncovering the Roots of Injustice and Privilege by Ken Wytsma (IVP Books)

Lonely Planet Great Britain, 12th edition by Lonely Planet (Travel Guides: Lonely Planet)  


Biographies & Memoirs / Family / Psychological

Under a Dark Eye: A Family Story by Sharon Dunn (Texas Tech University Press)

I began this book wanting to find an answer to a single question: what made my father into the complex, unempathetic man I knew? He cast a deep shadow on my and my brother's childhoods and on into our adulthood. As I went through Gilbert Dunn's life, reconstructing it through his photographs and writing, my own research, and my memories and those of others, I arrived at a much larger, and illumi­nating, view of the forces that played on his life and shaped his mind.

Along the way, though, I realized that I needed to see the ways my psychiatrist mother figured in the story. How did she come to marry this man? Why did she stay in her marriage? Did she truly understand the effect of her husband on their children? So, after finishing up my father's life, I plunged into researching Gladys Ward's. Thus, the two sections of this book. – from the Prologue to Under a Dark Eye

As told in Under a Dark Eye, the Dunns seemed ordinary enough – a middle class family, living in New England in the mid-twentieth century. Their one observable singularity: they lived on the state mental hospital grounds, where psychiatrist Gladys Ward-Dunn was clinical director. The family's grim secret: Gilbert Dunn, who never graduated from high school and provided no income, was an absolute tyrant within the home, and his acid criticism, lack of empathy, and cruelty shadowed the lives of his two children and his accomplished, hardworking wife.

Author Sharon Dunn has published two books of poetry, Refugees in the Garden and My Brother and I. For ten years she was editor of the literary magazine AGNI. For over thirty years she was partners with her brother in a family business in New Hampshire started by their father. She lives in Western Massachusetts and Cape Cod.

Dunn wanted to know: how did her father become this damaged and damaging man, and why was her psychiatrist mother unable to ‘save’ her children? In this memoir, Under a Dark Eye, which is part detective story, Dunn explores the forces – of family, society, and history – that shaped her parents' inner and outer lives. She pieces together a compassionate vision of two complex individuals and their fateful marriage, through an approach uniquely her own: a painstaking assembly of research, interpretation, and imagination. Her materials: facts (from censuses, books, newspapers), letters, journal entries, memories, conversations, original poems, dreams, drawings, and photographs.

Restrained, yet full of feeling; stunned by the mystery of family love, yet bravely attuned to its tragic ambiguity, Sharon Dunn's account (both narrative and lyric) of her disappointed father and her determined mother shows her to be as fine a daughter as she is a poet. —James Carroll, author of An American Requiem

Dunn's insights in Under a Dark Eye are both poignant and clear-eyed, achingly individual and at the same time archetypal.

Biographies & Memoirs / Travel / Outdoors & Nature

Floating: A Life Regained by Joe Minihane (The Overlook Press/Duckworth)

Journalist Joe Minihane became obsessed with wild swimming and its restorative qualities, and developed his new-found passion by following the example of naturalist Roger Deakin in his classic Waterlog. Floating captures in detail Minihane’s struggle to understand his life and move forward and, steeped in the anti-authoritarian and naturalistic spirit of Deakin, celebrates the joy of taking time out to feel better.

Minihane is a journalist and copywriter focusing on travel and adventure pieces. He has written extensively for a wide variety of outlets including Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, The Independent, and World Travel Guide. Floating is his debut memoir.

While putting one arm over the other, sometimes resting on his back, Minihane begins to confront the often buried issues in his life. Along the way, he rekindles old friendships and forges new ones, and after an unexpected setback discovers that he has already gained enough strength to be able to continue his recovery on dry land. The activity that he describes is both strange and beautiful, as the wild water puts him in touch with nature and himself.

Floating is a remarkable memoir about, on the surface, a passion for swimming and nature.

From Hampstead to Yorkshire, from Dorset to Jura, from the Isles of Scilly to Wales – with Floating, Minihane has written what is often a love letter to different wild stretches of water. Readers swim with him through ponds and lakes, rivers and canals, lodes and marshes, even the ice-cold sea. With him, readers too finally come out of the water and dry themselves off.

Detailed and searching, the book chronicles one man’s search for inner peace while reaffirming the calming power of the natural world. A genuine and refreshing nature memoir. – Kirkus

[A] thoughtful memoir ... Endlessly probing, Minihane's lyrical chronicle of swimming therapy is his own attack on worry and self-loathing. – Publishers Weekly
Joe Minihane has written a lovely, lively, passionate account of his pilgrimage in the footsteps (breast-strokes) of Roger Deakin, and about the power of literature to change lives. Generous, innocent and memorable, it is a celebration of nature’s ability to inspire healing and joy.
– Robert MacFarlane, author of Landmarks
Another convert to the magic and majesty of swimming! Joe Minihane's bold personal journey – as the compelling 'Now' of the water helps dilute his history of anxiety – will inspire everyone, even non-swimmers. Dive in. Change your life. Start here.
– Lynn Sherr, award-winning print and broadcast journalist and author of Swim: Why We Love the Water
I love this book. It’s about swimming, and sometimes about not swimming – but there’s so much else. There’s nature, the changing landscape, politics, anxiety, challenge and friendship ... warm, reflective and honest.
– Jenny Landreth, author of Swell: A Waterbiography
Minihane writes with a compulsive honesty and clarity that draws you into its stream as beguiling as any river Deakin ever swam – a wonderful read. Highly recommended!
– Kate Rew, author of Wild Swim; founder of the Outdoor Swimming Society
Floating is a wonderful book: a love letter to wild swimming, a hate letter to anxiety and a story of how we can learn to live with ourselves, our overclocked minds, even after we climb out of the water. – Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine

Floating is the thrillingly triumphant memoir of one man’s self discovery and mastery of anxiety through wild swimming. Moving from darkness into light, it is as intense and moving as it is lyrical and generous.

Business & Investing / Leadership & Management

Business Models for Teams: See How Your Organization Really Works and How Each Person Fits In by Tim Clark & Bruce Hazen, with a foreword by Yves Pigneur (Portfolio/Penguin)

Are you frustrated by...

·        Explaining and re-explaining what people on your team should do?

·        Solving problems that others should be able to solve for themselves?

·        Supervising and micromanaging, rather than strategizing and leading?

Business Models for Teams helps readers overcome these problems. It applies the same simple visual tools that made Business Model Generation and Business Model You popular and successful around the world.
Most leaders over-rely on verbal and written communications. But that approach is outmoded in today’s systems-driven world. Instead, the Business Model Canvas visually depicts how each team really works and how each person fits into the overall mission. It enables people to recognize what needs doing at any given moment – without being asked.

The authors are Tim Clark and Bruce Hazen. Clark is a teacher and entrepreneur who leads the global personal business model movement at Hazen is a career and management consultant, and president of Three Questions Consulting.

Altogether, 225 people from 39 nations contributed to the writing, editing, and production of Business Models for Teams. Draft chapters were uploaded to an online community, where they were reviewed, discussed, and critiqued over a period of 15 months. This group brought to the book more than 5,000 years of full-time professional experience in business, technology, government, academics, medicine, law, design, and other disciplines. The contributors live in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cypress, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hun­gary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, Portu­gal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Vietnam.

Three things about Business Models for Teams:

First, it focuses on using the Canvas to improve an organization's internal operations. This contrasts with the traditional, market-facing use of the Canvas as a strategy-making or strategy-revising tool.

Second, it points out a fast-track way for leaders to boost their effectiveness (rather than their efficiency). Five decades of training, research, and practice have failed to significantly improve organizational leadership, perhaps due to an excessive focus on training team leaders over team members. Business Models for Teams offers leaders a way to share operational ownership and show everyone how they fit into the workplace.

Third, Business Models for Teams shows how the same tool can be used to create understanding and clarity at organizational, team, and individual levels. Along the way, it introduces several useful new tools and techniques that will benefit anyone who serves others as a leader, manager, or mentor.

An easy read with a powerful punch. This is a tremendously practical and thoughtfully insightful tool for leaders seeking to harness the untapped potential of their teams. – General Stanley McChrystal, author of Team of Teams
Business Models for Teams covers how I’ve coached inside Google with the Canvas – and more. – Brian K. Haney, program manager, Google Cloud Platform Support Team
An excellent compendium of actionable tips for anyone looking to strengthen their teams. – Scott Belsky, entrepreneur, investor, author of Making Ideas Happen
This is what innovation demands: ways to get team members themselves to enthusiastically define and execute business models
. – Nicolas Burkhardt, CEO, Kopfspringer GmbH, Germany
Finally! A practical way to link individual actions to enterprise aims. – Jaime Schettini, leadership and career coach, Brazil

Who better than Clark and Hazen to write this practical and inspiring handbook on bridging the gap between me and we? Based on instructive cases and stories, they "move beyond words and pinpoint problems with how individuals, teams, and organizations work." Readers will be charmed by this practical handbook and further, Business Models for Teams may be the last teamwork toolkit they will ever need. Throughout each chapter, Clark and Hazen pass on their approach with passion and clear examples.

Children’s Books / Sports / History

Murphy's Ticket: The Goofy Start and Glorious End of the Chicago Cubs Billy Goat Curse by Brad Herzog, illustrated by David Leonard (Sleeping Bear Press)

Clubs fans all over the country

thought back to the curse and their pain.

And that's when the clouds began weeping.

That's right. It started to rain.

According to local lore and Murphy's Ticket, one reason for the Cub’s long losing streak began in 1945 with a man, his goat, and a curse. Chicago saloon owner Billy ‘Goat’ Sianis cursed the Cubs when his beloved goat Murphy was refused entrance to game four of the 1945 World Series.

But the 2016 season felt different. Would this finally be the year that the Billy Goat Curse was reversed?

In a nutshell, yes. In a spectacular win on November 3, 2016, the Chicago Cubs ended their 108-year losing streak and won the World Series. To loyal Cubs fans around the country, it was more than just the year the Cubs won World Series, it was the end of the Billy Goat Curse!

Life-long Cubs fan and author Brad Herzog in Murphy's Ticket tells the story of the curse's origin and follows the Cubs right through that fateful November night in 2016 when the Cubbies could finally fly the ‘W.’

Chicago native son Herzog has watched the Cubs play from box seats, the bleachers, the press box, and even from Wrigleyville rooftops. A four-time award-winner from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Herzog has written dozens of other books about subjects ranging from soccer and small-town America to civil rights and saving the planet.

Illustrator David Leonard began his freelance illustration career in the first grade, trading his artwork for pencils with his classmates. He has never stopped drawing. In his efforts to always do better, Leonard studied graphic design and illustration in school. His goal has never been simply to put an image on paper, but to capture a moment in time with gestures, emotions, and paint strokes while reflecting his own fun, humorous, and whimsical personality.

According to Murphy's Ticket, just after midnight on November 3, 2016, the Chicago Cubs won Major League Baseball's most coveted prize, the World Series. By any measure, this was a grand achievement. But for a franchise that had endured the longest championship drought in North American pro sports history, it was especially meaningful, validating millions of loyal fans who never lost hope over the years.

Murphy's Ticket is a fun read for Cubbies fans and Major League Baseball history buffs everywhere. Herzog brings the story of the Billy Goat Curse to life for a new generation of fans. In this enjoyable yarn, Herzog uses poetry and humor to relate the ‘Billy Goat Curse’ story. A treat for Cubbies fans of all ages.

Health & Fitness / Diseases / Diabetes / Self-Help

The Handy Diabetes Answer Book by Patricia Barnes-Svarney & Thomas E. Svarney (The Handy Answer Book Series: Visible Ink)

Whether young, old, type 1, type 2, gestational, newly-diagnosed, long-time sufferer, caretaker or loved one, millions of people are afflicted and affected by diabetes. The CDC estimates 9.3% of the population in the U.S. and Canada have diabetes, with millions more with prediabetes. From scientific explanations of the affects of diabetes on the human body to monitoring, maintaining, exercising and eating right, The Handy Diabetes Answer Book provides detailed information on the research and science of the disease as well as coping with the burden.

The authors are Thomas E. Svarney, a scientist who has written extensively about the natural world and Patricia Barnes-Svarney, a science and science fiction writer.

This useful resource shows how and why the disease affects the body, and provides glimpses of historical and contemporary figures with diabetes. It explains who is most at risk and points to the differences throughout life stages. It looks at the science behind its affects on the sense, brain and the various systems of the human body. It demonstrates how to cope with – and live well – through food, exercise and life style choices.

The Handy Diabetes Answer Book brings the complexity of the illness into focus and provides practical assistance for managing the malady through answers to over 950 common questions, such as

  • What were some early common treatments for patients with diabetes?
  • What are some eating challenges that can affect an older person with diabetes?
  • What are the early warning signs of type 1 diabetes?
  • Did writer Ernest Hemingway suffer from hemochromatosis?
  • How do ‘energy drinks’ affect a person’s blood glucose levels?
  • What are some tips for a person with diabetes when they go grocery shopping?
  • What food additives should a person with diabetes be aware of consuming?
  • What should a person with diabetes look for on a restaurant menu?
  • What recent study tried to find a way to reverse type 2 diabetes?
  • What are some ethnic, racial, or cultural groups that have more people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
  • What is insulin shock?
  • Can secondhand smoke affect a person with diabetes?
  • Why does diabetes cause blindness?
  • Why is it important for a person with diabetes to be aware of tooth pain?
  • Why is there a controversy over how much salt should be eaten daily?
  • Will type 1 diabetes ever go away?

Offering reliable information, the latest scientific discoveries, tools, treatments, nutritional help and the hope for cures The Handy Diabetes Answer Book illustrates how anyone can lead a healthy lifestyle, and it includes a helpful glossary of terms, bibliography, and index for easy access to any topic or term.

The Handy Diabetes Answer Book explains why exercise, along with better, healthier eating habits, can actually help people with the disease. And for those with prediabetes, the Svarneys offer ways to possibly stave off, or at least slow down, the disease. There are also book, Internet, and app resources to assist readers.

They also mention the promise of help in the future. For example, there is the current testing of an artificial pancreas for people with type 1 diabetes, along with monitors that don't require stabbing a person's finger over and over to test blood glucose levels. For people with type 2 diabetes, there are many studies that propose various ways to reverse the disease, along with possible ways never to contract type 2 diabetes (much if it in obesity research). And, of course, along with all the changes, research, and inventions, there are plenty of discussions (many of them heated) of the best ways to treat the disease.

The Handy Diabetes Answer Book is especially for those who have just learned they have diabetes. It is also for those who have a family member or friend with the disease. The Svarneys say they discovered it is truly important for those who live, work, or play with a person with diabetes to know not only the signs of a diabetic emergency, but also when to contact emergency medical help. It can often save a family member or good friend.

The Handy Diabetes Answer Book is a practical, accessible and informative guide to a widespread affliction. It is the go-to guide for diabetics, prediabetics, their loved-ones and care-takers. It answers questions in plain English on all aspects of the condition. It also introduces the scientists behind breakthrough advances in care. An easy to use and informative reference, the book will help readers to understand diabetes and let them know how much of an effort is now placed in finding ways to help those with the disease, or at least ways to slow down the progression of diabetes. Readers will walk away knowing there are people who care, who can help, and who are truly trying to understand this disease. Maybe this book will also help a person with diabetes explain to others what it's like to cope with diabetes – to get over the fear of being ‘different.’

History / Aviation / British

Lone Eagle: The Fighter Pilot Experience – From World War I and World War II to the Jet Age by Philip Kaplan (Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.)

Can you imagine yourself as a fighter pilot?

If readers have superior intelligence, unusual strength, perfect vision, catlike reflexes, exceptional marksmanship, and nerves of steel – and they just might have what it takes. According to Lone Eagle, the fighter pilot has total control of an airborne vehicle traveling hundreds of miles an hour, and is capable of leaving a devastating path of destruction in his wake. Navigating with brains and stamina, making life-or-death decisions in the blink of an eye, these unique heroes succeed or fail by their skill and wit. And although their planes have changed over the years – from World War I’s precarious contraptions made of wood, wire, and cloth; to the metal monsters of the second World War, and finally to sleek, computerized birds able to cruise at speeds that exceed Mach 1 – fighter pilots still must out-think and out-fly opponents in a one-on-one contest where everything is at stake.
Through personal stories and remembrances, primarily from the British point of view, Lone Eagle examines the combat missions and evolution of tactics gathered over the last 70 years, where every hour of every day was an unforgettable and marvelous experience. Illustrated throughout with action photos, paintings, memorabilia and mementoes, Lone Eagle recalls the thrill of flying Spitfires, Phantoms, Zeroes, and other fighter planes throughout aviation history.

The author is Philip Kaplan, formerly an art director with Playboy, Atlanta, and Architectural Digest magazines, who has written, coauthored and designed thirty-eight books, including The Bird Farm, Silent Service, and The Bomber Aircrew Experience.

Contents of Lone Eagle include:

  • Fledglings
  • On Being a Fighter Pilot
  • A Natural?
  • On Screen
  • The Iron
  • Ground Grippers
  • The Shootist
  • Janes
  • Guardians
  • Red Stars
  • You Can't Win Them All
  • Air Fighter
  • Gallery

An inspiring celebration of true heroes who set the standard. – Dave ‘Bio’ Baranek, author of Topgun Days

Engagingly written and profusely illustrated, Lone Eagle is a vivid volume and will appeal to the adventurer/daredevil in us all as well as military aviation scholars.

History / Politics / Europe

Out of the Shadows: Portugal from Revolution to the Present Day by Neill Lochery (Bloomsbury Continuum)

"Portugal's best days are behind it" is a common theme put forward by writers who focus their attention on the golden era of Portuguese discoveries, the Empire, and the role of Lisbon as a major Atlantic power. Neill Lochery argues against this idea, suggesting instead that this is an exciting and vibrant nation emerging finally from the shadows of political and economic hardship.

Lochery is a world-renowned authority on the politics and modern history of Europe and the Mediterranean Middle East. He is a professor of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Studies at University College London and the author of a dozen books.

Out of the Shadows is a full account of post-authoritarian democratic Portugal following the revolution of April 1974. From the outset Lochery says it was clear that this was not simply going to be a book about Portugal. One of the major misunderstandings of the post-revolution era has been the over concentration on domestic over international factors in helping to shape its story. The United States regarded the Revolution as a strategic threat to its interests in Europe both in terms of losing Portugal to the Soviet Union and the potential domino effect of this on the rest of Southern and Western Europe. Having emerged from its financial crisis and bail out and thus ‘out of the shadows,’ this is a country of great relevance to Europe today.

Beginning with Portugal's Carnation Revolution in 1974 and charting the country's emergence from the Estado Novo dictatorship (in power since 1933); the new period of democracy; Portugal's time as holders of the Presidency of the European Union and the economic crisis that hit the country in 2010, Out of the Shadows is a fascinating and hugely engaging account of Portugal in the closing decades of the twentieth century and the start of the twenty-first.

With unprecedented access to diplomatic sources and personalities, including US State Department officials and British and Portuguese diplomats, Lochery presents a highly readable account, shedding light on a country most know little about other than as a holiday destination or a poverty-stricken European lightweight.

Distilling an enormous quantity of research, [Lochery] has rendered a fascinating and readable account of this small country’s role in World War II, protected, as it was, by its wily champion. – The Wall Street Journal on Lisbon

A lively, accessible and hair-raising history revealing every sordid detail of Lisbon during World War II – a time and place that many have chosen to forget in order to save face. – Shelf Awareness on Lisbon

[A] revealing political history ... Lochery delivers a vivid picture of the Byzantine mid-20th-century politics in this increasingly important yet chronically overlooked nation. – Publishers Weekly on Brazil

Meticulously researched, based on documentary sources as well as personal accounts of witnesses to the events described, Out of the Shadows makes clear how significant Portugal has been and remains. The book will delight readers interested in how this beautiful and odds-defying country has propelled itself out of the darkness and into a new era.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Big Knit Love: 20 Chunky Knit Fashions by Linda Zemba Burhance (The Taunton Press)

Big knitting is fast and fashionable! Big Knit Love introduces newbies and experienced knitters to knitting with big needles and bulky, super bulky, and jumbo yarns with 20 patterns for gorgeous wearables. Called one of the most important knitting trends by Lion Brand Yarn, knitting with chunky yarns is less structured than knitting with standard-sized needles and yarns, making it perfect for anyone who wants to make simple yet stylish patterns in no time.

In addition, Big Knit Love includes a photograph-rich section on tools, materials, and step-by-step techniques to make sure each pattern knits up correctly.

Author Linda Zemba Burhance is a knitwear designer, pattern writer, and owner of Apparel Development Consulting, a product development apparel consulting business.

Big Knit Love: 20 Chunky Knit Fashions shows readers how they can create their own big knit fashion instead of paying big-label prices. Whether they want everyday essentials like scarves, boot toppers, and fingerless gloves, or are looking for more sophisticated items like cowls, wraps, and ponchos, Burhance guides them from start to finish as they learn the ins and outs of knitting big.

Big knits are popular with veteran knitters who love the gorgeous textures that come with big needles and bulky yarn; but they are also a great entry point for novice knitters because they knit up in a flash. Big Knit Love celebrates the big stitches created with bulky, jumbo, and roving yarns in the 20 fashion-forward designs.

Burhance says she loves ‘big’ knitting because the texture drives her wild. It is fun and screams HANDMADE, and it's a much more exciting way to use one’s hands than working on a keyboard all day. Big knitting is fast and fashionable – what could be better than that?

Burhance says that if readers love to ‘knit big’ or want to learn how, she will show them some Big Knit Love. She begins with the basics: casting on, knit stitch, purl stitch, and casting off. She then takes readers through some of the standard increase and decrease stitch techniques used to provide shape or visual surface interest to the project. For example, a curved neckline and an angled shoulder utilize increase and decrease stitches to create their shape. She also includes several finishing details, such as connecting and seaming techniques, edging ideas, trims, pom-poms, and fringe.

Big Knit Love offers plenty of on-trend style for the adventurous beginner and quick projects for intermediate knitters. – Creative Knitting Magazine

Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, Big Knit Love is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library needlecraft instructional reference collections. – Midwest Book Review

Big Knit Love is a stunning collection including a section on tolls and materials and step-by-step techniques to ensure each pattern knits up perfectly.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies

Creative Beading, Vol. 12: The best projects from a year of Bead&Button magazine by the Editors of Bead&Button Magazine (Creative Beading Series: Kalmbach Books)

Jewelry makers in search of stitching projects love Kalmbach's Creative Beading series, back for 2017 with Creative Beading, Vol. 12. Inside this high-quality hardcover book, beaders will find 75+ projects from Bead&Button magazine. All the projects are designed by the magazine's contributors and editors, fully tested by the editors, and accompanied by step-by-step instructions, photos, and illustrations.
The emphasis is on bead stitching, the most popular technique among Bead&Button readers. Creative Beading, Vol. 12 features jewelry in a wide variety of colors, styles, skills, and techniques. The projects feature both the tried-and-true materials beaders love – seed beads, crystals, pearls, and gemstones – and the newest multi-hole and shaped beads.
Creative Beading, Vol. 12 includes a thorough Basics section, so beaders new to the techniques can get started quickly, and a handy index to the contributors for jewelry makers looking for a particular designer's style. This new volume in the Creative Beading series offers a new collection of beadweaving projects from the latest year of Bead&Button magazine. This massive collection includes projects in various skill levels and styles from the magazine's contributors. Beaders can choose projects that showcase their favorite techniques.

In the book readers find:

  • Complete instructions with thorough step-by-step illustrations, helpful tips, and color variations.
  • Their favorite stitches and beading techniques, including right-angle weave, peyote, herringbone, bead embroidery, bead crochet, kumihimo, wirework, and stringing.
  • New bead shapes, such as two-hole seed beads, Rullas, triangles, bars, and studs.

Readers will find necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pendants, and more.

Like always, Creative Beading includes all the various stitches readers love and appeals to many different design sensibilities. Whether they are looking for a traditional style with seed beads, crystals, and pearls, or a project that includes a new twist with shaped beads, they will find it.

As in previous volumes, projects are organized into three categories: single-stitch projects, multi-stitch projects, and other techniques. There are more than 75 great designs, many with color options and helpful tips. Those who need a refresher can flip to the Basics section for specific stitching techniques.

Whether readers are new to beading or have lots of experience, they will find projects to suit their style and skill level in Creative Beading, Vol. 12. With so many familiar and different techniques and materials, readers are sure to find many pieces to love.

Home & Garden / Crafts & Hobbies / History / World War II

World War II Quilts, 2nd edition by Sue Reich (Schiffer Publishing Ltd)

Many American women made quilts to honor and benefit US soldiers during the period 1940-1945, either as outright gifts or as raffle items to raise money for the war effort. World War II Quilts reflects extensive original research of newspaper and magazine articles of the era, and authenticates the patterns and designs available to quiltmakers, anchoring the quilts historically in time.

Color photos and descriptive text identify many colorful and patriotic quilts made for donation to the Red Cross and organizations such as Bundles for Britain. When possible, original patterns and designs that inspired the quilts are included in World War II Quilts. The quilts can now be interpreted from factual and objective perspectives, enhancing their historic and emotional importance.

Author Sue Reich began her love of quilting as a child at her grandmother’s farmhouse in northwestern Pennsylvania. Her interests expanded to historic documentation, appraising, judging, and lecturing on quilts. As a nationally recognized author of quilt history books and the curator and keeper of focused quilt exhibits, Reich travels widely sharing her quilt research and knowledge.

In the preface to World War II Quilts, Reich says that in 2004, she attended the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The experience was unforgettable. Across the Mall, reunion tents were filled with photos, posters, magazine covers and other memorabilia from the War years. American flags, images of Blue Stars, airplanes, Vs for victory, Morse code, ships, anchors, and other popular World War II ephemera could be seen everywhere. She began to realize that quilt historians had overlooked the era of World War II quilts. Quilts of the 1940s were usually placed in the same category with quilts of the 1920s and 1930s in state documentation projects. "How many World War II quilts are really out there?" became a reoccurring question.

Through extensive research of newspapers from 1940 to 1945, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles recording quiltmaking in the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Most of those quilts are still in trunks and attics, placed there sixty-five years ago by ‘The Greatest Generation,’ as they moved on with their lives after the war ended. Today, the men of that generation are leaving at the rate of about one thousand a day, and the women, now in their 80s and 90s, are also passing from this life. Their children are emptying those trunks and the quilts of World War II are entering the market place.

There were very specific types of quilts made during the war: the obvious red, white and blue patriotic quilts, quilts with military symbols and insignia, quilts made for donation, quilts made to raise money for the war effort, and quilts that look exactly like any other quilt made between 1920 and 1950. World War II Quilts concentrates on these five styles of quilts, and when possible the original patterns and designs that inspired the quilts are included.

World War II Quilts presents information primarily from two collections: one of quilts and the other of newspaper accounts of quiltmaking from the World War II years. The book makes it possible for quilt historians and researchers, military historians, baby boomers, and the general public to gain a greater appreciation of World War II quilts and their historical significance.

International Law / Negotiation / Archaeology

Treasures in Trusted Hands: Negotiating the Future of Colonial Cultural Objects by Jos van Beurden (Clues Series, Book 3: Sidestone Press)

According to Treasures in Trusted Hands, Europe, the former colonizers, should do more pro-active provenance research into the acquisitions from the colonial era, both in public institutions and private collections.

This study, revised from Jos van Beurden’s doctoral dissertation, charts the one-way traffic of cultural and historical objects during five centuries of European colonialism. Van Beurden says that former colonies consider this as an historical injustice that has not been undone. Treasures in Trusted Hands presents abundant examples of disappeared colonial objects and systematizes these into war booty, confiscations by missionaries, contestable acquisitions by private persons, and other categories.
Former colonial powers have kept most of the objects in their custody. In the 1970s the Netherlands and Belgium returned objects to their former colonies Indonesia and DR Congo; but their number was considerably smaller than what had been asked for. Nigeria’s requests for the return of some Benin objects, confiscated by British soldiers in 1897, has been rejected.
As there is no consensus on how to deal with colonial objects, disputes about other categories of contestable objects are analyzed in Treasures in Trusted Hands. For Nazi-looted artworks, the 1998 Washington Conference Principles have been widely accepted. Although non-binding, they promote fair and just solutions and help people to reclaim art works that they lost involuntarily. To promote solutions for colonial objects, nine Principles for Dealing with Colonial Cultural and Historical Objects are presented, based on the Washington Conference Principles. The nine principles are part of a model to facilitate mediation in disputes about them. This model can help to break the impasse in negotiations between former colonizers and colonies.
Treasures in Trusted Hands is the third book in the Clues Series. CLUES – Interdisciplinary Studies in Culture, History and Heritage – is an international scientific series covering research in the field of culture, history and heritage which have been written by or under the supervision of members of the research institute CLUE+.

This study is the result of a fascination with the fate of the material cultural heritage of mostly vulnerable countries. The large-scale presence of cultural and historical objects in public and private collections in the countries of the former European colonizers raises serious questions. Whether anything can and should be done to change the maldistribution of these cultural and historical objects is the subject of the book. It charts and analyzes the disappearance of cultural objects from their places of origin and the returns that have taken place in order to develop a model for negotiating the future of such objects.

Treasures in Trusted Hands consists of six parts.

Part I, Introduction, explains why the future of colonial cultural objects is a pertinent subject and introduces the three main questions of this book. The `how' of the answers – research methodology, use of sources, etc. – is presented. Frequently-used concepts are described. A typology of colonial cultural objects is offered.

Part II, Colonialism and cultural objects, presents an overview of the disappearance of cultural objects during different periods of European colonialism. It defines decolonization as an unresolved conflict and colonial cultural objects as a major, be it underexposed, element in this conflict.

Part III, Colonial cultural objects and the law, considers legal and protective measures taken in the colonial era and thereafter. It lists the first return claims by former colonies. A comparison is made with colonial human remains and Nazi-looted art.

Part IV of Treasures in Trusted Hands is a case study of the Netherlands and Indonesia. It analyses in two steps the ambiguities in the negotiations in the 1970s between the two countries for new cultural relations and the return of objects. The first step is based on contemporary archives and documents. The second is a complement to the first, with insights of recent research. Elements are sought that can become part of a model for negotiating the future of colonial cultural objects.

To better map the one-way traffic of objects and find more elements for the model, Part V offers case studies of other negotiations for bilateral agreements in the 1970s and 1980s – those between Belgium and Congo, between Denmark and Iceland and Denmark and Greenland, and between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Part VI, New insights, a new approach, answers the three main questions and presents principles for dealing with colonial objects and a model with seven phases for negotiating their future.

According to van Beurden in Treasures in Trusted Hands, the adaptation of the 1998 Washington Principles to Principles for Dealing with Colonial Cultural and Historical Objects helps to internationalize the discussion about the future of colonial objects. It creates awareness and indicates what commitment is needed to solve the issue of lost colonial objects. The other tool for this, the seven-phase model for negotiating the future of colonial cultural objects, was developed within the limits of existing conflict resolution models.

This is a very commendable treatise which has painstakingly and with detachment explored the emotive issue of the return of cultural objects removed in colonial times to the metropolis. He has looked at the issues from every continent with clarity and perspicuity. – Professor Folarin Shyllon, University of Ibadan
A monumental work of high quality…. Especially well documented… (Monumentaal werk van hoge kwaliteit. Het hoofdstuk over Congo is bijzonder goed gedocumenteerd en leerrijk.) – Dr. Guido Gryseels, Director-General of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren

Treasures in Trusted Hands is a pioneering study of a topic badly in need of international attention. Van Beurden writes about a dream of a round table with a colonial cultural object on top of it and its major stakeholders sitting around it; they are telling each other about their involvement with the cultural object in dispute. The material in the book hopefully will help to make the table steadier and less wobbly.

Literature & Fiction / Fantasy & Science Fiction

Devil's Due by Taylor Anderson (Destroyermen Series: Ace)

New York Times bestselling author Taylor Anderson in Devil's Due continues the thrilling Destroyermen series of alternate history and military strategy, as the conflict is about to become terrifyingly personal....
Other titles the Destroyermen series, include Blood in the Water, Straits of Hell, and Deadly Shores. A gunmaker and forensic ballistic archaeologist, Anderson has been a technical and dialogue consultant for movies and documentaries and is an award-winning member of the United States Field Artillery Association and of the National Historical Honor Society. He has a master’s degree in history and has taught that subject at Tarleton State University.

In Devil's Due Captain Matt Reddy and the crew of the USS Walker have been fighting for their lives ever since their ship was swept from the Pacific to another world and they became embroiled in a deadly conflict between their Lemurian allies and the ravening Grik.
Things are about to get a lot worse. With Reddy’s family and allies held prisoner by the mad General Kurokawa, the mysterious League and evil Dominion plotting schemes of their own, and the Grik trying to build their swarm and concentrate power, Reddy faces danger on all sides.
Although desperate to confront Kurokawa, Captain Reddy fears he’s subordinating the war effort for personal reasons. But Kurokawa is too dangerous to be left alone. With the mighty League battleship Savoie at his command, he plots a terrible vengeance against Reddy and his tiny, battered destroyer.
The stage is set for a devastating cataclysm, and Reddy and his allies will risk everything to protect what they hold dear in Devil's Due.

Praise for the Series
A new, genuinely different ‘alternate Earth’ story. – New York Times bestselling author David Weber
Gripping and riveting. – New York Times
bestselling author S. M. Stirling
Taylor Anderson...
[has] steamed to the forefront of alternative history. – bestselling author E. E. Knight
Intriguing what-ifs...combine with churning, bloodthirsty warfare. – Kirkus Reviews
Action sci-fi doesn’t get significantly better than this. – Booklist

[Anderson] expand[s] his universe with yet more mysterious arrivals and dangerous creatures. – Publishers Weekly

Taylor Anderson... will have readers in awe. – Alternative Worlds

The depth of the world, the vivid characters, and well-told and realistic battle scenes all help to make all the Destroyermen novels... can't-put-them-down read[s]. – Galaxy's Edge

Pick up the Destroyermen series and kick back and enjoy. – SFRevu

Engrossing, riveting, Devil's Due is a can’t-put-it-down read, especially for fans of the Destroyermen series.

Literature & Fiction / Mysteries & Thrillers

The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker (A 4MK Thriller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Se7en meets The Silence of the Lambs in this dark and twisting novel from the author Jeffery Deaver called, “A talented writer with a delightfully devious mind.”
The author of The Fourth Monkey is J. D. Barker, the international best-selling author of Forsaken, a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Debut Novel. In addition, he has been asked to coauthor a prequel to Dracula by the Stoker family.

For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago in The Fourth Monkey. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive. 
As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.
With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. In The Fourth Monkey, time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave.

This book lives up to the hype.... fast paced, complex and filled with twists and turns, once I picked up this novel, it was incredibly hard to put down.... At this point, this novel has me feeling a serious 'book hangover'. And, with that ending, I am really hoping this will not be the last that I will read about these characters. 5/5 stars. A must read. – Clues and Reviews
Bram Stoker Award finalist Barker ingeniously blends horrific images into a bizarre plotline to create this devilishly dark thriller. – Library Journal
… Nice twists on classic thriller tropes. – Publisher’s Weekly

Not since Hannibal Lecter had a friend for dinner has a serial killer been so skillfully rendered on the page. – Taylor Elmore, writer/producer of Justified and Limitless

Creepy, scary ... and impossible to put down! The Fourth Monkey is everything a thriller should be – a must read! – Heather Graham, NY Times bestselling author

In the tradition of Se7en and The Usual Suspects, The Fourth Monkey combines breakneck speed with a baffling puzzle. It has pace to die for. – David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of Murder As a Fine Art and First Blood

A chillingly delicious page-turner. – Kelley Armstrong, NY Times bestselling author 

Gritty, masterful suspense… Lee Child, you’ve met your match. – Tosca Lee, NY Times Bestselling Author 

Serial killers in fiction are a dime a dozen these days, and it takes a powerful lot of thought and crafty planning to come up with one who’s unique. In The Fourth Monkey Barker does just that – and gives us more than one. And he bounces his bad guys off a colorful cast of believable characters. For you puzzle fans, there’s a story within the story as strange and twisty as the tale itself. But make no mistake, this is a suspense novel through and through, and it’s in no way shy about it. – Jack Ketchum, award winning author of Off Season and The Girl Next Door 

This book is seriously brilliant: the best serial killer thriller I’ve ever read. – Lisa Milton, Executive Editor HarperCollins HQ

Gripping, addictive, and devilishly clever. From its opening salvo The Fourth Monkey grabs you and never lets go. J. D. Barker is a stunning new talent. – Barry Lancet, award-winning author of Tokyo Kill and Pacific Burn

Fascinating, fast-paced thriller. J.D. Barker keeps you on the edge of your seat right up until the final twist. A gripping read! – R.G. Belsky, author of the Gil Malloy thrillers

In The Fourth Monkey, J.D. Barker interweaves multiple mysteries into an exhilarating thriller with a compelling new villain. The complexity of the puzzles and the lighting pace funnels the reader through a Rube Goldberg contraption of twists and turns. Buckle yourself in and have fun! – Alex Dolan, author of The Euthanist

The Fourth Monkey is a masterfully written, fast-paced thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Politics / International / Middle East

The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine by Nathan Thrall (Metropolitan Books)

In a myth-busting analysis of the world's most intractable conflict, a star of Middle East reporting, ‘one of the most important writers’ in the field (The New York Times), Nathan Thrall argues that only one weapon has yielded progress: force.

Thrall is a leading analyst of the Arab-Israeli conflict who lives in Jerusalem.

Scattered over the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea lie the remnants of failed peace proposals, international summits, secret negotiations, UN resolutions, and state-building efforts. The conventional story is that these well-meaning attempts at peacemaking were repeatedly, perhaps terminally, thwarted by violence.

Through a interweaving of reportage, historical narrative, and analysis, Thrall in The Only Language They Understand presents a startling counter-history. He shows that force – including but not limited to violence – has impelled each side to make its largest concessions, from Palestinian acceptance of a two-state solution to Israeli territorial withdrawals. This simple fact has been neglected by the world powers, which have expended countless resources on initiatives meant to diminish friction between the parties. By quashing any hint of confrontation, promising an imminent negotiated solution, facilitating security cooperation, developing the institutions of a still unborn Palestinian state, and providing bounteous economic and military assistance, the United States and Europe have merely entrenched the conflict by lessening the incentives to end it.

Published as Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza reaches its fiftieth anniversary, which is also the centenary of the Balfour Declaration that first promised a Jewish national home in Palestine, The Only Language They Understand advances a thesis that shatters ingrained positions of both left and right and provides a new understanding of this most vexed of lands.

Nathan Thrall does a brilliant job describing the political and geostrategic reasons for the intractability... His argument is smart and hard to dispute. – The New York Times Book Review

Thrall has consistently been one of the sharpest observers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the United States’ role in trying to end it, and his most recent contribution, The Only Language They Understand, is true to form.... His argument is a compelling one, and Thrall expertly marshals historical evidence to demonstrate his thesis that both sides respond to sticks rather than carrots. – Foreign Affairs

Life is short, and writings about Israel and the Palestinians can be very, very long. So it’s a good thing there’s Nathan Thrall. – Time

Readers of the New York Review of Books and other intellectual publications know Nathan Thrall to be one of the best-informed, most insightful, and least polemical analysts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict… The Only Language They Understand brings unparalleled clarity to the dynamics of Israeli-Palestinian relations, and is an essential guide to the history, personalities, and ideas behind the conflict. – Jewish Book Council

Even the most ardent defenders of Israeli policies should acknowledge Thrall’s mastery to facts on the ground, historical context and diplomatic tactics and strategies on all sides.… Just about everyone interested in peace between Israelis and Palestinians will learn something and find something to ponder. – Jerusalem Post

Thrall makes a persuasive case that instead of leaving the Israelis and Palestinians alone or limply warning of the peril facing Israeli democracy if a two-state solution isn't achieved, the only weapon in the US arsenal that has ever produced meaningful gains on the issue is force – diplomatic, economic, or otherwise. – Vice

Nathan Thrall’s commentary on the most intractable dispute of our time is something shocking: it is fair. Into a debate consumed by ferocious passions he enters dispassionately, except that he has a passion for peace. For this reason he is uncommonly trustworthy. His familiarity with the infamous complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian tangle is remarkable, as is his mental composure. This learned and candid book is a genuine contribution to our understanding of an increasingly frightening conflict. – Leon Wieseltier

Both the book and the title of The Only Language They Understand perfectly encapsulate the attitudes of the two sides to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The title also illustrates Thrall’s main thesis: that over the entire hundred years of this conflict, only force or the threat of force, whether military, political, economic, diplomatic or in another form, has obligated the two sides to compromise. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why this conflict is so intractable and remains unresolved. – Rashid Khalidi, author of Brokers of Deceit and Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Columbia University

A terrific piece of analysis by a keen and empathic observer of the region. – Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower and Thirteen Days in September

These are the toughest criticisms anywhere of decades of Israeli policy. The failings of the Palestinians are here as well – but the arrows are aimed at Jerusalem. Serious supporters of Israel should have their answers ready – or be prepared to lose debates to opponents quoting Nathan Thrall. – Elliott Abrams, Deputy National Security Advisor, George W. Bush administration

The Only Language They Understand is a necessary and essential book. Thrall offers a radically new understanding of the failures of the efforts to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians. His eye-opening book upends the beliefs steering the failed policies, revealing how the aversion to pain, not the promise of peace, has driven compromise for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

Professional & Technical / Design / Architecture

Patkau Architects: Material Operations by Patkau Architects (Princeton Architectural Press)

Patkau Architects is known for creating innovative, sculptural buildings that convey artistic expression through the purposeful use of materials. Patkau Architects: Material Operations reveals the architectural philosophy and techniques that drive the firm's extraordinary constructions.
Working directly with materials – bending them, breaking them, feeling their texture, mass, and strength – provides a depth of understanding that visual observation alone cannot. The firm's creations demonstrate how attending to and playing with specific materials yields a new perspective. Patkau Architects investigates how the qualities of commonly available construction materials and unconventional techniques produce expressive forms with inherent structural capacities and evocative identities.

Patkau Architects is an architecture and design research studio based in Vancouver, Canada. Patkau Architects has established an international reputation – for design excellence. The firm has received numerous national and international architectural awards, including several Governor General's Medals and awards from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the American Institute of Architects.

There are currently four principals: John Patkau, Patricia Patkau, Greg Boothroyd and David Shone, and two associates: Shane O'Neill and Peter Suter. In over 30 years of practice, both in Canada and in the United States, Patkau Architects has been responsible for the design of a wide variety of building types for a diverse range of clients. Projects vary in scale from gallery installations to master planning, from modest houses to major urban libraries.

Patkau Architects reveals the philosophy and techniques that generate the firm's extraordinary constructions. These smaller-scale, research-driven projects complement their major building commissions, including the Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver, the Capilano Library in Edmonton, and the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, winner of the 20I7 Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Awards in Architecture.

In their foreword, the authors define the term Material Operations. "The name describes the way each project is begun: with a specific material to which a specific action or process is applied. The projects develop from there in different directions. Each embodies a search for clues to what is unimagined, yet possible."

As explained in the introduction, Material Operations begin with a relatively simple transformation of a specific object and develop through reactions to that transformation. At the most basic level, they follow the formula Material + Force = Form. Initial forms are found, not preconceived, in the way a specific material expresses stress through strain – flexing or failing in particular ways. Characteristics of strain are latent aspects of the interior structure of the material itself, as well as the original manufactured form. For example, sheet steel and sheet plywood respond to bending in distinct ways. This distinction is due to the intrinsic differences between the molecular structures of steel (crystalline) and wood (fibrous) but is also a consequence of their manufacture. These extrinsic qualities – thickness, proportional area, and, in plywood, compositing – determine the range of flexure available before failure. The Operations are simply different means of navigating these qualities by applying forces and causing deformations to which design iterations respond.

The authors’ interests in Patkau Architects are threefold. First is the nature of specific materials: What are the explicit and latent potentials? Second is their response to different applications of force: Do they deform in ways that imply extended potential? Third, they are interested in integral relationships among form, structure, and space: How can a process be developed to induce a robust and integral form? As such, Material Operations investigate how the qualities of commonly available construction materials and modest but unconventional techniques may produce buildable, expressive forms with inherent structural capacity and evocative identities.

They say that for Patkau Architects they have found it useful to begin categorizing the different directions that the research has taken. There are two main branches so far, one growing out of the other. The initial mode described above – changing the shape of a single, specific object – they call Morphological Operations. Overcoming the inherent limitations of scale imposed by that narrow focus demands that they expand the scope to include combinative procedures that develop the relationships among parts. They call these Relational Operations.

The authors bring long-cultivated and hard-earned knowledge to each new project but try to resist the preconceptions that tend to accrete around that knowledge. Instead of papering the work with a recognizable style, they invest it with attention to the specifics of each project: lives lived, aspirations for community, topographical and urban contexts, environmental impacts, social and economic pressures, patterns of change and of climatic conditions, et cetera. These particulars establish a context to which they make a specific response that also reflects the growth and progress of their practice. This requires that they shed the convictions of previous responses and begin again each time, bringing along their trained focus of attention.

At times they say they stray beyond the province of established techniques and technology. This leads them into the curious enterprise of inventing processes or even devices that often play a central role in the projects, forcing them to work through inherent unpredictability and to embrace mistakes as possible beginnings.

The results are various. Some are developing directly into architecture while others occupy a rather ambiguous territory. Others yet venture toward art. The projects call on their curiosities and allow them to play with their interests without much risk, partly because they are small, self-initiated, and free from the constraints and pressures of client-based work. This freedom, however, is merely the freedom to fail constructively. The work is, in fact, deeply constrained by the physical realities to which they attend, and it is that sustained payment of attention that appears to be the operative thread that binds all of this work. Simply paying very close attention to the physical aspects of actual things is a reliably surprising source of insight and seems to function as the primary instrument of curiosity.

Patkau Architects demonstrates how using commonly available construction materials and modest but unconventional methods can produce expressive forms. Their innovative approach to design and purposeful use of materials provide a refreshed and expanded perspective on the possible.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Ethics

Passionate Embrace: Luther on Love, Body, and Sensual Presence by Elisabeth Gerle (Cascade Books)

In an age of body worship as well as body loathing, Elisabeth Gerle explores new paths in Passionate Embrace. Protestant ethics has often been associated with work and duty, excluding sensuality, sexuality, and other pleasures. Gerle embarks on a conversation with Martin Luther in dialogue with contemporary theologians on attitudes toward body, sensuality, desire, sexuality, life, and politics. She draws on Eros theology to challenge traditional Lutheran stereotypes, such as the dichotomies between different forms of love, as well as between spirit and body.

Gerle is Professor of Ethics at Lund University and at Church of Sweden Research Department.

Gerle argues in Passionate Embrace that Luther's spiritual breakthrough, where grace and gifts of creation became central, provides new meaning to sex and desire as well as to work, body, and ordinary life. Women are seen in new light – as companions, autonomous ethical agents, part of the priesthood of all. This had revolutionary consequences in medieval Europe, and it represents a challenge to contemporary theologies with a nostalgic appetite for austerity, asceticism, and female submission.

Passionate Embrace shows that Luther initiates something new by seeing a human being as a whole. Body and spirit do not stand in opposition to each other. Nonetheless, when he speaks of flesh it has a negative connotation. What he has in mind is a human being's general tendency to fixate – body, spirit, and soul – upon itself and to turn away from life, fellow human beings, and God. And yet sexuality, body, and sexual desire do not represent obstacles to the spiritual. Luther rejects any such opposition. On the contrary, God often shows his love for human beings precisely through the material and the physical. The care and love provided by other people thereby become signs of God's own love. In the home of Katharina von Bora and Luther, the meal – supper – is closely associated with the meal in the church that has long been known as the Lord's Supper. The sharp boundaries between spiritual and material are dissolved in Luther's writings because he sees God's care and love in the material, the everyday. The Word of God becomes a message of love that helps people to make sense of what they encounter.

When theologians talk about the body, they are often referring to the Church as body and community. Passionate Embrace restricts itself primarily to the human body and its senses. In contrast to the ascetic traditions, sensual presence for Luther is neither a sin nor a threat to our closeness to God. The body is a mystery that can never be fully encompassed or described. And yet we take it as fairly self-evident what a body is. We are all also aware that the body changes during its lifetime. Time, age, and health all play their part. Our vulnerability is especially visible at the beginning and the end of life.

This represents a challenge in a culture that values strength and health. How should we treat vulnerability, suffering, and death? Luther surrenders neither to body cult nor to body loathing. He is not primarily concerned with the body, though it is a gift and a means of support. Rather, his interest is in our relationship to God as well as to other people.
Gerle in Passionate Embrace chooses to read Luther's own texts in dialogue with scholars from our era who are interested in the body's significance for theology. Luther's view of gender, sexuality, and sexual desire are summarized against a background of intellectual history. She goes on to read Luther through contemporary wounds associated with gender, sexual orientation, and ethnic and religious affiliation.

Luther uses the erotic language of mysticism when referring to relationships with God as well as relationships between people. He thereby passes on several important aspects of the mystical tradition. These include queer elements. Christ is described as both bride and bridegroom. Although Luther holds a fairly traditional view of women, they never become a threat to how human beings relate to God and the spiritual, but are instead regarded as partners and equals. Man and woman are seen as God's co-creators. They pass on life by giving birth and taking care of new lives.

Elisabeth Gerle reveals the long-lost and loveable body in Luther's theology. Without muffling the internal contradictions and half millennium distance, Gerle solicits in this breakthrough of sensual materiality, of vibrant attention ethical and erotic to our physicality, a crucial ancestor for sexual politics and embodied spirituality today. Her writing beautifully performs the passion it so lucidly describes. – Catherine Keller, Drew University

Taking body as the starting point for theology sheds critical light on the dangers of body cult vs. body loathing today, and the historic dualism. Elisabeth Gerle returns to the fundamentals of Christian faith: God mysteriously, yet really, present in body, and human beings' sensory experience of God in grief and delight. In this aesthetically and intellectually stimulating treatment, immersed in apt global discourse across disciplines, Martin Luther emerges as an ally for a holistic spirituality with political consequences. A unique book, written with passion. – Kirsi Stjerna, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

This work liberates love, body, and sensuality from a discipline that for too many a century entrapped theological dogmas, perverting into sins of the flesh the loving sensuous fervors of the body. With the help of Luther's theological incarnational turn, eroticism receives its proper place in theological language. This book fills a longstanding lacuna. Passionate Embrace is indeed most embraceable. – Vitor Westhelle, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Luther's erotic and gender-fluid language is a healthy challenge to oppressive political structures centered on greed, profit, and competition. A revised Scandinavian creation theology and a deep sense of the incarnational mystery are resources for contemporary theology and ethics. In Passionate Embrace Gerle provides inspiration for an impassioned politics and an erotic physical spirituality that sees and cares about real, physical bodies in our world.

Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Self-help

Saint Benedict for Boomers: Wisdom for the Next Stage of Life by Christine M. Fletcher (Liturgical Press)

"Don't trust anyone over 30!" If you are a boomer like me, you remember uttering that phrase and really meaning it. Yet here we are moving in our 50s and 60s and probably looking at another 20 years of life. What are we going to do with those years? How are we going to serve God and our neighbor now as we face big life changes, retirement, health challenges, and the loss of our friends and family members? I would like to make some suggestions based on my own family circumstances, my study of theology, and the Rule of St. Benedict. – from the book

Taking Saint Benedict of Nursia as a guide, Christine Fletcher in Saint Benedict for Boomers insists that those in the autumn of their lives still have much to contribute to society and to those around them, even when they are ill and dependent. Benedict’s wisdom is perennial, and it remains helpful to those who negotiate new challenges in living well, preserving bodily health, discerning purpose in new stages of living, deepening faith, and ultimately, facing sickness and death.

Fletcher is associate professor of theology at Benedictine University and an oblate of St. Procopius Abbey, Lisle, Illinois.

Fletcher says that Saint Benedict for Boomers is based on the idea that no one can retire from being a Christian; we are to love God and our neighbor throughout life. And it recognizes that aging presents us with change, loss, and death, as well as new growth and opportunities for deep gladness and peace. She says she is not trying to minimize the challenges and difficulties, but to see how we can redeem them in this life as we prepare for the next. All change is also loss, even change that we want and strive for, and all loss must be mourned. We must face the changes in life with courage and call upon the Holy Spirit for the wisdom to live this stage of life as witnesses to God's love and mercy.

Faith gives us a purpose in life: to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This, the Great Commandment, gives us a guide to life that is valid when we are healthy and strong and when we are weak and sick. We still have much to contribute to life. Faith makes us part of a larger community that supports us when we are ill and alone. We, on our part, can pray and offer our suffering for the good of others.

A new stage of life can be a time of deeper conversion to our identity as God's beloved children. So Saint Benedict for Boomers starts with St. Benedict, and how his Rule can help anyone grow in faith and relationship with Christ. The chapter on St. Benedict, his Rule, and Benedictine spirituality offers a guide to deepening our prayer life and seeing life not as split between sacred and secular, but as a unified whole. This integration of faith and life is the work of a lifetime, and this stage of life offers challenges such as sickness as well as opportunities such as new free time. Saint Benedict can guide us as we strive to make the love of God and neighbor real, every day, wherever we may be – even on the golf course, "[f]irst and foremost, there must be no word or sign of the evil of grumbling" (RB 34.6).

The next two chapters deal with the practicalities of living and aging, looking at recent work on longevity and health. Main­taining health is part of loving ourselves. Chapter 2 looks at antiaging versus longevity research and then at physical activity as necessary for healthy aging. Chapter 3 puts advice on a healthy diet into a theological framework of gratitude and Eucharist. Throughout Saint Benedict for Boomers Fletcher challenges our culture's assumption that the individual is supreme and can make any choiced are Key Locationsation in light of scripture and the ministry of Jesus. We are wonderfully introduced to Jesus and his disciples as a joking community. Humor Us is a fitting coda to Don Capps' prolific life. He offers us not only last laughs, but the gift and grace of humor. – Ryan LaMothe, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology

This is Donald Capps' last book, and it is among his best. His third monograph on humor, Humor Us, engages empirical, theoretical, medical, historical, biblical, and theological writings on humor, offering a compelling vision for moderating stress and alleviating anxiety by means of what William James called `The Gospel of Relaxation.' We all would do well to cling to Capps' wisdom. – Nathan Carlin, McGovern Medical School, Houston

In a playful manner that combines serious scholarship about the healing power of humor and imagination with a s is Jesus' hidden life in Nazareth.

The final section of Saint Benedict for Boomers looks at sickness, suffering, and death, which will inevitably come to us and to those we love. Society may say that suffering is pointless; death is feared by everyone. The wisdom in our tradition is that suffering is redemptive – not pointless or meaningless. We know that death is not the end, but too often we treat it like a final exam without asking what passing it means, missing the ultimate happiness God has planned for his children. We have a certain hope of the resurrection, but we must go through our own Good Friday first.

Countless people in the Western world need this painfully honest and deeply wise book. – Aidan Nichols, OP, Blackfriars

This broad-ranging book gives much practical advice for living conscientiously in today’s world. – Judith Sutera, OSB, Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kansas

People who are moving past their 50s need this warm and intimate book to help them understand, cope, and generate purpose and meaning in their lives.

Social Sciences / Race Relations / Religion & Spirituality

The Myth of Equality: Uncovering the Roots of Injustice and Privilege by Ken Wytsma (IVP Books)

I'm hoping that this book can serve as an introduction for people who feel that something is wrong, are looking for a way to understand the roots of racism in America, or are looking for language to make sense of their experience. – Ken Wytsma

It is clear that issues of race and equality have come to the forefront in our nation's consciousness. Every week yet another incident involving racial tension splashes across headlines and dominates our news feeds. But it's not easy to unpack the origins of these tensions, and perhaps we wonder whether any of these issues really has anything to do with us. Ken Wytsma, founder of the Justice Conference, understands these questions. He has gone through his own journey of understanding the underpinnings of inequality and privilege. In The Myth of Equality Wytsma unpacks what readers need to know to be grounded in conversations about today's race-related issues. And he helps people come to a deeper understanding of both the origins of these issues and the reconciling role they are called to play as ministers of the gospel.

Wytsma is the president of Kilns College, a graduate-only Christian liberal arts college, where he teaches courses on philosophy and justice. He is a lead pastor of Antioch Church in Bend, Oregon, which he helped start in 2006.

Regard is something we all crave, says Wytsma in The Myth of Equality. In fact, preferential treatment is something most humans enjoy. This has been the reality and legacy for many whites in America. In many respects, however, the preferential treatment of whites is in decline. What isn't in question is that the United States is becoming multicultural, and by the mid-2040s, for the first time, it will be over 50 percent black and brown.

In a recent Barna survey, only 56 percent of evangelicals agree that people of color are often placed at a social disadvantage, lower than the national average of 67 percent. At the same time, 95 percent of evangelicals think the church plays a critical role in racial reconciliation – higher than the national average of 73 percent. Taken together, these findings reveal that those who believe they are most equipped to help with reconciliation actually don't think it is needed as much as other Americans do.

After summarizing the findings of the Barna study (Barna is a Christian research group), researcher Brooke Hempell draws a conclusion that should give us great pause: "More than any other segment of the population, white evangelical Christians demonstrate a blindness to the struggle of their African American brothers and sisters." She continues, "This is a dangerous reality for the modern church."

Hempell's conclusion matches Wytsma’s experience as told in The Myth of Equality. He says he has spent most of his life in a middle-class white evangelical culture. He went to a well-regarded conservative seminary, and he has worked in conservative churches for the past twenty-five years. For the most part, in his experience, issues of race have been viewed (1) as being behind us, (2) as something that will be fixed when others take up more responsibility, or (3) as being mired in leftist political agendas that conservatives must stoutly oppose.

What Wytsma says he hadn't experienced until recently was evangelicals choosing to take a different vantage point, seeking to fully grapple with the reality of racism in American history, to humanize the experience of minorities; to understand what privilege and responsibility might look like – not for others, but for Christ followers in the majority culture.

Privilege and responsibility – these are the two themes of this book.

The central thesis of The Myth of Equality is that a misunderstanding of the gospel leads to a false dichotomy: we prioritize the spiritual and personal aspects of faith and devalue or nullify the material and communal dimensions that bind us to God's creation and to our brothers and sisters made in the image of God. This twisting of faith has resulted in historic injustices that have terrorized and handicapped generations of minorities. The result today is a society where we are deeply shaped by racial categories, yet we who are white remain mostly blind to how the undercurrent of racialized thinking affects our life as a nation and our own actions.

Put another way, racism in the United States is worse than we thought, its lasting consequences are more significant than we think, and our responsibility is greater than we've been taught. And that is the order in which the argument of The Myth of Equality is structured.

Wytsma (Pursuing Justice), lead pastor of Antioch Church in Bend, Ore., and president of Kilns College, has a gift for persuasive argument, well displayed in his deployment of history, biblical theology, and current affairs to demonstrate the subtle and unsubtle ways that white dominance shapes American culture and conversations about race. He does so from the perspective of a passionately committed evangelical Christian calling prophetically for justice for those who have been consistently disadvantaged by a system and culture built on ‘a white normative standard’ that shapes perceptions and judgments. Wytsma makes his points without accusation, the better to address an audience of white readers who may be unaccustomed to looking beneath the surface of attitudes about race or unaware of the history of Jim Crow laws and other forces that drove racial segregation. He is especially good at giving a quick tour of the post-Reconstruction history of race. Slavery was formally ended, but disenfranchisement, ‘Black Codes’ in the South, redlining in housing, and other forms of social control perpetuated inequality. This book should be a wake-up call to Christian communities nationwide. – Publishers Weekly, starred review
The Myth of Equality is written so skillfully that it's easy to miss how much it accomplishes. The first part brings to light, with unflinching honesty, how deeply racism and white privilege are embedded within the founding documents and practices of the United States. The second part masterfully shows that this inequality violates the call of the gospel to justice and unity. And the third part offers some wise suggestions to those of us who are white Christians about how we can 'lay down' our white privilege. I have no doubt that some readers will be angered by the claim that they participate in and benefit from structures of racism and white privilege, well supported though that claim is. I predict that there will be more who are convinced and inspired by the patient, passionate, and nondefensive way in which Wytsma makes his case. It's a book that someone had to write. – Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, Yale University, senior research fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia, honorary professor, Australian Catholic University
These are challenging times in our larger culture – and within the church. In the midst of these tensions, I'm grateful for voices like Ken Wytsma who are seeking to help the church not only to engage the various challenges but to do it from a posture of humility and deep self-reflection. In
The Myth of Equality, Wytsma broaches an incredibly sensitive but pertinent conversation about equality, privilege, race, injustice, and reconciliation. But herein lies the challenge: many of us love the idea of reconciliation – until we learn that it inevitably involves the messy and arduous work of listening to others' stories, truth telling, confessing, repenting, dismantling, healing, and peacemaking. The Myth of Equality is an important and timely book that helps us dig deeper on the journey of justice and reconciliation. – Eugene Cho, pastor and humanitarian, author of Overrated
The Myth of Equality is a book for our times. Tumultuous times do not create problems, they reveal them. Political disruption, racial division, and extreme polarization mandate that the church looks itself in the mirror. We must recognize that to whom much is given, much is expected. Privilege is not just a modern progressive agenda, it is an ancient, biblically recognized reality. Ken Wytsma has done the church a favor that can help us recapture the blessed virtue of giving. Leaders seriously interested in helping Christians navigate these important issues would be well served to engage this book. – Tyler Johnson, lead pastor, Redemption Arizona
One of the greatest obstacles to the journey toward racial justice and reconciliation within the US church is the refusal of white Christians to confront the realities of white supremacy and white privilege. Here, Ken Wytsma comes alongside white Christians to help them tackle this issue, not from the perspective of a distant expert, but as one who continues to wrestle with how privilege and racism impact his own discipleship journey. Rooted in Scripture, history, and personal experience, The Myth of Equality is a valuable primer for anyone struggling to understand racism and privilege. – Chanequa Walker-Barnes, associate professor of practical theology, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, author of Too Heavy a Yoke
This book is truly amazing! Ken tackles the essentials of a major issue of our times with humility, honesty, intellect, and vulnerability. The result is a terrible beauty, a true invitation to by the West Indian about the West Indian reality.'

As Ward proves in Crossing the Line, early Creole novels by white colonists also represent attempts to sort through the tangled crossings of colonial subjects and ideologies. More importantly, only by acknowledging the traces of early Creole novels' ideological and epistemological work in subsequent periods can readers see their way through to a space from which they not only can read the West Indian novel but also more recent Caribbean fiction.

Crossing the Line offers a compelling contribution to literary history by tracing the development of the early novel in the Caribbean, a location previously understood as being primarily focused on the physical machinery of slavery. – Nicole N. Aljoe, Northeastern University, coeditor of The Journey of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas

Crossing the Line explores the integral role early Creole novels played in attempting to show white creoles were driven by more than power and profit. Rereading the early Creole novelists – recognizing their work in (re)producing colonial culture of the Emancipation era and beyond – provides a way to come to terms with the pasts and presents, the facts and fictions, of their making.

Literature & Fiction / Novel

Inheritance from Mother by Minae Mizumura, translated from the Japanese by Juliet Winters Carpenter (Other Press)

Award-winning novelist Minae Mizumura in Inheritance from Mother demystifies the notion of the selfless Japanese mother and the adult daughter honor-bound to care for her.
Mizumura is one of the most importan favorites at a gastropub; all with their trusted travel companion. They can get to the heart of Great Britain.

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