We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

December 2017, Issue #224

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Guide to Contents this Page 

Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes (HarperCollins Publishers)

Law and Ethics in the Business Environment, 9th edition by Terry Halbert & Elaine Ingulli (Cengage Learning Legal Studies in Business Academic Series: Wadsworth, Cengage)

PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide, 5th edition, by Larry Ullman (Peachpit Press, Pearson)

What Can I Bring?: Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves Up by Elizabeth Heiskell (Oxmoor House)

Paint Box: 45 Palettes for Choosing Color, Texture and Pattern by Tricia Guild with Amanda Back & with photography by James Merrell (Quadrille Publishing) 

New Orleans: The First 300 Years edited by Errol Laborde & Peggy Laborde, with a foreword by Lawrence N. Powell (Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.)

The Ramseys at Swan Pond: The Archaeology and History of an East Tennessee Farm by Charles H. Faulkner (The University of Tennessee Press)

The Circus Train Conspiracy by Edward Marston (The Railway Detective Series: Allison & Busby)

Whipped: An Arthur Beauchamp Novel by William Deverell (ECW Press)

Pulse: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

The Stone in the Skull: The Lotus Kingdoms, Book One by Elizabeth Bear (Tor Books)

Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher edited by Sotiris Mitralexis, Georgios Steiris, Marcin Podbielski, & Sebastian Lalla (Veritas Series, Vol 25: Cascade Books)

Xi Jinping's Governance and the Future of China by Zhou Xinmin (Skyhorse Publishing)

All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump by Edward Klein (Regnery Publishing)

Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate by Sue Scheff, with Melissa Schorr, with a foreword by Monica Lewinsky (Sourcebooks)

Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography by Herman Selderhuis (Crossway)

Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals, and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death by Tracey Rollin (Weiser Books)

The Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra, Book 13: Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission by Choying Tobden Dorje, translated, introduced & annotated by Gyurme Dorje (Tsadra Foundation Series: Snow Lion)

Statistics for Research in Psychology: A Modern Approach Using Estimation, 1st edition by Rick Gurnsey (Sage Publications, Inc)

Think Before You Like: Social Media's Effect on the Brain and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your Newsfeed by Guy P. Harrison (Prometheus Books)


Biographies & Memoirs

Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes (HarperCollins Publishers)

A household name, an Australian rock icon, the elder statesman of Ozrock – there isn't an accolade or cliché that doesn't apply to Jimmy Barnes. But long before Cold Chisel and 'Barnesy', long before the tall tales of success and excess, there was the true story of James Dixon Swan – a working class boy whose family made the journey from Scotland to Australia in search of a better life.

Barnes is a Scottish-born rock singer-songwriter who grew up in Adelaide. His career, both as a solo performer and as the lead vocalist of the legendary band Cold Chisel, has made him one of the most successful and distinctive artists in Australian music history.
A prolific songwriter and performer, Barnes has been a storyteller for more than 40 years, sharing his life and passions with Australians of all ages at over ten thousand gigs throughout his adopted homeland. In the process he has amassed more #1 albums in Australia than the Beatles: four with Cold Chisel and eleven as a solo artist, including the iconic For the Working Class Man. Across his career Barnes has sold over 12 million albums and he has been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame twice.
Barnes lives in New South Wales, with Jane, his wife of 36 years, their children, grandchildren and two schnauzers. As well as writing and recording new music and touring virtually non-stop, he is currently working on the second volume of his memoirs.

Working Class Boy is a powerful reflection on a traumatic and violent childhood, which fuelled the excess and recklessness that would define, but almost destroy, the rock'n'roll legend. This is the story of how James Swan became Jimmy Barnes.

Raw, gritty, compassionate, surprising and darkly funny, Barnes's childhood memoir is at once the story of migrant dreams fulfilled and dashed. After arriving in Australia in the summer of 1962, things went from bad to worse for the Swan family – Dot, Jim and their six kids. The scramble to manage in the tough northern suburbs of Adelaide in the 60s would take its toll on the Swans as dwindling money, too much alcohol and fraying tempers gave way to violence and despair.

Nothing will prepare you for the power of Jimmy's memoir. A fierce, graphic, bawdy account of his working class childhood – truly harrowing, and yet often tender and funny. I couldn't put it down because, above all, it is also a story of resilience and bravery. – Sam Neill

Visceral, brave, honest: it is like Angela's Ashes meets Trainspotting – only more brutal. A deep, guttural howl of a book, it speaks of the pain and hurt that haunt so many men. And it may just save lives. – Magda Szubanski

Working Class Boy is the story of a family's collapse, but also of a young boy's dream to escape the misery of the suburbs with a chance to join a rock'n'roll band and get out of town for good. It is a memoir burning with the frustration and frenetic energy of teenage sex, drugs, violence and ambition.

Business & Economics / Law / Ethics

Law and Ethics in the Business Environment, 9th edition by Terry Halbert & Elaine Ingulli (Cengage Learning Legal Studies in Business Academic Series: Wadsworth, Cengage)

Climate change. Telematic surveillance. The gig economy. Transgender rights at work. Food security. Native advertising. Readers can take a closer look at the hot topics impacting business law and ethics today as they examine real applications in the thought-provoking Law and Ethics in the Business Environment, 9th edition.

Author Terry Halbert, J.D., formerly Temple University Director of General Education, is Professor of Legal Studies at Temple University's Fox School of Business & Management. In 1999, Professor Halbert was awarded Great Teacher of the Year, a university-wide honor. Co-author Elaine Ingulli, J.D., LL.M., is Professor Emerita of Business Law, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

This 9th edition of Law and Ethics in the Business Environment dives into current controversies. Content prompts students to carefully consider recent, important court cases, while readings challenge them to think critically about contemporary legal and ethical dilemmas. Interactive assignments, such as role play, mock trials, and negotiation exercises, sharpen students’ ability to tackle tough problems.

Chapters include:

  1. Law, Ethics, & Business: An Introduction
  2. The New Economy: Revisioning Work
  3. Whistleblowing: Conflicting Loyalties
  4. Privacy: Technology, Surveillance, & Freedom
  5. Diversity: Equity & Justice for All
  6. Health & Safety: Workers Rights as Human Rights
  7. Environmental Sustainability: Law & Fairness
  8. Marketing: Technology, Choice, & Manipulation
  9. Product Liability: Allocating Risk & Responsibility
  10. Intellectual Property: Ownership, Creativity, & Innovation

Law and Ethics in the Business Environment presents a set of flashpoints where business imperatives, law, and ethical concerns collide. The book gives students practice confronting some of the tough decisions they will make as managers, and a taste of some of the debates they may want to participate in as citizens. Through carefully selected and edited cases and readings, it presents controversies that tend to disturb and destabilize pat responses, creating spaces for students to begin to develop critical habits of mind.

New features of this edition include:

  • New chapter on the Sharing Economy, exploring the legal and ethical issues that surround this fast-developing phenomenon, including interviews with millennials.
  • MindTap Business Law, the digital learning solution that powers students from memorization to mastery. It gives professors complete control of their courses – to provide engaging content, to challenge every individual, and to build their confidence.
  • Multiple choice Chapter Review questions, including remediation for incorrect answers that can be used to ensure that students have absorbed the assigned reading and are prepared to participate in class. Students are asked basic questions about concepts and definitions.
  • Relevant video segments that can be used to provoke and extend discussion.
  • Multiple choice hypotheticals, including remediation for incorrect answers that test higher order understanding of the material. Students are asked to apply concepts and definitions to new scenarios.
  • Legal reasoning questions with essay prompts that explore critical thinking at a more advanced level. An outline of expected responses is provided.

According to Law and Ethics in the Business Environment, it is impossible effectively teach everything about the legal system – even everything about business law – in just one semester. The vast ‘seamless web’ is always in flux, as legislatures and courts channel the cultural, economic, and political forces that impact upon it. Law is, in this sense, a kind of moving target, and the authors believe in studying why and how it changes. They select readings that reveal the process of the law as it evolves – the pressure points where controversy is brewing and where ethical issues surface.

Each of the chapters starts with a lightly edited case, selected not just because it is current, or a landmark, but because it is likely to provoke reaction and to effectively problematize the theme of the chapter.

The book follows that lead case with a mix of readings from scholarly and media sources, from different areas of expertise, and from different cultural perspectives, offering a variety of prisms through which students can view the chapter theme. Meanwhile, the book demonstrates how the law has evolved in this area, highlighting the latest developments.

Some of the hot new issues covered in this 9th edition of Law and Ethics in the Business Environment are: The Volkswagen diesel pollution scandal. Hidden marketing through Facebook. Telematic surveillance at Amazon. Legal protection for transgendered employees. Laws that criminalize whistleblowing on agribusiness. The protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Law and Ethics in the Business Environment is a book that is enjoyable to teach, that helps students hone their ability to make informed judgments, and to become fully engaged citizens of a globalized world. It makes classroom discussion with the instructor and peers come alive. Readings challenge students to think critically about contemporary legal and ethical dilemmas and interactive assignments sharpen students’ ability to communicate effectively.

Computers & Internet / Reference Guides

PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide, 5th edition, by Larry Ullman (Peachpit Press, Pearson)

Today's web users expect exciting pages that are updated frequently and provide a customized experience. For them, web sites are more like communities, to which they return time and again. At the same time, site administrators want pages that are easier to update and maintain, understanding that's the only reasonable way to keep up with visitors' expectations. For these reasons and more, PHP and MySQL have become the de facto standards for creating dynamic, database-driven web sites.

PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites, 5th edition, provides an easy visual approach using demonstrations and real-world examples to guide readers step by step through advanced techniques for dynamic Web development using PHP and MySQL.

The book provides:

  • Concise steps and explanations that let readers get up and running in no time.
  • An essential reference guide that keep them coming back.

Author Larry Ullman is a writer, Web and software developer, trainer, instructor, speaker, and consultant. He has written more than 20 books, which have sold over 400,000 copies worldwide in more than 20 languages. As his readers, students, and coworkers can attest, Ullman's strength is in translating geek into English: converting the technical and arcane into something comprehensible and useful.

Whether readers are new to programming or experienced veterans just needing to get up to speed on PHP and MySQL, PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites will teach them all they need to know, including the latest changes in the languages.

Readers can visit the companion website to download the book's code and access a support forum where they can get answers directly from Ullman; they can visit the Peachpit website for access to the online Web Edition of the book.

Ullman says that PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites represents the culmination of his many years of web development experience coupled with the value of having written several previous books on the technologies discussed. The focus of the book is on covering the most important knowledge in the most efficient manner. It teaches readers how to begin developing dynamic web sites and give them plenty of example code to get them started. All they need to provide is an eagerness to learn.

Well, that and a computer.

Readers learn PHP and MySQL programming the quick and easy way with PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites, 5th edition.

Cooking, Food & Wine

What Can I Bring?: Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves Up by Elizabeth Heiskell (Oxmoor House)

It is usually the first question people ask after receiving an invitation to a gathering or event: "What Can I Bring?" Now readers will have the answer with What Can I Bring? by Elizabeth Heiskel.

Heiskell is a regular food contributor to the ‘Today’ show and a seasoned caterer, chef and culinary instructor. Under the brand name The Debutante Farmer, she sells home grown gourmet pickles, jellies, jams, salsas, and her Bloody Mary mix.

Based on the popular monthly feature "What Can I Bring?" in Southern Living magazine, no matter what the occasion – from housewarming party to garden party, a new baby, a wake, a wedding, christening or anything in between – Heiskell in What Can I Bring? delivers over 100 recipes, including appetizers, mains, sandwiches, and desserts, that are sure to please a crowd, no matter how big or small. Additionally, these are all dishes that can be prepared in advance and travel well.
But let's not forget the most important question: What can I bring to my own table? Whether readers are looking for some new ideas for dinners to please a fractious family or want to make Sunday brunch a more special event, What Can I Bring? has them covered.
Recipes include Heiskell's take on Sour Cream Coffee Cake (perfect for welcoming a new neighbor!); delicious salads – Chicken, Shrimp, and Pimiento (they won't go wrong at the church picnic); amazing sides, including Lemon Rice and Spoon Bread (perfect for rounding out the potluck table); and comfort food that no one will be able to say no to, including Vegetable Beef Stew, Chicken Pot Pie, and Chicken and Dumplings; plus an array of desserts.
Above all, these are all delicious dishes, served straight from the heart, with no stress required.

Some recipes include:

  • Mint Julep Fruit Salad
  • Sour Cream Coffee Cake
  • Breakfast Tacos
  • Shrimp and Corn Dip
  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • Sausage and White Cheddar Pinwheels
  • Bourbon Slush
  • Pasta Jambalaya
  • Hangover Sliders
  • Quiche Lorraine

...Great addition to any Southern library. – Southern Living

From snacks to sweets and everything in between, What Can I Bring? soothes partygoer anxiety with over 100 recipes for any occasion life serves up. From housewarmings and garden parties to weddings and simply putting food on their own table, the book is packed with delicious appetizers, mains, sandwiches, drinks, and desserts.

Design / Interior / Color

Paint Box: 45 Palettes for Choosing Color, Texture and Pattern by Tricia Guild with Amanda Back & with photography by James Merrell (Quadrille Publishing)

Paint Box is a guide to choosing the right mix of color, pattern, fabric, and texture in order to evoke a mood and feeling for any room in the house.

Renowned for her unique eye for color and her ability to mix paint, pattern and texture to great effect in creating beautiful spaces, Tricia Guild, internationally acclaimed interior designer, has decided to lay bare the secrets of her working methods and spell them out simply for readers to follow – not to copy what she does but to learn how to use these skills in their own rooms. Taking inspiration from nature, the cityscape, a different period or culture or from the space itself, Paint Box provides visual inspiration, expert advice, a box of tricks and 45 of Guild's tried-and-tested palettes.

Guild founded her London firm, Designers Guild, in 1970 and has achieved international acclaim for innovative fabrics, wallpapers, and home furnishings. She is the author of many bestselling books.

According to Guild, color has the power to evoke an emotion, change a mood, uplift one’s spirits and make life feel better. In Paint Box she selects 45 of her favorite palettes to demystify the process of decorating with the colors readers love.

She says that when she considers some of her favorite artists whose work has particularly touched her, it is inevitably their sense of color that she finds intriguing and memorable. She shares with readers the way she chooses colors, puts them together in a palette, and then uses this in a mix of plains, pattern and texture to evoke the mood she seeks in a room.

In Paint Box Guild offers 45 tried-and-tested palettes, along with visual inspiration, expert advice, and a box of tricks for taking inspiration from various sources, different periods and cultures, in order to demystify the process of choosing colors to decorate with.

By guiding readers in how to follow – not copy – what she does, readers will learn how to put these simple and easy-to-follow tips and skills into practice in their own rooms. Brimming with beautiful interior design photographs, Paint Box also includes a how‑to guide for creating one’s own palettes and mood boards, and a quick reference palette directory and mood board keys at the end of the book to help users identify Designers Guild paint colors and fabrics.

In Paint Box Guild demystifies the process of decorating with the colors to inspire readers to find their own sense of color and discover just how enjoyable it can be to put it into practice.

History / US / Travel

New Orleans: The First 300 Years edited by Errol Laborde & Peggy Laborde, with a foreword by Lawrence N. Powell (Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.)

New Orleans is unlike anywhere else on Earth – the fusion of cultures, people, and food all seem to establish a whole greater than its constituent parts. From migration to politics to music to ethnic culture and identity, New Orleans, a comprehensive volume, touches on all aspects of New Orleans history for the past 300 years. New Orleans is a joint venture between public television station WYES and Pelican Publishing Company with the support of The Historic New Orleans Collection.

With contributions from some of the leading influencers and scholars of New Orleans cultural history, no stone is left unturned in New Orleans, a vivid depiction of one of the most unique cities in the world.

Editors are Errol Laborde and Peggy Scott Laborde. Errol Laborde, the editor of New Orleans Magazine, has won more than twenty-five New Orleans Press Club Awards for outstanding journalism since 1972. Laborde is also the founding president and a current board member of the annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. Peggy Scott Laborde is the producer and host of public television's Steppin' Out. The foreword writer is Lawrence N. Powell, the executive director of the National Center for the Urban Community and professor emeritus in Tulane University's history department. The book has 21 contributors who present essays that explore the city over the last three centuries.

The Labordes were inspired by The Past as Prelude, a publication released in 1968 on the occasion of the city's 250th anniversary from the graduate school of Tulane University. This new compilation, like its inspiration, covers a range of topics but also contains new visual content and expansive social and cultural examinations by a new generation of essayists equally as talented.

Powell in the foreword of New Orleans says that not long after the levees failed, when New Orleanians were still mucking out their homes and challenging their adjusters' drive-by appraisals, an existential angst took hold that, maybe, New Orleans' days were numbered. The streets were cratered worse than Kabul's. An ancient infrastructure – gas and water mains, sewerage lines and drainage conduits, buried under eons of compacted mud – had been crushed beneath the weight of millions of tons of standing water. There was the standoff between residents and local businesses over who should rebuild first.

Defeatism has never found lasting favor with a people who like to view death as a chance for putting the ‘fun’ in ‘funeral.’ There are families here, black and white, who trace their ancestry back three, four, even eight generations. After Katrina, people returned to New Orleans for a galaxy of reasons. They missed the red beans and the R&B or the way folks banter at the checkout counter. But an untold number returned, as Lolis Eric Elie has said, "because our grandfather built this house."

Powell in the foreword of New Orleans says that there is a big problem: in the Big Easy, separating fact from fiction is never easy. But the romance has nothing on the real history. And to appreciate the one, you have to understand the other; you have to squint into the present through the lens of bygone days.

Although New Orleans has had a 300-year run, not every century has received equal billing. In historical compilations, the third act has received the shortest shrift, which is unfortunate. The twentieth century was every bit as consequential as the centuries preceding it. Traditional jazz, for example, that wind ensemble of joyous polyphony, flowered at that century's dawning; R&B and rock 'n' roll blossomed in its middle years. Jim Crow segregation and disfranchisement rose and fell during the same span of time. Furthermore, it was slightly more than a hundred years ago when the back swamp was drained – with home-grown technology that Holland borrowed to dry up the Zuiderzee – enabling suburban expansion toward the lake. In the 1920s, a Dixie Bohemia of famous and not-so-famous novelists and artists expatriated to the nostalgic decay of the French Quarter – by then a Little Palermo – inaugurating a tradition of literary slumming that has scarcely abated. As for the culinary culture, not until the twentieth century did it mature into a full-throated tradition. Then there are New Orleans' outsize politics and those notorious machine-gun standoffs between Huey Long and the New Orleans machine.

According to New Orleans, if there is one epoch where change charged ahead and the city was transformed beyond recognition from what had come before, it was New Orleans' antebellum heyday. The Crescent City came of age during these years – roughly 1815 to 1860 – and along with it, so did American capitalism, the explosive growth of one tightly coupled with the quicksilver development of the other. The change happened with almost hallucinatory speed. At the time of the American takeover, New Orleans was little more than a backwater of empire. Six decades later, following a hothouse period of unrivaled growth, she had vaulted into the front rank of American cities. This was an age when trade followed the rivers, before canals connected the East with the Great Lakes and railroad trunk lines united New York and Chicago. Those natural waterways mainly flowed south, usually into the Mississippi River, the greatest artery of commerce of them all. And perched near the mouth was New Orleans, her wharves literally straddling the strategic narrows of commerce. Steamboats heralded this new world aborning. By 1860, over 3,500 steamboats were arriving yearly, flooding levees already heaped with pork, grain, and whiskey with additional acres of cotton and sugar.

Then there were the tides of immigration that lapped at New Orleans shores during her glamour decades. The geographic mingling was hardly confined to the white community. The gens de couleur libres, New Orleans francophone and Catholic free people of color, saw their numbers doubled by the unexpected arrival of around 10,000 Saint-Domingue exiles, approximately a third of them free blacks (and disproportionately women and children). By 1840 the Afro-Creole community had climbed above 19,000, almost one-fifth of the total population. It wasn't the South's largest free black community; Baltimore enjoyed that status. But New Orleans' free people of color comprised the most prosperous, the highest-skilled, and the best-organized community of them all. In antebellum New Orleans they formed the spine of the urban middle class. They were mechanics, shoemakers, cigar-makers, carpenters, plasterers, ironworkers, masons (an occupation they still dominate in New Orleans). They were tradesmen, retailers, barbers, boarding house keepers, and hairdressers. Through shrewd investments in urban real estate, several accumulated modest wealth; a few amassed small fortunes. The community had sufficient means to run a school, publish a poetry journal, maintain a philharmonic society. After Emancipation, they mobilized politically behind an aggressive agenda of equal citizenship. At century's end they carried that fight all the way to the US Supreme Court in a losing effort to roll back Jim Crow segregation. (The case was called Plessy v. Ferguson.) America's long civil rights movement runs through this community.

Finally, there is the domestic slave trade, which, in the United States, dwarfed the African slave trade. In New Orleans, the impact was oceanic. Much of the sugar and cotton on which the city's newfound wealth rested depended on the million or so slaves who were shipped from the Upper to the Lower South in these years. Most of the transfer happened under the auspices of professional slave traders. By 1830 they had turned New Orleans into ‘the most busy and picturesque slave emporium’ in the country, according to an early historian of the trade. Elsewhere this human trafficking was secreted in back alleys. In New Orleans it was hidden in plain sight – near grand hotels, in Exchange Alley in the French Quarter, along Esplanade Avenue. "Slave-trading there had a peculiar dash: it rejoiced in its display and prosperity; it felt unashamed, almost proud." Those enslaved Americans were liquid capital with limbs and shrewd human intelligence. They were high-demand commodities, readily acceptable as loan collateral. As mortgaged property, they even self-financed their own sale. Simply put, they expanded the credit that built the Cotton Kingdom and irrigated the profits of much of this booming city.

According to the Labordes in New Orleans, there is also the origin of jazz at the turn of the last century, not long after tens of thousands of slave-trade descendants relocated to New Orleans following Emancipation. They brought with them their field holler blues and the gospel rhythms of the sanctified church. They came into contact with musically trained Afro-Creole musicians, plus music makers of German, Irish, and Italian extraction. Jazz is the magical synthesis of a plethora of influences. It is hard to imagine these influences fusing into a great musical vernacular in any other setting but New Orleans. It was a place where the human diversity that still characterizes New Orleans could never retreat behind ethnic walls. That human miscellany were neighbors, often next-door neighbors. Before air conditioning, they lived outdoors, colonized their stoops of a summer evening, played ball in the street, swapped food and recipes across the backyard fence, and stole and borrowed musical licks from each other, all because Bienville's choice of site compelled them to coexist, sometimes uneasily, not to mention share a culture by building one together.

And that is one reason why New Orleans' storied past has tethered so many of her native sons and daughters to this problematic space and why its history has fostered resilience in the teeth of adversity.

A comprehensive volume, here is the go-to book of a great city's tricentennial, the quintessential book on New Orleans for everyone who wants to know more about who the people of New Orleans are and how they got there. Edited by distinguished New Orleans journalists, New Orleans brings together twenty-one authors who bring to life the textured stories of this historically rich city.

History / US / Archaeology / Farming

The Ramseys at Swan Pond: The Archaeology and History of an East Tennessee Farm by Charles H. Faulkner (The University of Tennessee Press)

The Ramsey House was built in 1797 for Col. Francis Alexander Ramsey, a prominent early settler of East Tennessee who, along with his two sons J. G. M. Ramsey and William B. A. Ramsey, shaped the physical and cultural landscape of what would become Knox County and Knoxville, Tennessee. The one-hundred-acre homestead, referred to by Colonel Ramsey as Swan Pond, contained the Ramsey home as well as other outbuildings and slave quarters. In 1952, the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee purchased the tract of land, and the Ramsey House is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The author of The Ramseys at Swan Pond, Charles H. Faulkner, began archaeological investigations at the Ramsey House in 1985 and concluded his work with his retirement in 2005. Faulkner is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology and Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of Tennessee.

During his tenure with the Ramsey House Archaeological Project, Faulkner and his team of scholars and students unearthed the prehistory of Native American occupation at Swan Pond, several outbuilding and early home foundation features yielding evidence of extensive early renovations to the Ramsey House and surrounding Swan Pond, and a multitude of ceramics and other artifacts left behind by the Ramsey family and other tenants ranging in dates from the late 1700s to the 1950s. Faulkner's research presented in The Ramseys at Swan Pond reveals not only the material culture and family lifeways of early wealth in East Tennessee, but chronicles the occupation of a homestead that would become pivotal to the development of early Knoxville and Knox County and offers insights into the responsibilities Ramsey and his family undertook in order to tame an early American frontier.
According to Faulkner in the introduction to The Ramseys at Swan Pond, the record of our nation's exciting and colorful history is woefully incomplete and is often biased. It contains gaps due to inadequate documentation of the lives of ordinary people, and it is often biased because until recently it has focused on our political and economic history rather than social and cultural activities, concentrating on ‘great’ events and the elite or ‘distinguished’ persons. When American historical archaeology emerged as a viable discipline at famous historical sites such as Williamsburg and Jamestown in the 1940s, it merely complemented current histories by concentrating on memorable events and notable citizens of those places. Excluded from these ‘notable’ citizens were nonwhite minorities, working-class whites, and women of all ethnic groups and social classes.

By the end of the twentieth century, historical archaeology in the United States no longer focused on the mansions of the rich and famous, as it had become increasingly associated with the study of cultural anthropology, revisionist history, and the civil rights movement. This shift in the focus of historical archaeology has been called ‘backyard archaeology,’ the study of the cultural remains of people who worked in the kitchen as well as the squires who were served in the manor parlor. By the 1970s, historical archaeology no longer merely supplemented what is often a subjective historical record of the past but focused on the objective study of material culture with a new emphasis on answering anthropological as well as historical questions about our nation's history.

The archaeological excavations at Ramsey House are an excellent example of this historical ‘backyard archaeology.’ While many of the important events and activities at this historic site are associated with the elite and prominent Ramsey family, residents representing other ethnic groups and socioeconomic strata who played important roles at Swan Pond are also revealed in The Ramseys at Swan Pond. Primarily through archaeological research, we now know the Ramseys were just one family among numerous individuals and families who lived at the site. Swan Pond was visited by prehistoric Native Americans thousands of years before Europeans set foot on this continent, and it was the home of enslaved African Americans and, later, white tenant farmers. Like so many other large farms and plantations in the antebellum South, Swan Pond was largely operated by enslaved African Americans whose presence is completely ignored in the historic record. And following the historic pattern of many large farms in East Tennessee, it was affected by the Civil War, when farmers often struggled to make ravaged farms productive again and large tracts were continually subdivided through the system of patrimony. The lifeways of later yeoman and tenant farmers are seldom mentioned in our local histories, and it has largely been through the recent archaeological study of southern farmsteads that their important place in our ever-changing rural social and economic systems of the past 200 years has been recorded.

Even the daily lifeways of the reasonably well-documented Ramsey family at Swan Pond are incompletely known. How did the landscape change during the historic occupation of the site? When, where, and how did daily activities take place in various areas of the farm? What did they eat? What kind of table did they set? What did they wear? How did they amuse themselves? These are questions that often only archaeology can answer, through the study of material culture such as fence lines and outbuildings, animal bones and shards of pottery and glass, buttons and buckles, and marbles and doll parts. As told in The Ramseys at Swan Pond, it is the study of these tangible clues from the past within the context of the archaeological record that tells the real human story, ethnography of continuing human challenges and successes at Swan Pond from the prehistoric past into the mid-twentieth century.

The Ramseys at Swan Pond [demonstrates] that history can be thoroughly informed by careful archaeological investigation, and that archaeology can also be informed by detailed and carefully conducted historical research. This is one of the best examples of the blending of both disciplines into a single study that I have read. – Patrick H. Garrow

Faulkner's excellent study of Swan Pond reveals an enormous amount about the daily lives of generations of East Tennesseans. It is a 'must read' not only for other archaeologists, but also for historians, geographers, cultural anthropologists, and discerning general readers. The Ramseys at Swan Pond is a first-rate 'detective story.' – William Bruce Wheeler, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tennessee and author of Knoxville, Tennessee: A Mountain City in the New South

An excellent example of historical ‘backyard archaeology,’ The Ramseys at Swan Pond provides readers a complete overview of the excavations and emphasizes the importance of historic research within the discipline of archaeology. The book will be of interest to anyone studying historic archeology, the early American frontier, and Tennessee history.

Literature & Fiction / Crime / Period

The Circus Train Conspiracy by Edward Marston (The Railway Detective Series: Allison & Busby)

The 16th book in the Railway Detective Series, Edward Marston’s The Circus Train Conspiracy takes place in 1860.

Marston was born and brought up in South Wales. A full-time writer for over forty years, he has worked in radio, film, television and the theatre, and is a former chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association.

In The Circus Train Conspiracy, following a string of successful performances, the Moscardi Circus is traveling by train to Newcastle for their next show. Among the usual railway hubbub, the animals have been loaded, the clowns, now incognito, are aboard and Mauro Moscardi himself is comfortable in a first-class compartment with a cigar. Yet a collision on the track with a couple of sleepers causes pandemonium: passengers are thrown about, animals escape into the night and the future of the circus looks uncertain.

When the body of a woman is discovered in woodland next to the derailment, Inspector Colbeck is dispatched to lend assistance, believing the two incidents might be connected. It is up to Colbeck in The Circus Train Conspiracy to put the pieces together to discover the identity of the nameless woman and unmask who is targeting Moscardi’s Magnificent Circus.

Marston has received considerable praise:

A master storyteller – Daily Mail

A grand romp very much in the tradition of Holmes and Watson. Packed with characters Dickens would have been proud of. Wonderful [and] well-written – Time Out

Once again Marston has created a credible atmosphere within an intriguing story. – Sunday Telegraph

Filled with period detail, the pace is steady and the plot is thick with suspects, solutions and clues. Marston has a real knack for blending detail, character and story with great skill. – Historical Novels Review

Another great period piece by a master storyteller, The Circus Train Conspiracy will keep readers rolling along.

Literature & Fiction / Crime

Whipped: An Arthur Beauchamp Novel by William Deverell (ECW Press)

Whipped is a tonic for fans of William Deverell's Arthur Beauchamp and his struggles with the law, life and his wife on mythical Garibaldi Island. As readers will expect, I root for Margaret, his wife and leader of Canada's Green Party, but I do not envy the political shenanigans she faces in Whipped. Beware the open mic! – Elizabeth May, Canada's first Green Party Member of Parliament

In the seventh book in William Deverell's award-winning Arthur Beauchamp series, Whipped, the famed criminal lawyer must represent the woman he loves in a case featuring sex, slander, and dirty politics.

Deverell was a journalist for seven years and a trial lawyer for twenty-five, as defender or prosecutor in more than a thousand criminal cases, including thirty murder trials. The author of over twenty novels, Deverell has won the $50,000 Seal Books First Novel Award and the Book of the Year Award, the Dashiell Hammett Prize for literary excellence in crime writing in North America, as well as two Arthur Ellis Awards for best Canadian crime novel.

In Whipped Montreal journalist Lou Sabatino, under witness protection after nearly being gunned down by the Mafia, is sucked into the quirky world of a conniving Russian dominatrix who has secretly recorded herself putting the whip to the bare bottom of a high-ranking federal cabinet minister.

It’s the scoop of the century, but too hot a potato – if Lou breaks the story, he risks exposing himself to the mercies of the Mafia. Instead, he shows the video to Green Party leader Margaret Blake. The video is leaked, and Margaret is sued by the minister for $50 million.

Enter Arthur Beauchamp, Margaret’s husband and famed criminal lawyer, who had found – or so he hoped – blissful retirement on idyllic Garibaldi Island on the West Coast. But now he’s representing the woman he loves while tormented by fears that she’s embroiled in an affair.

Whether you’re encountering Arthur Beauchamp for the first time or have followed him from his first case, Whipped will entertain as it keeps you turning the pages…. [A] smart, funny and cleverly plotted series. – Toronto Star

Only those readers with some knowledge of recent Canadian politics will fully appreciate the author’s nuanced view of the goings-on in Ottawa, but all will admire the way Deverall makes even minor characters complex and engaging. – Publishers Weekly

Bill Deverell’s Whipped is a rollicking ride through politics, organized crime, and blackmail, with a flash of studded leather thrown in for good measure. Arthur Beauchamp is back in a wild thriller that strikes very close to home. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. – Terry Fallis, two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour

Whipped is vintage Deverell: sardonic yet humane, with a cast of complicated characters, seemingly effortless storytelling, and more than a touch of the absurd. Over twenty novels to his credit, and somehow he just keeps getting better. – John MacLachlan Gray, award-winning author of The Fiend in Human and Billy Bishop Goes to War

William Deverell, in his new book Whipped, combines his unique rollicking, raucous, fast-paced writing style, with his jaundiced eye for Canadian politics, and his love for the work of a skilled trial lawyer, Arthur Beauchamp. As usual, he features the composite South Gulf Island, Garibaldi Island, and its quirky crew of idiosyncratic residents. Well worth a read. – Mike Harcourt, former Vancouver Mayor, B.C.

Whipped is a heady blend of sex, politics and blackmail with New Age group-grope, Russian perfidy and Mafia machinations – a tale that’s fresh, original and funny, a totally delightful romp. – Silver Donald Cameron, author of Warrior Lawyers and writer/narrator of the documentary film Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World

Always a delight to spend time in the company of the urbane, classically minded, and wittily conflicted Arthur Beauchamp. As a fellow resident of the Gulf Islands, I revel in Mr Deverell’s droll depiction of their weird and wonderful residents. As a political junkie, I love the skewering of those pompous politicians. Wrap it all up in terrific prose and a driving plot, you have the perfect antidote to a wet weekend. – C. C. Humphreys, Arthur Ellis Award-winning author of Plague

The politics are the best part of Whipped – anyone who thinks Deverell exaggerates Ottawa skullduggery just hasn’t been paying attention. – Winnipeg Free Press

If you like crime novels and courtroom drama, you are in luck here. If you are looking for really good Canadian writing, you came to the right place.... the whole array of characters, variously clever, shrewd, bumbling, wicked, corrupt and amusing, makes just about every page a treat. – Brantford Expositor

Brilliant in its balance between serious legal matters and off-the-cuff humour, Deverell's latest is not to be missed by those who seek literary entertainment. – Book Reviews to Ponder

Whipped, the toughest case of Beauchamp’s brilliant career, features sex, slander, and dirty politics.

Literature & Fiction / Mysteries & Thrillers

Pulse: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

New York Times-bestselling author Felix Francis is back in the newest thrilling adventure in the Dick Francis tradition with Pulse.
Francis studied Physics and Electronics at London University and then spent seventeen years teaching Advanced-Level Physics. The younger son of crime writer and National Hunt jockey Dick Francis, Felix assisted his father with both the research and writing of his novels in a father-and-son writing partnership. Since Dick's death, Felix has written ten successful novels, the latest being Front Runner.

Pulse features the same intricate plot twists and detailed focus on the high-stakes world of horseracing that fans of the Francis thriller novels have come to know and love, updated with a modern, vibrant new voice and a riveting exploration of trauma and mental health.

Last year's Triple Crown was Felix's sixth solo outing, an expertly crafted hold-your-breath tale with a brilliant resolution. Now Francis returns with Pulse, a new thriller. For the first time Francis introduces a female protagonist, a British physician caught in the crossfire of a race-fixing conspiracy that just might get her killed.

As Pulse opens, narrator Dr. Christine Rankin – wife, mother, and emergency room doctor at Cheltenham General – is second-guessing herself. Dr. Rankin is the senior physician on Saturday night duty in the hospital's Accident and Emergency Department when paramedics arrive with an unconscious ‘unknown middle-aged male.’ The man was found an hour earlier, fully dressed but unresponsive, in a men's room at Cheltenham Racecourse.

In the past Chris would have sprung into action on a combination of instinct, training, and experience. But these days, paralyzing anxiety attacks and depression have the forty-year-old questioning her every move. And it doesn't help that her weight has plummeted due to an eating disorder, alarming her family and colleagues. Chris pulls herself together on this frenzied Saturday night, but, despite her best efforts, John Doe dies from what she later learns was a massive cocaine overdose.

But something doesn't seem quite right. The patient was forty-ish, well dressed and meticulously groomed. No wallet, no cards, no keys. Nothing to distinguish him except eighty-two pounds in cash in his pocket and a crumpled up bookmaker's betting slip. Not much to go on for the police to make an ID, not that they seemed particularly interested in tracking down leads. To them it was a routine overdose; case closed. But Dr. Rankin isn't buying it, and she can't get the nameless dead man out of her head.

When she's forced to take a medical leave for her mental health issues, she has plenty of time to quietly investigate and to ask questions at the racecourse where he was found. What begins as an earnest quest to notify the poor man's family quickly turns into the fight of her life. Someone is determined to keep the man's identity a secret and will stop at nothing to get Chris to back off – including attempted murder and threatening her fourteen-year-old twins. Since the authorities don't believe her, she's in a race against time to follow the evidence and uncover the killer before she's the next victim.

[Felix Francis] has filled the family stable with more winners, including this one... wonderfully evocative... riveting throughout. Exciting at every turn. – Booklist, starred review
[A] moving fourth thriller... Francis devises a subtle, clever scheme for the heart of the mystery, and he excels at making his broken lead credible and sympathetic. – Publishers Weekly

Felix Francis has a gift for offering a modern take on an age-old sport, and in Pulse it's on full display. From his complex female protagonist, to his unflinching look at those who suffer from mental health issues, Francis brings a fresh perspective and a raw energy to the genre. The result is a compelling racing crime story to add to his list of bestsellers. With inventive storylines and breakneck pacing, Felix breathed new life into the beloved horseracing novels, earning raves on both sides of the Atlantic.

Literature & Fiction / Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Stone in the Skull: The Lotus Kingdoms, Book One by Elizabeth Bear (Tor Books)

Readers join the award-winning author Elizabeth Bear for the beginning of a new trilogy set in the world of her acclaimed Eternal Sky trilogy. The Stone in the Skull takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms.

Bear was the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2005. She has won two Hugo Awards for her short fiction, a Sturgeon Award, the Locus Award for Best First Novel and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2005. Steles of the Sky was listed on Kirkus Reviews' 100 Best Books of 2014, and's Reviewers Choice Best Books of 2014.

The Stone in the Skull takes readers into the Lotus Kingdoms. The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from a the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort.

They are walking into a dynastic war between the rulers of the shattered bits of a once great Empire.

It adds up to a panoramic drama that grabs and grips from Page 1 and, despite the more leisurely pacing, never lets go. It certainly is captivatingly different in style and substance than Bear's previous trilogy but no less vivid, absorbing, and thrilling. In an overcrowded field, another entry that stands head and shoulders above nearly everything else. – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

With a glorious and dramatic story, Bear begins a stunning new series. – Publishers Weekly, starred review

The Eternal Sky trilogy is one of the great fantasy epics of the last decade and Bear triumphantly returns to that setting, albeit a small corner that she has not previously explored. – Library Journal, starred review

As usual, the setting is wonderfully realized; the characters are possessed of depth, personality, and individuality; the threads of politics that drive the plot are a fascinating knot to try to unravel. This is a promising beginning indeed for an epic; there are many lines of story left to follow, and it will no doubt be a magnificent journey. – Booklist

Bear skillfully weaves a brand-new saga into the landscape of her famed worlds from previous novels, hinting at the histories but not relying on them. The new stories and characters are fresh and captivating ... A definite must-read, and one to highlight in anticipation for the sequel. – RT Book Reviews

Amazing worldbuilding, gloriously precise prose, and excellent pacing. –

The plot hews closely to the whole band-of-rogues-assemble-to-fight-stronger-band-of-foes... Bear noodles around that trope like a jazz master and takes the story to some interesting places... – Locus

A thoughtful, richly complex, humane work eloquently told and elegantly constructed. – Fantasy Literature

Enchanting. – The Illustrated Page

The Stone in the Skull has already received two starred reviews – from Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly – and been listed on Kirkus Reviews, Bookish, and Io9's anticipated fall science fiction and fantasy lists. Best of all, The Stone in the Skull is the perfect entry point for fantasy readers to discover Bear's glorious, rewarding fantasy world.

Philosophy / Medieval / Theology

Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher edited by Sotiris Mitralexis, Georgios Steiris, Marcin Podbielski, & Sebastian Lalla (Veritas Series, Vol 25: Cascade Books)

The study of Maximus the Confessor's thought has flourished in recent years: international conferences, publications and articles, new critical editions and translations mark a torrent of interest in the work and influence of perhaps the most sublime of the Byzantine Church Fathers. It has been repeatedly stated that the Confessor's thought is of eminently philosophical interest. However, no dedicated collective scholarly engagement with Maximus the Confessor as a philosopher has taken place – and Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher attempts to start such a discussion.

The international colloquium entitled "Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher," which took place at the Freie Universitat Berlin's Institute of Philosophy in September 2014, formed the basis of Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher – which, however, has since been enriched with further studies relevant to its research focus.

Editors include Sotiris Mitralexis, Georgios Steiris, Marcin Podbielski, and Sebastian Lalla. Sotiris Mitralexis is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the City University of Istanbul and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Winchester. Georgios Steiris is Assistant Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Marcin Podbielski is Editor-in-Chief of Forum Philosophicum, an international journal for philosophy, and teaches philosophy at the Jesuit University Ignatianum in Cracow, Poland. Sebastian Lalla is Assistant Professor (Privatdozent) at the Freie Universitat Berlin's Institute of Philosophy and Guest Professor of Philosophy at the National University of Mongolia. The volume has 21 contributors.

The book is comprised of four parts: (1) First Philosophy: Ontology/ Metaphysics, (2) Epistemology: Knowledge, Apophaticism, and Language, (3) Anthropology: Human Nature, Ethics, and the Will, and (4) Maximus in Dialogue: From Antiquity to Contemporary Thought.

The first part begins with Dionysios Skliris' article. This acts as an introduction to Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher, explaining in which way Maximus the Confessor is to be considered as a European philosopher, or rather as a philosopher that provides alternatives to basic tenets of his Western contemporaries as well as to later developments in European philosophy. Following this introduction, Torstein Tollefsen focuses on the relationship of ‘whole’ and ‘part’ in Maximus the Confessor's metaphysics, forming a distinct ‘Maximian holomerism’ on the basis of the notion of the λόγοι. Fr. John Panteleimon Manoussakis proceeds to focus on Maximus' understanding of metaphysical motion (κινηϭιϲ) with reference to Anaxagoras and Kierkegaard – and, indirectly, Origen. In the next chapter, Smilen Markov studies the importance of relation in Maximus' ontology, and particularly in the relationship between creation and the uncreated in the context of history. The part returns to the theory of motion in the last two chapters of the volume's first part, proposing that Maximus' understanding of motion is both a continuation and a radical renewal of Aristotle's theory of motion in the context of an ontology that is markedly different from Aristotle's.

The second part of Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher, "Epistemology: Knowledge, Apophaticism, and Language;" opens with Fr. Maximos Constas' account of the nature of language in Maximus' thought (with reference to Gregory of Nyssa). This is followed by Jordan Daniel Wood's article on the dialectics of apophaticism and incarnation, unknowability and knowledge, hypostasis and transcendence. Michael Harrington proceeds to focus on Maximus' Quaestiones ad Thalassium as a precursor to scientific objectivity through the notion of natural contemplation and its comparison to Pierre Hadot's philosophy. After this chapter on Maximus' positive epistemology, the book once again returns to his negative epistemology with Natalie Depraz's treatment of Maximus' theo-phenomenology of negation, in which apophaticism is contrasted to negative theology.

The third part, titled "Anthropology: Human Nature, Ethics and the Will," begins with a ‘bridge’ between theological ontology and (its consequences and implications for) anthropology. This is followed by Georgi Kapriev's paper, in which he expounds the basic tenets of Maximus the Confessor's anthropology in comparison to contemporary anthropological inquiry and proceeds to propose that readers may find the seeds for solutions to certain contemporary philosophical problems in Maximus' works. Marcin Podbielski provides readers with a close textual approach to the meaning of ΠρόωΠον, a key Maximian term. Karolina Kochanczyk-Boninska studies Maximus' understanding of sexual differentiation, of the distinction – and division – of the sexes in the case of human beings and of its philosophical preconditions.

The final part of Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher, "Maximus in Dialogue: From Antiquity to Contemporary Thought," is dedicated to discussions of the Confessor's philosophy in comparison to other philosophers and currents of thought, be they Maximus' predecessors, Maximus' contemporaries, or philosophers that appeared later in history.

This groundbreaking volume correctly identifies an odious convention in the division of disciplines: while major thinkers such as Augustine or Aquinas self-evidently make their way into being part of philosophy's legacy, equally major thinkers that are categorized as religious' are exiled to the hermetically sealed domain of theology, even if their contribution to classical philosophical problems is unique, pertinent, and most fecund. The book at hand delivers on its promise of reclaiming Maximus the Confessor for philosophy and of recognizing his oeuvre as a critical contribution to its history; as such, it is one of those endeavors that contribute to nothing less than a paradigm change. – Grigory Benevich, The Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities

… From metaphysics to theological anthropology, from apophaticism to ethics, this collection is a fine contribution to the expanding research on Maximus and will further generate interest in the Confessor among historical theologians, philosophers, and scholars from a wide variety of disciplines. – Paul M. Blowers, Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan College

Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher is a fine contribution continuing the revival of interest in Maximus as a philosopher and challenging our understanding of what European philosophy is.

Politics / International / China

Xi Jinping's Governance and the Future of China by Zhou Xinmin (Skyhorse Publishing)

The research on President Xi's governance philosophies is in its initial stage, with very few studies on the supporting capabilities behind the system. As a pioneer in this area, the author explains his original ideas in this work, some of which are yet to be tested through practice. I genuinely hope that the book will become the centerpiece in the education campaign on governance for CPC members and officials, and that it will enhance the implementation of President Xi's thinking on governance in China. – Fu Chengyu, from the preface

Over the past few years, growing changes have quietly begun to reshape China under the governance of Xi Jinping. President Xi has developed his philosophical thinking on governing into a system to address the pressing issues of China, to develop and improve Chinese socialism, and to achieve modernization in all areas.

Zhou Xinmin's new book Xi Jinping's Governance and the Future of China explains the characteristics and patterns of President Xi's governing philosophy from the perspective of the core capabilities required of the Chinese leadership, and reveals the four strategies of Xi Jinping's governance:

  1. Mastering the direction of an overall situation with conscious and firm politic willpower.
  2. Guiding the development direction of the country with modern and scientific governance thoughts.
  3. Activating endogenous power with continuous reforms and innovations.
  4. Gathering power for rejuvenation with the grand feelings about a world belonging to all peoples.

Zhou Xinmin, who created the theory of leaders’ core capabilities in China, is a well-known expert in the research of Chinese leadership. Xinmin is the author of several books.

Xi Jinping's Governance and the Future of China unpacks the core tenets of President Xi's governance philosophy to provide a road map to convert his philosophical systems into actionable policies. Xinmin explains the achievements, the strategies, and the development of the president's governing theories, and showcases the vision and capacities of the new generation of the Communist Party of China's leadership.

Xi Jinping's Governance and the Future of China also serves as a useful guide to global leaders who benefit from understanding the perspective that President Xi brings to international conversation. Xinmin's essential work gives a simple analysis of the theoretical aspects of President Xi's administrative approach and demonstrates how those theories are applied to the practical policies of the current Chinese leadership.

Through Xi Jinping's Governance and the Future of China, it will become clear why:

  • Xi Jinping's strategies in government are so popular and successful.
  • Over the past five years there were such tremendous changes in China that attracted much attention from the world.
  • What the direction of China will be in the future.

Xi Jinping's Governance and the Future of China explains the characteristics and patterns of President Xi's governance philosophy from the perspective of core capabilities required of the Chinese leadership.

Compared to previous works, this book has something new to offer. It has moved away from literal interpretation in a general sense, and employs a new perspective to focus on core capabilities – the supporting element behind governance philosophies – to conduct an in-depth analysis that is accessible and comprehensive.

There is no doubt that with more practice, the philosophical system will continue to develop and improve while enriching its contents. The essential capabilities of leadership, the decisive and fundamental pillars of the system, will not change with the times.

Divided into seven chapters Xi Jinping's Governance and the Future of China builds upon the main theme of capabilities and employs a step-by-step approach in detailing its meaning with clear logic and rigorous deduction. Chapter 1, Achievements of Xi Jinping's Practice of Governance, offers a comprehensive account of the CPC leadership's governance philosophies, measures, and accomplishments.

Chapter 2, Interpreting Xi Jinping's Governance Philosophies, makes an in-depth analysis of the guiding thoughts. Chapter 3, Practice of Xi Jinping's Governance Philosophies, discusses the policies and methods employed. Chapter 4, The Governance of Great Leaders, summarizes the common traits of outstanding leaders. Chapter 5, Core Capabilities of Xi Jinping's Governance, analyzes President Xi's competence as China's leader. Chapter 6, Development of Xi Jinping's Governance Capabilities, traces back to the origin of Xi's capabilities and follows his developmental path. Chapter 7, Setting Standards for Leading Capabilities, explores the values extended from the capabilities of national governance. By discussing these theories, Xi Jinping's Governance and the Future of China may play a central role in influencing and molding generations of CPC members and officials who are committed to CPC's mission, Chinese socialism, and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It may also help the modernization of China's governance system and capabilities, and shed some light on achieving the Chinese Dream.

Xinmin's work combines the theoretical with practical aspects of leadership and is a must-read for anyone doing business in and with China. – Latha Ramchand, dean of C. T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston

Xi Jinping's Governance and the Future of China is a must-read for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of the modern People’s Republic of China from a Chinese perspective. This book is a unique window for people to understand leaders of contemporary China, contemporary China itself, the development trend of China in the future, and the ideas and thinking ways about China's approaching the world, being integrated into the world, making a contribution to the world, and promoting the development of the world.

Politics / Republican

All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump by Edward Klein (Regnery Publishing)

The media, the Democrats, and the Never-Trump Republicans are waging an all-out war against the president of the United States, Donald Trump. These attacks are not spontaneous expressions of outrage from sore losers or attempts to block Trump's policy agendas, they are personal, ruthless, and calculated attacks with one objective in mind: to take Trump down.

All Out War asserts that with ferocity not seen since the Civil War, the Washington establishment and the radical Left are joining forces in an attempted coup d’état to overturn the will of the people and return power to the political and media elites who have never been more unhinged.

In All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump, investigative reporter and national bestselling author Klein reveals:

  • How the plot to destroy Trump was initiated in the Obama White House.
  • Two exclusive FBI reports that prove the existence of ‘the Deep State’ working against the Trump agenda, warn of ISIS ties to the anti-Trump ‘resistance,’ and highlight the danger of domestic terrorism from the anti-Trump radicals.
  • The scandal readers don’t yet know about: why Hillary Clinton could still be facing investigation by the FBI and prosecution by the Justice Department.
  • The role of George Soros in bankrolling the ‘resistance’ – and why Obama won't be leading it.

Klein is the author of the national bestsellers Guilty as Sin, Unlikeable, Blood Feud, The Amateur, The Truth about Hillary, The Kennedy Curse, and All Too Human. He is the former editor in chief of the New York Times Magazine and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair.

“In America, you are entitled to your own opinion,” Klein writes in All Out War. “But you are not entitled to overthrow the democratically elected president of the United States and inflict irreparable damage on our country. That, however, is what Donald Trump’s enemies on the Left and Right are doing. Through a variety of underhanded tactics – lies, leaks, obstruction, and violence – they are working to delegitimize President Trump and drive him from office before he can drain the swamp and take away their power.”

Readers have heard of many of them – Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, George Soros. You've seen their names on Facebook and Twitter and heard them on TV – Jake Tapper, Don Lemon, Rachel Maddow. Others may be unfamiliar to you – Neera Tanden, Tom Steyer, Anna Galland. Still others are nameless – members of the permanent government, the so-called Deep State.

According to Klein in All Out War, what all the villains have in common is their refusal to accept Donald Trump as their president. They live in an alternate universe of if-onlies: Hillary Clinton would have won the election if only the Russians hadn't meddled in the election, if only FBI Director James Comey hadn't reopened the investigation of Hillary's emails shortly before Election Day, if only Bernie Sanders hadn't damaged Hillary in the primaries, if only male voters hadn't been women-haters, if only the Democratic National Committee had gotten its act together, if only there weren't so many ‘deplorables’ in America, if only...

"Right up until election night," writes the Washington Examiner's Michael Barone, "[the Democrats] believed that the future was forever theirs. Between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. on Election Night, it became clear that this was ... the god that failed."

For 221 years – ever since John Adams defeated Thomas Jefferson in the election of 1796 – the losing party has conceded defeat and moved on. That happened even after elections that were won by the squeakiest of margins – Kennedys, Nixon, Carter vs. Ford, Bush vs. Gore. This sacred tradition is being called into question for the first time in our history.

The villains are winning battle after battle against President Trump. He and his aides are the target of several congressional inves­tigations, illegal leaks by the Deep State, daily lashings by the media, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is examining charges of obstruction of justice.

"Much of Washington clearly views Mr. Mueller as their agent to rid the country of a President they despise," writes the Wall Street Journal. "Every political and social incentive in that city will press Mr. Mueller to oblige. But you cannot topple a duly elected President based merely on innuendo or partisan distaste without doing great harm to democracy."

There are villains on both sides of the political divide. Those on the Left want to impeach Trump. Those on the Right – people in his own party who are disloyal to Trump – want to invoke the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, under which the cabinet would remove the president and replace him with Vice President Mike Pence.

Either course of action would amount to a coup d'etat.

Klein says that he wrote All Out War because the time is getting short to stop the villains from overthrowing the president. If readers want to join the effort to prevent the villains from destroying our democracy, then this book – more than a year in the making and based on never-before-published information – is an essential guide.

Stunning in its revelations, there is no timelier book than All Out War.

Psychology / Journalism / Self-Help

Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate by Sue Scheff, with Melissa Schorr, with a foreword by Monica Lewinsky (Sourcebooks)

This most valuable book is an attempt to frame the human stories on either side of (cyber)bullying – to strip away the screens and digital posturing and create a narrative steeped in empathy. – Monica Lewinsky, from the foreword

In today's digitally driven world, disaster is only a click away.

A rogue tweet could bring down a business; an army of trolls can run a celebrity off-line; and virtual harassment might cause real psychological damage.

Readers are asked to consider:

  • 73% of American adults have witnessed online harassment, 40% were victims, and 70% of young Americans say they have been victims. (Pew Research Center)
  • 80% of workplaces now have a social media policy in effect. (Proskauer 2014)

Sue Scheff knows firsthand how devastating cyber shaming can be. In 2006, she won a landmark $11.3 million judgment for Internet defamation and invasion of privacy that made international headlines.

In Shame Nation, Scheff and coauthor Melissa Schorr, with a special foreword by social activist Monica Lewinsky, examine the ‘new normal’ of online shaming and how it affects those who are targeted. Scheff is a parent advocate who founded Parents' Universal Resources Experts in 2001. Schorr is a widely published freelance journalist and the author of the young adult cyberbullying story Identity Crisis.

Shame Nation is the first book to both study the fascinating phenomenon of online shaming, and offer practical guidance and inspiring advice on how to prevent and protect against cyber blunders and faceless bullies. Scheff unveils all sides of an issue that is only becoming more relevant day by day while drawing from the expertise of other top professionals spanning fields including law, psychology, and reputation management.

Shame Nation not only details how readers can protect themselves online and gives them advice on how to reclaim their online reputations, but it also explores individual cases with firsthand interviews from renowned experts in the fields of psychology, law, crisis management, and public relations.

Engaging, sharp, and important – Shame Nation will inspire you to open your eyes and be better. – Theresa Payton, CEO of Fortalice Solutions and Deputy Director of Intelligence on CBS' Hunted
We all have the power to create the inclusive Internet reality that we so desperately need. Scheff recognizes that participating in that creation can be overwhelming and intimidating, especially given the personal risks we face as women who want to join a public discourse, and provides in
Shame Nation a clear-eyed, approachable guide to facing a hostile online environment while maintaining our dignity and sanity. – Emily Lindin, Founder and Director of The UnSlut Project
This book offers readers an important and eye-opening exploration into how public shaming transforms lives in the digital age. By humanizing today's digital interactions, Scheff and Schorr show readers how to recognize, protect, and, when needed, restore their digital identity. – Stacey Steinberg, Legal Skills Professor, University of Florida Levin College of Law
… Thoroughly researched and packed with eye opening anecdotes,
Shame Nation will help you learn why people choose to shame one another online, and what to do if it happens to you or a loved one. Sue Scheff is an invaluable resource in the digital world and this book should be required reading in high school, college, and the workplace. – Katie Hurley, LCSW and author of No More Mean Girls and The Happy Kid Handbook
There is no better time than the present to deal with the issues that Sue Scheff presents in
Shame Nation. Finally there will be sage advice and necessary tools to understand and help each other live in the society-shaming environment we all share. – Stacey Honowitz, author, CNN legal analyst, and sex crimes prosecutor
Smart. Timely. Essential. Shame Nation is the era's ‘must read’ to renew internet civility where humiliating, criticizing and judging are normalized. And there is no one better than Sue Scheff to share how to prevent as well as rebound from digital shaming. Her own battle against cyber-shaming riveted the world and changed the way we use the Internet. Scheff's sage advice and realistic tips for cyber-etiquette are indispensable and must be heeded for any hope of a civil existence and restoring empathy in cyberspace. – Michele Borba, Ed.D. educational psychologist and author of UnSelfie
This is a welcome and timely guide to practical Internet use... Parents will find the book's advice useful in protecting their children from danger as they explore online, as will anyone who has made a hasty comment or tweet and lived to regret it. – Booklist
The tales are shamefully fascinating. The book does not dwell on the psychological or sociological aspects of trolling or shaming, emphasizing practical advice instead. With a foreword by Monica Lewinsky, this would be a good read for anyone who enjoyed Jon Ronson's 
So You've Been Publicly Shamed. – Library Journal

From damning screenshots to revenge porn, Shame Nation shines a light on the rising trend of an online shame culture and empowers readers to take charge of their digital lives. With personal interviews from survivors that bring inspiration and hope to those struggling today, Shame Nation will spark conversations in a divisive time when it's needed most.

Religion & Spirituality / Biographies & Memoirs

Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography by Herman Selderhuis (Crossway)

Famous for setting in motion the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther is often lifted high as a hero or condemned as a rebel. But underneath it all, he was a man of flesh and blood, with a deep longing to live for God.

Martin Luther, a biography by respected Reformation scholar Herman Selderhuis, captures Luther in his original context and follows him on his spiritual journey, from childhood through the Reformation to his influential later years.

Selderhuis is professor of church history at the Theological University Apeldoorn in the Netherlands and director of Refo500, the international platform focused on raising awareness for projects related to the legacy of the Reformation. He also serves as the director of the Reformation Research Consortium, president of the International Calvin Congress, and curator of research at the John A. Lasco Library in Emden, Germany.

According to Selderhuis in Martin Luther, Luther was a problem. Certainly for the pope and the emperor, but often he was also a problem for his fellow reformers. Prone to outbursts of rage and coarse language, Luther was frequently stubborn and undiplomatic, even with allies.

The man who had to learn humility as a monk had an ego that combined with his quick temperament to swiftly make enemies and exasperate even his most intimate circle of friends. "We must, and we will take him the way he is," John Calvin remarked, "because it was Luther who gave the Gospel back to us."

Luther could only ‘give back’ the gospel to the church after he had found it himself. And he had long been searching for it. He was a man searching for God. Luther was a phenomenon – a fascinating human being. His opponents thought so too. Luther consistently displayed a brilliant richness of thought, a command of language, and an irascible humor. He was honest about his struggles of faith, often using them to comfort and encourage others. The same ego that could sometimes alienate people also buffered his sense of calling and resolve, enabling him to achieve an astonishing number of accomplishments in his life.

The temptation for any biographer of Luther is to merely let the reformer speak for himself. In Martin Luther Selderhuis both reveals Luther in his own words and gives readers an objective portrait.

Herman Selderhuis gives a well-organized, source-based short account of Luther’s life, putting him into his context. Written by one of the most respected international scholars in Reformation history, this book may be fruitfully used as an introduction to Luther’s life. – Volker Leppin, theologian and professor of church history, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen; president, Interdisciplinary Medieval Association

With a keen eye for the details that make Luther come alive for twenty-first-century readers, and with an ear for those often-false rumors spread by other scholars about the man, Selderhuis guides us through the life of the Wittenberg professor, depicting his genius and his temperament within the context of his time and its challenges.... – Robert Kolb, international research emeritus professor, Institute for Mission Studies, Concordia Seminary; author, Martin Luther: Confessor of the Faith

The complexity of Luther is staggering, but Herman Selderhuis has given us a detailed portrait of the reformer that captures both his blemishes and the beauty of his faith in Christ. This book is a fascinating read about one of the most significant figures of history. Both students of Christian history and admirers of Reformation theology will find it helpful. – Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; Pastor, Heritage Reformed Church, Grand Rapids

… this latest volume from the hand of the gifted Reformation scholar Herman Selderhuis does indeed give us a fresh perspective on the German reformer. With his own translations of Luther’s writings and his comprehensive knowledge of Luther’s world, both theological and social, this new biography is both deeply instructive about the things that mattered most to Luther and a delight to read. This is how biography should be written! – Michael A. G. Haykin, professor of church history and biblical spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Among the many new biographies of Martin Luther, this one stands out for its fresh engagement with Luther’s own assessment of his life and work. Well researched and engagingly presented. – Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

… Selderhuis’s clearly written and immediately engaging narrative, with wit, offers an abundance of detail and apparatus for the reader to understand one of the most fascinating personalities in Christian history and the complexities of his Reformation hermeneutics. – Kirsi Stjerna, First Lutheran, Los Angeles / Southwest Synod Professor of Lutheran History and Theology, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary; author, Women and the Reformation

Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography offers a new and fascinating approach to Luther’s life. In this book, political and theological contexts are paid attention to, but priority is given to the story of Luther’s religious life, from childhood to old age. The account is based on an extensive use of primary sources – not least Luther’s letters and Table Talk – and the reformer’s own words are frequently quoted. At the same time, the interpretation of Luther’s texts is closely related to specific places and concrete situations in his life. In this way, the reader is brought closer to Luther’s person than what is often the case in other biographies. – Tarald Rasmussen, professor of general church history and research director, University of Oslo; editor, Teologisk Tidsskrift

Combining Luther’s own words with engaging narrative designed to draw readers into Luther’s world, Martin Luther is a spiritual biography elucidating the complex and dynamic personality that forever changed the history of the church. Conversational, accessible, richly illustrated and succinctly written, Selderhuis brings the reformer alive.

Religion & Spirituality / Esoteric / Mysticism

Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals, and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death by Tracey Rollin (Weiser Books)

Death welcomes everyone. This is the foundation for the veneration of Santa Muerte, or ‘Holy Death.’ Considered to be the female personification of death, Santa Muerte is associated with protection and safe passage to the afterlife. She is also the patron saint of people who live on the fringes of society and often face violence and death. In recent years her constituency has expanded to include the LGBT community and people who are marginalized or whose jobs put them at significant risk of death such as military and police personnel. Santa Muerte is hailed as their potent and powerful protector, capable of delivering them from harm and even granting miracles.

Santa Muerte is a complete ritual guide to working with this famous – and infamous! – Mexican folk saint. It takes readers beyond the sensational headlines to reveal why Santa Muerte is so beloved by so many. Author Tracey Rollin presents simple, straightforward methods for working with Holy Death that may be used alone or easily incorporated into readers’ own magical practice.

Rollin is the administrator of the Bone Mother Facebook group, a 65-thousand-member community of Santa Muerte devotees. She is also a registered nurse with years of emergency room and trauma experience.

Rollin begins Santa Muerte by citing the beliefs and practices of religions and cultures across the world that may have influenced or been influenced by Santa Muerte. In particular, she addresses the qualities, powers, and influences of Santa Muerte and discusses many ‘spells,’ or prayers, that allegedly help to heal relationships, cure illnesses, bring good luck, and increase sexual pleasure, among other things. Rollin also explores the Aztec origins and other ‘parent religions’ from which the veneration of Santa Muerte arose, as well as the factors that may contribute to the unofficial folk saint's growing popularity in current times, which she attributes to a mix of folk status and subversive appeal.

This is a comprehensive and well-researched guide to the Mexican folk saint Santa Muerte, the "female personification of death... associated with protection and safe passage to the afterlife."… While the book focuses specifically on one saint, Rollin's understanding of a variety of religions grounds the book in a broad and inclusive understanding of the world's many mystical beliefs. At times, the work can be so straightforward that it takes on a textbook quality, but the wealth of information contained here will appeal to those seeking a studied and historical understanding of Santa Muerte. – Publishers Weekly

Do you have a friend in Death? You should and you can with Rollin’s new book. Rollin does an amazing, non-judgmental job of relating the stories of Santa Muerte, but also gives the reader the practical goods on how to work with this powerful folk saint combining both traditional and modern ways of working with her. Her personal stories and experiences with St. Death are more often than not entertaining, and the book would give you more than a solid foundation to work with Santa Muerte. The only question you should have is how fast do you want your results? – Andrieh Vitimus, author of Hands-On Chaos Magic and podcast host of Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole
Tracey Rollin does an excellent job of laying out and explaining Santa Muerte. I particularly appreciate how she explores the history and beliefs of Santa Muerte, while balancing the theory with practical magic and suggestions for how people an integrate Santa Muerte into their existing spiritual paths. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow, but also encourage people to discover how to develop their own relationship with Santa Muerte. If you want the authoritative book on Santa Muerte, this is the book to read. – Taylor Ellwood, author of Pop Culture Magic Systems
Tracey Rollin’s very well written book Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals, and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death avoids a dogmatic approach to Santa Muerte. The author, who hails from New Mexico, where Doña Sebastiana, Lady Death, presaged Santa Muerte, incorporates more research on Santa Muerte than other books aimed at devotees. – Professor R. Andrew Chesnut, author of Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint
Tracey Rollin’s
Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death is a serious work dedicated to providing historical insight combined with spiritual application in the ways of the Holy Death. Rollin’s book provides sound research and a unique inside perspective into the customs and rituals associated with one of the fastest growing religions in the world. This book brings together two important perspectives of both a historical and magico-religious worldview without alienating either one. A valuable contribution to this area of study. – Tony Kail, author of Santa Muerte: Mexico’s Mysterious Saint of Death and A Secret History of Memphis Hoodoo: Rootworkers, Conjurers, and Spirituals

Santa Muerte provides an authoritative, broad and inclusive understanding of the world’s many mystical beliefs, putting Santa Muerte in its historical context.

Religion & Spirituality / Tibetan Buddhism

The Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra, Book 13: Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission by Choying Tobden Dorje, translated, introduced & annotated by Gyurme Dorje (Tsadra Foundation Series: Snow Lion)

The Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra is Choying Tobden Dorje's magnum opus presented in English for the first time, in an authoritative translation prepared under the auspices of well-known and highly respected Tibetan teachers and translators. This is Book 13: Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission.
Choying Tobden Dorje (1785–1848) was a brilliant Buddhist master from the Amdo region of eastern Tibet renowned for his realization of great perfection. A disciple of the first Dodrupchen Rinpoche, he founded the monastery of Dzogchen Namgyal Ling and was instrumental in establishing the community of mantra practitioners known as the Repkong Ngakmang. Translator Gyurme Dorje holds a master’s degree in Sanskrit (University of Edinburgh) and a PhD in Tibetan literature (SOAS, University of London). He has written, edited, translated, and contributed to numerous books on Tibetan culture.

In 1838, Choying Tobden Dorje, a yogin and scholar of northeastern Tibet, completed a multivolume masterwork that traces the entire path of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism from beginning to end. Written by a mantra practitioner for the benefit of mantra practitioners living among the lay community, it was intended to be informative, inspirational, and above all, practical. Its twenty-five books, or topical divisions, offer a comprehensive and detailed view of the Buddhist path according to the early translation school of Tibetan Buddhism, spanning the vast range of Buddhist teachings from the initial steps to the highest esoteric teachings of great perfection. Choying Tobden Dorje’s magnum opus appears in English here for the first time in The Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra.
Book 13: Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission presents the philosophical systems of India and Tibet, according to the writings of Longchen Rabjam and the revelations of Orgyan Lingpa. First, it discusses the views attributed to classical Hinduism, Jainism, materialism, and nihilism. Second, it describes the standpoints of the Vaibhashika and Sautrantika exponents of the lesser vehicle, exemplified by pious attendants and hermit buddhas, and the Cittamatra (‘mind only’) and Madhyamaka (‘middle way’) commentators of the great vehicle, exemplified by great bodhisattva beings. Third, it analyzes the inner and outer vehicles of the Buddhist tantras, with an emphasis on the three classes of the great perfection. Fourth, it documents the lines of philosophical transmission within Tibet, including Bon, Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, Kadampa, and Geluk. Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission concludes with an extract from a well-known treatise of the Fifth Dalai Lama, applying the techniques of consequential reasoning to the first chapter of Vasubandhu’s Treasury of Phenomenology.

In the Translator’s Introduction, Gyurme Dorje says that it is a long-term objective of the Tsadra Foundation to publish this entire work in traditional dpe cha format and in modern book form, alongside its English translation.

The 2000 edition comprises five volumes. Among them, the golden key, the root verses, the outline, and the concise commentary are all contained in volume 1, while the extensive commentary is found in volumes 2 to 4 and the illustrations in volume 5. Within the extensive commentary itself, the sutra section, the subjects of Indo-Tibetan classical learning, and the section on Buddhist phenomenology are all found in volume 2, while the tantra section including Mahayoga and Anuyoga is found in volume 3, and Atiyoga in volume 4.

The ordering of these sections is significant in that the author evidently conceived of The Precious Treasury of Sutra and Tantra as an unfolding package, commencing with his own pithy golden key and root verses, continuing through the outline and concise commentary, and culminating in the elaborate extensive commentary and the illustrations. For the sake of readers who may find this structure overly repetitive, the present translation series gives precedence to the extensive commentary, with the root verses, outline, and concise commentary placed after it.

The present volume Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission contains an English translation of Book 13, which concerns the philosophical systems of India and Tibet, and their historical lines of transmission.

The first three parts of Book 13 Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission effectively restate Longchen Rabjam's analysis of the views held respectively by (a) the established non-Buddhist Indian schools; (b) the Vaibhasika, Sautrantika, Cittamatra, and Madhyamaka, who exemplify the ‘causal’ approach of the sutras; and (c) the outer and inner classes of fruitional tantra, comprising the tantras of action, conduct, union, great union, subsequent union, and highest union.

Part 1, entitled "Mundane Approaches," begins by exploring the difference between those following non-Buddhist spiritual paths who are said to have no understanding of the nature of reality but who nonetheless progress through the various god realms of form and formlessness on the basis of their meditative capacity and ethical conduct, and those of wrong understanding who fail to progress owing to their eternalist or nihilist views. There then follows a discussion of the purported views of the five well-defined non-Buddhist philosophies: Samkhya phenomenology, Vaisesika categorization (with Shaivism), Mimamsaka ritual, Nirgrantha Jainism, and Barhaspatya nihilism or hedonism.

Part 2, entitled "The Philosophical Systems of the Causal Vehicles;" begins by outlining the superiority of pious attendants and hermit buddhas to non-Buddhists in terms of their refuge, view, meditative experience, conduct, and goal. The tenets accepted in common by pious attendants include the four noble truths, the positing of ultimate reality, the denials of substratum consciousness, the great vehicle and the ten bodhisattva levels, and the assertion that buddhas have an individual mental continuum.

The distinctive philosophical schools espoused by pious attendants are then analyzed in turn. Among them, the Vaibhasika analysis concerns the five basic categories of phenomena, the positing of decay as a separate entity, the positing of the substantial existence of the three times, the positing of an inexpressible self, the denial of intrinsic or objective awareness on the part of consciousness, the distinction between defining characteristics and exemplars, and the existence of unexhausted substances.

The Sautrantika analysis concerns causality with its four conditions, the notion that appearances are mind, that objects are covert, that atomic particles have no intervening spaces, that the sense organs are causally effective, that disassociated formative predispositions are imaginary, and that nirvana is a nonentity.

This discussion on the lesser vehicle ends with a brief presentation of the vehicle of the hermit buddhas in terms of their focus, classes, view, and meditation based on dependent origination and its reversal, as well as their conduct and goal. The great vehicle is subsequently introduced with a paragraph concerning the superiority of bodhisattvas to pious attendants and hermit buddhas. Its philosophical trends are then discussed in turn. The Cittamatrin (‘mind-only’) system is generally presented according to its tenets, focus, and classes, and on the basis of the distinctions made between the three natures, substantial existents and imputed existents, and relative and ultimate truth, as well as its understanding of the enlightened intention of the buddhas, selflessness, conduct, and goal.

The presentation of Madhyamaka (‘middle way’), the culmination of the causal vehicles, includes a general introduction to those employing independent syllogisms – both the lower and higher Svatantrika – and a detailed presentation of the Prasangika. The Prasangika refutation of conceptual elaboration and nonrefutation of conventional appearances are then contrasted. In terms of praxis, the middle way of the ground emphasizes the two truths, the middle way of the path emphasizes the two provisions of merit and pristine cognition, and the middle way of the result emphasizes the two buddha bodies of reality and form. The chapter ends with a discussion on the validity of acceptance and nonacceptance, and their synthesis.

Part 3, entitled "The Philosophical Systems of the Fruitional Vehicles," begins by examining the distinctions between the ways of sutra and mantra. The three outer classes of tantra – action, conduct, and union are then presented, followed by a brief account of the distinctions between the outer and inner mantras, and between the father tantras, mother tantras, and nondual tantras.

Following Longchen Rabjam, the author then moves swiftly to the main subject matter – the detailed presentation of the tantras of highest union, the Great Perfection. The main emphasis is on the three classes of the Great Perfection, which comprise the class of mind, the class of space, and the class of esoteric instruction.

Part 4, entitled "The Philosophical Systems of Tibet: Lines of Transmis­sion," follows on from the aforementioned presentation of the non-Buddhist and Buddhist philosophical perspectives, by turning to indigenous Tibetan developments. It begins with a brief description of the geographical extent of the Tibetan plateau. There then follows a listing of the royal dynasties of Tibet and a summary of the Bon religion. A brief account of the origins of the medical and divinatory traditions is then followed by a detailed presentation of the foundation, establishment, and spread of Buddhism in Tibet during the imperial period. The long citations in this section derive from Orgyan Lingpa's Injunctions of Padma. There is a particular emphasis on the translation and transmission of the three inner classes of tantra in terms of both the distant lineage of the transmitted teachings and the close lineages of spiritual revelations.

Having completed his exegesis of the Nyingma transmission in Tibet, Choying Tobden Dorje then recounts the translations that were undertaken during the later phase of Buddhist propagation from the tenth century onward. The author outlines the Tibetan evolution of the New Translation Schools, emphasizing in particular how each of these distinctive lineages and their branches had been foreordained in the prophetic declarations of Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal.

Part 5, entitled "Dialectical Writings of Buddhist Phenomenology," introduces readers to the complexities of consequential reasoning. The subject matter predictably concerns the nature of conditioned and unconditioned phenomena, the sensory elements, sense faculties and sense fields, the hierarchy of the psycho-physical aggregates, the nature of vision, and so forth, but the approach is distinctive, as those successive themes are examined through ‘garlands’ or series of consequential reasoning, taken verbatim from the Fifth Dalai Lama's Precious Chariot Steering the Treasury of Phenomenology.

This monumental treatise, covering both common and esoteric Buddhist lore, was composed by Choying Tobden Dorje, a most illustrious scholar and accomplished sage. Fortunately, among his voluminous books, this, his masterwork, has survived and has been carefully translated true to the original. It will open the eyes of serious readers to the vast spectrum of Buddhist wisdom. – Tulku Thondup

For persons interested in the extraordinary fields of Buddhist studies, Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission is an excellent text elucidating the enlightened intention of the buddhas; the pith instructions of learned and accomplished masters, awareness holders, and genuine spiritual teachers; and the exegeses of the major fields of Tibetan classical learning. It presents the structure of ground, path, and result in respect of the sutra and mantra vehicles. It differentiates the view, meditation, and conduct in accordance with the path. Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission outlines the gradation of vows and commitments in accordance with the discipline of individual liberation, the training of bodhisattvas, and the conduct of secret mantra. It is an edifying text, which excellently establishes study, reflection, and meditation, based on the author's own reasoning. Study of this text leads to the resolution of outer misconceptions and the attainment of the rank of a learned person. Meditation on this text resolves inner misconceptions and leads to actualization of the spiritual goals to which each person aspires.

Research Methods / Psychology / Statistics

Statistics for Research in Psychology: A Modern Approach Using Estimation, 1st edition by Rick Gurnsey (Sage Publications, Inc)

Television shows, websites, and scientific journals frequently assert that the result of some research study or other is ‘statistically significant.’ Statistical significance seems to be the scientific community's way of saying that the result is significant in the everyday sense of being important or meaningful, but, according to Rick Gurnsey, this is not so. Results may be statistically significant without being meaningful. Furthermore, it is increasingly evident that statistical significance is widely misunderstood not only by students and laypeople but also by researchers themselves.

Gurnsey is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Concordia University, Montreal. Gurnsey's research has been funded by federal and provincial agencies continuously since 1989. He has taught introductory and advanced statistics for 15 years.

Statistics for Research in Psychology offers an intuitive approach to statistics based on estimation for interpreting research in psychology. This text covers topic areas in a traditional sequence but gently shifts the focus to an alternative approach using estimation, emphasizing confidence intervals, effect sizes, and practical significance, with the advantages naturally emerging in the process.

This approach encourages readers to attach meaning (practical significance) to the size of some measured effect in the context of a specific research question, and discourages reliance on the context-independent notion of statistical significance. When researchers have to explain the meaning of research results without using the term ‘statistically significant,’ they recognize how heavily they have leaned on it.

Gurnsey says that instructors interested in making a shift to this syllabus must be able to do so without rebuilding their courses from scratch. A glance at the table of contests shows a reassuringly traditional sequence of topic areas. This is because estimation and significance tests rest on the same foundations, even though they differ in emphasis. The goal of Statistics for Research in Psychology is to explain both approaches but shift the emphasis to estimation. Rather than devoting the main body of each chapter to testing hypotheses about population parameters, with estimation mentioned as a niche alternative, the focus is squarely on estimation, followed by a discussion of how confidence intervals (and test statistics) can be used to test null hypotheses.

The people who developed the statistical methods routinely used in psychological research are introduced in Part 2 of Statistics for Research in Psychology. As most statistics instructors know, the so-called Fisher-Neyman hybrid model of statistical decision making would have pleased neither Fisher nor Neyman. Therefore, a historical perspective on statistics shows how some current confusion arose from blending two quite different philosophies. Unlike others, this text devotes a chapter to the problems associated with significance tests, including the file-drawer problem, p-hacking, and basic misunderstandings about p-values. The message to students is that statistical reform in behavioral research will be the responsibility, and accomplishment, of their generation.

Each chapter has a clear through line and typically uses a single research question to aid its development. To avoid diversions from the main story, additional material is presented in end-of-chapter appendices. These include discussions of precision planning for estimation, power, and other technical material such as collinearity, bootstrapping, and probability density.

Many useful tools for performing statistical analyses are also discussed in appendices. The two most important tools are Excel and IBM SPSS Statistics. Instructors will have different opinions about which of these is most appropriate for their classes. Students using Statistics for Research in Psychology as part of an advanced course may need to have experience with SPSS in the likely event that they go on to conduct an independent research project. Students in an introductory course will benefit from a good grounding in Excel, because it provides a simple way to check hand calculations and provides useful tools for working with normal and t-distributions. Furthermore, Excel is in wide use in settings beyond universities. Additional appendices show students how to use R to put confidence intervals around statistics that have complex distributions, such as Cohen's d and R2. Finally, there are appendices showing how to use G*Power for prospective power analysis and sensitivity analysis.

The password-protected Instructor Resources site features author-created tools designed to help instructors plan and teach their course. These include an extensive test bank, chapter-specific PowerPoint presentations, and lecture notes. The open-access Student Resources site provides eFlashcards, web quizzes, access to full-text SAGE journal articles with accompanying assessments, and multimedia resources.

Frequent opportunities for practice and step-by-step instructions for using Excel, SPSS, and R in appendices help readers come away with a better understanding of statistics that will allow them to more effectively evaluate published research and undertake meaningful research of their own.

The material in Statistics for Research in Psychology is structured in a way that allows the advantages of estimation to emerge naturally. All of the standard material on significance testing is presented, but estimation is shown to be the more general method.

Innovative in its emphasis on estimation, Statistics for Research in Psychology is written in an engaging conversational style that addresses students directly. Sections include learning checks with questions for students to answer in order to assess their understanding before moving on to new material. There are also many end-of­chapter exercises, including definitions and concepts, true or false questions, calculations, and scenarios. Each chapter includes brief model reports of statistical analyses that follow American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.

Social Psychology / Self-Help

Think Before You Like: Social Media's Effect on the Brain and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your Newsfeed by Guy P. Harrison (Prometheus Books)

At a time when the news cycle turns on a tweet, journalism gets confused with opinion, and facts are treated as negotiable information, applying critical thinking skills to social media consumption is more important than ever.
Guy P. Harrison, an advocate of scientific literacy and positive skepticism, in Think Before You Like demonstrates how critical thinking can enhance the benefits of social media while giving users the skills to guard against its dangers. Harrison is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books.

Social media has more than two billion users and continues to grow. Its widespread appeal as a means of staying in touch with friends and keeping up with daily news masks some serious pitfalls – misinformation, pseudoscience, fraud, propaganda, and irrational beliefs – presented in an attractive, easy-to-share form. Think Before You Like teaches readers how to resist the psychological and behavioral manipulation of social media and avoid the mistakes that millions have already made and now regret.
Harrison presents scientific studies that show why their subconscious minds love social media and how that can work against their ability to critically evaluate information. Among other things, social media reinforces biases, clouds judgment with images that leave a false impression, and fills brains with anecdotes that become cheap substitutes for objective data. The very nature of the technology keeps readers in a bubble; by tracking their preferences, it sends only filtered newsfeeds, so that they rarely see anything that might challenge their set notions.
Harrison in Think Before You Like explores the implications of having digital ‘friends’ and the effects on mood, self-esteem, and the cultivation of friendship in the real world. He discusses how social media affects attention spans and the ability to consider issues in depth. And he suggests ways to protect oneself against privacy invasion, cyberstalking, biased misinformation, catfishing, trolls, misuse of photos, and the confusion over fake news versus credible journalism.

A skillfully written and researched survey…. Harrison manages to be firm without being a fearmonger. – Publishers Weekly

Part memoir, part exposé, Think Before You Like reveals social media as a `vast playground' of shallow ties, rampant untruths, and endless trivia. But with Guy P. Harrison's help, we can create more tolerant, truth-abiding, and thoughtful lives – on – and off-line. – Maggie Jackson, author of Distracted

Guy P. Harrison combines outstanding and comprehensive research with engaging, colorful, and entertaining writing. His spot-on book raises and addresses important issues on how we are both victims and beneficiaries of a wired world. Readers should heed his call to pay attention to and think about social media's role in society and in their lives. This is a fascinating treatment of an important subject. – Larry Atkins, author of Skewed: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Media Bias

We all deserve to live in a social media environment that is responsive, responsible, and humane. So if you're looking for helpful insights on how to evaluate the health of your own social media habits, how to maintain your privacy in a world of ubiquitous commercial surveillance, how to strengthen good thinking habits in an always-on context, and how to effectively contribute to creating the humane media system we all need, you must read this book. – Lynn Schofield Clark, professor, University of Denver; author, The Parent App; and coauthor, Young People and the Future of News

Guy P. Harrison has become an essential guide to the human mind and a champion of science, reason, and critical thinking. In this new book, the celebrated author of Think and Good Thinking applies his signature wit, insight, and good nature as he tackles the Internet and social media, two omnipresent beasts that he shows us how to tame. From fake news to privacy and filter bubbles, Harrison leaves no stone unturned, and he delivers another brilliant and vitally important book. – Julien Musolino, professor of psychology and cognitive science at Rutgers University, and author of The Soul Fallacy

Deeply researched and always engaging, Think Before You Like is a fascinating exploration of online social networks. If you are on social media, don't hesitate; read this book now! – Adam Alter, associate professor of marketing and psychology at New York University's Stern School of Business, and author of Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked

With many helpful insights, Think Before You Like is an engaging, well-researched and essential guide to social media and steering clear of snap judgments based on their use.


Contents this Issue:

Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes (HarperCollins Publishers)

Law and Ethics in the Business Environment, 9th edition by Terry Halbert & Elaine Ingulli (Cengage Learning Legal Studies in Business Academic Series: Wadsworth, Cengage)


PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide, 5th edition, by Larry Ullman (Peachpit Press, Pearson)

What Can I Bring?: Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves Up by Elizabeth Heiskell (Oxmoor House)

Paint Box: 45 Palettes for Choosing Color, Texture and Pattern by Tricia Guild with Amanda Back & with photography by James Merrell (Quadrille Publishing) 

New Orleans: The First 300 Years edited by Errol Laborde & Peggy Laborde, with a foreword by Lawrence N. Powell (Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.)

The Ramseys at Swan Pond: The Archaeology and History of an East Tennessee Farm by Charles H. Faulkner (The University of Tennessee Press)

The Circus Train Conspiracy by Edward Marston (The Railway Detective Series: Allison & Busby)

Whipped: An Arthur Beauchamp Novel by William Deverell (ECW Press)

Pulse: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

The Stone in the Skull: The Lotus Kingdoms, Book One by Elizabeth Bear (Tor Books)

Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher edited by Sotiris Mitralexis, Georgios Steiris, Marcin Podbielski, & Sebastian Lalla (Veritas Series, Vol 25: Cascade Books)

Xi Jinping's Governance and the Future of China by Zhou Xinmin (Skyhorse Publishing)

All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump by Edward Klein (Regnery Publishing)

Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate by Sue Scheff, with Melissa Schorr, with a foreword by Monica Lewinsky (Sourcebooks)

Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography by Herman Selderhuis (Crossway)

Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals, and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death by Tracey Rollin (Weiser Books)

The Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra, Book 13: Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission by Choying Tobden Dorje, translated, introduced & annotated by Gyurme Dorje (Tsadra Foundation Series: Snow Lion)

Statistics for Research in Psychology: A Modern Approach Using Estimation, 1st edition by Rick Gurnsey (Sage Publications, Inc)

Think Before You Like: Social Media's Effect on the Brain and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your Newsfeed by Guy P. Harrison (Prometheus Books)