Portland Book Review Issue

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VOLUME 6 VOLUME2, 2, ISSUE ISSUE 2 - May 2013 JuneMarch - September 2012



Read to a Child! Page 6

The Tradgedy of Castro Pages 8

Portland Pearl District Page 16


Writing Contest Page 21

Be Happy No Matter What Page 26



144 Reviews INSIDE!

Capturing Camelot by Kitty Kelley Stanley Tretick’s most notable work was the photographs he took of President Kennedy and his family. The famous picture of John, Jr. peeping out from his father’s desk in the oval office left an endearing impression of the first family that would forever seal the ideal of Camelot into the hearts of the American people. “Capturing Camelot: Stanley Tretick’s Iconic Images of the Kennedys” breathes life into this compilation of more than 200 photos, many never before seen until now. Based on Tretick’s own notes, mementos and oral history, his close friend, author, Kitty Kelley shares how Tretick was able to get close to the President and Mrs. Kennedy. Conscious of image, yet fiercely protective of her children’s privacy, the nature of the relationship between the photographer and America’s darling family would prove a tender balance. The friendship and

trust he established with JFK served him well and years after JFK’s assassination, he was given all-access to Robert Kennedy’s campaign, even taking one last photo of the Presidential hopeful as he walked down the long hallway from his suite in the Ambassador Hotel on that fateful day in 1968. Kelley’s moving narrative, along with the sizable, glossy photographs will surely delight any Camelot aficionado! Alicea Swett

50 years since JFK was killed!

Reference Rocket English Grammar By Carl W. Hart Two Harbors Press, $26.99, 259 pages Carl Hart’s “Rocket English Grammar” is divided into 20 units for the person that wants to learn English grammar in a selfdirected manner. This book is designed to be used in multiple ways: in the formal classroom, as a self-paced learning guide or as a supplement to an English class. Each unit is comprehensive beginning with a lesson, the some items to remember in a bulleted list and finally some practice questions. Topics range from nouns and pronouns to gerunds to adjective clauses. In other words, this is not a simplistic book, but instead tackles those tricky and pesky English grammar language nuances. The appendix includes a list of irregular verbs and an answer key to the numerous practice activities in each unit. “Rocket English Grammar” is not for the faint of heart; this is a book for someone serious about learning proper English grammar. The plentiful examples, things to remember and exhaustive practice with aid anyone focused on truly learning English grammar. As a matter of fact, native English speakers could use this book to practice and understand all that grammar their English teacher so desperately tried to teach them in high school! Seniye Groff Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World By Nataly Kelly & Jost Zetzsche Perigee Trade, $16, 288 pages Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche have written a fascinating book about the importance of language and translation. From the medical field to politics and war, through entertainment, business, and social media, Kelly and Zetzsche show through real life stories and anecdotes just how transforming language really is. After the first chapter you will begin to gain new perspectives into the world and the people around us, and how crucial it is to interpret a language correctly. As you continue reading, you will also start to look at yourself and begin thinking about your own role with language. You will also notice how language and translation are taken for granted in our everyday lives. If you love experiencing an engaging read, exploring new things, and having your mind stimulated, then don’t wait a second


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Modern Literature more! Read “Found in Translation”, and you may even find yourself transformed at the end of it. Courtney New Promise of Departure By LW Montgomery Createspace, $12.99, 282 pages Greg faces an existential crisis. Once a successful programmer and co-owner of a lucrative gaming company, he’s now wealthy, underemployed, insomniac, alcoholic, extremely unhappy, and soonto-be divorced. It is, in this state of mind, that he sees a story on the news about the earthquake in Haiti. In a situation that would cause anger and distress in most populations, the Haitians were celebrating! Inspired by the footage, Greg decides to abandon everything-his marriage,his daughter, his home-to go to Haiti and fix motorcycles. He buys a rugged motorcycle, loads it with tools, and makes his way into a country where he doesn’t speak the language and knows no one. “Promise of Departure” is the story of Greg’s exodus from “the work-a-day environment” that has been stifling his soul. His success, affluence, and the certainty they engender were shackles from which he must escape in order to be happy. It is important for the reader to sympathize with Greg and his plight; much of the protagonist’s journey is internal rather than external, and the other characters function as an audience for Greg’s explanations and musings. Eventually Greg finds peace-and a really sweet motorcycle-in service to others. Sponsored Review Grammar: The Structure of Language By Rachel Grenon Walker Books, $12, 58 pages “Grammar: The Structure of Language” by Rachel Grenon is a short, quick read, explaining the basic grammar of history. First Grenon walks us through a short history, explaining how alphabets came into being and then the evolution of languages English in particular. She then breaks down the English language, giving definitions of each part of the written English language. While Grenon’s work offers nothing new, she does explain the basics of English concisely and without any frills. She offers a lot of illustrations, some of which make more sense than others, and quotations that help illustrate every term that she works to

define. Grammar, by nature, can be boring and unfortunately the opening of this book seems to follow this trend, and only towards the end does the writing begin to shake of the boredom and reflect a sense of passion. Albeit boring, it is a good, quick reference if anyone is interested in looking up the basics without having to consult a larger, maybe more respected tome. Nicole Green

her childhood home: “No one told me they were written in ‘other languages.’ I read and semi-understood them. Not understanding opened the door to other forms of imagining.” This magical and elastic attitude towards language is contagious, implanting itself outside of the book in the reader, and so “Spit Temple” accomplishes what I imagine a live performance would. Sarah Alibabaie

An End to All Things By Jared Yates Sexton Atticus books, $14.95, 223 pages “An End to All Things” is a short story collection about ends of sorts. It shows the end of relationships, end of innocence, and the end of very many, many bottles of alcohol. It depicts characters and those small, seemingly insignificant moments in their lives that reflect their utter humanity. Readers should definitely read this book from beginning to end because the book takes some interesting thematic choices towards the end. While reading these stories, this reviewer became very reminiscent of Raymond Carver. In fact, a good way to describe these stories would be Carver-lite. The characters are exceedingly human and they can’t do anything right no matter how hard they try to make themselves happy. While they do read like classic short stories, the stories in this collection share a similar voice, almost too similar, but that’s not necessarily a problem since they are all very compelling. This collection is Jared Yates Sexton’s first collection, which suggests that he has a long literary career ahead of him, and readers should be excited for that. Definitely a good read. Gregory A. Young Spit Temple By Edited & Translated by Rosa Alcala Ugly Duckling Presse, $18, 341 pages “Spit Temple” is an eye-catching title, and this collection of poems and performances by Cecilia Vicuna are also mind-catching. Reading the introduction by editor and translator Rosa Alcala does help to later read and feel the performances presented later on, which can otherwise seem too mysterious, and it sets the reader up in anticipation for the artist’s work to come. The prose-poems in the first section meet this anticipation; the first ones especially are very beautiful and deceptively simple. The poems are an autobiography and a kind of second introduction in addition to being works of art. She says of the books of various languages in

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IN THIS ISSUE Art, Photography & Architecture....... 5

Biographies & Memoirs......................17 Children's......................................27-28 Cooking, Food & Wine....................13-14 Current Events & Politics...................23

EDITOR IN CHIEF M. Chris Johnson chris.johnson@portlandbookreview.com 503.701.6761 MANAGING EDITOR

Crafts & Hobbies................................19 Heath & Fitness & Dieting................ 24 Historical Fiction ............................... 8

Aimee Rasmussen



Home & Garden.............................18-19


Music & Movies................................ 20

Michael Johnson

Mystery, Crime & Thriller............... 6-7


Poetry & Short Stories....................... 4

Aimee Rasmussen Kaila Searl

Popular Fiction & Sequential Art.........9

Mary Breaden

Science & Nature................................10

Lauren Adam Galina Roizman Jon Sanetel Lindy Gervin Andrea Klein Andrea Franke

Science Fiction & Fantasy..............11-12 Spirituality & Inspiration..................22 Reference & Modern Literature...........2 Relationships & Sex...........................22 Tweens.............................................. 26

The Portland Book Review is published quarterly and is licensed from 1776 Productions, producers of the San Francisco Book Review and Sacramento Book Review. The opinions expressed in these pages are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Portland Book Review advertisers. All images are copyrighted by their respective copyright holders. All words © 2013, Portland Book Review.

Young Adult & Self-Help.................... 25

FROM THE EDITOR E-readers have landed! iPads, iPhones, Androids, Kindles, Nooks, the list is growing for all the new electronic ways to read. I am often asked if I think paper-printed books are eventually going away and my response is always a most-definite NO! Paper books will never go away completely and I’ll tell you why; when you are snuggled in your warm bed swaddled in your favorite blankets and reading your nighttime book, it’s natural to fall asleep. Your book will gently fall to your chest or quietly to the floor and you tranquilly float away into your dreams. It’s the most wonderful thing. However, when you fall asleep with any e-reader, it bonks you in the head and ruthlessly wakes you back up! That’s why I’ll never give up my paper books! There is always a place for e-readers like standing in a line somewhere or when you’re waiting for an appointment. A book can be bulky to carry around with you so e-readers do come in handy. But still, there’s nothing better than opening up a new book, smelling the ink and hearing the crack of the spine on that first opening! Don’t limit yourself to one or the other. Enjoy what’s out there but don’t give up the classic book. You’ll sleep better – trust me! Now, on to other news… Portland Book Review is hosting a //Writing Contest// from March 1st to June 30th for your short stories! We’re all a buzz here about it and can’t wait to read your work. Check out the details in this edition and on our website at www. portlandbookreview.com. Also, we’re making some big changes to our Submission Guidelines page and our Sponsored Book Review programs. We’ve dropped the prices and added some additional features to assist you in getting the word out to our viewers on all those thousands of books out there! Be sure to read the Submission Guidelines page on our website for all the deets!

Readers Unite!

M.Chris Johnson Editor In Chief

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Poetry & Short Stories

Anathemas and Admirations By E.M. Cioran, Translated by Richard Howard Arcade Publishing, $14.95, 186 pages Philosopher and Essayist E. M. Cioran has been heralded as one of the great philosophers of the 20th century. In “Anathemas and Admirations” Cioran presents essays on writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Paul Valery, which he terms “admirations”. “Anathemas” are also present, these are Ciorans notes and insights into life, God, disappointment, friendship, and vanity, and many other aspects. Reading Cioran’s admirations is pleasant. It is obvious he is a man of intelligence who respects those he feels deserve it, and derides the rest. It is through the anathemas the reader gets a real feel for the individual behind these writings. At one point Cioran is hopeful, the next despondent, rebelling against all of humanity. “Anathemas and Admirations” is a fantastic book to pick up and read during a few moments of downtime. It should be savored slowly, but it is well worth the time. Not only for the truth put forth inside it, but for the insight it provides into Cioran’s mind and heart. Andrew Keyser Mythic Imagination: Collected Short Fiction By Joseph Campbell New World Library, $24.95, 268 pages “Mythic Imagination: Collected Short Fiction” is a collection of seven short stories written primarily during the 1940s by Joseph Campbell. Six were never published during Campbell’s lifetime and all were written before he decided to devote his life to the study of comparative mythologies and wrote his classic book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. The era of the 1940s is captured in the slang, writing style and politics of the short stories. WWII is a frequent backdrop. There is an allure to the simple life away from


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civilization. Racism and sexism are rampant and, although it’s clear Campbell is attempting to criticize both, it’s not up to modern political correct standards. It’s difficult to criticize Campbell for these verbose, antiquated stories since he never had an option for final edits before publication. Therefore, a reader must appreciate them for what they are: stories written of an era by a man who was not yet, but would become, one of the most influential philosophers on storytelling. Sarah Hutchins Little Sinners and Other Stories By Karen Brown University of Nebraska Press, $17.95, 194 pages At first I was stumped at why I had a hard time reading through these stories because I really enjoyed Karen Brown’s writing. I thought it was because I didn’t like the content. Then I realized that it wasn’t the content but how invasive I felt. Karen Brown’s descriptive and honest writing made me feel like I was there, a fly on the wall, spying on her characters. Reviewed by haunting and sad. I liked how all of it made me uncomfortable. It felt real. It was a reminder that no matter where we are or who we are we all experience the tragic beauty and ugliness of life. Her eleven stories are set in suburbia and express everyday pain. Courtney New

Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast (National Poetry Series) By Hannah Gamble Fence Books, $15.95, 68 pages In this short collection of poems, one of the five that is part of the National Poetry Series, we explore the world of growing old and starting off young. Hannah Gamble takes the reader on a lyrical journey through life, expectations, and what it means to actually live. The vast majority of her poems are easy to follow, with only a few going down a more disjointed path. Mrs. Gamble covers a wide range of topics, but the ones that reoccur the most are ones about older family members, young children, and the possibility of missing ones calling in life. The poems are short, and are stand alone. She combines the title with the body of the poem, so no need to utterly ignore the title of the poems. Mrs. Gamble weaves a picture of life that is changing, even if you are not changing with it. Even though this is a short work it is impressive. I can see why this work was one of the five chosen to be published. Even though it is short, this is a book that can be reread and enjoyed each time. Kevin Winter Dear Life: Stories By Alice Munro Alfred A. Knopf, $26.95, 319 pages “Dear Life,” the new compilation of short stories is my first foray into the world of Alice Murno. Each story stands on its own, with Murno’s word choice and how she sets up the scene for the reader, however the common theme is life and how a chance encounter can have either successful or disastrous consequences for those involved in the story. Murno, who is Canadian, and returns to her old stomping grounds of home, uses her hometown as a character that is able to stand on its own feet. While reading the stories, it was hard for me if it was a male or female’s point of view, but in the end it doesn’t really matter I was able to understand where Murno is coming from. Also as I previously mentioned this is my first attempt at Murno, and I did overall enjoy my time with her, but reader, be prepared for some heavy topics, i.e, death, love, loss, and so forth. This book isn’t without a personal note from Murno, she is a private person and rarely lets the reader into her personal life, but the ending will give you a glimpse into just that life. You get to see where she gets her start not only has a writer, but as a

person. This isn’t a lighthearted book by any means, but its a great first look in the mind of Alice Murno. I would definitely recommend this book to you, especially if you want to be challenged as not only a reader, but as a human. Enjoy! Annie Hicks The Fifty Year Sword By Mark Z. Danielewski Pantheon Books, $26, 285 pages Chintana is reeling in the wake of her husband’s infidelity, abrupt departure and request for a divorce. When invited to a party, her husband’s mistress greets her. Together, they find themselves with five orphans, all engrossed by a storyteller by his accounts of his adventure to find a specific weapon, the title of the book. The result is a sort of fairytale within a fairytale. Compared to his award-winning cult classic “The House of Leaves”, Mark Z. Danielewski’s latest book “The Fifty Year Sword” is a light read that can be easily finished in one sitting. The physical book is lovely with red stitching and colored sketches. The story is told in loose verse stretched across the page accentuating particular words and, at the climax, drawing out the suspense. The effect, although somewhat distracting at times, is ultimately reminiscent of elementary school days when an adult would read a picture book. Despite its playfulness and humor, it is still a delightfully gruesome and mature book. Chintana is reeling in the wake of her husband’s infidelity, abrupt departure and request for a divorce. When invited to a party, her husband’s mistress greets her. Together, they find themselves with five orphans, all engrossed by a storyteller by his accounts of his adventure to find a specific weapon, the title of the book. The result is a sort of fairytale within a fairytale. Sarah Hutchins

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Art, Photography & Architecture Bad Medicine, Volume 1 By Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir, Illustrated by Christopher Mitten Oni Press, $19.99, 120 pages Not all supernatural science comics are created the same. “Bad Medicine” follows a CDC special unit that takes on the weirder cases. They find what appears to be supernatural creatures and look for the science behind them. Meanwhile, their leader Doctor Randal Horne is haunted by his past, literally. The one patient whose death he was responsible for keeps him on a level course even as those below him are split between worrying that he may be suffering from psychosis as he solves the cases as only he can. Normally, the science-explains-the-supernatural thing does not work because the writer is trying too hard to disprove the supernatural. In this case, because the supernatural is embraced whenever possible, it works. That is, the werewolf is diseased but the invisible man is actually invisible and Doctor Horne does have a ghost sidekick of sorts. The characters do need to take a step back from their stereotypical sources, and bringing Doctor Anderson aboard in the third issue is a good step in that direction. This is actually a fairly decent comic and just needs to find a better center before it really takes off. Jamais Jochim Terra Tempo: The Four Corners of Time By Shapiro Herndon Melville Craigmore Creations, $17.99, 253 pages In the first “Terra Tempo” graphic novel, “Ice Age Cataclysm!”, twins Jenna and Caleb and their know-it-all friend Ari find themselves, with the aid of a special map owned by their adventurous naturalist uncle, time traveling into the Ice Age of 15,000 years ago. They came across prehistoric mammals and witnessed the grand Missoula Flood, caused when a gigantic ice dam burst and Glacial Lake Missoula (in Montana) drained, its gushing torrent flowing west and sculpting the channeled scablands of the Pacific Northwest. The trio saw that the flood’s waters had covered their home - present day Portland, Oregon. Author David Shapiro, illustrator Christopher Herndon, and colorist Erica Melville continue the time traveling adventures in “The Four Corners of Time”, bringing the kids through several older time periods represented throughout the American southwest. They pass out in the Cambrian because of low oxygen levels, meet early tetrapods in the Devonian, get chased in the Carboniferous by humans, dodge pre-dinosaur reptiles in the Triassic, and face the tyrant lizard king in the Cretaceous. Those humans, by the way, are men out to abuse time traveling for profit,

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seeking to steal the maps the kids are in possession of. A lesson in geology and paleontology, the “Terra Tempo” series so far has proved that learning science does not have to be boring. It can be - and perhaps should be - an adventure! Michael Barton Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit By Steve Niles & Scott Morse Dark Horse Comics, $19.99, 34 pages Cal McDonald is a different kind of detective. He may possess a gruff personality and penchant for alcohol like other hardboiled private eyes, but McDonald is actually dead. So, he spends his afterlife solving supernatural cases, and in “The Iron Spirit”, the newest Steve Niles “Criminal Macabre” mystery, McDonald assists a retired Air Force captain in putting the tortured souls of some unfortunate soldiers to rest. Michael Albani The James Bond Omnibus 004 By Ian Fleming Titan Books, $19.95, 288 pages If you are a fan of James Bond and comic strips, you will love the fourth installment of “The James Bond Omnibus 004.”This collection of nine missions is sure to entertain you with its thrilling and dangerous storylines. The stories are just as action-packed as the movies and include titles such as “Trouble Spot”, “The Girl Machine”, “Beware of Butterflies”, “Die With My Boots On” and “The Phoenix Project.” The comic strips are detailed and drawn in black and white. The stories follow Bond and he searches for the bad guy and, of course, cavorts with several ladies along the way. As James Bond fans would expect, there are weapons, fighting and intrigue. I would have liked the pictures to be a bit larger and some color would have been nice, too. But for the true James Bond aficionado, nine action-packed stories will entertain, thrill and engage the reader for hours. Seniye Groff Cezanne, Murder, and Modern Life (The Phillips Book Prize Series) By Andre Dombrowski University of California Press, $60, 310 pages “The viewer has intruded upon a scene she never wished to see. There is nothing but a bleak bedroom with a bed and heavy

curtains. A man-young, powerful, relentlessly-strangles a woman” begins Andre Dombrowski Cezanne, Murder, and Modern Life, a book which portrays Paul Cezanne’s early impressionistic paintings during the 1850’s full of murder, sexual violence (mainly towards women), and the dark, fragile, uncertainty of the modern urban age. Cezanne’s The Strangled Woman,The Murder, The Abduction, crosses the boundaries of the popular culture with raw paintings depicting the exploitation of violence and crime often read in the daily newspaper. Painters like Paul Cezanne were part of the catalyst of change, whose work would eventually become a precurser to Cubism. Dombrowski’s scholarly text offers the reader an intelligent, psychological, and well-researched book on early impressionism in Paris. Dombrowski delves deeply into the mind set of French Modernism involving “Le culte du moi,” during the 1850’s-1860’s, and it’s effect on Manet and Cezanne as well as the France’s leading novelists, poets, and musicians of the day. Dombrowski dominant theme is the comparison of Cezanne’s rival, Claude Manet, who painted romanticized, impersonal, and often pretentious versions of realism. Cezanne, who hated impersonality in paintings, often adapts a more modern version of Manet’s work with Cezannes deeply subjective version of Manet’s A Modern Olympia, Dejeuner sur l’herbe, Portrait of Zola. With Cezanne offering a nihilistic view of humanity where there was no God, no humanity, only innate drives. Sheila Erwin

Vogue Weddings: Brides, Dresses, Designers By Edited by Chloe Malle Alfred A. Knopf, $85, 372 pages After one gets engaged, its time to plan the wedding from the venue to the all important dress. A bride will search magazine after magazine for not only the dress but her theme of the day. A day that will hopefully live up to her 8 year old dreams from yesterday. One great source for any bride is the book, “Vogue Weddings: Brides, Dresses, and Designers”. This book is a great coffee table drinking tea wasting a rainy day away type of book. The book starts out with a lovely forward from an institution in weddings and wedding dresses, Vera Wang. It is split into sections by locations, ranging from royal weddings to the vogue wedding with the last section dealing with the wedding designers guide. The sections can hopefully help pin a bride’s vision down of what she wants for her day. It not only shows the dresses, but pictures of family, wedding members, and the beautiful locations. I enjoyed not only the lovely brides and their beaus, but the stories that accompanied them. Anyone who picks this book up, whether for a quick read at Powell’s or for keeps, will be easily loose track of time and will be wanting to have an excuse to plan that next wedding. Annie Hicks

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Mystery, Crime & Thriller The Gentlemen’s Hour: A Novel By Don Winslow Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, $15, 338 pages This book is one in a series by author Don Winslow written around a group of surfing buddies in Pacific Beach, California. The group known as the Dawn Patrol includes Dave the Love God, High Tide, Johnny Banzai, Hang Twelve (due to an extra toe on each foot) and our central character Boone Daniels. Sunny the surfing goddess of previous books has left for fame and fortune on the professional women’s surfing circuit. Boone is a private investigator as long as it does not take too much time away from his surfing. In this book the beaches are starting to get crowded and the surfers or wannabe surfers are taking over the beaches and not showing proper respect to their fellow beach mates. Boone’s new semi love life is Petra Hall, a beautiful, demanding and persistent junior partner of a local law firm. The murder of a local legend, K2, Kelly Kuhio, Mister Pipeline, the Zen Master and all around good guy, permanently changes the atmosphere of the beach scene. Petra asks Boone to investigate the murder and the obvious suspect, Corey Blasingame, and he refuses due to his long friendship with K2. To her statement that everyone has the right to a defense, Boone replies, “not him.” After much soul searching Boone is forced to decide between his principles of fair play and his loyalty to his best friends on the Dawn Patrol. I thoroughly enjoyed this read as well as several others of Mr. Winslow’s books. Brian Taylor Cat Bearing Gifts: A Joe Grey Mystery By Shirley Rousseau Murphy William Morrow, $19.99, 304 pages The 18th book in the Joe Grey mysteries series tells a story of five felines and their human house mates who are victimized by a couple of crooks. The tale begins when Kate Osborne returns home to the California coast from an enigmatic journey, laden with riches. She lavishes her elderly friends with jewels, and after a major shopping spree, they and their tortoiseshell cat, Kit, head home in their town car, along the dark, winding coast highway. An out-ofcontrol truck hits a pickup and rams into the cliff causing a landslide, which barely misses the town car. One of the crooks proceeds to assault the elderly couple, and loading his injured friend, steals the town car, unaware of the jewels hidden inside. The five felines starring in this novel are able to


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communicate with their humans, and do all they can to bring the bad guys to justice. The author of this series, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, has received ten national Cat Writers’ Association Awards for best novel of the year and is also an award-winning children’s book author. She and her husband live in Carmel, California with their two cats. “Cat Bearing Gifts” is an enjoyable romp, building on previous books in the series. If you haven’t read any in the series before it, you may find it confusing keeping track of all the different characters, and following references to earlier stories. However, it is a pleasant read, either way. Fran Byram The Twelve (Book Two of The Passage Trilogy): A Novel By Justin Cronin Ballantine Books, $28, 592 pages The trilogy began with “The Passage”. Now fans of Justin Cronin’s tale about the end of the world can enjoy “The Twelve”. Remember the 12 deathrow inmates who were turned into vampires? They are back with a vengeance. And these guys would not fit into the Cullen family. They are monstrous, frightening, eating machines who have assembled an army of virals around the country. Cronin takes readers to different areas of the U.S. and to different time periods. A good portion of the story relates what happened immediately after the 12 were created. He introduced Grey and Lila, two extremely important characters who will play a huge role in the story. The year 97 A.V. and beyond is the focus of the rest of the story. Even more characters like the strong Oiler Lore and gangster Tifty become involved. And old favorites like Peter, Alicia, Amy, Michael and Sara (just to name a few) are reunited just in time to face the coming horror. Cronin’s story is full of scary scenes and amazing details. His writing is directly affected by his life experiences. It won’t surprise readers to know that he spent hours stranded on a road with hundreds of other cars trying to flee Houston before Hurricane Rita hit. His feelings of desperation and helplessness are felt by characters on almost every page. Panic inducing moments will have readers on the edge of their seats. Elizabeth Franklin

A Small Hill to Die On: A Penny Brannigan Mystery By Elizabeth J. Duncan Minotaur Books, $24.99, 259 pages Penny Brannigan is settling into life as the co-owner of the Llanelen’s spa and into a romance with Gareth Davies, the local police inspector. Unfortunately, trouble has a way of finding Penny and her life turns upside down after she discovers the body of Ashlee, the daughter of a new business competitor. Penny’s boyfriend tries to keep her from investigating but Penny can’t help herself - as she uncovers clues, she finds the key to not one but two murders in the village. “A Small Hill to Die On” is an extremely pleasant tea cozy mystery by author Elizabeth J. Duncan, and the latest in the Penny Brannigan mystery series. The village she has created is charming with a mix of odd and quirky characters. The main character is nicely written and is smart and engaging to the reader. The mystery unfolds nicely and logically and the plot is well-paced throughout the book. Fans of Penny Brannigan will enjoy this latest mystery and new readers will enjoy her adventures as well. Barbara Cothern

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Mystery, Crime & Thriller Severed Threads By Kaylin McFarren Creative Edge Publishing, $14.95, 285 pages Finding the Wanli II, the Ming Dynasty Emperor’s lost dragon ship, is paramount to Sam Lyons. Despite his daughter’s skepticism, and even his partner’s doubts, Sam is certain of the ship’s existence and treasure, and is willing to risk everything to find it. The search for this ship becomes both his obsession and his destruction. His daughter Rachel feels he and Chase Cohen, the man she loves, are on a fool’s errand. What happens to Sam only begins the story of Chase, Rachel, and the Wanli II. The equally conflicting stories of the Wanli II and of Chase and Rachel’s relationship are the crux of “Severed Threads”. Both ocean and land carry this story that will keep readers following its twists and turns. Kaylin McFarren has developed strong characterizations of Chase and Rachel, keeping readers connected to both of them. The many supporting well-developed characters give readers a good sense of them and their roles in the story. The majority of the dialogue in the book realistically propels the story. “Severed Threads” nicely combines an action adventure with a romantic story that will keep readers involved in the story from beginning to end. Sponsored Review Footprints in the Sand By Mary Jane Clark William Morrow, $25.99, 384 pages When Piper Donovan goes to Sarasota Florida for the wedding of her cousin, Kathy, she expects nothing but rest and relaxation. Unfortunately for Piper, her knack for trouble follows her and soon she is embroiled in investigating the disappearance of Shelley, one of the bridesmaids. Things get worse when a body is found on the beach and Piper must try to find the killer before the wedding is ruined and before she becomes his next victim. “Footprints in the Sand” is the most recent book in the Piper Donovan series by author Mary Jane Clark. From the cover and description, the book sounded like a lighthearted mystery that is mostly fun and entertaining. Unfortunately, there is little fun or entertainment to be had in this novel. The main problem isn’t the frothy mystery but the characters and their dialogue, neither of whom would realistically exist outside of a novel. The dialogue and character interactions are improbable throughout and the


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main character herself just doesn’t provide enough interest to keep the reader engaged. The mystery aspect of the book is satisfactory, if not surprising. Overall this is one book to skip. Barbara Cothern Bloody Murdock By Robert J. Ray Camel Press, $14.95, 230 pages One night after attending a decadent party in Laguna Beach, aspiring actress Gayla Jean Kirkwood and her Latin actor love interest are murdered. The only person with photographic evidence of the crime, Ellis Dean, fears that the men who took Gayla Jean’s life will take his as well. So, who can he turn to in his time of need? None other than weapons expert and private investigator Matt Murdock. In “Bloody Murdock”, the titular detective finds himself embroiled in a murder mystery rife with danger, intrigue, and a few beautiful women. There is a great deal to enjoy in "Bloody Murdock", especially for readers who crave quality craft in their mystery novels. Murdock is characterized very well and the level of expertise he demonstrates with all the tools of his gumshoe trade reveal just how much time and research author Robert J. Ray put in to composing the narrative. There are moments of suspense, terror, and even disgust throughout this novel handled skillfully with great descriptive language and smart, believable dialogue. There is no question that "Bloody Murdock" is indeed a bloody good read. Michael Albani The Aden Effect: A Connor Stark Novel By Claude Berube Navel Institute Press, $27.95, 272 pages Set in Yemen, “The Aden Effect”, stars a court-marshaled Navy lieutenant commander who is called back for active duty. Now, Commander Connor Stark is assigned as a defense attachce’ to the ambassador of Yemen. His mission: to mend strained diplomatic relations with the oil rich country. Unfortunately, the pirates who patrol the Gulf of Aden have a different assignment. They want him dead. Author Claude Berube does an excellent job of keeping the story moving. He pairs Stark with an Iranian born American diplomatic security agent for instant tension. While the two have much in common, the increase in testosterone makes for compelling character development. Like all military thrillers, the main female character—who in this case is the ambassador to Yemen—is slender, wears pastels, and eventually makes advances on our hero.

Also like most military thrillers, Berube utilizes many, many military acronyms. However, he does not define them on initial presentation. Readers of military thrillers will recognize most of them, the average person will not. The plot is deftly woven and enjoyable for the most part, but the pieces that don’t fit will stifle the astute reader. With action suited for the screen, the story may find its niche in Hollywood. Sheli Ellsworth

The panicked mother hired a private detective to search for her. The investigation takes the Nameless Detective to the rural and forested northeast corner of California and the tiny village of Creekside. Most of the people he meets there are hostile and unwilling to cooperate. They claim they do not know of the whereabouts of the missing girl and her boyfriend. The suspense builds as he runs afoul of a group of heavily armed white supremacists who have a compound in the woods near the village. Bill Pronzini has published 77 novels in his long career. Of those include the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master. Fran Byram

Dog in the Manger: An Eli Paxton Mystery By Mike Resnick Seventh Street Books, $13.95, 201 pages Master novelist Mike Resnick has done it again with this fastpaced, read-it-all-inone-sitting mystery novel. The plot is uncanny, full of twists and turns, murders and mayhem, taking P.I. Eli Paxton from Cincinnati to Arizona and Mexico and back. Baroness von Tannelwald has disappeared. She’s “From one of Arizona’s old Weimaraner families,” the distressed and frantic client explained. “She’s a dog” - a Westminster champion Weimaraner, no less. Dog show lore, a big dog house, dog crates and wealthy dog handlers and owners pop up throughout the book, but where’s the Baroness? Besides the champion gone missing, you and the stalwart Eli Paxton will also be hard pressed to find the manger (of the title). There are a lot of false leads in this missing dog tale until, almost at the end, the where’s, why’s and how’s of it all are shockingly revealed. Don Messerschmidt Kinsmen: A Nameless Detective Novella By Bill Pronzini Cemetery Dance Publications, $19.99, 185 pages A student at the University of Oregon in Eugene left campus to visit her mother in

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Historical Fiction The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah’s Book Club 2.0) By Ayana Mathis Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95, 243 pages “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” opens with Hattie, seventeen in 1925, struggling to keep her sick twins alive. She is in a loveless marriage with a womanizer, August, that thought he could transition to being a “family man”. Each chapter focuses on one of Hattie’s nine living children and her one granddaughter. At the same time, each chapter is a different year in time progressing from 1925 to 1980. There’s a wide range of characters such as Floyd, a roving musician who wanders to avoid his silent sexual needs with men, Six, a supposed preacher at fifteen and Ruthie the love child of Hattie and Lawrence during a short-lived decision when Hattie tried to change her future, or at least her intolerable present circumstances. Every chapter almost reads like its own separate short story with Hattie interweaving in each. Some of the passages in this book are awe-inspiring; they are so stunningly written. This is a novel about love, life, poverty and the African American experience in the mid 1900’s. Hattie’s “escape” from Georgia to big city life in Philadelphia did not make her life perfect but she dealt the hand she was given and showed her kids love the only way she knew how: by getting food on the table and clothes on their backs without the tenderness and affection they so craved. This is a beautifully written book that will mesmerize you from the very first page. Seniye Groff Rage Against the Dying Light By Jan Surasky Sandalwood Press, $25.95, 220 pages Aptly titled from a line in Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ poem, “Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night,” “Rage Against the Dying Light” tells the epic of fair-haired Celtic queen Boudicca and her historic rebellion against Roman rule, as seen through Celtic eyes. With acute attention to detail, Surasky traces Boudicca’s life from the carefree castle halls and forest glens of her childhood through her spirited teenage years, her training as a Druidic princess, and her royal marriage and motherhood, and climaxes with her fierce metamorphosis into patriot warrior - a tragically triumphant role that would forever make her a symbol of Celtic courage. Surasky’s genuine passion for her subject

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and affinity for her heroine emanates from every page. Her deep research creates with fine threads a vibrant tapestry of life in 1st-century Briton; so meticulously layered in fact that some may find the introductory chapters a somewhat arduous read, in that it can be difficult to see the burgeoning story line amidst all the details. However, persistence is rewarded: Surasky poetically weaves a truly compelling story – one that vividly captures not only the spirit of Boudicca but that of the Celtic people as well; flesh and bone, heart and soul. Renee Butcher Sacred Treason By James Forrester Sourcebooks Landmark, $14.99, 459 pages Using actual historical documents, Dr. Ian James Forrester Mortimer, writing as James Forrester, has created a well paced tale of historical intrigue. Only two of the characters are invented. This story takes place during the early reign of Elizabeth the First and is mainly concerned with the religious tensions during that time. The main characters are Catholics who want to bring back the “old” religion. These Catholics are treated as saintly creatures who only want to kill Elizabeth. The Protestants are treated as brutal thugs who are trying to thwart them in this endeavor. The story moves along as rapidly as it could be when considering it is all done on horseback during terrible winter weather. The horses probably didn’t like this part. In spite of this logistical slowness there are some surprising twists of fate that send the story in a different direction. We know that Elizabeth lived out her reign but from the start of the plot to the finish, you will have see for yourself what happened. Hazel Westly Forevermore: A Pat O’Malley Mystery By Jim Musgrave CreateSpace, $, Most historians uphold that literary legend Edgar Allan Poe died from complications to his crippling alcoholism. But private detective Pat O’Malley believes otherwise. He believes that Poe was actually a victim of murder. In “Forevermore”, O’Malley sets forth on a mission of danger and romance to uncover the truth behind the demise of his old friend and one of America’s most important authors. In most mystery novels, the quality of

the story as a whole is largely dependent on the quality of the character telling it. Luckily, “Forevermore” has a great narrator and protagonist in the form of Pat O’Malley. O’Malley is a truly developed and surprisingly complex character. He is likeable, and not a generic womanizer. In fact, many of his tragic life experiences have left him with a sort of phobia of women. Surmounting this phobia becomes a paramount plot point which makes solving the case of Poe’s murder seem not just like a job, but also a journey of critical personal importance. O’Malley is not the only character to enjoy in this novel, though. Author Jim Musgrave has concocted an excellent cast of supporting characters including some great interpretations of historical figures like William Wallace and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Becky Charming, the prostitute and closest confidante of O’Malley, is perhaps the most interesting of them all as a woman who perfectly balances sensuality with motherly wisdom and an almost aristocratic refinement. If there is any character that comes off as a bit underdeveloped, it is the villain who, unfortunately, suffers from the Saturday morning cartoon show villain syndrome of wasting several perfect opportunities to kill the protagonist by choosing to monologue. Generic villain aside, though, this book is still recommended to fans of both mystery and historical fiction. It is a quick and entertaining read with some very good characters and very good attention to historical details. Here’s hoping that it’s only the first of many Pat O’Malley mysteries. Sponsored Review

The Tragedy of Fidel Castro By Joa o Cerqueira Greenleaf Books, $14.95, 188 pages In this fictional world, Fidel Castro and JFK are well-matched antagonists, although their feelings about their relationship are decidedly different. Castro views JFK, who represents and leads a Capitalist society, as the embodiment of all the Evils which he led the Revolution to fight. JFK, on the other hand, seems to view Castro (who is in fact the embodiment of the Revolution, and of the Communist Regime he leads) with an amiable rivalry, like he would an opposing football team. Now nearing the end of his life, Castro, although he knows his system is infinitely superior to that of the pig Capitalists to the north, finds himself feeling conflicted. All the abuses and coercions, lies and murders were, he knew, not only justified but absolutely necessary to the establishment of the perfect state in his glorious vision, yet his people still seem dissatisfied. It must be the Capitalist’s fault. To combat this threat, Castro devises a two-pronged attack: invade the country of JFK, and allow capitalist tourism in Cuba. Meanwhile, the heavens watch in fascination, wondering if they should intervene. This book has amazing depth and connections that bear repeated scrutiny and investigation. The problems with Castro’s rule are obviously delineated, but the problems with capitalism are also clearly recognized, although the latter are infinitely preferable to the former. There are several themes that are carefully intertwined, and parallels drawn about ostensibly different communities, from Cuba to the United States to a prison, an army, and even a monastery. One main theme seems to be that people would rather be led than think or work to free themselves, no matter what system they are in, even if they find it oppressive. Nothing seems left in which to put faith; the farce and satire are lined with despair. “The Tragedy of Fidel Castro” is highly relevant to our society today, and I highly recommend it. Sponsored Review

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Popular Fiction Leave of Absence By Tanya J. Peterson Inkwater Press, $, 327 pages “Leave of Absence” by Tanya J. Peterson is a story of a troubled man named Oliver, struggling to cope with the unseemly deaths of his wife and son. Failing to commit suicide, he is immediately admitted to a local behavioral center called Airhaven. During the first few days, he spends his time alone, avoiding any sort of human connection offered to him, but by chance meets a young woman, who suffers schizophrenia, named Penelope. Throughout the course of the book, they nurture a growing connection that, in the end, leads to saving their lives. The characters are beautifully portrayed in that you can understand and feel their pain. Peterson has a gift for bringing a seemingly complex thought to life and replicating it in a way that the general public may understand. To describe the inner workings of a person who deals with schizophrenia is no easy task, yet Peterson does it flawlessly. She creates a world that you would not expect and simplifies it elegantly. Those who watch from a distance become a vital part to the person’s being and struggles. In a sordid way, she puts us all in the place of the suffering so that we may better understand how to approach what we cannot relate. Throughout the book, the characters who help to take care of the mentally unstable give off a feeling of being unrealistic. They seem to speak in a way that is unnatural. One thing the reader should know while reading the book, though, is that in an environment where one is caring for and in charge of the mentally unstable, the way we speak to them is almost like another language, which explains why the staff characters in the novel feel almost unrealistic. With this understanding, the reader is better able to understand the different characters and what is going on. The novel is a great way to peek inside the unknown. Peterson deals with the characteristics of each individual with perfection, all the while giving us a taste of true human suffering. If you enjoy novels that deepen your understanding and deal with the process of grieving, pick up “Leave Absence” today. Sponsored Review


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Sequential Art takes a traumatic experience for Soyabean to finally take notice, but their friendship grows stronger. “Chinese Whiskers” delivers a short and sweet portrayal of friendship in hard times where trust is the most difficult to give and lending a hand can be costly. Isabel Hernandez

Chinese Whiskers By Pallavi Aiyar St. Martin’s Press, $22.99, 223 pages Two different cats share an interesting commentary on how alike humans and animals are. Tofu was born in a dustbin and flea-ridden when she was adopted by two foreigners in China. Then there is Soyabean, whose overflowing optimism leads him down a dangerous road. Living in China during a time when a virus affecting humans is being blamed on cats, and scandals surround pet food, is not ideal for felines. Told from their alternating points of view, distinct perspectives paint a harsh picture of what is referred to New China, where the transition from the traditional to the modern mostly impacts those born without privileges. With unique voices, these cats make for smart narrators. Tofu manages to reduce the issue of evil to simple terms and eventually brings Soyabean out of the proverbial bottom of the well with her quick wit. It

Secrets of the Red Box By Vickie Hall CreateSpace, $9.99, 392 pages Bonnie flees from San Diego, two months before VE Day, hoping to leave her secrets behind. She takes the first bus out of town, headed toward Omaha, hoping to disappear and start over. Bonnie is a pathological liar lying to her friends, her employer, and strangers. She is so frightened by her childhood and by what she has done that she cannot trust anyone. Bonnie uses lies to protect herself emotionally. Lying prevents people, especially men, from getting too close. Unfortunately, she is beautiful, charming, and magnetic to every man she meets. Bonnie eventually learns what it is like to be a part of a loving family and that she deserves to be loved. She learns that she cannot hide from her past and that she must face the consequences. This novel is a quick read, one part mystery and one part romance. At first Bonnie is not very likable because of her constant lies, but her flashbacks provide insight into her mentality, revealing her to be worthy of empathy. I was completely shocked by the last twenty-five pages of the novel. The conclusion is well worth waiting for in this story! Sponsored Review The New Mathematics of Architecture By Jane Burry & Mark Burry Thames & Hudson, $34.95, 272 pages If you are mathematician or simply love mathematics, you’ll love this absolutely beautiful trade paperback (also available in hard cover). If you are an architect or appreciate the great modern architecture, this book is for you, too. Nonetheless, “The New Mathematics of Architecture” is primarily written for mathematicians and architects. Its writing is highly technical and the writing is not an easy read. Blessedly, the technical and scientific terms have references to the glossary at the end of the book where they are explained and illustrated (e.g. catenary models, Pareto optimization, chaos theory).

Jane Burry and Mark Burry divided the book into six sections based both on mathematical concepts and architectural complexities. Forty-six chapters deal with profusely illustrated individual examples (total of 628 illustrations) and each section has a short essay with explanation and description. Expect to understand high mathematics to be able to follow the generally difficult text. This book is not for the average reader though anyone with appreciation of art and architecture will enjoy paging through the illustrations. The book ends with a complete list of references by sections, an extensive bibliography and project credits. George Erdosh Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars By Camille Paglia Pantheon, $30, 202 pages Each day we are bombarded by television, movies, advertisements, signs, magazines and art. When our brains can’t take any more, certain visual elements from our world lose their importance and fade into the background. Camille Paglia, author and Professor of Humanities and Media Studies, refers to this overwhelming amount of data as “jittery visual clutter” and suggests that we must relearn how to see in order to enjoy and understand what we see. “Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars” is Paglia’s attempt to help readers relearn how to see art. She focuses on Western art, beginning with a painting of Queen Nefertari located in the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens in Luxor, Egypt. Most people would glance at the painting and notice a few details and then move on. Paglia, like any great art history teacher, brings the painting to life by sharing the historical background of Egypt art techniques used and the story of Nefertari and Isis. Then she expertly analyzes the painting itself. She moves through the work of artists like Monet and Picasso but also includes Renee Cox and George Lucas. Paglia’s writing style is academic but very reader friendly. In later chapters, when she writes about performance art, her knowledge and love of the subject becomes clear as she provides example after example of her points. Readers looking for a good book about art and cultural history will want to relearn everything Paglia has to say. Elizabeth Franklin

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Science & Nature Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife By Raymond Moody, MD, PhD & Paul Perry HarperOne, $25.99, 256 pages Unlike Raymond Moody’s wildly popular first book, “Life After Life”, published in 1975, Moody’s new book, an autobiography, “Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife”, begins with his own past life review, and startles the reader by revealing his nearly successful suicide attempt described as, “having the awareness of his dying body,” and the “conscious dimensions of a loving light.” As a boy, Moody’s sights were on another world as he became hooked on astronomy and dreamed the unimaginable, that one day man would walk on the moon. Moody provides a trajectory that leads him from a philosophy graduate student who explored the inner universe or rather, the outer universe, to the study of Plato and Socrates, and the ancient Greek Oracles where ancient Greeks came to revisit their dead relatives and resolve unfinished issues. Moody was especially influenced by a story in Plato’s Republic, about a soldier named Ur who was thought dead, awakened, and said, “When his soul left the body, he went on a journey with a great company to the underworld,” and reported the, “heavenly delights and visions of inconceivable beauty.” It was then that Moody became fascinated by the Oracle of Delphi and like the ancient Greeks, Moody came to believe that by revisiting one’s dead relatives one can achieve therapeutic results without having to die first to find out. In order to reproduce neardeath experiences in people who were not near death, Moody explored the unorthodox world of scrying, an Old English term meaning “to reveal”through crystal ball gazing, mirror gazing, and water gazing in order to produce a trance like state delivering the initiate through the portal of another world. Moody eventually builds a psycho-manteum, based on the ancient Greeks Oracle of Delphi, a darkened mirrored room, in order to conduct scientific research on screened subjects. Moody claims the results of this Psycho-manteum experiment, are an effective means of therapy for grief as well as producing strong enough evidence for the other scientists to pursue the outer regions of the psyche. Although, Moody does not explain how his results could be reproduced scientifically. In the end, Moody says he’s “unsure whether or not life after death is in God’s plan.” This richly written book is a fascinating read, often confessional, often controversial, but never dull. Shiela Erwin

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The Whole Story of Climate: What Science Reveals About the Nature of Endless Change By E. Kirsten Peters Prometheus Books, $26, 290 pages A complete guide to climate: past, present and--not so much. Dr. E. Kirstin Peters has written a fascinating and complex book about 460,000 years of climate history. She uses brief biographies of the first climate pioneers who used their Mark One Eyeballs to observe the evidence of how the land was sculptured by glaciers and ancient sea levels. At first the evidence was rough, and not until the nineteen fifties, sixties and later were ice cores and sea floor cores available for precision measurements of the chronology and magnitude of warm and cold periods. This story alone, of how the scientific method was applied and the vision of its early practitioners, makes this book worth reading. First, a broad look at climate over time. For most of the times we can document, the world has been one of ice punctuated by brief periods of warm. The changes could occur over periods as short as 30 to 50 years, not centuries or eons, as we would prefer to think. The latest warm period, that we enjoy today is the longest on record. Why? We don’t know. Agriculture is a likely suspect. What’s going to happen? Probably gradual warming with attendant dislocations in weather patterns. Dr. Kirsten spends the last couple of chapters explaining why current research is complicated by the fact that it is conducted mostly by large groups which must compete for funding, must work closely together and whose results are subject to a media that is not necessarily accurate or unbiased. Therefore, in the near term, there is not much anyone can be sure of. Nate Silver, in his book “The Signal and the Noise”, includes a chapter on the statistical study of climate prediction which would complement the area of statistical aspects of climate research touched on by Dr. Peters. What I take away from this book is that though warming is likely, it’s not certain and the change may come quickly. The one thing we can say for certain in that there are way too many people worldwide to make the necessary adjustments. Good luck. Norman West

Experiencing Animal Minds: An Anthology of Animal-Human Encounters By Edited by Julie A. Smith & Robert W. Mitchell Columbia University Press, $35, 380 pages This fascinating anthology, “Experiencing Animal Minds”, has twenty-one essays by twenty-five authors. It is an academic anthology, each essay complete with notes and list of references, yet many are interesting to read by any non-biologist fascinated by animals and animal-human interactions. The writing is scientific and quality varies widely. Some essays are easy to read, others have heavy-weight scientific writing only peer animal biologists will enjoy, understand and willing to plow through. This compilation by two editors, J. A. Smith and R. W. Mitchell, covers a wide spectrum focusing on animals and human encounters. Some of the essays are esoteric and some far out, such as “Can Animals Make ‘Art”‚ with illustrations? A list of brief bios of the authors is listed at the end of the book; many are professors (not necessarily in animal biology), others are from non-profit organizations, artists, psychologists, an architect and so on. The animals studied are equally varied: chickens, chimps, monkeys, elephants, whales, horses, dolphins, beavers and dogs. Non-biologist will enjoy reading about the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, familiar to any dog lover. The index is thorough and well cross referenced. Animal biologist will benefit from this volume and plain animal lovers as well. George Erdosh

One Moment in Eternity - Human Evolution By Eugene Minard, MD Trafford Publishing, $25.5, 294 pages Books on human history detailing the various organizations always have the potential to go awry. “One Moment in Eternity Human Evolution” explores human history analyzing the forces that have shaped it looking for the next stage in human evolution. It explores the major religions, as well as some of the cabals behind the scenes. It also explores some of the potential problems mankind faces, expecting to head them off and look for commonalities. This is a very thorough book in exploring human history. Depending on the reader, there are a number of issues with this book. It’s a great one for those looking for general research, but there are some formatting issues that are questionable, such as the section on reader’s conclusions and footnotes per section that make the reading more difficult. There is little conclusion reached regarding what the phase of human evolution will be. Also, the text is presented as if it were more of a thesis and less of a book for general readership; there are too many facts and not enough conclusions from those facts presented. For someone looking for a good history, this book is an interesting read. It covers a lot of territory, albeit in rather shallow detail, making for a good refresher of history. There is a lot of great information here, and the links presented should make for an interesting weekend of research. For someone trying to catalog the various shadow groups this is an excellent start and should provide for the basis of some new avenues of research. Although this is a book you should debate buying, those that do buy it will be well-served by it, especially if they are into conspiracy theories. Jamais Jochim

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Science Fiction & Fantasy Heaven or Hell By Roni Teson Balboa Press, $20.99, 317 pages “Heaven or Hell” tells the interweaving stories of Joe Torres, an alcoholism counselor on Skid Row in Los Angeles; and his daughter Teresa, an obsessive-compulsive soap store owner trying to keep control of her life. It is also the story of Angel, a being traveling outside of time, continually drawn to Teresa’s life. What transpires in the story is the struggle we all go through to find redemption and solace in lives we can never seem to quite control. Andrew Keyser Ever After By Kim Harrison Harper Voyager, $27.99, 435 pages Former witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan knows that the everafter is shrinking. This demonic realm parallels the human world. If it disappears, magic will no longer exist. The demon community has given Rachel only a few days to fix the corrupted ley lines before her life becomes forfeit. Luckily she has a huge group of friends to support her. But one by one they are kidnapped. Who is responsible? Is Rachel’s crazed ex-boyfriend Nick to blame? Or has the soul eating demon Ku’Sox returned for revenge? With the culprit unknown, Rachel is left alone to face death, battle demons, rescue her loved ones and prevent a magical apocalypse...all in a few days. Bestselling author Kim Harrison has created another urban fantasy masterpiece with “Ever After”, the eleventh entry in the fantastic Hollows series. Readers new to the books should start with “Dead Witch Walking”, Harrison’s first book. Returning fans will appreciate that Harrison doesn’t waste time with lots of review. Jump right in to new adventures with Rachel, Trent, Jenks, Ivy, Bis, Quen, Ceri, Al, Newt and more series favorites. Harrison challenges her characters and adds new dimensions to their backgrounds and personalities. Readers will not be disappointed with this latest installment chronicling Rachel’s amazing life. Elizabeth Franklin


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Nexus By Ramez Naam Angry Robot, $14.99, 464 pages The year is 2040 and scientist Kade Lane and his group of friends are working on improving the most recent drug to hit the market: Nexus. Designed to link human minds together, the drug has been outlawed yet is still in use. When Kade is caught by government agent Samantha Cataranes, he makes a deal and agrees to act as a spy at a rival lab in China. Soon he is plunged into a world of intrigue and assassins and must decide who, if anyone, he can trust and find a way to keep Nexus out of government hands - especially his own. Barbara Cothern The Wrong Way Down By Jake Elliot Damnation Books, $19.99, 221 pages In “The Wrong Way Down”, author Jake Elliot creates a fantastical world that is both believable and magical. The story follows Popalia, a young priestess-in-training, on a journey to recover her order’s lost holy relic. She is accompanied by the elf Wynkkur, rejected by his family and the world, looking for redemption through this quest. Fate takes them from a remote chapel in the woods, across rivers, to a giant capital city. Once there, they must navigate treacherous thieves and two-faced helpers; but in the end they are forced to make a tough choice. The thing that makes “The Wrong Way Down” great, is it succeeds where so many other fantasy books fail; with a strong magic system. Author Jake Elliot crafts a system of magic that is believable. Coming from divine intervention, a character sees magic symbols float before their eyes which they then speak to release the magic. Instead of invisible forces, the molecular structure of existence is affected by these magical sigils and words. The author also makes great use of humor. Many parts of “The Wrong Way Down” are intense, the reader can quickly get anxious. Instead of allowing this, humorous moments break the tension. When a giant bear is chasing Wynkkur through the woods, the author doesn’t take the easy way out and craft an elaborate battle sequence. Instead the bear becomes entangled between two trees and can’t move. This kind of ironic humor permeates the entirety of this work. Although Elliot is a talented writer, “The Wrong Way Down” is plagued by some edit-

follow. As is the case with many beginning authors, words get misplaced and punctuation switched around. These errors don’t make the book unintelligible, but the pacing of the prose can be choppy as the reader is forced to go back and discern the meaning of some sentences. Overall, “The Wrong Way Down” is a fun book with some unique writing. Jake Elliot is developing his own voice, and it will be very interesting to see what else he comes out with. Andrew Keyser Frostbitten By Kelley Armstrong Bantam Books, $9.99, 381 pages Kelley Armstrong’s “Frostbitten” is a companion to her very popular “Women of the Underworld” series that she finished last year. In “Frostbitten” she gives us another story of Elena Michaels, the only female werewolf, who she first introduced in “Bitten,” the first book in the series. This book is a summing up; an author looking back on how far her characters have come since they were first dreamed up. Despite the nostalgic appeal for Armstrong’s long time readers, she hasn’t lost any of her pacing, and the story of Elena and Clay tracking down rogue werewolves in the Alaskan wilderness will keep new readers entertained as well. This book has everything that readers have come to expect from Armstrong - a compelling story, good pacing, strong female characters, and an interesting love story the isn’t overly graphic. Readers who follow Armstrong online may have already read parts of this story available as an extra on her website, but despite a previous read, this was still a book I couldn’t put down. Katie Richards The Siren Depths: The Third Book of the Raksura By Martha Wells Night Shade Books, $14.99, 277 pages The world of the Raksura is back in “The Siren Depths”, the latest book in Martha Wells’s wonderful series The Books of the Raksura. The third novel picks up where the second left off with Moon and his queen Jade in the colony of Indigo Cloud. Moon is slowly settling into the court despite his ever-present doubt that he will ever be fully accepted. Despite that, things are going well until visitors arrive with the news that Moon’s home colony has been found

leave Indigo Cloud, at least temporarily, Moon finally finds answers to the questions about himself and his past and discovers that love and home are worth fighting for. This new book will delight fans of the series as it finally addresses the looming questions about Moon, his origins as well as revealing larger plot points about the Fell and their generations-old conflict with the Raksura. The writing is, as always, vivid and descriptive and completely emerses the reader into the world Ms. Wells has created. Moon is a delightful and endearing character that the reader can’t help but root for. This series keeps getting better and better. Barbara Cothern

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Science Fiction & Fantasy Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes By Rob DeBorde St. Martin’s Press, $15.99, 375 pages When the old Marshall buried the Hanged Man, he thought the man would stay dead forever. But when a gang of thieves dig up the body in order to steal an infamous gun, a mysterious, magical book of spells is also uncovered. Rob DeBorde’s “Portlandtown” tells the tale of a resurrected outlaw with a grudge. The old Marshall can’t seem to remember why he is digging up dead bodies, but he knows he must. The old man’s antics catch the attention of more than just ghosts and he is forced to move to Portlandtown with his daughter Kate and her family in hopes of starting a new life. But the old man’s past just can’t stay buried. A terrible storm blows just in time for the upcoming Rain Festival and the dead begin to rise. As the book’s characters are drawn together, suspense grows. In San Francisco, Andre Labeau (aka the Voodoo Cowboy) can feel a familiar evil power stirring. Driven to investigate, he travels to Portlandtown to discover who is now controlling the magical book and gun. DeBorde combines a traditional Western story with a supernatural element. Zombies, pioneers, a blind man who can see and two curious twins take over the busiest town in 1887 Pacific Northwest. Kathryn Franklin Murder of Crows: Book One of the Pillars of Dawn By Athena CreateSpace, $14, 400 pages “Murder of Crows” is the kind of book people genuinely enjoy reading. It’s fun, the characters are endearing, and the story never lulls. This book tells the story of Fable Montgomery, recent college graduate whose love life, career, and family are all falling apart. When her aunt passes away Fable must travel to Portland, Oregon to take care of her estate. Once there she is thrown into a world of her own imagination; discovering that all her childhood pretendings were real and her aunt had died to keep it all secret. Then Fable discovers she is the muse of story, one of the nine muses that keep the world in creative balance; and she must place her life in the hands of her childhood imaginary friends. Pinpointing the reason this book is so good is difficult. It is one of those books that everything flows together seamlessly and nothing ever feels forced. The characters all feel real, like they are just friends chatting

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with you over a cup of coffee. It isn’t just the characters though. The story flows perfectly, just when the reader thinks they know the direction it’s headed, author Athena turns everything on its head. There are so many fantastic aspects to this book that it would be shame for anyone to miss it. So do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of “Murder of Crows”. This reviewer is anxiously awaiting the sequel. Andrew Keyser Starflower (Tales of Goldstone Wood) By Anne Elisabeth Stengl Bethany House, $14.99, 350 pages Eanrin, Chief Poet and Bard of the royal court of Rubiobus is on a mission: his love, Lady Gleamdren, has been kidnapped and he has made it his goal to rescue her. He is sidetracked, though, after finding a maiden in the woods that he awakens with a kiss. With that action, he finds that the course of his life changes and his fate becomes tied with the mysterious girl. Soon, they must work together to save both his love and themselves. Barbara Cothern The Time Keeper: A Novel By Mitch Albom Hyperion, $24.99, 224 pages Father Time, also known as Dor in Mitch Albom’s “The Time Keeper”, is banished to a cave as he continuously rejects the gift of time, and always seeks an answers to gain more. Dor’s lack of understanding of the importance of the time he is given lands him to live as an immortal listening to the pleas of millions of people throughout time, wishing that time were distributed differently. Through his eternal living, he comes to hear the voices of two people in particular: an elderly man wishing for more time, and a young woman wishing for time to end. To free himself from bondage, Dor must help these two people before they make the same mistake he does: to underestimate the power of time. Mitch Albom has a gift for writing about heartbreaking situations in which people can find hope in. He inspires readers to understand the gift of life. Albom’s story moves along quickly between the two characters Sarah and Victor, and Dor’s involvement in their lives, but he is still able to convey his message in a meaningful way in which nearly anyone can relate to. Readers are sure to whip through the story in no time. Lindy Gervin

American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950’s By Edited by Gary K. Wolfe The Library of America, $70, 1680 pages Fans of science fiction and readers new to the genre will thoroughly enjoy this anthology’s groundbreaking featured work from a decade many consider to be the golden age of the science fiction novel. The Library of America and editor Gary K. Wolfe have assembled a two-volume boxed set containing nine fantastic stories of the 1950s. Although written over 50 years ago, the plots and ideas and ideas found in each tale still speak to the same fears, wonders, hopes, and challenges of today. In her book, “The Long Tomorrow”, Leigh Brackett tackles life after an apocalyptic event. Time travel is featured in Fritz Leiber’s “The Big Time”. Authors, Pohl and Kornbluth’s “The Space Merchants” discusses the future of advertising agencies. Richard Matheson’s “The Shrinking Man” lets readers experience the feeling of being tiny in a huge world. “More Than Human”, by Theodore Sturgeon, addresses stages of evolution. Each volume contains notes about the stories and biographical information about each author. In addition, there is an online companion for the collection which includes jacket art and photographs, interviews and current authors’ interpretations and analysis of the stories. Readers will likely be inspired to seek out additional work by these authors to further explore the beginnings of the science fiction genre. Kathryn Franklin

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Cooking, Food & Wine Real Irish Food: 150 Classic Recipes from the Old Country By David Bowers Skyhorse Publishing, $24.95, 312 pages David Bowers is on a mission; a mission to dispel the incorrect myth that Irish food is boring and bland. Bowers is an Irish native married to an American wife. “Real Irish Food” is designed to succeed in the American kitchen with results of an authentic Irish taste. This comprehensive cookbook is logically divided, starting with pantry basics. Bowers even suggests satisfactory American substitutes for Irish ingredients. For example, the American Granny Smith apple will substitute fine for the Irish apple, the Bramley. Bowers then moves to sources for finding Irish food and ingredients stateside. Chapters include breakfast items, starters and snacks, stews and chowders, meats, breads, cakes, desserts, beverages and even preserves and jams. “Real Irish Food” is sprinkled with colorful, full-page photographs and include pictures of the recipe items, as well as, pictures of quintessential Ireland. Recipes are straight forward, easy to follow and use common everyday ingredients. Browse through this book and you will quickly realize that Irish food is much more than potatoes, cabbage and corned beef, but instead a wide array of tempting and tantalizing flavors ranging from meats, to root vegetables s to fish and much, much more. Bowers has made it easy for everyone to transform themselves into lovers of true Irish food. Seniye Groff The Salt Lick Cookbook: A Story of Land, Family, and Love By Scott Roberts & Jessica Dupuy University of Texas Press, $39.95, 348 pages Open pits and customer satisfaction are the main ingredients, but readers learn more about the Salt Lick in this unusually redolent cookbook. Owner Scott Roberts along with writer Jessica Dupuy tell the tale of the celebrated barbecue spot in Driftwood, on the edge of Austin, Texas. Kenny Braun’s photographs of the distinctive setting offer further temptation to get in the car and go. The restaurant began as a stop-and-sample barbecue stand launched by Scott’s parents, Thurman and Hisako Roberts. After it morphed into a restaurant word got around. Since then, it has grown beyond recognition but the sides of brisket, the ribs and sausages smoked over live oak wood still taste


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the same. Grandma Roxie’s down to earth recipes for ‘sides’ hold good, and few diners there or eating at home can resist cobblers that defy culinary fads and warnings. The book’s charm lies in the affectionate family history that began when Scott Roberts’ great-grandfather bought the land way back in the nineteenth century. The recipes keep memories of a great meal alive, so do the tee-shirts. As one claims, ‘You Can Smell Our Pits for Miles.’ Jane Manaster Sweet Celebrations: Our Favorite Cupcake Recipes, Memories, and Decorating Secrets That Add Sparkle to Any Occasion By Katherine Kallinis Berman & Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne HarperOne, $24.99, 278 pages The owners of Georgetown Cupcakes, Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, focus their second cookbook on the mantra “celebrate”. Celebrate the little things; celebrate all things. “Sweet Celebrations” opens with some of Katherine and Sophie’s baking tips and is then divided into five parts by celebration type. Part one is “Life Celebrations” with birthday celebration tips kicking off the chapter and is followed by cupcake recipes with step-by-step instructions coupled with corresponding photos of each step. The sections following part one cover holidays, everyday parties, outdoor get- togethers, and DC Cupcakes’ biggest bashes. No matter what the celebration is there is a recipe with decorating directions and lots of guidance. This is much more than a recipe book with generous stories and lots of tips and recommendations. In fact, the advice outweighs the number of recipes. The authors’ Greek upbringing is interspersed throughout the book with background information, inspiration and Greek-inspired cake and cookie recipes. Everyday parties deserve treats too, so there is a chapter for sleepovers, tea parties, camp outs, and picnics just to name a few. “Sweet Celebrations” reads like a diary, memoir and recipe book because it is covered with lots of personal photos and stories. Family recipes are shared and even modernized with what Katherine and Sophie have learned from their very successful cupcake shop and TLC show. Readers will pour through the very personal pages time and time again, and almost be able to believe that Katherine and Sophie are close friends sharing their dog-eared, family recipes sprinkled with love and history. Seniye Groff

Skinny Meals in Heels: Prep-Ahead, FigureFriendly Dishes for the Busy Home Chef By Jennifer Joyce Atria Books, $16, 195 pages Though author Jennifer Joyce claims her cookbook “Skinny Meals in Heels” ‚“is NOT a diet book,” it really is. All recipes are with little or no fat and ingredients are low-fat varieties. Sugar used is minimal. This trade paperback was produced on high-quality, heavy, glossy pages with creative finish and many full-paged colored sketches of railthin, long-legged models in five-inch heels, teenaged or in their early 20’s in elegant surroundings, apparently the targets for this cookbook. The average female home cook may not easily identify with those in the sketches. Yet this is a good “diet” cookbook with good recipes from an international repertoire, neatly divided along the courses of the meal, including even some very low-fat, low-sugar desserts. The layout of recipes is excellent, each placed on a single page or facing pages. Each recipe gives prep and cooking times. For the average home cook, prep time should be doubled or tripled. Ingredients are mostly available but for some you may be scratching your head (e.g. padr’on peppers, Tuscan black kale). Each recipe also gives tips on Prep Ahead and notes on The Skinny. Index is disappointing though cross referenced (Crispy Mustard and Tarragon under Crispy). George Erdosh

Petite Treats: Adorably Delicious Versions of All Your Favorites from Scones, Donuts, and Cupcakes to Brownies, Cakes, and Pies By Christy Beaver & Morgan Greenseth Ulysses Press, $14.95, 137 pages When bakeries regularly offer their customers huge goodies in their displays, like pancake-sized cookies, it’s a delight to see some professional bakers turn to tiny. “Petite Treats” is a tiny trade paperback, less than one-and-half size of a postcard yet it’s very cute and adorable enough to buy extra copies as gifts. All recipes make petite size ranging in difficulty from easy, like mini-muffins, through harder like blackberry lime meringue pie to truly challenging, like cannoli or ‘eclairs. Authors Beaver and Greenseth compiled a delightful little baking book, beautifully illustrated with many photos. The recipe writing is excellent, easy to follow. Even the cute recipe head notes are short and succinct. Many recipes are unusual: Fauxstess Cupcakes, Chocolate Chipotle Cream Pie. Even ingredient combinations are like soy milk, whiskey and maple syrup. Unfortunately, the layout suffers partly because of poor design but also because of the small size of the book; for many recipes you‚Äôll be paging back and forth from ingredients to instructions. Because most kitchens are not equipped for mini-sized baking, you‚Äôll need to invest on some equipment if you are convinced the tiny, bite-sized goodies are your things. There is no index but it’s not needed. George Erdosh

Oregon Smoothies

Smoothie – Pears & Strawberries Ingredients •1 cup fresh or canned pears •1 cup frozen strawberries •1 cup nonfat yogurt •1 cup apple cider Directions •Combine all ingredients in a blender. •Blend until all of the ingredients are smooth. •Serve immediately •Put the left overs in popsicle molds, freeze and enjoy as frozen treats Time: Approximately 10 minutes with cleanup. Cost: Approximately $0.80 / 8 ounce serving. Notes • Try using other types of fruits from Oregon such as frozen strawberries and canned pears. • Put a dollop of yogurt on top for added color. • Kids of all ages can help with this no bake, easy to make recipe. Get them cooking!

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Cooking, Food & Wine Dinners, the majority of recipes focus on baking to make items GF-free folks miss most: breads, breakfast goodies, and desserts. This isn’t a pretty, coffee table cookbook; there’s only a half dozen ‘centerfold’ foodie photos. It is practical, including recommendations for D-I-Y and pre-made allpurpose GF flours (the author recommends Better Batter) and an entire chapter on readymade mixes for cakes, pancakes, brownies and so on. Val Mallinson

Savory Pies By Greg Henry Ulysses Press, $16.95, 190 pages “Savory Pies” is a collection of pies and loosely related other savory items, all baked in a crust. Greg Henry also included those in phyllo dough, not strictly pies. The recipes are not for the average home bakers; many are difficult, more like from a professional bakery: e.g. Roasted Radish Tart with Arugula and Bagna Caude; Creamy Mushroom and Leek Demi-Lunes. Some ingredients are not easy to find (e.g. flying fish roe, cotija cheese). The recipes are well-written, imaginative and original, many illustrated with full-page, strikingly beautiful photos. Head notes are interesting and informative. Additional notes as sidebars are also very good, as well as suggested wine pairing (you will need to visit a well-stocked wine shop to find many). The chapters are divided into appetizers, main course pies and hand pies (individual servings baked in a crust). An introduction instructing you how to make a great crust is also very good. Unfortunately the design of the book and layouts of recipes are not. To keep illustrations with the recipe, for many you need to flip pages back and forth while preparing. Recipe index is poor using the first letter to classify, irrespective of the main ingredient. George Erdosh Kitchen Confidential, Insider’s Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly By Anthony Bourdain ECCO, $11.99, 362 pages When I first read this book in its original hardcover edition in 2000, I truly enjoyed it. It was reissued as paperback in 2007, again in 2012. Not everyone is going to enjoy “Kitchen Confidential” by one of America’s top chefs, Anthony Bourdain. But if you are a frequent restaurant patron (particularly if you can afford high-end ones) and a true foodie, this is a good reading. The coarse

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language and some of the content may offend some readers. It is a combination of autobiography, the author’s fascinating career and progress to become a well-recognized chef, and a bit of an expos’e on the frantic operation and horrific condition of commercial kitchens. Because of its small size, this pocketbook is not easy to read. In addition the author’s frequent hand written scribbles on tops or bottoms of pages tend to be distracting. The writing is excellent, entertaining and flows almost like a novel. Its six chapters are named by the courses of the meal (Appetizer, First Course, etc), giving an account of the author’s life in similar progression. Somewhat confusingly, the preface was written in 2000 and afterword in 2006. George Erdosh Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy: 100 Recipes for the Food You Love-Fast! By Nicole Hunn Lifelong Books, $19, 240 pages Let’s face it, buying ready-made, glutenfree (GF) foods is outrageously expensive, not to mention the intimidation factor of trying to cook and bake without gluten at home. In her book “Gluten-Free On a Shoestring Quick & Easy”, blogger and author Nicole Hunn is on a mission to save you time and money. “This cookbook” she says, “is about shortcuts.” Every recipe has a time estimate‚ - all under 40 minutes - and most have included “Shoestring Savings” the cost to prepare from scratch versus store bought. The ingredients she uses are family-friendly, none are exotic, and the recipes are short, 1to 2-pages. It isn’t intended to be your sole source for cooking. Other than chapters for Meatless Mondays and Weekday Workday

A Feast of Weeds: A Literary Guide to Foraging and Cooking Wild Edible Plants (California Studies in Food and Culture) By Luigi Ballerini University of California Press, $34.95, 176 pages I was very much looking forward to review “Feast of Weeds” as I am a serious outdoor forager. Alas, what a total disappointment. This book was translated from Italian and the listed thirty-one edible plants are native to a small area of southern Italy. How does that translate to American foraging? It doesn’t. In fact, the book is pages and pages of rambling on all subjects except outdoor foraging: Roman and Greek quotes, plenty of philosophy, religion, poetry, song lyrics, history, even a short conversation from the Wizard of Oz. Very few of the plants you will find in your neighborhood and many you probably never heard of, like cipollini, warty cabbage, myrtle; others are not native to our soil, like capers. The text is verbose, starting with a ten-page introduction and has little to do with collecting edible plants. The recipes are equally poor. Many are repeated under different plant section, substituting the main ingredient for the same recipe. Besides, how would you ever collect 3.5 pounds milk thistle or 4.5 pounds red poppy leaves or two ounces false acacia flowers? Illustrations are no better, small, flimsy sketches from which you will not recognize the actual plant. George Erdosh Cook Fight: 2 Cooks, 12 Challenges, 125 Recipes, an Epic Battle for Kitchen Dominance By Julia Moskin & Kim Severson ECCO, $29.99, 300 pages If you order a copy of “Cook Fight”, make sure you also order several extra copies for your foodie friends. The two ready-to-fight authors, Kim Severson and Julia Moskin created a most unusual cookbook with many unique recipes, some rather strange (spaghetti pie, bacon fat ginger snaps, candied cherry tomato) yet they are all good recipes. Many are not original (though may have been modified) but the authors identify

their sources. As experienced recipe writers, their recipes are well written, easy to follow, mostly using readily available ingredients. The icing on the cake is the writing. Both are heavy-weight food writers and their chapter introductions and recipe head notes are a must-to-read - they are superb food writing and fun to read (having great sense of humor). The basic idea for this cookbook is twelve culinary challenges (such as creating a great meal for six under $50; vegetarian challenge; children’s challenge; Thanksgiving). Each of the cooks prepares a meal of the challenge and serves it to the other along with invited guests. Having totally different backgrounds, their prepared meals are just as different. Well cross referenced index is very good. The poor layout of some recipes that run overleaf is unfortunate. George Erdosh


• 1 bunch fresh Oregon grown kale (about 8 •cups, chopped) •1 tablespoon canola or olive oil •1⁄2 teaspoon salt Directions •Preheat oven to 250 degrees. • Wash kale leaves. •Dry kale leaves by blotting with towels. •Tear leaves off the thick stem. bowl. •Discard stems. • Tear leaves into 1-2 inch pieces. •Place in large bowl. •Drizzle oil over kale and toss to coat well. •Place kale leaves onto cookie sheet. •Bake at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. •Sprinkle with salt. •Serve while hot. Notes: Try cheese, chili peppers or garlic as seasoning. Time: Approximately 5 minutes withcleanup plus 15 minutes cooking. Cost: Approximately $0.70 / half cup serving. Nutrition: 60 calories per half cup serving (with salt only) high in vitamins A and C, Calcium and Iron

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Go West, Young Women!: The Rise of Early Hollywood By Hilary A. Hallett University of California Press, $29.95, 314 pages Hilary Hallett’s “Go West Young Women!” chronicles and dissects the rise of LA and Hollywood as the movie capitol of the world, and the growing pains it experienced along the way. Part one of the book breaks down how Hollywood became the center of the movie industry, and what in particular attracted women to Hollywood. The second part of the book chronicles the scandals and growing pains of Hollywood once the industry was established, including a reaction against Jews, bohemianism, and sex scandals. Katie Richards Pakistan: A New History By Ian Talbot Columbia University Press, $24.5, 284 pages “Pakistan: A New History” is a good book in order to have the trajectory of events at your fingertips, and reiterate the intersection of trends, but a casual reader is likely to need a different source in order to be drawn into the drama of the Pakistan experience. One has to do their own part to get through the academic vocabulary and conversation in “Pakistan: A New History”. A map is not included, which is one indication that the audience is expected to already have some familiarity if not intimacy with Pakistan. Instead of describing the atmosphere of different eras and places, the names-and-dates sentences are laid out - the information is good for you, but is not all the way prepared into easily digestible form. From chapter three the book is easier to follow chronologically, yet the opportunity that narrative gives for incorporating various Pakistani people’s perceptions is missed. Though Talbot points out in the beginning that Pakistanis’ history has rarely been approached on their own terms, and says at the end that civil society is “vibrant” in Pakistan and often neglected by scholars, “Pakistan: A New History” is an account of the big players. Sarah Alibabaie The Kosova Liberation Army: Underground War to Balkan Insurgency, 1948-2001 By James Pettifer Columbia University Press, $50, 380 pages The Balkans is a region that is beset by history. It is impossible to escape, in an era where history is supposed to be over; that


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we have moved beyond history, into a modern world, the Balkans still seem to be stuck in the past. Living through the decisions, mistakes, and the Great Game played at the Congress of Berlin in the late-1800s. Where the main leaders of Europe decided on the fate of the Balkans and created the modern region that we know today with Greater Serbia, what became Yugoslavia, and then broke down in the 1990s into a series of bitter wars that led to massacres of civilians by both sides. In this book James Pettifer looks into the history of the most recent conflict that occurred in Kosovo. A tiny part of the old Yugoslavia; a conflict that led America into an air war. Mr. Pettifer does an excellent job explaining the back history of this conflict, and the many years that it raged as a low level insurgency. His analysis is astute, and his condemnation of the United States, Great Britain, and other players is interesting. Even though he falls into the alphabet soup trap with acronyms, it does not distract from the rest of the work; and its importance to understanding modern Balkan history. Readers wanting to know more about modern Balkan history will want to read this book. Kevin Winter Jocks in the Jungle: The Second Battalion of the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment, the Black Watch, and the First Battalion of the 26th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) as Chindits By Gordon Thorburn Pen & Sword Military, $39.99, 207 pages This book provides an unbelievable wealth of information on the daily lives of the Scottish soldiers that were sent to fight the Japanese in Burma, known today as Myanmar. Unfortunately the author in his enthusiasm for his story left this reader confused and buried under a minutia of detail. We start with a quick history of the Cameroonians, the Scottish Rifles, and their emergence during the Scottish religious struggles back in the 15th century. In chapter two we jump into a confusing account on how two divisions of these soldiers were sent to the jungles of Burma. The author is not all to blame as the bureaucracy behind sending in troops was as indecisive as the written story. The gist of the story tells how men that were barely trained in jungle warfare went up against the Japanese, one of the toughest foes of World War II. The challenge for the ‘Jocks’ was to turn themselves into jungle fighters as good as the Japanese.

Unfortunately this was easier said than done. Although the men fought courageously, in three months the two divisions were pulled out and sent home. Of the 7,677 officers and men going into the jungle, of which 531 were killed, captured or missing, and around 1600 were wounded. By the end, some 3,800 were too sick to fight. Only 1,754 could be classified as ‚Äòeffective‚Äô when they came out and, in truth, half of those were fit for no more than a hospital bed. For those readers that have a specific interest in this time period and place the book provides an in-depth account of the struggle the soldiers faced on a daily basis. Brian Taylor The Noir Forties: The American People From Victory to Cold War By Richard Lingeman Nation Books, $29.99, 420 pages In “The Noir Forties”, Richard Lingeman surveys the events from the close of WW II through the Korean war and documents how those events reshaped American opinions and attitudes, driving us from post-WW II hope mixed with uncertainty to the pervasive suspicion, even paranoia, of the Cold War and the McCarthy craze. In addition, he surveys how the films of that time, especially the new genre of “film noir”, reflect these changes in America’s collective consciousness. This is a lot to take on, and Lingeman makes the right choice: instead of a bland, high-level overview, he presents detailed examinations of significant events and movements of the period. In parallel discussions, he shows how the plot and characters of particular “films noir” reflect our changing attitudes and concerns. And as a bonus, we get a look at how American art - film and otherwise - was changing. Lingeman’s writing is clear and readable. There is a lot of detail to absorb, but Lingeman’s voice ‚Äì he lived through this era - never quite loses its personal tone. Both lovers of “film noir” and fans of social and cultural history will find this an excellent read. Daniel Hobbs

Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style By DK Publishing DK Publishing, $50, 480 pages Every culture, every era cultivates a pride in their attire and a level of class and order to which we have and do dress. Much can be learned from an in-depth look at fashion and “Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style” is the new bible for that undertaking. There is a morbid curiosity as you walk through the pages and inhale the history and thinking of cultures, people, leadership and aristocracy brought to the nations over time. Each chapter is a detailed and fascinating look at different eras beginning pre-600 CE and ending with 1980’s to today. Masterfully included is the common dress of each time, costumes, formals for the parties of each demographic and era, common and formal accessories, and military wear illustrated in some form of picture and captioned for greater detail. The truly enticing draw of this gorgeous tome is the various forms to illustrate the depictions of assorted fashions; drawings, authentic pictures, mannequined displays, recreated camera shots and artwork. Whether you are a fashionista or a walking fashion faux pas, you will thoroughly enjoy this chronological look at fashion and history! M. Chris Johnson Custer By Larry McMurtry Simon & Schuster, $35, 178 pages On a summer day in 1876 when General George Armstrong Custer marched the 7th Cavalry onto the battlefield of Little Bighorn, no one present knew the longterm impact the event would have on U.S. history. Disobeying direct orders, Custer willfully and recklessly rode his troops into a large force of Lakota Cheyenne resulting in his own death as well as 250 of his men. Although judged at the time as a stunning failure in the army’s attempt to take control of territorial lands of the west, it was also the beginning of the end an independent indigenous people and culture. Despite the embarrassing defeat, Custer’s name and the battle soon passed into legend, where it has remained for more than 130 years. Linda Frederiksen

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The First Four Notes: Beethoven’s Fifth and the Human Imagination By Matthew Guerrieri Knopf, $26.95, 360 pages Matthew Guerrieri’s “The First Four Notes” tracks the iconic opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony throughout history. Guerrieri embraces both the technical and social reception of the symphony from it’s early reception as something radically new, through its role crossing class boundaries in the Victorian period, and its importance to American Transcendental thinkers and writers. The analysis is through and wide ranging, and will leave the reader with a profound respect for the breadth of the author’s research. This book is primarily scholarly, however, and readers will need at least a basic knowledge of musical theory to follow some of the arguments. Additionally, the author is steeped in a scholarly tradition, and readers who have not recently read Hegel may struggle through the more technical and philosophical chapters. However, readers who press on through the technical chapters, will gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the roles that Beethoven has been pressed into throughout history. Katie Richards Leonardo and the Last Supper By Ross King Walker & Company, $28, 336 pages “The Last Supper was the triumphant discharge of the debt that his genius - da Vinci’s - owed to history‚“ writes author Ross King on the epilogue of this his last published work. Indeed, “The Last Supper” is a landmark in art history, the beginning of the High Renaissance and the most famous paint in the world, challenged for this title only by yet another of Leonardo’s paintings: Mona Lisa. In the British tradition, author Ross King delivers a solid biographical/historical work that unveils with detail the story behind the famous painting without ignoring the need of an inviting and entertaining read. The story flows through Leonardo’s


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persona. However, the early biography of the master is barely discussed, since the purpose is to the artist’s circumstances during the creative period to the final creation of his masterpiece. But King goes well beyond a simplistic chronology of events. Masterfully, he explains a complex story, linking concisely religion, politics and the social realities of the era with Leonardo’s creative process. He does this without compromising the narrative one bit. Instead, he provides a pleasurable read. Mr. King successfully addresses the wide spectrum of readers that may have interest in the story. He provides vast detail about Leonardo’s artistic influences and limitations, painting techniques, materials utilized and the whole process of deterioration and restoration “The Last Supper” suffered throughout the years. The uncover of many myths surrounding the masterpiece will please those interested in popular history and popular culture, as the author sharply addresses every single one of them, including those made popular by the movie “The da Vinci Code”. The reader interested in the scholar aspect of this book will be satisfied by the exhaustive research the author obviously performed with passion and method. However, this book is probably not detailed enough to be considered academic, since it has been written for a wider, more curious than scholar audience. While the book contains several photos and drawings, the reader may find that additional graphical material could have enhanced the reading significantly. This is perhaps the one criticism one may have about this very well constructed, educational, compelling and engaging book. A great read. Alberto Ambard The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the Artistic Duel That Defined the Renaissance By Jonathan Jones Alfred A. Knopf, $35, 354 pages Jonathan Jones’ “The Lost Battles” tells the story of two paintings that don’t exist. A book with this premise seems difficult, if not impossible to write, but Jones does a compelling job in telling the story of one of the all time great art historical head-to-head

match ups. In the early 16th century the Republic of Florence hired Leonardo da Vinci to paint a mural of the Battle of Anghari in the city hall. Shortly thereafter, they hired Michelangelo to paint the Battle of Cascina a short distance away. Jones tells the story, not only of these two paintings, but of the men that created them, and how two opposite kinds of genius arose in the same place and at the same time. Jones illuminates not only the battles depicted in the paintings, but the personal battles between the two great art historical geniuses, who knew and disliked each other, even as they learned from an imitated one another. The greatest strength of this book is in the humanity of the historical figures portrayed. Reading, one gets a sense of who Leonardo was as a person (apparently a wild dresser), not an historical idea. Jones’ day job is writing for a newspaper, and in book length, the writing style can slow the reader down-it’s almost too descriptive to read in more than small chunks. However, this book still gets a strong recommendationjust don’t expect a quick read. Katie Richards Images of America: Troutdale By Julie Stewart Arcadia Publishing, $21.99, 127 pages The east side of Portland is full of many interesting towns, and a few cities. The biggest one is Gresham, a city I lived in for several years. One of its smaller neighbors is the town of Troutdale. Right along the Sandy River, and at the mouth of the Columbia River gorge; where the east wind would barrel out of during the winters. In this book from Arcadia Publishing we get to see Troutdale from a small town on the edge of the river, as it grows and thrives and becomes an important point for tourists driving along the Columbia River. From the building of the historic Columbia River Highway, to fishing for smelt on the Sandy River, to the nasty ice storms that would hit; we get to see a town on the rise. While it never got as big as its neighbors, it retains its small town charm next to the big city. By being at the edge of the big city it was able to keep its identity. This book is good for those people who live in the area and will recognize many landmarks, and would get to see the city from an age that has passed. Kevin Winter

Portland’s Pearl District By Christopher S. Gorsek Arcadia Publishing, $21.99, 127 pages If you are a fan of the popular photography book “Portland Then and Now” you are bound to love “Portland’s Pearl District” from the Images of America photography series. Compiled by Christopher S. Gorsek, a native Portlander, the book leads the viewer through the transformation from thick forest to dense urban development by the display of early drawings and maps, and photography. Different from other photography books that lead one through history, Gorsek has chosen to leave all of the photos in black and white, even though the images range from the 1850s through the most resent Pearl renovations of the new millennia. This choice to leave all the images in black and white leaves it up to the viewer to decide when the modern era in Portland began, rather than assuming with the appearance of colored photos. This book is an excellent edition to your living room book collection. Andrea Franke

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Biographies & Memoirs The Valley of Innocence Lost By Don Haugen CreateSpace, $12.95, 148 pages Like a stain that fades but never is totally washed out, the author recalls the imprinted memories of a perverted childhood that continues to haunt him even now in his senior years. Born in the dregs of the depressing 1930s and continuing through two decades past the second World War, Don Haugen eidetically recalls his harrowing upbringing with a promiscuous mother who shortly abandoned the family, and a withdrawn father constantly striving to make ends meet in “The Valley of Innocence Lost”. Isolated and impoverished, he continually fought neighboring boys and school bullies in efforts to retain his dignity. Seeking warmth and preservation, he tenaciously embraced the Catholic Church and in the midst of his Dickensonian suffering sought salvation and parental guidance through religion. In his teens, added to the imposed deprivations of food, clothing, warmth,and especially human affection, he was subjected to forced manual farm labor under the control of his heartless, miserly, and brutishly cruel resident extended family. His juvenile mind constantly queried why those who witnessed his misery never interceded on his behalf. Written in simple script, as text related by a frightened youth, the story provides a sociological picture of the torment faced by abused and abandoned children. Interestingly, Don Haugen does finally emerge from this morass, gains a degree in sociology, and succeeds as husband, father, author, and noted sculptor. Still, the memories remain tormenting, and this account reads as a script from therapeutic sessions which he confesses have helped him to overcome the dreaded past. This account provides the reader with recall to years from our recent past and insight into the sculpting of a talented and unconquered individual. Sponsored Review Forsythia: A Memoir of Lost Generations By Peter Hovenden Longley iUniverse, $37.95, 706 pages Fans of popular Edwardian-period shows and literature like Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs, or Pride and Prejudice will fall in love with this hefty tome that examines the culture of that alluring time period through parallel lenses. Drawing skillful comparisons between the fictional family of Forsytes from John Galsworthy’s epic


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work titled “The Forsyte Saga”, and his own family history and youth in England, Longley invites us into a world far different from our own. He recommends that prior to reading the book, we familiarize ourselves with the Galsworthy book, but possibly the 2002 BBC mini-series of the same title would provide a similar foundation on which to begin. With expert compare and contrast style, Longley carefully illuminates passages from the fictional Galsworthy work with stories from real life. We learn about the LongleyHovenden-Cuthbertson-Collings family of the author’s nativity, as he uses incidents and illustrations from his own history and the stories of his antecedents. Fictional narrative comes alive as we see true-life samples of the disparity between master and servant, strict cultural mores and rules, incidentals like an organ-grinder, ginger-beer, and waning traditions like the garden parties and social clubs. Morality is examined in context as well, as the Forsyte characters deal with a failing marriage, pivotal to the story’s central themes of the decline of an era and a woman’s place in society. Characters from author Longley’s own history stand out as colorful as any fictive Forsyte: Granny Longley, progenitor Charles William Hovenden Longley, the author himself, and more, take on amusing and interesting lives of their own. Unveiling the mystery and rigidity of social class in intimate and minute detail, where ‘Forsythia’ becomes a term referring to the attitudes, unwritten laws, and sometimes outright chutzpah of the haut monde, this precis on not only “The Forsyte Saga,” but Edwardian and Victorian periods heading into the transitional periods of wartime and upheaval provides a meticulous, comprehensive history replete with copious detail and entertaining stories. A genuine reading pleasure especially for students of history or classic literature. Sponsored Review Carve Her Name With Pride By R.J. Minney Pen & Sword Military, $24.95, 187 pages The atrocities of the Second World War have been well-documented. Most of us are familiar with the great military battles, underground groups like the French Resistance, secret agents and code makers and breakers. With all that information, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the individual stories of heroism during the war. The reprint of the book, “Carve Her Name in Pride” gives us the opportunity to read about one woman’s heroism in going behind enemy lines to do her part for the war. The book chronicles the story Violette Szabo, a young French-English woman who began working for the

English after the death of her husband. She agrees to embark on missions to France, which eventually leads to her capture and eventual execution by the Germans near the end of the war. Her heroism resulted in her becoming the first woman to receive The George Cross. The writing in the book is oldfashioned and has a definite positive slant to any and all of Violette’s actions and personality quirks. The story, though, is worthwhile and overcomes the drawbacks in the storytelling and Violette’s bravery and spirit shine throughout the book. Barbara Cothern Part Wild: Caught Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs By Ceiridwen Terrill Scribner, $15, 280 pages This detailed memoir reveals the joys and challenges of raising a wolfdog (part wolf, part dog). It discusses the popularity and challenges, as well as the personal and societal consequences and dangers involved. It is also a candid view of the personal healing and strength that Terrill sought, and received, by raising Inyo, whom she often introduced to others as a “husky mix”. The background to her quest is a difficult marriage and pressures of her dissertation studies. Don Messerschmidt Evelyn Nesbit’s Own Story: The Death Bed Revelations of 1926 By Evelyn Nesbit Main Street Press, $14.99, 96 pages “Evelyn Nesbit’s own story‚Äù and her telling of it exhibit a courageous and “divein” attitude toward life, especially toward what she would have called her “knocks.” “The Deathbed Revelations of 1926” were originally published serially in “Variety” magazine, written by Evelyn on commission. Though the articles were written in the months after her third suicide attempt, and since Evelyn went on to live many years after that, the material is not exactly what the phrase “deathbed” connotes. This is never explicitly part of the organization of the material, but gleaned from browsing the dated pictures and news stories included. The book opens with a 30-page preface of period newspaper stories reporting the suicide attempt and rehashing Evelyn’s past; this reviewer suggests reading the first two, but if your interest wanes or wearies at the extreme sensationalism, begin reading the Chapters. Truly, Evelyn’s own voice is riveting. In her story, she describes, and moreover, observes, her treatment by Stanford White and Harry Thaw showing her success as a memoirist - and how men can regard successful women as dangerous. Her

first installment (now, Chapter 1) poses the questions she knows will grab her readers’ attention - readers already familiar with “the most notorious woman in the world”: “Why did Harry Thaw kill Stanford White? Was I the only cause?” She promises answers with simple yet suspenseful framing. Her matter-of-fact social commentary (Chapter VI confronts the reader with “the double standard”) is the best part of the book, and her humanizing philosophy in these chapters is pertinent as ever. Reading an autobiography, the story of an ,”I”, is so welcoming precisely because one becomes absorbed into a different real perspective on life without being forced into a debate or change. Of course, the author may walk on the edge of debate, as in Nesbit’s case, where her words can contest other words written about her. This is underlined in reading the reported stories, though most of those stories would have been easier digested in an appendix. The genre of memoir or “revelations” has exploded since 1926, and while reading I thought Nesbit could certainly have filled a larger tome with more detail and done well with today’s public, too, and after finishing the book I learned she published a book memoir in 1934. “The Deathbed Revelations of 1926” has value in Evelyn’s chapters themselves, its brevity and focus on pieces perhaps not collected elsewhere....but an editor’s note giving the big picture and explaining why the supplemental pieces were chosen was sorely missed. Much more than a PR bid, Evelyn’s articles were not only the means to support herself during that difficult time, but the proof she had done so before and could do so again, having reached out to death but staging a comeback after all.

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Home & Garden Schindler, Kings Road, and Southern California Modernism By Robert Sweeney & Judith Sheine University of California Press, $39.95, 112 pages I love midcentury architecture and was immediately intrigued by “Schindler, Kings Road, and Southern California Modernism/. 835 Kings Road, also known as the Schindler House, is the focus of this very interesting book. The Viennese architect, R.M. Schindler, completed the house in 1922 and the house was considered quite radical for the time in southern California. There were three-sided rooms and the outside was always invited into the home. Also the bedroom had no walls and overall the house was focused on “space, climate, light and mood.” Sweeney’s book dissects Schindler’s early influences, as well as, his early work in Vienna. Sweeney outlines Schindler’s move to the United States, meeting with Frank Lloyd Wright and his Communist beliefs. ”Schindler, Kings Road, and Southern California Modernism” displays early architectural drawings, watercolors and photos showing the step-by-step process of building 835 Kings Road. There are also numerous color photos of the home today. Schindler, although considered radical at the time, is believed to have defined California Modernism as it is today. If you are interested in architecture, especially modern architecture, this book will be a fascinating read for you. Seniye Groff Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love By Sherry & John Petersik Artisan Books, $25.95, 338 pages Want to remodel, personalize or make your home really feel like home? Sherry and John Petersik wanted to do all three when they move into their first home in 2006. Problem - they didn’t know the first thing about DIYing. Fast forward a few years and they have learnt enough on the job to redo their entire house, start a DIY blog and even move on to their next home. In their book, the couple shares 243 creative, exciting and not-so-scary ways to “show your home some love”, from spiffing up an old brass chandelier to making napkin pillowcase covers. Some ideas are actual projects, like creating 3D art with tissue paper and some are just suggestions that readers are encouraged to have fun with and make their own, like swapping drab doorknobs for something


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with more panache. All ideas as rated by price (most are very budget friendly), time needed (average is on the short side) and sweat involved (many are sweat free!) The ideas don't require great skill, expertise, bravery or fancy tools. The photos are beautiful and the text is almost too hilarious to take seriously. Above all, this is a nonthreatening, hugely encouraging push to get crafting! Andrea Klein The Handbuilt Home: 34 Simple Stylish and Budget-Friendly Woodworking Projects for Every Room By Ana White Potter Craft, $22.99, 192 pages Despite closing her eyes in fear the first time she used a nail gun, Ana White taught herself how to build furniture. Her home is now filled with custom-made pieces, and in her book, “The Handbuild Home”, she shows readers how to achieve similar success. The book includes 34 projects that are divided by room, so readers can outfit their entire homes by hand, from kitchen to bathroom to patio. Each project is labeled by price range, level of difficulty and necessary length of time. A plan of the finished product plus a beautiful, colourful photo of the piece in a bona fide room graces the first page of each new project, along with a shopping list, a tools list and a cutting list. Following are neat yet detailed step-by-step instructions and diagrams on how to build the piece. White does not expect readers to be handy, and devotes two chapters to delineating needed tools and basic techniques. Her story is a powerful motivator to get DIYing and the book comes across as empowering, unintimidating and forgiving for all DIY hopefuls, women especially. Break out that chainsaw! Andrea Klein

is a must read. Kristin Leigh Weeds: In Defense of Nature’s Most Unloved Plants By Richard Mabey Ecco, $14.99, 324 pages A British naturalist, Richard Mabey is the modern-day counterpart of our Henry Thoreau. Though his focus is on weeds of the UK, he touches some of the similar weed topics of the American West and Australia. The twelve chapters are twelve essays, rather lengthy and verbose, involving philosophy, history, art, literature, environment, herbal remedies and, include many, many quotes from historic texts and even poetry. Though Mabey’s writing is good, the long, somewhat dry paragraphs and heavy wordings are not meant for light reading. Readers interested in the subject are likely to read a chapter (or part of one) at a time. This book is not for everyone yet those who enjoy Thoreau’s writing will certainly enjoy “Weeds”. The author weaves many stories into each chapter, making reading interesting, for example: how the obnoxious weed burdock gave a Swiss inventor the idea of developing Velcro and the investigation of the luxuriant weeds growing on after-thewar London bomb sites. Each chapter starts with a black-and-white pencil line drawing. Since the weeds are mostly British, many names you won’t find in our standard Webster dictionary. The book ends with a lengthy nine-page glossary of British plant names; Notes and References; and a thorough index. George Erdosh

Minnie Rose Lovgreen’s Recipe for Raising Chickens By Edited by Nancy Rekow & Chaya Siegelbaum, Illustrated by Elizabeth Hutchison Zwick NW Trillium Press, $13, 32 pages “Minnie Rose Lovgreen’s Recipe for Raising Chickens” is a delightful book for the contemporary urban chicken-raiser. This book is filled with the charm and nostalgia of raising chickens, while providing practical advice and direction that remains relevant to a contemporary population. As a resident in a very suburban location, I have thought about raising my own chickens in my back yard. This book allows the reader to envision life back on the farm, tending to your back yard while your happy chickens handle garden pests, fluffing your garden dirt, and of course, providing you with a regular supply of eggs. In addition to the strong advice allowing a beginner to enter the world of raising chickens, the book also features hand-illustrations, tidbits of information and material to bring levity and humor. This book offers a kind and natural approach that bolsters the confidence of someone just starting out in the world of raising chickens, while providing valuable information that clearly comes from the voice of experience. Rachel J. Richards


Get Your Pitchfork On! The Real Dirt on Country Living (Process Self-reliance Series) By Kristy Athens Process Media, $19.95, 341 pages In 2003, Kristy Athens and her husband Mike moved from their home in Portland, Oregon out to a seven-acre parcel in the Columbia Gorge and lived a rural life for six years. “Get Your Pitchfork On!” is Athen’s detailed account of how to live, work and thrive in the country. For anyone who wants to know the nuts and bolts of transitioning from city living to a do-it-yourself rural life, this practi-

T hank you for reading Portland Book Review!

Home & Garden Gardening Vertically: 24 Ideas for Creating Your Own Green Walls By Noemie Vialard W.W. Norton & Company, $24.95, 144 pages In “Gardening Vertically: 24 Ideas for Creating Your Own Green Walls” Noemie Vialard brings the work of garden innovator Patrick Blanc to life. Blanc is known for creating famous vertical gardens around the world. These can be found on the walls of the Caixa Forum Museum in Madrid, the Rue d’Alsace in Paris and the Siam Paragon Shopping Center in Bangkok. This book does a wonderful job of showcasing the versatility of this type of garden. In addition to discussing plant requirements and design concepts, she details ways readers can create a variety of displays at home. Vialard includes photographs and technical illustrations. Step-by-step instructions are accompanied by soil, water and fertilizer suggestions. Vialard challenges readers to make informed decisions about water consumption and environmental impact. She provides suggestions on suitable plant choices, specifically herbs, flowers, aromatics, and vegetables. This book will appeal to the garden artist seeking inspiration. It will also benefit landscape designers and installation crews. Readers should be aware that some of the material is patented. Home use is allowed but commercial restrictions apply. Brenda Searle Growing Fruit Trees: Novel Concepts and Practices for Successful Care and Management By Jean-Marie Lespinasse and Evelyne Leterme Norton, $49.95, 352 pages Whether the reader is hoping to improve the fruit production of a single cherry tree growing in the backyard or start a multiple acre orchard, “Growing Fruit Trees: Novel Concepts and Practices for Successful Care and Management” can help. Addressing the ins and outs of growing almond, apple, apricot, cherry, chestnut, fig, table grape, hazelnut, kiwi, olive, peach, pear, plum, quince and walnut trees, this hefty tome contains a wealth of extremely detailed information. From cultivation history to environmental strengths and weaknesses, methods of training to the importance of specific pollinators, each chapter contains everything a grower needs to know to successfully care for a particular kind of fruit tree. The book also contains a large number of instructive color illustrations and helpful photographs


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Crafts & Hobbies

as well as an in-depth glossary. An incredibly comprehensive book, “Growing Fruit Trees” is sure to have tremendous appeal for the experienced arborist or serious gardener. Elizabeth Goss The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well By Deborah Needleman Clarkson Potter, $30, 254 pages “The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well” by Deborah Needleman is not a book that lays out style options accompanied by neat little photographs of how a house “should” look. Rather, it’s a guide to style, on how to find and create your own style, on making a house a home, making it inviting rather than sterile, to find and create elegance that makes your family happy, and a guidebook to creating a background for the best life possible in your home. Needleman describes light, entryways, “cozifications”, bedrooms, books, and scented candles, among many, many other aspects of the house, explaining how one thing or another affects the overall sense of the room, helping the reader create their own styles and themes. For instance, overhead lighting is the enemy of cozy warmth and lamps with adjustable arms and doublebulb lights for a medium and soft setting are highly desirable, especially for the bedroom. The watercolor illustrations that accompany Needleman’s collection of essays on decorating and living well reinforce the sense of fluidity, that decorating is an art, an evolving thing, not a stage set decided by professionals, but something that grows and changes with you and your family. Axie Barclay

Homesweet Homegrown: How to Grow, Make and Store Food, No Matter Where You Live By Robyn Jasko, Illustrated by Jennifer Biggs Microcosm Publishing, $9.95, 128 pages Need a push to finally start a vegetable garden? Robyn Jasko gives that gentle yet insistent nudge with her book “Homesweet Homegrown”. In clear and easy-to-read text, Jasko explains “how to grow, make and store food, no matter where you live.” Topics discussed include garden prep and planning; information on commonly grown vegetables; planting setup; making garden-related tools like a rain barrel, weed killer and a drip irrigation system; simple, staple recipes like garlic soup and roasted beet salad; and storage and processing techniques, like canning, freezing and fermenting. At the end is an excellent list of resources to quick start gardening. All DIY projects are uncomplicated and beginner friendly, sometimes using common household items like newspaper, vinegar and an old garden hose. Jasko really takes the scary factor out of gardening with this small and unassuming book. Everything from the charming inked drawings to the clean setup to the organized layout makes starting a garden seem infinitely less overwhelming. This certainly qualifies as a dummy’s guide to vegetable gardening and food production, especially for all those gardeners with more enthusiasm than experience. Andrea Klein Knitting Vintage: 30 Knitting Projects Inspired by Period Fashions By Claire Montgomerie Barron’s, $16.99, 176 pages As any knitter who has ever attempted a vintage knitting project knows, it’s not as easy as it looks. Not only may it be difficult or impossible to locate or replicate the required yarn, instructions may be written for one size only or the sizes given do not fit modern body types. Fortunately, British textile designer Montgomerie has taken the guesswork out of capturing some classic or iconic knitted fashions from by-gone eras by updating patterns for modern tastes, available supplies and realistic measurements. The result is this enjoyable book that presents 30 wearable women’s designs that were inspired by period designs from the 1920s1980s. From a Roaring Twenties flapper tank top to Flashdance-worthy leg warmers, there is an impressive range of projects from small, simple headbands and accessories to

the more complicated dresses and sweaters as well as a good variety in a skill level needed. In addition to well-written instructions, the book also includes short text and visual essays on the fashions of the day. Knitters who decide to add this title to their stash won’t be disappointed. Linda Frederiksen Nursery Stitch: 20 Projects to Make By Rebeccca Shreeve Barron’s, $14.99, 112 pages Tired of syndicated TV and movie characters ignominiously gracing everything from children’s blankets to bibs to T-shirts? Rebecca Shreeve offers wholesome and charming animal-related alternatives with twenty projects outlined in her book, “Nursery Stitch”. Shreeve provides templates for decorating T-shirts, towels, and bibs, as well as patterns for stuffed animals, a play mat, a hat and a mobile, among others. The projects are straightforward and uncomplicated, though having basic sewing knowledge would be helpful. Shreeve explains techniques used in the book, such as transferring templates and the various hand stitches, in a separate section at the back. The designs, and the animal motifs in particular, aren’t overly sophisticated and can nearly pass for children’s drawings, but their quaintness and timelessness are what give them value. The book is replete with full-colour photos featuring the finished products and adorable children. As indicated by the title, the projects in the book are most appropriate for children around three years of age and younger. Andrea Klein

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Music & Movies The Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester By Nicholas Knight Insight Editions, $50, 192 pages Most fans of the show Supernatural have dreamed of traveling with the Winchester brothers as they hunt monsters, myths, and demons. “The Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester” is about as close as it gets. This oversized coffee table book chronicles the Winchester’s history, broken into the events of each season. Intermixed are interviews with actors, directors, special effects artists, and costuming directors. The coolest feature to this book is all the extras shoved in. Posters, stickers, pictures, and postcards are included for the readers enjoyment. There are smaller pamphlets on exorcism, roadmaps, and killing monsters tucked in the pages as well. For Supernatural fans, this book is fantastic. The only thing that could have made it better would be the inclusion of some material that couldn’t be found in the show. Some backstory on characters, or even monsters, would have made this worth way more than the $50.00 price tag. Regardless though, whether you leaf through the pages while watching reruns of the show, or sit down and read it straight through, “The Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester” is a must-have for any fan of the show. Andrew Keyser God’s Mind in That Music: Theological Explorations through the Music of John Coltrane By Jamie Howison Cascade Books, $28, 250 pages John Coltrane’s spiritual journey was at the heart of his music, especially his later compositions. In “God’s Mind in That Music”, Jamie Howison traces that journey by examining a handful of pivotal works, their structure, performance history, critical reception, and theological roots and resonances. “A Love Supreme” is there, of course, but so are “Ascension” and “Attaining” works that pushed the boundaries of how jazz was understood at that time. Daniel Hobbs


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Workin’ Man Blues: Country Music in California By Gerald Haslam with Alexandra Haslam Russell and Richard Chon University of California Press, $34.95, 380 pages Most country music fans regard Nashville as the only significant source for country music. Author, Gerald Haslam details the history of country music in California, especially the under-rated Bakersfield sound of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. He discusses venues, artists, songwriters, promoters, and record companies, and he reels off a number of interesting and amusing stories about the Bakersfield scene. He also spends some less than effective time covering the Los Angeles country music and country rock scene, and such artists as The Long Ryders, The Byrds, and Dwight Yoakam. As often true of historical surveys, although the author does weave some good stories and memorable moments into the history, there is something of a mind-numbing quality about this endless list of folks. There is also not quite enough discussion of why such artists as The Judds inevitably ended up in Nashville. It is good to see such artists as The Maddox Brothers and Rose covered in some detail, as well as some thoughtful discussion about Ken Nelson, a record producer for Capitol Records. This book is a re-print of a 1999 book, and unfortunately contains no updates. I subtracted one star because although this is a university press, this book appears not to have been copy-edited. There are typos, misspellings, and unwelcome spaces between words that are so prevalent at times it is difficult to follow the text. We can only hope that this does not represent the future of university press publishing. Dick Weissman If You Like the Terminator... Here are Over 200 Movies, TV Shows, and Other Oddities That You Will Love By Scott Von Doviak Limelight Editions, $14.99, 212 pages For those looking to explore the genre of the Terminator this is a fun book. “If You Like The Terminator...” takes a hard look of sorts at the Terminator franchise and its spread into other media, and why it is a success. It also looks at other movies that fans of the movies may find interesting, looking at the good, the bad, and the just plain weird. It ends up with a listing of science fiction’s Top 100 Moments, a listing of the top books, games. and movies for science fiction fans.

The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions from Pop Culture That You Should Know About.... Before It’s Too Late By Laura Barcella Zest Books, $12.99, 167 pages If you pay attention to pop culture, it is just a matter of time before the apocalypse happens. “The End” looks at fifty ways the Earth will end - or at least civilization as we know it - in different media such as painting, music, books, plays and movies. There are a variety of ways that Earth meets its end, (not all of them are very nice) although some of them are rudely funny, and all them make some interesting points about who we are. Each entry is a synopsis of the item in question, and gives a summary, impact, and likelihood of it happening. Although the probability is a little on the cynical side, the other aspects make for some educational reading. Each summary is thorough, but just three pages is not enough to really take more than a passing glance at the item in question, and there is the feeling that some were included just to give a wide spectrum. There is also the issue that some of them could not really end the world. However, this is still a fun book to read, especially for those with a twisted sense of humor. Jamais Jochim

Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust: Off-therecord with The Beatles, Bowie, Elton, and So Much More By Ken Scott & Bobby Owsinski Alfred Publishing, $24.99, 414 pages You know the game - You can invite five famous people to dinner. Who’ll it be? If you’re a music fan, you might choose George Harrison, Elton John, Dale Bozzio, Roger Hodgson, and Simon Le Bon. Or, you could just invite Ken Scott, worldrenowned recording engineer, producer, and author of “Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust.” In this new memoir, Scott chronicles his forty-plus year career as the one of the most sought-after recording engineers in the business - as well as the musicians he’s worked with. Scott recalls how he stumbled into an engineering career as a teenager, admits his constant fear of being fired as he learned his way around the studio while recording The Beatles, and reflects on what it was like to work with the who’s who of rock-n-roll: David Bowie, Supertramp, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Devo...and the list goes on. In addition, he writes about his craft - the art, science, and lucky mistakes of recording music. “Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust” is organized to satisfy every kind of reader. Music fans will enjoy the stories behind the records they love, and the musicians who made them. Tech heads can dig into the nitty gritty engineering details that are interspersed throughout the book - from the mics used on “Yellow Brick Road” to the custom consoles used at EMI. It also includes a thorough glossary, index, pictures, and discography. Once you finish this engrossing book, “you’ll” be the most interesting person at your dinner party. Rebecca Parsons

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Portland Book Review’s First Annual Short Story Fiction Contest Submission Cost - $10.00

Official Rules and Submission Guidelines:

The guidelines are simple; 1500 words or less fictional short story on any subject you want to write about. That’s it! This contest will run from March 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013 for all submissions. Our Reviewers will select the winners from all submissions and the top three winners will be published in our September 2013 digital edition as well as our website. With close to 40,000 viewers each month, your story will get read!

1st Place $100 Cash Prize and; 2nd Place $50 Cash Prize

Publication of the winning story on the Portland Book Review’s website at www.portlandbookreview.com. Publication of the winning story in digital publication of Portland Book Review Printed publication of winning story and all other submissions (depending on volume of submissions) with the winner receiving 2 copies of the book free. Book(s) from Viva Editions. Publication of the winning story on the Portland Book Review’s website at www.portlandbookreview.com. Printed publication of the winning story and all other submissions (depending on volume of submissions) with winners receiving a copy of the book free.

Publication of winning story on the Portland Book Review’s website at www.portlandbookreview.com. Printed publication of winning story and all other submissions (depending on volume of submissions) with winners receiving a copy of the book free. CONTEST GUIDELINES AND RULES - PLEASE READ! Once you have purchased the entry fee from our website, email your 1500-word fictional short story to; info@portlandbookreview.com. You will receive an auto-generated confirmation email that your submittal was received. You will be notified in late August if you are a winner via email. Rules: 1. Name your story 2. Short stories exceeding the word count will be disqualified. 3. Type your name, pen name if you want to use that in lieu of your real name, email address, mailing address, phone number and word count at the end of the story. We do not share personal information with anyone outside of the Portland Book Review team. 4. Send your story as an attachment in a Word document or PDF to info@portlandbookreview.com. 5. Only one story per entry fee. 6. Any entries after 12:00 AM PST on June 30th will be disqualified. 7. Reprints are not permitted. Any plagiarizing within the short story will be an automatic disqualification. 8. include the title of your story in the subject line of your email to info@portlandbookreview.com.

3rd Place $25 Cash Prize

The legalese: By entering the contest, you certify that you have read these guidelines in their entirety and that you agree, on winning the contest, to allow Portland Book Review to publish your winning entry on www.portlandbookreview.com and in our digital edition(s) for an unlimited period of time on a non-exclusive basis. Winning authors retain reprint rights to their work. All other authors retain all rights to their work. Portland Book Review staff members cannot be held responsible for any electronic transmission problems. The company’s liability will never exceed the cost of the entry fee. Refunds will not be issued. Decisions of the judges are final.

June - September 2012Good Luck! you and 21 Thank

Spirituality & Inspiration Auspicious Good Fortune By Sumangali Morhall John Hunt Publishing, $22.95, 247 pages Auspicious Good Fortune By Sumangali Morhall John Hunt Publishing, $22.95, 247 pages Sumangali Morhall’s “Auspicious Good Fortune” details one woman’s spiritual awakening in beautiful, lyrical prose that sometimes reads like poetry. The rhythm and cadence of her voice is easy to fall into, easy to find peace in. This piece of writing is not merely a memoir or a spiritual journey or even an ode to a lost Guru and way of life that so few of us are able to find. Sumangali’s writing offers a unique window into the pacing and thinking of a person who has found a balance between her “interior world and the outer world” - giving her reader a visceral experience of that balance. The story she tells flows fluidly from the specifics of her physical reality to her own conscious interactions within herself. Sumangali’s adept use of language allows for such fluidity - allows for the reader to follow her implicitly as new connections are made. In one of my favorite sections of the text, Sumangali describes a moment in which, while painting her walls a bright mango, a delivery man asks her what she is doing: “It’s a “living room”,” I returned, ‚“it wants to look “alive”. This fluid moment, this insight into a new way of seeing our reality, is what captured me the most throughout her story. Everything about her new world became a balance of an interior truth and an outer reality. It is this very simple representation of thought that makes her writing to be very compelling. This is going to go right next to the copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “The Sun My Heart” on my bookshelf, easily placed so that anytime I need a quick pick-me-up, or some comfort in my purse, I can easily grab for one. Both “My Heart” and “Good Fortune” are similar in that way - they are comfort food books. Yes, both are considered “spiritual” texts, but above all both do so on an intimate, personal level. Morhall’s spiritual journey is inspiring and hopeful and honest -- but above all, her prose is intoxicating and “raw”. While reading, I felt many times as though I was receiving a bright, warm hug. Sponsored Review Sumangali Morhall’s “Auspicious Good Fortune” details one woman’s spiritual awakening in beautiful, lyrical prose that sometimes reads like poetry. The rhythm and cadence of her voice is easy to fall into, easy to find peace in. This piece of writing is not merely a memoir or a spiritual journey or even an ode to a lost Guru and way of life that so few of us are able to find. Sumangali’s writing offers a unique window into the pacing and thinking of a person


June - September March - May 2013 2012

who has found a balance between her “interior world and the outer world” - giving her reader a visceral experience of that balance. The story she tells flows fluidly from the specifics of her physical reality to her own conscious interactions within herself. Sumangali’s adept use of language allows for such fluidity - allows for the reader to follow her implicitly as new connections are made. In one of my favorite sections of the text, Sumangali describes a moment in which, while painting her walls a bright mango, a delivery man asks her what she is doing: “It’s a “living room”,” I returned, ‚“it wants to look “alive”. This fluid moment, this insight into a new way of seeing our reality, is what captured me the most throughout her story. Everything about her new world became a balance of an interior truth and an outer reality. It is this very simple representation of thought that makes her writing to be very compelling. This is going to go right next to the copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “The Sun My Heart” on my bookshelf, easily placed so that anytime I need a quick pick-me-up, or some comfort in my purse, I can easily grab for one. Both “My Heart” and “Good Fortune” are similar in that way - they are comfort food books. Yes, both are considered “spiritual” texts, but above all both do so on an intimate, personal level. Morhall’s spiritual journey is inspiring and hopeful and honest -- but above all, her prose is intoxicating and “raw”. While reading, I felt many times as though I was receiving a bright, warm hug. Sponsored Review Lessons of the Inca Shamans: Piercing the Veil By Deborah Bryon Pine Winds Press, $18, 319 pages The path is always going to be more important than than the journey. Bryon started her journey to become a shaman, and “Lessons of the Inca Shamans” follows that journey. As a Jungian analyst, and therefore into the symbols of the subconscious, she adds some analysis to the process, as well as those that have had the chance to undergo the process themselves, most notably Carlos Castenedas. This is a fascinating study of all that can happen on that path. With all of the new age books on the market looking at the more extreme examples of spiritual experiences, where beings of power have come to fill in something missing from their lives, this is a refreshing breath of wind. The experience is usually painted as some great dramatic experience, but here it is presented here as a series of gradual changes in a relationship between two beings. Besides making it seem more real, it also allows the person to better follow a path to enlightenment and makes for a more compelling look. As Bryon is having to work at her relationship with her husband, who is going through something similar, it helps ground her experiences in reality,

Relationships & Sex making an important link between her and the reader; if she can do this while dealing with the otherworldly, it informs the reader that he can as well. Although the writing does occasionally get bogged down in analysis, this is a strength of the book, and makes it more interesting. Again, too many writers merely describe the process; Bryon provides an important analysis of what is happening to her, making it much more real. If you are contemplating something similar, this is an excellent introduction to the process, and a must read for those interested in personal enlightenment. Sponsored Review Mason Michael: The Heaven Projection By Dawn Dyson Creation House/Charisma Media, $17.99, 387 pages Alexa Dyson - eighteen, pregnant, and alone - lives in a world that has lost sight of God. Satan’s minions hold sway, the majority of the world’s Bibles have long since been found and destroyed, and proclaiming Christ means certain death. After nearly getting killed, Alexa flees her home and finds herself in a mysterious house which seems destined to be hers. It doesn’t take long for pursuers to locate her, however; her Christian beliefs make her a target. And then one of her enemies seemingly turns traitor and offers to become her protector instead; is he really what he seems? Alexa will have to trust her own intuition, as well as her angelic guardians, in order to see the truth and face the future head-on, living the destiny that awaits her. Dawn Dyson started the “Beautiful Justice” series with “Bella Maura” and continued it with “Justice Quinn”, and now she finishes this epic work with “Mason Michael: The Heaven Projection”. If you haven’t read the previous books, this is definitely not a good place to pick up the story. The author has an ethereal writing style that readily floats between different points of view and even between first- and third-person with regards to Alexa; this can be a little confusing for even those already familiar with the series. Add in passages from Sienna’s book and Sienna’s current point of view - that of an angel silently guiding Alexa from heaven - and it may take a little while for readers to find their bearing. Stick with it, though, because this novel is worth it! It is a bit heartbreaking at times as you struggle through the end days with Alexa, but you will find yourself cheering her on as she gets stronger, and her eventual victory will leave you

breathless with hope for humanity. If you’re looking for a good spiritual uplift, “Mason Michael” and indeed the entire “Beautiful Justice” series will be a balm for your soul. Sponsored Review The Hobbyist By Darryl Shelly The Hobbyist, $14.99, 313 pages This book is all about sex, but it isn’t a bodice-ripper. Actually, for all of the sex portrayed, this book isn’t sexy, and that is a great accomplishment. Shelly is a talented writer, and his prose can soar poetic when he wants it to. Still, his descriptions of sexual encounters range from delicate and intimate to raunchy and completely absurd. Considering the main character is a sex addict, this seems an appropriate way to gauge his development. Dash starts out relatively innocent. When he first begins frequenting prostitutes at his friend’s behest, he seeks intimacy and mutual pleasure. These initial experiences are filled with almost tender details of him trying to feel connected. As he gradually descends into full-fledged addiction, the way he sees the world changes. He no longer carefully describes each woman; his partners blur together into a string of random people. His actions become more selfish. As Dash’s desire for partnership fades into a desire for a higher “number,” the sex itself changes. Of an early visit to a massage parlor, he says that “there were satisfying little gestures of intimacy in that moment, such as our fingers interlacing, a kiss to the neck, the smile in her eyes.” Of a later escapade, he says only that he “finished co-mingling genitals.”Ladies he meets early in the book are described as goddesses; later women are harlots or hussies. Shelly lovingly details the sex that Dash has for the mostly right reasons, but he refuses to glorify the sex that exists as an emotional crutch and a burden. Addiction is never pretty, and this book shows that in a vivid manner. In “The Hobbyist”, Darryl Shelly has created a disturbing (and disturbingly realistic) tale of a young man falling into temptation. Throughout the book, Dash’s entire ideas about sex, intimacy, and himself are altered through his transformation from average guy to sex addict. It is a fascinating and horrifying transition. By focusing on Dash’s fall and exploring primarily his low points, Shelly shatters the unfortunate idea that sex addiction is nicer than other forms of self-abuse. At his worst, Dash is no safer, no more charming, and no more in control than someone dealing with substance abuse. Shelly does a wonderful job portraying the tragedy of sex addiction. Mae West had it wrong; too much of a good thing is not always wonderful. Sponsored Review

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Current Events & Politics Governing New York State By Edited by Robert F. Pecorella & Jeffrey M. Stonecash SUNY Press, $29.95, 334 pages New York is one of the most complex, and difficult, states to run in the country. It combines the largest metro region in the United States, along with a large rural population as well. Both with different priorities and ideas of which direction the state should go. It is being pulled along in two different directions, and trying to satisfy everyone. In this latest edition the contributors look at the many different ways that parties, bureaucracy, and cities play in shaping the politics of the Empire State. The book starts off with looking at the make-up of the Legislature, and how it has functioned over time. It then goes into detail of how governors have worked with the Legislature; the role of lobbyists, and other quasi government organizations. The latter half of the book looks at different sectors that the state government has a major influence in; mostly in health care and education, and how those two have changed over time. This is an interesting book for those who like to know how state governments operate. Especially in a diverse state like New York, and the role that demographics play. While it might be written for a more academic audience, a general reader will learn much. Kevin Winter The Best American Magazine Writing 2012 By Edited by Sid Holt Columbia University Press, $16.95, 544 pages Journalism can be like a splash of cold water or palatable medicine with side effects like increased anxiety or depression. The antidote is necessary in a society and bigger world, which despite truth seekers and justice makers, has its failures and mistakes. “The Best American Magazine Writing 2012”, edited by Sid Holt with an introduction by Terry McDonell, does not pull a lot punches giving one the sad tidings of the day, but it does share some hopeful stories about success and crusaders with integrity. Many great writers and the amazing magazines they write for are presented in this “best of” anthology. One will find thoughtprovoking critical analysis from Liz Brody, the late Christopher Hitchens, William Zinsser, and others. The anthology is from writers and magazines that won a magazine writing award this year. One can catch up on the important news of last year. The


March - May 2013 June - September 2012

reporting here, which in a number of cases feature story telling, is dense and not a fast or fun read. There is much about war, medicine, activism, crime, and politics. Critical journalism reminds us that there are people watching and looking out for the downtrodden; sometimes, they also need be ourselves. Ryder Miller Party Transformations in European Democracies By Andre Krouwel SUNY Press, $85, 437 pages How quickly do political parties evolve over time? How do political parties evolve? And what drives political parties to evolve? In this book Professor Krouwel explores the world of European political parties, the contexts that surrounded them coming into power, how they maintained power, and how they have evolved in the latter half of the 20th Century and first part of the 21st Century. The first part of the book covers the different models of party formation, the different party models, and the different theories as to why parties change over time. The other half of the book explores each of these different ideas in detail. In a longitudinal study across countries, time, and regions; each chapter covers a major theme and is then broken up. Each region of Europe is then broken up into their constituent countries. Each country that Professor Krouwel covers at least gets a mention, even if nothing of importance happens. In the end Krouwel makes the argument that European parties are moving towards a model of cartel; that the parties are representing less and less of the people and more concentrating on taking advantage of using state resources. The strength of this work is also its weakness. With talking about each country it gets repetitive, and a little long winded; but the detail is important to support Professors Krouwel major arguments. This is an important contribution to the field of political science. Kevin Winter

Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service By michael Bar-Zohar & Nissim Mishal ECCO, $27.99, 388 pages This remarkable book documents amazing and controversial events in the history of Israel’s secret service, the Mossad. Well documented and authoritative, it describes clandestine missions against many of Israel’s most determined enemies. The capture of Adolph Eichman is a well-known Mossad success. The authors describe how Eichman was apprehended and spirited out of Argentina in 1960, then tried and executed in Israel for his horrific Nazi crimes against European Jews during World War II. Similarly, Herberts Cukurs, the so-called Butcher of Riga, a Nazi concentration camp in Latvia, was tracked down in Brazil in 1965. The Mossad’s response to the ‘Black September’ attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics is also described. The book is full of such stories, highlighted by detailed descriptions of clever missions. It also includes undercover rescues of ill-treated Syrian and Ethiopian Jews. Among the most recent exploits are the bombing of a nuclear reactor in Syria, and the destruction of Sadam Hussain’s threatening ‘super gun’ in Iraq. And the book ends with a hint of potential missions ahead... Regardless of one‚Äôs feelings pro or con about Israel and the Mossad’s work, some readers may find this book disturbingly difficult to put down. Gustav Schreiber

Hurt: Notes on Torture in a Modern Democracy By Kristian Williams Microcosm Publishing, $6.95, 64 pages The slim and portable “Hurt: Notes on Torture in a Modern Democracy” byKristian Williams feels buoyant in the hand, in contrast to the mindpiercing subject matter. One will not be able to help but react in accord or discord or at least question along with the arguments raised. The material is accessible not just because of brevity but because every part was intended to speak without jargon: the inclusions in “Hurt” range across interviews, essays, speeches, and reviews previously produced by the author with citizen audiences in mind. While they are organized in five sections that address both domestic and international aspects of torture--”Personal Reflections,” “Media Silence and Public Opinion,” “Torture, Democracy, and Inequality,” “Prison Abolition,” and “Conclusions and Synopses”-this book can be opened and read from anywhere and provide material for meditation. It isn’t all doom and damnation, as the book’s conversation showcases people speaking and acting for change to the status quo. “Hurt” is a good publication that not only introduces but invites the reader to a debate on torture and to imagine alternatives. Sarah Alibabaie

R e ad A b out “ T he Wr it i n g C ont e s t ” at Por t l a nd B o ok R e v ie w.com

Health, Fitness & Dieting

Take It Off, Keep It Off By Paul “PJ” James Da Capo Lifelong Books, $18.99, 224 pages “Take It Off, Keep It Off” hooks readers right away. Who wouldn’t want to read more about a personal trainer and former underwear model that purposely gained 90 pounds just to prove a point?! According to Paul James, 68% of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. James feels he is uniquely positioned to understand, and ultimately help overweight clients because he was one of them. He argues that he underestimated how difficult it was to break the vicious mind, food, and body cycle of someone who is overweight. He documents his psychological struggle and junk food addiction that made returning to his original weight so difficult. James’ experiment of gaining and losing weight gave him the unique perspective he needed to truly understand what his clients struggled with. His KO-90 is a three month plan focused on six fundamental concepts. He spends a great deal of time in the book focused on food-menus, cooking methods, shopping techniques, and label reading. He believes food is the number one factor when trying to make a change to your body. The next part of the book is focused on weight training with 77 pages of the book devoted to weight training moves with pictures. The book ends with client stories in their own words. There are also pages for the reader to document their personal goals and measurements. What is most interesting with James’ philosophy is how little cardio he requires. He believes that food and lifting weights make the difference and he has numerous client testimonials to prove it. This book is a must read if you are truly ready to commit to his rigorous three month program. Seniye Groff The Science of Skinny By Dee McCaffrey Da Capo Lifelong, $16.99, 419 pages With the myriad of nutrition, health and weight loss books out there, it’s easy to get confused about which one is giving good advice. The most recent popular wave has been the natural or clean eating movement. Dee McCaffrey is a chemist, nutritionist and nutritional expert and is not new to this niche and has been writing about natural eating for years. This new book appears to be an update from her previous book, “Plan-D”. In this new book, “The Science of Skinny”, she gives very thorough information about the importance of eating foods as close to their natural state as possible to promote health, weight loss and general well-being. The information about various chemicals in


March - May 2013 June - September 2012

processed foods is fascinating and, in some cases, shocking. The book also gives specific eating plans for good health. There are some things in the book that were a bit puzzling, such as the promotion of drinking apple cider vinegar water (or Vitality Vinegar Tonic) and having foods with protein powder added, which seems like a fairly processed food substance and eating full-fat milk products. Overall, the reader can get some good information and facts about eating better and feeling better. Barbara Cothern Simple Skincare, Beautiful Skin: A Back-toBasics Approach By Ahmed Abdullah Greenleaf Book Group Press, $16.95, 184 pages Dr. Ahmed Abdullah, a plastic and cosmetic surgeon, offers easy-to-understand, practical advice in his book “ Simple Skincare, Beautiful Skin”. Abdullah really believes in going back to basics with skincare routines. He considers that the magic solution so many people look for just does not exist. Instead, he offers simple, scientific solutions. Abdullah opens his book by dispelling many common skincare myths such as that products containing collagen or elastin can rejuvenate skins cells or that “dermatologist recommended” means a product has proven results. As in weight loss, there are no quick-fixes or shortcuts to magical results. In the next section of Abdullah’s book he explains the science of skin. He then describes the regimen he believes in: morning and evening cleanse, morning and evening exfoliate, morning and evening moisturize and finally, morning protect. The next section of the book details how to “decode the bottle”. He reviews main ingredients, additives and everything in between. Abdullah is a big proponent of aloe and spends an entire chapter on the merits of aloe in your skincare regime. Abdullah also covers common skin issues such as dryness, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, redness and under-eye circles. He suggests common causes and ideas to negate the effects of these skin issues. He also has a chapter on acne and cancer treatments and its effect on the skin. He closes the book with a glossary and frequently asked questions. For a book that is only 164 pages, it contains a wealth of information. Some of the

information in the book is common knowledge, but for the most part Abdullah shares a great deal of scientific facts and suggestions for optimal skincare. This is a great book for anyone that wants an alternative to buying that very expensive fountain of youth in a jar. Seniye Groff Ballet Beautiful: Transform Your Body and Gain the Strength, Grace, and Focus of a Ballet Dancer By Mary Helen Bowers Da Capo Press, $20, 251 pages Look no further; “Ballet Beautiful” is every woman’s ultimate guide for learning how to create a balanced, healthy lifestyle, from fitness to food to philosophy. Author Mary Helen Bowers is a professional ballerina and former NYC Ballet dancer and her approach to healthy living has been honed over many years and through much trial and error, as she candidly describes in her book. The Ballet Beautiful method is a system of balletic exercises designed to create a dancer’s physique. Along with the exercises comes a mindset focused on balance, goalsetting and positivity, as well as a food plan, which emphasizes whole foods. Bowers is motivational and inspiring, pushing readers to set high goals for their fitness and health. Though the Ballet Beautiful training is based on ballet, no dance experience is required as there is no dancing involved. “Ballet Beautiful” is appropriate for all ages and fitness levels; the exercises are low-impact and don’t require equipment. Included in the book is a 60 minute full-body routine plus 15-minute “blasts” that target specific areas. In the food section, Bowers provides menu samples and recipes. Unerringly realistic, Bowers is that rare proponent of balance amid extreme yet popular fitness and health ideas. Andrea Klein The Healing Remedies Sourcebook By C. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD Lifelong Books, $25.99, 432 pages This is a book your grandmother would appreciate. “The Health Remedies Sourcebook” covers a wide variety of different types of cures as well as diseases to cure. Ayurvedic, homeopathic, and other techniques are discussed, as well as how those techniques work. There is the standard caveat to work in tandem with someone with experience in the appropriate technique as well as to seek appropriate medical attention if the

condition persists, making this book a great place to start but not the end-all-be-all of medical books. This book is the chicken soup with advanced options type of sourcebook. The writing is clear and direct, with terms properly explained instead of the usual clear-as-mud writing you see in some nonstandard medical texts; if the recipe is done wrong then it is the fault of the reader and not the writer. Although this book is the stepping stone of a number of different techniques, it is precisely that and makes no pretensions about it; that alone makes the book rate high. If you are looking for a good source of medical recipes for alternative medicine, this book is a great place to start. Jamais Jochim Just Tell Me What to Eat! The Delicious 6-Week Weight Loss Plan for the Real World By Timothy S. Harlan, MD Lifelong Books, $15, 309 pages Timothy S. Harlan, M.D. is an expert on food. He also happens to be the Executive Director for the Tulane University Center for Culinary Medicine. It is no surprise that a vast number of Americans are overweight, or even obese. Exercise is one tactic for sustained weight loss, but a better method is regulating the food we put into our mouths. Not only what, but how much we eat plays a significant influence on our weight and overall health. “Just Tell Me What to Eat!” is divided into a six week plan. Each chapter is focused on one week’s worth of goals and recipes. Harlan does not believe in the fad-diet approach and his book offers long-term solutions to weight control. Harlan’s book is comprehensive; offering menus, name brand food options, and cooking techniques. Each recipe shares nutritional information, and breakfast, lunch and dinner options abound. There are many good pieces of advice in this book - from how to read labels, ingredients to steer clear of, to understanding cholesterol. If you are truly ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle, including eating better, “Just Tell Me What to Eat!” is a must have for your shopping list. Seniye Groff

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Young Adult The Isolated By Ellen Stokes Brookbriar, $, 343 pages Gray Lyken has been in exile since her birth - hidden away by her uncle Wyndlyn to prevent her having any claim to his throne. One night, though, she is taken from her home by a mysterious man named Isaac and returned to Aurum. There, she is thrust into the middle of a conspiracy to overturn Wyndlyn and put his daughter, Silver, on the throne in his place. As Gray learns more about the kingdom and her own past, she finds that it is hard to know who to trust or what to believe in. With the land in danger from its own king as well as from the threat of invasion by Ebon, a neighboring country with evil practices, Gray must find her courage to stand up for her family, herself and her country. The Isolated is a fantasy novel by author Ellen Stokes that grips the reader in the first sentence and doesn’t let go until the last. She successfully builds an atmosphere that is almost tangible to the reader. Initially, the story is in an exiled land that is cold, dark and barren and then is nicely contrasted with a city that is colorful and light and bursting with life. The book is written from Gray’s point of view and both she and the reader are kept in the dark about details of the political situation and, most particularly, what role she will play in events. This can be a frustrating technique in stories at times but works well in this novel as the reader shares Gray’s feelings about the lack of information and makes her a more engaging character. The overall political story is an intriguing backdrop against Gray’s more personal story of family and betrayal. Throughout the book, the external landscape or situation successfully mirrors Gray’s internal feelings and turmoil. This is seen at the beginning of the book, when the change from isolated land to city is a template for Gray’s initial disorientation and confusion. Later on, her sense of doom, suspicion and fear fall against the conditions of increasing threats from both inside the kingdom and out. The characters are all well-written and complex - both Isaac’s silent presence and Silver’s otherworldliness are a nice contrast to Gray. On the whole, the book is well-written and highly entertaining. This is truly a compelling novel that is nearly impossible to put down once it is started. This is a novel that fans of fantasy will definitely want to read.


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Self - Help Touched By Cyn Balog Delacorte Press, $17.99, 307 pages Nick Cross has never been normal. Cursed with the ability to see his future, his life is an overwhelming vision of possible futures and he must act carefully to prevent the wrong one from unraveling. He is thrown off when he meets Taryn, a new girl in town. He is instantly drawn to her and startled to find that when he touches her, his visions disappear. When a new and dark future opens up, Nick must try to find a way to change it or else neither he nor Taryn will survive. “Touched” is the new novel by author Cyn Balog. The book overall is enjoyable and she is skilled at creating characters that feel real and complex. Nick, in particular, is endearing and likable, making him the perfect hero. The story is told from his point of view and the reader experiences Nick’s constant disorientation throughout the book. The storyline does become a bit perplexing where Nick’s family is concerned. Their inability to take action or try to help makes no sense, especially when people start dying and their attitudes are hard to buy into. Despite this, younger fans of fantasy will enjoy this novel. Barbara Cothern The Madman’s Daughter By Megan Shepherd Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 316 pages Juliet Moreau falls from grace, but attempts to deal with the aftermath of scandal that ripped her world apart. Juliet is tempted to find answers to questions that haunt her, but it isn’t until she is forced to run from London that she decides to follow Montgomery, the boy who is like a son to her absentee father. Montgomery leads her to a tiny island where the mad Dr. Moreau runs his experiments in isolation, but the screams from the lab and the bodies piling up push Juliet to her limits. There is something strange hurting the islanders and Juliet isn’t safe even inside the compound walls. The next ship might not pass the island for another year. With nowhere to run, Juliet questions her loyalties, her own mind for the curiosity it has, and the love she thought still existed between her and her father. Never slow, the only drawback to this thought-provoking novel is Juliet’s constant wallowing. The chemistry is tangible with some very passionate scenes intertwined in this thrilling mystery and the a shocking finale will have readers in constant suspense.

Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom By Edgar Rice Burroughs, Edited by John Joseph Adams Simon & Schuster, $16.99, 352 pages 100 or so years old this year, Barsoom remains a fascinating fantastic creation which was both fantasy and science fiction. Most remember the four armed Thark warriors and princesses, but there were also the inventors, mad scientists, wild creatures, and ancient societies. It is hard to read Edgar Rice Burrough’s predecessors without evoking the memory of canals, alien societies, and dead seas which have dried up. For those who have read the old stories there are now more by a talented group of authors assembled by John Joseph Adams in the new anthology “Under the Moons of Mars”. Contained is the mystery and lure of Barsoom, maybe a planet farther out there that we once mistakenly confused with the Mars of our solar system. These stories are a welcome addition and are written with a modern sensibility. People may forget that Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote his tales with sociological and political concerns. He is judged by authors who do the like with stories written from forgotten perspectives. The great stories written from the point of view of the Tharks stand out here. The collection also does not always glorify war. John Carter as a hero is debunked in a few tales, but in the end, he is a hero of distinction again. Ryder Miller

Be Happy No Matter What By Ellen Seigel Clear Path Publishing, $17.95, 240 pages “Be Happy No Matter What” is welltimed; an extremely uplifting and upbeat read about self-soothing and self-care, Ellen Seigel coaches the masses about effective living. With a casual flair and tone for everyday use, the author engages readers with hymn quality chants and mantras for Five steps to Inner Freedom: Centering in My Self; Appreciating Me and My Life as a Work of Art; Hearing my Inner Wisdom; Honoring My Self; and Caring for My Self. Though such information might be rendered superfluous, gimmicky, or even banal by many non-believers in the self-help genre, “Be Happy No Matter What” is for the most part what our culture needs. Seigel possesses such acuteness and guidance for honing in on a crisis-free being, how self-knowledge can pave the way for self-mastery. Her deft analysis and cognitive behavioral principals bear out that “The upset felt in a current situation is echoing upsets from earlier in life,” and so one must service and remedy this force with self-healing experiences. Ellen Seigel’s immediacy with language through conversational dialogue and diction provide the sufficient energy and compassion for carrying the reader through a startling journey. The constant debriefing exercises and affirmations are visually and textually supportive in keeping calm throughout the day and maintaining an openness “to take in improvements.” “Be Happy No Matter What” is brave and exactly; Seigel encapsulates the human trajectory with a most personal and endearing approach. Sponsored Review

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Tweens The Emerald Atlas: Book One (Books of Beginning) By John Stephens Random House Books for Young Children, $7.99, 420 pages Kate, Michael and Emma P. have spent most of their lives bouncing from orphanage to orphanage. Abandoned by their parents ten years ago, they have come to only depend on each other. When they are moved yet again to a mysterious house under the guardianship of Dr. Pym, the children are certain that they are in the worst placement yet. However, when they discover a magical book, they unlock power they never knew they had and start finding answers both to their past and their future. ”The Emerald Atlas” is a wonderful new fantasy series for teens by author John Stephens. In it, he creates a world that is at once fantastic, mysterious and dangerous. The main characters are likable and feel real throughout the book. The supporting characters are also well-written and serve the story well. The plot is logical and well-paced and nicely sets up the next book in the series. Younger fans of fantasy will absolutely enjoy this novel. Barbara Cothern The Spindlers By Lauren Oliver Harper, $16.99, 246 pages Telling stories has gotten Liza in more trouble with her mother than anyone could care to imagine. Liza is not a liar, but when her brother’s soul gets taken by the spindlers, Liza finds no support from her parents to track it down. She is forced to follow her heart and go Below where the queen of spindlers awaits. A fully-clothed rat named Mirabella may be her only lead on where to find her brother. The journey will be full of other surprising creatures as well as some very dangerous obstacles. But Liza is brave and her love for her family provides her with the courage to go on. Armed with only a broom, Liza will find something more than her brother’s soul. The value of friendship, family and perseverance will bring Liza closer to understanding that hope can be found just about anywhere. Lauren Oliver stuns with such a candid narrator and memorable characters in this adventure for younger readers. Isabel Hernandez


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Vanishing Acts By Phillip Margolin & Ami Margolin Rome Harper, $16.99, 170 pages Madison Kincaid is a pessimistic and precocious twelve-year old girl. Her mother died when she was young and she lives with her prominent defense attorney father in SW Portland. Set in a Southwest Portland neighborhood, Madison views the world in a more sinister light than her peers. She questions the motivations and actions of others. When her best friend, Ann doesn’t come back to school from summer break, she suspects foul play. Then, she finds out her second grade teacher may have been murdered and her father is defending the suspected killer. This cleverly devised mystery will grab you as quickly as Agatha Christie captured the hearts of millions. “New York Times” bestselling author Phillip Margolin and his daughter Ami Margolin Rome teamed up to write this debut tween novel. Madison loves to play soccer and finds she’s very good at it and, she doesn’t apologize or shy away from who she is. These two things brilliantly stand out as you ride along with Madison on her quest to find the truth about her best friend and her second grade teacher. Young readers will enjoy this book and find commonality in the characters. With all of this and Portland as the backdrop, this book will be a winner! M. Chris Johnson Wings of Fire: The Lost Heir By Tui T. Sutherland Scholastic Press, $16.99, 296 pages The second in the series, “Wings of Fire: The Lost Heir” follows the dragonet Tsunami as she returns to her family in the kingdom of the SeaWings. And not just any family, Tsunami is the lost princess, one of Queen Coral’s few surviving daughters. But Tsunami’s grand return isn’t the perfect reunion she always hoped for. Life in the sea is more complicated than she imagined, both vicious and beautiful. If that weren’t bad enough, there’s a mysterious assassin killing Queen Coral’s children. And Tsunami might be next. This book suffers from too much Tsunami and not enough of her fellow dragonets of prophecy, who spend most of the book off page. Tsunami learns invaluable lessons about what it means to lead and be a good ruler in this book, but learning is a process and she's not always a likable character in

the meantime, especially without the balance of her adopted siblings. These books really shine when all five dragonets are interacting. Even with the focus on Tsunami alone, the book is a fun read. The action is strong and well paced. The SeaWings kingdom is complex and beautifully detailed. Readers will be left eagerly awaiting the next book. Meg Gibbs

children are off on another journey to save their friends, the woods, and themselves. New villains and new friends abound, all artfully woven into a story of good and evil that centers on Wildwood. Wonderful illustrations and thoughtful art layout by Carson Ellis augment the story. Lisa Ard

Dark Lord: The Early Years By Jamie Thomson Walker & Company, $16.99, 290 pages “Dark Lord: The Early Years” begins with the fall of the great and mighty Dark Lord. Not only is he banished from the Darklands and stripped of his power, he also wakes to find himself trapped in the body of a pathetic human boy! None of the stupid adults believe he is more than a boy. In fact, they can’t even get his name right, instead calling him Dirk Lloyd and forcing him to go to school. There, he must over come ogre like bullies, tyrannical principals, and, ugh, make friends, all the while searching for a way to return to his vast and mighty empire. The plot is nothing new, this is the same story of an oddball child learning the value of friendship. The real charm instead lies in the details, the ways that Dirk misinterprets the world and plots diabolically, embellished with the occasional gritty ink drawing. While mostly good, the puns can get out of hand and overdone at points. For an evil hero, Dirk is a great character. He's wicked, but sympathetic and charismatic despite a severe lack of morals. Not the best book of its kind, but still a fun read for kids looking for a little less goody goodness in their hero. Meg Gibbs Under Wildwood By Colin Meloy, Illustrations by Carson Ellis Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 560 pages Prue and Curtis are back, with another knock out adventure inside and outside Wildwood, the not so mythical forest on Portland’s edge. This book finds Curtis enmeshed in the bandit life while Prue makes a go of life with her family in outside world (St. John’s neighborhood). But, evil is afoot. When a shape shifter impersonates a schoolteacher, Prue is in danger. Rescued and flown back to Wildwood, Prue finds a calling from the North Wood she cannot refuse. Enlisting Curtis’s help, the half-breed

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Children's The Berenstain Bears: Bear Country Blessings By Jan & Mike Berenstain Zonderkidz, $7.99, 96 pages “Bear Country Blessings” is three books in one in the ever popular Berenstain Bears series. In “God Bless Our Home‚“ Mama Bear and Papa Bear struggle with the decision to move to a new home as their family continues to grow. No one in the family wants to move and so they move things around, hammer, saw and plaster until all the work in the home is complete. This sweet story ends with “May God always bless our happy home”. The story is accompanied by questions and activities that follow the theme of the story. In the second story, “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, Brother and Sister Bear are in Sunday school when their teacher suggests the class go on a nature walk. The bears quickly question, “What’s a nature walk got to do with going to church?” As the class parades through nature, they witness all of God’s creatures, as well as, the fruits and vegetables growing. Again, this story ends with questions and activities tied to the story. In the third story, “Get Involved”, an impending flood rallies the bears to help with the rescue efforts. Due to everyone’s hard work, disaster is averted and the sun comes shining out. “Bear Country Blessings” revolves around Christian values such as hard work, appreciating nature and helping others. All children will be able to connect to the stories and enjoy the colorful drawings connected to the storyline. Fortunately, this children’s book is hardcover and will survive being read over and over again. Seniye Groff Everything Goes: Stop! Go!: A Book of Opposites By Brian Biggs Balzer + Bray, $7.99, 22 pages What better way for a young child to learn about opposites than by comparing cool cars, trucks, trains and other awesome vehicles? Former graphic novel artist and animator Brian Biggs has written and illustrated “Everything Goes: Stop! Go!: A Book of Opposites”, a fun board book that teaches the difference between concepts like slow and fast. Biggs loves looking at and drawing anything that goes. A blue car driving through mud represents “dirty” while a shiny green car getting a wash represents “clean.” A tiny compact car equals “small” while a huge semi-truck equals “big.” Compare the “many” motorcyclists versus the “few” unicyclists. A “full” truck loaded with chickens is heavier than an “empty” truck. A cheerful ice cream truck playing music is “loud” while a baby carriage carrying a


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sleeping tot is “quiet. “A police officer waiting to give tickets represents “stop” and speeding car represents “go.” While learning about opposites, beginning readers will also become familiar with new adjectives. Bright, bold colors and thick board book pages make this book a perfect fit for little readers. Kathryn Franklin Everything Goes: 123 Beep Beep Beep!: A Counting Book By Brian Biggs Balzer + Bray, $7.99, 22 pages Does your little one love all kinds of vehicles? Help them learn to count from 1 to 10 with Brian Bigss’ “Everything Goes: 123 Beep Beep Beep!: A Counting Book”. Go along for the ride as tiny hands turn thick board book pages. One bus carries a load of passengers that can be seen through the windows and advertises “Hats for Birds.” Two RVs are loaded up with gear, ready for a camping trip. A hook and ladder, ambulance and rescue truck make up the three fire vehicles. Four vans include one for hippies and movers. Five taxis carry a variety of passengers (one is even transporting a cat!). Six food trucks make the mouth water. Find out what other vehicles Biggs features in this fun counting book and see what happens when they all come together! Look for detailed graphics and decals on the sides of vehicles such as ads on taxis and buses. Bright, brilliant colors fill each page. Look for these other board books coming soon: “Everything Goes: Blue Bus, Red Balloon” and “Everything Goes: Good Night, Trucks”. Check out the interactive website everythinggoesbooks.com for other fun activities that correspond to the series. Elizabeth Franklin The Magic Clothesline By Andree Poulin, Illustrated by Marion Arbona Magination Press, $9.95, 32 pages Robin misses his Dad. Dad is away on business and will not even be home for his birthday. But then mysterious envelopes filled with messages and gifts begin appearing on the clothesline each day and Robin soon becomes convinced that the clothesline is magic and that the envelopes

are from his Dad. In the end, it is the power of brotherly love that creates the magic for the clothesline, and close family bonds that make Robin feel better about his Dad’s time away from home. ”The Magic Clothesline”, published by The American Psychological Association as a “self-help book for kids - and the adults in their lives,” is a sweet, entertaining story, brightly illustrated with warmth and vibrancy; however, its primary emphasis seems more focused on the idealized, somewhat forced sibling relationship between Robin and his brother Thomas than it is in helping Robin (and readers like him) deal with brief separation from a parent. Nevertheless, while the book may fall short of providing younger readers with any practical takeaway beyond mild reassurance, the accompanying prefatory note to parents offers a wealth of expert advice and practical strategies; some may find it to be the most valuable page in the book. Renee Butcher Duck & Goose: Goose Needs a Hug By Tad Hills Schwartz & Wade Books, $6.99, 18 pages Little readers can rejoice! There favorite feathered friends are back as the stars of a darling new board book. Tad Hills brings his beloved duck and goose back in “Goose Needs a Hug”. Duck and Goose are the best of friends. Today Goose is feeling sad. He needs a hug to feel better. But when he tries to tell his buddies, they don’t exactly listen. They suggest all kinds of things to cheer Goose up. They could play hide-and-seek or tag. They could splash in puddles, sing, or stand on their heads. Each time they try to make Goose happy, Goose tries to tell them what he actually needs. Find out what his friends say when they finally realize what Goose needs. This is a great story to teach the importance of listening. It also shows that it is ok to ask for hugs and love from friends. The illustrations are colorful, simple and perfect for little eyes. The board book will last a long time and is guaranteed to become a favorite pick in the family library. Elizabeth Franklin

Volunteer as a SMART® Reader for one hour per week! Imagine an Oregon where every child can read and is empowered to succeed. Join more than 6,000 Oregon volunteers to read one-onone with two K-3rd grade children for 30 minutes each. Help the SMART children you read with to select and take home new books every month to keep and read with their families. The same hour every week, from NOW through May – that’s all it takes to make a difference and help Start Making A Reader Today! For more information and to apply go to www.getsmartoregon.org or call 971-634-1616. Applications will be accepted year-round.

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Children's I Haiku You By Betsy Snyder Random House Books for Young Readers, $9.99, 32 pages In this gorgeous, poetic picture book, “I Haiku You” by Betsy Snyder, simple, everyday pleasures are celebrated in artfully crafted haikus. Whether it’s a bird singing at dawn or an icy, cold popsicle at the beach, Snyder perfectly captures these moments of pure joy and affection. Her watercolor illustrations beautifully depict children at work and play in a style that is sparse and elegant filled with vibrant blue and red tones. Each haiku is a stand-alone ode to something in a child’s life that brings love or happiness. The type of love and affection depicted is also striking. From romantic love to the deep affection for a favorite stuffed animal, Snyder covers a wide scope of childhood adoration in its many forms. This picture book is perfect for anyone looking for a break from narrative driven children‚Äôs books and would like to share the satisfaction of an artfully crafted haiku with their child. Kristin Leigh God Gave Us Easter By Lisa Tawn Bergren, Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant Waterbrook Press, $10.99, 32 pages Christian families will enjoy reading “God Gave Us Easter” to explain to young children the reason behind the holiday. Papa Bear and Baby Bear take a walk, using nature to emphasize that “out of death, comes life‚“ just like Jesus’s experience in the Easter story. Papa Bear shows how the Easter symbols (the Easter bunny and Easter eggs), carry a religious meaning. As the reader listens to the story, so does the text emphasize listening and seeing God all around us. Pretty pastel illustrations highlight the story. Lisa Ard Love Waves By Rosemary Wells Candlewick Press, $15.99, 32 pages Rosemary Wells has written a charming, whimsical book that both parents and children will be able to relate to. When Mama goes off to work, Little Bunny must be brave. Mama wonders what Little Bunny is doing throughout the day and so she sends him


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love waves, similar to radio waves, to help Little Bunny get through his day. Mama’s love waves go around the sun and travel a thousand miles until they reach Little Bunny. Then Daddy must go to work and Little Bunny must be brave once again. Daddy also sends love waves that speed like taxis and birds. And at the end of the day, when Little Bunny is fast asleep, he will send the love waves back to Mama and Daddy. “Love Waves” uses rhyming to engage your little reader. The illustrations easily follow the story. Separation is an emotion that both parents and children struggle with and this believable story will certainly help eliminate the distance and fear, a child feels when their parents are away. Seniye Groff

Each page features an animal who has a tail, nose and toes. An object relevant to the animal covers the body so baby can guess who is underneath. Yellow cheese covers the white mouse. A dog house covers the brown dog and jungle trees cover the gray hippo. Body parts like a long tail and a nose with whiskers are clues that will help youngsters guess the animal. Repetitive questions (Whose tail? Whose toes? Whose nose?) reinforce concepts and will make it easy for babies to participate in “reading” the story. The flaps are far from flimsy and will withstand much use. A surprise ending will excite readers. Here is a clue...whose fingers are those? This charming book is sure to keep even the littlest readers guessing. Elizabeth Franklin

Where’s Waldo Now?: The 25th Anniversary Edition By Martin Handford Candlewick Press, $16.99, 32 pages Waldo fans will be excited to explore the 25th (yes, 25th) anniversary edition of “Where’s Waldo Now?”. This edition is full of fascinating features. The book jacket can be turned over to reveal a poster of Woof, and the reader is challenged to find the differences between the book jacket and the book cover. Even the cover jacket of this book contains a checklist with more things to find. Examine each page to find Waldo and his friends in a different time period. Search through scenes from ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, the Vikings, the Middle Ages, the Aztecs, old Japan, pirates, the Gold Rush, and space travel. Every page has a flap with a checklist to direct the reader to search for additional items. “Where’s Waldo Now?” is not for the faint of heart because once you start searching, there is no stopping. The detail, as always, is amazing, and the added extras - including the checklists, poster and additional searching games - make this book a keeper! Seniye Groff Whose Toes Are Those? By Sally Symes, Illustrated by Nick Sharratt Candlewick Press, $7.99, 10 pages Every baby should have a great board book library because early readers become life long book lovers. Author Sally Symes and illustrator Nick Sharratt have collaborated to create a perfect book to add to a little one’s library. “Whose Toes are Those?” is a fun and entertaining lift-theflap book that preschoolers will flip over.

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