Library Journal

Key Summer Titles | Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers

It may be snowing in New York City as I write, but the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program is already announcing its top summer picks. Pay attention, because this program is excellent at spotting worthy and big-breaking books. The titles most likely to make tracks, maybe to some best sellers lists, include Smith Henderson’s Fourth of July Creek (Ecco. Jun. 2014. ISBN 9780062286444. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062286444), a “significant debut” (forthcoming LJ review) about a beleaguered Montana social worker dealing with a near-feral child; Justin Go’s The Steady Running of the Hour (S. & S. Apr. 2014. ISBN 9781476704586. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781476704609.), a “page turner and an impressive first work” (LJ 1/14) featuring a young man chasing down his past; and PEN USA Rosenthal Fellow Cynthia Bond’s Ruby (Hogarth. Apr. 2014. ISBN 9780804139090. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780804139106.), about a young woman’s risky return to her small hometown in Texas.

Two other likely contenders for stardom include Lauren Owen’s The Quick (Random. Jun. 2014. ISBN 9780812993271. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780679645054), whose heroine searches for her missing brother through a darkening 1890s London, and Elise Juska’s The Blessings (Grand Central. May 2014. ISBN 9781455574032. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781455574018.), about a close-knit Irish Catholic clan.

And here are some personal favorites I’d love to turn into hits: Granta Best Young British Novelist Evie Wyld’s beautifully written All the Birds, Singing (Pantheon. Apr. 2014. ISBN 9780307907769; $24.95. ebk. ISBN 9780307907776), whose heroine confronts strange happenings on a remote British isle; National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree Bret Anthony Johnston’s Remember Me Like This (Random. May 2014. ISBN 9781400062126 $26: ebk. ISBN 9780812996166), “ultimately uplifting despite the dark subject matter” (LJ 3/1/14); Aaron Gwyn’s taut, heart-of-darkness Wynne’s War (Houghton Harcourt. May 2014. ISBN 9780544230279. $25; ebk. ISBN9780544230323), in which “Gwyn stakes his claim” to producing the “memorable fiction about the Iraq-Afghanistan wars” we’ve been anticipating (LJ 2/15/14); and Mira Jacob’s The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing (Random. Jul. 2014. ISBN 9780812994780. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812994797), about one family’s globally expansive search for meaning.

Fiction features a few sleeper hits: Darragh McKeon’s All That Is Solid Melts into Air (Harper Perennial. May 2014. ISBN 9780062246875. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062246875), which filters a love story through the Chernobyl disaster; Boris Fishman’s A Replacement Life (Harper. Jun. 2014. ISBN 9780062287878. $25.99. ebk. ISBN 9780062287892), a bitterly funny tale of forging Holocaust restitution claims that “cleverly ties the loose ends of truth, justice, morality, and family into a tidy bow” (forthcoming LJ review); and Eve Harris’s The Marrying of Chani Kaufman (Black Cat: Grove. Apr. 2014. ISBN 9780802122735. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780802192660.), a tale of Jewish marriage in contemporary London.

Then there’s Arna Bontemps Hemenway’s Elegy on Kinderklavier (Sarabande. Jul. 2014. ISBN 9781936747764. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781936747856), a story collection considering the consequences of war. I haven’t seen this book yet, but a quick online survey of Hemenway’s stories reveal award-winning tendencies and a liquid but densely packed writing style, and Sarabande’s recent publication of books like Caitlin Horrocks’s This Is Not Your City, Laura Kasischke’s If A Stranger Approaches You, and Thomas Heise’s Moth; Or How I Came To Be with You Again suggests an eye for telling fiction.

The list isn’t all fiction, with several memoirs standing out as vote getters. Two are harrowing. Lacy M. Johnson’s The Other Side: A Memoir (Tin House. Jul. 2014. ISBN 9781935639831. pap. $15.95; ebk. 9781935639848) recounts Johnson’s captivity by a former boyfriend intent on raping and killing her and her escape and eventual healing, while Sean Madigan Hoen’s Songs Only You Know (Soho. Apr. 2014. ISBN 9781616953362. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781616953379) details his dysfunctional family (drug abuse was rampant) against the welcome backdrop of Detroit’s hardcore punk scene.

Nina Stibbe gives us a lighter memoir with Love, Nina (Little, Brown. Apr. 2014. ISBN 9780316243391. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780316243407), an account of her nannying in 1980s literary London that draws on letters she sent home. Meanwhile, the science-minded can be absorbed in Will Harlan’s Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island (Grove. Jun. 2014. ISBN 9780802122582. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780802192622) and Dave Goulson’s A Sting in the Tale (Picador. Apr. 2014. ISBN 9781250048370. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781250048387), from the founder of Britain’s Bumblebee Conservation Trust and a finalist for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Now there’s a title with buzz.

The ALA Midwinter Galley Chase |The Final Analysis

In galley or book form, hundreds of titles were there for the taking on the floor of the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference, and tracking what went fastest says a lot about what people are interested in reading today. The escapist pleasures of a good thriller still attract, and the hottest hotcakes of the genre proved to be Corban Addison’s African-set political thriller, The Garden of Burning Sand (Quercus); David Downing’s early 1900s Jack of Spies (Soho); Mo Hayder’s Wolf, Grove Atlantic’s big mover; Greg Iles’s Natchez Burning (Morrow), first in trilogy exploring Southern racial violence; Swedish star Camilla Läckberg’s The Hidden Child (Pegasus); James Rollins & Grant Blackwood’s series starter, The Killer Switch (Morrow); and Chris Pavone’s The Accident (Crown), follow-up to his smashing debut, The Expats.

Aside from big-name authors, these books mostly share an edgy political/historical awareness often seen in good thriller writing today. Other snapped-up commercial fiction by big-name authors included Paula Brackston’s The Midnight Witch (Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s), Larry McMurtry’s The Last Kind Words Saloon (Norton), and M.D. Waters’s Prototype (Dutton), following Waters’s breakout sf debut, Archetype. Some newbie mysteries were standouts, too. Most of the galleys for Tom Bouman’s rural Pennsylvania–set Dry Bones in the Valley (Norton) vanished at a Saturday signing, with the rest gone by Sunday, while Peggy Blair’s The Poisoned Pawn: An Inspector Ramirez Novel (Pintail), a second book after the successful The Beggar’s Opera, did nicely at the Penguin booth.

The popularity of these titles hardly surprises, but elsewhere in fiction, the galley giveaway game took some surprising and insightful turns. Upscale, intelligently layered historical work drew attention, starting with Simon & Schuster’s most in-demand titles, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See (Scribner) and Jennifer Vanderbes’s The Secret of Raven’s Point (Scribner), both set during World War II, and Alice Hoffman’s early 1900s New York fantasia, The Museum of Extraordinary Things (Scribner). At the Harper booth, Brian Payton’s LibraryReads pick, The Wind Is Not a River (Ecco), limns love and survival while depicting the only World War II battle to take place on American soil, in the shivery Aleutian Islands.

Among the top titles at Penguin’s booth were Granta Best Young British Novelist Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird (Riverhead), a modern retelling of the Snow White examining racial issues in a 1950s upstate New York setting; Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness’s The Crane Wife (Penguin Pr.), a London-set retelling for adults of a Japanese folktale; and Elizabeth Blackwell’s While Beauty Slept (Amy Einhorn: Putnam), an entirely new look at the Sleeping Beauty story. Add to that the big interest at the Harper booth in Laline Paull’s The Bees (Ecco), about one worker bee’s rebellion against the strictures of her rigidly hierarchical hive, and one senses that telling or retelling fable, fairy tale, and fantasy to clarify significant social issues has particular appeal.

Fiction taking a fresh look at the impact of today’s technology also appeals. Among the two top giveaways at the Hachette booth, National Book Award finalist Joshua Ferris’s To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Little, Brown) depicts a man whose online impersonator is turning out to be better than the original. Over at the Random House booth, Alena Graedon’s The Word Exchange (Doubleday) offers an uncomfortably if easily envisioned world where print is dead, handheld devices rule, and language is a marketplace commodity. Cyberespionage serves as the premise of David Ignatius’s The Director, a sought-out thriller from Norton.

Norton had special success with two books looking closely at community. Alexi Zentner’s The Lobster Kings, a grandly conceived tale about a Maine lobstering family, and Mave Fellowes’s Chaplin and Company, whose setting is a canal neighborhood in London, each started out with 100 galleys that were gone by Sunday. (Fellowes’s book is said to be quirkily charming, like Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, a big hit for Algonquin.) Random House could also have used more than its 50 copies of Chris Bohjalian’s Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands (Doubleday), which features an entire region  shattered by nuclear-plant meltdown and one teenager’s efforts to reconnect. Sadie Jones’s Fallout (Harper), one of a half-dozen hot HarperCollins titles, is not about nuclear meltdown but instead the efforts of several young people to connect in contemporary London.

Relationships meet suspense in several galleys that created a stir at the conference. Tom Rob Smith, who’s been delivering topnotch thrillers, departs somewhat with The Farm (Grand Central), whose protagonist cannot sort out which parent is lying to him—and these lies are dangerous. Debut novelist Laura McHugh’s The Weight of Blood (Spiegel & Grau) depicts an ingrown Ozarks community undone by two disappearances decades apart. In Patry Francis’s The Orphans at Race Point (Harper Perennial), a paperback original that follows Francis’s acclaimed The Liar’s Diary and has a good foreign rights–sales record, Hallie and Gus are bound together as children by tragedy, pulled apart by another tragedy as teenagers, then face the consequences a decade later.

The top nonfiction galley pick-ups I learned about were strikingly serious, with Shane Bauer & others’ A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran (Houghton Harcourt) and Steven Pressman’s 50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple’s Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany (Harper) taking the lead. Two memoirs that got special attention were serious, too: Walter Kirn’s Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade (Norton) considers issues of trust and identity as Kirn details his relationship with infamous imposter Clark Rockefeller, while Sean Madigan Hoen’s Songs Only You Know (Soho) weaves together family crisis with his depiction of the Detroit hardcore punk scene. But Sandra Tsing Loh’s The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones (Norton), which also moved fast, is a scathingly funny look at menopause. Probably a good place to end a very demanding conference haul.

Richard Bausch, Malcolm Brooks, Jules Feiffer, Richard Flanagan, Elizabeth Green, Daniel J. Levitin| Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2014, Pt. 1

Bausch, Richard. Before, During, After. Knopf. Aug. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780307266262. $26.95. LITERARY FICTION
Winner of everything from a PEN/Malamud Award to the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Bausch offers a 20th work of fiction that blends private and public trauma to devastating effect. Disaffected Congressional aide Natasha and faith-challenged Episcopal priest Michael Faulk fall in love instantly, but shortly before their wedding, while Natasha is vacationing in Jamaica, Michael appears to have been lost to 9/11. Though they are reunited, the pain they’ve endured—Natasha had her own awful experience in Jamaica—splits their life in two. With a reading group guide; West Coast tour.

Brooks, Malcolm. Painted Horses. Grove. Aug. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780802121646. $25. LITERARY FICTION
Set in grandly imposing Montana in the mid-1950s and weaving together Old World and New World archaeology while vividly portraying an American West now lost, this debut also works in miniature as it deftly portrays two characters who become unlikely allies. Catherine Lemay, a young archaeologist tasked with determining whether anything of historical value is threatened by a dam project, comes to appreciate the landscape’s rough beauty with the help of John H, a former mustanger now hiding away in the canyon Catherine is assessing. A bold, beautiful read; with a five-city tour to Denver, Missoula (MT), San Francisco, Portland (OR), and Seattle.

Feiffer, Jules. Kill My Mother: A Graphic Novel. Liveright: Norton Aug. 2014. 160p. ISBN 9780871403148. $27.95. GRAPHIC NOVEL/NOIR
Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, several Obie Awards, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Cartoonist Society and the Writers Guild of America, Feiffer offers his first noir graphic novel, having decided in his eighties to learn to adapt his cartoon-strip technique to the overarching story format. His setting is the 1930s, and wild and woolly teenager Annie Hannigan really would like to kill her mother, Elsie, who’s working for a swimming-in-drink private eye now that Annie’s dad is dead. When Elsie gets caught up in a client’s case, the plot careens from the Depression era to World War II Hollywood and the South Pacific. As the promo says, “Like the movies they don’t make anymore.”

Flanagan, Richard. A Narrow Road to the Deep North. Knopf. Aug. 2014. ISBN 9780385352857. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780385352864. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Australian author Flanagan has anticipated writing this novel much of his life, working on it for 12 years and completing it on the day his father died. His father had been a survivor of a Japanese POW camp and the brutal building of the Thai-Burma death railway, famously depicted in Bridge on the River Kwai, as is the protagonist here. In the POW camp, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans struggles to protect his men, even as he recalls an illicit affair from the past. A letter from home changes everything, and the story is brought up to the present day. Reviews from Australia and the U.K. have been, not surprisingly, ecstatic.

Green, Elizabeth. Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone). Norton. Aug. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780393081596. $27.95. EDUCATION
A former Spencer Fellow at the Columbia School of Journalism and cofounder of Chalkbeat, a news site covering educational change in New York City schools, Green has spoken with lots of people, e.g., a former principal trying to understand what works best in the classroom by studying top educators, to determine what really makes a good teacher today. Originating with a March 2010 cover story for the New York Times Magazine; with a six-city tour to Boston, Washington, DC, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

Levitin, Daniel J. The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. Dutton. Aug. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780525954187. $27.95. COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
Admit it, you loved Levitin’s This Is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs, and you weren’t alone; both were New York Times best sellers. The McGill University neuroscientist is back with a book we could all use. Surveying the welter of information often sinking us today, even as we’re pushed to make ever faster decisions, he points out that some folks aren’t so overwhelmed that they continually lose their car keys—or their minds. Levitin draws on the latest studies to come up with best practices for mastering the overload and regaining control of one’s home, workplace, and sanity. Bravo!


Richard Bausch, Malcolm Brooks, Jules Feiffer, Richard Flanagan, Elizabeth Green, Daniel J. Levitin| Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2014, Pt. 1

Bausch, Richard. Before, During, After. Knopf. Aug. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780307266262. $26.95. LITERARY FICTION
Winner of everything from a PEN/Malamud Award to the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Bausch offers a 20th work of fiction that blends private and public trauma to devastating affect. Disaffected Congressional aide Natasha and faith-challenged Episcopal priest Michael Faulk fall in love instantly, but shortly before their wedding, while Natasha is vacationing in Jamaica, Michael appears to have been lost to 9/11. Though they are reunited, the pain they’ve endured—Natasha had her own awful experience in Jamaica—splits their life in two. With a reading group guide; West Coast tour.

Brooks, Malcolm. Painted Horses. Grove. Aug. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780802121646. $25. LITERARY FICTION
Set in grandly imposing Montana in the mid-1950s and weaving together Old World and New World archaeology while vividly portraying an American West now lost, this debut also works in miniature as it deftly portrays two characters who become unlikely allies. Catherine Lemay, a young archaeologist tasked with determining whether anything of historical value is threatened by a dam project, comes to appreciate the landscape’s rough beauty with the help of John H, a former mustanger now hiding away in the canyon Catherine is assessing. A bold, beautiful read; with a five-city tour to Denver, Missoula (MT), San Francisco, Portland (OR), and Seattle.

Feiffer, Jules. Kill My Mother: A Graphic Novel. Liveright: Norton Aug. 2014. 160p. ISBN 9780871403148. $27.95. GRAPHIC NOVEL/NOIR
Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, several Obie Awards, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Cartoonist Society and the Writers Guild of America, Feiffer offers his first noir graphic novel, having decided in his eighties to learn to adapt his cartoon-strip technique to the overarching story format. His setting is the 1930s, and wild and woolly teenager Annie Hannigan really would like to kill her mother, Elsie, who’s working for a swimming-in-drink private eye now that Annie’s dad is dead. When Elsie gets caught up in a client’s case, the plot careens from the Depression era to World War II Hollywood and the South Pacific. As the promo says, “Like the movies they don’t make anymore.”

Flanagan, Richard. A Narrow Road to the Deep North. Knopf. Aug. 2014. ISBN 9780385352857. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780385352864. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Australian author Flanagan has anticipated writing this novel much of his life, working on it for 12 years and completing it on the day his father died. His father had been a survivor of a Japanese POW camp and the brutal building of the Thai-Burma death railway, famously depicted in Bridge on the River Kwai, as is the protagonist here. In the POW camp, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans struggles to protect his men, even as he recalls an illicit affair from the past. A letter from home changes everything, and the story is brought up to the present day. Reviews from Australia and the U.K. have been, not surprisingly, ecstatic.

Green, Elizabeth. Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone). Norton. Aug. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780393081596. $27.95. EDUCATION
A former Spencer Fellow at the Columbia School of Journalism and cofounder of Chalkbeat, a news site covering educational change in New York City schools, Green has spoken with lots of people, e.g., a former principal trying to understand what works best in the classroom by studying top educators, to determine what really makes a good teacher today. Originating with a March 2010 cover story for the New York Times Magazine; with a six-city tour to Boston, Washington, DC, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

Levitin, Daniel J. The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. Dutton. Aug. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780525954187. $27.95. COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
Admit it, you loved Levitin’s This Is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs, and you weren’t alone; both were New York Times best sellers. The McGill University neuroscientist is back with a book we could all use. Surveying the welter of information often sinking us today, even as we’re pushed to make ever faster decisions, he points out that some folks aren’t so overwhelmed that they continually lose their car keys—or their minds. Levitin draws on the latest studies to come up with best practices for mastering the overload and regaining control one’s home, workplace, and sanity. Bravo!


Summer Heart Warmers (Harbison, McCullough) & Sexy Reads (Hoover, McHugh) | Fiction Previews, Aug. 2014, Pt. 1

Bertino, Marie-Helene. 2 a.m. at The Cat’s Pajamas. Crown. Aug. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780804140232. $25. CD:Penguin Random Audio. LITERARY
On the day before Christmas, spunky nine-year-old Madeline Altimari goes hunting for the famed Philly jazz club, The Cat’s Pajamas, hoping to make her debut, even as Madeline’s divorced teacher hunts for love and Cat’s Pajamas owner Lorca worries he’ll have to close forever. Their stories converge touchingly; dig the jazz playlist, and note the ALA Midwinter push.

Cooney, Ellen. The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances. Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780544236158. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780544237094. LITERARY
At-loose-ends Evie signs up for dog-training school at the Sanctuary but finds herself the one being rescued as she deals with a greyhound who won’t run, a Rottweiler who can’t search, and more. Not just heartwarming; the kidnapping of abused dogs figures in the story. For dog lovers and more; the publisher does well with animal books.

Creech, Sarah. Season of the Dragonflies. Morrow. Aug. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780062307521. $25.99. lrg. prnt. POP FICTION
A cloud of blue dragonflies announce that Lucia is returning home to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where her mother runs a family concern whose signature perfume is sought by the rich and famous. Lucia lacks the power of other women in her family to visualize a scent’s particular effects, but she’s got other gifts that will save the foundering business. A debut pitched to the Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen crowd.

Harbison, Beth. Driving with the Top Down. St. Martin’s. Aug. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781250043801. 26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466842182. CD: Macmillan Audio. POP FICTION
When Dara and Colleen head on a two-week antiquing trip, they don’t imagine that they will be offer a ride to nondescript Jonnie, whom they meet at a North Carolina diner. Or that Jonnie is on the run after poisoning her quick-fisted husband. Harbison’s selling well, even going into mass market soon with her breakout Shoe Addicts Anonymous.

Hoover, Colleen. Ugly Love. Atria. Aug. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781476753188. pap. $17. ROMANCE
It’s strictly sex between Tate Collins and Miles Archer, but can she stick to his rules: Never ask about the past, and don’t expect a future. From the New York Times best-selling author.

McCullough, Colleen. Bittersweet. S. & S. Aug. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781476755410. $26. HISTORICAL
Two sets of twins named Edda, Tufts, Grace, and Kitty, the Latimer sisters have big dreams, but in 1920s New South Wales their best option is to enroll in a training program for nurse. Men come their way with decidedly mixed results. Pitched as McCullough’s first sweeping romance since The Thorn Birds, which was some time back.

McHugh, Gail. Pulse: Book Two in the Collide Series. Atria. Aug. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9781476765365. pap. $15. ROMANCE
Emily Cooper will do anything to get through to the man she loves, reclusive after heartbreak. Second in a hot’n’sexy two-parter originally issued by an indie publisher and subsequently bought by Atria after getting the New York Times best-selling treatment. Quite sexy.

Macomber, Debbie. Love Letters: A Rose Harbor Novel. Ballantine. Aug. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780553391138. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780553391145. CD/downloadable: Penguin Random Audio. WOMEN’S FICTION
Letters give guests hope at Cedar Cove’s Rose Harbor Inn, the setting of many hit Macomber reads (in paperback, The Inn at Rose Harbor was her longest running New York Times best seller ever). Maggie Porter finds her marriage revitalized by an old love letter from her husband, for instance, and Jo Marie Rose is able to face the future after rereading a letter from her husband, killed in Afghanistan.

Montefiore, Santa. Secrets of the Lighthouse. S. & S. Aug. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781476735375. $25.99. POP FICTION
Fed up with her job, her fiancé, and her overbearing mother, Ellen Trawton ditches high-society London for a cottage on Ireland’s wind-whipped Connemara coast, where she finds a deserted lighthouse haunted by the ghost of young wife and mother. How happy will the ghost be when her husband falls in love again? A popular author (The French Gardener) who’s high society herself.

Sparks, Nicholas. The Best of Me. Grand Central. Aug. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780446547635. pap. $6.50. POP FICTION
Sparks’s novel of teen romance, teen breakup, and second chances was published in 2011, but this mass market tie-in for a movie arriving in fall 2014 is expected to be big.

Getting Educated with Jason Boog, John Casey, William Deresiewicz, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2014, Pt. 1

Boog, Jason & Betsy Bird. Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age—From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between. Touchstone. Aug. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9781476749792. pap. $15.99. EDUCATION
Once publishing editor at Mediabistro, Boog launched into fatherhood by writing this book on turning children into lifelong readers. After interviewing childhood development experts, librarians, and children’s book authors and publishers, he offers an interactive approach focusing on children from birth to age five. With a foreword by Betsy Bird of the New York Public Library.

Casey, John. Beyond the First Draft: The Art of Fiction. Norton. Aug. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780393241082. $25.95. WRITING SKILLS
Casey won the National Book Award for his novel Spartina, so you may want to pay attention to this conversation on writing fiction, with chapters ranging from “Dogma and Anti-Dogma” (can fiction be taught?) and “If I Were a Flower, What Kind of Flower Would I Be,” which considers writing as performance. Aimed at students and writers, but, hey, anyone who loves fiction should enjoy.

Deresiewicz, William. Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. S. & S. Aug. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780393241082. $26. SOCIOLOGY
Award-winning critic/author Deresiewicz taught English at Yale until 2008 and served on the admissions committee. So trust him when he says that what’s wrong with higher education today—particularly at the most demanding schools—is that students have spent their lives pushing for top grades and consequently don’t know how to think creatively or ask good questions. This (not-Tiger) mom understands.

Grossman, Lt. Col. Dave & Gloria Degaetano. Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill, Revised and Updated Edition: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie, and Video Game Violence. Harmony. Aug. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780804139359. pap. $15. PARENTING
In 1999, Grossman, a retired lieutenant colonel recognized for his study of human aggression, joined with Parent Coaching Institute founder/CEO Degaetano to write a book arguing that media and video game violence encourages violence in youth. The book now appears in paperback in a completely updated edition that remains timely; the author is one the road 300 days a year speaking on this topic, and the book is still selling 350 copies a month.

Keizer, Garret. Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher. Metropolitan: Holt. Aug. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780805096439. $26. EDUCATION
How did former teacher Keizer reeducate himself? The author (Privacy) and Harper’s contributing editor returned to the rural Vermont high school where he had taught 14 years ago to reassess (one big change: the importance of standardized testing), finally arguing that public education need not fail and that treating educational reform as a panacea for America’s social ills is a big mistake.


Best Sellers: Books Most Borrowed, January 2014

Library Journal’s Best Sellers is compiled from data on books borrowed and requested (placed on hold) at public libraries throughout the United States. It includes statistics from urban, suburban, and rural libraries. We thank the many contributing libraries as well as The Library Corporation (TLC), Polaris Library Systems, and SirsiDynix. (c) Copyright 2014 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.


RANK LAST RANKING / TIMES ON LIST 1 Sycamore Row. John Grisham. Doubleday. ISBN 9780385537131. $28.95. 11 / 2 2 The Goldfinch. Donna Tartt. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316055437. $30. – / 1 3 Never Go Back. Lee Child. Delacorte. ISBN 9780385344340. $28. 1 / 3 4 Gone. James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316210980. $28. 13 / 2 5 Identical. Scott Turow. Grand Central. ISBN 9781455527205. $28. – / 1 6 Takedown Twenty. Janet Evanovich. Bantam. ISBN 9780345542885. $28. – / 1 7 Doctor Sleep. Stephen King. Scribner. ISBN 9781476727653. $30. 9 / 2 8 W Is for Wasted. Sue Grafton. Marion Wood: Putnam. ISBN 9780399158988. $28.95. 3 / 3 9 The Longest Ride. Nicholas Sparks. Grand Central. ISBN 9781455520657. $27. 10 / 2 10 Storm Front. John Sandford. Putnam. ISBN 9780399159305. $27.95. – / 1 11 And the Mountains Echoed. Khaled Hosseini. Riverhead. ISBN 9781594631764. $28.95. 4 / 5 12 Doing Hard Time. Stuart Woods. Putnam. ISBN 9780399164149. $26.95. – / 1 13 The Cuckoo’s Calling. Robert Galbraith. Mulholland: Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316206846. $26. 2 / 4 14 The Valley of Amazement. Amy Tan. Ecco: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780062107312. $29.99. – / 1 15 The Gods of Guilt. Michael Connelly. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316069519. $28. – / 1



RANK LAST RANKING / TIMES ON LIST 1 David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. Malcolm Gladwell. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316204361. $29. 6 / 2 2 Killing Jesus: A History. Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard. Holt. ISBN 9780805098549. $28. 4 / 2 3 I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. Malala Yousafzai & Christina Lamb. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316322409. $26. 10 / 2 4 Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Reza Aslan. Random. ISBN 9781400069224. $27. 1 / 3 5 Still Foolin’ ’Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? Billy Crystal. Holt. ISBN 9780805098204. $28. 3 / 3 6 Johnny Carson. Henry Bushkin. Eamon Dolan: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780544217621. $28. – / 1 7 Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison. Piper Kerman. Spiegel & Grau. ISBN 9780812986181. pap. $16. 5 / 4 8 The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism. Naoki Higashida. Random. ISBN 9780812994865. $22. 9 / 2 9 The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. Doris Kearns Goodwin. S. & S. ISBN 9781416547860. $40. – / 1 10 Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics. Charles Krauthammer. Crown Forum. ISBN 9780385349178. $28. – / 1 11 One Summer: America, 1927. Bill Bryson. Doubleday. ISBN 9780767919401. $28.95. 12 / 2 12 Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will To Lead. Sheryl Sandberg. Knopf. ISBN 9780385349949. $24.95. 7 / 8 13 My Story. Elizabeth Smart & Chris Stewart. St. Martin’s. ISBN 9781250040152. $25.99. – / 1 14 Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain’s Silent Killers. David Perlmutter & Kristin Loberg. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316234801. $27. – / 1 15 This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America’s Gilded Capital. Mark Leibovich. Blue Rider. ISBN 9780399161308. $27.95. 2 / 4

Crafts & DIY Reviews | January 2014


HEATHER HALLIDAY, American Jewish Historical Soc., New York

van Vliet, Rolina. Abstracts: Techniques and Textures. Search. 2013. 160p. illus. ISBN 9781844489558. pap. $25.95. ART INSTRUCTION

This guide encourages readers to treat reality as merely a starting point for their creativity. Artist and teacher van Vliet (The Art of Abstract Painting) considers not just style or technique but rather a complete visual language involving method, skills, perceptions, expression, and originality. Fifty step-by-step exercises with hundreds of illustration of works in progress and completed nonrepresentational paintings are included. Chapters address techniques for drawing and water-based painting, ways to apply heavier paint, use of textures, and mixed media. VERDICT Advanced beginners and intermediate amateur artists interested in making the leap to abstract art should start here.



Descamps, Ghylenn. Origami & Other Paper Creations. Search. 2013. 159p. illus. ISBN 9781844489930. pap. $19.95. CRAFTS

Descamps, a designer for the French crafts magazine Marie Claire Idées, focuses on decorative and useful objects made using origami and paper craft. Crafters whose minds first go to paper cranes when they think of origami may be surprised by some of the household objects Descamps features here, such as the wall tidy stationery organizer or the small gift boxes, but there are also plenty of traditional origami pieces incorporated into larger projects, such as the mobile featuring origami birds. What’s missing is an explanation of origami basics—types of folds, how to read a folding diagram—making this book more appropriate for dabblers than for crafters who are serious about origami. VERDICT Descamps’s creations are pretty, and the directions for the simpler projects are easy to follow, but novices may find themselves lost without an overview of the essentials.

Doh, Jenny. Stylish Weddings: 50 Simple Ideas To Make from Top Designers. Lark: Sterling. Jan. 2014. 144p. illus. index. ISBN 9781454704126. pap. $19.95. CRAFTS

Doh (Craft-a-Doodle: 75 Creative Exercises from 18 Artists) enlists the help of six crafters or lifestyle bloggers, each with her own personal style, for this collection of easy wedding-themed crafts. Each of the experts focuses on a wedding theme (e.g., “Rustic and Elegant,” “Vintage Glam,” “French Countryside”) and provides tips, projects, and advice on everything from cutting costs to choosing flowers. Some of the topics seem interchangeable (there’s not much difference between the outdoorsy Farm Chicks and the Natural and Organic sections), and a few of the ideas are so precious that they’re downright off-the-wall, but crafty couples with a taste for quirky wedding decor will find some inspiration here. ­VERDICT If Pinterest is any indication, handmade wedding favors and decorations are popular. Purchase accordingly.

Irish, Lora S. Pyrography Basics. Fox Chapel. Jan. 2014. 31p. illus. ISBN 9781574215052. pap. $9.99. CRAFTS

Pyrography uses wood-burning tools (which resemble a calligrapher’s pen attached to a heat source) to burn designs onto wood or other natural surfaces. In this workbook-style guide, artist Irish provides an overview of some of the basics of pyrography, including variations in temperature (which introduces lighter and darker colors to the finished artwork), texture, and stroke. Each of the six exercises includes step-by-step instructions with photographs of most steps, and the result is a finished piece of art. Irish also explores the use of practice boards, which allow pyrographers to practice textures or designs prior to starting a project. ­VERDICT This is a great quick-start primer for aspiring pyrographers, but crafters looking for a more comprehensive work may prefer the author’s 2012 title The Art and Craft of Pyrography.

do it yourself


Jones, Derek. Woodworking from the Scrap Pile: 20 Projects To Make. Taunton. 2013. 176p. illus. index. ISBN 9781627100267. pap. $22.95. DIY

This book offers several smaller projects that take advantage of wood leftovers. Woodworker and author (French Polishing: Finishing and Restoring Using Traditional Techniques) Jones provides a mix of familiar and novel designs. From the necessary tools and equipment discussed, it is clear that this book is for the experienced woodworker with a fully equipped shop. Readers will also find instructions for a couple of jigs to complete some projects. While there are very strong illustrations and step-by-step directions here, Jones skimps on some parts, such as technique. Projects vary: standouts include a cookbook easel, a desk organizer, and a meat tenderizer, but a wooden desk lamp, sans electrical wiring, is an odd addition. VERDICT The mix of unique and pedestrian projects is elevated by the quality of illustrations and construction details. This volume assumes knowledge of method and implements, despite the author’s belief that those skills can be learned here. Though this work has some flaws, overall, it would certainly add variety to woodworking project collections. Recommended for seasoned woodworkers.

fiber crafts


Dick, Jenifer. The Modern Appliqué Workbook. Stash. 2013. 136p. illus. ISBN 9781607057635. pap. $24.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Quiltmaker and blogger Dick (Stories in Stitches) was drawn to the look of appliqué but found traditional techniques too fussy. After a demonstration at a quilt guild meeting, she found a solution: freezer-paper appliqué using invisible polyester thread to machine sew the pieces. In this guide, Dick explains her methods step-by-step, using a practice project for beginners to follow, describing each stage and including photographs to highlight important details. After giving readers enough information to master the basics, she moves on to more advanced strategies, followed by a variety of ideas incorporating machine appliqué. The projects are in a modern, minimalist style and focus on geometric shapes, but the lessons taught here are appropriate for traditional machine appliqué as well. VERDICT Like the author, many quilters may feel that appliqué is too difficult to attempt, but this technique is accessible to any quilters or sewists with basic patchwork skills.

Ho, Elean. Handmade Leather Bags & Accessories. Fox Chapel. 2013. 111p. illus. index. ISBN 9781574217162. pap. $19.99. FIBER CRAFTS

Ho, a Taiwan-based artisan, designs and creates handbags and accessories with a high-end look and a handmade price tag. The bags here come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from slouchy hobo bags to roomy totes to a classic school satchel, but all are made primarily from leather. In keeping with the style of the original title, which was first published in China, images and descriptions of the projects are presented in the first section of the book, followed by directions for each of the bags. Photographs of each design include both action shots and photos of the decorative detailing. Though readers will find pictures of some common leatherworking tools, basic tips aren’t discussed here. Leather isn’t as forgiving a material as fabric, so novices may want to refer to a leatherwork reference, such as Valerie Michael’s Leatherworking Handbook, before diving into these projects. VERDICT This is the first in Fox Chapel’s series of translated East Asian craft books, and while the projects are attractive, the lack of fundamental information is a letdown. Still, experienced leatherworkers (or adventurous beginners who are willing to go elsewhere for the essentials) can use Ho’s directions to fashion the handbag of their dreams.

Hubert, Margaret. Granny Square Flowers: 50 Botanical Crochet Motifs and 15 Original Projects. Creative Pub. 2013. 144p. illus. index. ISBN 9781589237803. spiral. $24.99. FIBER CRAFTS

Hubert (The Granny Square Book) returns with a second dose of granny squares in this colorful collection of crochet motifs inspired by nature. Many of the projects require intermediate to advanced crochet skills, and each design includes both written and charted directions as well as a color photograph of the finished square. An assortment of 15 projects incorporating the squares in the book completes the package. Some feature interesting and unexpected uses of the motifs, such as the tasseled ski hat (the squares make up the ear flaps) and the children’s blocks and coordinating hassock. VERDICT Granny squares are the building blocks of crochet, and this work contains a number of pretty designs that are ready to mix and match.

Interior design

GAYLE A. WILLIAMSON, Fashion Inst. of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles

Davies, Alice & Kathryn Tollervey. The Style of Coworking: Contemporary Shared Workspaces. Prestel. 2013. 159p. photos. ISBN 9783791348575. pap. $29.95. INTERIOR DESIGN

An emerging trend in office design is the idea of coworking, or creating a communal space where individuals who would typically work from home can come together to work and share ideas in an informal setting. Former interior designer Davies and Tollervey, who has been involved with book and art production, take an international tour of 30 spaces with each of the founders or designers, describing the building, clientele, atmosphere, and locales. Although some of the spaces have traditional office elements, such as conference rooms, the 170-plus color photographs depict environments that have been created in former industrial buildings and that have a more informal feel (e.g., the former cod-drying warehouse of the HUB Bergen, MAKE Business Hub in Dubai). VERDICT Ideal for professional interior designers looking to create this kind of shared working environment.

Professional Media Reviews | January 2014

Carr, Mary M. The Green Library Planner: What Every Librarian Needs To Know Before Starting To Build or Renovate. Scarecrow. 2013. 152p. notes. index. ISBN 9780810887367. pap. $75; ebk. ISBN 9780810887374. PRO MEDIA

This book’s subtitle is a big boast for such a slim volume, but Carr (executive director, library services, Comm. Coll. of Spokane) deftly guides librarians, building managers, renovators and everyone else involved in library renovation or construction on all matters green. Most library managers are forced into the necessity of learning facility maintenance on the fly—renovation knowledge is hard gained. Carr draws on her Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation and teaching experience to provide basic information, project checklists, tips, and extensive resources. Her chapters are organized by subject, including site assessment, energy and lighting, HVAC, green materials, indoor environmental quality, water conservation and quality, construction management, and building operations and maintenance. From everyday modifications to improve efficiency to major infrastructure renovations, the coverage will aid library managers. When a manager can show environmental awareness while being fiscally conservative, funding just might be a little easier to obtain. VERDICT Although pricey, this is an essential addition to the shelves of library administrators and facility managers in libraries of all sizes, as well as for relevant graduate school courses.—J. Sara Paulk, ­Wythe-Grayson Regional Lib., ­Independence, VA

Crane, Beverley E. How To Teach. Rowman & Littlefield. (Practical Guides for Librarians, No. 1). 2013. 180p. illus. index. ISBN 9780810891050. pap. $65; ebk. ISBN 9780810891067. PRO MEDIA

Crane (Dialog Information Systems; Using Web 2.0 and Social Networking Tools in the K–12 Classroom) offers practical advice to librarians faced with teaching an array of information literacy workshops. She begins by presenting summaries of various learning and pedagogic theories, from B.F. Skinner to Jean Piaget. (During her discussion of learning styles, she acknowledges that there are objections to learning style theory, but she does not cite specifics.) The next few chapters provide planning and implementation tips. Chapters four through eight outline types of instruction, including face-to-face and synchronous and asynchronous online instruction. The final chapter wraps up with what the future may hold for library instruction. The theories and principles highlighted in the first chapter are used throughout the book with practical examples. Each chapter begins with objectives and ends with key points, websites for more information, exercises, references, and further reading. The book also contains sample handouts and workshops. ­VERDICT As Crane states, “Learning is complex,” which makes effective teaching a challenge. Her book is a serious attempt to make it an easier task. Recommended for teaching librarians both newly minted and experienced.—Robert Battenfeld, Long Island Univ. Post Lib., Brookville, NY

Embedded Librarianship: What Every Academic Librarian Should Know. Libraries Unlimited: ABC-CLIO. 2013. 220p. ed. by Alice L. Daugherty &Michael F. Russo. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781610694131. pap. $65; ebk. ISBN 9781610694148. PRO MEDIA

Daugherty and Russo (assessment librarian and instruction coordinator, respectively, Louisiana State Univ. Libs.) bring 12 new essays to the growing literature about embedded librarianship—an instructional partnership transcending the classroom to enhance students’ information literacy skills. Discussed as early as 1966, recognizing academic department and campus branch libraries’ efforts to meet the research needs of faculty with subject-specific curricula, today’s embedded librarianship evolved from the liaison model. Practitioners here address issues of assessment, collaborative teaching, distance education, instructional design, management, planning, and using courseware systems to enhance the librarian’s online presence across the curriculum. Shared real-world experiences include Hillsborough Community College’s (Florida) analysis of embedding a librarian in its online English Composition II course. Lengthy reference lists enhance each chapter. In closing, the editors consider embedded librarianship’s value in assisting the university to achieve its mission. VERDICT The results are a balanced view of embedded librarianship, from its historical roots to challenges for the future, complementing Buffy Hamilton’s Embedded Librarianship: Tools and Practices, which provides more detail on virtual resources. Recommended both to campus faculty and academic librarians.—Betty J. Glass, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno

Johnson, Peggy. Developing and Managing Electronic Collections: The Essentials. ALA. 2013. 200p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780838911907. pap. $65. PRO MEDIA

Johnson (Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management) presents a guide to help libraries consider and address the issues involved in developing and managing their electronic collections. The book is not intended to be exhaustive in its coverage. Rather, it chooses key issues (the selection and evaluation of e-resources, order placement, licenses, budgeting) and provides advice and practical solutions for developing and managing the e-resources currently owned. “The rapid and constant changes in information technologies and the e-content marketplace” make it difficult to predict the future direction libraries should take, but Johnson does offer up some crucial concepts to consider. Easier and greater mobile device access to e-content as well as patron-driven acquisitions (which will impact academic libraries in particular) are just two of the trends examined. In addition to a glossary, there are “Suggested Readings” at the end of most chapters. VERDICT This book works well in conjunction with Marie R. Kennedy and Cheryl LaGuardia’s Marketing Your Library’s Electronic Resources: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. Selectors of e-content in all libraries will benefit from this book.—Susan E. Ketcham, Long Island Univ. Post Lib., Brookville, NY

Social Sciences Reviews | January 2014

MacPherson, Myra. The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age. Twelve: Hachette. Mar. 2014. 384p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780446570237. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781455547708. BIOG

Such issues as a woman’s right to make free sexual choices and her decision to run for president provoke spirited discussions these days; they were explosive topics in the 19th century. While there have been numerous studies of Victoria Claflin ­Woodhull (1838–1927), this is the first book to treat her sister Tennessee “Tennie” ­Claflin (1844–1923) thoroughly as well. Born in poverty, with little education, the sisters first gained notice as healers and spiritualists. Come 1870, they opened a brokerage firm in New York, to great success. It enabled them to start their own newspaper, Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly, advocating for the rights of women and for personal freedoms as they did likewise on the lecture circuit. The sisters famously exposed an adulterous affair between noted pastor Henry Ward Beecher and a parishioner. They courted controversy, both challenging and charming contemporaries. Victoria ran for president in 1872. MacPherson (Long Time Passing: Vietnam and the Haunted Generation) guides readers through the lives of these two women and their relationships with fellow activists such as Frederick Douglass and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. VERDICT This engaging and very accessible study, based on considerable primary and secondary research, is recommended to all readers looking to study Victoria Woodhull in the context of her partnerships with her sister and their broader lives together and apart.—Theresa McDevitt, Indiana Univ. Lib., PA

Edmondson, Brad. Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry’s. Berrett-Koehler. Feb. 2014. 304p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9781609948139. pap. $16.95. BUS

For readers who want to know the truth behind the pints of Chubby Hubby and Phish Food, journalist and consultant ­Edmonson (founder, offers an in-depth history of the business side of Ben & Jerry’s, founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in 1978, including the ups and downs of running a successful company while remaining true to its original roots. While neither Ben nor Jerry agreed to be interviewed for the book, it includes material contributed by Jeff Furman, the current chairman of Ben & Jerry’s board of directors. He wrote the company’s original business plan back in 1977 (using a pizza shop template) and has stayed with the firm ever since. Furman was also instrumental in drafting its three-point mission statement: great ice cream, social purpose, and profit. How the company has maintained its progressive social focus, despite challenges and considerable pushback from Unilever (who bought out Ben & Jerry’s in 2000), is a major focus of this work. VERDICT An engaging company chronicle, with an emphasis on the boardroom, not the scoop shop (although personal photos and fun facts such as key employees’ favorite flavors are included). Recommended for business collections.—Susan Hurst, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH

Demos, John. The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic. Knopf. Mar. 2014. 368p. notes. index. ISBN 9780679455103. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385351669. HIST

Tantalizing glimpses of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions School in Cornwall, Connecticut, derisively known as the “heathen school,” may be found in many books about the Cherokee Trail of Tears. Notable Native Americans such as Elias Boudinot and John Ridge were “civilized” there. Demos (Samuel Knight Professor Emeritus of History, Yale Univ.; The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America) provides a much-needed history of the school that identifies the lofty goals of its founders to educate bright people from around the world in order to return them, as Protestant missionaries, to their homes. Demos shows how the founders’ dreams fell victim to racial bigotry within both the student body itself and in the greater Cornwall community. The school closed in the aftermath of the interracial marriages between Boudinot and Harriett Gold, and Ridge and Sarah Bird Northrup. Boudinot and Ridge subsequently returned to Georgia with their wives, became involved in Cherokee politics, and were signatories of the Treaty of New Echota (1835), which traded the Cherokee homeland in the East for land in present-day Oklahoma. VERDICT This brilliant work is highly recommended for all who study American history. They should read it with To Marry an Indian: The Marriage of Harriett Gold and Elias Boudinot in Letters, 1823–1839, edited by Theresa Strouth Gaul.—John R. Burch, ­Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY

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Landau, David. Arik: The Life of Ariel Sharon. Knopf. Jan. 2014. 656p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781400042418. $37.50; ebk. ISBN 9780385351096. BIOG

Romanov, Olga. The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution. Westholme. 2013. 232p. ed & tr. from Russian by Helen Azar. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781594161773. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781594165672. AUTOBIOG

Sarfatti, Margherita. My Fault: Mussolini as I Knew Him. Enigma. 2013. 380p. ed. by Brian R. Sullivan. tr. from Spanish. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781936274390. $22; ebk. ISBN 9781936274406. bIOG


Garfield, Simon. To the Letter: A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing. Gotham. 2013. 464p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781592408351. $27.50. COMM


Hart, Matthew. Gold: The Race for the World’s Most Seductive Metal. S. & S. 2013. 320p. notes. index. ISBN 9781451650020. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781451650112. BUS

Howard, Timothy. The Mortgage Wars: Inside Fannie Mae, Big-Money Politics, and the Collapse of the American Dream. McGraw-Hill. 2013. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9780071821094. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780071821100. BUS

Marturano, Janice. Finding the Space To Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership. Bloomsbury USA. Jan. 2014. 208p. index. ISBN 9781620402474. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781620402481. BUS

Simonson, Itamar & Emanuel Rosen. Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information. Harper Business. Feb. 2014. 256p. notes. index. ISBN 9780062215673. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062215680. BUS


Burris, Carol Corbett. On the Same Track: How Schools Can Join the Twenty-First-Century Struggle Against Resegregation. Beacon. Mar. 2014. 192p. notes. index. ISBN 9780807032978. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780807032985. ED

Dixie Redux: Essays in Honor of Sheldon Hackney. NewSouth. 2013. 528p. ed. by Raymond Arsenault & Orville Vernon Burton. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781588382979. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781603062756. ED


Goldstone, Lawrence. Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle To Control the Skies. Ballantine. May 2014. 448p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780345538031. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780345538048. HIST

Jankowski, Paul. Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War. Oxford Univ. Feb. 2014. 336p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199316892. $34.95. HIST

Man, John. Samurai: A History. Morrow. Mar. 2014. 336p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062202673. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062202680. HIST

Richie, Alexandra. Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprising. Farrar. 2013. 725p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780374286552. $24. HIST

Starr, S. Frederick. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton Univ. 2013. 800p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780691157733. $39.50. HIST

Swidey, Neil. Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles into the Darkness. Crown. Feb. 2014. 432p. notes. index. ISBN 9780307886729. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780307886743. HIST

Ward, Yvonne M. Censoring Queen Victoria: How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon. Oneworld. Apr. 2014. 224p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781780743639. $22.99; ebk. ISBN 9781780744285. HIST

We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry; A Documentary History. Southern Illinois Univ. Jan. 2014. 528p. ed. by Gary Phillip Zola. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780809332922. $49.50; ebk. ISBN 9780809332939. HIST

Law & Crime

Byfield, Natalie P. Savage Portrayals: Race, Media, and the Central Park Jogger Story. Temple Univ. Jan. 2014. 242p. notes. index. ISBN 9781439906330. $94.50; pap. ISBN 9781439906347. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781439906354. LAW

Harper, Hill. Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones. Gotham. 2013. 400p. illus. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781592407248. $27.50. CRIME

Medsger, Betty. The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI. Knopf. Jan. 2014. 592p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780307962959. $29.95. LAW

Rizzo, John. Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA. Scribner. Jan. 2014. 320p. index. ISBN 9781451673937. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781451673951. LAW

Political Science

Critchlow, Donald T. When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics. Cambridge Univ. 2013. 240p. photos. index. ISBN 9780521199186. $29.99. POL SCI

Domhoff, G. William. The Myth of Liberal Ascendancy: Corporate Dominance from the Great Depression to the Great Recession. Paradigm. 2013. 309p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781612052564. pap. $28.95. POL SCI

Hertenstein, Matthew. The Tell: The Little Clues That Reveal Big Truths About Who We Are. Basic: Perseus. 2013. 256p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780465031658. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780465069880. PSYCH

Matthews, Michael D. Head Strong: How Psychology Is Revolutionizing War. Oxford Univ. Jan. 2014. 288p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780199916177. $29.95. PSYCH

Travel & Geography

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014. Lonely Planet. 2013. 224p. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9781743217283. pap. $14.99. TRAV

Lynch, Brendan. City of Writers: From Behan to Wilde—The Lives and Homes of Dublin Authors. Liffey. 2013. 284p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9781908308450. pap. $29.95. TRAV

Weber, Bruce. Life Is a Wheel: Love, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America. Scribner. Mar. 2014. 352p. photos. ISBN 9781451695014. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781451695038. TRAV

Whittle, Jamie. White River: A Journey Up and Down the River Findhorn. Sandstone. 2013. 224p. notes. ISBN 9781908737236. pap. $16.95;

ebk. ISBN 9781908737243. TRAV

Success in Failure

Lewis, Sarah. The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery. ­S. & S. Mar. 2014. 288p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781451629231. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781451629255. PSYCH

Successful people may live a life of fame, fortune, and glamour but may have experienced failure to get where they are now. Art curator Lewis (photography & painting dept., Yale Univ. Sch. of Art) contends that one must experience failure to achieve success. She interviews various luminaries to understand the challenges they faced to get where they are today. Interviewees include choreographer Paul Taylor, Arctic explorer Ben Saunders, psychologist Angela Duckworth, and film executive and Hollywood Black List creator Franklin Leonard. Through extensive research, Lewis also discusses the lives of Samuel F.B. Morse and Frederick Douglass. Lewis selects conversations and research from diverse people, past and present, and from various professions to argue that everyone, regardless of career choice, experiences failure and success. In this way, she analyzes their courage, perseverance, and creative practice. VERDICT A well-written book that examines creativity, failure, and success. Recommended for anyone who wants to comprehend the value of innovation and discovery, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, and researchers of psychology, sociology, and the visual and performing arts.—Tina Chan, SUNY Oswego

McArdle, Megan. The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success. Viking. Feb. 2014. 320p. notes. index. ISBN 9780670026142. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698151499. PSYCH

Columnist McArdle (Bloomberg View; author, Asymmetrical Information blog; the Economist; the Daily Beast/Newsweek) offers a substantial analysis of how to gain inspiration from failure. Her counterintuitive view is that defeat is an experience that can reveal worthy insights and that success cannot be achieved simply by not failing. Drawing on a variety of research from such fields as psychology, medicine, anthropology, social psychology, economics, and business, she presents a lively discussion about the fundamentals of failure, the culture of nonsuccess in free markets, how high-risk takers deal with inadequacy, what medical trauma teams can teach about imperfection, business crises, addictive behaviors, classic American attitudes toward blame for failure and the accompanying punishment, with a sobering view of forgiveness. Blended throughout are the author’s own experiences. While McArdle is not suggesting that American business commit to defeat in order to learn, her ideas do provide an absorbing and valuable understanding of how to maximize positive outcomes of what might otherwise be wasted learning opportunities. VERDICT Focused on organizations and businesses, McArdle’s analysis nicely complements the individual focus found in Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz’s Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win. Highly recommended for all libraries supporting business and the human sciences curriculum. [See Prepub Alert, 8/12/13.]—Dale Farris, Groves, TX

Arts & Humanities Reviews | January 2014

White, Edmund. Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris. Bloomsbury USA. Feb. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9781608195824. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781620406328. LIT

As a major destination for artists and writers over the years, Paris never ceases to capture the imagination. White (Princeton Univ.; A Boy’s Own Story; Genet: A Biography; Marcel Proust: A Life) follows in this vein, presenting the City of Light as a serene haven in sharp contrast to the bustling New York City, where he previously resided. In Paris, he managed to learn the French language as well as master the culture with the help of his friend Marie-Claude de Brunhoff, the one person constant in his peripatetic social life. Leaving New York in 1983 at the height of the AIDS epidemic, White recounts the sad stories of his many gay friends and lovers claimed by the disease. ­VERDICT This book succeeds as a gossipy and enlightening account of living as a gay man among the French intelligentsia, although it is marred by excessive celebrity name dropping. White’s skillful writing rescues the book from being just another account of an American in Paris. Of particular interest is the penetrating look at how the French view themselves as the cultural elite of the world. Recommended for memoir enthusiasts and lovers of Paris. [See Prepub Alert, 8/5/13.]—Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo

Suchet, John. Beethoven: The Man Revealed. Atlantic Monthly. 2013. 400p. notes. index. ISBN 9780802122063. $34.50. MUSIC

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), perhaps the most iconic of all Western classical composers, has featured in countless books and articles. Suchet (host, Britain’s Classic FM) has written another entry in a crowded field. The book is not a scholarly work (perhaps the best-known recent scholarly treatments are by Maynard Solomon, Lewis Lockwood, and Barry Cooper), nor is it a niche interpretation, such as J.W.N. ­Sullivan’s marvelous Beethoven: His Spiritual Development; rather, this book is a popular yet serious biography. Suchet does not reduce Beethoven’s difficult life to Freudian speculation, as does Solomon, nor does he focus primarily on the music, as does Lockwood; instead, he has penned a readable and sensible history of the man. On certain points, such as Beethoven’s lone meeting with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Suchet indulges in reasonable supposition, and on other points, such as the identity of the “immortal beloved,” a reasonable agnosticism. VERDICT A fine popular treatment of the great composer, this book will be welcomed by classical music fans and/or those who enjoy reading biographies of great men and women.—Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville

Barish, Evelyn. The Double Life of Paul de Man. Liveright: Norton. Mar. 2014. 564p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780871403261. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780871406934. PHIL

Paul de Man (1919–83), a Belgian journalist who had worked for the Nazis, found himself in May 1948 in New York working in a bookshop. He made influential friends, including Mary McCarthy, took a job at Bard College, entered graduate school at Harvard (although he lacked an undergraduate degree), took a job at Cornell, and won a chair in literature at Yale. With Jacques Derrida, he became known as the inventor of “deconstruction.” The intellectual world shuddered when de Man’s wartime journalism first emerged. Now Barish (English, CUNY Graduate Ctr., Emerson: The Roots of Prophecy) reports a history of criminal financial fraud in Belgium and raises deeply troubling questions about the American academic world. She even speculates about Harvard doctoral examinations. De Man came from a Europe weary from two world wars, where it seemed to some that history could not be made to make sense and that the great narratives like those of the believers in progress were finished. Some, such as de Man, decided that the best understanding of language undermined claims to universal moral truth and that the Platonic eternal form of the good was the ultimate delusion. VERDICT A gripping, careful—and terrifying—narrative.—Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa

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fine Arts

Amy Sillman: One Lump or Two. Prestel. 2013. 192p. ed. by Helen Molesworth. illus. ISBN 9783791353074. $49.95. FINE ARTS

Cézanne, Paul. The Letters of Paul Cézanne. Getty. 2013. 400p. ed. and tr. from French by Alex Danchev. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781606061602 fine arts

David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition. Prestel. 2013. 228p. ed. by Richard Benefield & others. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9783791353340. $65. FINE ARTS

Doyle, Mike. Beautiful Lego. No Starch. 2013. 266p. photos. ISBN 9781593275082. pap. $29.95. DEC ARTS

Fiell, Charlotte & Peter Fiell. Masterpieces of British Design. Goodman/Fiell. 2013. 256p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781847960351. $39.95. DEC ARTS

Gutterman, Scott & Miles Davis. Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork. Insight Editions. 2013. 204p. illus. ISBN 9781608872237. $50. FINE ARTS

McBriarty, Patrick T. Chicago River Bridges. Univ. of Illinois. 2013. 329p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780252037863. $44.95. ARCH

Walker, Tim with Kit Hesketh-Harvey (text) & Lawrence Mynott (illus.). The Granny Alphabet. 2 vols. Thames & Hudson. 2013. 148p. illus. ISBN 9780500544266. $40. PHOTOG

Yoga: The Art of Transformation. Smithsonian. 2013. 360p. ed. by Debra Diamond. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781588344595. $55. FINE ARTS


Cheever, Susan. e.e. cummings: A Life. Pantheon. Feb. 2014. 240p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780307379979. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307908674. LIT

Churchwell, Sarah. Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of the Great Gatsby. Penguin Pr. Jan. 2014. 432p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781594204746. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698151635. LIT

Cowley, Malcolm. The Long Voyage: Selected Letters of Malcolm Cowley, 1915–1987. Harvard Univ. (Lives & Letters). Jan. 2014. 822p. ed. by Hans Bak. notes. index. ISBN 9780674051065. $39.95. LIT

Hiaasen, Carl. Dance of the Reptiles: Rampaging Tourists, Marauding Pythons, Crazed Celebrities, Larcenous Legislators, and Tar-Balled Beaches. Vintage. Jan. 2014. 416p. ed. by Diane Stevenson. ISBN 9780345807021. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9780345807038. LIT

Sebald, W.G. A Place in the Country. Random. Feb. 2014. 240p. illus. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781400067718. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812995039. LIT

Teeman, Tim. In Bed with Gore Vidal: Hustlers, Hollywood, and the Private World of an American Master. Magnus. 2013. 279p. bibliog. ISBN 9781626010413. pap. $19.95. Lit

Performing Arts

Cooley, Timothy J. Surfing About Music. Univ. of California. Jan. 2014. 232p. discog. filmog. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780520276635. $65; ISBN 9780520276642. pap. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780520957213. MUSIC

Goodall, Howard. The Story of Music: From Babylon to the Beatles; How Music Has Shaped Civilization. Pegasus. Jan. 2014. 368p. illus. index. ISBN 9781605985381. $27.95. MUSIC

Hearn, Marcus. Doctor Who: The Vault; Treasures from the First 50 Years. Harper Design. 2013. 320p. illus. index. ISBN 9780062280633. $45. TV

Kennedy, Matthew. Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s. Oxford Univ. Jan. 2014. 352p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199925674. $35. FILM

Komara, Edward & Greg Johnson. 100 Books Every Blues Fan Should Own. Scarecrow. (Best Music Bks.). Jan. 2014. 256p. index. ISBN 9780810889217. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780810889224. MUSIC

Prinzler, Hans Helmut. Sirens & Sinners: A Visual History of Weimar Film 1918–1933. Thames & Hudson. 2013. 308p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780500516898. $75. FILM

Seitz, Matt Zoller. The Wes Anderson Collection. Abrams. 2013. 336p. illus. index. ISBN 9780810997417. $40. FILM

Shapiro, Eddie. Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater. Oxford Univ. Feb. 2014. 384p. photos. index. ISBN 9780199941209. $39.95. THEATER

Thomson, David. Moments That Made the Movies. Thames & Hudson. 2013. 304p. photos. index. ISBN 9780500516416. $39.95. FILM


Krznaric, Roman. How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life. BlueBridge. Jan. 2014. 320p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781933346847. $22.95. PHIL


Michaels, Anne (text) & Bernice Eisenstein (illus.). Correspondences: A Poem and Portraits. Knopf. 2013. 128p. ISBN 9780307962492. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780307962515. POETRY

Parker, Suzanne. Viral. Alice James. 2013. 80p. ISBN 9781938584015. pap. $15.95. POETRY

Spirituality & Religion

The Original Atheists: First Thoughts on Nonbelief. Prometheus. Jan. 2014. 300p. ed. by S.T. Joshi. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781616148416. pap. $20.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616148423. REL

Sports & Recreation

Appleman, Jake. Brooklyn Bounce: The Highs and Lows of Nets Basketball’s Historic First Season in the Borough. Scribner. Feb. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9781476726755. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781476726779. SPORTS

Freedman, Lew. Football Stadiums: A Guide to Professional and Top College Stadiums. Firefly. 2013. 320p. illus. index. ISBN 9781770852174. $35. SPORTS

Hockey Hall of Fame Book of Players. Firefly. 2013. 336p. ed. by Steve Cameron. photos. index. ISBN 9781770852242. pap. $29.95. SPORTS

A Very Good Year

Adams, Charles F. 1939: The Making of Six Great Films from Hollywood’s Greatest Year. Craven Street Bks. Mar. 2014. 260p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781610351973. pap. $16.95. FILM

Adams (The Complete Geezer Guidebook) discusses six of the top films of 1939: Gone with the Wind, Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Wizard of Oz. Each film has its own profile and begins with “The Story” section focusing on the source material, e.g., Mark Twain’s novel or L. Frank Baum’s book. Also included are synopses, cast, crew, awards, and cost information. The work is most interesting when describing the steps that were necessary to conceive and execute the film, for instance, the casting of Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes or the adaptation of a short story from Collier’s for Stagecoach. Unfortunately, the author seems stuck in 1939 when using the term Negro to discuss Gone with the Wind, as in “the casting of the principal Negro roles was almost automatic” or regarding the premiere, “the all-white audience wildly applauded the actors themselves, seemingly unaware that none of the Negro actors was present.” Other stories, involving Carole Lombard and Vivien Leigh, are simply recounted gossip. These “wrong notes” affect the overall read and diminish its effect. VERDICT For die-hard fans looking for info on these films compiled in a single volume.—Barbara ­Kundanis, Longmont P.L., CO

Vieira, Mark A. Majestic Hollywood: The Greatest Films of 1939. Running Pr. 2013. 208p. photos. index. ISBN 9780762451562. $22.95; ebk. ISBN 9780762451647. FILM

By 1939, Hollywood’s studio system was a well-oiled, highly profitable industry. Seeking an escape from the lingering Depression and growing war fears, people flocked to the nation’s 18,000-plus theaters, for an average weekly attendance of 60 million. Actors and directors worked at a frantic pace, sometimes making as many as four pictures a year. ­Vieira (Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood) provides a well-illustrated survey of classic films produced in 1939, arranged as they were released, month by month. The author provides brief essays for each film, along with production notes, box office grosses, and critical reactions. Some background is given on why 1939 represents the pinnacle of achievement, soon to be eclipsed by the loss of lucrative European markets and changing moviegoing taste and habits caused by America’s plunge into war. ­VERDICT Readers will be struck by how studios catered to every audience in their production of Westerns, biopics, screwball comedies, elaborate historical epics, and costume dramas. Although there have been other periods of creative filmmaking, notably the “new wave” of the late 1960s and early 1970s, it’s unlikely we will see a Golden Age like 1939 again. This popular history, complete with rare film stills, is recommended for vintage film fans.—­Stephen Rees, formerly with Levittown Lib., PA

Cooking Reviews | January 2014

After decades of being maligned, disguised, and smothered in cheese sauce, vegetables are finally getting their due. Beautiful, unapologetic cookbooks share innovative and delicious ways to prepare them, making the prospect of sampling unfamiliar ingredients less daunting than it once was. This month’s column features several vegetarian, vegan, and whole-foods titles that can help readers discover new recipes and explore a healthier lifestyle.

Butcher, Sally. New Middle Eastern Street Food: Snacks, Comfort Food, and Mezze from Snackistan. Interlink. 2013. 208p. photos. index. ISBN 9781566569583. $30. COOKING

In her follow-up to The New Middle Eastern Vegetarian: Modern Recipes from Veggiestan, Butcher, who runs the London-based Persian food store Persepolis, offers snacks, mezze, and street foods from “Snackistan” (a fictitious region encompassing the Middle East, Greece, and Sudan). Like Rena Patten’s Mezze, this cookbook incorporates a variety of recipes for dips, grilled meats, and marinated, pickled, and fried snacks. By contrast, Butcher’s work contains more courses—including drinks and desserts—and lengthier, personality-filled headnotes. VERDICT Less formal than Tess Mallos’s Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook and Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, this volume will complement ethnic collections.

Copeland, Sarah (text) & Yunhee Kim (photos). Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite. Chronicle. 2013. 288p. photos. index. ISBN 9781452109732. $35. COOKING

After marrying a vegetarian, Copeland (The Newlywed Cookbook: Fresh Ideas and Modern Recipes for Cooking with and for Each Other), a former lead recipe developer for the Food Network, transitioned to a mostly meatless lifestyle. Appealing to ethically minded foodies, she presents here 140-plus recipes that celebrate vegetables as delectable luxuries. Gorgeous color photographs highlight the textures of dishes such as radish salad with aged parmesan, delicata squash with pomegranates, and whole-wheat penne with pumpkin, rosemary, and pine nuts. Desserts that include blackberry fool and poached peaches are simple, sweet endings. A few meals contain fish and shellfish. VERDICT With versatile, varied recipes for everyday and special occasions, this attractive cookbook will entice most readers. Highly recommended.

Green, Patricia & Carolyn Hemming. Grain Power: Over 100 Delicious Gluten-Free Ancient Grain & Superblend Recipes. Pintail: Penguin. Jan. 2014. 240p. photos. index. ISBN 9780143189602. pap. $29.95. COOKING

Sisters and best-selling authors Green and Hemming (both, Quinoa Revolution) return with a new collection extolling the benefits of gluten-free grains such as amaranth, buckwheat, chia, ­kañiwa, and sorghum. After defining these grains, the authors explain their many culinary applications and share basic recipes for dairy-free milks, sprouts, chia gel (a butter and oil substitute), and more. The main dishes (e.g., chili lime popped amaranth, spicy Creole quinoa stew, chocolate ancient grain torte with raspberry chia sauce), which readers are unlikely to find elsewhere, include nutritional analysis and metric and U.S. measurements. VERDICT Comprehensive coverage of less-familiar grains makes this a must for whole-grain aficionados.

Kassoff, Anya (text) & Masha Davydova (photos). The Vibrant Table: Recipes from My Always Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan & Sometimes Raw Kitchen. Roost. Jun. 2014. 320p. photos. index. ISBN 9781611800975. $35. COOKING

Kassoff, creator of the food blog Golubka (, was born and raised in Russia. A vivid dream of huckleberry ice cream opens her visually rich collection of 100-plus recipes that offer health-conscious and gluten-free families a wide selection of elegant meal ideas. Raw, from-scratch preparations emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables and include numerous specialty ingredients. A few recipes require advance planning; for instance, (vegan) brazil nut oat yogurt, mixed in a high-speed blender, needs eight hours to soak and an additional one to three days to ferment. ­VERDICT Stunning photographs and elegant prose distinguish this book from similar healthy vegetarian titles.

Largeman-Roth, Frances (text) & Quentin Bacon (photos). Eating in Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Jan. 2014. 216p. photos. index. ISBN 9781617690297. $27.50. COOKING

With the goal of encouraging families to eat more fruits and vegetables, nutritionist Largeman-Roth (Feed the Belly) shares simple rules for healthy living and 90 recipes grouped by color. Cold chaser citrus salad, late summer succotash, and other recipes include nutrition information and are mostly easy to prepare. Between recipes, Largeman-Roth lists ingredient profiles with historical facts, nutritional benefits, and shopping, preparation, and storage tips. VERDICT Some of Largeman-Roth’s recipes have limited kid appeal, but most offer interesting uses for produce. Readers who like her approach should try Cathy Thomas’s 50 Best Plants on the Planet: 150 Nutrient-Dense and Delicious Recipes.

Liddon, Angela. The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes To Glow from the Inside Out. Avery. Mar. 2014. 336p. photos. index. ISBN 9781583335277. pap. $25. COOKING

Liddon, a former child development researcher, struggled for years with an eating disorder. This companion cookbook to her popular vegan recipe blog, Oh She Glows (, documents her journey to a healthier life and combines 75 new recipes with 25-plus new and improved reader favorites. Liddon’s authentic voice and candidly shared successes will motivate nonvegans to try healthy recipes such as effortless vegan overnight oats (made with chia seeds and homemade almond milk), Eat Your Greens Detox Soup, and Classic Green Monster (a kale and banana–based smoothie). It’s easy to tell which recipes are gluten-, soy-, nut-, and sugar-free, but none include nutrition information. VERDICT For most vegan collections.

Moncel, Beth. Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy, Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half. Avery. Feb. 2014. 256p. photos. index. ISBN 9781583335307. pap. $18. COOKING

Moncel launched her blog, Budget Bytes (, after economic recession forced her to adopt a strict food budget. The recipes in her new cookbook, some adapted from the blog, are written for novices who value variety as much as saving money. Many cost less than a dollar per serving, and while they rely heavily on inexpensive staples, they incorporate flavorful seasonings and garnishes. Moncel includes freezer and pantry stocking tips, sample menus, and an index of vegetarian and vegan recipes. VERDICT Though great for budget-conscious young adults, Moncel’s debut is less useful than her website, as several great features (e.g., cost breakdowns, cooking times) have been lost in translation.

Newman, Joni Marie. Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen: 125 Comfort Food Classics Reinvented with an Ethnic Twist! Fair Winds: Quayside. 2013. 176p. photos. index. ISBN 9781592335800. pap. $19.99. COOKING

In her vibrant new cookbook, California native and self-taught cook Newman (Vegan Food Gifts) shares vegan recipes that blend Indian, Mexican, Korean, Filipino, and other international flavors. Playful fusion dishes such as miso mac and cheese, tamale shepherd’s pie, and Mexicannoli emphasize fresh ingredients over premade meat and dairy substitutions and encourage readers to try new techniques (e.g., freezing and thawing tofu to release extra moisture, incorporating ground seaweed into condiments). Cooking tips appear throughout, as well as icons denoting gluten-, nut-, and soy-free choices. VERDICT Featuring some exceptionally bold sauces, drinks, and small plates, this well-balanced collection will tempt adventurous vegans. Highly recommended.

Scicolone, Michele (text) & Alan Richardson (photos). The Italian Vegetable Cookbook: 200 Favorite Recipes for Antipasti, Soups, Pasta, Main Dishes, and Desserts. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2014. 288p. photos. index. ISBN 9780547909165. $25. COOKING

Taking a break from the slow cooker, the subject of her last few books, veteran author Scicolone (The Mediterranean Slow Cooker) turns her attention to the oven and stove top. Like Domenica Marchetti’s The Glorious Vegetables of Italy, Scicolone’s new title draws inspiration from travel and includes plenty of enviable anecdotes. Recipes organized by course (antipasti, soups, pasta, side dishes, etc.), from elegant roasted tomatoes on the vine with burrata to easy two-berry tiramisu, are home cook friendly, calling for mostly easy-to-find ingredients. VERDICT Recommended for readers interested in another solid collection of mostly meat-free Italian vegetable dishes.

Shelly, Katie. Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat. Ulysses Pr. 2013. 128p. illus. index. ISBN 9781612432342. $18.95. COOKING

Media designer Shelly’s debut recalls Robert H. Loeb Jr.’s 1952 cookbook Date Bait, which used humor and simplified step-by-step illustrations to make cooking less daunting for midcentury teens. Shelly’s contemporary pictorial cookbook is more minimal (there’s no dating advice here) but equally unintimidating, and readers will find it hard not to smile at whimsical drawings of white lasagna, nutty quinoa, Immortality Smoothie, and other easy dishes. Those accustomed to glossy photographs may need coaxing to try these recipes, but they’ll find them freeing as there’s no risk of a disappointing comparison between page and plate. VERDICT A treat for visual learners, beginning readers, young people, new cooks, and anyone who enjoys graphic design.

ereviews: Careers

With The Scariest economic meltdown since the Great Depression still clearly visible in the rear-view mirror, many Americans are getting a good look at what happens when career plans, goals, and aspirations run headlong into a jobless recovery. But there’s hope.

Going Global is perhaps the most unique product reviewed here. It combines detailed guides to working in nearly 90 domestic and international settings with a custom database of state, metro, and national level records from the Labor Department relating to the hiring of skilled foreign workers, an international employer directory, and a new job search feature listing 16 million openings worldwide.

Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center excels in career advice and research, with sections on job and industry profiles, job-hunting and workplace skills, and career and industry resources, complemented with a career interest assessment tool. EBSCO Associates Programs Source Plus targets the research needs of vocationally oriented two-year colleges and provides comprehensive coverage of the most relevant associates program–level content.

ProQuest Career and Technical Education is the most conventional product we examine here; it is a full-text database of vocational information for practitioners and researchers, but the content mix—with magazines and trade publications, peer-reviewed scholarly journals, blog postings, videos, and “how-to” type ebooks—sets it apart from virtually everything else on the market.

Going Global

Going Global, Inc.


Going Global combines Career Guides to nearly 90 worldwide locations with a custom database of state, metro, and national level H1B records from the U.S. Department of Labor and then adds an employer directory and job search feature, both international.

The database also includes Country Guides that offer information for those job hunting in one of 38 places around the globe. A career specialist in each country contributes original content that organizes information on job search resources, not-for-profits and volunteer organizations, industry and employment trends, and top companies. There are sections on professional and social networking, embassy listings, and information on the financial considerations (cost of living, housing, health care, taxes, pensions) that should inform the search. Detailed content on work permits and visas, résumé/CV guidelines, and interviewing advice is available too. The guides conclude with a section of cultural suggestions, covering daily life, office protocol, management styles, business practices, and hints on how to “act like a local” (where all kinds of fascinating nuggets are tucked away; for example, French recruiters may require handwritten cover letters because they engage graphologists to discern a candidate’s personality traits). The guides run 85 to 100 pages in length each and are updated annually.

The City Guides area includes 65- to 85-page reports on 45 U.S. and six Canadian cities, organized along lines that facilitate the job-seeking process. There is information on not-for-profits and volunteer organizations, a city overview, and cost-of-living data (including prices for common expenditures).

For each city, the database also offers job search resources, industry and employment trends, top companies, H1B visa information (with companies ranked by the number of H1B visa petitions for that location), listings of professional and social networking groups and chambers of commerce, information on work permits and visas, résumé guidelines, and interviewing tips. The cultural advice section is the same for each city. Visitors to America are advised to say, “Bless you” if someone sneezes, for example, and “Please” and “Thank you” for even “seemingly insignificant actions.” Additionally, visitors should be aware that “While Americans typically use utensils and napkins when dining, designated foods may sometimes be eaten with the hands, such as sandwiches, burgers, chips, tacos, pretzels, and other dry foods in small pieces.”

Developed by Going Global, the H1B Info database, which offers information at the state, metropolitan area, and national level, includes 400,000 Labor Department records for companies that applied for visas the previous year. H1B is a nonimmigrant visa that permits U.S. employers to hire foreign workers with highly specialized skills on a temporary basis, so this portion of the database offers material that will be incredibly valuable to foreigners earning STEM credentials from U.S. schools. The database is updated quarterly.

Also updated quarterly, the Employer Directory includes 450,000 records, which may be searched or browsed by state or country. The new Jobs/Internships component, listing 16 million worldwide openings, is updated daily.

The Going Global interface is straightforward and easy to use, with links to key features, the blog, and the newsletter. There’s a demonstration video outlining the basic content, a training video, and webinars for staff and students.

Arrayed across the top of the page are the links to various components of the resource, which are all displayed—with graphics and a little descriptive text—in the main area of the home page as well.

Country Guides are arranged alphabetically, and there is a basic search feature. We searched for “gift” in United Arab Emirates using the pull-down country menu, which took us to the Cultural Advice area called “If you want to act like a local,” where it said, “Chocolates, traditional sweets, and dates make good gifts. A personalized gift from one’s home country is much appreciated. Giving a bottle of wine to an Arab host is not considered appropriate.” Searching is limited to one country at a time. Similarly, conducting queries in the City Guides is limited to a single city. Looking for not-for-profit organizations in San Antonio gave a results list of four items. There are no truncation, wildcards, or Boolean operators, so terms need to match exactly in order to return results. Also, search results are unfortunately not highlighted, so it can be hard to spot them in longer entries.

The City Guides contain links to the H1B information by metropolitan area and by state, with an H1B Plus feature offering several search options: by industry, job title, company, city/state, and metro area, along with an advanced search option.

Searching by industry in the category “Computer and Mathematical” produced 241,158 job titles. Advanced search allows the user to select from nearly two dozen industries via a pull-down menu. Job titles may be entered as keywords, and state and metro area are available via the pull-downs. City names may be entered as keywords and may include places not on the City Guide list. We found 364 job titles in all industries for Albany, NY. The results list gives job title, occupation, company name, wage, and number of petitions.

The Employer Directory may be searched by keyword, location, company name, NAICS code(s), annual sales range, and number of employees. The Jobs/Internships feature may be searched by location, job title, skills or keywords, industry, academic degree, company name, job type (i.e., full-time, part-time, internship, or contract). This section contains custom search engines for jobs, volunteer opportunities, and internships internationally with nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) via and

Going Global comes in a variety of subscription packages, with consortium discounts as high as 50 percent off. Additionally, there is special pricing for schools with multiple campuses, state schools, and institutions with two- and three-year subscriptions. Pricing starts around $1,500. The H1B Plus component is extra. Trials are available.

There’s a lot under the hood here, and much of it is unique to Going Global, which makes this a very attractive resource. The search features are pretty rudimentary, but the organization and straightforward navigation make all of Going Global’s content easily discoverable. We suggest only that the guides be available as PDFs so that job seekers and new employees heading away from home can more easily take this valuable information with them.

Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center

Facts On File

This award-winning database is a gold-standard resource for vocational guidance. Easy to navigate, with a wide range of authoritative content, Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center is well organized into three main sections: Job and Industry Profiles; Job-Hunting and Workplace Skills; and Career and Industry Resources. A wealth of material is integrated throughout the site, from nearly 80 authoritative sources published by Ferguson Publishing Company—an imprint of Facts On File. Titles include Career Discovery Encyclopedia; the “Career Opportunities,” “Extraordinary Jobs,” and “Career Skills Library” series; Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance; Guide to Résumés and Job-Hunting Skills; 101 Tips for Graduates: A Code of Conduct for Success and Happiness in Your Professional Life; and Career Resource Guide to Apprenticeship Programs.

The “Job and Industry Profiles” section, arranged into 16 “Career Clusters,” contains information on nearly 3,400 jobs and 94 industries, presented through overview articles, 200-plus job videos, and profiles from select “Fastest Growing,” “Highest Paying,” and “Most In-Demand” jobs in the current market. A “My Life” series includes interviews with representatives of more than 70 of the more interesting professions, such as hurricane hunter, cryonics researcher, and test-kitchen chef. Current job ads, organized by career, are provided by

The “Job-Hunting and Workplace Skills” area offers advice on applying for a job, interview strategies, and professional behavior in the workplace (subheads here include “Communication Skills,” “Learning the Ropes,” and “Problem Solving”). More than 60 sample résumés (chronological, functional, curriculum vitae format, etc.) and 22 cover letters (cold call, response to ad, direct mail) are available, while 60-plus videos present essential career development topics such as “Knowing One’s Skills,” “Preparing for a Career,” and “Job Hunting Strategies.”

“Career and Industry Resources” has featured articles, contact information for hundreds of organizations, listings of state job centers, scholarships, internships, and specialized awards. This section also includes an extensive list of recognized career assessment tests such as Birkman Method, Holland Code, Myers-Briggs, and VARC, with material on how to find them.

From the welcome screen, users can explore a college planning and financial aid segment—with school search (data provided by Peterson’s Nelnet on more than 4,500 schools in the United States, Canada, and related regions that offer two-year and/or four-year degrees) and financial aid directories by major. Additional listings include “College Planning Timeline,” “Choosing a College,” “Choosing a College Major,” and “Applying for Student Loans.” Among the special features are access to Career Opportunities News, a bimonthly newsletter from 2009 to the present, and The Facts On File Student’s Dictionary of American English.

Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center presents information in a very straightforward manner. Users can either browse, which is simple, or take advantage of the database’s basic or advanced search options. A top navigation bar remains present throughout, allowing users to access content from the three main sections displayed on the opening screen, as well as to have search tips and help close by at all times.

We initially tried taking the “Career Interest Assessment,” but with 180 statements to mark as “Dislike,” “Like,” or “Unsure,” we browsed the survey instead. Sample activities that users must rank include operating a dairy farm, giving CPR, and scheduling conferences for an organization.

Patrons can peruse job profiles from a simple search box, which combines all the job and industry entries as well as the job videos. The system recognizes standard phrase and Boolean searching and also includes “Did you mean?” assistance.

We entered “actuary” in the “Search Job Profile” box and retrieved 14 records, including job and industry profiles for actuaries, insurance examiners, and mathematical technicians. Each profile has a position description, history, and current professional organization and association listings. A sidebar offers quick facts relating to salary range, employment prospects, skills/traits, education/training, advancement prospects, tips, requirements such as certification or licensing, and links to related careers.

For more precise results, advanced job search allows users to choose one or more pre-selected career clusters, educational levels, or job skills. In addition, one can opt to browse jobs using the career index search, which includes National Occupational Classification (NOC) Index and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET)-Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC) index. The O*NET-SOC index was created by the U.S. government; the NOC index is Canada’s equivalent. Records can be printed, emailed, or saved to a folder (with a personal account) for later retrieval, and all videos are iPad/mobile friendly.

Pricing is determined by full-time enrollment for schools and by number of cardholders for public libraries. All prices are for unlimited usage within the institution and include remote access privileges. Free trials are available.

Chock-full of valuable content, Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center is well suited for secondary school guidance centers, college career centers, and public libraries. Resource entries are searchable, and extensive links to directories are well incorporated in this easy-to-navigate package.

Associates Programs Source Plus

Vocational Studies Complete

EBSCO Publishing

Designed specifically for the research needs of students at two-year colleges and career and technical schools, this database provides comprehensive coverage of the most relevant associates program–level content—with more than 2,300 full-text magazines and journals including titles such as Accountancy, Adolescent Psychiatry, Animal Sheltering, Bon Appétit, California Construction, Dermatology Times, Economic & Financial Policy Review, Funeral Service Insider Newsletter, Heating & Ventilating Review, International Journal of Tourism Research, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, and National Tax Journal.

Associates Programs Source Plus (APSP) offers information from many trade sources that are unique to this database, with over 350 full-text books, market research reports, blog entries, country reports, and newspapers. The variety of topics is illustrated by titles such as Agricultural Pollution, ASHRAE Handbook: HVAC Applications, Careers with the Pharmaceutical Industry, Diagnosis in Social Work: New Imperatives, Fire Chief Expert Blog, and Wireless Networks. Titles range from practical how-to guides (e.g., How To Run a Dog Business: Putting Your Career Where Your Heart Is) to government publications, handbooks, and titles from academic university presses.

Key areas of focus within APSP adhere to current junior/community-college program listings and include alcohol and drug abuse counseling, audiology, biotechnology, catering, ceramics and pottery, computer-aided drafting, computer and data processing, cosmetology, culinary arts, dental assisting, electrical technology, fashion design, forensics, graphic arts, hospitality, interior design, law enforcement and criminal justice, mortuary science, nursing, paralegal studies, photography, robotics, travel and tourism, and welding.

Institutions on a budget can still meet the needs of their vocational students by subscribing to Associates Programs Source, with an offering of 1,000-plus full-text journals and 45 books, reports, and other documents from 1961 to the present. Subscribing institutions have the option of making this database available to their users under the Vocational Studies Complete/Vocational Studies Premier name.

Associates Programs Source Plus and Vocational Studies Complete are the same product, just licensed under different names. Both are searchable on the EBSCOhost platform. Users can choose additional EBSCO databases if subscribed and cross-search for breadth and depth on a particular topic. EBSCO encompasses a growing number of ebooks that are freely available to subscribers and can also be added to a particular query for further results. Further, institutions can complement their vocational and career offerings with the purchase of ebook subject sets, such as dentistry and oral sciences, criminal justice, and nursing.

A basic search box allows patrons to select the “Search Options” link in order to use optional search modes and expanders such as “Apply Related Words” and “Also Search Within the Full Text of the Articles” and limiters including “Image Quick View” and “Image Quick View Types.” The advanced option affords additional restriction to publication and document type, Lexile reading level, and cover story and provides an “Add Row” feature for more complex searching.

We started with a very basic search for welding to explore information for someone thinking of finding a suitable program. With more than 14,000 results—the majority from trade publications—we initially selected a current article titled “Learning Real-World Welding” from the magazine Assembly, which discussed certifications offered by the American Welding Society (AWS). Refining the search with the Subject “welding—study & teaching” brought the number down to a reasonable 167 hits, most displaying a clear focus on teaching as well as attending welding trade schools, with articles from Techniques: Connecting Education & Careers, Career & Technical Education Research, and World of Welding.

Searchers may also browse ten indexes, such as author, document type, geographic terms, and journal name to select terms and add them into the search strategy.

The usual EBSCOhost features apply to this database, affording users the option to create personal accounts (My EBSCOhost), set and save preferences, organize citations with folders, share folders, save and retrieve search histories, and create email alerts and/or RSS feeds. Setting preferences allows researchers to control the look and feel of the result list. Once the user is signed in, personal preferences are applied, and any changes made to preferences are saved for future use.

Pricing is based on a variety of factors including FTE, existing EBSCO databases, consortium agreements, and/or buying groups. Free trials are available.

The emphasis of Associates Programs Source Plus is on the major courses and programs available at junior college and community college institutions, providing a range of material that supports transfer, career, and certificate areas of study. A great offering for high school guidance centers as well, APSP also pays heed to current trends and new vocational career demands, such as ceramic technology and funeral services.

ProQuest Career and Technical Education


ProQuest Career and Technical Education (PCTE) is aimed at both students and instructors who are looking for vocational information and/or conducting research in a broad array of areas—computer science, nursing, construction, auto mechanics, forestry, retailing, accounting, graphic design, and criminal law—relating to careers and technical training.

Information in PCTE is delivered in a diverse range of formats. About 130 recent ebooks (including 16 “Dummies” titles such as Communicating Effectively, Cool Careers, Cover Letters, Living Well in a Down Economy, Personal Finance, Presentations, Public Speaking, and other “how-to” guides), 120 magazines (such as Plane and Pilot, Practical Horseman, Fire Protection Engineering, and Cabling Installation and Maintenance), roughly 125 scholarly journals (Comparative Technology Transfer and Society, Drugs and Alcohol Today, Veterinary Medicine), and more than 400 trade publications (Marketing to Women, Florida Grower, Emergency Nurse) appear on the title list. Additionally, PCTE includes some 18 videos (“Idea Generation,” “Shedding Light on Failure”) and the full text of more than 30 blogs (Hydrogen Cars Now, Patent Baristas, Silicon Valley Sleuth). The availability of nearly 550 of the 650–plus periodicals titles in full text is a distinct plus, too. Periodicals coverage extends back to 1975.

PCTE delivered tens of thousands of hits on burgeoning career fields such as nanotechnology and gerontology and a results list of 2,531 items for a search on “iPhone OR android OR smartphone AND app AND developer*,” all of which should come as no surprise. It also gave us nearly 9,000 hits for “activists,” almost 6,000 for “personal shoppers,” 600-plus for “forensic accountants,” and a couple of dozen hits for “turntablist,” the much hipper and more artistic update to the career of DJ. There is also material on baristas, repo men, and even garbologists, and so it’s safe to say that virtually any career or vocation is searchable within this resource.

We took a look at the issue of the under-representation of women and minorities in the computer science field using the following search strategy: “computer science” AND (gender OR race) AND (difference* OR equity OR inequity OR stereotyp*). This produced 279 hits—19 of which were from 2013—and the subject facet suggested the term “female employees” as a way to examine one aspect of this topic as it plays out in the workforce.

Thinking that PCTE might be a useful tool for planning one’s career, we typed in “worst company” and took the auto-complete feature’s suggestion “worst company to work for,” which produced more than 65,000 almost completely random hits. Again, using the subject facet option, we narrowed the search with the term ratings and rankings, which imposed some useful order on the results but didn’t truly identify employers to avoid. The lesson, we suppose, is that the user shouldn’t assume that auto-complete is anything more than a tool that anticipates what the user is likely to type, thereby saving a few keystrokes.

ProQuest, by including material from blogs, gives PCTE a fresh and immediate quality that most resources can’t touch. A search on the term “infographics” uncovered a number of postings on Gizmodo, including one called “How To Pick the Perfect Typeface,” which reads, “Need to find a typeface for your next design masterpiece? Follow this intricate—but brilliant—flowchart by Julian Hansen and you will never go wrong.” Unfortunately, since the post is text only in PCTE, the brilliance of the process is completely lost. A link to the original site would make a world of difference.

Marking, emailing, exporting, and creating bibliographies in a number of common styles are all simple procedures, as are setting up alerts and creating RSS feeds for individual titles.

Subscription prices are based on library type—FTE for academic libraries and population served for public libraries. Consortia pricing is available, and institutions may arrange free trials.

It’s hard to imagine a community college or vocational school setting that wouldn’t benefit from having a subscription to ProQuest Career and Technical Education, given its close match with the curricula in those types of institutions. The content mix is also pretty compelling, with magazines and trade publications providing real-world insight into various careers and vocations, peer-reviewed scholarly journals adding the theoretical component, blogs keeping things lively and contemporary, and the “how-to” type ebook collection keeping things practical.

Career Transitions

Gale, part of Cengage Learning

Career Transitions provides guidance and essential activities for job seekers and those exploring new career options. From the welcome screen, users can search all job types, including internships, apprenticeships, entry level, and temporary listings; browse 16 career paths from agriculture, food, and natural resources to transportation, distribution, and logistics; and view the “A Day in the Life” video series to see what people do in certain occupations, such as plant breeder, federal judge, or web developer. Other features include “Interview Simulation” and step-by-step assistance for résumé and cover letter writing, with “best practice” examples and application and interview advice. Users can also find new career ideas based on past experience, with “Match Experience to New Careers.” A Featured Videos section includes “How to Ask for a Raise,” “Tips for Job Hunting,” and “How To Write Your Résumé.”


CareerArc Group, LLC

With offerings for both career centers and recruiters, CareerSearch provides access to almost 12 million key contacts from a database of nearly five million companies that includes company descriptions, addresses, names, titles, and email addresses. Users can integrate contacts with their LinkedIn connections. The opening screen offers “New Job Opportunities,” the ability to “Search All Job Openings” by keyword or location, a “Getting Started” section with commonly run searches, and news from PR Newswire services. Navigation to the main menu remains constant throughout, allowing users to jump to another type of query, as well as access “My Account” information with saved searches and news alerts. Patrons can perform U.S. and international company searches by industry; people search to locate key contacts within a company; access research tools, with top-rated cities, salary wizard, and business information resources—a research tool for identifying associations, trade shows, and publications in a selection of industry categories. A “Career Tools” option offers a drop-down menu of industry profiles, location overviews, and tips on networking. Advanced search lets users run queries by name, NIC, NAICS, and size. Searches can be saved as reports or downloaded with customized data, permitting users to select which fields to include.

Career Cruising

Career Cruising

Promoted as a suite of “K–12 career exploration products,” the ccEngage platform bundles all of Career Cruising’s innovative tools into one package, including age-appropriate resources for elementary, middle, high school, and post-secondary students. The system also contains options for those already in the workplace looking to change careers or find new employment. Users can explore content on selected careers and watch multimedia interviews with real people in every career, search for colleges and financial scholarships (updated yearly from Peterson’s database), and develop a short- or long-term career plan. Primarily aimed at students in middle school and above, the system provides key material about careers, including core tasks, earnings, and education and training requirements. Tools include an interest and skills assessment, career profiles, multimedia interviews, college and financial aid information, an education development plan (EDP), an electronic career portfolio, and a résumé builder—integrated with the portfolio to help students format and print professional-looking résumés. The portfolio section also allows users to save information from one session to the next. All sections can be accessed from Career Cruising’s main page or by clicking on the appropriate link in the menu bar near the top of every page.

Job & Career Accelerator

LearningExpress, LLC

LearningExpress provides an all-in-one career selection and job search resource, offering a variety of tools, including a résumé and cover letter builder—with more than 120 model and sample letters, occupation matcher, occupation profiles, and job and intern search. The service offers personalized, step-by-step job search assistance for all levels of job seekers—from exploring and matching suitable occupations from 1,000-plus detailed profiles to finding available jobs in their area via a comprehensive database of more than five million up-to-date job listings and internship opportunities. Users can compare salary and job growth data, access online interactive computer skills tutorials for a wide range of office applications and platforms, create professional targeted résumés, master interviewing and networking techniques, improve work-related skills, prep for occupation-related exams, and track multiple job searches at the same time. Colleges can brand the platform with the institution’s logo and present links to additional career resources. A “Personal Dashboard” lets users keep track of their progress and of all saved items, such as jobs that are of interest, résumés, and cover letters. “Job & Career Accelerator” is also available for integration with the Blackboard Learn platform, offering a single sign-on for access to information.

Testing & Education Reference Center


Testing & Education Reference Center (TERC) provides detailed information on colleges and universities, graduate and professional programs, distance learning, corporate training, available financial scholarships and awards, preparatory entrance exams, and numerous tools to help users identify occupational opportunities. Aimed at high school and community college students just starting on a career path, those transitioning out of the military, and employed adults looking for a career change, the database gives users 300-plus online practice tests—including certification and licensing tests, ebooks containing study material and practice tests, and information on more than 4,000 accredited schools. Organized by high school, college prep, career, grad school, and international tools, the database has something for many types of learners and even features U.S. citizenship test prep materials. Sections include additional resources (word of the day, quick quiz, tips and strategies, and test info), articles, and related links.

TERC is now available with Career Module, which consists of career assessment, a résumé builder, and a virtual careers library. The career assessment helps users map a career path using a brief multiple-choice exam that determines their Holland Type, which matches their answers to suitable job categories, industries, and occupations. The virtual careers library provides résumé, cover letter, and interviewing tips for all levels of job seekers.

Vault Career Insider Online Library

Vault, Inc. licenses content to colleges and universities under the name Career Insider for use by registered students. Career Insider provides a comprehensive research library that includes snapshot profiles and rankings for 2,500 companies; in-depth industry and career field guides describing a wide range of occupations and industries; ebook employer guides; and user-generated content on companies, industries, and career issues via access to discussion boards, industry blogs, and news on the latest trends. The platform presents company profiles with reviews and ratings of industry reputation, information on quality of life, salary, and compensation; school profiles with reviews and ratings of admissions, academics, campus life and diversity; industry and profession profiles that offer background information and tips to entry; internship profiles with full reviews and ratings of the interview process, salary and compensation data, and full-time employment opportunities. A one-time registration is required.

Vocations & Careers Collection: An InfoTrac Collection


Vocations and Career Collection provides articles from nearly 400 general career guides to highly specialized industry journals such as Advertising Age, BMC Medical Education, Career Guide to the Horse Industry, Computer Graphics World, Hotel Management, International Journal of Training Research, Journal of Education for Business, Marines Magazine, Physical Therapy, and Social and Legal Studies. Job searching, looking for a new career path, and finding an appropriate college or vocational program are all topics covered by this collection, which contains current and pertinent content for all types of users. Choosing from basic or advanced search, subject guide, or publication, users can find a range of document types, such as audio files, blog posts, biographies, graphs, obituaries, podcasts, reviews, topic overviews, websites, and more. The database also features videos from a variety of sources including AP Video News, PBS Online NewsHour, NOVA, and’s Worldfocus. Updated regularly, Vocations & Career Collection currently has nearly eight million articles published between 1980 and 2013.

Gail Golderman ( is Electronic Resources Librarian, and Bruce Connolly ( is Reference & Bibliographic Instruction Librarian, Schaffer Library, Union College, Schenectady, NY

Reference Reviews | January 2014

Johnson, Hugh & Jancis Robinson. The World Atlas of Wine. 7th ed. Octopus. 2013. 400p. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9781845336899. $55. REF

Towering figures in wine criticism and writing, Johnson and Robinson have updated their atlas to include coverage of up-and-coming areas around the world. Readers will find expanded information on such disparate locales as the Eastern United States, Turkey, South Africa, and China. More than 200 maps, some of which feature topographic detail and climate zones, illustrate the various geographies. The cartographic materials are supplemented with photographs of vineyards and labels representing noteworthy wines for each geographic region. This rich visual content is paired with a comprehensive overview of each region, briefly highlighting its history, production, and wine-making strengths. The writing is at a level many readers will readily grasp and is enlivened by the authors’ opinions on various wines. VERDICT Both an authoritative work and a genuinely enjoyable volume to browse. Highly recommended for large libraries and those with a collection focus on wine.—Peter ­Hepburn, Coll. of the Canyons Lib., Santa Clarita, CA

Critical Survey of Mythology and Folklore: Heroes & Heroines. Salem. (Critical Survey, Vol. 2). 2013. 516p. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781619251816. $175; ebk. ISBN 9781619251861. REF

This second volume in the series offers essays on mythology and traditional literature from “a wide range of periods and cultures.” Forty entries by academics focus on various figures from around the world in six sections: “Birth and Prophecy,” “Trial and Quest,” “The Host of Heroines,” “Myth and Monstrosity,” “The Culture Hero,” and “Surveying Myth and Folklore.” For example, “Birth and Prophecy” discusses the birth of Athena, Trial and Quest” examines Odysseus and King Arthur, and “Surveying Myth and Folklore” considers American Indian trickster tales. Artemis, Moses, and Harry Potter are among the many heroes/heroines covered. Each essay consists of an overview, a summary, analysis, a discussion of cross-cultural influence (e.g., how the figure of Medusa influenced both Sylvia Plath and May Sarton), and either a text box of historical context or a discussion of how myth has been made into art. Each chapter ends with its own bibliography. Other notables include the Queen of Sheba and Quetzalcoatl, with less familiar topics such as Qutulun (Mongol princess) and Tomoe Gozen (female samurai warrior) providing intrigue. The title also features maps (ancient Greece, Mesopotamia) accompanied by charts listing mythological figures. There is a general index plus country/culture and chronological indexes. A sample lesson plan provides a good starting point for teachers. VERDICT This valuable resource, which will engage students and encourages thought, is useful for high school and undergraduate students for papers, projects, and class discussions.—Barbara Kundanis, Longmont P.L., CO

Grant, John. A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide. Limelight. 2013. 770p. photos. bibliog. ISBN 9781557838315. $49.99. REF

Grant (Masters of Animation) compiles 3,250 movie entries that touch on the many aspects of film noir. Arranged in alphabetical order by title, they include year; country; running time; main cast, director, producer, screenwriter, and cinematographer; and whether they are in black and white or color. Each entry features a short synopsis (sometimes with plot spoilers) and generally brief commentary. This book extends the parameters of traditional noir (Out of the Past; Double Indemnity) by including films that are usually considered in other genres. Comedies (Hot Fuzz and In Bruges), police procedurals (The French Connection and Se7en), and action films (The Bourne Identity and The Terminator) are examined. The uniting factor is a dark perspective and the idea of fate “which can seem…almost like an extra cast member.” Bertolucci’s Il Conformista (The Conformist), Wenders’s Der Amerikanische Freund, aka The American Friend, based on Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley’s Game) and many other international films are covered. Titles are listed in their original language and then in English. Some older series are featured, such as Dead End Kids, Boston Blackie, and Edgar Wallace Mysteries but oddly, not Sherlock Holmes or Charlie Chan. Hitchcock films, which are suspense thrillers, are along for the ride with Vertigo and Rear Window, among others. The select bibliography offers more opportunities for finding out about the subject. This is a quirky mixed genre bag of noir in its many forms. If you shelve it near the DVDs, it will be helpful for movie advisory. VERDICT A solid current source for quick information.—Barbara Kundanis, Longmont P.L., CO

For all the latest reviews in this subject area and more, check out our new Book Verdict site! Book Verdict is fully accessible to all users, though certain content and functionality are only available to subscribers.

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Manifest Destiny & the New Nation (1803–1859). 2 vols. Salem Press. (Defining Documents in American History). 2013. 688p. bibliog. index. ebk. available. ISBN 9781429837422. $295. REF

Smith, Andrew F. Food and Drink in American History: A “Full Course” Encyclopedia. 3 vols. ABC-CLIO. 2013. 1475p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781610692328. $310; ebk. ISBN 9781610692335. REF

Law & Crime

Palmer, Louis J. The Death Penalty in the United States: A Complete Guide to Federal and State Laws. 2d ed. McFarland. 2013. 400p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780786476602. pap. $55; ebk. ISBN 9781476605791. REF

Political Science

Bloch, Susan Low & Vicki C. Jackson. Federalism: A Reference Guide to the

United States Constitution. Praeger. (Reference Guides to the United States Constitution). 2013. 318p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780313318849. $95; ebk. ISBN 9781440829963. REF


Keith, Kenneth D. The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 3 vols. Wiley-Blackwell. 2013. 1,528p. bibliog. index.

ISBN 9780470671269. $495. REF


Isbouts, Jean-Pierre. National Geographic Who’s Who in the Bible: Unforgettable People and Timeless Stories from Genesis to Revelation. National Geographic. 2013. 384p. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9781426211591. $40. REF

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation. 2 vols. Oxford Univ. 2013. 1164p. ed. by Steven L. McKenzie. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199832262. $295. REF


Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia. 2 vols. Gale. 2013. 800p. ed. by Norman MacLeod. illus. photos. index. ISBN 9781414490670. $282; ebk. ISBN 9781414490700. REF

Social Sciences

Dulberger, Michael D. Ranking America’s Fifty States: A Comparison in Graphic Detail. Bernan. 2013. 232p. maps. index. ISBN 9781598886696. pap. $39; ebk. ISBN 9781598886702. $38.99. REF


Mystery: Series Lineup | January 2014

Ballard, Mignon F. Miss Dimple Picks a Peck of Trouble. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9781250035622. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250035639. M

Teacher Miss Dimple Kilpatrick puts her sleuth hat on for the fourth time (after Miss Dimple Suspects) when a young local woman is found dead, and subsequently, the Klan makes its appearance in the tight-knit Georgia community. This cozy historical is perfect for World War II buffs interested in the home front scene.

Benson, Raymond. The Black Stiletto: Secrets & Lies. Oceanview. Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781608091010. $26.95. M

Fleshing out a real-live action hero (Judy Talbot is actually the Black Stiletto), Benson keeps Judy’s son and granddaughter hopping as they battle modern crime and search for details about The Black Stiletto’s adventures in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, circa 1961 (after The Black Stiletto: Stars & Stripes).

Canadeo, Anne. A Dark and Stormy Knit: A Black Sheep Knitting Mystery. Gallery: S. & S. Jan. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781451644807. pap. $15.; ebk. ISBN 9781451644821. M

Maggie Messina’s knitting shop is a community hub for picturesque Plum Harbor. Valentine’s Day nears in Canadeo’s sixth cozy (after The Silence of the Llamas), and a tangled love triangle leaves a murder victim, and the knitters worrying about one of their own. Trifecta: knitting, recipe, and cocktail links included.

Delany, Vicki. Gold Web: A Klondike Mystery. Dundurn, dist. by Ingram. Jan. 2014. 328p. ISBN 9781459707726. pap. $17.99; ebk. ISBN 9781459707740. M

Once again, irrepressible dance-hall owner Fiona MacGillivray must help solve a murder when a mysterious man dies at her feet. The rollicking historical series set during the 1898 Yukon Gold Rush is up to number four (after Gold Mountain). Value-adds: bibliography, author’s notes.

Harris, Tessa. The Devil’s Breath: A Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery. Kensington. Jan. 2014. 356p. ISBN 9780758267009. pap. $15.; ebk. ISBN 9781617730276. M

This third stunning entry (after The Dead Shall Not Rest) features the cataclysmic 1783 volcanic eruption that transfixed Iceland and northern Europe. Dr. Silkstone must use scientific reasoning to fight crime and quell hysteria. Enhancement: glossary and author’s notes. Perfect book club fodder.

Hollis, Lee. Death of a Chocoholic: A Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails Mystery. Kensington. Jan. 2014. 348p. ISBN 9780758294494. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9780758294500. M

Just before Valentine’s Day, a local chocolatier is murdered in her kitchen, and with her usual bad timing, newspaper columnist/amateur sleuth Hayley Powell finds the corpse. The fourth entry for the Maine-set cozy (after Death of a Coupon Clipper) indexes its food and cocktail recipes.

Myers, Beverle Graves. Whispers of Vivaldi: A Tito Amato Mystery. Poisoned Pen. Jan. 2014. 300p. ISBN 9781464202087. $24.95; pap. ISBN 9781464202100. $14.95. M

Difficult Maestro Torani is killed during preparations for Venice’s Carnival. Tito must sleuth fast since he’s a prime suspect in this intricate historical set in 1745. This is the sixth outing for the castrato opera singer/director (after 2009’s Her Deadly Mischief).

Robertson, Michael. Moriarty Returns a Letter: A Baker Street Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9781250016461. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466840560. M

Present-day brothers Reggie and Nigel answer Sherlock Holmes-related correspondence since their law practice is at 221 Baker Street. This time, a case transcends reality and puts the brothers in danger. Sherlockians will grab this fourth entry (after The Baker Street Translation).

Todd, Charles. Hunting Shadows: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery. Morrow. Feb. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780062237187. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062237118. M

War memories always filter through Inspector Rutledge’s consciousness, but World War I rears up again when a sniper ruins a wedding in Ely Cathedral—and the killer doesn’t stop at one. This is number 16 for the popular 1920s set series (after Proof of Guilt). [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/13.]

Audio Book Reviews | January 2014

Atwood, Margaret. MaddAddam. (MaddAdam Trilogy, Bk. 3). 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 13½ hours. Books on Tape. 2013. ISBN 9780385367400. $45; 11 CDs. retail ed. Penguin Random Audio; Playaway digital; digital download. F

This is the final installment in Atwood’s epic trilogy (After Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood) chronicling a postapocalyptic world in which a human-made plague has wiped out most of civilization, leaving behind a small group of human survivors and a clan of genetically engineered semi­humans called the Crakers. While familiarity with the preceding books will magnify the pleasures of this one, it isn’t strictly necessary, as readers are quickly brought up to speed. The theme of storytelling is central: what it means and why it matters and its ethical and philosophical implications. In typical Atwood style, all of this is grounded in vivid descriptions of this new physical world and underlined by her unique brand of brutal humor. In spite of the dark subject matter, one can’t help but take delight in ­Atwood’s creation. Appropriately, this is both a caution against and a praise for our human desire to leave our mark on the world we see as ours. Bernadette Dunn and Bob Walter bring convincing grit to Toby and Zeb, the book’s compelling central characters. Robbie Daymond comes in late in the audiobook as the young Craker Blackbeard, adding a satisfyingly rueful note to the final chapters. ­Verdict Essential listening for fans of speculative fiction and longtime fans of Atwood, but even readers who fall into neither category should find this a compelling odyssey, well suited to audio. [“Certainly of great interest to Atwood fans...and for fans of dystopian/postapocalyptic fiction generally, this finale is a gripping read,” concurred the review of the Nan A. Talese: Doubleday hc, LJ 8/13.—Ed.]—Heather Malcolm, Bow, WA

Gruber, Michael. The Return. 14 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 17½ hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781482924718. $118; 14 CDs. retail ed.; 2 MP3-CDs. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F

In Gruber’s (The Good Son) latest, a retired book editor and his army buddy return to his late wife’s Mexican hometown, only to be besieged by vicious drug gangs that covet his property. However, readers of this review should renounce the above plot summary as a lame attempt to summarize a listening experience that surpasses synopsis, trivializes character sketches, transcends its cover illustration, and eclipses any superlatives proffered by reviewers. Gruber’s cinematic writing coupled with Jonathan Davis’s seamless performance creates a literary thriller that will commandeer all its listeners’ waking moments. VERDICT Those who can handle physical and sexual violence will not want the experience of this audiobook to end and afterward will plumb the library catalog for previous Gruber novels in a reading frenzy. Highly recommended. [“Despite some flaws, this novel will please readers who enjoy their thrillers on the literary side,” read the review of the Holt hc, LJ Xpress Reviews, 9/13/13.—Ed.]—Judith Robinson, Dept. of Lib. & Information Studies, Univ. at Buffalo

Massey, Sujata. The Sleeping Dictionary. 13 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 16 hrs. Dreamscape Media. 2013. ISBN 9781624067136. $29.99; 2 MP3-CDs. retail ed.; digital download. F

Massey’s harrowing yet hopeful story concerns Kamala, a strong, clever girl who perseveres through even the direst of circumstances toward her dream of independence, not only from the British rule of India that she finds so stifling but from her checkered past. Set during the 1920s through the end of World War II, around the time of the tumultuous Indian independence movement, Massey’s (Shimura Trouble) novel takes listeners on a journey with Kamala as she loses her family at a young age, forcing her transformation from an innocent peasant girl to a perceptive and astute young woman who is accepted in the proper British society she secretly roots against. The author’s attention to detail and character development combined with narrator Sneha Mathan’s ability to differentiate each distinctive voice will have audiences clinging to every poignant word as they listen to this masterly written saga. Historical fiction fans will love this title, but the surprising plot twists and satisfying conclusion will appeal to a much larger audience. VERDICT Highly recommended for public libraries.—Elizabeth Hoff, Bulverde Spring Branch Lib., TX

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Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Complete Sherlock Holmes. 50 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 59 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781469210049. $159.97; 50 CDs. retail ed.; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; digital download. F

Eggers, Dave. The Circle. 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 14 hrs. Books on Tape. 2013. ISBN 9780804191180. $45; digital download. F

Farizan, Sara. If You Could Be Mine. 5 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 5¼ hours. HighBridge Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781622312252. $26.95; 5 CDs. library ed.; digital download. F

Knox, Ruthie. About Last Night. 6 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452617084. $42.99; 6 CDs. library ed.; 1 MP3-CD. retail ed.; digital download. F

McCrumb, Sharyn. King’s Mountain. (Ballad, Bk. 10). 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781470328535. $102.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F

McGuire, Jamie. Red Hill. 8 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 9½ hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781442369061. $29.99; digital download. F

McMillan, Terry. Who Asked You? 9 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 10 hrs. Penguin Random Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781611762013. $39.95; 1 MP3-CD/10 CDs. library ed. Blackstone Audio; Playaway digital; digital download. F

Simsion, Graeme. The Rosie Project. 7 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 7½ hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781442363014. $29.99; digital download. F

Valente, Catherynne M. The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two. (Fairyland, Bk. 3). 7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 8½ hrs. Dreamscape Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781624067617. $59.99; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F

Yanagihara, Hanya. The People in the Trees. 13 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 16½ hrs. Dreamscape Media. 2013.

ISBN 9781624066955. $47.99; 2 MP3-CDs. retail ed.; digital download. F


Bryson, Bill. One Summer: America, 1927. 14 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 17 hrs. Books on Tape. 2013. ISBN 9780804127356. $45; 14 CDs. retail ed. Penguin Random Audio; Playaway digital; digital download. HIST

Fullilove, Michael. Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America into the War and into the World. 13 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 14¾ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781470364014. $123.75; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; digital download. HIST

Healy, Thomas. The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind—and Changed the History of Free Speech in America. 9 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 10½ hours. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452616162. $39.99; 9 CDs. library ed.; 1 MP3-CD. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. HIST

Howard, Clark & others. Living Large for the Long Haul: Consumer-Tested Ways To Overhaul Your Finances, Increase Your Savings, and Get Your Life Back on Track. 8 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 10 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452613956. $34.99; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. BUS

Klickstein, Michael. Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781480539617. $62.97; 8 CDs. retail ed.; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; digital download. SOC SCI

Labor, Earle. Jack London: An American Life. 14 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 17½ hrs. Tantor Media. 2013. ISBN 9781452616759. $95.99; 14 CDs. library ed.; 2 MP3-CDs. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. BIOG

Lindhout, Amanda & Sara Corbett. A House in the Sky. 11 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 13 hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781442367548. $39.99; digital download. MEMOIR

Matthews, Chris. Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked. 10 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 12 hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2013.ISBN 9781442368668. $39.99; digital download. POL SCI

Snyder, Don J. Walking with Jack: A Father’s Journey To Become His Son’s Caddie. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 12 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781470341732. $123.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; digital download. MEMOIR

Williams, Geoff. C.C. Pyle’s Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America. 9 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 10½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 978452611099. $83.99; 9 CDs. library ed.; 1 MP3-CD. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. HIST


Xpress Reviews: Nonfiction | First Look at New Books, January 31, 2014

Week ending January 31, 2014

Cohen, Andrew. Lost Beneath the Ice: The Story of HMS Investigator. Dundurn. 2013. 152p. illus. maps. bibliog. ISBN 9781459719491. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781459719514. HIST
After the disappearance of polar explorer Sir John Franklin during his 1845 journey to navigate the Northwest Passage, several rescue expeditions were dispatched. Among the searchers was Capt. Robert McClure, whose vessel HMS Investigator set out from England in 1850 and itself became trapped in the ice for three torturous years before help arrived. Cohen (journalism & international affairs, Carleton Univ.; While Canada Slept: How We Lost Our Place in the World) first presents a brief, engaging history of McClure’s troubled expedition, followed by an account of a 2010 Canadian expedition to locate the sunken remains of HMS Investigator. Following Cohen’s 37 pages of text, this large-format work includes over 100 pages of images, including evocative historical illustrations related to McClure’s original voyage, as well as many arguably less interesting color photographs provided by Parks Canada documenting the 2010 expedition and passably illuminating the harsh realities of polar travel.
Verdict Neither a pure coffee-table book nor a narrative history, but falling somewhere awkwardly in between, this work might better have been presented as a shorter piece in National Geographic magazine. Best suited to dedicated polar exploration buffs, but on this topic they are likely to prefer Brian Payton’s more historically in-depth work on the subject, The Ice Passage: A True Story of Ambition, Disaster, and Endurance in the Arctic Wilderness. (It does not cover the 2010 expedition.)—Ingrid Levin, Salve Regina Univ. Lib., Newport, RI

Jacobs, Michael. The Andalucía Guide. 5th ed. Interlink. 2013. 463p. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9781566569514. pap. $25. TRAV
Not for the casual traveler, the fifth edition of this text-heavy guide to Andalucía will speak to frequent visitors, extended residents, and those with an inexhaustible passion for the region. It focuses primarily on the historical and cultural heritage of the area, devoting fully half of the book to these narratives. The author’s thoroughness is not surprising considering his own experience living in and falling in love with the area, which he described in his 2004 memoir, The Factory of Light: Tales from My Andalucían Village. The book’s second half ostensibly delves into descriptions of specific places, but again these are not the restaurant and sightseeing recommendations found in the average travel guide. Rather, they provide windows into place-specific history and culture, explaining how this castle or that street informs the greater story of Andalucía.
Verdict This comprehensive, if occasionally stylistically overwrought, guide may fill a niche for Andalucía students and aficionados.—Audrey Barbakoff, Kitsap Regional Lib., Bainbridge Island, WA

Nüesch, Hanspeter. Ruth and Billy Graham: The Legacy of a Couple. Baker. 2013. 384p. photos. notes. ISBN 9780801016707. $19.99. REL
The life and legacy of Billy Graham has ascended once more to the national view as he nears the end of his life upon earth. His recent two books, Nearing Home and The Reason for My Hope, have reminded the nation of his impact on not only American evangelicalism but also the world. Although numerous biographies and biographical studies exist, Nüesch (national director, Campus Crusade for Christ International, Switzerland) focuses here on Billy and Ruth Bell Graham as a couple. Rather than employing a chronological treatment, the author delineates ten character traits that have exemplified the Grahams in public and personal life. By relaying anecdotes from their lifelong ministry partnership, the author challenges readers through example and scripture to inculcate those characteristics into their own lives. The Grahams’ lasting impact, writes Nüesch, is owing to these ten traits: partnership, authenticity, humility, intimacy with Christ, focus, integrity, faith, global responsibility, empowerment, and grace.
Verdict Readers who are interested in Christian biography or Christian living will appreciate being challenged by this overview of a couple who sought to evangelize others and deeply impacted 20th-century evangelical Christianity.—Ray Arnett, Fremont Area Dist. Lib., MI

Solomon, Brian. North American Railroad Family Trees: An Infographic History of the Industry’s Mergers and Evolution. Harper Voyager. 2013. 156p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780760344880. $40. HIST
Railroad names such as Nickel Plate, New York Central, and Sante Fe live on in railroading lore long after the demise of their namesake companies. Prolific railroad historian Solomon (Classic Locomotives: Steam and Diesel Power in 700 Photographs) tasks himself with bringing clarity to the bankruptcies, mergers, and acquisitions that over the last 150 years consolidated hundreds of American railroads into the handful of megasystems surviving today. His primary tool is a set of charts consisting of parallel, converging, and sometimes diverging color-coded lines showing the changing relationships among sets of railroads over time. Solomon concedes that the charts, which he supplements with time lines and route maps, are simplifications of events. His text is necessarily quite concise and serves mainly to place the charts in historical context. A sprinkling of colorful period maps and other illustrations with detailed captions provide additional interest. He concludes with a speculative chapter on possible future mergers or breakups.
Verdict Lay readers will enjoy thumbing through the illustrations and should find the overall work an adequate introduction. Savvy railroad enthusiasts would probably only use it as a quick reference.—Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA

Whitechapel Society. Jack the Ripper: The Terrible Legacy. History Pr. 2013. 95p. illus. ISBN 9780752493312. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9780752497303. CRIME
The Whitechapel Society, devoted to the study of Jack the Ripper, commissioned this monograph with ten papers that riff on the theme of victims. Rather than focusing just on the five women definitively known to be killed by Jack the Ripper (Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly), the essays consider a wide range of others who were directly affected by the murders, either because they were accused of the murders or failed to solve the crimes. The subjects include London Police Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline, Freemasons, Jews, “Prince Eddy” (Prince Albert Victor), and actor Richard Mansfield. Any whisper of suspicion immediately set off wild speculation about Jack’s true identity. Many of these “victims” have lived on in infamy. While the monograph tries to be both scholarly and popular, it is not quite either. Readers might enjoy picking and choosing which papers to read, as the styles vary. The references, which include books, articles, films, and websites, will be of much interest to Ripper fans, and each essay includes illustrations.
Verdict With Jack the Ripper in the news yet again, this might be of interest to “Ripperologists.” Recommended only for collections with extensive Jack the Ripper collections.—Karen Sandlin Silverman, Scarborough H.S. Lib., ME

Xpress Reviews: Audiobooks | First Look at New Books, January 31, 2014

Week ending January 31, 2014

Bond, Stephanie. Stop the Wedding. 6 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452614410. $34.99; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; digital download. F
Annabelle Coakley is shocked when her mother decides to marry aging movie star Marvin “Casanova” Castleberry. Clay Castleberry is not thrilled when his father announces that he’s taking the plunge again with a woman Clay figures must be a gold digger—why else would someone want to marry his father? Annabelle is taken aback when Clay offers her a bribe to disappear from Martin’s life, assuming that she is his father’s intended. This story of second chances is billed as a romantic comedy but, other than a for few moments, the story falls flat. Narrator Carla Mercer-Meyer does her best to bring life to the slow-moving novel.
Verdict Those seeking romantic comedies might be better served by looking to works by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Megan Mulry, or Jennifer Weiner.—Stephanie Charlefour, Wixom P.L., MO

Center, Katherine. The Lost Husband. 7 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 8½ hours. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452615202. $34.99; 1 MP3-CD/7 CDs. library ed.; digital download. F
Libby Moran is an incessant worrier who is sure she is a bad wife and mother. When she dreams about her husband having an affair, she argues with him about it; later that day, he dies in an auto accident. The aftermath leaves the family in dire financial straits. After selling their home and most of their belongings, Libby and the two kids move in with her hypercritical mother. Just when Libby is at the end of her rope, a letter arrives from her Aunt Jean offering a place to live and a small salary to help run her goat farm and cheese business. Taking a chance for the first time, Libby moves them to the farm and a new life. Narrator Amy Rubinate does a credible job, differentiating characters by variations in pitch and accents.
Verdict Recommend to patrons who enjoy the works of Jennifer Weiner and Luanne Rice.—Suanne B. Roush, Osceola H.S., Seminole, FL

Kaufman, Jennifer & Karen Mack. Freud’s Mistress. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781470364182. $123.75; 1-MP3 CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Kaufman and Mack (coauthors, A Version of the Truth) attempt to shed light on whether Sigmund Freud had an affair with his beautiful and witty sister-in-law, Minna Bernays, and whether his wife, Martha, knew. Minna comes to their household after losing a position as a lady’s companion. She becomes captivated by her brother-in-law, Sigmund, who was not yet well known. He, in turn, is enthralled by lively Minna. The inevitable happens! Fin de siècle Vienna comes to life in this audiobook narrated by actress Suzanne Toren. Toren’s well-paced, clear reading brings Minna to life. Her quirky voicing is amusing, and her slightly husky timbre gives a sense of intimacy.
Verdict Recommended to fans of historical fiction.—David Faucheux, Louisiana Audio Information & Reading Svc., Lafayette

Mace, Nancy L. & Peter V. Rabins. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss. 5th ed. 10 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 13½ hrs. Johns Hopkins. 2013. ISBN 9781421407777. $39.95; digital download. HEALTH
Bursting with suggestions, options, caveats, and advice, this work, now in its fifth edition, remains the definitive guide to living with dementia. Originally published in 1981, this updated edition reflects the latest medical science and caregiver-devised solutions to dementia issues. Discussions include nursing home research, caregiver coping strategies, daily routines (meals, shopping, driving, finances, etc.), housing alternatives, pain management, toileting, behavior issues, and interpersonal concerns. Elizabeth Tracey introduces chapters and sections, and Mace’s well-paced, friendly, and authoritative reading capably addresses uncomfortable or potentially embarrassing topics. Professionally produced with consistent volume, the audiobook has calming background music leading into each chapter without overwhelming either reader.
Verdict Of interest to patrons looking for information on living with dementia.—Laurie Selwyn, formerly with Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX

Ridgway, Bee. The River of No Return. 16 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 18½ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781470361525. $123.75; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Instead of dying in battle in 1815, Nicholas Falcott wakes up in a hospital bed in the 21st century, where he is rescued, educated, and eventually recruited by the Guild, guardians of history who control time travel. The Guild helps Nick adjust to modern life but then calls upon him to return to his own time to do battle with a renegade group of time travelers. Back in the 19th century, Nick reconnects with and falls in love with his erstwhile neighbor Julia Percy. Julia is a time manipulator as well, having learned its secrets from her grandfather. She and Nick soon embark on an adventure through time. Well read by Samuel Roukin, this story begs for a sequel.
Verdict Recommend to fans of Diana Gabaldon and other sf/romance authors. [“Despite signs of a novice writer…this debut novel by Ridgway is a highly entertaining romp; her historical details are accurate, and the characters are believable,” read the review of the Dutton hc, LJ 4/1/13.]—Cheryl Youse, Moultrie, GA

Let’s Get Graphic: Creating Comics in Novel Ways | The Reader’s Shelf

Just because comics are usually designed in tiers of panels meant to be read left to right and steadily down the page doesn’t mean they have to be. Many innovative creators have experimented with combining words and pictures in amazing ways, as these selections illustrate.

Chris Ware was already known for his inventive, meticulous illustration style before releasing Building Stories (Pantheon. 2012. ISBN 9780375424335. $50), but as it turns out his previous works were just a preamble. This graphic novel plays with format and presentation in surprising and delightful ways, telling the stories of the inhabitants of a single apartment building in multiple forms, shapes, and sizes. In one piece, echoing the shape of a small children’s book, the trials of a bumblebee in the building’s courtyard are explored. In another, large dioramas relate the ways architecture influences interaction. In a third, a long pamphlet examines a couple’s romantic travails.

Choosing between chocolate and vanilla ice cream has incredible consequences in ­Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile (Amulet. 2010. ISBN 9780810984233. $15.95), which boasts 3,856 different story lines readers can follow as they move through Shiga’s inventive and exciting graphic novel with the help of an intuitive tab system. Do you want to hop in a time machine, read minds, or experiment with the ominous Killitron 3000? Your choice may result in mind-bending paradoxes or the destruction of all life on Earth! Shiga’s illustrations seem simple at first but lend a lighthearted tone that complements the formal playfulness and spirit of adventure in the story—or stories.

Readers familiar with Lisa Hanawalt’s illustrations from Slate and the New York Times may be surprised by My Dirty Dumb Eyes (Drawn & Quarterly. 2013. ISBN 9781770461161. pap. $22.95), a collection unencumbered by editorial decree or restrictions on content. Hanawalt’s beautiful drawings are offset by her irreverent and absurd sense of humor, and she employs a range of styles and formats—from sketchbook images to illustrated movie reviews to single-panel gag strips.

Richard Stark’s (i.e., Donald Westlake) Parker novels had been adapted for film and television before writer/illustrator ­Darwyn Cooke transformed them into comics. His Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter (Idea & Design Works. 2012. ISBN 9781613773994. pap. $17.99) turned out to be not just the most faithful adaptation of Stark’s crime thriller ever achieved but also a landmark work that emphasizes the “novel” in the “graphic novel” like few others. Instead of softening the edges around Stark’s tough thug protagonist, Cooke sticks close, combining pen-and-brush illustrations that range effortlessly between cinematic noir and more cartoony sequences with selections of Stark’s inimitable prose to capture the glitz and grime of the 1960s underworld. The resulting hybrid of text and image deserves to be counted as a new standard.

In Ben Katchor’s latest release, Hand-­Drying in America: And Other Stories (Pantheon. 2013. ISBN 9780307906908. $29.95), the author makes good use of its large scale, filling each page with surreal detail and color in his distinctive scratchy style. Katchor walks readers through an imagined world that explores topics ranging from a study of men addicted to the texture of stair bannisters to the story of a skyscraper constructed spontaneously by city dwellers looking for a place to dump their refuse. Katchor overlays text and image, often running captions across the top of each panel as a counterpoint to the action being illustrated. The effect can be dizzying but creates a sense of displacement that draws readers deeper into Katchor’s singular vision of the world.

Jeff Zwirek’s Burning Building Comics (Imperial. 2012. ISBN 9780985875138. $19.95) flips the normal comics presentation on its head, opening lengthwise like a reporter’s notebook (so that it resembles the titular building) and taking advantage of the typical tier-of-panels layout so that each tier is a single floor of an apartment building following a different set of characters struggling to escape a raging inferno. With the cartoony look of an early Peanuts comic strip, Zwirek’s playful illustration conveys an attention to detail that gives each character’s race to escape a visceral ­immediacy.

Is it autobiography? Collage? An inspirational workbook? A how-to guide? Maybe a little of each? Lynda Barry has been one of this country’s top underground cartoonists since the early 1980s but waited until 2008 to release her masterpiece, What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly. 2008. ISBN 9781897299357. $24.95). Barry combines text, photography, watercolor, and more in a book that asks serious questions about art, self, and the creative impulse. Flipping through, readers will be overcome by images and ideas presented in novel ways that challenge assumptions about narrative and communication.

This column was contributed by Richmond-based Tom Batten, who received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2012 from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ‘s online feature Wyatt’s World and is the author of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers’ advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to the Reader’s Shelf should contact her directly at

Science Fiction/Fantasy Reviews | January 2014

I’m happy and honored to be joining Library Journal as the new sf/fantasy columnist, taking over for Jackie Cassada, who so ably held the reins for almost 30 years. My relationship with these genres goes back to my earliest reading days. Books such as A Wrinkle in Time hooked me early (reading about a heroine who was a fellow Meg didn’t hurt!), and I never really got unhooked. From a steady diet of sf and fantasy in my teen years, I branched out to reading anything and everything, but these genres still feel like home to me. I look forward to sharing great books with you every month and hope to use these columns as a place to talk about readers’ advisory for speculative fiction titles. I’ll also try to share news with you from the world of sf/fantasy publishing that will better help you better promote the genres with your readers.

Sf and fantasy books have always had a lot of cross-pollination between the adult and YA aisles, with coming-of-age stories a staple of both genres. Tales in which an ordinary young protagonist can experience something amazing or even become something incredible resonate with teens. Fully a third of the titles in this month’s column feature protagonists under the age of 20. The dystopian series from Julianna Baggott that began with Pure finishes up in Burn, with her heroes still in their teen years. C.S. Friedman, taking a break from her usual epic fantasies, tests out the urban fantasy waters with a 16-year-old protagonist in Dreamwalker.

I have also noticed a sudden uptick in authors who appear to be aging down their series by focusing on teenage protagonists. Both Rhiannon Held’s Reflected and Carrie Vaughn’s Dreams of the Golden Age are next generation books, and while they can be a way to bring in a teen audience, the question becomes whether the adults will stick around. The huge adult readership of teen fantasies such as Suzanne Collins’s “The Hunger Games” books and Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments” series seems to have spurred more authors to try and bridge adult and teen audiences. When done well, as with Pierce Brown’s debut, Red Rising (LJ 9/15/13), these kinds of books can be handed to adults and teens alike. But while the tendency to use teen protagonists can bring in younger readers, too much wallowing in teen angst can turn off some older ones. By trying to balance elements to attract older and younger audiences, authors gamble that their book will appeal to both groups, but of course the fear is that the gamble won’t pay off and the book won’t work for either. The only sure bet is that we haven’t seen the last of the teen hero.

Walton, Jo. What Makes This Book So Great. Tor. Jan. 2014. 464p. ISBN 9780765331939. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466844094. LIT

The Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author of Among Others believes there are two types of readers: those who reread and those who don’t. She tells of her own experience as a rereader in this collection of more than 130 essays, which first appeared as blog entries on the website. Walton’s case for revisiting favorite books, eloquently made in the introduction but illuminated in each essay, is that the practice can be simply comforting but can also provide endless opportunities for new perspectives and even revelations about works that readers thought they knew well. Walton shares not only her deep love for sf and fantasy in general and these novels in particular but the insights of a truly thoughtful reader. Especially enjoyable is her book-by-book analysis of Lois McMaster Bujold’s “Vorkosigan Saga.” VERDICT Although readers will miss out on some of the spirited discussions that appeared in the comments for these blog entries, it is still worth the time and money for any serious sf or fantasy fan, akin to a genre version of Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust. Walton’s affection for many of these titles is contagious, and fans will find their own reading lists growing. Since the author covers many core texts of the genre, this volume is also useful for collection development librarians seeking to fill holes in their sf shelves.

Cambias, James L. A Darkling Sea. Tor. Jan. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780765336279. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466827561. SF

On the planet of Ilmatar, a team of humans have set up an underwater base beneath the thick shelf of ice in order to study the native life-forms that live in the planet’s depths. They work under strictures that forbid any direct contact with the ­Ilmatarans, strictures put in place by the alien Sholen, who believe that humanity is too dangerous to be allowed loose on the galaxy. When one of the humans gets too close and is captured and killed by an Ilmataran, the Sholen intervene. But the human team won’t leave Ilmatar quietly. ­VERDICT Guerilla warfare at the bottom of the sea makes for an exciting sf adventure, but most of the interest comes from the aliens that Nebula-nominated short story writer Cambias has created in his debut novel rather than the bland human characters.

VanderMeer, Jeff. Annihilation. Farrar. (Southern Reach, Bk. 1). Feb. 2014. 208p. ISBN 9780374104092. pap. $13. SF

A small scientific expedition crosses the border into Area X, including our narrator, known only as the biologist. They are the 12th group to be sent with vague instructions to map this quarantined zone, the previous expeditions all having suffered terrible fates of one kind or another. Evidence of strange creatures lurking just out of sight and a general feeling that there are many things that the expedition hasn’t been told combine to give this story a sense of creeping paranoia. VERDICT Appropriate for a book by an author who is always straddling borders, World Fantasy Award winner VanderMeer’s (City of Saints and Madmen) latest falls somewhere between a long novella and a short novel. But this short work packs a big punch, as the author has rare skills for building tension and making the reader feel the claustrophobic dread of his characters. Readers will be unsettled, intrigued, and eager for the next volume in this new trilogy. [See Prepub Alert, 9/1/13.]


Edison, David. The Waking Engine. Tor. Feb. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780765334862. $25.99. fantasy

If death is just the first stop on a journey, the end of the line is the City Unspoken. For many of the souls of the metaverse, who are truly born only once but die countless times, this place is the one gateway to True Death. Cooper, a misfit from New York, wakes in the City Unspoken at a time when the paths to Death have stopped working, and there are those who think he might be the key to the undying. But the City is a dangerous place, full of vampiric undead, ancient queens, fallen angels, and sadistic faeries. Cooper picks up allies and enemies but must find his own power or be the tortured pawn of others. VERDICT This debut fantasy is a fever dream of vivid imagery and dark luscious prose, reminiscent of China Miéville in its byzantine, steampunk-influenced cityscape.

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Check These Out

Baggott, Julianna. Burn. Grand Central. (Pure, Bk. 3). Feb. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9781455502998. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781455503025. SF

Bledsoe, Alex. He Drank, and Saw the Spider: An Eddie LaCrosse Novel. Tor. Jan. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780765334145. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466808270. FANTASY

Brooks, Terry. The High Druid’s Blade. Del Rey: Ballantine. (Defenders of Shannara, Bk. 1). Mar. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780345540706. $28. fantasy

Clines, Peter. Ex-Purgatory. Broadway: Crown. (Ex-Heroes, Bk. 4). Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780804136617. pap. $14. SF


“We knew that members of the second expedition to Area X had committed suicide by shotgun and members of the third had shot each other. Not until several subsequent expeditions had suffered zero casualties had our superiors issued firearms again. We were the twelfth expedition.”—Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation

Friedman, C.S. Dreamwalker. DAW, dist. by Penguin Random. Feb. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780756408886. $19.95. FANTASY

Held, Rhiannon. Reflected. Tor. (Silver, Bk. 3). Feb. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780765330390. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429991148. Fantasy

Leonard, Anne. Moth and Spark. Viking. Feb. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780670015702. $27.95. FANTASY

Nicholas, Douglas. The Wicked. Emily Bestler: Atria. Mar. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9781451660241. pap. $15. ebk. ISBN 9781451660265. FANTASY

Vaughn, Carrie. Dreams of the Golden Age. Tor. (After the Golden Age, Bk. 2). Jan. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780765334817. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466815452. FANTASY

Weber, David. Like a Mighty Army. Tor. (Safehold, Bk. 7). Feb. 2014. 672p. ISBN 9780765321565. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429945080. SF

Wells, Jaye. Dirty Magic. Orbit: Hachette. (Prospero’s War, Vol. 1.) Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780316228435. pap. $10; ebk. ISBN 9780316228442. Fantasy

Wheeler, Ramona. Three Princes. Tor. Feb. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780765335975. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466826311. FANTASY

Collections & Anthologies

Dark Duets: All-New Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy. Harper Voyager. Jan. 2014. 432p. ed. by Christopher Golden. ISBN 9780062240286. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062240293. HORROR

Norton, Andre. Tales from High Hallack: The Collected Short Stories of Andre Norton. Premier Digital. (Collected Short Stories of Andre Norton, Bk. 1). Jan. 2014. 280p. ISBN 9781624671890. pap. $22.95. SF

Megan McArdle has worked in collection development in public libraries for 10 years and is currently the Adult, Teen and Collection Development Manager for the Berkeley Public Library (Berkeley, CA). She is a past chair for The Reading List Council (ALA’s award for genre fiction) and currently serves on ALA’s Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Committee. Megan has a book coming out from ALA Editions in 2014 on readers’ advisory for genre-blended books


The World Fantasy Awards were given out in Brighton, England, on November 3. This award is never afraid to go a little off the beaten path for its winners, choosing titles that are decidedly fantasy but that are often big hits with literary fiction fans as well. Past winners include literary darlings such as Haruki Murakami and Louise Erdrich as well as more traditional luminaries from the fantasy genre. This means that winners can easily be promoted beyond your genre shelves, and this year’s choice of the marvelous G. Willow Wilson’s Alif the Unseen is no exception. Why not take the opportunity to display some past winners in your library? Previous years’ winners can be found on the World Fantasy Convention’s homepage (

The 2013 Best Novel award nominees:

The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Graham Joyce (Doubleday)

The Drowning Girl, Caitlin R. Kiernan (Roc)

Crandolin, Anna Tambour (Chomu)

Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson (Grove)—WINNER

Simon & Schuster is launching a new science fiction, fantasy, and horror imprint. The new line, which does not yet have a name, will be headed by publisher Jon Anderson and by editor Joe Monti. S. & S. is the last of the “Big Five” publishers to add a dedicated imprint for speculative fiction, although they have long had prominent genre authors such as Ursula Le Guin and Anne McCaffrey on their list. The first titles should appear as early as the end of 2014, and the publisher’s goal is to release a dozen or more hardcovers annually for “YA and above.” It’s great to see a company make a new commitment to genre publishing, and I hope to be reviewing books from the new line this time next year!