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NEWS (Book on CD follow the News & Books-in-Print)

Books In Print Reviews

Love, Loss, Life (Matador Publishing)

Class Act: Sell More Books Through School and Library Author Appearances (Joyful Paw Prints Press)

Gun Digest, "The World's Greatest Gun Book",  is Back for Its 72nd Year

Feeding A Monster -- (Veronica Loving)

The Mozart of Basketball-- The Remarkable Life and Legacy of Drazen Petrovic (Sports Publishing)

Honest Medicine: Effective, Time-Tested, Inexpensive Treaments for Life-Threatening Diseases (Innovative Health Publishing)

Maximum Interval Training (Human Kinetics)

Real Money Answers for Every Woman: How to Win The Money Game With or Without a Man (Amistad)

The Neck And Back Pain Solution: Everything You Need to Know About Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy (TBP, LLC)

Candy Coated Chunk of Granite (Inspire on Purpose Publishing)

438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster)

Game of Love (Curiosity Quills Press)

The Complete Book of Saltwater Fishing (Burford Books)

The Wonderful Adventures of Ozzie the Sea Otter (Bay Publishing, Inc.)

The Tin Ticket (The Berkley Publishing Group)

Where Do the Animals Go When It Rains? by Janet Crown -

The Green Teen Cookbook - Recipes for all Seasons (Zest Books)

Riding Sky High: A Bicycle Adventure Around the World (Skyhorse Publishing)

Training For Speed, Agility, & Quickness (Human Kinetics Publishing)

Cancer Survivorship Coping Tools -- We'll Get You Through This (Ayni Books)

In the "Toasted or Roasted" Card Game, Players from age 6 & up, Race to Toast But Not Roast Marshmallows in Education Outdoors New Game

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Macmillan Audio)

Tattoo A Banana and Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything into Art (Berkley Publishing Group)

Go Green! A Family Guide to a Sustainable Lifestyle (EDDA USA)

Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects (Zest Books) -

The Essence of Tantric Sexuality (Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd) -

On the Loose in Washington, D.C. (Applewood Books) --

The Distance (Storia Books) --

Raising Henry - A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, & Discovery (Yale University Press) -

How To Catch the Biggest Trout Of Your Life (Wild River Press)

Class Act: Sell More Books Through School and Library Author Appearances

UNQUENCHABLE: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines (Penguin USA)

The Rented Mule (Thomas & Mercer)

Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land series (Island Press)

Diabetes Survival Guide (Ballantine Books)

Divorce: A Practical Guide

Travel Dreams & Nightmares - Four Women Explore the World (iUniverse)

The Complete Book of Saltwater Fishing (Burford Books)

Gone Fishing (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Los Angeles Attractions (Museon Publishing)

Iditarod Memories (Epicenter Press)

Fitness Cycling (Human Kinetics)

Life is Full of Sweet Spots: An Exploration of Joy (Abbott Press)

The Masters' Secrets of Bowhunting Deer (Night Hawk Publishing) -

Audio Book -- Z : A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (Macmillan Audio)

My Grandma Lives in Florida (Applewood Books)

Don't Forget The Duct Tape (The Mountaineers Books)

Inside the Cup: Translating Starbucks into a Drinkable Language (Fee Publishing)

Awakening Through Love: Unveiling Your Deepest Goodness (Wisdom Publications)

Adventure Vacations: A 50 State Guide to Rock Climbing, orseback Riding, Spelunking, Whitewater Rafting, Snorkeling, Hang Gliding and Ballooning (Carol Publishing Group)

Chronic Fatigue: Your Complete Exercise Guide (Human Kinetics Publishers)

Travel Unscripted (Highpoint Executive Publishing)

Canoe Camping Vermont and New Hampshire Rivers

A Housekeeper Is Cheaper Than A Divorce: Why You Can Afford to Hire Help and How to Get It (Life Tools Press)

Solid To The Core: Simple Exercises to Increase Core Stength & Flexibility (Newharbinger Publications)

It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It. How to Prepare and Deliver A Speech (St. Martin's Press)

Bowling For Dummies (Wiley Publishing, Inc.)

BIKE NYC: The Cyclist's Guide to New York City (Skyhorse Publishing)

Dr. Lisa: Yoga Blast -- DVD (Acacia)

Penny and the Penguin (Create Space.com)

The Fabric of Mind (Viking Penguin)

Peterson Field Guide to Mammals (Houghton Mifflin Company)

Kosher Jesus (Gefen Publishing)

Best Friends Forever - Surviving A Breakup With Your Best Friend (Overlook Press) --

FN Browning . . Armorer to The World (Stoeger Industries)

RingStix: Fun, Creative, Award-Winning Game for All Ages Is a Winner

Walking Brooklyn (Wilderness Press)

Paris: Made by Hand (The Little BookRoom)

The Marriage Plot (Macmillan Audio)

Sporting Clays Consistency: You Gotta Be Out of Your Mind! (OPS School)

Table Topics Fun Games

Lightweight Backpacking and Camping: A Field Guide to Wilderness Hiking Equipment, Technique, and Style (Wilderness Press)

The Female Athlete's Body Book (McGraw-Hill)

Walking Brooklyn (Wilderness Press)

Playing the Quantum Field: How Changing Your Choices Can Change your Life (New World Library)

From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself Into a Weapon of Mass Reduction (Hound Press)

Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex after Sixty (Seal Press)

Sizzle Sensational Barbecue Food (JB Julie Biuso Publications)

Plea of Insanity (Vanguard Press)

Shopping in Marrakech (Little Bookroom)

Don't Let Your Mechanic Pick Your Pocket! (George Moyer)

Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States (Traveler's Guide, Inc.)

Latest book, CD, Money-Saving books & Game Reviews --

CityPASS pocket-sized ticket books save at least 46 percent off regular combined admission prices in various places, including New York City, Toronto, Boston, Chicago and more

Remington Super Slam Hunting: Alaska

The Puppy Diaries - Raising A Dog Named Scout (CD Audio Book)

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2011

The Maverick Guide to Bermuda

No More Regrets: 30 Ways to Greater Happiness and Meaning in Your Life Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

Rollors -- A new game that combines the fun of Bocce, Bowling & Horseshoes that's great fun for all ages.

Moving Mountains: Coping With Change in Mountain Communities

The Pocket First-Aid Field Guide

Hidden British Columbia

Hidden Oahu

In The Shadow of Greatness

The Family Fitness Fun Book

The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again

Hidden Idaho

Zwilling J.. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques & Care

Live Until You Die

The 300 Club: Have We Seen The Last of Baseball's 300-Game Winners?

Major Taylor: The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World

The Death Pit

The Tree Museum

300 Big & Bold Barbecue & Grilling Recipes

Books on CD

Book on CD - Massacre Pond (Macmillan Audio)

A bizarre crime takes place - ten moose corpses have been found on the estate of a wealthy animal rights activist. Read what and why it happened when the activist comes face-to-face with ruthless cruelty and the killer!

Book on CD - Through The Evil Days (Macmillan Audio)

This exciting book on CD takes place on a frigid January night, when the Chief of Police and a Reverend are called to the scene of a raging fire. Two people were burned to death - but the evidence shows they were shot execution style. Find out what happens to an eight-year-old girl who they fostered and the search for the killer.

Book on CD - Every Fifteen Minutes (Macmillan Audio)

Written by Lisa Scottoline and read by George Newbern, this audio book will definitely hold your interest. It is a novel of suspense and emotional justice about a psychiatrist with a successful private practice and a loving wife and daughter who is held in high esteem at a psychiatric hospital and a well-known lecturer. He encounters a most complex patient -- a brilliant but disturbed young man who has begun to exhibit violent delusions directed at the employees of the insurance company that he was recently fired from and fixated on a particular gal later found raped and dead.

Book on CD - Notorious (Macmillan Audio)

New York Times bestselling author - Allison Brennan - writes about Maxine Revere who has dedicated her life to investigating murders that the police have long since given up any hope of solving. Soon we learn she is attending her friend's funeral - one who after years of drug abuse, has committed suicide. However, after learning that his sister insists that he didn't kill himself, and another couple stopping and begging her to look into another murder at her old high school, she gets interested, uncovers dark secrets, and is caught in a complicated web of lies. The CD book is binding and a real thriller.

Book on CD - Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Macmillan Audio)

A wonderfully exciting adventure story that takes place mostly in a 24-Hour bookstore where few customers ever buy anything and yet discover obsure volumes from strange corners of the store.

Book on CD - Malice - (Macmillan Audio)

This book on CD will definitely hold your attention. A bestselling novelist is found brutally murdered in his home. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and best friend who both have solid alibis. So, who could have committed this crime? Listen and find out.

Book on CD - Virtue Falls -- by Christina Dodd (Macmillan Audio) - A chillingly suspenseful novel in which a young woman discovers the truth about the decades-old murder of her mother and the killer who's still out there . . .

Book on CD - Bone Orchard - by Paul Doiron. (Macmillan Audio) In this mystery novel from Edgar Finalist Paul Doiron, Game Warden Mike Bowditch must rack down an elusive killer who's struck very close to home.

Book on CD - The Beautiful Mystery -- An Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny. A thrilling mystery.

Book on CD - The Last Enchantments (Macmillan Audio) -- What happens when young lovers come together and break each other's hearts - only to reunite for the pleasure of shattering the love that remains? Listen to this captivating book on CD to find out!

Book on CD - Prophet of Bones (Macmillan Audio) This suspenseful thriller is set in a world where science has run amok and the key to unlocking a terrifying secret lies in the hands of one man. Listen and find out who!

Book on CD - Report From The Interior (Macmillan Audio) Read by the author, Paul Auster, he shares his very personal examination of his life.

Book on CD - Jacob's Oath (Macmillan Audio) This book on CD received the National Jewish Book Award & was written by Martin Fletcher, one of the world's most highly respected television news correspondents.

Book on CD - Only Time Will Tell (Macmillan Audio) This mystery by Jeffrey Archer, tells the story of one family across generations andcross oceans, from heartbreak to triumph.

Book on CD - The Good Boy (Macmillan Audio)

Book on CD - Father Night (Macmillan Audio) Written by Eric Van Lustbader, this seductive thriller is one you won't want to stop listening to.

Book on CD - The Nightmare (Macmillan Audio) Written by Lars Kepler, author of The Hypnotist, the author returns with a piercing, bestselling mystery sequel.

Book on CD - Prophet of Bones (Macmillan Audio) - This is an intriguing thriller set in a world where science has run amok and the key to unlocking a terrifying secret lies in the hands of one man.

Book on CD - Suddenly, A Knock on The Door (Macmillan Audio) Read by an all-star cast including Stanley Tucci, Willem Dafoe and others, this is an audiobook you won't put down until the end!

Book on CD - A Dog's Journey (Macmillan Audio) Written by W. Bruce Cameron and read by George K. Wilson, is absolutely funny and touching and will leave you wondering if we take care of our pets or do they take care of us.

Book on CD -- A Man of His Own (Macmillan Audio) - A wonderful story of a soldier who returns from WWII broken in spirit and body, but has his wife and beloved dog who he volunteers for the Army's K-9 Corp. However, he didn't know if he'd ever see him again. Heartwarming and exciting & a must listen-to.

Book on CD - Fallen Masters (Macmillan Audio) - An intriguiding story in which individuals' desire to do good may be the only thing that can save the human race!

Book on CD - Sins of the Father (Macmillan Audio) - What happens when someone takes on the identity of another person - and then realizes his mistate? Find out in this new audio book written by the #1 New York Times Bestselling author Jeffrey Archer.

Book on CD - Behind The Shattered Glass (Macmillan Audio) -- A ruined Abbey on an estate in Derbyshire, A Murdered peer, and A Most Unlikely Romance make New York Times Bestseller Tash Alexander's New Novel Absolutely Irrestable.

Book on CD - Beloved Enemy (Macmillan Audio) -- In Eric VanLustbader's stunning follow-up to Father Night, Jack McClure faces a choice: help the woman he loves, or destroy her as the enemy she is.

Book on CD - The Dog Who Saved Me (Macmillan Audio) -- A tender story of a police officer who mourned his K-9 partner, his not-so-happy life, and how he finally heals with the help of a dog he found that had gone feral.

==================================================================

AUDIO BOOK REVIEWS

Massacre Pond (Macmillan Audio)

On a hot morning, a detective is called to check on a bizarre crime - the corpses of ten moose found senselessly butchered on the estate of a wealthy female animal-rights activist who is buying up huge parcels of timberland to create a new national park. The situation becomes sinister when a shocking murder is discovered and the investigation becomes a hunt to find an elusive killer. The Maine woods is the setting for this story of suspense and violence when one powerful woman's missionary zeal comes face-to-face with ruthless cruelty. Author Paul Doiron is a native of Maine and his previous book, "The Poacher's Son," won the Barry Award and the Strand Award for best first novel.

Available at bookstores and on line. The 8 CDs covering 10 hours sells for $39.99. For more information contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010 or call 646-347-5043.

The Dog Who Saved Me (Macmillan Audio)

A tender story of a police officer who mourned his K-9 partner, his not-so-happy life, and how he finally heals with the help of a dog he found that had gone feral.

Through The Evil Days (Macmillan Audio)

Once again, talented author Suzanne Toren brings to life an intense mystery thriller. A raging fire finds a man and woman dead, but the fire didn't kill them - a bullet in each head shows they were shot execution style. It is then discovered that the dead couple fostered an eight-year-old-girl who was a recent liver doner and the search for the killer takes on a new and terrible urgency. With no access to immunosuppressant drugs, transplant rejection will kill the girl in a matter of days. As a deadly storm downs power lines and immobilizes roads, the Chief of Police and Reverend Clare search desperately for the truth about the missing child, but the hunters will become the hunted when they're trapped in the cabin beside the frozen lake and stalked through the snowbound woods by a killer.

Unabridged and consisting of 11 CDs for 13.5 hours, the CD is available on-line and in bookstores for $49.99. For more information please contact Macmillan Audio at 175 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010.

Every Fifteen Minutes (Macmillan Audio)

Written by Lisa Scottoline and read by George Newbern, this audio book will hold your interest. It is a novel of suspense and emotional justice. Tom Fortez is a psychiatrist with a successful private practice and a loving wife and daughter. Held in high esteem at a psychiatric hospital and a well-known lecturer, he encounters a most complex patient -- a brilliant but disturbed young man who has begun to exhibit violent delusions directed at the employees of the insurance company that he was recently fired from. He focuses on a young woman who spurned his advances, talks about her in therapy sessions - making his shrink concerned for her safety. Tom struggles whether to breach the confidentiality of his patient by going to the police when his patient goes missing. After this, the woman in question is found raped and merdered. Then Tom goes to the police and finds himself in the headlines, the target of scorn and anger. Things get worse when the former patient takes hostages at the insurance company. Tom then investigates on his own. You won't be able to put this audio book down, eager to get to the outcome.

Consisting of 11 CDs and 13.5 hours, this audio book is $39.99 and available at bookstores and on-line. For more information contact wqeb site www.macmillanaudio.com.

Notorious (Macmillan Audio)

New York Times bestselling author - Allison Brennan - writes about Maxine Revere who has dedicated her life to investigating murders that the police have long since given up any hope of solving. Soon we learn she is attending her friend's funeral - one who after years of drug abuse, has committed suicide. However, after learning that his sister insists that he didn't kill himself, and another couple stopping and begging her to look into another murder at her old high school, she gets interested, uncovers dark secrets, and is caught in a complicated web of lies. The CD book is binding and a real thriller.

This book, consisting of 9 CDs with 11 hours of listening time, is unabridged and read by Eliza Foss. It is available on-line and at bookstores for $39.99. For additional information, contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010; 646-347-5043.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Macmillan Audio)

This New York Times bestselling novel written by Robin Sloan is an exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret of eternal life - mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore. The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Janon out of his life as a San Francisco web-design drone and serendipity, sheer curiousity, and the ability to climb a ladderr like a monkey that has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Few customers ever enter and those who do, rarely buy anything. Instead, they stay reading obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Soon, Clay embarks on a complex analysis of the customers' behavior & his friends help him to figure out what's going on. However, the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore. Find out what happens in this exciting adventure story.

As a bonus, you'll receive an exclusive audio chapter and a cameo narration by the author. Available on-line and bookstores, the 7 CDs run 7.5 houirs and sells for $34.99.

Malice (Macmillan Audio)

This CD is not to be missed and definitely will hold your attention! Acclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he was to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and best friend, both of whom have solid alibis. Or, do they? At the crime scene, police detective Kyochiro Kaga recognizes Hidaka's best friend, Osamu Nonoguchi. Years ago, when they were both teachers, they were colleagues at the same public school. Kaga went on to join the police force while Nonoguchi eventually left to become a full-time writer, though not nearly with the success of his friend. As Kaga investigates, he uncovers evidence that indicates that the two writers were anything but best friends. However, Kaga must answer isn't necessarily who, or how, but why. In this brilliant tale of cat and mouse, the detective and the killer battle over the truth of the past and how events that led to the murder really unfolded. Figure out what happens if Kaga isn't able to discover and prove why the murder was committed and that the truth may never be revealed.

Malice is unabridged, consisting of 6 CDs for 75 hours and sells for $29.99 on-line and at book stores. For questions, please contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

Virtue Falls (Macmillan Audio)

This is a chillingly suspenseful novel in which a young woman discovers the truth about the decades-old murder of her mother, and the killer who is still at lodge. The story takes place 23 years ago in the isolated coastal town of Virtue Falls, Washington, when four-year-old Elizabeth Banner witnessed her mother's brutal murder. Elizabeth's father was convicted of killing Misty and sentenced to prison. Elizabeth was sent to live with relatives, and grew from a solitary child into a beautiful woman with a cool, scientific mind and an instinctive distrust in the permanence of love.

When she returned to Virtue Falls, a geologist like her father, living cautiously, her life guided by logic and facts. But nothing can help her through the emotional chaos that follows the return of her ex-husband Garik Jacobsen, an FBI agent on probation and tortured by the guilt of his past deeds - while nothing can help her deal with her father, now stricken with Alzheimer's and haunted by misty's ghost.

When a massive earthquake reveals long-concealed secrets, Elizabeth soon discovers her father is innocent. She wonders if the killer is still at large, stalking even closer to the one witness to Misty's murder? To Elizabeth herself? She and her husband begin to investigate, stirring old, dark and deadly resentments that could provoke another bloody murder -listen to this great mystery book and find out.

Unabridged on 13 CDs, 16.5 hours and available at bookstores or on-line for $39.99.

Bone Orchard (Macmillan Audio)

In the aftermath of a family tragedy Mike Bowditch has left the Maine Warden Service and is working as a fishing guide in the North Woods. But when his mentor, Sgt. Kathy Frost, is shot outside her farmhouse, Mike joins the hunt to find the mysterious man responsible. To do so, the ex-warden must plunge into his friend's secret past -- even as a beautiful woman from Mike's own past returns. As Kathy lies on the brink of death and a dangerous shooter stalks the apple orchards and blueberry barrens of central Maine, Bowditch is forced to confront the choices he has made and determine, once and for all, the kind of man he truly is.

Unabridged on 8 CDs, 10 hours, it is available on-line or at bookstores for $39.99. For more information go to Macmillan Audio at 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

The Beautiful Mystery (Macmillan Audio)

This mystery audiobook will keep you guessing. Written by Louise Penny and read by Ralph Cosham, you'll learn why no outsiders are ever admitted into the monestary of Saint-Gilbert-Enreles-Loups. Hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer and grow vegetables, they tend chickens and make chocolate. They also sing for a community that has taken a vow of silence. Here, the monks have become world-famoous for their glorioous voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound that it is known as 'the beautiful mystery." However, when the renowned choir director is murdered, the lock on the monastery's massive wooden door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Suerte du Quebec. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, doscord in the apparent harmony. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consideer the divine, the human, and the cracks in between.

Unabridged, this audiobook plays for 13 hours in 11 CDS and is available online and at bookstores for $39.99. For more information contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10010.

The Last Enchantments (Macmillan Audio)

Author Charles Fincgh graduated from Yale where he won the Veach Prize for fiction, and from Oxford. He writes for the New York Times, reviews books for USA Today and the Chicago Tribune and is also the author of the Charles Lenox mystery series.

In The Last Enchantments, he writes about William Baker, a graduate of Yale, who is scion of an old line patrician family. He goes to work in presidential politics, and when the campaign he worked so hard for ends in disappointment, he leaves New York behind, along with the devoted, ambitious, and well-connected woman he's been in love with for four years. He expects nothing more than a year off before resuming the comfortable life he's used to, but soon he's caught up in a whirlwind of unexpected friendships and romantic entanglements that threaten his safe plans.

While exploring Oxford's social world, he becomes friends with Tom who is his snobbish flat mate - Anil, an Indian economist with a deep love for gangster rap; and also Anneliese, a German historian obsessed with photography; and Timmo, whose chief ambition is to become a reality television star. However, Will isn't prepared for Sophie, a witty, beautiful and enigmatic woman who makes him question himself.

This story is about love and loss that redefines what it means to grow up as an American in the 21st century, and is narrated by Luke Daniels who brings the characters to life.

Unabridged, consisting of 9 CDs over 11 hours, this is available on-line and at bookstores for $39.99. For more information contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

Report From The Interior (Macmillan Audio)

If you listened to author Paul Auster's "Winter Journal" you know what an absorbing story he tells of his physical self. Now, having won international acclaim, Auster remembers his development from within, through the encounters of his interior self with the outer world in Report From The Interior. From his baby's-eye view of the man in the moon to his dawning awareness of the injustices in American life, he charts his intellectual, political, and moral journey as he inches his way toward adulthood from the postwar fifties and into the turbulent 1960s. You will be listening to Auster as he reads his intimate thoughts - adding an additional level of emotional clarity to this already extremely personal text.

In addition to Report From The Interior and Winter Journal, Auster has also written Sunset Park, Invisible, The Book of Illusions, and the New York Trilogy, plus others. He has won numerous awards, including the Price of Asturias Prize for Literature, the Prix Medicis etranger, the Independent Spirit Award and the Premio Napoli. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Report from the Interior consists of 6 CDs and runs for 7.5 hours. It is available on-line and at book stores for $29.99. For more information contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10010 or call 646-307-5043.

Prophet of Bones (Macmillan Audio)

You won't be able to stop listening to this suspenseful thriller about Paul Carlsson, a brilliant young scientist, who is summoned from his laboratory job to the remote Indonesian Island of Flores to collect DNA samples from the ancient bones of a strange new species of tool user unearthed by an archaeological dig. There are questions that the find raises that seem to cast doubt on the very foundations of modern science, which has proven the world to be only 5,800 years old. Before Paul can fully grapple with the implications, the dig is violently shut down by paramilitaries.

Then, Paul flees, and begins to piece together a puzzle that seems to threaten the very fabric of society. However, the world's governments and the eccentric billionaire who financed Paul's dig, will stop at nothing to silence him.

This audiobook is narrated by Scott Sowers, who has read other suspenseful works by famous authors and once again, brings all the danger, treachery and action that make up this exciting novel to life.

Prophet of Bones consists of 10 CDS and runs for 13 hours. It is available on-line and at book stores for #39.99. For more information contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010 or call 646-307-5043.

Jacob's Oath (Macmillan Audio)

Written by award-winning author Martin Fletcher and read by Ari Fliakos, this audio book is a winner. As WWII comes to an end, Europe's roads are clogged with 20 million exhausted refugees walking home, including Jacob and Sarah, lonely Holocaust survivors who met in Heidelberg. Jacob is consumed with hatred and cannot rest until he has killed his brother's murderer - concentration camp guard nicknamed the Rat. Jacob and Sarah fall in love and for a time they are the only Jews in the entire city. Jacob patiently waits for the camp guard to come home but is now in doubt. If he fulfills his oath and kills the guard, he will undoubtedly be caught and his life with Sarah will be destroyed.

Love or hate? What is more important? Revenge or mercy? This is a riveting love story. The audiobook also includes a bonus interview with the author which makes it an ideal way to both enjoy the story and gain valuable insight into the author's mindset and intentions.

Available at bookstores and on-line. The CD consists of 8 CDs over 10 hours for $39.99. For more information contact Macmillan Audio at 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010; 646-347-5043.

Only Time Will Tell (Macmillan Audio)

Harry Clifton never knew his father and thought he was killed in the war. Later, an unexpected musical gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys' school, and his life changes forever. When he finally learns how his father was killed, he questions who his father really was. Is Harry the son of a stevedore who spent his life on the docks, or the first-born heir of a wealthy shipping family who stands to inherit all of their wealth and titles?

Written by international best selling author Jeffrey Archer, you'll liosten to Roger Allam and Emilia Fox introduce a cast of colorful characters and will be taken from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World War, when Harry has to decide whether to study at Oxford or join the navy and go to war with Hitler's Germany. This journey covering one hundred years of recent history, reveals a family story that no one could have imagined.

Available at bookstores and on-line, the unabridged 10 CDs are 12 hours long and sell for $39.99. For more information contact Macmillan Audio at 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

The Good Boy (Macmillan Audio)

If you love mysteries, you'll appreciate 'The Good Boy' by Theresa Schwegel, Edgar Award-Winning Author of Officer Down.

For Officer Pete Murphy, K9 duty is as much a punishment as a promotion. When a shaky arrest reignites a recent scandal and triggers a multimillion dollar lawsuit, all eyes are on Pete as the department braces for another media firestorm. Meanwhile, his 11-year-old son, Joel, feels invisible because his parents hardly notice him. That is, unless they're arguing about his 'behavioral problems." His older sister, McKenna, has lately disappeared into the strange and frightening world of teenagerdom. Joel's only friend is Butchie, his dad's furry 'partner.'

When Joel and Butchie follow McKenna to a neighborhood bully's party, illegal activity kicks the dog's police training into overdrive and soon the duo are on the run, navigating the streets of Chicago as they try to stay one step ahead of the bad guys who may have a very personal interest in getting some payback on Officer Murphy. The dad doesn't know why his boys have gone missing and sets out to find them. Discovering some familiar faces, the investigation throws him into a tailspin. Here, you'll find an intimate portrait of a young boy trying to follow his heart in an often heartless city.

Well worth purchasing, this unabridged package of 10 CDs plays for 12 hours and is $39.99. Available at bookstores and on-line. For more information, contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010.

Prophet of Bones (Macmillan Audio)

This is an intriguing thriller set in a world where science has run amok and the key to unlocking a terrifying secret lies in the hands of one man. Paul Carlsson, a brilliant young scientist, is summoned from his laboratory job to the remote Indonesian island of Flores to collect DNA samples from the ancient bones of a strange new species of tool user unearthed by an archaeological dig. The questions the find raises seem to cast doubt on the very foundations of modern science, which has proven the world to be only 5,800 years old, but before Paul can fully grapple with the implications, the dig is violently shut down by paramilitaries. Find out what happens when Paul flees and starts to p;iece together a puzzle that seems to threaten the very fabric of society.

Written by Ted Kosmatka and read by Scott Sowers, the unabridged audio book consists of 10 CDs and runs for 13 hours. It is available at bookstores and on-line for $39.99. For additional information, please contact Macmillan Audio at 175 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10010.

Sins of the Father (Macmillan Audio)

If you read 'Only Time Will Tell' by Jeffrey Archer, I know you'd love to listen to 'Sins of the Father' -- for he's written another exciting story that is read by Alex Jennings and Emilia Fox.

Only days before Britain declares war on Germany, Harry Clifton, hoping to escape the consequences of long-buried family secrets, and forced to accept that his desire to marry Emma Barrington will never be fulfilled, has joined the Merchant Navy. However, his ship is sunk in the Atlantic by a German U-boat, drowning almost the entire crew. An American cruise liner, the SS Kansas Star, rescues a handful of sailors, among them Harry, and the third officer, an American named Tom Bradshaw. When Bradshaw dies in the night, Harry seizes on the chance to escape his tangled past and assumes his identity.

On landing in America he realizes the mistake he's made when he discovers what is awaiting Bradshaw in New York. Without any way of proving his true identity, Clifton is now chained to a past that could be far worse than the one he hoped to escape! Every twist and turn is enhanced by the tone and pacing of the skilled readers and you'll be surprised at the ending.

Unabridged in 8 CDs (listening time ten hours), it is available at bookstores and on-line for $39.99. For more information contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

Behind The Shattered Glass (Macmillan Audio)

Buy this exciting mystery audio book now! Anglemore Park is the serene ancestral home of Lady Emily Hargreaves's husband, Colin. But, the stately calm of country life is destroyed when their neighbor, the Marquess of Mantagu, bursts through the French doors from the garden and falls down dead in front of the shocked gathering. Who has a motive for murdering the young aristocrat? The lovely cousin who was threatened by his engagement, the Oxford friend he falsely accused of cheating, the scheming vicar's daughter he shamelessly seduced, or the relative no one knew existed who appears to claim the Montagu title? Find out who the mysterious woman seen walking with him moments before he was brutally attached. Did she do it??

You'll be taken into the gilded world of a British manor house ad below stairs to the servants who know all the secrets. One family's hidden past and a forbidden passion are the clues to puzzle only Lady Emily cn olve.

The 8 CDs, 10.5 hours audio book is available for $39.99 from bookstores or online. For additional information, contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10010.

Beloved Enemy (Macmillan Audio)

This audio book by Eric Van Lustbader - author of many bestselling thrillers - will keep you on the edge of your seat. Soon after Jack McClure leaves a late night meeting with Dennis Paull, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Paull is found shot dead. The Preident is furious but equally frightened of a scandal, since McClure is one of their own, an operative and Paull's friend. Who will protect the country if even McClure cannot be trusted?? With top officials in the CIA and FBI after him, a devasted McClure goes on the run. Someone framed him for Paull's murder, possibly to prevent him from accomplishing Paull's last request -- a task vital to U.S. National Security. Someone in the intelligence community has gone rogue and is reporting to The Syrian, one of the most crel, aggressive terrorists McClure and Paull have ever come across.

Thie 10 CDs, 11.5 hours, audio book is available at $39.99 on-line or in book stores. For details contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010.

A Man of His Own (Macmillan Audio)

Written by Susan Wilson, the bestselling author of One Good Dog and The Dog Who Danced has this new book/recording read by Fred Berman, Christina Delaine, Rick Adamson and Jeff Gourner. It's about Rick Stanton who was a promising professional baseball player with dreams of playing in the major leagues and starting a family with Francesca, his young wife, when World War II changed everything. He returns from the war with his body broken and his dreams shattered. He also volunteered his beloved dog, Pax, for the Army's K-9 Corp, not knowing if he and his wife would ever be together again.

You'll learn about the soldier (Keller) who fought the war with Pax by his side and formed the profound bond that can only be forged in war. The dog is the closest Keller has to a sense of family and he can't bear the thought of returning him to Rick, who refuses to give him up. Soon, an arrangement is made. Reading what it is and how it works out is absorbing and exciting and, in the end, Pax may be the only one who can guide these three people who all love him.

The 8 CDs over 10 hours is available for $39.99 at bookstores and on-line .

Fallen Masters (Macmillan Audio)

At first, I didn't want to listen to this audio book, for I didn't believe in psycics. However, when I heard that it was written by John Edward, a New York Times bestselling author, I decided to give it a try and found it intriguing. Edward is an internationally renowned psychic whose personal experiences and spiritual enlightenment have helped millions of people to connect with loved ones on the Other Side. In Fallen Masters, he has written a riveting novel of metaphysical suspense in which the listener is a spectator at the final confrontation between good and evil as it unfolds on both the earthly plane and the Other Side. Lives are interwoven in mysterious ways in this coming apocalypse. All are on the same journey, making personal choices that will affect the fate of the entire world. Thousands of personal decisions will determine if humanity prevails or if the world becomes enveloped in a mass of dark energy that will abolish mankind.

This audiobook enhances all of the nuanced encounters and fast-paced adventures that make the book so strong. The audiobook program includes a bonus message from the author himself, making it a must-have for John Edward enthusiasts everywhere.

Available at bookstores and on-line for $49.99. For more information contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

Z - A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (Macmillan Audio)

This is a must listen to book audio, and once you play it, you probably won't be able to put it down. What's it about? When beautiful, recklass Southern belle, Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is 17 and he's a young army lieutenant. Before long, Zelda has fallen for him, even though Scott isn't wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. When he sells his first novel, she optimistically boards a train to New York to marry him, and take the rest as it comes. What comes, at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Each place they go becomes a playground. New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris and the French Riviera -- where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.

Everything seems new and possible, but not even Jay Gatsby's parties can go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous, sometimes infamous, husband? With brilliant insight and imagination, The author - Therese Ann Fowler, brings the reader Zelda's irresistable story as she herself might have told it. The audiobook, narrated by the very talented Jenna Lamia, gives Zelda a voice fitting of her youthful, feisty, vulnerable personality.

Available at bookstores and on-line for $39.99. For more information contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

A Dog's Journey (Macmillan Audio)

I'm a cat lover, but reading A Dog's Journey written by W. Bruce Cameron and read by George K. Wilson absolutely grabbed my attention. It's funny and memorable and made me think about adopting a dog! The story is about Buddy, a good dog who, after searching for his purpose through several eventful lives, is certain that he has now found and is fulfilled. He watches baby Clarity get into mischief - which is dangerous - and is certain that this little girl is in need of a dog of her own. When he's reborn, he realizes that he has a new destiny and is overjoyed when adopted by Clarity, now a vibrant but troubled teenager. When they are suddenly separated, Buddy despairs, wondering who will take care of Clarity.

Soon, their lives intertwine again, and Buddy will stop at nothing to get to her side and supports her when she needs it most and shares in her darkest moments and greatest joys. In this book, you'll be charmed and heartwarmed listening to this story of hope, love and unending devotion. You'll definitely begin wondering about whether 'we' take care of our pets, or do they take care of us. This is the story of unwavering loyalty and a love that crosses all barriers.

A Dog's Journey consists of 8 CDs, runs 10.5 hours and is available at bookstores or on-line for $29.99. It was published in a print edition from Forge Books as well. For more information contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10010; 646-347-5043.

Father Night (Macmillan Audio)

Written by Eric Van Lustbader and read by Richard Ferrone, this compelling thriller is certain to keep you listening until the very end. A tidal wave of reform is sweeping across the Middle East with many lurking in the shadows, eager to seize power -- giants of a vast criminal underworld, fueled by revenge and vengeance. At the center of it all are two men who are inches away from holding the world in their hands. One is known as Dyadya Gourdjiev, and the other is known only as the Syrian.

You'll learn about Department of Defense special agent Jack McClure who has followed a trail of shadows and lies right into the arm of Gourdjiev's alluring, powerful granddaughter, Annika Dementieva. The lovers are in Moscow when news of Dyadya's failing health draws a slew of vultures, eager to seize his empire of secrets. Meanwhile, Alli Carson, the child of a dead U.S. president, has become Jack's surrogate daughter. She is targeted by a cyberstalker and with no one to trust but her friend Vera, she is determined to discover the truth. All paths soon collide at the feet of one man, a man history might have forsaken, but whose heinous evil is still very much alive: Father Night.

You won't want to miss hearing this captivating story. On sale at bookstores and on-line, it is unabridged, 10 CDs and 13 hours in length at $39.99. A print edition is also available from Forge Books.

For more information contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010; 646-347-5043.

The Nightmare (Macmillan Audio)

Written by Lars Kepler, author of The Hypnotist, the author returns with a piercing, bestselling sequel. This internationally best selling Swedish thriller - published to critical acclaim in dozens of countries, is an absolute 'buy it now' because once you listen you won't be able to stop. It's a true mystery. On a summer night, police recover the body of a young woman from an abandoned pleasure boat drifting around the Stockholm archipelago. Her lungs are filled with brackish water, and the forensics team is sure that she drowned. But, the pleasure boat is still afloat and there are no traces of water on her clothes or body. The next day a man turns up dead in his state apartment in Stockholm, hanging from a lamp hook. All signs point to suicide, buyt the room has a high ceiling and there's not a single piece of furniture around - nothing for him to have climbed on.

Joona Linna begins to piece together the two mysteries but the logistics are a mere prelude to a dizzying and dangerous course of events. At its core, the most frightening aspect of The Nightmare isn't the gruesome crimes -- it's the dark psychology of its characters who show us how blind we are to our own motives.

Narrated by the very talented Mark Bramhall, this audiobook also includes a bonus interview with the author providing fascinating insights into the writing style and future plans for the series.

Unabridged and 16.5 hours, this audio book is available at $39.99 from book stores and online. It is published in a print edition from Farrar, Strous and Giroux.

For more information, contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

The Marriage Plot (Macmillan Audio)

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Jeffrey Eugenides, has done it again with his book, The Marriage Plot. Here, he writes about Madeline, an English major who didn't get the memo. While everyone else in the early 1980s was reading Derrida, she was absorbed with Jane Austen: a purveyor of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. Now, while in her senior year, she has enrolled in a semiotics course simply to see what the fuss was about. And she will never be the same - not after she falls in love with Leonard - charismatic loner and college Darwinist who is possessed with seemingly inexhaustible energy, and who introduces her to the ecstasies of immediate experience. Then, Mitchell resurfaces in her life, obsessed with the idea that she is destined to be his mate.

You'll be intrigued by the triangle in this age-old novel with fresh and surprising outcome. With wit, irony and an abiding understanding and love for his characters, the author resuscirtates the original energies of the novel while creating a story that is contemporary and reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.

Unabridged, on 13 CDs for $16 hours, it is available at book stores and on-line for $39.99. For additional information, contact Macmillan Audio, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010, or call 646-307-5043.

Suddenly, A Knock on The Door (Audiobook- Macmillan Audio)

This exciting book - read by an all-star cast including Stanley Tucci, Willem Dafoe, Ira Glass, Miranda July and others - is Etgar Keret's most playful and more mature work yet -- the living and the dead, silent children and talking animals, dreams and waking life -- all coexist in an uneasy world. It overflows with absurdity, humor, sadness and compassion. The audiobook program also includes a bonus story read by Etgar Keret with music compsed by Christopher Bowen to interweave the stories.

Etgar describes the book as a little like "the Arabian Nights' in which making up stories is kind of a survival mechanism.

It's an absolute enjoyable read that you won't stop listening to until the very end.

Unabridged consisting of 4 CDS totalling 5 hours of listening. Available at bookstores and on-line for $24.99. The print edition is available from Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

AUTOMOBILE BOOK REVIEWS

Don't Let Your Mechanic Pick Your Pocket! (George Moyer)

This very informative book is for anyone who drives a car, trailer, SUV or truck. Written by George A. Moyer - a retired mechanic and shop owner who was tired of seeing "people ripped off by less than honest mechanics" - it's complied with a list of the most common symptoms and what they mean. Moyer has translated them into terms anyone can understand, and thoughtfully put them into a book that's small enough to keep in the glove box. The 71 page book also contains helpful hints, a glossary of the most frequently used terms, what they mean, is filled with photos and diagrams and much more. The $12.99 cost of the book will no doubt save you hundreds of dollars in car repairs -- because you'll know what to look for and won't automatically believe what your mechanic says.

Available for $12.99 from amazon.com. For more information, go to web site mechanicscam.com.

Concept Cars - Designing for the Future (Thunder Bay Press)

Car buffs will love Concept Cars - Designing for the Future by Richard Dredge (Thunder Bay Press) -- for here, from futuristic, fantastic, and bizarre cars to cars that actually made it into production, you'll find a colorful celebration of the most evocative dream cars of the last thirty years. Whether they are strange like the IAD Allen, or just plain beautiful, like the Jaguar F-Type sports car, all the vehicles featured have one thing in ommon: they push the boundaries of automotive design imagination to the limit.

Divided by category into six chapters, including sports cars, supercars, family cars, luxury models, technological innovators, and production models - this book documents the key designs of recent times, including the cars that successfully evolved from the drawing board to the production line, such as the Dodge Viper, Mercedes-Benz Vision, and Porsche Boxter. Concepts include those from the world's leading vehicle manufacturers, such as Alfa Romeo, Bertone, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Jaguar, Pininfarina, Renault, and Volvo. Concept Cars also pays homage to the key car designers, men such as Harley Earl, the father of the 'dream' car, and Peter Schreyer, the man responsible for the devastatingly beautiful Audi TT.

Illustrated with a spectacular collection of more than two-hundred color and black-and-white photographs and original illustrations and providing an authoritative commentary on the world's most groundbreaking automotive designs, this book is available at bookstores and online.

For more information, contact Thunder Bay Press, 5880 Oberlin Drive, San Diego, CA 92121 or go to web site www.thunderbaybooks.com

BACKPACKING, FIRST AID & CAMPING BOOK REVIEWS

First-Aid Books

The Pocket First-Aid Field Guide -- Treatment and Prevention of Outdoor Emergencies (Skyhorse Publishing)

If you’re camping with your family, fishing or hunting with a friend, or simply chopping firewood at your weekend cabin, being self-sufficient in an emergency situation can be a matter of life or death. Dr. George Dvorchak’s thorough pocket guide goes beyond basic CPR and bee sting treatments. Small enough to carry in your backpack, it’s jammed with detailed descriptions of ailments and how to care for them, anatomy lessons, preventive fitness strategies, and body conditioning tips. Whether you’re a casual hiker or an experienced back-country trekker, The Pocket First-Aid Field Guide is one piece of equipment you can’t be caught without. Learn how to:

· Fend off hypothermia with high-energy food

· Attend to teeth, mouth, and eye injuries

· Make a proper splint for large or small bones

· Take care of all types of wounds, from gunshots to punctures and lacerations

· Handle snake bites and poisonous plant allergies

· Recognize and manage high-altitude sickness and heat stroke

· Implement vital P.R.I.C.E. treatment steps when attending to sprains, strains, and fracture 

· And much more!

Dvorchak, a self-proclaimed “country doctor,” also discusses common footwear myths, tells how to snakeproof or waterproof your shoes, and presents a practical checklist for developing your own first-aid kit. “Accidents can happen anywhere,” writes Dvorchak, “especially in a wilderness environment where there isn’t a medical facility available.” Have more fun on your next fishing trip or rock-climbing adventure knowing you are capable of keeping a minor injury from becoming a major threat!

Available at bookstores or from amazon.com for $9.95. For details contact Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 555 Eigth Avenue, Suite 903, New York 10018 or call 212 643-6816, web site www.skyhorsepublishing.com.

Backpacking/Survival Books

Wilderness Survival Handbook (McGraw Hill Professional)

Author Michael Pewtherer does an outstanding job in his complete and detailed guide covering everything you need to know to survive and thrive in the wilderness. Pewtherer is one of the country's leading survival and primitive skills experts and educators and it shows in his writing. Organized around six essential areas of survival (shelter, water, food, fire, comfort and health, and navigation), the book covers 100 skills and techniques, including purifying water with a solar still; preserving fire; building pit shelters; toolmaking; stone-boiling cookery; trapping and hunting nimals. Each chapter has an introduction, overviews, sidebars, anecdotes, and more detailed descriptions, many accompanied by informative illustrations and photographs demonstrating successful implementation of skills. These easy-to-reference entries make the book ideal in both the classroom settings and in the field.

Pewtherer uses a straight how-to approach, and offers the reader the knowledge to master the skills to survive in any subarctic wilderness setting -- forest, plain, desert, or tundra -- making the book relevant to virtually all wilderness travelers throughout the lower 48 states, Mexico, and most of Canada and Alaska, plus most of the resst of the world.

For more information contact McGraw-Hill at http://www.mhprofessional.com. This paperback, available at bookstores, amazon.com or from the publisher, is $19.95.

Lightweight Backpacking and Camping: A Field Guide to Wilderness Hiking Equipment, Technique, and Style (Wilderness Press)

Lightweight Backpacking and Camping (Wilderness Press; Berkeley, CA), edited by Ryan Jordan, is one of the most comprehensive and rigorous text published on lightweight backpacking and redefines modern day backpacking as safe, comfortable, and fun -- but with a much lighter pack. Lightweight backpacking (often with a pack under 20 pounds) is the fastest growing trend in backpacking and appeals to a wide hiking audience from beginners to elite mountain athletes. In packing light, backcountry hiking is more accessible to children, families, and the baby boomer generation, and with this book in hand, you'll learn the science of walking; protection from the elements. The 440-page book features gear lists along with the latest information on gear, manufacturers, and resources. It also provides detailed information on footwear, backpacks, pack weight, navigation, clothing systems, sleep systems, shelter, and everything from eating, drinking, and hygiene to first aid, emergency procedures, risk management, and lightweight solutions. This includes advanced tarp camping, hiking efficiency, lightweight backpacking with young children as well as for couples, and much more.

Available at bookstores, camp and sporting goods stores for $24.95. For more information contact Wilderness Press, 1200 5th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710; 510-558-1666.

Allen & Mike’s Really Cool Backpackin’ Book (Globe Pequot Press)

Written by O’Bannon and Clelland, two instructors with the National Outdoor Leadership School. These hardcore backcountry fanatics have combined their years of experience in a hilarious and vastly informative book on the art of backpacking — and New Jersey is the right place to begin this outstanding sport. Topics include how to dress and pack for the outdoors and do it in style; choosing proper equipment; navigating with a map and compass; setting up camp; dealing with wildlife; reading weather; and basic backwoods hygiene. Appendices spell out proper low-impact camping techniques and offer an extensive gear checklist to consult before hitting the trail. Both beginners and experts will find value in the outlined tips.

Available at book stores or contact Globe Pequot at 800-962-0973.

Camping Books

Cooking On The Road With Celebrity Chefs (Woodall's)

Cooking on the Road with Celebrity Chefs is a one–of–a–kind RV cookbook, created for food enthusiasts! Over 25 Celebrity Chefs have contributed their own personal specialties. From soups and salads to one–pot stews; from delicious desserts to breakfasts that you'll look forward to preparing for your family.

Cooking on the Road with Celebrity Chefs is full of recipes that you won't find in any other RV or camping cookbook. And as a bonus, enjoy reading sidebars and tips from famous chefs which give short cuts for recipes, explain how to prepare and store meats and other foods for your trip, and give suggestions for the early preparation of some menu items. There's even a chapter of specialty rubs, seasonings, and marinades that were created uniquely by our Celebrity Chefs.

In addition, each of the famous chefs has taken time to share their own personal camping stories and some secret cooking at camp ideas only for Woodall's.

Copies are available for $19.95 in bookstores, but Woodall's has a special rate for just over $15. For more information check web site www.woodalls.com

Trailer Life Directory (The RVers' 'bible')

If you've been using the 2012 Trailer Life Directory, you know that it is considered the 'bible' of life on the open road. With up to date listings on more than 12,000 RV accommodations and RV service centers, it also lists activities, ratings, WiFi & ATM information. The director covers all of North America, Canada and parts of Mexico.

Now there's another Trailer Life first - virtual V. The V is for virtual, as in virtual tours -- of RV Parks and business. Readers just look for the 'V' logo in the listings and go to the TL website. There it is possible to get a good look around and see your best features while planning the trip.

To order the directory call 800-765-7070 or e-mail dbrown@affinitygroup.com.

BIOGRAPHIES

Feeding A Monster (Veronica Loving)

This book held my interest throughout. Veronica Lovings memoir -- 'Feeding A Monster' -- is an inspiring story of a mother and daughter's journy through being victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. It destroyed the author's 21-year marriage to a minor-league baseball player after finding out he was a sexual assault predator. Her story isn't one of those 'poor me' stories, but one of overcoming self-blame and feeling ashamed to speak out about her abuser, and is designed to support and help individuals who are battling with depression, sexual assault, domestic violence, and molestation. She says, "After a traumatic event, most victims have painful memories that fade over time. But for others, the memories, thoughts and felling’s don’t go away.”

In this book, her daughter, Jazzmine Jackson, also tells her story - and how she found the courage to stand up to her abuser. Through this event in her life, Veronica was inspired to become a motivational speaker and advocate for sexual assault and abuse victims. Her hope is to help other women notice the signs, protect themselves, recover, and begin to thrive to their highest potential.

Available at VeronicaLoving.com. More on Facebook@IAMVeronicaLoving and Tweeter@LovingVeronica1. Veronica Loving is available for speaking engagements, conferences, corporate events, workshops, expos, educational institutions, non-profit organizations. For Booking her, contact bookings@veronicaloving.com

Candy Coated Chunk of Granite (Inspire on Purpose Publishing)

This biography, written by Cindy Welsh Colangelober's husband and sister, is a tribute to Cindy for her love, perseverance and positive attitude in the face of insurmountable odds. Although Cindy lost her courageous battle with breast cancer, she had touched the hearts of thousands of people online through her CaringBridge journal. Her wit and zest for life is reflected in this beautiful, yet often humorous book that inspires and entertains in a very real and honest way.

After reading this book, I realized that although Cindy died of breast cancer early in life, anyone with any type of cancer or other disease would find this biography invaluable. I passed the book onto my younger son who has been fighting a rare cancer for the past few years. By following her example of keeping a journal, his outlook is healthy, hopeful, and positive.

I highly recommend this 144 page book, for in it, you will learn Cindy's Mantra -- Faith, Hope and Action -- which is so vital to believing that even if there is no cure for you, there is still hope and life for each remaining day. .

When Cindy Colangelo began her journey, she was encouraged where her doctors felt hers was a typical case and was caught early. The plan was: a lumpectomy, six weeks of radiation, and six-monthly check-ups until the highly anticipated 5-year mark when she would be declared "cancer free.” During this time, she gained a new appreciation for life and the gifts that come in simple forms; a change in career, a chance to perform at Carnegie Hall, new friends and an increased excitement for capturing every moment. However, eight years later, a routine mammogram showed a suspicious area on her other breast. This time, Cindy learned her case was anything but typical and her particular cancer had "defied statistics;” not wishing to defy statistics again, she cut her hair, lined up some books, and had a double mastectomy.

Cindy's post following the first, and believed to be final, round of chemo exemplifies her spirit, tenacity, and exceptional wit: "There are no guarantees. Statistics don't always hold true. Early diagnosis is important. A simple gesture from a friend can mean so much. A word of encouragement from a stranger is priceless. We don't have to be defined by a disease or limitation. Faith is a gift we give ourselves. Family is to be treasured. Richness is not defined monetarily. And bald can be beautiful! Who would have thunk?”

Cindy, a college graduate and businesswoman, founded CLC Consulting — a firm that builds strategic partnerships between non-profits and the communities they serve. Within a few years of her breast cancer diagnosis, Cindy left corporate America and entered the non-profit world where she played many major roles. Cindy's community service was far-reaching over the years and her projects benefited many local organizations. She was on the Board of Directors for Metrocrest Social Services, the Advisory Board for Citizens Development Center and is a member of the Speakers Bureau for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Cindy's husband, Joe, still resides in Carrollton, Texas, with her two sons.

For more information on Cindy or the book, (available at online outlets, bookstores, and web site www.CCsCorner.com.

438 Days at Sea - An Extradordinary True Story of Survival At Sea (Atria Books)

“His name was Salvador and he arrived with bloody feet,” begins Jonathan Franklin’s epic tale of survival, in 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea (Atria Books). Once I began this exciting, incredible, fascinating book, I couldn't put it down and it was with me through every meal and before I shut the lights and went to sleep. In parts, it was gory, but showed a man's will to live while day after day went by - some without food or water - but he used ingenious ways to survive.

January 30, 2016 marked the two-year anniversary of Salvador’s rescue. 438 days prior, on November 17, 2012, Alvarenga left his adopted home of Costa Azul, Mexico for a two-day fishing trip. This short expedition would turn into fourteen months lost at sea in a small boat, with a failed engine, drifting across seven thousand miles in the Atlantic Ocean

after a vicious storm. Alvarenga survived constant shark attacks, learned to catch fish with his bare hands, faced the loss of his shipmate, struggled with suicidal thoughts, and dreamt of returning home to El Salvador establish a relationship with his long-estranged daughter, Fatima.

In addition to approximately 40 hours of interviews with Alvarenga, the author - Jonathan Franklin -- who regularly reports for The Guardian, GQ, and Esquire -- spoke with shark fisherman along the Mexican coast, oceanographers and climate scientists, psychologists who study extreme survival, and Navy SEAL trainers in his research for 438 Days. He also spent over 40 hours interviewing Salvador Alvarenga, the brave person who survived the 438 days adrift at sea. You can learn more about the author at www.JonathanFranklin.com.

This excellent true story - 274 page book, including photos, is available online and at book stores

Raising Henry -- A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, & Discovery (Yale University Press)

I used to turn away when I encountered children or adults with Down Syndrome. I didn't know why; perhaps I felt a bit guilty because I and my family were 'normal' and these individuals were not. I no longer turn away. In fact, I say hello and engage in conversation - for, through this excellent account of a mother raising a child with Down Syndrome, I learned a lot -- not only about Down Syndrome, but how people feel toward people with disabilities in general. And, today, I look forward to watching the Special Olympics to see how much individuals with Down Syndrome can accomplish.

The book opens with Rachel Adam's describing how her life had gone well. She had an adoring husband, a beautiful two-year-old son, a sunny Manhattan apartment, and a position as a tenured professor at Columbia University. Suddenly, her world changed with the birth of her second child, Henry. Minutes after he was born, doctors told her that Henry had Down syndrome and she realized her life would change forever. In this honest, self-critical and surprisingly funny book, Adams chronacles the first three years of Henry's life and her own transformative experience of unexpectedly becoming the mother of a disabled child. This is a highly personal story of one family's encounter with disability. The book also reveals an insightful exploration of today's knotty terrain of social prejudice, disability policy, genetics, prenatal tresting, medical training, and inclusive education. The author untangles the contradictions of living in a society that is more enlightened and supportive of people with disabilities than ever before, yet is racing to perfect prenatal tests to prevent children like Henry from being born. Adam's book is gripping, beautifully written and nearly impossible to put down. Once read, her family's story is impossible to forget.

This 258-page book is available on-line and in bookstores for $26. For more information contact Yale University Press, P.O. Box 209040, New Haven, CT 06520 or web site www.yalebooks.com.

The Daughters (Little, Brown Books)

Author Joanna Philbin draws from her own teenage years growing up as the daughter of "Live with Regis and Kelly" host Regis Philbin. Philbin thoughtfully explores what it's really like to grow up in the thick of the celebrity world in this fast-reading fun book. As Lizzie and her two best friends, Carlina and Hudson, fellow daughters of celebrities, juggle normal high school events with glamorous family functions, they discover the pitfalls of fame and the importance of friendship.

Recommended for ages 12 & up, as a senior, I thoroughly enjoyed it and passed it on to my granddaughter. Unconventional-looking Lizzie Summers has spent her life hiding from the cameras that are always following her gorgeous mother - supermodel extraordinaire, Katya. With her bright, gravity-defying red hair and hatred of high heels, 14-year-old Lizzie has accepted her weird looks, and is satisfied that they have at least shielded her from the paparazzi. But when a photographer approaches Lizzie believing that she is "the new face of beauty,' Lizzie is unexpectedly thrust into the media spotlight. Find out what happenes. Does she followin her mother's footsteps?

Available for $16.99 at bookstores, amazon.com and online from Oppy, a division of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 237 Park Avenue, New York; 212-364-1100.

Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex after Sixty (Seal Press)

If you've read Joan Price's other books on exercise, you know she's a great author. In this book, she definitely excels! This straight-talking book is warm, witty and honest -- contending with the challenges and celebrating the delights of older-life sexuality. She notes that yes, there are challenges to sex after menopause ad beyond, but Price notes, "there are also creative solutions. Price gets personal and stays positive, combining her own story with candid comments, tips and sassy tales from sexually seasoned women. She acknowledges the gritty issues that older women confront in their sexual lives, noting that it's not easy, but it certainly isn't over.

Read the interviews with women 60-80 on topics such as getting turned on when some parts don't work like they used to, spicing up a familiar relationship, coping with the dating game, and more. Also included are helpful sidebars filled with candid and friendly sex tps; fitness, exercise, and lifestyle information; and women's erotic vignettes--both real-life experiences and fanasies as well as valuable tips from experts for staying sexy through the decades. The book is inspiring not only to women, but to men of all ages who want to have a vibrant, satisfying sex life.

At 256 pages, this book is vailable at bookstores, amazon.com and Seal Press for $15.95. For more information contact Seal Press at www.sealpress.com, 1400 65th Street, Suite 250, Emeryville, CA 94608; 510-595-3664.

In The Shadow of Greatness (Hohm Press)

With his new book In the Shadow of Greatness, author Michael Menager introduces readers to an aspect of history that has been hidden in plain view -- to the women who, from their place in the shadows, enhanced the light of men of acknowledged genius and enabled it to shine with greater intensity. Through five biographies recounted in voices as unique as the lives they describe, their richly colored stories blend into one of selfless devotion, of immense clarity and ingenuity, of a constant and unbending will to endure. Set against the unfolding drama of historical events and the shockingly unconventional demands of living with genius, the lives of thse women fascinate and compel. Finally, we are also given the opportunity to recognize those who serve from the shadows in our own lives.

Each biography in this book presents a woman who is not simply a servant to genius, but who is herself gifted with uncommon heart and vision, and with the strength to transform that vision to reality.

With 574 pages and complete with photographs, this book is available at $24.95 from bookstores everywhere and from amazon.com. For more information, contact Hohm Press, PO Box 2501, Prescott, Arizona 86302; 928-778-9189 or go to e-mail www.hohmpress.com,

Major Taylor: The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World (Cycle Publishing/Van der Plas Publications)

This 208 page, 8-1/2 x 11 in. hardcover book, with 100 period duotone photographs and other illustrations, is the illustrated biography of the unjustly forgotten first African-American world champion cyclist, Marshall W. "Major" Taylor (1879-1932). His victories over his opponents on the race track were as significant as his historic victory over racism.

Available at bookstores and on amazon.com.for $39.95. For details contact Cycle Publishing, 1282 7th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122, web site www.cyclepublishing.com

Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers (Thunder's Mouth Press)

With a title like Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers (Thunder’s Mouth Press), author Beverly Gray knew she had to write a captivating story – and she succeeded. While relying heavily on interviews with Corman alumni from every phase of his career (including such celebrities as William Shatner, Ron Howard, and David Carradine) Gray also captured her own experiences with Cornab over a period of nearly a decade. In this book, she takes readers behind the cameras and into the heart of Cormanville for a first-hand, insider’s look at the man and the mogul. To provide a compelling private and public perspective on this soft-spoken giant of the cinema, Gray interviewed 100 of Corman’s friends and associates, and has provided a fascinating study in contrasts with B-movie maverick Roger Corman as the subject. As the original King of the Exploitation Film, he has filled his movies with images of blood-sucking vampires, rampaging biker gangs, vigilante strippers, and abducting aliens. And, during a career that spans a half-century, he has produced more than five hundred films on shoestring budgets, making a profit on nearly every one.

Gray writes that, in the process, Corman has become the role model for today’s independent filmmaker, laying the groundwork for the success of directors like Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. This guru with a vision has also demonstrated an uncanny eye for talent, being among the first to recognize the abilities of Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, and others. Gray, having served as story editor and development executive at Roger Corman’s Concorde-New Horizons Pictures, also assisted on some 170 low-budget films, is an instructor for the UCLA Extension’s screenwriting program, and in 2003 published Ron Howard From Mayberry to the Moon . . .and Beyond.

Available for $14.95 at bookstores, on-line, or through Thunder’s Mouth Press, 245 W. 17th Street, NY; 1-800-788-3123; or check web site www.thundersmouth.com.

Defy The Darkness: A Tale of Courage in the Shadow of Mengele (Praeger Publishing)

This book, by Joe Rosenblum with David Kohn (Praeger Publishing) is a must-read for all ages. Joe Rosenblum, having lived through the horrors and atrocities of the Holocaust, tells in a first-person narrative, (which is beautifully written by co-author David Kohn), of his suffering, degradation, and pain. As a teenager, Rosenblum watched as the Nazis invaded Miedzyrzec, Poland, his peaceful village. Neighbors, friends, and his brother were killed simply because they were Jews. Fortunately for Rosenblum, his Aryan appearance enabled him to narrowly escape mass executions. Unable to put down this riveting, totally absorbing book, I learned how Rosenblum was first sheltered by a local Gentile family – making it possible for him to make dangerous trips back to his family with scraps of food to sustain them while they hid in secret dugouts. Later, he took refuge with Russian partisans. Eventually captured by the Germans and sent to three concentration camps – Majdanek, Auschwitz, and Dachau – he lived by his wits as a courier for the camp underground, and was able to help other prisoners, as well as saving a few children selected for the gas chambers. Sick, starving, and near death himself, he suddenly found himself working for the infamous Dr. Mengele who later performs life-saving surgery on Rosenblum—the only known Jew to be ‘saved’ by the deadly doctor’s skills.

Rosenblum miraculously survived the Holocaust --- by radiating hope and humanity and, as the authors agree, by defying the darkness. Kohn did an excellent job putting Rosenblum’s words onto paper, and I guarantee as you turn each page, you’ll be crying and sometimes cheering. And, you will never forget this survivor’s story of courage.

Available at bookstores for $27.95, direct from Praeger on-line at www.greenwood.com; or by calling 1-800-225-5800.

BIRD LIFE, BIRD-WATCHING, WILDLIFE & MORE

Peterson Field Guide to Mammals (Houghton Mifflin Company)

In its brand-new fourth edition, The Peterson Field Guide to Mammals - the most in-depth guide to North American mammals - has been completely re-illustrated, revised, ad rewritten by acclamed author and illustrator Fiona Reid.

With Reid's vibrant paintings and words, nearly 400 range maps, 14 full color skull plates, and more than 100 color photographs, the result is the most comprehensive and up-to-date field guide to North American mammals available. This is the only guide that includes both photographs and paintings of all North American mammals, as well as photographs of mammal skulls. It's also the most helpful and easy-to-use guide of its kind: the unique Peterson identification system shows exactly what features to look for to tell the mammalian species from another.

Fiona A. Reid spent many years capturing small mammals and drawing them from life for this guide. She is a departmental associate in mammalogy at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the Royal Ontario Museum, and has led nature tours for the past two decades showing tourists the mammals and other wildlife of diverse lands from Indonesia to Alaska and Venezuela.

This 592-page guide book is available at bookstores and on-line for $20.

The Guide To Abundant Wildlife (Abundant Wildlife)

Each year, more and more sportsmen decide to better manage their property for wildlife. What to plant and how to manage the habitat are always the most asked questions. The Guide to Abundant Wildlife, written by independent wildlife biologist and forester Randall Rogers, is one of the most comprehensive wildlife management guides ever written. In this book, Rogers shares his more than ten years of intensive research on wildlife plantings and habitat improvement. Best management practices are highlighted that will attract and produce an abundance of trophy whitetails, wild turkey, quail, ducks, squirrel, rabbits, and non-game wildlife on the property you hunt.

Learn how to sign up for a new government program that will pay you up to ten tousand dollars per year to improve wildlife habitat and other natural resources on the land you hunt. This guide tells you the best plantings for your favorite wildlife in the different soil types and geographical locations. Also, a special section on the newest plantings that stay green year round and don't have to be replanted year after year. Learn about the new 'super clovers' and whether or not they are as good as claimed - and much more.

Containing 125 pages, four-color soft front, illustrated with approximately 50 b&w photos, tables, and illustrations, this book can be ordered from amazon.com or from Randall Rogers, c/o Abundant Wildlife, P.O. Box 2708, Auburn, Al. 36831 for $19.95.

Birds of New Jersey, A Field Guide

Written by Stan Tekiela, at 4 1/2 x 6 inches, this book is just the right size to fit in a pocket or backpack, and is packed with information and gorgeous color photos of the 122 species of birds that reside in New Jersey. Tekiela has organized the book by bird color, offers interesting facts about nest types, number and order of eggs, and the exact colors of females and juveniles. It’s a great book to have on hand if you enjoy bird-watching or are volunteering for bird banding or bird sighting.

Available at book stores or online at amazon.com.

The Folklore of Birds (Globe Pequot Press)

Whether or not you know a black-footed Albatross from a White-breasted Nuthatch, this book, written by Laura C. Martin, will enchant you with clear, rich descriptions and details of birds. Beautiful illustrations enhance each of the 99 entries, allowing you to play the role of birdwatcher as you read. Open to any page at leisure and enjoy learning the legendary meanings of a bird's call, the different courtship dances that birds perform, and the classical myths of particular birds, among other facts and stories.

A nontechnical, well-informed description of physique, song, habitat, and range prefaces each entry for each bird, whetting your curiosity with factual information and history. The legends and tales that follow take the facts further by explaining why the birds live where they do, and how they came to be a particular color or to have a particular name. For example, according to Cherokee Indian legend, when a little brown bird rescued a blinded wolf from a teasing racoon, the wolf in gratitude showed the bird a magic pool of red. The bird jumped into the pool and became the first cardinal bird.

In addition to this legend, the book tells several Asian myths, along with Europe's many superstitions concerning birds. Also covered are the birds who inhabit the land and water, tropics and arctic, desert and forest, and will appeal to all ages.

This 240 page book is available for $24.95 in a cloth edition at bookstores or online.

Oregon Wildlife Viewing Guide (Falcon Publishing Co.)

This excellent book, written by James A. Yuskavitch (Falcon Publishing Co., Inc., Helena, Montana), is one in the series of Wildlife Viewing Guides. Completely revised and expanded, this handy-sized 95 page book covers rocky coast and lush coniferous forest to the spectacular Cascade Mountains and eastern desert, and will lead you to 87 premier wildlife viewing areas. It will definitely afford you a better opportunity of seeing wildlife,once you arrive. This new edition includes detailed descriptions of each viewing site and its wildlife, maps and access information, helpful wildlife viewing tips, and beautiful color photographs of Oregon's diverse wildlife and natural areas. The guide was created through the National Watchable Wildlife Program, a partnership initiative coordinated by Defenders of Wildlife. Each viewing site was selected by a panel of wildlife expeerts from the the following organizations and government agencies -- Defenders of Wildlife, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service, Department of Defense, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The Oregon Wildlife Viewing Guide is available at bookstores and online for $8.95.

Songbird Journeys: Four Seasons in the Lives of Migratory Birds (Walker & Co.)

You don’t have to be a bird lover to enjoy Songbird Journeys: Four Seasons in the Lives of Migratory Birds (Walker & Co., NY). Author Miyoko Chu, an ornithologist and staff science writer at Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, provides readers with a sweeping overview of the latest research into songbird migrations, one of the most dramatic, but long misunderstood, phenomena in nature. Ever wonder how diminutive songbirds – which constitute nearly fifty per cent of all bird species – accomplish annual trips such as from Alaska to South America logging about 720,000 miles to the gallon if it burned gasoline instead of its own fat? In this interesting 312-page book, Chu explains this and more. Learn how they migrate mostly at night, mate, raise young, and winter in locations thousands of miles apart. Her groundbreaking research covers the dangers they face, such as global warming, deforestation, and pollution – all of which are taking a toll on songbirds so that fewer and fewer migrate each year. Filled with ideas on how we may be able to prevent the situation from getting worse, this book is well worth reading, has excellent reference material and an index, but could use more color illustrations.

Available at bookstores or on-line for $23. For more information, contact Walker & Company, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010; 646-307-5067, or check web site www.walkerbooks.com.

BOATING BOOKS --- CANOEING & KAYAKING

Canoe Camping Vermont and New Hampshire Rivers: A Guide to 600 Miles of Rivers For a Day, Weekend or Week of Canoeing (Backcountry Publications)

Author Roioli Schweiker writes about the 14 tours she observed in this revised issue although little has changed since the first edition. But, since the, she notes that the rivers are much cleaner and now th canoeist shares the waterways with rafts and tubes. She writes that "Those who seek solitude on the rivrs have to look harder now. Others appreciate the proliferation of canoe liveries with a shuttle service." You'll appreciate the variety of these river tours. Some trips flow through unsettled woodlands, some through open farmlands, and a few offer a new perspctive on urban sprawl. The trips cover flat water and rapids of varying length and difficulty which she clearly describes. Ranging from 20 mile to 80 mile runs, these trips have been routed to include many access points convenient to highways, and can be run as a series of day trips, or as a weekend of leisurely camping, and can also be traveled not only in the high water of the spring, but in summer and fall as well.

Maps, photographs, summary tables, and information on campsites, picnic areas, short hikes and historic sites along the river banks have combined to make this book an authoritative guide for anyone planning river trips in these two New England stats.

At 128 pages, this book is available on line at amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

The Armchair Paddler: An Anthology of Canoeing, Kayaking, and Rafting Adventures (Globe Pequot Press)

If you love being on the water, you'll enjoy this book by author Cecil Kuhue who brings together some of the best literature from those who have ventured out on the big rivers and triumphed to tell about their watery exploits. From the Salmon to the Rio Grande, and from the Arctic to the Inside Passage, these are hair-raising accounts of paddling, rafting and swimming on the world's rivers and oceans in search or adventure and extreme challenges.

Wild Shore: Exploring Lake Superior by Kayak (University of Minnesota Press)

Ever since taking a BOW workshop and learning how to paddle a kayak, I’ve looked for unusual places to engage in this wholesome outdoor activity. Now, author Greg Breining, has whet my appetite to travel to Lake Superior — for his book, Wild Shore: Exploring Lake Superior by Kayak (University of Minnesota Press) fascinated me. Through his vivid portraits of the lake’s history and its people, you can trace Breining’s two-year quest to navigate the greatest of the Great Lakes. “One day, I paddled a sea kayak. All graceful lines and curves, the hull carved the water with barely a whisper and turned at the touch of a paddle,” Breining recalls. “How does it feel to travel days on end with no fixed schedule? What happens to your sense of distance when every mile is earned by a thousand strokes of the paddle? A plan began to form as I imagined paddling on and on, never having to turn back.” Lake Superior’s windswept rock, clear water, and wooded shores make it one of the most stunning landscapes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario. Breining set out to circle this great lake by kayak, a means of travel over a two year period that allowed him to visit the lake’s places of rare beauty and solitude, experience its wildly varied moods, and see its remote historic sites and isolated communities. Wild Shore is definitely a tale of outdoor adventure, odd characters, humorous stories and quiet reflection, as well as a story of the men and women who have lived along the lake’s shores since the Ice Age. Breining follows the routes of the Ojibwe and the voyageurs, explores the mix of cultures that created the Lake Superior region we know today, and visited the scientist who studied the last su9rviving woodland caribou herd on the Superior shore. This exciting book is illustrated throughout with the author’s striking photographs, and even if you’re an armchair traveler, you’ll love every page.

Available at book stores or contact the University of Minnesota Press, 111 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55401-2520; web site www.upress.umn.edu.

Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation (Globe Pequot Press)

Author David Burch has done a fine job in teaching paddlers all aspects of navigation that are pertinent to their craft in Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation (Globe Pequot Press), with special emphasis on information that is essential to safe, efficient paddling. Topics include chart reading, compass use, finding and keeping track of position, how to predict tides and currents, trip planning, plus navigatin at night, in the fog, and in traffic.

Available at bookstores or on-line for $14.95.

Quiet Water New Jersey (Appalachian Mountain Club)

If you love canoeing and kayaking as I do, purchasing the second edition of author Kathy Kenley’s Quiet Water New Jersey (Appalachian Mountain Club) is a must. In it, Kenley details more than 50 quiet water destinations from the Highlands and Pine Barrens to the Atlantic coastal plain within New Jersey where you’ll find mountain lakes, salt- and freshwater marshes, lovely ponds, and much more.  It’s possible to pre-determine where to put in, the flora and fauna you’ll see along the way, and a handy at-a-glance trip summary for each tour. Time, distance, difficulty of the tour, plus photos of some of the things you’re likely to encounter, are included. A marine biologist with additional degrees in geology and creative writing, Kenley has explored each body of water personally, has competed on the national level in many kayak races, and occasionally leads guided tours for a local outfitter within the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. The appendix lists resources for maps, paddling equipment and technique, camping and campgrounds, how to prepare if children are along, and includes a useful list of addresses and phone numbers of various clubs and organizations, plus an alphabetical listing of lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.

Available at bookstores, on-line, or from Appalachian Mountain Club Books at 8 Joy Street, Boston, MA 02108. For more information, check web site www.outdoors.org.

Running North - A Yukon Adventure (Algonquin Books)

Running North tells the thrilling story of how Ann Cook, her husband, George, and their young daughter, Kathleen, moved from New Hampshire to Alaska to train and compete in the Yukon Quest--the world's most grueling dogsled race. Gripping, humorous, and uplifting, Cook captures the howling winds, teeth-grinding temperatures, dangerous storms, and the physical and mental anguish endured by the racers, the families in the sidelines, and the heroic dogs that lead the way.

Available on-line and bookstores for $21.95.

CAMPING BOOK REVIEWS

more soon

CAREER BOOK REVIEWS

Women For Hire's Get-Ahead Guide to Career Success (Perigee Trade Paperback)

In 1999, Tory Johnson, a communicatiions specialist with positiopns at NBC News, ABC News and Nickelodean on her resume, quit her job and founded Women For Hire, a national circuit of career fairs that now draws over 50,000 women and hundreds of the top employers annually. But, she knew that getting the job is only the first step in career happiness. Now, she highlights the next step with Women For Hire's Get-Ahead Guide to Career Success, the ultimate guide to moving a career to the next level--thriving in, advancing, and growing to love a job. Getting a job is a job unto itself- but as many women find, securing the position is only half the battle. Women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn, and though women make up 50% of the work force, 65% of upper management positions are still held by men. How can women climb the corporate ladder successfully? Johnson has helped hundreds of thouands of women find, love, and advance their careers. This book shows women how to make the networking contacts that will help them down the road; self-promote without bragging or alienating colleagues; negotiate for more money, promotions and responsibility; learn the rules of the corporate world and how to use them; and much more. This book is well worth reading.

Available at bookstores and amazon.com for $15.95. For more information visit website www.penguin.com.

La Vida Rica: A Latina's Guide to Success (McGraw-Hill)

Published by McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, this amazing book was written by Yrma Rico. One of seven children of migrant farm workers, Rico picked fruit and cotton at the age of 10 alongside her family. Astounding everyone, she went on to become one of the founders of Entravision, a $425 million communications company that reaches 80 percent of the U.S. Hispanic community. After 25 years of television experience, she moved on to become CEO and President of Weber BMW in California. How she fulfilled her dream to rise from migrant worker to business executive is described beautifully in this book. Rico shares her secrets with readers about how to achieve success without giving up their cultural identify or their humanity. She also offers many inspirational stories of other accomplished Latina businesswomen achieving levels of success they never dreamed of, besides extensive reading and resource lists to motivate Latinas and non-Latinas alike to action. This book is definitely for everyone who wants to learn practical ways to succeed; how to find work that fills the soul; ways to silence the voices of discouragement; how to use cultural advantages to win; how to find a mentor and build a network; and how to give back riches to your community and family. It’s chock full of information--how to create an image that helps you get ahead; go beyond material success to find true happiness; and how to uncover resources of strength, advice, and education to help you reach your goals. This book is easy to read and well worth the time to read it!

In book stores and on-line for $18.95. Check web site www.books.mcgraw-hill.com for more information.

It's Not What You Say: It's How You Say It. How to Prepare and Deliver A Speech (St. Martin's Press)

Are you nervous before delivering a speech? Fear no more -- for author Joan Detz details ways to deliver a memorable speech whether it’s for a large audience, a small group, or even for one person in her newly revised book, Can You Say A Few Words? How to Prepare and Deliver a Speech (St. Martin’s Press). This book covers presentations for a wide variety of special occasions, including toasts for weddings and anniversaries; dedications and ribbon-cuttings; award ceremonies; question-and-answer sessions; eulogies and memorials; job promotion ceremonies; and other miscellaneous occasions.

Available at bookstores or on-line for $13.95.

COOK -- FOOD BOOK REVIEWS

The Green Teen Cookbook - Recipes for all Seasons (Zest Books)

You'll probably agree that the kitchen can be one of the trickiest places for young adults to navigate (and for those who have never prepared a meal) - besides trying to be healthy, eco-minded, and budget-conscioous, and the harder you try, things get more complicated. Happily, this new book helps guide teens through the mysteries of the kitchen and create some amazing meals.

The Green Tee Cookbook offers inspiring tips on how to cut through the chaos of going green as well as master over 70 recipes, including a seasonal key that ensures optimal freshness (and a minimal carbon footprint), so that any teen can become a green culinary expert and learn how to -- shop on a budget; get the most out of your pantry; cook more consciously, eat healthier, and more. There are numerous color photographs throughout the book, which is an all-in-one guide for eating green and eating well and written by teens for teens! And it's for ages 12+.

Published by Zest Books and distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, this 144-pages paperback is available at book stores for $14.99. For more information, please contact web site www.zestbooks.net.

UNQUENCHABLE: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines (Penguin USA)

From Natalie MacLean, the author of the bestselling Red, White and Drunk All Over, comes, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines that will amuse and enthrall with its character sketches of obsessive personalities, travel to gorgeous vineyards, mouth-watering descriptions of food and wine, "hidden" wine education and neurotic humor.

Packed with colorful stories about the passionate personalities who inhabit the world of wine, award-winning wine writer Natalie MacLean whisks you to the mountainside vineyards of Germany, the baked red earth of Australia, and the shady verandahs of Niagara--as well as to scenic, offbeat locations in southern Italy, the Mediterranean, Argentina, Chile and South Africa--all in search of the best value bottles the world has to offer.

Of her journey, Natalie MacLean says, "I've spent the past several years traipsing around the world, visiting wineries, tasting their offerings, and searching for the world's best inexpensive wines. The narrative is as familiar as Arthur's quest for the grail and as naïve as the little bird's plaintive search for the affirmative in Are You My Mother?"

Standing firmly against wine snobbery and using her signature conversational style, MacLean insists that good wine doesn't have to be expensive. There's plenty to take away from her inspired recommendations from food pairings to lists of favorite value wines and wineries, plus plenty of pointers that will deepen your own drinking pleasure.


Natalie MacLean, named the World's Best Drinks Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia, is the only person to have won both the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award from the James Beard Foundation and the M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing from Les Dames d'Escoffier International. Her regular wine columns in print reach 5.1 million readers, her free wine e-newsletter is read by more than 145,000 wine lovers and her mobile applications for iPhone and BlackBerry have been downloaded by more than 160,000 smartphone users. An accredited sommelier, she is the author of Red, White and Drunk All Over, chosen as the Best Wine Literature Book in the English language at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

This 384 pp Trade Paperback published by Penguin USA sells for $15.99 and is available at bookstores and online.

Sizzle Sensational Barbecue Food (JB Julie Biuso Publications)

Award-winning food writer Julie Biuso, offers more than a hundred recipes for the grill -- from starters and sides to main events, sauces, salads, and sweetendings. Photographer Aaron McLean made my mouth water and my stomach growl with his fantastic food photographs. The book also features numerous tips on grilling and the tools to making the most of aromatic herbs or cooking the perfect steak.

This 160 page bookis available at bookstores or on line for $19.95

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills (Robert Rose Inc.)

If you love to cook (home cooking is not only affordable but it allows us to eat better), then lyou know that the one ingredient missing in the kitchen is basic knife skills. Most people have a favorite knife we like to use but do we really know how to use it properly? Now, culinary experts, Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan, have combined their talents to create Zwilling J.A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques & Care. It is a must-have cutlery reference book for everyone who loves to cook. With this book, you'll learn how to hold and use a knife correctly so that you'll not only work more safely, but it will also enable you to work faster and cleaner with less waste making you more efficient. Food will look and taste better, too.

Knowing that everyone learns skills differently, Elliot and DeWan, both experienced chefs and culinary teachers, incorporated a variety of useful tips to make this book easy to use and easy to understand. Each of their techniques and tips contain concise and detailed written instructions, step-by-step photographs, and directed focus (graphics to help keep you on track).

Deciding what knife to use for a specific ingredient or technique can be confusing. For each technique and ingredient in the book, the authors recommend the knife or knives they feel most appropriate for the task. Whether a novice in the kitchen or a master chef, the Complete Book of Knife Skills provides valuable information about an essential kitlchen tool we use every day. The book covers everything you could ever want to know about cutlery, from basic vegetable cuts to creative garnishes to boning meat and everything inbetween. A chapter also provides background information and photos on all the types of knives available, how they are used, and how to care for them.

The book contains more than 1,200 color step-by-step photos clearly illustrating each technique; a concealed wire binding that lies flat, keeping a cook's fingers on the knife where they safely belong; clearly labeled lfull-color illustrations throughout; detailedl instructions on how to hold a knife; basic cuts; the proper techniques for cutting poultry, fish, meats, specific fruits and vegetables and garnishes. You'll also learn how to set up your work station; basic knife safety measures; how to hold a chef's knife; how to hold your guide hand and much, much more.

Available for $34.95 at book stores everywhere or amazon.com.

300 Big & Bold Barbecue & Grilling Recipes (Robert Rose Inc.)

Just in time for the warm weather, a great new book -- 300 BIG & BOLD BARBECUE & GRILLING RECIPES -- is out. But don't think it's just for warm weather, because I - like many of my friends - barbeque year-round. Why get the kitchen hot and messy when you can do the cooking outdoors? This book, written by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig (best-selling authors known nationally as The BBQ Queens TM) will certainly whet your appetite - for the collection of recipes for the barbeque, grill, and smoker shares the best-kept secrets from around the world with bold flavors from an international pantry. The authors call it "global goes local" with any barbeque, rilling, or smoking technique from anywhere in the world, that can be done at home in your own backyard.

"The key to delicious results is building the bold flavor before, during, and after barbecuing," say Karen and Judith.  "For example, if you want your rib eye steak to have a blackened exterior and a rare interior, you need a good rub on your steak, a hot fire in close proximity to your meat, and a short cooking time." Here, you'll find tips and techniques from basic grilling and smoking to special variatins on each. The recipes are easy to prepare, whether you're a novice griller or seasoned pro. Detailed advice is clear on grilling as well as specialty techniques including herb grilling; how to add a kiss of smoke to your meat and vegetables; leaf-wrapping; stir-grilling; planking and spit-roasting. Unique dishes described in the book include Aussie Paperbark Pork with Lemon Myrtle Chutney; Moroccan Chicken with Apricot and Pistachio Couscous; Balinese Shrimp Satay on Lemongrass Stalks; Herbes de Provence Wood-Grilled Rabbit;   Cuban-Style Suckling Pig;  Persian Grilled Quail Breasts; Korean Bulgogi with Kimchee and much more.

Also included are the backyard favorites, such as Blue Ribbon Pulled Pork; Championship BBQ Spareribs;  Memphis Piggy Sandwiches with Vinegar Coleslaw; Texas-Style Beef Brisket with Brazos Mop and Smoked Chile Barbecue Sauce; and other tasty dishes. The authors point out that barbecue does not mean only meat.  As we strive to eat healthier, we can enjoy more lean dishes that include fish, vegetables, and fruit. Karen and Judith have included chapters devoted to fish and shellfish, as well fruits, salads, and sandwiches with recipes such as Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Lemon Truffle Oil; Martini Smoked Salmon; Wood-Grilled Trout; and too many more to list here. For those new to barbecuing, the authors have devoted a section of the book called "Mastering the Art of the Barbecue: with chapters detailing grilling, smoking, planking and techniques such as leaf wrapping and equipment. Of course, there's also detailed information on rubs and sauces.

This book is available for $24,.95 at bookstores and on-line.

Third Edition Game Recipes Booklet

Wild game cooks are constantly on the hunt for new ways to add variety to their menus, especially when the freezer’s full from a bountiful season. The folks at Lawry’s Foods have made that search easier with the release of their newest collection of recipes to add versatility and flair to wild game, fowl and fish. The Third Edition Game Recipes Booklet features 20 “blue-ribbon” recipes from members of the Outdoor Writers Association of America along with some of Lawry’s favorites, including Lawry’s classic Homemade Jerky recipe, a sure-fire crowd pleasers and tasty snack for camping or in the field. Recipes like Hickory Grilled Game Tenderloin, Dijon and Honey Ribs, Thai Ginger Wild Turkey Salad, Mesquite Grilled Redfish and Caribbean Style Duck Stir Fry entice the tastebuds and offer something to please everyone’s palate.

For a free copy of Lawry’s new game recipes booklet, call 1-800-248-9687 or write to Lawry’s Game Recipes Booklet, c/o The Walker Agency, PO Box 14390, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-4390.

The Hunter's Table, The Countrysport Book of Wild Game Cuisine (Countrysport Press)

Okay. You’ve had a successful hunting trip and bagged your quota of wild game meat, fish, and fowl, but do you know the best way to prepare it? With a copy of "The Hunter’s Table, The Countrysport Book of Wild Game Cuisine" on hand, you’ll have 150 of Chef Richard Blondin’s favorite recipes ranging from simple preparations that are typical of French home cooking to more elaborate dishes. Many of these are served in the finest restaurants for prices that sky rocket toward the sky. Included are American-style recipes as well, such as Sweet and Spicy Venison Meatloaf and Garlic and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes. His Cabernet-Drenched Wild Elk Stew with Pearl Onions and Tarragon Pot-Roasted Small Duck dinner is fantastic. You’ll learn how to buy game meats over the Internet if you’re not having good luck out in the field; as well as how to make yummy soups, side dishes, desserts, and other enhancements for fine or casual game dining.

Available at book stores or from Countrysport Press, Craig Industrial Park, Building 116, Selina, AL 36701.

Complete Magma Grill Guide and Cookbook (Magma Products)

The sixth edition of Magma Products' popular "Complete Magma Grill Guide and Cookbook" is available and now updated to coincide with the release of Magma's new Marine Kettle 2 series and the new Gourmet series of gas grills. More than just a cookbook, authors Jim and Jeanne Vaughn have put together 130 pages of easy-to-prepare recipes, techniques and insider tips on how to get the most enjoyment out of onboard grilling. The guide was written for both amateur and professional chefs who own and use Magma grills. The Vaughns are long-time boaters and grilling aficionados, and the Magma Grill Guide guides users through full-course meals, from appetizers to dessert.

Magma Products is the world’s largest manufacturer of all-stainless steel grills and the only major supplier of US-made onboard boat grills. The product line includes onboard boat grills, residential stainless steel grills, grilling accessories, propane accessories, serving tables, fishing and filet tables, stainless steel cookware, boat umbrellas, stabilizers and outriggers.

This book retails for $9.95, and is available at various dealers. For more information, or the name of the nearest dealer, contact Magma Products 3940 Pixie Ave., Lakewood, CA 90712; 562-627-0500; e-mail to Mail@MagmaProducts.com, or check web site www.MagmaProducts.com

Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More: 200 Anytime Treats and Special Sweets from Morning to Midnight (Clarkson Potter Publishers)

Hmmm, it's freezin outdoors, but it's so delightfully warm in the kitchen when you're baking something yummy. Carole Walter, renowned baker and cookbook author, has put togethr a collection of recipes guaranteed to warm anyone's heart in this, her latest cookbook - Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More: 200 Anytime Treats and Special Sweets from Morning to Midnight (Clarkson Potter Publishers). You'll find 200 foolproof recipes perfect to make at home and enjoy with family and friends. Whether it's pound cakes, coffee cakes, muffins, and other quick breads to scones, sweet biscuits, Bundt cakes, and babkas, Carole guides novice and expert bakers alike through irresistible treats and delights. Her signature 'At-a-Glance' boxes outline baking pan sizes, oven temperatures, baking times, and any special equipment needed -- plus the book contains general information on outfittign home kitchens for baking, common ingredients, and techniques. The chapters are filled with enticing recipes, many of which can be made quickly. Chapters include perfect pound cakes, home-style coffee cakes, muffins and quick breads, biscuits and scones, strudel then and now, coffee break bites and much more.

You'll also find loads of information on making plum-topped pound cake squares, Irish whiskey cake with midnight chocolate glaze, sour cream marble cake, chocolate chip scones, sweet potato drop biscuits, and much more.

Available in hardcover with jacket at bookstores or online for $35. For more information, contact Ms. Walter at www.CaroleWalter.com.

Simply Summer: Gourmet Meals Made Deliciously Easy With Tips for Elegant Living

If you can't fathom the thought of cooking in a steamy hot kitchen and have to resort to eating yet another boring salad or sandwich this summer, help is on the way! Former chef and Renaissance Gourmet Angela Tunner has created the versatile and accessible "Simply Summer" cookbook to save you from those dog days of summer doldrums.

Tunner's "no-cook cooking" approach that is for every busy parent, professional and home cook, is about providing abundant, quality meals that bring families together around the table so that they can regroup and reconnect in body, mind and soul. Simply Summer offers a vast number of handy tips, including invaluable shopping lists for each recipe, to make cooking in the heat a low-wattage, cool affair. Her unfussy, gourmet-recipe laden book offers everyone delectable dishes that eschew the heat of stoves or ovens for small kitchen appliances. This is perfect for the sweltering summer days, which scientists agree has everything to do with increasing greenhouse gases being emitted into our environment.

Tunner emplys toaster ovens, microwaves, blenders and other small kitchen appliances that use up to 75% less energy than a large electric oven in preparing simple recipes made with easily available ingredients found in neighborhood markets.

Additional tips in this book include dishes easy enough for the novice cook and enjoyable enough for the more serious amateur; tips on how to organize your kitchen for more effective cooking; and handy measurement conversion charts - and a whole lot more!

Available at $21.95 for order only online at www.angelatunner.com.

Complete Magma Grill Guide and Cookbook (Magma Products Co.)

The sixth edition of Magma Products' popular "Complete Magma Grill Guide and Cookbook" is now available.  The guide was updated to coincide with the release of Magma's new Marine Kettle 2 series and the new Gourmet series of gas grills.

More than just a cookbook, authors Jim and Jeanne Vaughn have put together 130 pages of easy-to-prepare recipes, techniques and insider tips on how to get the most enjoyment out of onboard grilling.  The guide was written for both amateur and professional chefs who own and use Magma grills.  The Vaughns are long-time boaters and grilling aficionados, and the Magma Grill Guide guides users through full-course meals, from appetizers to dessert.

Magma Products is the world’s largest manufacturer of all-stainless steel grills and the only major supplier of US-made onboard boat grills.  The product line includes onboard boat grills, residential stainless steel grills, grilling accessories, propane accessories, serving tables, fishing and filet tables, stainless steel cookware, boat umbrellas, stabilizers and outriggers.

This book is available at bookstores and sporting goods stores for $9.95 or, for the name of the nearest marine supply dealer, contact Magma Products 3940 Pixie Ave., Lakewood, CA 90712; 562-627-0500; Mail@MagmaProducts.com; or check web site www.MagmaProducts.com

DIET BOOK REVIEWS

From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself Into a Weapon of Mass Reduction (Hound Press)

Author Carole Carson was once an ordinary person seeking extraordinary weight loss. She struggled to shed pounds and keep them off. She hated feeling isolated and thinking about fat and calories all day long, but she was unable to enjoy life to the fullest as a chronic dieter. Now she's a svelte size 6 from a previous 18, with friends and neighbors who are also thinner, healthier and happier. She has a renewed sense of community and discovered a 'new' proven method to lose weight forever. . . the old-fashioned way with a twist.

Before turning 60, she remade her life, chronicled her 62-pound weight loss in weekly newspaper articles and inspired more than 1,000 ordinary people in her community to team up and lose nearly 8,000 pounds in two months. Her book - From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction - is where she shares her weight loss journey and shows readers how to embark on the same program that's proven to drop weight, boost fitness and enhance community spirit.

Read about her seven-step process for shaping up without subscribing to any particular diet or exercise; her road map for creating a personal fitness program with coworkers, neighbors, friends and family; tips for integrating the program into daily life and ideas on transforming weight-loss strategies into high-quality fun.

Available in bookstores and on-line. For details contact www.houndpress.com.

ENTERTAINMENT -- AT HOME OR AWAY

Easy Entertaining (Fell Publications)

If you always have out-of-town friends dropping in, rather than worry about how to impress them, by having a copy of  Easy Entertaining (Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc.) on hand, you’ll have all the answers in this easy-to-read Official Know-It-All Guide™. Written by Edith Gilbert, it’s filled with a variety of menus and recipes; month-by-month party themes; ideas for invitations and place cards, table setting know-how; and great information for unique entertaining -- whether it’s a back-yard luau, holiday party, or sit-down dinner. Learn how to budget time and energy; mix and match menus and recipes; which wine to serve; and even how to select a caterer if you don’t want to do the preparation yourself. Guaranteed to take the stress out of hosting, the 250 pages offer fresh ideas ranging from the simplest to the most elegant dining for the novice or experienced host.

Available at book stores for $16.95. For mail order, check web site www.fellpub.com..

EXERCISE BOOKS

Dr. Lisa: Yoga Blast -- DVD (Acacia)

This is the first fitness DVD from the co-host of the Emmy Award-winning TV show The Doctors, and Features three, 20-minute total body workouts with blasts of strength and cardio. Dr. Lisa Masterson knows how to stay healthy while fitting exercise into a busy schedule, and designed these efficient workouts alongside nationally certified health and wellness instructor Elise Joan. The DVD has lively dance moves, empowering strength exercises, and invigorating stretches to suit any lifestyle. After trying Yoga Blast, I felt much better, more flexible and energetic, and stronger.

In exercising along with Yoga Blast, you can burn calories and lose inches as you gain strength and confidence. Dr. Lisa demonstrates her favorite moves in these three 20-minute workouts of low-impact exercises.

Available for $16.99 at select retailers, catalong companies, on line from www.amazon.com/acacia, and direct from Acacia at 800-944-0474 or www.AcaciaLifestyle.com.

The Female Athlete's Body Book (McGraw-Hill)

Written by Gloria Beim, M.D. and Ruth Winter, this book is loaded with sound advice for girls and women of all ages on how to compete at their highest level while staying healthy and injury-free. Dr. Beim, one of the nation's top orthopedic surgeons and an accomplished athlete, describes common ijuries, explains why they occur more often in females, and how these injuries can be prevented or properly treated. Written clearly by Ruth Winter, an award-winning health writer, this book is, thankfully, printed in type large enough to prevent eyestrain. Chapters include body part-specific exercises aimed at both enhancing performance and overcoming potential physical vulnerabilities; information about the influences of puberty, menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy; nutrition and training tips for top performance and lifelong health; and what to do if injuries occur.

Readers will gain much knowledge on how to avoid injury when engaging in basketball, soccer, volleyball, softball, tennis, racquetball, lacrosse, field hockey, skiing and snowboarding. Other sports discussed include ice-skating and ice hockey, swimming, scuba diving, biking, rock climbing, walking and running, and golf. Mature athletes will find lots of tips, and photos of valuable conditioning exercises will be a great help to those injured in sports-related activities.

Available at bookstores or on-line for $16.95

FIRST-AID BOOKS

The Pocket First-Aid Field Guide (Wild River Press)

Having fallen down the steps leading to my den, I learned, first-hand, how important a book on first-aid is -- and when it's as small as The Pocket First-Aid Field Guide, it can be carried in a pocket, on your boat, on a camping or fishing trip, just about everywhere.

Being self-sufficient in an emergency situation can be a matter of life or death - whether you're camping with your family, fishing or hunting with a friend, or outside chopping firewood. Dr. George Dvorchak's thorough pocket guide goes beyond basic CPR and bee sting treatments. Small enough to carry in your backpack, it's jammed with detailed descriptions of ailments and how to care for them, anatomy lessons, preventive fitness strategies, and body conditioning tips. No matter what you do, inside or outside, this book is a must to have on hand.

In it, you'll learn how to fend off hypothermia with high-energy foods; attend to teeth, mouth and eye injuries; make a proper splint for large or small bones; take care of all types of wounds - from gunshots to punctures and lacerations; handle snake bites and poisonous plant allergies; recognize and manage high-altitude sickness and heat sroke; implement vital P.R.I.C.E., treatment steps when attending to sprains, strains, and fractures.

Also discusses are common footwear myths, and Dr. Dvorchak ells how to snakeproof or waterproof your shoes, and presents a practical checklist for developing your own first-aid kit.

This excellent, informative and easy-to-read book is available for $9.95 at bookstores, on-line or from Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 555 Eighth Avenue, Suite 903, New York 10018; 212-643-6816. For details check web site www.skyhorsepublishing.com.

FISHING

How To Catch the Biggest Trout Of Your Life (Wild River Press) --

will surely enhance any angler’s experience. Author Landon Mayer provides precise easy-to-understand instructions on how to locate, hook and land huge trout. The colorful photographs alone are a delight, while the chapters include topics such as understanding trophy trout; how to read the water; casting techniques; fighting an oversized trout; gearing up, plus many more valuable hints.

This 159-page book is available for $29.95 at bookstores, online, or from Wild River Press, P.O. Box 13360, Mill Creek, WA 98082; 425-486-3638

The Complete Book of Saltwater Fishing (Burford Books)

Anyone, even a novice like me, could enjoy and learn from Milt Rosko's revised and updated edition - The Complete Book of Saltwater Fishing. Here, in a single volume, is everything the saltwater angler needs to know - from a longtime saltwater authority. "Saltwater fishing," notes Rosko, "can be as varied as fishing offshore for big-game billfish with heavy rod and reel, to wading shallow bays with light tackle or the fly rod." His book covers it all, whether fishing from boats, from shore, from jetties and bridges, and more. Everything you need to know is covered - the tackle you'll need and how to use it, what baits and lures to select for different species, the fifty most sought-after altwater gamefish, and lots more, including recipes for preparing the catch, notes on introducing kids to the world of saltwater fishing, and thoughts on important conservation issues that affect everyone who fishes the saltwater.

The revised and updated edition from the original 2001 publication incorporates current trends in tackle, technique and conservation.

This 352-page book sells for $19.95 and is available in bookstores, online book retailers, tackle shopos, or direct from the publisher, Burford Books at www.burfordbooks.com. Publication date 2013.

Gone Fishing (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

This is a book for middle graders, but I'm an adult and was enchanted while reading it. Written by Tamera Will Wissinger and illustrated by Matthew Cordell, it's a fun novel in verse about the excitment of a fishing trip and the annoyance of little sisters. Sam, who is 9, loves fishing with his dad. In one verse, he says, "For fishing tomorrow/it's just us two./Not Mom, not Grandpa,'not Lucy./It'll be like playing catch or/painting the garage./Just dad and me./Fishing." So when his pesky little sister, Lucy, horns in on their fishing trip, Sam is not pleased. Despite the unwanted guest, Catfish Sam captures a day of adventure in his net--and in verse.

When read together, Wissinger's poems build a dawn-to-dusk story of a father-son bond and of sibling harmony lost and found. It's clear that young readers will relate to Sam's initial frustration with Lucy, relishing in his fishy curse: "May a seagull dive and swoo9p/And drop a bombshell in your soup./May you grow a knee-length beard/So your friends all think you're weird./If you take my gear/May your bones quake, SAM IS NEAR." In the end, Lucy proves to be an asset than a hassle and Sam learns to appreciat Lucy. Each poem is labeled with its proper poetic form, plus great line drawings animate the poetry with humor and drama, and the extensive Poet's Tackle Box at the end makes this the perfect primer to hook aspiring poets of all ages.

For ages 6 to 9, 128 pages, and available at bookstores or on-line. For more information contact Houghton Mifflin Books for Children at 222 Berkeley Street, Boston, Mass. 02116; 617-351-5000 or go to website www.hmhbooks.com.

How To Catch the Biggest Trout of Your Life (Wild River Press)

Spring is almost here and, for many, that means thoughts of a fly-fishing vacation – especially for the angler who dreams of catching a tasty trout. Reading How To Catch the Biggest Trout Of Your Life (Wild River Press) will surely enhance any angler’s experience. Author Landon Mayer provides precise easy-to-understand instructions on how to locate, hook and land huge trout. The colorful photographs alone are a delight, while the chapters include topics such as understanding trophy trout; how to read the water; casting techniques; fighting an oversized trout; gearing up, plus many more valuable hints.

      This 159-page book is available for $29.95 at bookstores, online, or from Wild River Press, P.O. Box 13360, Mill Creek, WA 98082; 425-486-3638

How to Rig Plastic Worms (Catchmore Publications)

The booklet, "How to Rig Plastic Worms," has been revised, up-dated and enlarged, and now shows -- through clear drawings -- how to rig plastic worms, grubs, lizards, crayfish and tube lures in 86 different ways. The rigs can be used not only catch bass, but also for many other fresh-water fish, while a few of the rigs can also be used to catch panfish. Other rigs are good for catching numerous salt-water fish.

The plastic worms and other plastic lures are very versatile lures that can be cast, trolled, jigged and used on the surface or along the bottom or depths in-between. These lures are inexpensive and can be fished in heavy cover-weeds, brush, sunken trees, among rocks, boulders and crawled along the bottom. Best of all, if a plastic worm gets hung up and you ose it, it's easy and inexpensive to just reach for another one nd continue fishing!

There's also a chapter in the booklet describing how to use plastic worms in fresh water for bass and other fish, plus a chapter describing how to use plastic worms and other plastic lures for salt-water fish. The author states that in order to become a good plastic worm angler, you have to know how to rig them in multiple ways and how to fish and work with them at various depths and under changing conditions. He suggests rigging plastic worms and other plastic lures during the winter months or before you go fishing, and suggests bringing along plenty on a fishing trip.

Written and illustrated by Vlad Evanoff, the booklet can be ordered by mail postpaid from Catchmore, Box 770036, Coral Springs, Fl. 33077.

Fishing New Jersey: A Guide for Freshwater Anglers (Burford Books)

Fishing New Jersey: A Guide for Freshwater Anglers (Burford Books, Short Hills, NJ) is a detailed guide to fishing New Jersey's fresh waters -- from rivers as large as the Delaware, as interesting as the Mustconetcong, or as intimate as Bergen County's Bear Swamp Brook. It also covers Lake Hopatcong and many dozens of others, including easy-access suburban locations. You'll learn where to fish, how to get to the right spot, and the tackle and techniques sure to put fish on the line. Seasoned anglers as well as the novice will delight in the numbers new opportunities.

Available at bookstores and specialty retailers throughout New Jersey or from the publisher, Burford Books, 32 Morris Avenue, Springfield, NJ 07081, 973-258-0960; www.burfordbooks.com.

Book of Practical Fishing Knots (Stackpole Books)

The Book of Practical Fishing Knots (Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA), will keep you entertained for hours. Written by international knot expert Geoffrey Budworth, it features easy-to-fllow, step-by-step diagrams and instructions for tying more than 75 knots for use in all forms of fishing. Don't fish? No problem -- because learning how to tie these knots is both fun and a challenge for all ages. Some knots are easy, others are difficult, but the over 280 illustrations and 140 full-color photograhs are very helpful teaching tools. Budworth also goes into the history and use for each knot. For example, the Turtle knot dating back to 1841 was made popular by a Major Turtle in England. The simplest of nooses and now outmoded, it remains the basis for several more robust variants. The Angler's loop is a reliable knot for just about any kind of line or leader, while the Triple Palomar knot is recommended for tying the latest hi-tech, super lines to metal rings and hooks because it's strong, highly slip-resistant, and can be tied in fairly heavy lines.

This book is available at bookstores, sports stores and online. For more information, contact Stackpole Books, 5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055; www.stackpolebooks.com.

FITNESS BOOKS

Solid To The Core-Simple Exercises to Increase Core Stength & Flexibility (Newharbinger Publications)

According to the author, Janique Farand-Taylor, 'like your house, your body needs a strong foundation to support it. In your body, this foundation is made up of your core, a set of muscles and muscle groups that extend from the base of your spne to the area around your pelvis, including the muscles of your abdominal wall and back. Exercises that strengthen these muscles will foster stability and support for all activities you engage in--from carrying groceries to training for competitive sports." In thi book you're find a customizable, progressive program of exericses you can use to strengthen your core. As you blend these exercises into your own personal ftness program, you'll learn to overcome your personal weaknesses and muscle imbalances, reducing pain and risk of stress injuries in the process. Soon, says Farand-Taylor, you'll discover the power and efficency that can come from having a strong and stable core.

This 220-page book includes dozens of photos with the exercise positions explained. It is available for $14.95 at bookstores and on-line.

The Family Fitness Fun Book (Hatherleigh Press)

Regular physical activity can greatly enhance the quality of life. But, as every family knows, staying fit isn't easy to balance with all the other important activities that go on every day. The Family Fitness Fun Book gives families a reason to turn off the TV and get together, filling childhood memories with adventure and activities instead of television programs and video games. The book is proof that a family that stays fit together has fun together. Families can use this book to get ideas for games and togetherness, all the while staying in shape. Space won't be a problem either because this book provides creative activities for every type of weather, space and age group. Keeping the entire family in shape is imporltant, even gyms and spas are finding ways to include children. But staying fit doesn't have to cost a fortune and it's time to spend precious time with the family by having fun and staying fit. This book includes classic games and new favorites and will remind you of your favorite games as a child, so that you can share them with your own familys -- plus learn new games that your children can pass on to their own families one day. A few of the games from the dozens in the book and activities include Blindman's Bluff; Stone Teacher; Steal the Bacon; Walk the Plank; Snow Hurdles; Simon Says; Close Shave Shortcut. Written by Rose R. Kennedy who is a badminton aficionado and has coached for the American Youth Soccer Organization, it is a must for every family.

This book, at $16.95 paperback, is 192 pages and can be found in bookstores everywhere or on amazon.com. For more information contact Hatherleigh Press at web site www.healthylivingbooks.com.

FUN BOOKS

The Wonderful Adventures of Ozzie the Sea Otter (Bay Publishing, Inc.)

This is the riveting story of a young sea otter on the endangered species list, learning about life and the world from his mother, on an adventurous journey through the ocean from California to Alaska. Author Nora Dohike tells the tale through the eyes of Ozzie, the young sea otter learning about life from his mother - including the virtues and character and the dangers and joys of the world around him.

Ozzie's mom taught him how otters stay warm, how his cousins who live in Alaska are able to survive in a climate so cold. Ozzie, being very curious, wanders off from his mother as she dives for clams for his supper. He then meets weveral other wild creatures who live near his California home, and is bitten by an angry crab and ends up lost and alone. Find out what happens to him, how a pelican helps him, and how he learns about obedience.

This fine book is available on-line or at bookstores for $19.95. For more information contact Bay Publishing at 707-498-5189, or write to Bay Publishing at 1905 Fairfield Street, Eureka, CA 95501.

Tattoo A Banana and Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything into Art (Berkley Publishing Group)

You'll love this book by Phil Hansen, a successful commerical artist and YouTube sensation who creates art out of everyday objects, and has shared his creative approach in this interactive guide to creating art out of just about anything -- even a banana! There are numerous illustrations and instructions throughout this inspiring and entertaining handbook that takes you inside the mind of a groundbreaking artist, as well as encouraging everyone to create, reimagine, and discover the joy of making something.

Each project is made out of easy-to-find supplies and can be fun for adults and children alike. There is something for everyone to enjoy, including -- Make a person out of Styrofoam cups, or the Mona Lisa out of cookie dough; create a digital signature with alphabet soup, or a text message with Scrabble pieces; or color-by-numbers usig pudding, draw with uncooked pasta and make 'stained glass' out of gummy bears - plus so much more.

Each project is outlined step-by-step and Hansen even has easy-to-follow videos of a few of the projects on his web site philinthewaaat.com.

Available on-line or at bookstores for $15. For questions visit web site www.us.penguingroup.com.

Where Do the Animals Go When It Rains? by Janet Crown

First time author Janet Crown has written this fine book co-authored with her children. It took years of imaginary story telling to her children every night at bedtime before she was ready to tell the stories to children and their parents throughout the nation. First, Crown and her children would pick an animal together, tuck into bed, and create a story where the animals lived and what their world was like through a child's point of view. They'd then make up rhymes about their surroundings and what happens to the animals when it rained. It all came together in this lovely book with illustrations by Daron Rosenberg.

Some of the themes include the myriad of weather and the effects on animals with climate change; imagination has no boundaries; reading with children is the best commonality and connector for all ages; learning about animals from all over the world; and bonding time with child/parent.

I read Crown's book to my grandchildren who loved the stories as much as I did. It's a winner!

Where Do the Animals Go When It Rains? is available at www.amazon.com. For more information on the author, check web site www.burn60.com.

Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects (Zest Books)

This book isn't only for kids to have fun with, but for people of all ages. It's also for creative teens looking for a fun way to express their creativity, without breaking the bank. Author Sophie Maletsky did a fine job of instructing anyone, from novice to expert, on how to enjoy the 70+ fresh duct tape project ideasd for making everything from cell phone holders to backpacks, jewelry, bags, wallets and much more.

Sticky Fingers is a step-by-step guide for resalizing one's potential as a duct tape crafter. Beginning with the basics of brands and types of tapes, through essential techniques, and on to detailed projects for home, for school and to wear, this book gives the reader everything they need to know to create fantastic-looking duct tape projects.

You'll find duct tape almost everywhere in new colors and designs coming out sll the time. And, the author shows readers exactly how to transform this everyday item into a fabulous crafting medium. Dozens of photographs are featured alongside the step-by-step directions that make creating these projects simple. She notes the level of difficulty for each project, along with the time it will take, gives helpful hints and tips, and special ideas for personalization.

Some of the creations include: Locker organizers, book covers and folders; cell phone cases, tablet cases and messinger bags, bangles, beads and jewelry; purses, wallets and clutches; bags, bookmarks, and more.

This excellent 240 page book suitable for age 12 and up, is $16.99 and available in bookstores or on-line and is disttributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. For more information contact Zest Books, 35 Stillman Street, Suite 121, San Francisco, CA 94107 or web site www.zestbooks.net.

My Grandma Lives in Florida (Applewood Books)

Author Ed Shankman and illustrator Dave O'Neill have done a fantastic job in creating this fun book for children ages two to seven. In this book - My Grandma Lives in Florida - young readers can follow a child on his visit to his grandmother's house in Florida. The book uses Seussian rhymes and rhythms, affectionate humor, and dazzling illustrations to present a child's-eye view of the grandmother/grandson relationship. Although meant for young children, I loved reading the book and admired the colorful illustrations - and, my grandchild keeps asking me to read the book to him over and over again.

The book is also permeated by Florida's sunny disposition. One fine example reads "That sun warms each beach it can reach/And rest assured, it reaches each/It shines on every manatee/From Tampa Bay to Longboat Key." Both men believe this fable will capture the hearts of children and grandmother's everwhere (It did mine!). O'Neill believes that "There's a special bond between kids and their grandparents. It's the warm hugs and the tiny little moments. It's that secret little extra piece of candy, and knowing where they hide the treats. Your grandparents are basically your first best friends. It's friendship and it's unconditional love and homemade apple pie."

Young and old are certain to enjoy this book -- as well as other books by Shankman and o'Neill, including "The Boston Balloonies, The Cods of Cape Cod, Champ and Me by the Maple Tree, The Bourbon Street Band is Back, and I Met A Moose in Maine One Day.

Published by Commonwealth Editions, an imprint of Applewood Books, this book and others by the author and illustrator are available on-line and bookstores for $14.95. For more information contact Applewood Books, 1 River Road, Carlisle, MA 01741; 781-271-0055.

Don't Forget The Duct Tape (The Mountaineers Books)

This is a terrific book filled with ingenious uses for duct tape plus the 11 other items in your outdoor gear repair kit. For example, got a gash on your rain jacket or backpack? Tape it up with duct tape. Forgot your sunglasses leash? Your spoon? You can construct just about anything with a little imagination and a bit of duct tape. When your pack's hip belt starts chaffing during a trip, tape a tee shirt or some other piece of soft clothing to each pad of the hip belt. And, if you've touched a cactus and the needle is killing you? Simply press a piece of duct tape to the spine-covered body part and pull the spines out with one fell swoop.

Written by Kristin Hosteller, she shares tips on how to care for and repair outdoor fabrics, zippers, boots, packs, tents, sleeping bags and pads, stoves, water filters, and cookware. Don't retire your gear, she says, before it's time. Save a bundle of money using simple duct tape and eliminate the possibility of being on a trip when your equipment fails. The author also tells how to build an inexpensive 12-item repair kit that, once assembled, weighs only a pound or two; plus gives tips on selecting quality gear, preventive care, plus more valuable ideas. You'll also learn how to make a sturdy zipper pull with duct tape, how to reglue a boot sole, plus much more.

This book, easy-to-carry in your backpack has 88 pages and sells for $6.95.

A Housekeeper Is Cheaper Than A Divorce: Why You Can Afford to Hire Help and How to Get It (Life Tools Press)

Disputes between husbands and wivs over the division of household labor are a leading cause of marital strife. It's a fact that women spend an average of 35 hours per week doing chores like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and laundry, while their husbands spend less than nine. Even when work is divided equitably, how do busy families fit in the equivalent of a full-time job and still have time for more interesting and fun activities?

In this book, author Kathy Fitzgerald Sherman presents a solution that's been largely overlooked for at leasst a couple of generations--delegating those chores to a paid worker. Despite the cultural myths that label household hlp as a luxury only for the wealthy, Sherman shows that hiring help can be not only an effective time-management tool, but also the bests economic decision for a family. She offers many ideas for rearranging budgets to hire the help that will give busy women time to earn more income; continue their education; start a business; enjoy relationships with spouse, children, family and friends; exercise, pursue hobbies; perform volunteer work; participate in church activities; get needed sleep and much more. In the end, you learn why and how a housekeeper is cheaper than a divorce.

This 256 pages book includes an index, resources, appendices, checklists, worksheets, and notes. It's available in bookstores nationwide or by calling 877-333-5545 or from www.lifetoolspress.com.

Bowling For Dummies (Wiley Publishing)

Millions of people bowl, and is a sport that anyone can play, enjoyed year-round, and is easy to learn. Whether you're a novice or expert, Bowling for Dummies by A.J. Forrest and Lisa Iannucci will help to improve your overall score, in addition to help you learn about different facets of the game. The book emphasizes practicing over and over again - even if you belong to a bowling league, and encourages you to go at least once a week to brush up on your skills. It doesn't matter if you practice alone or with friends; just focus on things including fine-tuning your form, improving your strike ball, or making certain spares. Bowling for Dummies offers lots of tips on how to improve your approach, your throw, releasing the ball at the right time, and much more. Also, it describes how to analyize your hook, choose the right ball, understanding how the lane is oiled, and how to consistently get a strike. There are also tips on how to take care of your body and your mind.

Available at local bookstores and online from amazon.com, barnes & noble and other outlets for $19.99. For more information, contact Wiley at 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030.

Penny and the Penguin (Createspace.com)

Author Kirin Daugharty encourages her young readers to think outside the box in her new children's book, "Penny and the Penguin," and to stretch their imaginations in a fun and creative way. According to Daugharty, she says her 'fun and educational book will bring parents and children together to read and learn interesting facts about penguins. And, she has succeeded in her quest -- for in reviewing this fun book, I learned things I didn't know - proving the book is just as valuable for adults as for children.

You'll lern where the penguins can be found, how many species of penguins there are, their special characteristics, and much more. The story is about a young girl named, of course, Penny, who tries to teach a penguin how to fly. She doesn't realize that penguins already have this talent, but just do it under the water. The theme of Penny's underlying situation is that there is more than one way to look at things, and the author believes this message is what also separates her book from other childrens' books. "This one," she notes, "asks the reader to look at something that seems commonplace and see how extraordinary it really is."

Beautiful drawings accompany this book which is available at amazon.com and other channels.

For more information go to web site www.kirind.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/pages/Penny-and-the-Penguin/209691769112461 or e-mail the author at DaughartyKirin@gmail.com.

Available from the author at DaughartyKirin@gmail.com or from amazon.com for $9.99

Table Topics Fun Games For Adults & Children

Are you having trouble getting your children to converse? Want to know how to break the ice at a cocktail hour and enrich dinner parties? Table Topics has come up with a unique idea and fun game with editions for adults, families, teens, couples, women, and more. By using Table Topics, you'll be able to make the most out of the conversations that happen around us every day, no matter where we are or who we are.

What's this all about? Each Table Topics ultramodern cube holds 135 clever cards, each posing a different question -- some humorous, some serious, and all of them entertaining. The Original Edition (red) was created for adults, but is appropriate for all ages and is a host's best friend guaranteed to entertain in even the most awkward situations -- because the fun, thought-p0rovoking questions will ensure lively conversation around your dinner table or at parties.

The Family edition (green) allows us to connect with our children in a fun way over a family meal. This will get the conversation flowing at mealtimes, bedtime or in the car. The fun mix of questions ranges from silly to thought-provoking to entertaining.

The Teen edition (orange) sparks fun, interesting and meaningful chats on the phone, at parties, on dates, on road trips, etc. Roll with laughter finding out secrets about your closest friends, such as "What's the best birthday party you can imagine?" "Could you get straight A's next year if you were offered one million dollars?"

There are many more editions -- Girls Night Out; Couples; Spirit; Book Club; and Gourmet. These portable conversation starters make the most of time spent with family and friends, and the questions come in a neat slipcasse, making it easy to take anywhere.

Prices start at $5.50 depending on the topic. Found at bookstores or direct from Tabletopics Inc., 66 Martha Road, Suite 200, Orinda, CA 94563. For more details check web site tabletopics.com.

How to Draw A Clam    (Clarkson Publishers)                                       

I received a copy of How to Draw a Clam by Joy Sikorski (Clarkson Publishers) as a gift. Its strange title intrigued me and, at first, I thought it was a children’s book. Wrong. I quickly discovered it is for all ages, and one of the most original, delightful books I’ve come across in ages. Author Sikorski’s announcement on the first page reads: “If you believe that one should always be on vacation as a matter of principle…This Book is For You. You shall see why.” And I certainly did, for she’s divided the book into various topics, such as “How to know if you need a vacation; Sand, Escapes, Escape Plan, Deciding Where to Go, Quests, Travel Journal, Bumpy road, Vacationers, Travel Cross-country, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Money, Up North, Down East, Down South, Oceans & a Cruise, and Billboards.” I appreciated the bibliography, helpful index, the chapter on Coming Back Home, and especially Sikorski’s fine illustrations and wonderful sense of humor.

This book is definitely FUN and educational. For example, in the chapter on Sands, she illustrates what Sands of the World look like and you can visually see the various sand textures in Great Salt Lake, Utah; Clearwater Beach, Florida; Green Sand Beach, Hawaii; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia, etc. Through her unique drawings, Sikorski teaches readers how to skip -- whether we’ve forgotten how or never learned, so we can get into a vacation mood. If you can’t leave on vacation right now, the ‘High Adventure” tips will allow you take a stay-at-home mini-vacation. Sikorski suggests, “Go for a ride in an elevator – invite friends along.” “Coming upon a grassy slope, follow Samuel Johnson’s example: Lie down at the top of the hill and ‘have a roll.”  Or, for Day Escape 1, “try a Snow Cone – Place a towel on the roof, an icy pink beverage. Perhaps a kiddy pool?” How about trying Day Escape 2, the Snow Dome. “Bundle up and sit in the backyard in a snowstorm, holding a cup of hot cocoa in your hands. Exquisite – like being inside a snow dome!”

The author’s sense of whimsy can be felt on almost every page. She suggests, “Watch where an escaping balloon goes; or play games with the Where to Go Wheel. She even offers great drawing lessons and guarantees, by demonstration, that all things in nature can be drawn with the sphere, cylinder, and cone. Make time to Play the Bumpy Road game via an actual game inside the book. Learn what to put in your glove compartment when traveling; learn little known facts about various places; make a pair of Eskimo sunglasses (she has an emergency pair ready to be cut out and used); or, if you prefer, follow precise lessons on how to draw a flamingo, sea gull, papaya, cruise ship, bottle-nosed dolphin, and much, much more ---- and, of course, how to draw a clam.

Sikorski is also the author of How to Draw a Radish and How to Draw a Cup of Coffee – and I can’t wait to buy and read these books – not only for myself, but also for gifts to give to those I care about.

Available for $16.95 at bookstores or on-line. For more information, contact Clarkson Potter/Publishers/New York or on the web at www.randomhouse.com.

Great World War II Projects You Can Build Yourself (Normad Press)

Publisher Nomad Press, VT, has introduced a unique, educational book written by author Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt. She has written detailed information ranging from spy maps and victory banners to spotter planes and ration cakes – all helping kids learn some hands-on history. She’s also brought one of the most uncertain and defining periods of American and world history to life through fun and challenging building projects and activities. Combining a solid overview of World War II with more than 25 hands-on activities, her book explores daily life at home and on the front lines during the war years through projects ranging from planting a victory garden, to making secret boiled egg messages, to compiling ration kits and soldier care packages ready to send to U.S. troops currently stationed throughout the world. Most of the 30 projects can be accomplished with simple household supplies and minimal adult supervision, and the result is often a working model of the original invention. Detailed, step-by-step instructions, archival photography, illustrations and diagrams, and templates for each project are interspersed with historical facts, biographies, anecdotes, and trivia about the real-life models. It’s a great way to offer kids and adults a hands-on way to experience the history and innovations that were sparked by the Second World War.

Great World War II Projects You Can Build Yourself is available in bookstores, or on-line for $16.95. For more information, contact Nomad Press, 2456 Christian Street, White River Junction, Vermont 05001; 802-649-1995, or check web site www.nomadpress.net.

The Tree That Could Fly (Bookman Publishing)

Dr. Alma Halbert Bond retired from her longtime Manhattan practice of psychoanalysis to devote full time to her writing. Since then she has had 10 books published. One of her latest, The Tree That Could Fly (Bookman Publishing) was written for children, for it is the story she has told, over and over again, to her children, and then to her grandchildren Now available in print and beautifully illustrated, it is certain to delight both the young and young at heart. It is a magical tale about Bluey, an adventurous and inquisitive young fairy with wings the color of the sky who ventures out into the woods, proceeding to play, romp, and laugh with forest creatures, until a summer storm sweeps through the Whispering Woods. Poor Bluey is then stranded until her wings dry, while loneliness and cold threaten to overtake her. Yet, help arrives from a very unlikely source. However, I won’t tell you what happens because I want you to have the pleasure of reading this book for yourself - and for the youngsters in your life!  It’s a great bedtime story and a great gift to treasure for years to come. My grandchild, Zoe, was thrilled by it. However, I must warn you - - - once you read for yourself, or to your child or grandchild - - - you’ll have to read it over and over again. Why? Because it’s fantastic!

Available at bookstores for $13.99

Dr. Toy's Smart Play: How to Raise a Child with a High PQ (Play Quotient)   St. Martin's Griffin, NY   

When you’re out in the field, you may be wondering if your children are engaged in healthy play. According to Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., who is fondly known as Dr. Toy, “a child’s ability to play does more than provide for fun and diversion; it is critical for his or her emotional and intellectual growth, and teaches everything from social skills to analytical thinking. For the developing mind of a child, learning to play is paramount, but is your child getting the most out of playtime? After dedicating a lifetime to the importance of play, Auerbach, in her latest book, Dr. Toy’s Smart Play; How to Raise a Child with a High PQ (Play Quotient), gives specific advice on which toys to buy and what kind of games to play to empower your child’s overall development. You’ll learn how to become your child’s Play Tutor; how play can strengthen maturity levels and confidence; the pros, cons, and facts of gender-specific toys; and guidance for the gifted and special-needs child. This fine book also has practical advice on evaluating a toy’s safety; how to learn which toy manufacturers Dr. Toy recommends; craft supplies to always keep on hand; Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products; and many more invaluable ways to make playtime a growing experience so you won’t have to worry about what your child is doing while you’re on a volunteer mission!

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, NY, it’s available at book stores everywhere.

The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Brain Games (Alpha/Penguin Books)

No, you don't have to be an idiot to enjoy this fun book published by Alpha Books. In fact, being brainy really helps exercise your mind while conquering the 200 puzzles. The puzzles are challenging and entertaining of varying skill levels for maximum mental training. Here, divided into four categories (easy, moderately difficult, difficult and extremely difficult), you'll find trivia, matching, crossword puzzles, and other word games, in addition to a full range of Sudoku, Kakuro, and Kaidoku puzzles. There is also word associations, pun puzzles, and rhyming challenges, plus unique lateral thinking puzzles that stretch your mind in new ways. The introduction illustrates these and gives a solved example of each. It would have been useful if the author had suggested strategies for attacking them, but the reader is left on his/her own to figure out how to solve the unfamiliar types.

This book is very handy while traveling or in a waiting room, to pass some empty moments. Its small size makes it easy to carry and the range of difficulties means that everyone will find some that are suitable and perhaps work up to try even those that are most difficult. Written by Matt Gaffney, a professional crossword puzzle constructor whose puzzles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other books and magazines, the book fits easily into a pocket or handbag.

This book is available for $8.98 at bookstores and online. For more information, contact Alpha Books at web site www.idiotsguides.com.

GAMES

Toasted or Roasted Card Game

Players Race to Toast But Not Roast Marshmallows in Education Outdoors New Game “Toasted or Roasted”

I tried this game with a 6 year-old boy and a 12 year-old girl and we all had a lot of fun. The game's object is to be the first player to start the campfire and toast three marshmallows before any other player. During the play, the idea is to keep our opponents from doing the same by putting out their fires or roasting their marshmallows to blackened crisps.

Education Outdoors has transformed the process of lighting the fire, finding the right stick and toasting the marshmallow into this new family game. Toasted or Roasted is an offensive/defensive game where players try to be the first to start their campfire and toast three marshmallows. But watch out for Roasty because he will burn the marshmallows to a crisp!  Like any smart camper knows, the first task that must be accomplished in Toasted or Roasted is lighting the fire. Aside from providing warmth and safety, the fire is a must for toasting marshmallows to a delicious golden brown. To get your fire lit in the game, you must collect a fire starter card. Once you have this card, you can lay it on your firewood disk and your flames will be flickering. The next challenge will be securing a marshmallow for your roasting stick. Take turns flipping cards until you get a raw marshmallow. Finally, be on the lookout for a toasted card to add to your stack to complete one of the three toasted marshmallows you need to make. But, be careful! If your opponents turn over a rain, wind or roasted card they can put out your fire or burn your marshmallow and you’ll have to begin again!

Each Toasted or Roasted game comes with 4 Firewood/Campfire Disks (two-sided), 4 Toasting Stick/Toasting Fork Disks (two-sided), 10 Fire Starter Cards, 16 Marshmallow Cards, 16 Toasted! Cards, 8 Roasted! Cards, 2 Rain Cards, 2 Strong Wind Cards and 1 Picnic Table Board. Rated for ages 6 and up, Toasted or Roasted can be played by 2-4 players.

The Toasted or Roasted game is packaged in an attractive bag that's easy to open and close and save for the next time you want some fun. The MSRP is $14.00 and can be purchased at www.educationoutdoors.net.

About Education Outdoors

An avid outdoorsman, Tim Paczesny grew up at his family’s log cabin resort in Northern Michigan. As an adult with children of his own, Tim wanted to create a way to share his knowledge of the outdoors with his children and his “city” friends. He came up with the idea of creating games that would be able to teach families about the outdoors through trivia questions and fun facts. For more information, please visit www.educationoutdoors.net.

RingStix

I was eager to try the new award-winning game -- RingStix -- with my 10 year-old grandson. His mom and dad were watching, as was his 16 year-old sister. In about 15 minutes, they all wanted a turn. Why? Because RingStix is a fun recreational activity that combines an amped up game of ring toss with the swashbuckling of a sword fight. It's easy-to-learn for all ages - as proven by the kids and adults begging for their turn, and it can be played casually or competitively anywhere from kids to senior citizens. I'm a senior citizen and found the game quite a thrill and also a chance to get some exercise in a fun way complete with togetherness in playing with my grandchildren and then their parents.

RingStix is played with slightly curved 25 inch sword-like sticks and a 5 inch ring. With a stick in each hand crossed, ad the ring over both sticks, players simply flare out their arms to propel the ring spinning forward toward the other player. That player then uses the point of one or both of the sticks to catch the flying ring and sends it back again in the same manner. The faster and harder a player flares the sticks the farther the ring will fly, sometimes up to 50 yards, even in strong winds. Once in a while it would land on a branch in a tree on the front lawn, but this added to the game.

This unique sport offers an entertaining new form of exercise, improves agility and hand-eye coordination, and gets kids and adults off the couch and away from sedentary technologies like computers, TV and video games. RingStix can be used in yards, parks, at the beach and more. The patent-pending RingStix product line is made of very durable material that meets all U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. Both the stix and the rings float and one ring even glows in the dark adding a fun twistfor night time play.

RingStix Standard sells for $19.99 RingStix Pro sells for $29.99. Both are available online at www.ringstix.com

Remington Super Slam Hunting: Alaska (Mastiff-Remington)

The latest game in the Mastiff-Remington Hunting Series -- Remington Super Slam Hunting: Alaska -- is a winner. Players can track 25 of the biggest, baddest and most aggressive wildlife throughout 19 levels of unique and danagerous Alaskan landscapes. The arsenal includes a huge selection of real weapons, including rifles, pistols and bows, as well as an array of scopes and accessories. You can track your progress with over 100 achievements, trophies and medals, and post your success to the online leaderboard. The game supports up to four players in co-op and versus modes for the ultimate in competitive hunting action.

Players see and hear accurate recreations of the latest Remington firearms, such as:

-- Marlin Model 1894 Cowboy

-- Model 700 XCR II Camo

-- Versa Max Synthetic Semi-Auto 12 Gauge

-- Model 11-87 Sportsman Super Mag ShurShot Turkey 12 Gauge

-- Model 887 Nitro Mag Bone Collector 12 Gauge

and more!

Available from sporting goods stores

Rollors (Maranda Enterprises)

I'm always looking for new, outdoor games to entertain my family and came upon a new game - Rollors - that combines the action of Bocce, Bowling & Horseshoes -- combined into an entirely new game that's lots of fun for everyone in the family -- even two-year old kids.

I tested this safe play game outdoors on grass, and can't wait until we try it in the sand. It consists of one red goal and one blue goal, 3 red rollors, 3 blue rollors, one measuring cord and fits into a sturdy carry bag with instructions. My husband and I played with our 15 year-old granddaughter and 9 year-old grandson, taking turns and loving every minute 'rolling' - not throwing - disks at the goal. Instructions were easy to understand, as is the game, and points are awarded to the player/team that positions their disks closest to the goal. As the manufacturer says, "It's a great game of skill with the element of chance:" The handy carry bag can be brought anywhere, and the game is set up in seconds on grass or in the sand.

Rollors is recommended by Dr. Toy, and received the 2010 Seal of Excellence from Creative Child Magzine.

Available at stores, amazon.com and others. For more information, contact Maranda Enterprises in Mequon WI 53092, 877-287-8782 or go to web site www.marandaenterprises.com.

LIAR's DICE (Sababa Group Inc.)

Playing a fun game is always a treat whether at home or on vacation. Recently, I had the opportunity to try Liar's Dice – a classic dice bluffing game supposedly passed on by the Inca civilization to the Spanish Conquistadors and now to us. The principle of the game is to outbid, out bluff, and outlast their opponents. Best of all, Liar's Dice can be played both by adults and children as young as 8 years of age. I loved the beautiful, wooden hinged dice box that can sit on a display shelf. Inside are four wooden shakers and 20 dice. The game box, available at gift, sporting, department stores, and online for $24.99, measures 5 inches x 5 inches x 5 inches.

For more information, visit Sababa Group Inc., Front Porch Classics Division, at www.frontporchclassics.com.

GARDEN & GARDENING BOOKS

100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)

Did you know that there are probably more African violets in American bathrooms than in Africa? Or that Napoleon's wife, Josephine, hid her bad teeth by holding a rose to her mouth before she laughed? You'll find many more interesting facts about flowers in 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names by Diana Wells. This book gives the scoop on flowers, whether they're super-hybrids bought at a home-and-garden center or are of the heirloom variety ordered from a top nursery. This is a must-have reference guide whether you're a plant lover or not, and learning the stories that date to when the plant was first 'discovered' makes for good reading and discussion.

Available at bookstores or from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, P.O. Box 2225, Chapel Hill, NC 27515.

Garden Retreats - Creating An Outdoor Sanctuary (Chronicle Books)

As simple as two chairs beneath a shady tree or a low bench beside a sheltering tangle of wildflowers, a garden retreat is a relaxing and intimate space in which to read a book, enjoy a quiet conversation, or sip a cup of tea. Author Barbara Ashman understands that every outdoor sanctuary is a soulful expression of its creator, and her book, Garden Retreats, will help you define your own personal style while explaining the elements that can be used to create a private retreat.

For some, gardening itself_planting and pruning, digging and raking, weeding and deadheading--brings inner peace. For others, lying in a hammock and appreciating a beautifully designed tableau is the means to serenity. But whether you're a digger or a sitter, you can arrive at the same place--a calm state of mind, where being is more important than accomplishing, where nervous restlessness evaporates. In this book are tips on creating sheltering walls, allees, and arbors, as well as suggestions for combining plants, trees, garden structures and furniture to yield the most relaxing combinations of color, shape and texture. Beautifully illustrated throughout with vibrant color photographs of an array of enchanting garden refuges, this is a wonderful dream book as well as a truly practical companion.

The gardens in this book are inspirational and provide an abundance of creative ideas and practical instruction. Including chapters titled "Finding Your Own Style," "The Entry: Portal of Transition," "The Inviting Path," and "Plants For All Seasons," this book is the perfect tool for anyone to create his or her own outdoor sanctuary and begin a journey toward inner peace.

Available at book stores and amazon.com. For more information contact Chronicle Books, 85 Second Street, San Francisco, California 94105 or go to web site www.chronbooks.com.

HEALTH

Cancer Survivorship Coping Tools -- We'll Get You Through This (Ayni Books)

Barbara Tako has written a fantastically helpful book not only for those who have heard the words, "You have cancer," but for anyone struggling with a sudden health issue which is causing not only pain from the illness, but the emotional pain. I reviewed this book because my younger son recently told me he is in Stage 4 of cancer -- after having had 3 surgeries within 6 years and is now on Chemo. Tako's story and advise has helped me, emotionally and physically, deal with the news that I will never see again from my 'good' eye and now have to depend upon my 'lazy' eye in which the vision is extremely poor. She has given me hope - and I hope my son, too, in dealing with the sudden blindness.

The book is about Tako's intimate journey of her survivor of a melanoma and breast cancer. She honestly and sometimes humorously shares her own story and offers supportive emotional tools to help people diagnosed with cancer, and their loved ones and caregivers, work through the continual pain and upheaval of a cancer diagnosis. Learn what it feels like to hear you have cancer, and be given a variety of helpful ideas to start feeling better whether you're a caregiver, friend, or family member who wants to help. She'll help you get a better understanding of the cancer experience as well as tools to help the person you care about.

As for myself, her book launched me out of constant depression and on a new path to enjoy what I have left. It is, indeed, not only well-written, but invaluable not only for the cancer patient, but for anyone with a terrible diagnosis.

Available from book stores and on-line for $14.95. For more information, contact AYNI at web site www.ayni-books.com.

Chronic Fatigue: Your Complete Exercise Guide (Human Kinetics Publishers)

This book, part of the Cooper Clinic and Research Institute Fitness Series, is written by Dr. Neil F. Gordon. Labeled "the mystery malady of the 1990s," chronic fatigue accounts for over six million visits to the doctor annually in the U.S. alone - but many more with the condition never seek medical help. Are you tired all the time? Dragging every day? Find it difficult to get out of bed each morning? By reading Chronic Fatigue: Your Complete Exercise Guide, you'll find a clear description of these symptoms and essentials on designing an exercise program to fit your capabilities, plus guidelines for safe exercise, four complete exercise programs, and a unique Health Points System to help you maintain motivation and gauge your progress.

Learn how to take your pulse, learn what to ask you doctor, and much more.

Gordon offeers a safe and effective exercise program that setes you on a lifelong course of reduced fatigue and improved health. Read the book and then discuss your situation with your doctor.

The 130 page book with an excellent index and exercise diagrams sells for $11.95 and is available at bookstores and online.

Healthy Waters (Spencer Books)

Signs of a water crisis are everywhere, according to author Mike Magee, M.D. From deaths attributed to waterborne diseases and lack of water to economic losses due to poor environmental planning, the evidence, he says, is building because water touches our lives in so many ways, each of us must understand its importance -- particularly health professionals. In this book, Dr. Magee examines the many nuances of water in our lives, including its impact on health, energy, cities, industry and economies. His discussion of natural water disasters touches on many of the core problems raised by the recent tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.

Available at book stores or amazon.com at $19.95

Your Best Health Today (Langdon Street Press)

A revolutionary guide, Your Best Health Today, combines author Paul David DeGange's 25 plus years of knowledge from the fields of physiology, psychology, and personal development creating a completely new and innovative approach to nutrition, fitness and weight management. He rejects many of the methodologies which dominate the health and fitness industry as ineffective and unrealistic, and offers rational, practical science-based alternatives. He devotes an entire chapter to the subject of alcoholic beverages, including information that is rarely discussed in the mainstream. As a registed R.N., his unique and valuable perspective shows through the entire book as he understands and shows individuals how to avoid many hidden pitfalls.

In this book, you'll learn how to formulate your own weight control plan while continuing to eat the foods you enjoy; design your own fitness plan that is free from uncomfortable or painful exercise; manage destrucive addictive behavior patterns such as smoking and over-eating, and gain mastery over your negative emotional states so that you can experience confidence, success, and healthful living.

DeGange is a health and fitness counselor who operates the Contemporary Health Research Center, speaks and writes on health, nutrition and fitness-related topics, and has over 25 years experience as a health care provider. It shows, too, in this book that now sits on my bookshelf.

This 253 pages paperback is available for $24.95 at bookstores or online.

Diabetes Survival Guide (Ballantine Books)

The number of people in the United States diagnosed with diabetes has grown tremendously over the past few years. Thankfully, this 326-page guide, complete with index and written by Stanley Mirsky, M.D., and Joan Rattner Heilman (previously published as Controlling Diabetes The Easy Way), has been fully revised with new information on prediabetes and prevention, as well as the Metabolic Syndrome - risk factors that, along with genetic predisposition, sow the seeds of diabetes; diet - sensible, easy-to-follow suggestions about what, when and how much to eat with delicious choices. In addition it describes new drugs - inhaled insulin powder, combination pills, insulin that lasts twenty-four hours, fast-acting "designer" insulin, and other milestones.

In it you will find details on cutting-edge equipment such as state-of-the-art insulin pumps, glucose monitors, and pen injectors; complications - innovations for preventing heart disease, kidney failure, neuropathy of the feet and legs, and loss of vision -- plus stem cell research - the possibility of using stem cells as a source of insulin-producing beta cells and surgical options - transplantaton techniques.

You'll also find information on --

Earlier detection/genetic detection; New focus on 'prediabetes;' the 'metabolic syndrome' including factors such as insulin resistance, obesity, elevated glucose, high triglycerides, low HDL, cholesterol, and high blood pressure; Prevention tips including cinnamon, coffee, black pepper, cloves, chocolate, aspirin, and alcohol, plus much, much more.

Available at bookstores or on-line for $14.95. For more information go to www.ballantinebooks.com.

THE FAST FOOD DIET: Lose Weight and Feel Great Even If You're Too Busy to Eat Right (Wiley)

and

REVERSE HEART DISEASE NOW: Stop Deadly Cardiovascular Plaque Before It's Too Late (Wiley)

---- are two books written by cardiologist and nutritionist Dr. Stephen Sinatra guaranteed to keep you healthy.

Now, the author of these books gives readers When the holiday season approaches, the celebrations begin. Office parties. Gift baskets filled with cookies, candies and cakes. Sumptuous feasts with friends and family.

sensible advice that will allow anyone to survive the holidays with intact waistlines, a healthy heart, and peace of mind.

"Motivation and discipline are often the first casualties when we put on our party hats," said Dr. Sinatra. "But there's no need to become a holiday hermit just to avoid a few caloric indiscretions." Drawn from both THE FAST FOOD DIET and REVERSE HEART DISEASE NOW, Dr. Sinatra outlines 9 simple steps to keep you on track while still enjoying the celebrations:

1. Abandon the 'starve and feast' approach: this is a common mistake made by many dieters who skip meals to 'save up' for extra calories at parties. This simply does not work. Worse, it slows your metabolism, insulin levels climb so your body stores and hoards fat. It's better to stick to your regular schedule.

2. Maintain the optimal meal balance: 25-30% lean protein, 25-30 % healthy fats and 45-50% low-glycemic carbohydrates. Help yourself to the turkey - it's a great source of protein. Dig into the sweet potatoes and veggies for slow burning low glycemic carbs and get your fill of healthy fats from appetizers olives.

3. Limit the libations: Don't forget that a few drinks can pack as many calories as a good-sized serving of chocolate mousse.

4. Eat early, party late: Eat a little something before you head to the party. This will keep hunger in check and stabilize blood sugar level for and control your appetite. Slather a wheat cracker with peanut butter or grab a handful of nuts.

5. Divide and conquer: Cut back a bit on portions and turn your plate into a visual reminder by filling it three-quarters with healthier foods and using the remaining quarter for indulgences.

6. Alternate feast days with regular days: The holiday season lasts several weeks so rather than grant yourself unlimited party permission for the duration, set aside 3-4 days each week when you'll go easy on things that run high in the fat and calorie department and on the remaining days, go ahead a cut loose a bit with richer but still sensible foods.

7. Eat what you love: Deprivation is not the answer and don't settle for second best. Why choose pumpkin pie, which you don't love, just because it has fewer calories than the pecan pie which you adore?

8. Don't forget to move!: When cooking, entertaining, cleaning, organizing, it's easy to leave out a little exercise. While a regular exercise routine is nearly impossible to keep during the holiday season, getting outside to walk the dog, finding time for a yoga class, or showing relatives around town will go a long way towards defusing stress, keeping waistlines trim, and maintaining a healthy heart.

9. Take your vitamins: It's one of the easiest things you can do, and hectic holiday life is no excuse to drop this out of your routine. Dr. Sinatra recommends an array of supplements depending on your overall health, and it's a simple way to keep your energy up, diseases away, and improve your mood in what can be a trying time.

Dr. Sinatra's books are available on-line or at bookstores everywhere.

Shovel It: Nature's Health Plan (Writeriffic Publishing Group)

Published byWriteriffic Publishing Group, this book is perfect for those who love to garden. It is also filled with information on how gardening can be therapeutic. Dr. Eva Shaw, an award-winning author, urges readers to “Get gardening and avert a heart attack, lower blood pressure, cut bad cholesterol. Gardening can help you heal, strengthen bones, deal with chronic fatigue syndrome, reduce anti-depressants and painkillers and cope with stress. Find peace, health and happiness in your own backyard.”  In her book, you’ll learn how, in many cultures and traditions, certain plants have specific symbolism. For example, using Celtic lore, trees are said to have spirits and energies. As the primary Celtic symbol, the tree is believed to be a bridge between the land and sky, heaven and earth. And, in the lore, trees are said to communicate through water between these realms and all realms are united within the tree. Shaw suggests, if you want to personalize your garden, you may want to include this mythology in your plans. She also offers several tips on how to be a fit gardener; how to create a Japanese or Zen garden as a sanctuary, for meditation, or therapy; why using a trowel and exuding some sweat makes for a better body; how to attract birds to the garden; and many more fun, educational things to do connected with gardening.

Available at bookstores for $15.95

European Food & Drink Guide (Berlitz Publishing)

Have you ever been puzzled by a menu written in a foreign language? If so, the European Food & Drink Guide  (Berlitz Publishing) will solve the mystery -- for this comprehensive pocket-sized (4” x 5 3/4”) guide highlights dining in at least 14 different European countries, covering 11 of the most popular languages -- including Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.  Recently, it also came in handy while I was dining in a fancy French restaurant in New York City where the menu selections were written in French!  As a bonus, the guide contains a glossary of menu items; an easy look-up of most foods and beverages; is color-coded by language for ease of use; offers a tipping guide; a simplified pronunciation guide; a conversion chart for weights and measures, volume, and temperature; plus vital regional information regarding local food, typical dining times, and types of restaurants popular in each locality.

Available for $9.95 at bookstores, travel stores, and online outlets where maps and travel products are sold. For more information, contact Berlitz Publishing, 36-36 33rd Street, Long Island City, NY 11106; 800-432-6277 or check the Web at www.berlitzbooks.com.

The Female Athlete’s Body Book (McGraw-Hill)

Written by Gloria Beim, M.D. and Ruth Winter (McGraw-Hill), The Female Athlete's Body Book is loaded with sound advice for girls and women of all ages on how to compete at their highest level while staying healthy and injury-free. Dr. Beim, one of the nation’s top orthopedic surgeons and an accomplished athlete, describes common injuries, explains why they occur more often in females, and how these injuries can be prevented or property treated. Written clearly by Ruth Winter (an award-winning health writer), this book is, thankfully, printed in type large enough to prevent eyestrain. Chapters include body part-specific exercises aimed at both enhancing performance and overcoming potential physical vulnerabilities; information about the influences of puberty, menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy; nutrition and training tips for top performance and lifelong health; and what to do if injuries occur. Readers will gain much knowledge on how to avoid injury when engaging in basketball, soccer, volleyball, softball, tennis, racquetball, lacrosse, field hockey, skiing and snowboarding. Other sports discussed include ice-skating and ice hockey, swimming, scuba diving, biking, rock climbing, walking and running, and golf. Mature athletes will find lots of tips, and photos of valuable conditioning exercises will be a great help to those injured in sports-related activities.

Available at bookstores or on-line for $16.95.

YMCA Healthy Back Book

You know what it's like standing all day on the sales floor or behind the register, or simply walking. You may not know that the major disability in people under 45 is back pain. This affects over 70 percent of adults at some time in their lives, is the second most likely cause of absenteeism at work, and is one of the most common reasons people see a doctor. By following the medically sound and easy-to-follow information based on the same YMCA program that has helped over 300,000 find relief, customers can understand the cause of back pain and various treatment options; learn how to exercise to prevent painful back problems; and discover ways to reduce back pain when it does occur. Written by the YMCA of the USA with patricia Sammann, Chapter 1 gives the warning signs plus common-sense first aid tips for treating back pain, while Chapter 4, the centerpiece of this well-illustrated book, offers 20 exercises to improve the health and fitness of the back.

Exercises are divided into three levels of intensity so the reader can work up to a vigorous 20-minute workout. For those who want variety, there are basic water exercises. Tips are given on the best ways to sit, stand, sleep, drive and do other everyday tasks besides making lifestyle changes to ease back pain.

This might be a book you make required reading for everyone who does lifting or stands a lot.

Available at bookstores or online for $16.95.

HIKING & BACKPACKING BOOKS

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Tampa (Menasha Ridge Press)

Lots of books have been written about Florida, especially those telling how to get around Disney and other attractions. However, few have covered Florida’s great hiking trails--until now. Thanks to author Carolee Boyles, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Tampa (Menasha Ridge Press), those seeking adventure or discovery, will find that the outdoors can transform the body and mind. Boyles basically blows the lid off the myth that you can’t find a great hike close to home, for while the Tampa-St. Petersburg area of Florida may be an ever-growing metropolis, there are still plenty of super recreational opportunities. This resourceful guide will provide you with information on short and long hikes, hikes for kids, urban hikes, wildlife hikes, and historic hikes. The book includes maps, directions, trail lengths, hiking times, and a wealth of detail about the routes themselves.

 Available at book stores for $?? or from Menasha’s distributer, The Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT 06437.

Basic Essentials Animal Tracks (Globe Pequot Press)

You don’t have to be an old woodman or come from a long line of Native American trackers to enjoy the fun and the fascination of animal tracking. All you need are three well-developed skills: observation, patience, and awareness. Basic Essentials Animal Tracks by Roseann and Jonathan Hanson (Globe Pequot Press) provides the average outdoors lover with a general overview of these basic principles, and tips on animal tracking and track identification skills for animals found throughout North America. Packed with facts, advice and tips, this book is for beginners looking for new skills, as well as the seasoned veteran needing a handy reference guide.

Available at book stores or from Globe Pequot at 800-962-0973.

HISTORY BOOKS

The Tin Ticket (The Berkley Publishing Group)

It's fairly common knowledge that Australia. was originally populated by British male convicts that the British government regularly deported to this country. They were a source of free labor in building the new colony's infrastructure. However, when we think of these criminals that were sent off to an untamed country on the other side of the globe, we often don't think of prisoners named Agnes, Janet or Ludlow.

In the early nineteenth century, the British government looked to build a working class in the new Australian colonly where men outnumbered women nine to one. A campaign began of brutal conscription, enforcing a draconian, century-old law that allowed the arrest and deportation of petty female criminals -- with no chance of reprieve or defense. They were rounded up by the thousands, packed into filthy slave ships bound for the other side of the world, often for an offense as small as stealing a pair of stockings.

Author Deborah J. Swiss, weaves together interviews with descendants and primary documents to share the never-before-told story of these early Australian women, and follows the journeys of three convict women, as well as a pioneering Quaker reformer - Elizabeth Gurney Fry - who fought for improved prison conditions, education and religious instruction for female convects. She tells of their four month journey by ship to the harsh, remote land of Australia and Tasmania, where they were viewed as property. How they managed to not only endure their exile, but to thrive on their own terms, is amazing - and you'll be glued to this exciting, informative and true accounting.

Available at bookstores and on-line. For more information contact The Berkley Publishing Group, 375 Hudson Street, ew York, NY 10014 or check web site www.penguin.com.

Christmas - A Candid History Bruce (University of California Press)

Did you know that:

--- For three centuries Christians did not celebrate Christmas?
--- Puritans in England and New England made Christmas observances illegal?
--- St. Nicholas is an elf in the famous poem "The Night Before Christmas"?
--- President Franklin Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving in order to lengthen the Christmas shopping season?
--- Coca-Cola helped fashion Santa Claus's look in an advertising campaign?

Written for everyone who loves and is simultaneously driven crazy by the holiday season, Christmas: A Candid History by Bruce David Forbes provides an enlightening, entertaining perspective on how the annual Yuletide celebration got to be what it is today. In a fascinating, concise tour through history, the book tells the story of Christmas--from its pre-Christian roots, through the birth of Jesus, to the holiday's spread across Europe into the Americas and beyond, and to its mind-boggling transformation through modern consumerism. Packed with intriguing stories, based on research into myriad sources, full of insights, the book explores the historical origins of traditions including Santa, the reindeer, gift giving, the Christmas tree, Christmas songs and movies, and more. The book also offers some provocative ideas for reclaiming the joy and meaning of this beloved, yet often frustrating, season amid the pressures of our fast-paced consumer culture.

This book, consisting of 196 pages, 6 x 8 inches, with 12 black & white photographs is available through bookstores and on-line.

Moving Mountains: Coping With Change In Mountain Communities (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

Travel the world's mountain ranges from the Himalaya to the Rockies with Boston science writer Sara Neustadtl, and meet the people who are moving mountains. For centuries mountain people have successfully adapted to the harsh demands of their environment. Now they are faced with additional challenges of mining, forestry, and tourism. Through insightful investigative reporting, evocative images, and viv id character portrayals, Neustadtl narrates the true stories of inspired individuals who are averting disaster in their fragile mountain ecosystems. Informative and provocative, this book presents case studies, portraits and informed analyses of technical, political, and social changes in a delightful style that reads like a novel.

Available at bookstores, on-line and from AMC Books, 5 Joy Street, Boston, MA 02108, 617-523-0636; 617-523-0636.

Following the Nez Perce Trail (Oregon State University)

The 1877 flight of the Nez Perce from their homelands while pursued by U.S. soldiers and citizen volunteers is one of the most compelling and sorrowful events in American history. The Nez Perce National Historic Trail traces the route taken by the 800 Nez Perce men, women, and children from May to october 1877. In her book, Following the Nez Perce Trail (Oregon State University), author Cheryl Wilfong draws on eyewitness accounts to chronicle the heartbreaking retreat of Chief Joseph and his people. Originally published in 1990 and now available in a revised and expanded edition, Wilfong's book offers an essential guide for anyone who wishes to follow all or part of the Trail.

The Nez Perce Trail stretches 1,500 miles from Wallows Lake, Oregon, through Idaho and Yellowstone Park, ending at the Bear Paw Battlefield, near Chinook, Montana. This historical guidebook splits the Trail into 13 segments, each with its own chronology and travel plan, with alternative routes for 'mainstream, "adventurous,' and 'intrepid' travelers. The routes include maps, GPS coordinates, and recommendations for ide trips. Period photographs and firthand accounts from those who first traveled the trail-- the Nez Perce, soldiers, settlers--bring history to ife.

For more than 15 years, Following the Nez Perce Trail has led travelers and historians as they're retraced the flight of the Nez Perce from their Pacific Northwest homeland to thir exile in Oklahoma and Canada. This new edition has been updated by Wilfong and includes a new emphasis on the experiences of the Nez Perce women and children. Her detailed knowledge of the Nez Perce Trail informs every page of this indispensable guide.

This 512 page book is available in paperback for $29.95 at bookstores everywhere or online, or call 1-800-426-3797 for more information from Oregon State University Press, 500 Kerr Adminstration Building, Corvallis, Oregon 07331.  

HUNTING BOOKS

The Masters' Secrets of Bowhunting Deer (Night Hawk Publishing)

Yes, you can take your buck with a bow IF you learn the secrets of the bowhunting masters. With "The Masters' Secrets of Bowhunting Deer," you will definitely learn the secrets from many men and many other experts who share their best bowhunting strategies. For example, Noel Feather of Sterling, Illinois, has taken both Boone and Crockett bucks and Pope and Young bucks with his bow. He believes the best way to insure success is to avoid the common mistakes most bowhunters make. He explains that "Most bowhunters either shoot too quick or wait too long when trying to take a buck. Although I don't believe you ever should hurry a shot, when the deer presents a shot, I think I can make, I go ahead and take the shot rather than waiting for a better shot. Too, hunters often try to hunt from the same stand too many times, which lessens their chances for success. The first time you hunt from any stand is when you'll have the best odds for successfully arrowing a whitetail buck."

Larry Norton, a hunting guide in South Alabama notes that he "uses commerically prepared fertilizer like 13-13-13 to fertilize naturally occurring foods and this increases my odds for bagging a buck by concentrating the deer. At the end of the season, I choose a white oak tree and fertilize it. Next I fertilize a red oak tree, which the deer can feed on once they quit eating the nuts of white oaks. When these feertilized trees put on acorns, their nuts will be larger and sweeter than any others. During the fall of the year before deer season, I fertilize selected wild blackberry bushes and wild Japanese honeysuckle to insure that these shrubs have the biggest and sweetest leaves of any in the reason."

There are numerous other expert tips in this book.

To order, send a $13.50 check or money order to Night Hawk Publications, 4112 Camp Horner Road, Birmingham, AL 35243. Prices include S&H. All Alaskan orders add $8 for each book ordered and All Canadian orders add $3 for each book ordered, using International Money Order. For more information, call 205-967-3830

Hunting Trophy Whitetails (Venture Press)

Trophy bucks are unlike other whitetails - so much so that they might as well be a different species. And, unless a hunter knows how, when and where to hunt trophy whitetails - not just deer, not even just bucks - he/she cannot hope to successfully challenge these remarkable game animals. Because of their uniqueness and greatness, David Morris has written this book devoted entirely to hunting the biggest and smartest of the whitetail clan.

You'll be carried through the educational process of a trophy buck and how Morris reveals why these animals are so well equipped to survive. You'll learn how to measure and score trophies and how to judge antler size in the field, and will learn what it takes to have quality trophy hunting and how to size up the trophy prospects where you hunt. The best areas in North America for trophy bucks are explored, and you can see how your own region stacks up. The book examines the impact of hunting pressure, weather, the moon, time of year and many other factors on deer movement, plus a hunter's chances for success. The secrets of seasonal deer patterns are revealed so that a hunter can predict what the deer will be doing before he ever sets foot in the woods.

The all-important rut is examined, along with the more challenging times before and after. Learn how to use aerial photos and topo maps, how to scout the territory and how to master the art of still-hunting, stand-hunting, driving and rattling. Morris gives no-nonsense advice on gun, cartridge and bullet selection, shooting under pressure and proper shot placement. The book is 524-pages with 225 color and B/W photos plus maps and charts with a four-color dust jacket.

Hunting Trophy Whitetails is available for $36 plus shipping and handling charges, from Venture Press, P.O. Box 1689, Bigfork, MT 59911.

A Bad Duck Hunt (Cold Tree Press)

Friends, spouses and duck hunters will roar at Michael Terry's unique, tongue-in-cheek, perspective on the sport. Together with side-splitting cartoons--Terry captures the complete experience: dogs, boats, guns, decoys, blinds, calls and all the rest that leave the duck hunter cold, wet and duckless. From Maine to California, Colorado to Iowa, Arkansas and Louisiana, every duck hunter will find him/herself in one of Terry's "explanations." Read and learn, because every hunter knows there's got to be a good excuse for coming home empty handed...and A Bad Duck Hunt will assure that you've got it!

Michael Terry has lived and gotten wet, cold and missed ducks in much of the country. He's the author of best selling novel, So Shine Before Men. A graduate of Wesleyan Univeristy, he earned a MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. After a career in investment banking and finance, Terry became a business turnaround specialist and consultant, before turning to writing.

Jerry Johnson is one of the country's outstanding wildlife artists. The cartoons for A Bad Duck Hunt are a departure from his experience in representational art of waterfowl, raptors, and other birds, as well as big game animals, and backgrounds of the rural south.

This 180 page book, published by Cold Tree Press, is available at bookstores or online for $12.95. For a copy of your favorite Jerry Johnson cartoon - an original signed and numbered print - or to order a bound copoy of all the cartoons in book form, go to web site www.coldtreepress.com.

Ultimate Duck Hunting (Mid Carolina Media)

This is the first and only 3D hunting stimulation game to feature both single and multiplayer capabilities. Ultimate Duck Huting finds you, your dog, your companion hunters and their dogs competing for wild ducks in noted North American hunting presereves. Your choice of hunting accessories, dog-training ability, and aim accuracy determines your ultimate duck hunting success. On a remote island with three other hunters, this atmosphere crackles with gunfire, honking ducks, thunder and rain, while feathers explode with each hit. The game's clever intricacies make for the ultimate duck huntig simulation. It features a choice of hunting accessories (shotgun, decoys, camo, and dog); dog-training in essential commands (remote sit, left over, right over, and back); six realistically detailed locales teeming with wild ducks; a scoring system based upon the number of birds shot, the number of birds retrieved, ad the time it takes to complete your hunt; and much more.

The single and multiplayer hunting for the PC produced by Mid Carolina Media is $19.95. For more information on system requirements and availability, write to Mid Carolina Medica, Inc., 712 Currituck Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27609; 919-787-7530, or check web site www.ultimateduckhunting.com.

INFORMATION GUIDES/BOOKS

Class Act: Sell More Books Through School and Library Author Appearances (Joyful Paw Prints Press)

Great guide to promoting your message and selling books to schools and libraries. . for all authors for all subjects. the book, by author Barbara Techel ,is arranged in logical order with chapters telling you all you need to know about proven methods for what to include in your presentation, how to tweak it to appeal to various audiences, locating and looking in appropriate speaking venues, what to charge, and much more. There's also a check list for helpful preparation, applicable tips & advice about what to avoid as well as what to do, and much more, including ane excellent index.

Real Money Answers for Every Woman: How to Win the Money Game With or Without A Man (Amistad)

This award-winning, easy-to-read guide in a Q&A format will definitely help you get out of debt, rebuild your credit, and fulfill your finanacial dreams. There are numerous chapters to help you on the road to not only being independent, but financially secure. Chapters include How to Earn More Money; how You Are Your Best Investment; Fundamentals of Banking; Saving & Reducing Debt Simultaneouosly; How to Manage Money Wisely; Friends and Family or Financial Foes -- and many more interesting, educational topics.

This interesting, educational book is 233 pages, and available at bookstores or on-line for $15.99.

Go Green! A Family Guide to a Sustainable Lifestyle (EDDA USA)

This new book, from Disney's Mickey & Friends Collection titled 'Go Green! A Family Guide to a Sustainable Lifestyle, will encourage children and families to learn about the concept of sustainability and the changes they can make in their daily lives. The first in a new series, this book is not only a guide for families to take steps towards transforming their lives to live a healthier, greener and more sustainable lifestyle, but it also explains sustainability in a simple and fun way, putting the concept into perspective for children and families by showing easy and fun ways of making sustainable choices.

Filled with fun facts, tips and unique green activities, Go Green! takes readers through detailed green practices that include -- understanding your ecological footprints; the three R's of sustainability (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle); creating seasonal crafts; the importance of eating locally; how to grow your own organic garden; and much more. The book also explains that adopting a sustainable lifestyle will not hapen overnight, but starts with one step, then another and another. It is important to remember that you are on your way, no matter how slow the journey feels, or how difficult the steps. The book breaks down this complicated process into easy-to-achieve individual steps for the entire family and is beautifully illustrated.

Available for $12.99 at Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Target, and on-line.

The Essence of Tantric Sexuality (Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd)

With a foreword by Dr. Rudolph Ballentine and written by Mark A. Michaels & Patricia Johnson, this modern and comprehensive book celebrates the sacredness of the body and desire within the Hindu Tantric tradition, one which aims to dispel remnants of our Puritan past that defines many natural activities of our daily lives, including sexual activity and desire, in negative terms. Based upon the teachings of Dr. Jonn Mumford, the book is much more than an erotic sex manual -- though, it is that, too! The authors explain the Trantric philosophy and its principles, demystify it for beginners, and offer authentic exercises and techniqaues that will help readers turn their every moment of pleasure into an opportunity to experience the devine.

This paperback book available for $17.95, is available at bookstores and Amazon.com. For more information contact Llewellyn Worldwide, 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989 or go to web site www.llewelyn.com.

Class Act: Sell More Books Through School and Library Author Appearances (Joyful Paw Prints Press)

This is a great guide to promoting your message and selling books to schools and libraries and a how-to manual for authors of any title of interest. Learn how to spread the word, get recognized as an excellent speaker, book speaking engagements and sell more books. The chapters, arranged in logical order, tell you all you ned to know about proven methods for what to include in your presentation, how to tweak it to appeal to various audiences, planning and preparing your most effective speaking approach, locating and looking in appropriate speaking venues, what to charge, pitching and promoting your presentation, organization, planning and followup, fulfilling book orders that result from your talks, helpful preparation checklists, advice from other professional author/spakers circuit, and helping your event organizer help you to succeed.

This 116-page book is available online and at bookstores for $11.95.

Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land series (Island Press)

Written by Steven I. Apfelbaum, the founder and principal ecologist of Applied Ecological Studies Inc., an international ecological restoration services company, under Apfelbaum's leadership, AES championed plans to close the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island, NY - and transformed it into a new park three times the size of Central Park in Manhattan. In his two book series, Apfelbaum educates readers on the considerable benefits of land restoration and explains how to restore an ecosystem of any size to its natural state. He discusses how nature restoration can address almost any environmental problem today, including climate change, flooding, hazardous waste, erosion, declining wildlife and invasive species, water quality, the availabilityl lof food, and the United States' dependence on oil, plus much more.

I learned how people of all skill levels should, and can, help restore natural ecology, and gives examples of how working with nature has saved people millions of dollars. It is, indeed, an important and valuable book well worth reading.

This 264 page book is available on-line and in bookstores.

Inside the Cup: Translating Starbucks into a Drinkable Language (Fee Publishing)

As an occasional Starbucks customer, I truly enjoyed this entertaining and educational book by author Kenneth Brown - who notes that "Starbucks customers are certainly unique." Brown is a former Starbucks manager and knows what he's talking about. In his book, he describes ten "types" of customers that he saw at Starbucks most often, including the Starbucks Maven, who knows everything about Starbucks and ty're savvy about it. But, says Brown, "Many customers think they're mavens but few actually are. They're Starbucks connoisseurs. " The Buddy-Buddy person, according to Brown, "Are real tight with the baristas. They know every partner by name. Heck, they even go fishing together, shopping togehter. They even babysit for each other. They've forged a real bond over the counter." But, the Mom "Oftentimes she's seen in the drive-thru with a couple of screaming kids. Sometimes she's maneuvering her stroller throughout Starbucks' shoebox sized stores. In either case, mom needs her caffeine because she needs her energy."

He also describes, among many more personalties, Mr./Ms. Exact Change who are "Always in a hurry. Always ordering the same drink. Always paying with the exact amount. Their drink is always ready" while "The High School Kids are hyper, loud, and travel in packs. They don't all have the money to order though. The slick ones borrow from their friends using their future lunch money as collateral."

Questions are discussed in this enjoyable book ranging from coffee and tea to beverage modifications and recommendations and from hiring inquiries to nutritional information. He's also added some anecdotal stories to the journey. The book is definitely informative, fun and quick reading - and one you'll read over again and again, especially to get new ideas of wht to order and what goes into each drink.

Listed at $14.99, this 219-page book is available on line from amazon.com or at www.insidethecupbook.com. For more information, contact the author at kbrown@insidethecupbook.com.

Home Remodeling Pitfalls and How To Avoid Them - The Definitive and Comprehensive Guide to Successful Home Remodeling Projects (Globe Pequot Press)

If you're a new homeowner or considering a major remodeling project, such as adding a deck or converting a closet into a half bath, you can avoid creating your own disaster areas by solving any problem ahead of time by reading this book by Dunca Calder Stephens. The valuable collection of straightforward, detailed advice from an experienced remodeling veteran guides the reader through the sometimes confusing and costly business of remodeling, whether you're dividing a room or adding a wing. The comprehensive survival guide details the realities of remodeling, and the book is based largely on questionnaires completed by people involved in all stages of the process. It focuses on how to get hired workers to do the job right and features practical information on:

How to survive remodeling, no matter how large the job; dealing with contractors before and after they begin their work; how to spot potential problems before they bloom into crises; other tops such as realistic goal-settling, locating the best contractors, writing detailed inclusive contracts and intelligent financing. Worksheets in the book give space for figuring.

The author's clear, concise text, inclusion of step-by-step procedures and sense of humor greatly alleviate the sometimes grim process of remodeling.

Available on-line. The 128 page book is listed for $12.95.

Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land (Island Press)

In Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land -- part of a series of land restoration books accessible to all -- authors Steven I. Apfelbaum and Dr. Alan Haney, educate readers on the considerable benefits of land restoration and show them how to restore an ecosystem to its natural state. The first book - Restoring Ecological Health to your Land - introduces the process and importance of ecological restoration using specific examples from the authors' experience. The first several chapters offer ten steps to improving land health for any property. The final chapters apply the process to restoration projects of specific ecosystems, including grasslands, forests, wetlands, streams and deserts.

The Workbook expands on the first book, with a chapter dedicated to each of the ten restoration steps and picks up where the first left off, focusing on what can be done and how to do it. Readers are shown how to examine the natural features of a property, develop restoration plans, estimate project costs, determine necessary equipment and more.

Both books are appropriate for people from all walks of life and all levels of experience -- from landowners to patio gardeners to land trust property stewards and agency personnel responsible for restoring lands in their care. The authors avoid jargon and break down each concept for readers with minimal ecological training, while at the same time offering suggestions that even those with considerable experience will value.

You'll appreciate and improve the value of a property's ecological health; will recognize natural processes and ecological trends occurring on the land; work with - rather than in oppoition to - nature;perform simple tests to solve a property's ecological problems, and encourage key stakeholders and family members to take part in land restoration.

Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land and The Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land Workbook are available at www.barnesandnoble.com and www.amazon.com.

Kosher Jesus (Gefen Publishing)

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's newest book, Kosher Jesus, provides the foundation for a new and stronger understanding  between Christians and Jews, and a radically new perspective on the world’s most famous personality. Kosher Jesus offers a revolutionary new perspective, based on both Christian and Jewish sources, that early Christian editors attempted to de-Judaize Jesus and portray him as an antagonist to his people, fully Romanized, after the failure of the Jewish revolt of the year 66-70 when the Jews became the most hated nation in the Empire. The truth is, as the Gospels point out, Jesus lived, taught and died a Jew and taught all his followers to live by the Torah’s teachings; in fact, nearly all of his sermons were restatements of the Hebrew Bible, as he intended them to be. 

Shmuley’s research has also conclusively determined that Jews not only did not kill Jesus, they protected him from Herod, as the Luke makes clear. The Romans wanted Jesus dead because of his insurrection against the Emperor.  Rabbi Shmuley hopes these realizations will strengthen Jewish-Christian ties and values, with Jesus (historically the barrier separating the two peoples) serving as the bridge between the two faiths, even as he is understood very differently by two great world religions.

This book, in hard-cover, sells for $26 at bookstores everywhere and on-line.

Kabbalah Magic and the Great Work of Self-Transformation (Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd)

Advancing to higher levels of ritual magic filled with purpose and power requires an exalted state of consciousness--a spiritual transformation that is an antidote to the aridity and futility of modern life. Based on Kabbalistic techniques, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and an Hermetic tradition spanning nearly twenty centuries, this innovative new work by author Lyam Thomas Christopher, introduces the history of the Golden Dawn and its mythology, the Tree of Life, Deities, demons, rules for practicing magic, and components of effective ritual.

A comprehensive course of self-initiation using Israel Regardie's seminal Golden Dawn as a reference point, Kabbalah, Magic & the Great Work of Self-Transformation guides readers through each level of the Golden Dawn system of ritual magic. Each grade corresponds with a sphere in the Kabbalah Tree of Life and icnludes daily rituals, required reading, written assignments, projects and additional exercises.

Christopher presents a well-grounded and modern step-by-step program toward spiritual attainment, and a lucid gateway toward a heightened state of wakefulness.

This book is available at bookstores everywhere for $17.95. For more information visit web site www.llewellyn.com or write to Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd at 2143 Woodside Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125..

The Conservative's Handbook: Defining the Right Position on Issues from A to Z (Cumberland House Publishing)

In reading this fine book, voters nationwide will have a guide to conservatism and its belief system. It provides an A to Z listing of today's hot issues and topics of perennial interest. Each chapter is dedicated to an in-depth discussion of one particular topic. . .Global warming, gun control, illegal immigration and national security are just a few subjects that Westwood One syndicated talk-show host Phi Valentine outlines a conservative viewpoint for. Valentine expertly combines personal opinion, fact, and research to provide a persuasive argument in favor or opposing the issue at hand. Comprehensve, without being overwhelming, The Conservative's Handbook summarizes what it means to be a conservative and will either challenge or reinforce readers' thoughts and assumptions as America readied itself for another presidential election.

Valentine writes, "Conservatism is about hope for the future, not fear of it. It's about confronting our problems head-on with rational ideas on how to solve them, not cowering in a corner waitin for someone else to devise a solution. You may find this book informative, humorous, and possibly enraging - bt if it makes you think, then I've done my job." Inside you'll vind chapters from A to Z, including Unions have outlived their usefulness; Vigilance is the price of freedom; America is good; Belief in God is a cornerstone of our republic; Zero tolerance is the only way to effectively deal with drime; and much, more.

The Conservative's Handbook, (ISBN-13:978-1-58182-622-3) published in September 2008 by Cumberland House Publishing is available online and at bookstores for $19.95.

How to Move to Canada: A Primer for Americans  (Thomas Dunne Books)                                         

On the morning after Election Day 2004, American visitors to Canada’s immigration web site set a new daily record – increasing 600% from an average of 20,000 hits to 115,000 hits. In How To Move to Canada: A Primer for Americans (Thomas Dunne Books), we learn that many Americans who make the move north aren’t going for politics – for skilled workers and retirees make up the largest number of emigrants to Canada. Author Terese Loeb Kreuzer with Carol Bennett has provided readers with a straightforward and informative handbook that gives a thorough understanding of Canadian residency and naturalization processes. It supplies anyone interested in a possible move to Canada with a clearer understanding of everything Americans need to make the move, and gives a more realistic appreciation of what Canada has to offer Americans.  Included is detailed information on each region and major city, climate, transportation, health care policies, and comprehensive lists of resources to consult for further information. The book also contains snapshots of Canada’s provinces and territories and their major cities; interviews with immigration experts and Americans who have immigrated to Canada; an immigration checklist; and hands-on perspectives and invaluable advice.

Available in bookstores or on-line for $14.95. For more information, contact Thomas Dunne Books, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York 10010; 646-307-5151, or check web site www.HowtoMovetoCanada.net.

LEGAL RIGHTS BOOKS

Legal Privacy Rights in New Jersey: A Guide for Non-Lawyers (Real Peoples' Guide)

New Jersey Lawyer Anne M. Ronan has written this book in clear English, and you don't have to be a lawyer to understand civil rights to help you protect yourself in this complicated society -- because she has addressed the issues for anyone to understand.

You'll learn how and when the Federal and State Constitutions allow police and other government officials to physically inrude on you or search your things. You'll understand questions you may not even know you have - such as, did you know that if a government inspector comes to your house without a warrant, you could turn him away and even call the police? Or that if a driver who gets pulled over has the same rights as a pedestrian not to answer questions? The author clearly informs you about the fundamental rights you have at home, in a car, on the street, in a public school or office, and in other common situations. It provides enough information for a non-lawyer to read and make sense out of constitutional provisions and the legal cases that interpret them. There are also hundreds of references so you can delve into any particular topic.

For more information go to web site www.RealPeoplesGuide.com or order the book on-line or obtain it at bookstores.

Travel Rights: Know The Rules of the Road (and the Air) Before You Go! (World Leisure Corp.)

The title, Travel Rights: Know The Rules of the Road (and the Air) Before You Go! (World Leisure Corp., Hampstead, NH) says it all. Author Charles Leocha guides readers step-by-step on how to find the best airfare deals and rental car rates; obscure credit card benefits; and what to do during travel emergencies. The 191-page paperback also explains the best way to make online travel reservations; how to beat the ridiculous one-way rental car charge; what to do if your passport is lost; and how to write a perfect complaint letter when the need arises, among other worthwhile tips.

Available at book stores for $9.95.

Seniors' Rights: Your Legal Guide to Living Life to the Fullest (Soucebooks)

The back jacket of Seniors’ Rights: Your Legal Guide to Living Life to the Fullest by Brette McWhorter Sember (Sourcebooks) reads: “These are the best years of your life – the years you should spend enjoying the benefits of your hard work…not worrying about the future.” This helpful guide alleviates many possible problems for seniors since it gives numerous beneficial tips on how to make informed decisions; explains what kinds of legal protections are available; how to use that information in enhancing seniors‘ daily lives; and offers Information on wills and health care. Included, too, is vital information on financial matters, safety, and ways to protect against nursing home problems, elder abuse, scams, and home dangers. Laws are fully explained, and resources are listed for obtaining further details. Written by an attorney, additional topics include living on a fixed income; living trusts; Social Security credits; political advocacy groups; traffic safety, discrimination; grandparents’ visitation, and much more.

Available for $19.95 at bookstores or on the Web at www.sourcebooks.com. For more information, contact Sourcebooks, 1935 Brookdale Road, Naperville, IL. 1-630-961-3900.

MEDICAL BOOKS

Honest Medicine: Effective, Time-Tested, Inexpensive Treaments for Life-Threatening Diseases (Innovative Health Publishing)

This 308 pages book, complete with an excellent index, covers important health subjects, including:

How an FDA-approved wound-healing treatment that brought relief and healing for the author's husband was astonishingly downplayed by his doctors; A treatment for end-stage liver disease that successfully treats pancreatic cancer; A medical treatmnt, approved in the 1980s for drug and alcohol addition, that in low doeses successfully treats autoimmune diseases and some cancers; A high-fat diet used since the 1920s at Johns Hopkins and other prestigious medical institutions that has cured thousands of children with difficult-to-treat epilepsy; How a mother's struggle to find treatment for her son's epilepsy finally led her to success with a time-trested, non-toxic diet; How a woman with liver diesease was told she had only a few months to live, but after receiving an innovative treatment from a doctor featured in this book she is alive and well eight years later . . . . and much much more.

The author -- Julia Schopick -- writes an award-winning blog at HomestMedicine.com. When her husband Tim Fisher became ill in 1990 with a cancerous brain tumor, she became his medical advocate and began writing on topics relating to health and medine. In this book, you'll learn more about her fight to save her husband, the numerouos articles she has published , and how she has informed the world about little-known but promising treatments via her website, presentations and this book.

Available in bookstores and on-line for $14.95. For more information contact Innovative Health Publishing at web site www.HonestMedicine.com.

The Neck And Back Pain Solution: Everything You Need to Know About Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy (TBP, LLC)

In this book, Dr. Jonathan Donath describes how patients can often skip painful, risky, expensive surgery and get true lasting relief using non-surgical spinal decompression instead.
On YouTube, there are over 100 testimonials, including those from medical doctors, who chose to find pain relief without surgery. You'll discover how Donath's cutting-edge FDA-cleared treatment is effective for the most severe herniated discs, sciatica, degenerative disc disease and failed back surgery cases.

According to Donath, conventional medical treatments for back and neck pain often don't work or only temporarily ease the pain. Most of the more severe spinal pain cases can be attributed to bulging, herniated and degenerated discs, while customary medical treatment overlooks the central problem: pressure on the nerves leading out of the spine, or pressure on the spinal cord itself. Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy helps a high percentage of patients who have failed to improve using all other forms of traditional treatment.

Donath says he has treated thousands of patients 'and enabled them to obtain long term relief from crippling pain in their back, neck, legs and arms," and he feels that "Before anyone with severe back or neck pain considers surgery, with all its associated risks and problems, they should have an examination with a doctor who specializes in spinal decompression therapy to find out if they are a candidate for this treatment.”

You'll learn that Donath is also certified in other techniques such as Active Release Technique (ART), a hands-on, non-invasive solution for soft-tissue injuries and the Graston Technique, a patented form of instrument-assisted, soft-tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. Some conditions commonly improved by these two treatment techniques include headaches/migraines, back and neck pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, TMJ pain, as well as most types of tendonitis.

Dr. Donath is an adjunct assistant professor at the School of Medicine at New York Medical College and is a frequent lecturer at Jacobi Medical Center in New York. Dr. Donath graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic, and was the valedictorian of his class. He also has a Masters degree in Human Nutrition.

For more information, please visit: www.jointeffortchiro.com, or contact Joint Effort Chiropractic, 222 Westchester Avenue, Suite 405, White Plains, NY 10604 or go to web site www.backpainwestchester.com.

The 164-page The Neck & Back Pain Solution is available at bookstores and on-line for $19.95.

The Fabric of Mind (Viking Penguin)

For over 200 years, it has been conventional wisdom that all information is transmitted to the brain by electrical signals traveling along nerves, and that the brain, like a computer, processes the electrical information into thoughts. However, in The Fabric of Mind, prominent neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas Bergland offers the revolutionary theory that the brain is actually a gland and depends on changes of hormones and molecules for its function. This theory opens whole new vistas in the frontiers of research into the brain and calls into question the very techniques and principles of psychiatry, psychology, neurosurgery, neurophysiology, and anatomy, which are the bases for modern medicine.

Bergland bases his theory on evidence he has complied during 25 years of brain research and neurosurgery. He concludes that manipulating the brain's electricity as a form of treatment is as irrational and out of date as blood letting and frontal lobotomies. Instead, he feels that doctors can reshape the molecules of the mind in order to achieve the results usually sought through surgery and electrical therapy.

He believes that an understanding of the chemical abnormalities of the brain will result in new treatments for brain diseases such as schizophrenia and senile dementia, and for conditions such as depression and obesity. Believing that we are in the middle of a 'scientific revolution' and that the brain poses one of the biggest challenges to science, he is ready to bring the revolutionary new information burgeoning from endocrine laboratories to the clinical arena.

Available in bookstores and on-line. For more information contact Viking Penguin at 40 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010.

The Death Pit (Rising Star - iUniverse Books)

This new 210-page medical thriller sheds light on lethal influence of medical politics and religious fanaticism in the healthcare system. Find out if religious restrictions regarding medical care are the cause of more deaths than we realize. According to author Dr. Michael F. Wright, an internal medicine specialist with over 32 years of experience, there is a widespread religious interference related to the practice of medicine. Wright cleverly addresses these concerns and more in his book, a medical thriller that intertwines science, murder, politics, religion and romance. The story begins when an eighteen-year-old African American woman dies unexpectedly after undergoing an elective tubal ligation at Detroilt's Henry Ford Hospital. The hospital's mortality review committee can't determine what went wrong. Three more unexplained deaths of young women send the hospital administration reeling. A renowned forensic pathologist is hired to investigate. Find out what happens after his exams. Themes in this book include -- The affects of religious fanaticism on medical practice; Understanding America's medical crisis through the inter-workings of hospital politics and medical committees; An inside look at forensic medicine, autopsies and Code Blues; and the Potential effects of socialized medicine on medical care.

The Death Pit is available for $15.95 at barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com and iuniverse.com. For more information go to web site www.michaelfwright.com.

MONEY-SAVING BOOKS & PASSES

CITYPASS®

CityPASS Offers Singles, Retired & Parents Big Discounts on Admissions and More

Those looking for great destinations can get huge discounts with a CityPASS
An iPod-sized booklet consisting of numerous tickets for admission to the most popular museums and attractions in a city, CityPASS offers visitors a savings of 46% and more off regular combined admission prices.

For example, the New York CityPASS saves travelers nearly half off the combined cost of admission to the participating attractions and has collected and vetted the top must-see, must do attractions; admission includes:

-- Empire State Building 86th-floor Observatory, plus audio tour

-- American Museum of Natural History, plus the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a Hayden Planetarium Space Show

-- The Museum of Modern Art - MoMA, plus audio tour

-- The Metropolitan Museum of Art (including special exhibitions, plus $1 off audio guide

-- Guggenheim Museum, plus audio tour, OR Top of the Rock

-- Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, including admission to both Liberty Island and Ellis Island Immigration Museum, OR a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise

In addition, CityPASS holders take the VIP route, skipping most main entrance ticket lines.l

CityPASS clears the clutter to reveal the most visited and iconic places in town, its booklets crammed with attraction information, maps, select values and how to get around on public transportation (often the surprise hit of a city visit). Parents and kids alike will appreciate zipping past ticket lines to get to the dinosaurs, sharks, or the top of the Empire State Building, the Philadelphia National Constitution Center, the New York City American Museum of Natural History and many more places of interest for everyone in the family.

CityPASS is also available in Atlanta, where kids can “compete” against Olympic Athletes at the Atlanta History Center’s new Centennial Olympic Games Museum, in Seattle, Museum of Flight, and more places, including Toronto and New York City.

The CityPASS Web site, www.citypass.com offers advance ticket booklet purchase, brochures and maps, a new special exhibits section of notable traveling exhibitions, transportation options, an insider’s tip on the best time to visit, a pricing grid to compare savings in each city, and the “look inside” web technology to see every ticket in the book. For recorded information, call 1-888-330-5008.

Entertainment Book for 2014 (Entertainment Publications)

Entertainment Book offers travel bonanza, smartphone app, one-month subscriptions

Each new edition of The Entertainment Book contains pleasant surprises for travelers.

The 2014 coupon book features substantial discounts for accommodations, restaurants, car rentals, plane tickets, events, attractions, and more, with some 500 coupon deals contained in each edition.

Travelers will also find the following:

-- Each city book contains an entire travel section with competitive rates (via Orbitz) on airfare, hotels, and events and attractions in a destination city
-- Customers can purchase an Entertainment Book for any of 150 locations, including such top travel destinations as Las Vegas, Anaheim, New Orleans, and Orlando
-- Vacationers can buy a month’s subscription to any city at eol.entertainment.com for $5, giving access to all coupons for any city that customer plans to visit
-- Thanks to a new smartphone app, anyone who buys a city book or an eol.entertainment subscription will have an easy way to locate the shops, restaurants, and activities of their choice; all they need to do is engage the app and locations will key to their phone’s GPS locator

The smartphone apps deserve a special mention, according to Entertainment Book spokesman Michael Galvin. According to Galvin, "iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch versions running iOS 3.0 or later are free to download for Entertainment Book subscribers. Android and Blackberry versions are expected to come out the first quarter of 2011. Products and merchants are highly searchable, Galvin said, with users able to filter by proximity, name or address, and category of offer.
According to Galvin, Entertainment Book buyers pay a little but save a lot. The typical city edition subscription charge ranges from $35-$40 while the cumulative average edition offers a potential savings of $15,700 (assuming all coupons are used)."

The book is obviously popular: there are more than four million Entertainment subscribers.Among popular brands included in the 2011 books are American Airlines, Avis, Cold Stone Creamery, Costco, Expedia, Old Navy, Pizza Hut, and TGI Friday’s. No minimum purchase is required.

Entertainment Book memberships are available through fund-raising organizations such as schools, churches, and community groups. Books are also available online from entertainment.com and at such retailers as Barnes & Noble and Borders. Every book includes an online membership.

According to Entertainment’s chief marketing officer, Melissa Fisher, “We have a loyal following of millions of savvy savers who look to Entertainment as their primary source for value. We want to reward our customers with even more value, and with the ability to access our offers anywhere, anytime.”

To learn more, contact Michael Galvin (Tel. 408-218-9335, (m.galvin@sahlman.com).

Entertainment Publications, founded in 1962, is the leading provider of discounted and promotional products in communities throughout North America. The Michigan-based company works with more than 60,000 local and national partners representing some190,000 merchant locations nationwide and generating some $6.5 billion in revenue for the communities it serves.

Entertainment books are available at bookstores, many houses of worship, and by contacting Entertainment direct at 1-866-265-6761 or check web site www.entertainment.com/bigbook

MYSTERY BOOKS

Love, Loss, Life (Matador Publishing)

Once I began this book, I couldn't put it down - for the amazing story by author Gonca Alban - is a winner. In a tiny village, people await the riders who come each year, take and destroy, rape and pillage and are hated by everyone who lives there - except for Cara. She rebels against her folk and their way of life and admires the riders' wild ways and free nature. She feels a magic and wishes she could be with them and, one day, she is taken in one of the village rage. She becomes a slave but likes her new life. The story has endless new takes, is well written, and you'll want to know what happens when she is finally returned to her original village and feels hopeless - taking off to roam the desert where she searches for answers.

This 214 page book can be ordered from amazon.com or other book stores.

The Distance (Storia Books)

Although I've placed this marvelous book under the Mystery catagory, it could very well be under Love or Self-Help. No matter which, it is thoroughly enjoyable - and - indeed, a mystery of what road Mini, a young college student searching for love and meaning in gritty Calcutta, will finally take. Once started, I couldn't put the book down. Surprisingly, it is the author's (Saborna Roychowdhury) first novel, and, hopefully, not the last.

You'll learn Mini's journey through the places, situations and feelings of a young Indian woman torn between the tradition-bound Inida of her grandmother and the new, striving country of her peers. Incorporated are the countless facets of modern India, with an abundance of cultural references neatly packed into one dynamic story that will defiitely hold your interest.

Learn about her attraction to a rebel who tried to draw her in to his idealistic ways; how her parents arranged for her marriage to someone else; and how she and he moved to Canada, a totally different world from that she knew. But, the new material comfort made her yearn for things she left behind in India and, when she returned to her native land five years later, she realized the distance between dreams and reality, longing and fulfillment, love and sacrifice.

The Distance is available at bookstores and in paperback from Amazon ($11.69) or on Amazon Kindle ($4.99). For more information contact Storia Books at 1-800-387-1487.

The Rented Mule (Thomas & Mercer)

In the tradition of Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard, "The Rented Mule" is a tough and clever caper about a businessman set up by a mysterious criminal to take the fall for his wife's kidnapping. Cooper Dixon should have it made. He's got a beautiful wife, Kelly; two great kids; and a thriving business, the Tower Agency. But underneath the shiny façade of Cooper's life, things aren't going so perfectly. He and Kelly are caught in a never-ending cycle of arguments, and his cocaine-addicted business partner, Gates Ballenger, is scheming to sell the Tower Agency out from under him.

As Cooper's real life becomes increasingly unpleasant, he spends more time dreaming about his gorgeous graphic designer, and the untouched acreage owned by his family's long-time housekeeper, Millie Brown. Although Cooper doesn't want to sell the Tower Agency, the payout would allow him to buy Millie's land and create the hunting retreat he's always wanted.

Cooper is on the verge of making a move that will change his life irrevocably when fate intervenes in the guise of a motley criminal crew, hired by a mysterious client to kidnap Kelly and set up Cooper to take the fall. With his face plastered on primetime television and his wife held captive in the basement of an abandoned mansion, Cooper must depend on an unlikely ally to rescue Kelly and clear his name before it's too late.

Written by Bobby Cole, this is an enjoyable Southern-style caper with a great plot and ending." Cole is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, and president of Mossy Oak® Biologic®. Additionally, he is an avid wildlife manager, hunter, and active supporter of the Catch-A-Dream™ Foundation. He lives with his wife and daughter in West Point, Mississippi. Bobby is also the author of the novels The Dummy Line and Moon Underfoot.

Available at bookstores and on-line for $14.95 in paperback and E-Book.

Plea of Insanity (Vanguard Press)

Author Jilliane Hoffman has succeeded in writing a book readers won't be able to put down. I couldn't, because it was so exciting. Before she began her career as a felony prosecutor with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office, she came face-to-face with the frightening and misunderstood disease of schizophrenia. An unthinkable tragedy befell the family of a close college friend whose sib ling had been diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. While in a psychotic delusion, a horrific, senseless crime was committed and, in an instant, lives were forever changed. Her friend's story and the tragic medical history that plagued her family haunted Hoffman for years until she finally decided to write about this damaging disease in Plea of Insanity.

Here, she has written a multifaceted courtroom drama that is psychologically thrilling and, at the same time, sympathetic to those who suffer from mental illness. The book tells how a young prosecutor is assigned to a hectic trial division with an ornery judge. Then she's asked to second chair a case that could very well make or break her career - so she takes the job on. The defendant is a successful Miami surgeon. The victims are his wife and small children. The plea is Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. He's been perfect all his life but snapped one night. Or did he? Find out by reading this exciting book.

Plea of Insanity, pp. 432, is available on-line, at bookstores or from Vanguard Press for $25.95. For more information visit web sites www.jillianehoffman.com or www.vanguardpressbooks.com.

The Death Pit (Rising Star - iUniverse Books)

This new 210-page medical thriller sheds light on lethal influence of medical politics and religious fanaticism in the healthcare system. Find out if religious restrictions regarding medical care are the cause of more deaths than we realize. According to author Dr. Michael F. Wright, an internal medicine specialist with over 32 years of experience, there is a widespread religious interference related to the practice of medicine. Wright cleverly addresses these concerns and more in his book, a medical thriller that intertwines science, murder, politics, religion and romance. The story begins when an eighteen-year-old African American woman dies unexpectedly after undergoing an elective tubal ligation at Detroilt's Henry Ford Hospital. The hospital's mortality review committee can't determine what went wrong. Three more unexplained deaths of young women send the hospital administration reeling. A renowned forensic pathologist is hired to investigate. Find out what happens after his exams. Themes in this book include -- The affects of religious fanaticism on medical practice; Understanding America's medical crisis through the inter-workings of hospital politics and medical committees; An inside look at forensic medicine, autopsies and Code Blues; and the Potential effects of socialized medicine on medical care.

The Death Pit is available for $15.95 at barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com and iuniverse.com. For more information go to web site www.michaelfwright.com.T

The Tree Museum (The Way Things Are Publications)

Author Kathleen Kaufman’s book, The Tree Museum explores a world where humanity is forced to be self-sufficent as everything and everyone deemed wasteful is destroyed. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down -- for it follows a world completely transformed by an enigmatic and powerful totalitarian force known only as the Signmakers. In an effort to transform humanity into a self-sufficient and environmentally stable civilization, the Signmakers ruthlessly and systematically eliminate anything and any person that they deem wasteful. The story follows a torn couple on their odyssey throughout the American southwest while the Signmakers transform the world around them. 

The book attempts to address a plethora of issues surrounding the environmental problems humanity faces and how these problems can be resolved. Suggesting that the human race is not fully capable of resolving their destructive patterns, the author explores the idea that someone may need to force humanity to change. Doing so would result in a totalitarian movement and the complete loss of civil liberties, but with ultimate self-sufficiency as the outcome. Apart from the philosophical debates that The Tree Museum uncovers, the compelling journey of the protagonists are steeped in psychological tension. As the character’s battle their own shortcomings, the changing landscape around them, and dangerous psychosis, their journey is even more challenging and captivating as the world they live in.

 The publisher, The Way Things Are Publications, notes that this book was chosen for its launch publication "because we believe it encapsulates how fiction can challenge our views and force us to ask very important questions about ourselves and our society,” said Jennifer Havenner, Director. “This book fits our mission to elevate social consciousness in a very real and engaging way.”

Author Kathleen Kaufman is a tenured English teacher in a Los Angeles inner city school. She has spent her life in education and passionately focused on fiction and literature. With formal training in various forms of literature, Ms. Kaufman is intimate both with the process of writing and also with storytelling techniques. She has always been a bookworm and embraces fiction’s ability to educate, often using it to teach history and culture to her students. The social commentary interwoven in the complex and elegant storytelling of The Tree Museum is testament to her belief in the power of fiction and shines with a wit and irony that both captures imagination while permeating a greater social consciousness.

This book is available at bookstores for $14.95. For more information contact The Way Things Are Publications at 11664 National Blvd., #401, Los Angeles, CA 90064, 310-469-4352 or check web site www.waythingsarepublications.com.

NATURE BOOKS

Stranger in the Woods (KSB Promotions)

All ages will love this book by authors Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick -- not only for the breathtaking photographs of deer, cardinals and other animals, but for the story itself. The soft winter images and inventive text allow readers to enter into a world where curiosity and harmony reign. It's a glimpse into a truly magical winter wonderland. Stranger in the Woods is a simple and beautiful story -- featuring deer and birds interacting with a snowman sporting a carrot nose and nuts for eyes. Stranger in the Woods is the authors first children's book and dedicated to "those who protect wild places and to the snowman that lives in every child's heart." The story has raised thousands of dollars for various organizations including the Nature Conservancy and the Rainbow Connection.

The book, which includes 48 color pages, is available at book stores for $19.95 (hardcover) or on line. For more information contact KSB Promotions at 800-304-3269 or via e-mail at kate@ksbpromotions.com.

A Natural History of Eastern Trees - Volume One Houghton Mifflin)

and

A Natural History of Western Trees -- Volume Two (Houghton Mifflin)

These two classics, by author Donald Culross Peattie are genuine classics of natural history and most informative and entertaining. Each volume covers all the native American trees of its region. After a succinct, nontechnical description of each species --its leaves, flowers, fruit, bark, wood, geographic range, etc., Peattie focuses, in an essay of a hundred to several thousand words, on the relations between trees and people over the course of American history. These essays, unique in style and viewpoint, contain an incomparable richness of natural history. Each book contains between 300-400 wood engravings.

These books are available at bookstores and online. For more information contact houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York 10003.

Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America (Houghton Mifflin)                                        

The fourth edition of the Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America (Houghton Mifflin) is out, and a must-have for hikers, naturalists, hunters, or anyone who wants an enjoyable, educational read. Not only is this book the most comprehensive and in-depth guide to North American mammals, but it’s also the only guide that includes photographs and paintings as well as photographs of mammal skulls. Author/illustrator Fiona Reid has caught, or at least seen all of the mammals in North America in order to portray them accurately. Her renderings of each animal, in 66 color plates, are meticulously drawn and stunning, as well as highly accurate. This easy-to-use 579-page guide is designed not only to be used in the field (for the unique Peterson identification system shows exactly what features to look for to tell one species from another), but is useful indoors for both the amateur and professional students of biology and mammalogy. As a bonus, the guide describes the most likely places to spot the mammals.

Available in bookstores or on-line for $20). For more information, contact Houghton Mifflin Company, 222 Berkeley Street, Boston, Mass. 02116; 617-351-3818 or check web site www.hmco.com

Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks (Houghton Mifflin)

If you loved reading the first edition of the Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks, you’ll love the third edition of this classic. Available for the first time in full color and with more than one hundred color photographs, the all-new edition includes descriptions of the habits, habitats, tracks, signs, and ranges of all the mammals in North America. That’s not all – the book also covers selected birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. More than 1000 line drawings show individual tracks, track patterns, droppings, and gnawed trees. The new, user-friendly Key to Tracks is included in this compact 391-page book, and the order in which animals appear in the guide, as well as how they are grouped together. Easy-to-use, the authors (Olaus J. Murie and Mark Elbroch) employ anecdotal approach, and the text is filled with inspirational stories, wonderful natural history, and important information about the tracks and signs of North American animals.  This book is an absolute must on any trail!

This book is available at bookstores everywhere or on-line for $19.95. For more information, contact the Houghton Mifflin Company, 222 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116. 

PETS -- FICTION & NON-FICTION BOOKS

The Dog Lover's Companion To Chicago (Avalon Travel Publishing)

This 239-page book, written by Margaret Littman and illustrated by Phil Frank, gives the 'inside scoop on where to take your dog throughout the Chicago area. Easy to read, you'll find interesting adventures taken by Littman and her faithful companion, Natasha -- including some trips beyond the city. You'll find information on off-leash areas, parks, beaches, and forest preseerves -- rated from a pooch's perspective on a one-to four-paw scale, plus listings of dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, and shops, and even the lowdown on doggy etiquette. For both you and your dog, there are doggy diversions, such as baseball games, lake cruises and pet portraiture, along with detailed maps and directions for easy travel planning.

Available for $17.95 at bookstores, amazon.com, and from www.dogloverscompanion.com.

Dogs Don't Cry Tears (Big Apple Vision Publishing, Inc.)

You don’t have to be a pet lover to enjoy Dogs Don’t Cry Tears by Eleonora De Lennart (Big Apple Vision Publishing). This book, according to the publisher, “is an advocacy for people to understand and learn about the advanced mind of a dog.” Entertaining for every age group, and enhanced by fascinating scientific facts, it’s a heart-warming story of a special globe trotting German shepherd named, Quinky. Involved in several court cases due to his extreme aggressive personality, Quinky, forced to attend training school, miraculously was transformed into a warm, sweet dog. Author De Lennart firmly believes that dogs can feel sorrow and guilt, and can laugh and cry – although internally. It’s a fascinating book guaranteed to please.

Available at book stores for $16.95. For more information, contact Big Apple Vision Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 722, Stone Ridge, New York 12484; 845-626-5634, or check web site www.bigapplevision.com.

RESTAURANT GUIDE BOOKS

Where the Locals Eat: New York (Magellan Press Inc.)

Navigating your way through the culinary mecca that is New York City is now easier thanks to Where the Locals Eat: New York, a new dining guide available today. Where the Locals Eat: New York, published by Magellan Press Inc., takes food lovers to the top 100 local restaurants in the Big Apple, from out-of-the-way gems to celebrity chef-run fine dining, but also goes one better -- featuring more than 200 neighborhood favorites listed by specific area (Chelsea, Upper West Side, Midtown East, Brooklyn, etc.)

The top 100 NYC restaurants featured in Where the Locals Eat: New York can also be found online at www.WhereTheLocalsEat.com/New-York-Best-Restaurants. The book provides well written and succinct descriptions of each restaurant and also gives readers price ranges and other important details. In addition, Where the Locals Eat: New York spotlights the “Best of” in a variety of dining categories, such as “Best Soul Food,” “Best Breakfast” and “Best Burger.”

In researching this book, Magellan’s team of researchers, which, among others, includes both a veteran food journalist and a culinary professional, also conducted an independent and rigorous selection process to arrive at the 100 best restaurants featured in the book. The team weighed personal experiences at hundreds of New York City restaurants and surveys from local diners along with reviews from respected food critics, local and national awards, and notable restaurant ratings.

In addition to the New York book, the team recently launched the LocalEats™ iPhone application. With just a few touches, iPhone users can find restaurants “Near Me” via GPS technology, check out choice eateries in a specific neighborhood or peruse the “Best of” in various categories. Instantly, diners receive detailed descriptions, ratings, directions and phone numbers for reservations and can visit the restaurant’s website. LocalEats™ also provides continually updated reviews, ratings and awards for each restaurant featured.

The book is available for $14.95 at Barnes & Noble and online. For more information visit www.WhereTheLocalsEat.com.

SELF-HELP & RELATIONSHIP BOOKS

Divorce: A Practical Guide - What You Need to Know Before, During and After (Equity Enterprises, Inc.)

Divorce is a drastic change in one's lifestyle affecting adults and children of over two million marriages each year. It is a traumatic and financially devastating event and, for the first-time divorced person, it can be a disaster. The author - Catherine A. Wannamaker, CLA - leads the reader through in an effort to save money and added emotional turmoil. This book is written for the lay person by one who survived the legal system and her 'ex' despite what they did to her. She decided each person must understand the financial and legal implications. In combining of both aspects of divorce, she takes the viewpoint that one must protect oneself during the legal process; that it can only be done with preparation and complete knowledge of his/her financial situation. Wannamaker stresses the need to know the legal procedure as well as the rules the court will follow.

Chapters are organized to take the reader through the initial thinking about divorce, to the final judgment, and even into the post divorce problems. The well-organized glossary defines all terms in clear understandable language, and many hints on handling what will and might happen are included. The excellent index allows easy access to specific topics.

Available at bookstores or on-line. For more information contact Equity Enterprises, Inc., 5765 Andover Circle, Sarasota, FL 34233; toll free at 800-820-3243.

Life is Full of Sweet Spots: An Exploration of Joy (Abbott Press)

Author Mary O'Connor - writer, painter, poet, lover of nature, curious explorer and traveler, journalist, marketer and poublic relations counselor by profession - has written this thoughtful book sure to help everyone. She draws on the experiences of some 40 assorted individuals who have found happiness in their own lives, and presents ways of finding joy in a world where sadness and loss seem to overshadow peace and contentment.

With its engaging narrative, nuggets of inspiration and supportive research, this surprising travel guide invites readers to explore joy's favorite hiding places: the earth, sea and sky, as well as internally, our bodies, minds and souls. O'Connor notes that "The search for joy and happiness in life is consistently triggered by both difficult and good times, by economic highs and lows, by sociological and psychological trends alike." She hopes that this book "creates a helpful framework of places to visit, things to do, useful facts and suggested resources, and in so doing, helps its readers discover their personal sweet spots of life."

Illustrated with photos of activities and treasures of joy in 267 pages, this book reinforces the use of individual interests and abilities as a means of seeing and owning joy.

Available in bookstores and on-line, at www.abbottpress.com for $18.99.

Awakening Through Love: Unveiling Your Deepest Goodness (Wisdom Publications)

In author John Makransky's new book, he adapts Tibetan Buddhist practices u8sing plain, practical instructions to show readers how to develop a deeply wise, enduring power of love and compassion for every part of their lives -- and why these qualities are so relevant and important. He puts particular focus on family and work relationships, service, and social action. Tibetan Buddhism is widely acknowledged for its time-tested meditation methods to actualize deep wisdom in loving connection to others. Ongoing scientific studies continue to prove the dramatic benefits of such centuries-old practices for human well-being.

Rooted in Tibet's Dzogchen tradition, Awakening Through Love distills thesse practices into an accessible, practicable form for Westerners of all faiths and backgrounds. Each chapter includes a guided meditation, powereful techniques to connect with sources of inspiration and blessing. Makransky shows that these need not be mystifying, cimprehensible only to accomplished monks and yogis, but they can be actualized in daily life by anyone willing to practice them.

The author combines his 30 years of practice in these teachings with his life as a husband and father of two and a prestigious academic career at Boston College and is a Tibetan Buddhist lama (honored spiritual teacher) who teaches regularly at meditation retreats as a leader of Dzogchen Center.

This 256 pages book is available at $16.95 at bookstores and on-line.

Best Friends Forever - Surviving A Breakup With Your Best Friend (Overlook Press)

This book explores ways women can deal with painful break-up with someone they had hoped wold be their "Best Friend Forever." Written by psychologist Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., it is the first self-help guide to consider the complexity and challenges of female friendships, including Why friendships fall apart; How to get over getting dumped; Spotting a Toxic Friendship; How to end a friendship that can't be fixed; Moving forward with new friends.

Dr. Levine drew from her own research and the personal testimonials of more than 1500 women. She explores the myths of the romanticized notion of "BFF," and contends that most friendships, even the best or close ones, are more fragile than permanent. Levine feels that no matter what our age, "whether our friendships end slowly (almost imperceptibly) or abruptly, these endings play havoc with our emotions -- leaving many unresolved, painful feelings in their wake." She offers effective tools for pesonal assessment, case stories, and actionable advice for saving, ending, or re-evaluating a relationship. Best Friends Forever concludes with an insightful chapter on how to move beyond fractured friendships and find new friends.

Best Friends Forever is in paperback for $15.95 on-line and in bookstores. For more information contact The Overlook Press at web site www.overlookpress.com.

Playing the Quantum Field: How Changing Your Choices Can Change Your Life (New World Library)

Brenda Anderson, author of this book, teaches us how to make smart yet simple high-energy choices that create a richer, more fulfilling life. She notes that our 21st century lives are set to the dubious music of cell phone ring tones and the jarring of e-mails. We can't leave home without our Smart phones and iPods but as she has observed, "The tools meant to bring society together are actually keeping us disconnected." Anderson says "that living in a 'techno trance' doesn't just keep us stressed and distracted; it keeps us tuned out--and that keeps us from makig the choices that create lives of success and joy. When you're tuned out, you literally give up your power. Being turned out means daydreaming, worrying, and drifting into low-energy choices. You're living by default. On the othere hand, when the Tune In, you open yourself up to a whole universe of optimal, life-affirming opportunities."

Based on recent scientific research and discoveries in Quantum Physics, combined with practical application, Anderson says that every single thought we entertain connects us directly to the endless potential inherent in the Quantum Field. In her book, you'll learn how to consciously determine where we are in the energy spectrum at any given moment and, this knowledge, combined with the understanding that we live in multiple realities, helps us tap the potential of the Field.

Here, you'll learn to understand the pitfalls of 'the Old Way; It's OK to Start Small; Just Notice.

Available at bookstores and on-line for $14.95. For more information contact the New World Library at web site www.newworldlibrary.com or go to www.quantumties.com.

No More Regrets: Create A Better Tomorrow Today (Berrett-Koehler Publishers)

This easy-reading book is a must if you want to grow and learn and become a wiser person. Inspired by his final conversation with a dying friend, author Marc Muchnick is specifically designed to help you avoid pitfalls, such as being self-absorbed and judgmental and having lost touch with our innate goodness. His suggestions are straightforward, thoughtful and easy to implement--often just a matter of shifing perspective and seeing the world differently. He illustrates each with a moving personal story and includes a "No More Regrets Game Plan" tool to help you banish regret from your life forever.

This 152-page pocketbook is available on line and front bookstores at $24.95. For more information contact BK Publishers in San Francisco at web site www.bk-life.com.

The Unofficial Guide To Dating Again (IDG Books Worldwide)

Tina Tessina, Ph.D, MFT, has done it again! In The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again, this targeted resource is sure to take the terror out of dating as a grown-up -- whether dating after a relationship disaster or years alone, as a single parent or a senior, and gives searching singles facts on finding suitable people to date, effective guidelines to follow and the know-how to woo with confidence. Tessina is a marriage and family therapist and prolific author, and intensely inspected by a team of relationship experts, this authoritative and sensitive sourcebook helps singles 'unpack' negative emotional baggage and draw on positive life experiences to get a fresh start. Comprehensive and unbiased, this book comes through with distinctive features: insights into cutting-edge trends; vital statistics; Bright Ideas shortcuts; sensible Timesaver and Moneysaver tips, Watch Out! red flags, helpful Just the Facts summaries; handy checklists; and candid accounts from relationship counselors and real people who have rediscovered the fun and excitement of the singles world.

Confronting common fears, myths and excuses--including Dating is Only for the Young -- The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again explores a wide array of dating scenarios, challenges, dilemmas and opportunities, delivering reliable advice and helpful tips at every step. Among key topics, chapters include Letting go of anger, hurt, fear or grief from a past relationship..and avoiding past mistakes; developing critical dating skills, with a clear idea of the ideal mate and a focus on finding friends not lovers; where to meet date-worthy people..and the pitfalls of searching at bars, recovery groups, single events and in the workplace; dating safety, with guidance on sexual intimacy, as well as dire situations such as emotional blackmail, stalking, financial rip-offs and date rape - plus much more.

This 380-page book is available at bookstores in paperback for $15.95 ($21.95 Canada) everywhere or from amazon.com. For more information contactl IDG at website www.idgbooks.com.

Live Until You Die (Muragai Life Strategies)

If you've had the right to indulge in self-pity and look for shoulders to cry on and to be angry with life, this book, by author Helen Daniel (her first), tells of a violent childhood, murdered sister, and a devastating head injury -- the flag posts of her life which could have, should have, defined her life. However, Daniel, from Australia, is no ordinary woman. Instead of simply taking her lumps and wondering what could have been, she developed a brand of 'life strategy' that is literally shaking the foundations of a self-help market teeming with rehashed, continually repackaged 'feel good' advice.

Live Until You Die is a no-holds-barred, often hilarious account of Daniel's life, blending her own overwhelming life challenges with a 'wake up and live' message mixing equal parts kick-in-the-pants advice and profound philosophy. HGer book is a pull yourself up by your bootstraps, no nonsense, no BS resounding call to grab on to life and forge your own happiness. As she admits, it's not a book for everyone; it forces a type of introspection which runs directly against the American norm of looking elsewhere for help. Daniel offers readers a chance to view her extraordinary life with the real tales which taught her not just survival, but gave birth to an entirely new philosophy to life. Her journey of self-discovery, which includes forgiveness for her abusive father and murderous brother-in-law, overcoming profound injury and discovering a true connection with nature - to entertaining, often comical, and as others have confirmed, life changing.

Daniel pinpoints the root causes of modern-day emotional ailments such as depression, apathty, and fear and reveals her walk-up and live approach.

Available at bookstores, amazon.com, www.trafford.com or from website www.muragai.com.

It Will Never Happen to Me (M.A.C. Books)

Written by Claudia Black, who has extensive therapy experience in working with families, adolescents, and also alcoholics, and who has a private practice in Laguna Beach, California -- this title is a line spoken by all who have been raised in a family where one or both of the parents have a problem with alcohol. Most children from these homes get through their adolescence looking good and they appear to survive all the problems and hardships of life in an alcoholic family and abide by the laws - Don't Talk, Don't Trust, Don't Forget. In this183-page book, you'll find survival techniques practiced as children and adolescents and how they cause problems in adulthood. Depression, inability to maintain intimate relationships, marrrying alcoholics and becoming alcoholic are a few of the results. Here are shared some of the experiences of children of alcoholics, and it explains the process of what happens and what can be done to both prevent and handle these problems. Identifying roles, problems children have within the home, family violence, and information about where to turn for help are only a few of the areas covered.

Available for $16.95 at bookstores or online from amazon.com

The 10 Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make Before Forty

You’re turning forty!  What are you going to do? You have to take gingko Biloba just to remember where you put the card keys!  The saying, “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips” takes on new meaning for you.  Your emotions are running amok and, worst of all you can’t have a midlife crisis because “they’re just for men.”

Many women approach forty with dread. But Tina Tessina, Ph.D., my friend, longtime psychotherapist, and best selling author of The 10 Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make Before Forty can help you see that reaching this milestone age is actually an opportunity for new beginnings. At forty, it’s possible to view life from a new prospective, for it’s a time for readjusting your focus and for getting your whole act together - not just worrying that your bikini-wearing days are over.

In her new book, The Ten Smartest Decisions A Woman Can Make After Forty — a most interesting reference guide and handbook for getting the most out of the second half of life — Dr. Tessina turns her attention to the  special challenges and opportunities available to women over forty.  She believes that by grabbing the reigns and taking back control of your life, you’ll remove the fear that comes with passing forty, and open a new vista of freedom and opportunity for yourself. After reading this book myself, I can confirm that all women, whether you’re just approaching forty, recently turned forty, or have been thirty-nine for years, will find this practical and informative book filled with mapping options and outlining strategies for taking complete control of your life.

Available at book stores, through amazon.com, or by calling 800-452-5589

How to Behave: Dating and Sex: A Guide to Modern Manners for the Socially Challenged (Quirk Books)

For those who find the dating game difficult, Caroline Tiger’s guide to modern love – “How to Behave: Dating and Sex: A Guide to Modern Manners for the Socially Challenged” (Quirk Books) – will prove very helpful. You’ll learn the proper etiquette for ditching your date with aplomb; accepting rejection gracefully; avoiding scratchy stubble face-burn; what to wear and when; plus information from more than 60 scenarios that run the gamut from flirting to first date etiquette to sex. Tiger provides a new take on social manners while dealing with the real-life questions everyone wonders about – but is afraid to ask.

This 210-page book is available online and at bookstores for $14.95. . For more information contact Quirk Books, 215 Church Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, 215-627-3581;

True Partners: A Workbook for Building a Lasting Intimate Relationship (Putnam Publishing Company)

Did you know that couples are divorced as often as other couples are married nowadays? Even unmarried couples, straight or gay, find it hard to stick it out together over the long haul. According to psychologists Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. and Riley K. Smith, M.A., relationships fail so often because we rarely get a chance to learn the necessary skills for healthy relationships. Their new book, True Partners: A Workbook for Building a Lasting Intimate Relationship (Putnam Publishing Company) is a must-read to learn those skills. This book provides a step-by-step guide for couples to create an equal partnership which both people can enjoy, feel proud to share, and a relationship in which there is ample comfort and support. Through the use of case studies, quizzes, and exercises, the authors provide reassuring, easy to understand techniques which guide the readers safely through the sensitive mine fields of intimate relationships. The basis of their technique is called Cooperative Problem Solving. Once mastered, this technique helps readers work out mutually satisfactory solutions to problems. What you’ll discover by following the five steps of this Cooperative Problem Solving is how to recognize and solve problems in the relationship; prevent individual problems from creating partnership problems; help solve each other’s individual problems; discuss changing or conflicting individual moods and feelings and find ways to accommodate them; identify and examine the “traditional relationship” models to see what aspects of them are relevant to the partnership; and learn the skills needed to be whole, healthy, independent individuals.

Available at book stores everywhere or from Putnam, 5858 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Another Chance for Love: Finding A Partner Later in Life (Adams Media)

Published by Adams Media, Avon, Mass.) this book is a must read if your prior relationships have ended in disappointment. Elaine Fantle Shimberg -- who has authored over 20 books, appeared on The Today Show, and has written for numerous magazines, including Glamour and Woman’s Day. -- presents excellent advice, along with relationship expert Dr. Sol Gordon. In this easy-to-read 220-page book, you’ll learn how to get to know yourself; place friendship before romance; identify dating do’s and don’ts; define what you want from a relationship; look for the OPP (Otherwise Perfect Person); and forget about age. This  book will be the perfect foundation toward the first step in finding love, happiness, and companionship at any age.

Available at book stores everywhere or online from Amazon.com

THE REAL Thirteenth Step - Discovering Confidence, Self-Reliance and Autonomy Beyond the 12-Step Program (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee Books)

There are 15 million Americans in self-help/recovery programs. These twelve-step programs have helped millions of people control addictive, destructive habits, but in the process, those who have enrolled in these programs are told that they may neveer fully recover and will always have to keep coming back. Many psychologists believe that these programs could be surreptitiously undermining their members' independence, self-confidence, and self-reliance -- the very characteristics needed for full recovery.

I've read many of Tessina's books, and The Real Thirteenth Step offers readers the ability to honor the accomplishments they achieved in their recovery programs and to effectively move beyong the program to normal, functional living. Building on skills acquired in the twelve-step program, Tessina teaches her readers how to cultivate the three new key skills for real autonomy -- risk-taking, problem-solving and coping with failure -- and use them in every aspect of their lives: relationships, work and all types of decision-making. Additionally, readers will discover how to take control of their lives and remain free of the fear of relapse or setback in their recovery.

According to Dr. Tessina, "Recovery programs have helped people tremendously, but there is no culminating celebration, no movement to a new level. Something feels wrong about this. When students study diligently and learn their lessons in school or college, they get to graduate and move on to a higher level. But for members of recovery groups there is no graduation or recognition for those who have completed their work -- no Thirteenth Step beyond recovery to a health and wholeness that transcends any further permanent dependency on the program to keep them free from addition."

While other authors have described the limitations of recovery programs, Tessina's The Real Thirteenth Step is a 'graduation' present for recovery program members. It is the only book I've read thus far that simultaneously acknowledges the benefits of recovery programs, whle helping the reader to move beyond them. This is a must-have book.

Available at book stores and on-line, this paperback is $12.95. For more information contact Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee Books, c/o The Putnam Publishing Group, 5858 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 900036.

SELF-PROTECTION BOOKS

Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States (Traveler's Guide, Inc.)

This book is very informative and up to date with the 2012 regulations. Written by an attorney in private practice in Covington, Kentucky (J. Scott Kappas) - who has written several academic studies on the Second Amendment including, The Right Most Valued by Freemern: the Origins and Historical Development of the Citizen's Right to Keep and Bear Arms -- which was a winner in a legal writing contest sponsored by the National Rifle Association. Along with his law practice he operates a Class III firearms business and is active in the political fight to preserve the citizen's right to keep and bear arms. the Traveler's Guide was inspired by the author's own need to have a concise, yet accurate summation of state transport and carry laws to reference during his vacation travels across America.

And conside it is. It has already helped me discover reciprocity rules of every state as well as contact information and a traveler's checklist. The book comes with a warning that, although rare, court challenges to recently passed statutes sometimes occur and that readers should stay abreast of national news so they are aware of any such challengesl in certain states (outlined in this fine book).

In the front of the book, you'll find detailed instruction on how to use same. For example, each state is listed alphabetically through Wyoming, and each state is afforded one page of explanation pertaining to the firearm laws most relevant to the traveler. The District of Columbia, Canada and Mexico are also covered, and a graphic illustration of how each state is rated for its treatment of firearms is displayed at the top margin of each page. In addition, vehicle carry and transport of firearms, concealed carry and reciprocitty for non-resident licensees, and laws governing possession of various types of firearms (machine guns and semi-automatic 'assault weapons' are covered in a user-friendly format so readers will know what to expect in each state.

Detailed information is covered on reciprocity and recognition, as well as concealed vs. plain view firearms. Also, the author has covered a Traveler's Checklist with terms defined, loaded vs. unloaded, open carrty and Interstate transport through restrictive states. You'll find out about motorhome and RV issues, traveling by Air, cruise ship, train and Greyhound bus, over the road commerical trucks, current & retired law enforcement officers regulations, tghe Castle Doctrine, affirmative defenses, preemption of local laws and much, much more.

This book is worth its weight in gold. And, the large print is easy on the eyes. Don't be without it.

Available for $15.99 at bookstores, amazon.com or ffrom Traveler's Guide, P.O. Box 2156, Covington, KY 41012.

NRA Guide To The Basics of Personal Protection in the Home & Away

Crime is a vital issue whether you own a firearm or not. The National Rifle Association has developed a book, NRA Guide to the Basics of Personal Protection in the Home, and while the 223 page book does cover the “basics,” it’s a very comprehensive guide to home protection. In very matter-of-fact terms, the book covers numerous personal protection topics, such as planning and strategies that make homes safer, confronting an intruder, and being mentally prepared. A significant amount of attention is also paid to using firearms for home protection, with emphasis on firearm safety.

Available through NRAs Personal Protection course, where it’s used as the class manual, or at a cost of $9 plus shipping, handling and packing from NRA by calling 800-336-7402. Ask for item number ES26828. For more information on the Personal Protection course, call 703-267-1430 or log onto www.nrahq.org/safety/education.

SHOOTING SPORTS

Gun Digest, "The World's Greatest Gun Book",  is Back for Its 72nd Year

Now in its 72nd edition, Gun Digest, "The World's Greatest Gun Book," is back with more of everything that firearms fanatics crave. Jammed with informative, entertaining features from the industry's top writers, Gun Digest 2018 covers firearms and accessories from every angle: hunting, personal defense, shooting sports, collecting, reloading and more.

For 2018, veteran editor Jerry Lee pulled out all the stops and assembled the most comprehensive collection of firearms information available. Gun Digest 2018 covers historic military arms, high-powered double rifles, long-range shooting, unique wildcat cartridges, big-bore handguns, exquisite custom arms, self-defense guns, practical hunting rifles, the latest and greatest handguns, optics and reloading equipment ... the list goes on and on! In addition, the completely updated firearms catalog and ballistic tables make this book a must-have for every firearms enthusiast.

Look for it now at Barnes & Noble and other major and specialty retailers.

FN Browning . . Armorer to The World (Stoeger Industries)

Gun expert Gene Gangarosa Jr. has written the most comprehensive, up-to-date account of the FN/Browning story. He traces the history of Fabrique Nationale (FN) and its history-making alliance with John Moses Browning at the turn of the century; explains how FN became the exclusive producer and distributor of Mauser-system rifles; reveals how Browning, America's foremost firearms designer, presented his long-recoil design to FN; and how Browning's inventive genius helped FN grow from a small arms manufacturer into a giant of the firearms industry.The book is llustrated with over 200 photos, charts and drawings covering every aspect of the FN/Browning alliance.

Available at bookstores and on-line. For more information contact Stoeger Industries, 5 Mansard Court, Wayne, NJ 07470; 973-872-9500.

Gun Trader's Guide - 22nd Edition (Stoeger Industries)

Completely revised and explanded, the 22nd edition, Gun Trader's Guide includes more photographs, listings and specifications than ever before. Over 6000 rifles, shotguns and handguns, including their variations, have been reviewed and refined to reflect the most up-to-date product data and pricing. All types of firearms are detailed -- sporting, military, law enforcement, commemorative and limited editions. The Gun Trader's Guide is unique, detailing thousands of firearms manufacturered since 1900 by major U.S. and foreign manufacturers. The alphanumeric listing system makes finding and identifying firearms easier than ever.

Available at bookstores and on-line. For more information contact Stoeger Industries, 5 Mansard Court, Wayne, NJ 07470; 973-872-9500

Game Gun (Countrysport Press)

Author Richard Grozik, takes a look at the leading best guns of yesterday and today, including the Parkers, Foxes, L.C. Smiths, and Lefevers of America's golden age of gunmaking . . . as well as the Purdeys, Holland & Hollands, Piottis, Garbis, and other fine doubles still made in Europe. Loaded with color and b/w photos, this gem is found to please anyone on your gift list . . . or you!.

Available at bookstores or from Countrysport Press, 116 Craig Industrial Park, Selma, AL 36701; 800-367-4114.

Blown Away: American Women and Guns (Pocket Books)

According to author Caitlin Kelly, "America is a nation whose Constitution protects the right to bear arm. It is also a place in which more than one third of all women will be violently assaulted, raped, or robbed in their lifetimes." Kelly learned how to use a gun -- and found herself empowered in ways she hadn't anticipated. Blown Away is an illuminating expose and, of the many people across America whom Kelly inereviewed for this fascinating book, only some are crime victims who've chosen to join the estimated 17 million American women who own guns. The book takes a comprehensive look at the intersection of guns and women's lives by capturing a large and varied chorus of voices, from battered wives who chose to fight back to Hollywood celebrities who have taken an outspoken stand against firearms. Readers will learn about women like Patty Varone, bodyguard for nine years to former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani; Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy whose husband was killed by gun violence, female criminals such as Jean Harris and Amy Fisher; teens and college students who enjoy shooting for competition and self-defense; and female sport shooters who cherish their weapons as much as the thrill of competing. Also discussed is the potentially devastating effect of male gun ownership on the many women who don't own guns, and never would: men who use their frearms to commit suicide and homicide (three female murders a day) and the disproportionate influence of gun violence on women of color.

Blown Away is frank, shocking and always objective. It sheds light on every angle of an issue that continues to divide a nation -- a nation whose passion for firearms and indi vidual freedom lives uncomfortably with its image of women as caring nurturers.

Available at book stores for $13 or on amazon.com. For more information check web site www.simonsays.com.

The Complete Guide to Modern Rifles (Stoeger Industries)

If you don't own a copy of The Complete Guide to Modern Rifles by Gene Gangarosa, you're missing out. In this five-part coverage of the world's great modern rifles, the author introduces readers to the top 70 models which he considers the pacesetters for originality and performance. Covered are thge well-known rifle action types, such as single shot, bolt action, lever action, pump action and self loading, with each entry having an introduction and alphabetical listing, plus a specifications table that lists length, weight, year produced, manufacturer/importeer, caliber, and capacity. This 320-page book is heavily illustrated with a complete index and is a companion volume to The Complete Guide to Classic Rifles. Also by author Gangarosa, The Complete Guide to Classic Rifles discusses those out-of-production models that have contributed so much to the history of long arms throughout the world. The book contains over 300 photos, everthing is covered from the Arisaka types 38 and 99 to the Winchester 70. Each entry includes a brief history featuring the designers who created them, the results of the author's own tests for accuracy and handling, and a specification table with length, weight, year of production, caliber and capacity.

Both books are available at bookstores or from Stoeger Industries, 8 Mansard Court, Wayne, NJ 07470.

Rifle Bullets for the Hunter: A Definitive Study (Ballastic Technology)

Author Richard Mann grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and has hunted with a rifle for most of his life. His background includes service in the military and with various law enforcement agencies where he has trained soldiers, police officers and civilians in the tactical and practical application of firearms. Mann has had hundreds of articles published in over 30 different publications and is a regular contributor to "Gun Hunter, Shooting Illustrated & Shooting Times magazines. For years Mann has been fascinated with the terminal performance of bullets, and this led to his development of the Bullet Test Tube. Mann has tested a wide variety of bullets in the TUBE, and the education from these tests, and hunts on four continents, prompted him to begin the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter, A Definitive Study.

But for a book on rifle bullets to be comprehensive Mann knew it would have to be built on a foundation laid by hunting experiences gained all over the world and not by just one hunter. Mann secured the services of John Barsness, Craig Boddington, John Haviland, Ron Spomer and Bryce Towsley to ensure the book would present information on every type of rifle bullet from experienced hunters that had not only tested the bullets but used them in the field. Mann also knew it would be a daunting task to assemble all of these contributions into a book that would be as entertaining as it was informative. To meet that requirement Dave Campbell was brought on board to perform the task of editing this first of its kind book on rifle bullets for hunters. Campbell is currently the Editor in Chief of Shooting Illustrated, and brings more than three decades of hunting and shooting experience to the job. He is an award-winning author with hundreds of articles published worldwide who has hunted throughout North America from the Arctic to Sonoran deserts, Europe and Africa.

Campbell started freelance writing in 1995 and had an outdoor radio show in Fresno, California for two years. In 1997 he took the Hunting Editor position at Western Outdoor News, a southern California weekly hunting and fishing newspaper. Two years later he joined the staff of Petersen's Hunting as an associate editor. By demanding crisp and alluring images, attention to detail and factual accuracy from his contributors, Campbell has set the bar high with Shooting Illustrated and this carries over to the new web site www.gunsandhunting.com which is also edited by Campbell. Rifle Bullets for the Hunter, A Definitive Study is the first comprehensive look at rifle bullets for hunters. It addresses, rifle bullet history, theories on stopping power, varmint bullets, deer bullets, bullets for big game, cast bullets, muzzleloading bullets, solids and is packed with information on testing rifle bullets.

For more information check the interactive web page at www.riflebullets.net or write Ballistic Technology, 3702 Rocky Branch Road, Princeton, WV 24740.

Sporting Clays Consistency: You Gotta Be Out of Your Mind! (OPS School)

Written by Gil and Vicki Ash in their straight-forward humorousstyle, you'll quickly see the principles written and learn to apply same to other aspects of your lives as much as to your shooting. Gil and Vicki Ash assert that you will never shoot better than the quality of your basic move and mount, and that after the big jump in learning that takes place from rank beginner to intermediate, the condition of 'average' sets in. "But, according to the Ash's, "there are flashes of mastery times when the shooter is free from a personal average." That's where this book comes in, helping shooters learn to consistently shoot at their personal best by getting outside of conscious thought and trusting their subconscious.: It stresses the importance of both mental and mechanical proficiency to achieve shooting goals.

Available at sporting goods stores, book stores and on-line for $39.95 or call the Optimum Shotgun Performance Shooting School at 800-838-7533 or go to web site www.ospschool.com.

SPORTS

The Mozart of Basketball-- The Remarkable Life and Legacy of Drazen Petrovic (Sports Publishing)

From his young age, Petrovic was recognized as a natural basketball talent. At 15, he turned professional and quickly developed into a sublime scorer and earned the reputtion around Europe as a sharpshooter. Winning European competition during his young years he was an inspiration to this war-torn home of Yugoslavia, and was selected in the third round of the 1986 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. In a couple of years, he brought his talent and pride of his struggling country to the USA Eventually he was traded to the New Jersey Nets in 1991 - where he became a premier player and considered by many to be the finest shooters in the NBA.

Later, he travelled to Poland to help his country qualify for the upcoming FBA European Basketball Championship and rather than fly with his team mates, he drove there with his girlfriend, but on June 7, 1993, just before his 29th birthday, he was tragically killed in a traffic collision in Germany. Thousands attended his funeral and the New Jersey Nets retired his number.

Learn about why he is regarded a hero in both the United States and in Croatia in this fine book written by Todd Spehr.

Available on-line and in bookstores for $24.99. For more details, contact Sports Publishing, 307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018 (212) 643-6816 or go to web site www.skyhorsepublishing.com

Riding Sky High: A Bicycle Adventure Around the World (Skyhorse Publishing)

Did you ever dream about traveling around the world as a way to get around while touring different places? This book is a great read -- for it tells of one man's journey that truly will inspire the wanderlust inside all of us.

Written by Pierre-Yves Tremblay, you'll follow Tremblay, a trailblazing world cyclist, as he covers over 15,000 miles carrying everything on his back! Along his 863-day journey, he travels through Europe, past the deserts of the Middle East, conquers the Himalayas, and rides through Southeast Asia and the wilds of Australia before completing his journey biking across the United States and arriving back home in Canada.

Readers have a personal window into his grueling journey, displaying not only the physical effort it took to complete, but the psychological exertion as well. In addition to meeting new people and learning about new cultures, Tremblay was also forced to confront himself along the way. This modern-day Ulysses reflects how he tackled multiple pitfalls on the voyage to self-discovery.

Read, among other experiences, how he raced through the Pakistani desseert to beat an expired travel visa; his classic tale of love and loss surviving over thousands of miles apart; an emergency hospital visit due to a nasty car accident; being stranded in a remote port in Indonesia after a robbery; and the joys and wondere of conquering your fears while exploring the Great Barrier Reef.

Written in journal-form, this hard-cover 269 page book, is available on-line and at bookstores for $23.95. For more information, please contact the publisher, Skyhorse Publishering, Inc., at 307 West 36th Streeet, 11th floor, New York, NY 10018; 212-643-6816 or go to web site www.skyhorsepublishing.com.

Fitness Cycling (Human Kinetics Publishing)

If you want to learn the basics of cycling, learning about workouts, and attaining your cycling goals, this book will answer all your questions and make you a more successful rider. From customized workouts to authoritative advice, you'll learn the most effective workouots -- 56 that are chosen to improve strength, speed and stamina -- for achieving peak physical conditioning. Author Shannon Sovndal, MD, through color photographs, charts, and advice, is a cyclist and physician for one of the sport's leading teams - and provides, through personal knowledge - a detailed approach to cycling based on specific aspects of riding, such as base building, interval training, sprinting, hill climbing, and time trialing. Each workout is color coded for intensity level, so you can create a targeted program based on your goal, current fitness level, and cycling experience.

With recommendations, advice, and professional insights on riding techniques, goal setting, training concepts, recovery, and preventing common cycling injuries, Fitness Cycling is the one training guide you'll turn to over and over again for a lifetime of cycling workouts.

Available on-line and bookstores, this 215-page book sells for $18.95.

BIKE NYC: The Cyclist's Guide to New York City (Skyhorse Publishing)

I've written - '30 Bicycle Tours in New Jersey' - and was extremely pleased to read 'Bike NYC.' Authors Marci Blackman, Ed Glazar and Michael Green have done an excellent job, and I do believe that the fact that regular bicycle riding has doubled in New York City in the past couple of years is due to their writing about protected paths and bike lanes that have been popping up everywhere - from Broadway to Prospect Park West. Commuter biking and joy riding is now safer and easier than ever before.

Bike NYC is the definitive guide to navigating the city via its fastest growing mode of transportation. Three seasoned riders and bike tour guides, including the creator of Bikeblognyc.com, offer advice on fabulous rides through ALL five boroughs. Part guidebook, photo essay, history and human interest story, Bike NYC is all about rediscovering the city and being a part of the bike culture movement. In reading this book, you'll not only get exercise and be healthier, but you'll gain a new prospective on New York City with adventures such as:

Riding Manhattan tip to tip from 122-year-old Pier A to the Cloisters

Checking out the "Cemetery Belt," an 18-mile ride through ancient cemeteries of Brooklyn and Queens

Pedaling your waty through a Manhattan and Queens art crawl

Seeing Coney Island's beaches as never before

Experiencing 'the Dead Pool' on Staten Island up close and personal -- the place where tugboats go to die

Taking a spooky Halloween night ride through Brooklyn brownstones and much, much more.

The book is small enough to carry anywhere and is packed with safety tips, historical facts, photographs, and listings of the best food stops and bike shops no matter where you are on your ride. The book is definitely a new key to the city.

At $12.95, the book is available at bookstores and online. For more information contact Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 307 West 36th Street, New York, NYT 10018; 212-643-6816. Or go to web site www.skyhorsepublishing.com.

The 300 Club: Have We Seen the Last of Baseball's 300-Game Winners? (Ascend Books, Overland Park, Kansas)

"Winning 300 games is one of the most difficult feats in baseball. to reach that level, a pitcher needs 20 years of 15 wins or 15 years of 20 wins. Since few pitchers win 20 games in the current era of five-man rotations and pitch counts, there are no 300-game winners on the horizon," notes author Dan Schlossberg in this, his 35th book. "In fact, there are fewer 300-game winners than there are members of the 500 Home Run Club or 3,000 Hit Club.

Here, Schlossberg profiles the 24 pitchers who won at least 300 games, including the 10 living members of the club, as well as pitchers who came close. He also looks into the active pitching ranks to predict whether anyone has even a microscopic chance of joining their select ranks.

This illustrated hardcover book, which features a foreward from Mets radio voice Wayne Hagin, has boxscores of every 300th win plus career records of the 24 pitchers who reached the coveted level. All belong to the Baseball Hall of Fame or lwill soon be enshrined. This book is definitely one to read, enjoy and keep on your bookshelf to read again.

Available for $24.95 at bookstores or online from amazon.com.

Fitness and Sports Medicine: An Introduction (Bull Publishing)

This easy to understand reference book authored by David C. Nieman, D.H.Sc., includes all aspects of exercise and health including information on exercise testing and other aspects of sports medicine.

Available at bookstores and on-line.

Sports Injury Handbook (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

Dr. Levy, team doctor for the New York Giants football team, has answered just about every question on what to do immediately following a sports injury; which exercises cause unnecessary wear and tear on the body; and how to keep in condition during rehabilitation.

The main part of this guide (written by Allan M. Levy, M.D., and Mark L. Fuerst), organized by body part and sport, makes it easy to figure out how to treat a symptom, and how to avoid further risk of injury. Chapters -- covering everything from aerobics and jogging, to tennis and skiing -- include information on conditioning nutrition and strength training techniques used by athletes to stay in top physical shape. Besides the easy, step-by-step rehabilitative exercises one can perform at home, there are special precautions listed for women, children and older athletes, as well as a section on how to choose a sports specialist when professional intervention is unavoidable.

This book, loaded with excellent exercise diagrams and helpful tips that can save a heap of money, is easy and enjoyable to read.

Available for $19.95 at bookstores and on-line.

Far From Home: Latino Baseball Players in America (National Geographic Books)

In association with Major League Baseball, this book poignantly intertwines our national pastime and the American dream into a powerful story of Latinos who come to the United States in search of a tantalizing prize: baseball stardom. Far From Home: Latino Baseball Playrs in America by Tim Wendel and Jose Luis Villegas, chronicles the remarkable tale of Latino baseball players in the American baseball system. This 160-page work, illustrated with more than 100 photographs, is a bold and sometimes heartbreaking look at the ups and downs of chasing a dream. It captures all of the flash and glory of being a major-league star at the top of his game -- as well as the struggles faced by others who have to take a longer, tougher road.

Told in four fascinating chapters, the journey begins in 1878 when Cuba hosted the first league in the Caribbean. Nernesio Guillo, a Cuban who studied in the United States, introduced baseball to his countrymen and founded the Havana Base Ball Club. Soon after that first game, Cuban teams began playing against traveling squads from the United States. Behind-the-scenes insights and historic photos, including those from before and after Cuba closed its borders, add to the colorful opening. In the chapters, you'll find an essay by sports journalist and author S.L. Price; the tracing of the dramatic rise of Latino baseball players in the U.S. major leagues in the 1960s; the modern age of baseball and how far Latinos have come in their search for the American dream and their impact on our national pastime and how, in 2007, 30 percent of the major leagues and 50 percent of the minor leagues were Hispanic and Latino. There's also a powerful photo essay by Villegas in which he presents intimate moments in the lives of Dominican Republic players Miguel Tejada and the late Mario Encarnacion.

This book is available at bookstores and online. For more information, contact National Geographic Books, 1145 17th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Snowshoeing: From Novice to Master (The Mountaineers)

Winter hikers seeking solitude, or anyone suffering from cabin fever, will surely want to be outdoors enjoying the icy beauty of a winter landscape after reading Snowshoeing: From Novice to Master (The Mountaineers, Seattle, WA). Here, Gene Prater describes the ancient activity of snowshoeing, in addition to detailing everything from equipment to snow camping. Written for novice or expert, chapters cover the basic types of snowshoes, bindings, appropriate clothing and equipment, the type of snow one may encounter, the terrain traveled, and weather conditions. For the expert, an entire chapter is devoted to racing, while sections throughout the book are crammed with technical tips on how to make already familiar techniques easier; Eastern versus western snowshoeing is discussed, as is physical pre-conditioning, traction devices and balancing aids. With black-and-white photos, illustrations, and practical, easy-to-follow advice, this is a book that facilitates the transition between winter couch potato and outdoor explorer!

Available at book stores or from The Mountaineers; 1-800-553-HIKE for $16.95..  

Speed, Guts, & Glory: 100 Unforgettable Moments in NASCAR History (Warner Books)

Published by Warner Books, this is a must for everyone interested in NASCAR history -- as well as the curious. With more than 75 million fans, the sport has surpassed baseball and the NBA on America's list of national pastimes, and is fast catching up to the NFL for the top spot. The sport goes back 60 years and was invented by bootleggers and farmers in the sleepy post-World II rural south. Now, author Joe Garner has written 256 pages on the definitive history of America's fastest-growing motor sport. The illustrated coffee table book also includes an action-packed DVD hosted by four-time NASCAR Cup champion and superstar Jeff Gordon. Garner describes how the souped-up jalopies that dueled on dirt tracks 60 years ago gave way to technologically sophisticated, custom-built monster machines that reach 200 mph on mammoth speedways from New Hampshire to California--but the sport still remains steeped in the traditions, values and ideals of its humble origins.

Garner immediately grabs the reader's attention by reliving some of the greatest moments in the sport's history, and with the accompanying DVD, fans will not only read about such highlights as the famous Richard Petter-David Pearson colision at the 1976 Daytona 500--they'll also be able to watch them!

This book and enclosed DVD is available in hard cover for $26.99 at bookstores everywhere or online. For more information, contact Warner Books, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020; 212-364-1193.

Rock Climbing Europe (Falcon Guide)

Written by Stewart M. Green and published by Falcon Guide (an imprint of Globe Pequot Press), this book contains more than 1,000 of Europe's best climbs, including traditional and sport routes of all degrees of difficulty. Green, an expert rock climber and outdoors photographer, provides readers with in-depth information and precise detail about finding and scaling the finest face, crack, and alpine routes in Great Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Germany, and Norway. Covered are ways to plan, execute and enjoy the European climbing experience. The 520-page book informs readers how to get to each destination, where to stay, what to bring, and how to communicate and find your way around. The book also features guaranteed binding (if the binding fails, the publisher will replace the book for free); pitch-by-pitch route descriptions, ratings, and recommended gear; detailed topos and clear overview photos; descent information on multipitch routes; easy-to-follow driving and approach directions; climbing history and visitor information for each area; tips on food, camping, climate, and more.

Available at bookstores or on-line for $40. For more information, contact Falcon Guide, P.O. Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437, or check web site www.falcon.com.

Training For Speed, Agility, & Quickness (Human Kinetics Publishing)

Athletes who want to be successful in their chosen sports should not take a casual approach to their speed, agility, and quickness training programs. Renowned kinesiology professor Lee Brown says athletes should have enough of a strength base to adequately complete each exercise without undue strain, using the training as a supplement to traditional resistance training. In other words, it should be conducted in addition to—and not instead of—lifting weights.

In thethird edition of the best-selling book for which he serves as editor, Training for Speed, Agility, & Quickness (Human Kinetics, December 2014), Brown stresses that exercise programs for athletes need to take several parameters into consideration, such as years of training, level of fitness, and how often speed, agility, and quickness training will be performed. In addition to these concerns, he points to seven critical training variables athletes at all training levels should discuss with their coaches—choice, order, frequency, intensity, volume, rest, and progression:

1. Choice of exercise for a training program should mimic the athlete’s demands during competition. Exercises should be specific to the sport relative to direction of movement, velocity of movement, muscles used, and metabolic demands of the sport. Most important, every program must be designed with a specific goal in mind, such as a soccer player incorporating multiple repetitions of multidirectional drills.

2. Order of exercise should follow three main patterns: simple to complex, low to high intensity, and general to sport specific. Brown says ordering the exercises in this manner allows an athlete to gradually prepare to perform the most complex, intense, and specific movements required during their peak event.

3. Frequency of training refers to the number of training sessions completed in a given time, usually per week. Frequency should be altered according to the ability level of the athlete and where he or she is in a training program. “It is important that athletes begin with the basic techniques of each exercise before advancing to more technical aspects,” Brown comments. “Furthermore, learning proper mechanics of basic exercises will allow the athlete to progress to advanced exercises in a timelier manner.”

4. Intensity applies to the quality of work performed during muscular activity and is measured in terms of power output (i.e., work performed per unit of time). Training intensity may also be defined by the ease or difficulty of a particular drill and be altered based on the velocity of movement, whether or not the movements are planned or unplanned, and the degree of angle for the movement.

5. Volume is the quantity, or total number, of sets and repetitions completed in a training session. The inverse relationship between intensity and volume states that as intensity increases, volume decreases. Early in the program, volume is high while intensity is low. As the athlete nears competition, volume is progressively decreased as intensity increases. When it comes to assessing training progression, measuring training volume (number of sets times number of repetitions) is vital.

6. Rest, as Brown points out, is often the forgotten variable. Rest prevents overtraining and is critical to the success of a training program. The progression of a training program must include rest in order to maximize training adaptations that are specific to each sport.

7. Progression of the program should gradually increase as athletes reach their goals. It should also be specific to the sport. “Intensity should progress from low to moderate until movements are mastered, followed by a decrease in volume as the intensity increases,” Brown explains. “Progression from low to high intensity may depend on where the athlete is in his or her training year.” He says low intensity may consist of performing the exercises at 40 to 50 percent of maximal exertion, moderate intensity at 50 to 80 percent, and high intensity at 80 to 100 percent.

Brown also says each critical training variable should be manipulated according to the athlete’s level of training, dividing athletes into three major categories: novice, experienced, and advanced. With novice athletes, the potential for improvement is great. Experienced athletes have been training for one to five years and compete at a higher level, but there is still great room for improvement. Advanced athletes, meanwhile, compete at a national or international level, where events are decided by inches or hundredths of a second. Because their potential for improvement is small, the details of their programs must be precise.

As the most effective resource for building the movement skills to excel in any sport, the first two editions of Training for Speed, Agility, & Quickness have sold more than 100,000 copies. The third edition includes new drills, bringing the total to more than 200. The most dynamic and complex drills are housed in an online video library, giving readers exclusive access to streaming video of demonstrations that ensure the drills and exercises are being performed with proper technique.

For more information on the third edition of Training for Speed, Agility, & Quickness or other strength and conditioning books and resources, visit HumanKinetics.com.

This 280 pp book with 343 illustrations is available at bookstores and on-line for $24.95.

Maximum Interval Training (Human Kinetics)

If you're ready to challenge yourself and turn up the intensity of your workouts, and if you're ready for a proven program that burns fat, increases muscle and sculpts the physique you've always wanted, then Maximum Interval Training is for you. The book combines high-intensity exercises and nontraditional equipment with a variety of modalities and training options to stimulate muscle growth, avoid plateaus, and produce results.

Editor-in-Chief Steve Holman includes step-by-step instructions, expert advice, and photo depictions of 147 exercises as well as ready-to-use programs for power, stength, endurance, quickness, agility, tactical training, and total-body conditioning. You'll test your limits with a regimen of sprints, medicine balls, heavy ropes, kettlebells, sandbags, bodyweight exercises, and suspension training.

Complete with photographs, this 351 pp book is available at bookstores for $23.95.

   

TRAVEL & ADVENTURE BOOKS (Fiction & Non-Fiction)

Game of Love (Curiosity Quills Press)

Written by a male author - Ara Gigorian - this book held my interest from the first few pages -- and had a wonderful surprise ending.

Game of Love is set in the high-stakes world of professional tennis where fortune and fame can be decided by a single point. Gemma Lennon has spent nearly all of her 21 years focused on one thing: Winning a Grand Slam. After a disastrous and very public scandal and subsequent loss at the Australian Open, Gemma is now laser-focused on winning the French Open. Nothing and no one will derail her shot at winning – until a heated chance encounter with brilliant and sexy Andre Reyes threatens to throw her off her game. Breaking her own rules, Gemma begins a torrid affair with Andre who shows her that love and a life off the court might be the real prize. That is, until their secret affair is leaked to the press, making headlines across the globe, putting Gemma and Andre in the crosshairs of the swarming paparazzi and Andre in danger of losing a lucrative consulting contract. With time running out and their relationship threatening to implode, Andre uses his expertise to expose the betrayer – and discovers that Gemma may not be the real target, after all.

This is a compelling novel combined with passion, betrayal, mystery, fame and love and it's a great read for everyone.

This great book is 288 pages and is sold at bookstores and online for $16.99. For more information check with Curiosity Quills Press (A Division of Wampa, L.LC), P.O. Box 2160, Reston, VA 20195; Phone 1-800-998-2509 or web site www.curiousityquills.com.

On the Loose in Washington, D.C. (Applewood Books)

Prize-winning cartoonist and author Sage Stossel has written many books, including "Where's Waldo?"; On the Loose in Boston; and now On the Loose in Washington, D.C. Not only children, but adults, will have hours of entertainment finding the animals in this book - whether a monkey at the Library of Congress, a kangaroo at the Supreme Court, or a lion at the National Mall. Over 100 animals are hiding cleverly in this colorfully-illustrated, rhyming p;icture book.

Available at bookstores and online for $14.95. For more information contact Applewood Books, 1 River Road, Carlisle, MA 01741.

Travel Dreams and Nightmares (iUniverse)

I was very skeptical when I heard that four middle-aged women were writing a book about their individual travel experiences. Miraculously, their joint effort was successful - resulting in a book of short travel stories entitled "Travel Dreams and Nightmares."

It's easy to tell that author Jan Jacobson has a deep love for the sea. . . .for as I read the detailed description of her exciting trips to the Galapagos, I yearned to be among the land and sea creatures she encountered. Her writing style made me feel as though I were with her on her journeys. In fact, I bet she could write a book on her adventures alone--especially how she learned how to jump off a boat near Ireland's wild Aran Islands,

Author Barbara Brown - an avid hiker - admits she was almost ready "to lie down or rather collapse against the side of the mountain when she ventured into the Himalayas for a glimpse into the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan. She recalls that the trail "went almost straight up from where I stood. At this point I was rock climbing, not hiking." I'm sure you'll keep reading to see if she made the entire trip. In another chapter, Brown writes about her adventures in the Valley of the Flowers in India.

Wendy Quarry wrote about visiting places I never heard of and my one wish was that she would have listed the name of some of them in the chapter titles. She's been to much of Africa and Asia and feels that Pakistan is her second home. While in Germany she discovered lost Jewish roots. Louise Szabo loves 'easy' travels, wine and good food - although I'm certain most of us wouldn't consider her travels as "easy."
A few of her travels took her deep inside a Hungarian wine cellar; to Dawson City in the wild north of Canada; to Guadeloupe and the Barbados.

Learn about these ladies, their sometimes strange adventures into places most people would not think of going to. Read about their mishaps, frustrations and joys along each travel path they've taken. Each is still traveling every chance they get. Since this book was published, Szabo has been to Maine (U.S.); Jacobson was on a cruise to the Baltics and discovered the European wonders of St. Petersburg. However, she also discovered the hazards that can occur -- for while visiting friends at their winery on Salt Spring Island (Canada), she fractured her ankle. Not one to worry about these things, she broke it again climbing Pagodas in Vietnam! Brown, who loves the Himalayas, journeyed to the Kingdom of Mustang, a Buddhist region of largely Hindu Nepal. Quarry has logged on many more miles and says she feels "energized" on each one of her jaunts.

Without doubt, these new authors will continue planning many more trips --- and will write about each one..

This 202-page book, complete with index, is available on-line and at bookstores for $17.95. For more information contact iUniverse at www.iuniverse.com.

Los Angeles Attractions (Museon Publishing)

Ever felt lost in the maze of Los Angeles' endless spread, wondering what to do and see in this vast and elusive metropolis? Are you planning a trip and wanting to make your next visit to LA an unforgettable adventure? The newly published book, Los Angeles Attractions, is finally available to assist both residents and visitors discover and explore all the distinctive sights of the entertainment capital of the world. This comprehensive, easy-to-use and engaging guidebook is the ultimate resource for travelers seeking to round out their Los Angeles visit. The book includes both world-famous and hidden treasures, many listed nowhere else.

The guide's well-designed pages, and clear, concise summaries of special sites, will intrigue readers, whether they are in search of architectural landmarks, art museums, historic sites, movie stars' homes-or Marilyn Monroe's grave. All entries include essential information: addresses, phone numbers, web sites, hours of operation and admission. More than 40 detailed maps and site plans pinpoint the highlights and provide at-a-glance orientation, while more than 1,700 photographs give readers a clear sense of what to expect from each location.

Los Angeles Attractions was born out of a desire to fill the need for a comprehensive traveler's resource. Author Borislav Stanic, whose previous work includes the critically acclaimed Museum Companion to Los Angeles, was inspired to compile the guidebook when he discovered that, surprisingly, no such Los Angeles knowledge base existed. "It just occurred naturally," says Stanic, "as I realized how many points of interest there were that even native Angelenos didn't know about." The result of eight years of work, the book is intended to guide the city's 11 million resident Angelenos and the 25 million tourists who visit the city annually. Perhaps most appealing to travelers and natives alike is the excellent organization of Los Angeles Attractions. Its table of contents, complete index and geographically sorted listings make the book a winner from the get-go.

The 512 page book - with 1770 photographs, 40 maps and an index - is available at leading online and bookstores. To order from the publisher, send $24.95 plus $4 shipping and handling (Californians add $2.05 sales tax per book) to Museon Publishing, P.O. Box 17095, Beverly Hills, CA 90209-2095, or visit www.museonbooks.com

Iditarod Memories (Epicenter Press)

This wonderful, enjoyable book is a nostalgic collection of the first 25 annual posters created by Iditarod veteran and popular Alaskan artist Jon Van Zyle to commemorate the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Each poster tells a story as written by Jona Van Zyle, and touches on a musher's emotions running 1,049 miles and the thrill of crossing the finish line at Nome. It also describes the close bond and working relationship between musher and dog against nature; an insider's view of encounters with wolves, frozen rivers, blizzards, and northern lights, behind-the-scenes support of volunteers, the Iditarod Air Force, and village checkpoints, as well as the drama of the 1925 Nome Serum Run.

This 64-page exciting book can be purchased at bookstores and on-line for $16.95.

Adventure Vacations: A 50 State Guide to Rock Climbing, orseback Riding, Spelunking, Whitewater Rafting, Snorkeling, Hang Gliding and Ballooning (Carol Publishing Group)

In this 282-pages book, you'll find lots of ideas for new adventure vacations. Author Stephanie Ocko has arranged everything alphabetically - from Airplanes & Airships to Women's Adventures - each illustrated vacation idea is described in detail and is made easy to access. They include astronomy, dinosaurs and fossils, dogsledding, grandparent/grandchild outings, mountaineering, Native American tours, scuba, survival courses, and much more. There is also a list of the country's best outfitters and the kinds of specialty trips they offer.

In this book you'll also learn the hard facts on insurance, safety and health tips, and lists for other sources for deeper involvement in a particular activity. Whether it's biking down the rim of the Haleakala Volcano, ballooning past Mt. Rushmore, hang gliding from the dunes of Kitty Hawk, or sea kayaking with the whales off Cape Cod, Adventure Vacations spans the country with ideas for the spirit that dreams big and plays hard.

This book is available at bookstores, on-line or can be ordered from the Carol Publishing Group at 600 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022. For more information call 201-866-0490.

Travel Unscripted

As a travel writer myself, I was eager to read Travel Unscripted written by Mark Murphy. I'm glad it did, because it was thoroughly enjoyable, completely honest and, very funny in parts. Having hiked, sailed, climbed, kayaked, Segued and rickshawed his way through more than 50 countries around the world, ---- the author wrote about the seven most extreme places you could ever travel to -- including kayaking through a cave into the center of an island off the coast of Thailand, and not getting trapped inside if you miss low-tide!

In this entertaining and informative book, you'll find out what you need to know about nightlife around the world for singles; where to go if you're looking for love and what you can expect from Vancouver to Thailand; and extreme eats like baby duck embryo (which the author actually tried). He also will reveal where to find the best pig's blood soup, bamboo worms, crickets and more. Mark can dish on where to find the best pig's blood soup, bamboo worms, crickets and more! And if you want to lose weight while you travel, read Mark's tips on how to maximize your calorie-burning potential, including exercises you can do in the air -- as he does since he travels full-time.

Available at bookstores and on-line at amazon.com

Paris: Made by Hand (The Little BookRoom)

Traveling to paris is easy, but capturing that perfect Paris style can be much more elusive -- unless you happen to have a very hip friend who knows all the best boutiques and ateliers not commonly profiled in guidebooks. Author and photographer Jane Bijkerk has written the ideal guide to shopping in the city. She delights in sharing the little-known stores from which she sources items for her own fashinable client since she's also a stylist and true insider. In this book find shops that exemplify the parisian fait main aesthetic by offering truly one-of-a-kind items, produced or restored entirely by hand. Also, the most unique clothing, jewelry, handbags, ceramics, home furnishings and decorative objects in Paris. Fortunately, the authr tells you where to look.

You'll find over 50 Parisian shops divided into ten convenient 'wanders,' all in different areas, so that you can discover the nooks and crannies of Paris shopping far beyond the well-trodden sites. Bijkerk describes vintage clothing stores favored by A-list actresses seaching out red-carpet gowns for the Cannes Film Festival; wallpapers handmade by European artists; original artwork with prices based on size; an atelier that has created custom-made textiles for Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Armani and others, and so much more. Even if you don't fly to Paris, you'll enjoy reading about special shopping opportunites if you ever decide to go.

This 216 page book sells for $18.95 at bookstores and on-line. For more information contact The Little BookRoom at 435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014; 212-293-1637 or go to web site www.littlebookroom.com.

Walking Brooklyn (Wilderness Press)

Here, 30 neighborhood walks that explore the borough's ethnic culture, arts and architectural gems are described -- as well as what is fun, tasty and unique. Author Adrienne Onofri focuses not just on the history of what was, but what is hot and happening today. You'll learn about historical legacies, neighborhood culture, side streets and waterways. You'll be guided to unique places -- the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Fort Greene; along the streets of Brighton Beach to taste Georgian and Uygur food; and out to the resurgent East New York. Within these detailed 246 pages, you'll find the oldest house in Brooklyn, built in 1652; gardens, waterfront parks and eclectic shops. This book, with its two-color maps, route summaries and public transit information is easy to use and suggests the perfect day trip for an exercise stroll or an adventure.

Available for $17.95 from bookstores and on-line. For more information, contact Wilderness Press, 1200 5th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710; 510-558-1666.

Shopping in Marrakech (The Little Bookroom)

Morocco's crown jewel when it comes to shopping, Marrakech features a dizzying array of items just waiting to be uncovered -- but navigating the city can be daunting, particularly when street names and addresses rarely appear on city maps. Susan Simon makes it easy in this book -- for she highlights more than 100 must-see shops and souk stalls, all accompanied by maps created especially for he book.

The shops are organized into seven walks--plus two shorter bonus walks, for the indefatigable traveler--so that even first-time visitors to the city won't have trouble finding their way. The lovely color images accompanying each entry further add to the sensual experience of Shopping in Marrakech.

Find Khalid, an antique store frequented by the young king of Morocco where you'll find authentic and elaborately decorated vases, pottery, paining and more, or Magasin Berbere, the best place to find antique and modern Berber jewelry. There's so much more - including personal anecdotes, recommendations for nearby restaurants, and advice about where and when to haggle.

This 240 page paperback is available for $18.95 in bookstores or on amazon.com. For more information please contact The Little Bookroom, 435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014; 212-293-1637.

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2011 (Wiley)

The author uses new, cuting edge research to reveal how travelers can maximize time and money to make this year's trip to Walt Disney World a reality. Included in The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2011 is the latest information, tips and tricks for navigating Universal's brand-new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction.

Additional tips include:

When to go and how to beat the crowds; the best places to pick up Extendable Ears, Screaming Yo-Yos, Nosebleed Nougat and even Puking Pastilles; the secret way to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey by waiting 20 minutes or less, and the hidden line that offers the shortest wait for Butterbeer. There are also invaluable money-saving tips and tools for every stage of the trip, including detailed suggestions on alternative accommodations, affordable meals and transportation, and individualized tour plans to get to the right attractions for you in the most effective way possible. Authors Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa rate and rank every hotel, restaurant and attraction and continue to prove the writers of one of the world's top-selling guidebooks.

Available in paperback for $19.99 at bookstores and on-line. For questions, write to Wiley, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774

The Maverick Guide to Bermuda (Pelican Publishing Company)

The author - Catherine Harriott - is correct when she describes Bermuda as the azure, blue water and untainted, pink, andy beaches of the South Shore -- along with morning glories, quiet Chaplin Bay and much more. The Maverick Guide to Bermuda describes and informs about everything you would ever need to know on a visit here. You'll learn about Bermuda's rich history, filled with shipwrecks and pirates; its inspiration on Shakespeare, and its modern-day sporting events, including windsurfing and marathon running. This guide lets the curious traveler know exactly how to prepare for the trp, the best methods of travel, how to use Bermuda transportation, and which accommodations are preferable, as well as other necessary tips for the ideal vacation.

The 224 pp. 2nd edition, complete with 40 color photos, 4 color maps and an Index, is available at amazon.com and other bookstores. For more information call Pelican toll free at 1-800-843-1724.

Hidden British Columbia (Ulysses Press)

Although Vancouver has entered the stage of world-class metropolis and Victoria's reputation as a charming colonial getaway continues to spread, British Columbia as a whole still offers countless unknown and undiscovered spots -- some right in the heart of rthese popular destinations. Hidden British Columbia balances coverage of unique travel alternatives in the two "V"s with a complete survey of the province, from old fishing villages along the coast to ski towns in the Kootenays. Countless research trips into Canada's western-most province (just across from author Eric Lucas' home) have allowed him to update and overhaul his wide-ranging, four-season guide to B.C. He offers first-hand advice on the best winter skiing, spring river rafting, summer sea kayaking and fall hiking, as well as anytime urban visits to Vancourver and Victoria.

The book has expanded mapping, walking tours and scenic drives, author picks, websites and e-mail addresses and "three day weekend" getaways; unique hotels galore; 78 B&B inns, 37 historic urban hotels, 60 coastal inns, plus 41 alpine chalets --- plus a lot more.

This 512 pp. paperback has 21 maps plus 12 B&W illustrations, and is available at bookstores and on-line. For more information contact Ulysses Press, P.O. Box 3440, Berkeley, CA 94703-3440.

Hidden Oalhu (Ulysses Press)

This is a guide for travelers with an independent spirit equal to those who pioneered travel to this island decades ago. Not willing to settle for chain hotels and standard tourist restaurants, veteran travel writer Ray Riegert sought unique inns an restaurants where the local proprietors create a welcoming atmosphere and a reflection of the spirit of Hawaii. Many of Oahu's attractions are so obvious and easily found that the less-conspicuous attractions go unnoticed. However, Riegert shares his intimate knowledge of the other side of Hawaii's most visited island - including the seculed beaches, little-known surfing spots, ancient temples, out-of-the-way hotels, ethnic restaurants, and authentic Hawaiian music shows. For example, he writes about teasing your tasebuds with miso-marinated salmon and ginger creme brulee at a special place; zigzagging up the road on Honolulu's Tantalus mountain for postcard views framed by lush rainforest and guava trees, and meditating on the beauty of the Valley of the Temples at the Byodo-In Temple's carp-filled reflecting pool. There's lots more information in Hidden Oahu; it belongs on your bookshelf.

This 224 pp. paperback with 8 maps and 10 B&W illustrations is $13.95 at bookstores everywhere or on-line from amazon.com. For more information contact Ulysses Press at P.O. Box 3440, Berkeley, California 94703.

Hidden Idaho (Ulysses Press)

Hidden Idaho reveals the answer to how a state can, without a single big city, excite so many visitors. Packed with lost highways, ghost towns, secret canyons and secluded hot springs, this book leads travelers to where they want to go most -- away from it all. With its focus on the state's natural adventures, Hidden Idaho could just as easily be an 'outdoors' guide as a 'travel' guide. Myriad listings for camping, hiking, mountain biking, skiing and whitewater rafting are presented alongside unique lodging, dining and sightseeing features. Beyond Sun Valley, Idaho is free of mega-resorts. Veteran travel writer Richard Harris takes advantage of this fact to present a guide for lovers of small resorts and lost wilderness.

Sample frssh trout at Diamond Lil's Steakhouse, a rustic gold-rush relic where old-time money adorns the walls; traverse Malad George Trail's 250-foot high footbridge to the waterfall at Devil's Washbowl; soak in a therapeutic mineral pool at Lava Hot Springs Inn, a 1920s art deco-style hospital turned riverside retreat, play astronaut at Craters of the Moon National Monument, a lunar landscape of lava flows and cinder cones, and much, much more in this informative book.

This 344 pp. book with 31 maps is available for $14.95 at bookstores, amazon.com or from Ulysses Press, Berkeley, California 94703.

Walking Brooklyn (Wilderness Press)

This fine book guides Brooklynites beyond their immediate neighborhood and favorite shopping streets and reveals that there is even more to Brooklyn than they thought. Author Adrienne Onofri has penned the first local guidebook exclusively dedicated to discovering Brooklyn through neighborhood walks that explore the borough's ethnic culture, arts, and architectural gems, as well as what is fun, tasty and unique. It covers not just on the history of what was, but what is hot and happening today.

The book details 30 tours exploring hstorical legacies, neighborhod culture, side streets and waterways. It also takes the urban trekker from the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Fort Greene, along the streets of Brighton Beach to taste Georgian and Uygur food, out to resurgent East New York, and to see the oldest house in Brooklyn - built in 1652. Revealing gardens, waterfront parks and eclectic shops, Walking Brooklyn captures the unique essence of each neighborhood it covers. Each walk features history, gossip, riva, as well as places to shop, eat and drink. Two color maps, route summaries and public transit information make this book easy to use and follow.

Walking Brooklyn has 246 pages, 7x7 two-color maps and is available at book stores or online. For more information Contact Wilderness Press, 1200 5th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710; 510-558-1666.

Great Adventure Vacations With Your Kids (World Leisure Corporation)

This is Dorothy Jordon's second book in a series of travel guidebooks. As a leading expert on family travel, Jordon helps parents and children select and plan adventure vacations they can experience and enjoy together.She describes how adventure vacations don't have to translate to roughing it in rustic accommodations or spending months preparing for a physical ordeal. Most of the adventure vacations outlined in this book provide plenty of comfort, even luxury, and options for different levels of skill and physical abilities. She supplies detailed information needed to plan for great vacations with your kids and suggests you take in every corner of the United States -- from llama trekking in lush Oregon to sea kayaking along the Carolina coast, and from canoeing on Minnesota's sky-blue lakes to whitewater rafting in West Virginia. Select foreign destinations are also included such as Club Med facilities in the Caribbean, France, Israel and Indonesia, as well as bicycling in Italy, dog sledding in Scandinavia, or horseback riding in Morocco.

One chapter describes adventure travel companies and their programs, another provides insight on mountain resort vacations for both the summer and winter, and yet another recommends the best places to stay and get a wonderful adventure experience without packing up and moving to new lodging every few days.

This 208-page paperback is available for $11.95 from bookstores or amazon.com. For more information, contact World Leisure Corporation, 177 Paris Street, Boston, MA 02128; 617-569-1966.

The Dog Lover's Companion To Chicago (Avalon Travel Publishing)

This 239-page book, written by Margaret Littman and illustrated by Phil Frank, gives the 'inside scoop on where to take your dog throughout the Chicago area. Easy to read, you'll find interesting adventures taken by Littman and her faithful companion, Natasha -- including some trips beyond the city. You'll find information on off-leash areas, parks, beaches, and forest preseerves -- rated from a pooch's perspective on a one-to four-paw scale, plus listings of dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, and shops, and even the lowdown on doggy etiquette. For both you and your dog, there are doggy diversions, such as baseball games, lake cruises and pet portraiture, along with detailed maps and directions for easy travel planning.

Available for $17.95 at bookstores, amazon.com, and from www.dogloverscompanion.com.

Boca Knights (Forge Books Publishing)

I began reading this book late at night and lost quite a bit of sleep because I couldn't put it down! Author Steve Forman writers about superhero Eddie Perlmutter, a Jewish retired copy who comes from a long line of fighters -- his grandfather survived life under siege from Cossacks in Russia before he moved to Boston. Eddie worshipped his grandfather and must have inherited some of his brave genes -- for to survive life in Boston, a tough city at that time, he started boxing. Although slight in body, he won several fights. He then became a cop - the one and only thing he ever wanted to be - and managed to survive a tough career in one piece.

However, when it came time for him to retire, the widowed Eddie decides to move to Boca Raton, Florida - since his body took enough beatings and the cold weather bothered him. Unlike most people who retire to this section of Florida and who enjoy their wealth, golf, and more, trouble seems to find Eddie after he discovers there is a very dark side of life lurking under the tranquility of this scenic paradise. Country-club politics and early-bird specials are not enough for this tough ex-cop who gets back in the game by singlehandedly busting up a ring of Russian counterfeiters, winning the gratitude and respect of the local police chief. Realizing how this fearless maverick and his aversion to injustice could be a benefit, the chief drops a subliminal hint to Eddie that he should get his private investigator‚s license.  Unfortunately, the one thing Eddie didn‚t count on was becoming the local hero, the Knight of Boca Raton.

A new superhero has come to Boca Raton, one with arthritic knees. Boca Knights is the premiere novel by Steve Forman. I'm sure it won't be the last --- for it's fast reading and funny most of the way - about a funny one-man crime fighting show that will have the reader on the edge of their seat and in stitches -- all at the same time! Forman has managed to make the story of a retired ex-cop poignant, exciting, loaded with suspense, and uproarious ˆ no easy feat to accomplish.

Available in hard cover or paperback at book stores and from amazon.com.

Los Angeles Attractions (Museon Publishing)

Ever felt lost in the maze of Los Angeles’ endless spread, wondering what to do and see in this vast and elusive metropolis? Are you planning a trip and wanting to make your next visit to LA an unforgettable adventure? The newly published book, Los Angeles Attractions, is finally available to assist both residents and visitors discover and explore all the distinctive sights of the entertainment capital of the world. This comprehensive, easy-to-use and engaging guidebook is the ultimate resource for travelers seeking to round out their Los Angeles visit. The book includes both world-famous and hidden treasures, many listed nowhere else.

The guide’s well-designed pages, and clear, concise summaries of special sites, will intrigue readers, whether they are in search of architectural landmarks, art museums, historic sites, movie stars’ homes—or Marilyn Monroe’s grave. All entries include essential information:  addresses, phone numbers, web sites, hours of operation and admission. More than 40 detailed maps and site plans pinpoint the highlights and provide at-a-glance orientation, while more than 1,700 photographs give readers a clear sense of what to expect from each location.

Los Angeles Attractions was born out of a desire to fill the need for a comprehensive traveler's resource. Author Borislav Stanic, whose previous work includes the critically acclaimed Museum Companion to Los Angeles, was inspired to compile the guidebook when he discovered that, surprisingly, no such Los Angeles knowledge base existed. “It just occurred naturally,” says Stanic, “as I realized how many points of interest there were that even native Angelenos didn’t know about.” The result of eight years of work, the 512-page book is intended to guide the city's 11 million resident Angelenos and the 25 million tourists who visit the city annually. Perhaps most appealing to travelers and natives alike is the excellent organization of Los Angeles Attractions. Its table of contents, complete index and geographically sorted listings make the book a winner from the get-go.

The 512 page book - with 1770 photographs, 40 maps and an index - is available at leading online and bookstores. To order from the publisher, send $24.95 plus $4 shipping and handling (Californians add $2.05 sales tax per book) to Museon Publishing, P.O. Box 17095, Beverly Hills, CA 90209-2095, or visit www.museonbooks.com

Wai-Nani: High Chiefess of Hawai'i -- Her Epic Journey

I couldn't wait to review this book because I love Hawaii and the Hawaiians. Author Linda Ballou wrote this book in such a vivid way that I felt I was back on the islands again. I strongly suggest that everyone buy this book and treasure it as I have.

Wai-nani: High Chiefess of Hawai'i -- Her Epic Journey is a historical novel couched in magical realism set in pre-contact Hawai'i. Wai-nani's character is inspired by the personage of Ka'ahumanu, the favorite wife of Kamehameha the Great, who was responsible for ending the 2,000-year-old Polynesian 'kapu system." The turbulent romance of these Hawaiian icons is set against the backfrop of Hawai'i's most dynamic period between 1740 and 1820. Captain James Cook arrived in 1778. Cook's visit triggered change that facilitated forces already set in play by Kamehameha (Makaha), the warrior prophesied at birth to bring the splintered Island people under one rule. Precocious Ka'ahumanu, always the center of controversy, is revered by some as the loving "Mother of the people' and by others as the "flaw that brought down chiefdom."

Wai-nani embodies all that was good in ancient Polynesian society. Athletic, assertive, and brave she stands beside her warrior-king husband sharing in his joys and sorrows for 40 years. Like all Hawai'ians, she is a water baby -- finding strength, solace and wisdom in the sea. Her greatest pleasure is swimming with her wild dolphin friend, Eku. Throughout her life, she rails against the 'kapu system' that calls for human sacrifices, separate eating houses for men and women, and severe penalties for the slightest infractions of laws imposed upon the common people by ruling chiefs and priests vested with the power of gods.

Author Linda Ballou's appreciation for nature took her to Kauai, the most luscious of all the Hawaiian islands with pleated cliffs and treacherous seas fending off newcomers. It is believed by Hawaiians that a mantle of mana (spiritual power) protects the island from harm. It is here that she listened to wind voices and the seed for her historical novel Wai-nan: High Chiefess of Hawai'i that took root in her heart. This story inspired by the powerful personage of Ka'ahumanu, the favorite wife of Kamehameha the Great is a poetic rendering of the ancients with tales of heroes and heroines doing supernatural deeds of mythological proportions. The people of old Hawai'i were connected to nature played freely, loved passionately and communed with gods that dwelled in every tree, rock and flower. Ballou wrote this book in the name of Wai-nani with great Aloha. Ballou has hiked, biked, kayaked and ridden on horseback through some of the country's most precious wilderness areas, and her travel articles appear in numerous national publications.

This 280 page book is published by StarPublishLLC.com and available at www.lindaballouauthor.com for $17.95.

Hidden Washington (Ulysses Press)

If you’re planning a summer vacation in Washington, Hidden Washington by Eric Lucas is filled with great information. It features eight pages of full-color AAA maps; offers walking and driving tours, itineraries, web sites and e-mail addresses, and time-saving suggestions. For those who love the outdoors, the book details over 125 parks and wilderness areas, including over 100 with hiking, 75 with boating, 60 with biking, 60 with swimming, and 75 with camping. Dining choices are reviewed, as are B&Bs, small hotels, and guest cottages; plus it unearths Seattle’s buried past via a subterranean jaunt through the bowels of the city; and points out special places where you can roam down quiet country roads to shell-strewn beaches or funky fishing villages, plus much more.

Available at book stores or contact Ulysses Press at 510-601-8301.

Explore Costa Rica

If you're planning on visiting Costa Rica, a copy of Explore Costa Rica is a must read. Be forewarned: If you weren't planning to go, reading this fantastic book is like being there and you'll probably put Costa Rica on your wish list of places to explore in the future. In this fifth edition, you'll find 668 pages filled with details information as well as 38 maps and 30 color and 80 black and white photos. Author Harry Pariser – who has received the Lowell Thomas Award for Best Guidebook - has done an excellent job covering all ranges and types of accommodation including nature lodges. You'll find lots of adventure, too -- whitewater rafting, surfing, horseback riding, snorkeling, scuba, bird watching, hiking, whale watching, canopy climbing and ballooning. Pariser offers complete background information on the animals, rainforests, history, culture, and volunteer opportunities, language schools, environmental organizations, car rental, buses, plane travel, and ferries. Pariser's writing is geared towards the nature-minded traveler, and as a bonus, the book lists thousands of related web sites, e-mails, phone numbers, fax numbers and even Internet updates.

This book is available for $22.95 on line, at bookstores, by phone at 800-729-6423, and at web sites www.ecocostarica.com or www.savethemanatee.com.

Frommer's 24 Great Walks in New York

Published by Wiley (2008), this book is a new full-color series that proves that the best way to experience New York's sights is as a pedestrian. Readers can see much more of the great cities in this new series than on a bus or in a speeding taxi. Each of these four guides - which in addition to New York, covers London, Paris and Rome - contain more than 90 color images (including 12 double-page spreads), clear route directions, and easy-to-read, illustrated maps. Each volume's 24 thematic tours are designed to last from two to four hours with recommended best times to visit, suggestions on where to stop and enjoy the view and where to break for meals. This easy-to-carry guide allow you to explore the most culturally rich areas of a given city, with directions to significant landmarks and secret out-of-the-way spots known only by the locals. Every walk is highlighted with succinct profils that bring the history of a neighborhood or monument to life.

I've read the New York book and, in addition to quintessential tours of Fifth Avenue's Museum Mile, SoHo and TriBeCa, this book features special interest walks that emphasize New York's art, architecture, history, and music. Central Park is famous for its many entertaining and cultural attractions, including the Wollman Rink for skatig, the Zoo, John Lennon's Strawberry Fields, and the world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Available in book stores or online for $15.99. For more informatio contact Wiley, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030.

26 Gorgeous Hikes on the Western Cote d'Azur

This 160-page illustrated guide (AzurAlive Press) written by Florence Chatzigianis - a long time hiker - invites you to slow down to the rhythm of your footsteps, and soak in the Western French Riviera's natural beauty. With detailed trail descriptions, hiking maps, trek data such as time, distance, difficulty and elevation profiles for 26 hikes, the guide shows you where to:

Stroll along the coast and reach inlets otherwise only assessible by boat

Hike up red mountain peaks and embrace the views of the Mediterranean Sea

Climb up a bluff and discover the resting site of ancient millstones

Enjoy a walk by chestnut groves and watch a monastery set aglow by the setting sun.

Illustrated with over 50 photographs, the scenic hikes range from one-hur strolls to half-day treks. This book will appeal to active travelers who long to explore France's Cote d'Azur on foot and off-the-beaten path. It describes half-day hikes by the coast, through forests of chestnut trees and cork oaks, over hills of red volcanic rocks. The color photos and maps illustrae each hike, and the book not only describes day trips, but engages readers with information on local geology, flora, fauna and human history. Close to 10 million people visit the Cote d'Azur or Fench Riviera every year and, according to a sudy commissioned in 2002 by the World Tourism Association, twenty-five percent of visitors to France mentioned they would love to explore the countryside on short discovery hikes during their vacation.

This is the first in a planned series of hiking guides helping English-speaking travelers discover the wonders of trekking the French countryside.

Available at bookstores or online for $16.95. For more information contact Beagle Bay, Inc., 14120 Saddlebow Drive, Reno, NV 89511; jcsimonds@beaglebay.com, or web site www.beaglebay.com.

Gordon's Guide to Dude Ranch Vacations & Horseback Adventures (Volume 2)

This 132-page comprehensive publication offers readers of all ages vacation ideas to experience the West -- whether you're single, honeymooners, or are searching for the ideal family vacation. Here you'll find adventures in North America, France, Australia and Chile with detailed descriptions of each due and guest ranch -- from rustic to resort. Described are working ranches where travelers can work and ride among wranglers; cattle drives for the ultimate cowboy vacation; wilderness pack trips where travelers can saddle up and explore nature; luxury inn and riding vacations that offer a little extra pampering; and wagon train experiences that retrace the trails of early pioneers.

The guide includes 88 dude ranches and horseback adventures, and 400 beautiful colo photographs. Easy-to-use, the guide has complete descriptions of each vacation destination, an activity index, and listings by country and state.

Available at bookstores or on-line for $8.99. For more information, contact Gordon's Guide, 410 W. Fallbrook, Suite 204, Fresno, CA 93711; phone 559-490-2800; web site www.GordonsGuide.com.

Adventure Guide to the Virgin Islands

Adventure Guide to the Virgin Islands, (5th edition, Hunter Publications)), is a must-read especially if you’re looking for white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and gorgeous scenery. Author Lynne Sullivan describes the major U. S. islands, namely cosmopolitan St. Thomas; rugged and environmentally conscious St. John; and charming St. Croix. Also, in this 307-page book filled with lovely color photographs, is detailed information on the sparsely developed British Virgin Islands. Visitors to the largest and most populated island, Tortola, offers green mountains, sheltered bays and an easygoing lifestyle, and is a ferry or speedboat ride away from other smaller, interesting islands perfect for daytrips. Sullivan gives tips on exploring by car, boat, on foot, in a jeep, as part of a group, or via scuba. Renting a bike and pedaling to a secluded beach is also possible. No matter how little or how much you can afford to spend on a vacation, you’ll find loads of ideas in this book.

This book is available at bookstores or online for $17.95. For more information check Hunter Publishing at web site www.hunterpublishing.com.

Tutta Roma - A Contemporary Guide To Rome (Consortium Books)

Tutta Roma stems from the Rome International Festival of Photography. For the 2006 edition, the city assigned British photographer Martin Parr the task of creating a comprehensive guide of the eternal city. His resulting portrait is that of a place filled not only with natives but, above all, with visitors -- the latter contributing to Rome's life with their enthusiasm and curiosity, thir many languages and fashions, their colorful presence. With extended captions written by Ivana della Portella, a historian and member of the Municipality Council of Rome.

Beloved by Italians and outsiders alike, Rome has always inspired foreign artists and intellectuals. Following Henry James, Howard Hawks, and William Klein, Martin Parr shows us today's tourists in today's Rome, in its archeological sites, in its museums, and in its famous piazzas, as they struggle with maps and guides, as they consume pasta and wine. He takes on Rome with his unconventiaonal and controversial trademark style, capturing the unique beauty of a city that owes much of its fascination to its swarms of devoted admirers.

A leading member of Magnum Agency, Martin Parr has been a professional photographer for more than forty years. His work is excellent and he photographs ordinary people in everyday scenes in urban spaces, creating visual narrations. The book is great reading and the 69 color, photographs, along with eight maps, will make this 96 page enjoyable read and look, a coffee table standout. It can also be enjoyed outdoors, thanks to a cover clear PVC protective cover.

This book is available at bookstores, online, or from Consortium Book Sales, 1045 Westgate Drive, St. Paul, MN 55114; 800-283-3572 for $30. For more information, check web site www.cbsd.com.

Unabellavista Rome: How to Tour Italy

Anthony Capozzoli, author of the new book and CD audio guide, "Unabellavista Rome: How to Tour Italy," fell in love with Italy at a young age. His ust-see sights always include museum tours. "I think Rome is a spellbinding city that woos you with a magical elixir of breathtaking art and architecture," says Capozzoli. "When you try to quantify the number of masterpieces housed in Rome, it's awe inspiring. You don't have to be an art aficionado to marvel at the gifted work of masters such as Michelangelo." But he points out that there is fine shopping, too, that beckons fashionistas who crave the supple caress of a fine leather shoe or handbag. Then, too, there's the wine and food!

To truly enjoy Italy, this book is a treasure -- for it shows you how to plan accordingly to avoid the common aggravations that can dampen overseas travel. Here are a few of the author's tips to make the most of your visit:

-- Be respectful and try to speak some Italian; it will inspire locals to guide you.

-- Buy train tickets/rail passes online so that you will understand the rail system before the trip.

-- Book museum reservations online so you don't waste time standing in line.

-- Call your credit card company to inform them of your trip ahead of time so they don't think overseas charges are fraudulent.

-- When packing, less is more

-- Bring an empty duffel bag to carry souvenirs home

-- Bring extra digital camera memory cards and/or film and batteries for your camera; they're expensive in Italy.

-- Rent a mobile phone if you want to be reached.

-- Keep a color copy of your passport picture page in your money belt; hide your passports in your hotel room or hotel safe.

These are but a few of the great tips in this 161-page book.

This book is available at bookstores or online. For more information, check web site www.unabellavista.com.

The Innkeeper Tales (HSB Press)

The Innkeeper Tales (HSB Press, Lutherville, Md)., is an entertaining collection of true stories providing much insight for how to succeed in life and business. Sometimes heartbreaking, other times heartwarming, this book centers on a group of strangers who are snowed in at The Abacrombie, an award-winning bed and breakfast in the cultural district of Baltimore, Maryland. Owner and manager  -- and author of Innkeeper Tales John Herman, Jr., keeps the coffee flowing and the conversation going as the guests open up and candidly share their life experiences with one another. Through the characters’ many triumphs and failures, readers from college students to business professionals will learn important life lessons for obtaining true success and happiness.

This 288-page book is available online, at bookstores and online goods stores for $19.95. .For more information contact HSB Press, 11615 Greenspring Avenue, Lutherville, MD 21093, 410-453-0280 or check web site www.TheInnKeeperTales.com.

Wild Shore: Exploring Lake Superior by Kayak (University of Minnesota Press)

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to paddle around one of the famous Great Lakes, Wild Shore: Exploring Lake Superior by Kayak (University of Minnesota Press) is just the ticket. Author Greg Breining fulfilled his lifetime dream of exploring this huge lake and did it over a two-year period. Learn how it feels to travel days on end with no fixed schedule; what it takes to constantly dip a paddle into the water; and how fantastic it is to examine, close-up and in solitude, the lake’s clear water and its windswept wooded shores. Breining’s vivid descriptions relate the lake’s varied moods, the remote historic sites, and isolated communities. This is a tale of outdoor adventure, odd characters, humorous stories, and of the people who have lived along Lake Superior’s shores since the Ice Age. It’s the perfect book to read while relaxing on a hammock or on vacation. Be forewarned: Don’t try to read it during lunch breaks because you won’t be able to put it down! And, if you’re like me, after reading about the riddle of the lake’s mysterious “Pukaskwa pits,” or the scientist who studies the last surviving woodland caribou herd on the Superior shore, you’ll probably long to purchase a kayak and explore as Breining did. It’s definitely an exciting, well-told true story of one man’s quest to navigate the greatest of the Great Lakes!

Available at book stores or from the University of Minnesota Press, 111 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55401.

The Traveler and the Gate Checker: Sex. . Death..Life! On the Road in Asia (Book of Dreams)

I wasn’t particularly attracted to the drawing on this book's cover, but, wow, once I opened The Traveler and the Gate Checker; Sex…Death…Life! On the Road in Asia  (Book of Dreams, Verlag, Germany) --- and read the first few pages, I couldn’t put this book, written by Ted Lerner, down.   Born in Pennsylvania, Lerner has lived in the Philippines since 1994, and has been running his Hey, Joe, column, weekly, in Manila’s Business Week Turner named it Hey Joe? when he discovered this is the one phrase that greets every foreign male in the Philippines on a daily basis. The book deals with gate checkers -- people, according to Lerner, “who proudly sport a badge and who have the power to stop you from getting where you want to go.” Lerner describes ‘the gate checker capital of the world” in a series of short, entertaining stories that are so vivid that I could virtually picture the places without spending the airfare and time to get there!. Read Fun, quick reading, and filled with details, excitement, and one-of-a-kind experiences in the world’s largest and most populated continent, you’ll learn things that range from the sheer madness and brilliance of crowded India, to the barbaric realm of Japanese professional wrestling -- as well as the high class Hong Kong, untouched Laos, plus Lerner’s personal visit to what he calls the ‘seedy heart of Manila.’ Part travelogue, part reportage, it’s outrageously good, with lots of tidbits about sex, death, and life.  It’s a must-read if you love a well-told, honest adventure story by an author who has been-there, done-that. 

Available in paperback at book stores or on-line for $14.95. Check web site www.hey-joe.net or www.book-of-dreams.com for more information.

The Dynamic Great Lakes (Publish America)

Author Barbara Spring is fortunate, for not only does she have a ringside view of Lake Michigan, where her house is located, but she’s traveled to the five Great Lakes, their connecting waters, and has studied their ecology. Her book, The Dynamic Great Lakes, (AmErica House, Baltimore, MD) describes the changing nature of Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. According to Spring, she felt compelled to write this book “out of a deep conviction that people need up-to-date information about these lakes so that they may make good decisions about them.” With their connecting waters, the Great Lakes make up the world’s largest freshwater system. You’ll read how each lake differs from the other, and how these connected lakes are actuallyone flowing system connected to the Atlantic through the St. Lawrence River. Spring writes of the beauty of the lakes, how unique ecosystems evolved in each since the last Ice Age, how, in the last 200 years commercial fishing and the Lamprey Eel wiped out larger fish; how shipping on the Great Lakes from all parts of the world has brought exotic species that threaten to topple food pyramids; and how pollution carried through the air and water damages life in and around these lakes. There is also lots of information about the plant life, fish, the changing lake levels, and much more.

Available at book stores or on-line for $16.95. Check web site www.PublishAmerica.com for more information.

An Explorer’s Guide: Western New York (Countryman Press)

(The Countryman Press, Woodstock, Vermont) -- the first comprehensive travel guide to Western New York and Southern Ontario – is loaded with information covering Niagara Falls and Southern Ontario to the Western Edge of the Finger Lakes. Author Christine A. Smyczynski has done an amazing job detailing the history surrounding each area, and describes Western New York as the Empire State’s “open secret.” This 655-page guide includes opinionated listings of inns, B&Bs, hotels, vacation cottages, and campgrounds, plus hundreds of dining recommendations. Also included are up-to-date regional and downtown maps; an alphabetical “What’s Where” subject guide to aid in trip planning; and handy icons that point out places of extra value, family- and pet-friendly establishments, wheelchair access, and popular wedding venues. Historians will enjoy information on the Erie Canal; the famous five stair-step locks that carried the canal over the Niagara Escarpment at Lockport – still preserved near the Erie Canal Museum and lots more. Venture into either Buffalo or Rochester, and discover what to do there, thanks to Smyezynski’s excellent research.

Available in bookstores or on-line for $19.95. For more information, check web site www.countrymanpress.com.

America's National Parks for Dummies (Wiley)

If you’re craving adventure, want to get away from everyday stress for a few days, or are on a limited vacation budget, America’s National Parks for Dummies  (Wiley Publishing) by Kurt Repanshek may be the perfect solution. Repanshek explains how to plan for a perfect national park vacation in 15 of the nation’s most popular parks, and offers guidance so you can choose a park guaranteed to suit your taste. What to see and do once you’ve reached your destination is included in the book’s easy-to-read format, while chapters offer a clear description of what each park offers, including information on nearby hotels, restaurants, and attractions, the best places to hike, and more. In discussing the merits of vacationing in Yellowstone National Park, Repanshek points out its geysers and wildlife. However, if this doesn’t appeal to you, you’ll find out why Kings Canyon National Park may be a better choice.  Tips on what to do before arriving at each park, how to manage your time after arriving, the best spots for memorable photographs, plus safety issues are discussed, and thanks to an excellent appendix and an A-Z directory containing practical information; emergency telephone numbers; safety tips; ATM network numbers; toll-free numbers and web sites for airlines, park concessionaires, and rental car agencies, perusing this book is easy. Worksheets are included to make travel planning and budgeting easier.

Available at your favorite book store or from Wiley at 1-800-762-2974

Unbelievably Good Deals & Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over 50 (Contemporary Books)

Unbelievably Good Deals & Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can’t Get Unless You’re Over 50 (Contemporary Books) by Joan Rattner Hellman is now in its 13th edition. Hailed as the leading authority on senior travel bargains, Heilman has loads of information on the breaks, benefits, and special perks offered to those in the fastest-growing segment of the population. That includes ME! You may wish you were older when you find out the good deals the book describes, including discounts at hotels, motels, restaurants, car rentals, trains, airfares worldwide, and adventure travel for mature travelers! That’s not all. She lists intergenerational vacations for you and the kids, bike trips, tennis camps, golf vacations, walking tours, trips and clubs for singles, and how to save on insurance premiums--plus much more.

Available at book stores everywhere.

Air Travel Tales From the Flight Crew: The Plane Truth at 35,000 Feet (Impact Publications)

Written by A. Frank Steward (pen name for James Wysong, who has worked as a flight attendant for 17 years) this book is one of the funniest, informative books I’ve read in a long time on the numerous aspects of air travel. Woven into individual scenarios is a wealth of practical advice, such as, “If a seatmate is sneezing, point the nozzle of your fan toward him/her to direct airborne germs away; wash your hands frequently; don’t use blankets or pillows unless they come wrapped in plastic; and never go to the lavatory without shoes on.” Discover whether first class seating is worth the money; how to deal with cancelled flights; how to upgrade your seat; and deciphering what the flight attendants really mean when they speak to you. For example, if they recommend the beef, Steward reveals it may be because they’re running out of chicken! Do you know what the “Mile High Club” is? You’ll find out in this book, but be forewarned: You may develop a fear of ever flying again. However, you’ll also laugh reading some of Steward’s recollections, each based on the passengers who populate the crammed seats, crowded aisles, and tiny restrooms.

Available at bookstores for $14.95. For more information, contact Impact publications, 9104-N Manassas Drive, Manassas Park, VA 20111; 1-800-361-1055, or check web site www.impactpublications.com.

Country Roads of Pennsylvania (Country Roads Press)

Country Roads of Pennsylvania (Country Roads Press, Chicago, Ill) is a must read for those who enjoy rambles along winding country roads. Here, author Sally Moore describes leisurely drives from Pittsburgh to the Poconos, from the Delaware River to Lake Erie, and through bucolic Amish villages. Read about all-but-forgotten Allegheny coal towns, historic Great Lakes ports, and quiet riverside hamlets. Moore points the way to country stores, gristmills, apple orchards, Civil War battlefields, Dutch Country markets, and some of the best antique bargains in America. Exercise as much as you can before exploring the restaurants -- because you’ll be devouring huge quantities of home cooked meals. Whether you like hiking, camping, whitewater rafting, or fishing, it’s all described beautifully in this 164-page pocketbook, which also details driving directions, locations of inns, historic sites, farmers’ markets, quaint shops, and hours of operation for each site.

Although this interesting book is out-of-print, it is available for under $3 from amazon.com.

A Travel Guide to the Jewish Caribbean & South America (Pelican Publishing)

This book, written by Ben G. Frank (Pelican Publishing) is a must-read for anyone who wants to delve into the history, culture, and modern travel to important sites. The anecdotal and adventurous journey includes kosher restaurants, cafés, synagogues, and museums, plus lots of detailed information on cultural and heritage sites. You’ll discover how 23 Jews fleeing the Inquisition arrived and planted roots in the Americas as early as 1654; and where Jewish communities sprung up throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Here, you’ll learn about the oldest surviving synagogue in the Western Hemisphere -- Mikve Israel in Curacao --as well as the largest Jewish community in Puerto Rico. Chapters detail information, such as three synagogues in Havana, Cuba, along with other Jewish sites from Buenos Aires to Mexico City, plus general travel information and tips. I was surprised to learn that besides Cuba’s famous cigars, beaches, and Afro-Cuban rhythms, this country has been noted by environmentalists as a place of "unimagined bio-diversity. Frank describes how three Jews on the island of Jamaica helped the British rid the island from the Spanish oppression; how Martinique is home to 150 Jewish families; and relates many more unknown facts and stories in this excellent book.                 

Available at bookstores for $25. For more information, contact Pelican, 1000 Burgomaster Street, Gretna, Louisiana 70053; 800-843-1724, or check web site www.pelicanpub.com.

The Treasures and Pleasures of Bermuda: Best of the Best in Travel and Shopping (Impact Publications)

While it's not as expensive as London or Paris, this beautiful, exclusive, and romantic island paradise has a well-deserved reputation for quickly emptying your wallet. Bermuda has long been the playground for North America's rich and famous, who are well accommodated through the island's many high-end resorts, spas, restaurants, shops, and sports activities. In a class of its own, Bermuda neither encourages nor accommodates backpackers and budget travelers. However, today a new and more affordable Bermuda has emerged, attracting a new group of travelers. For example, there are now budget airlines charging hundreds of dollars less than the major companies to fly there.

In The Treasures and Pleasures of Bermuda: Best of the Best in Travel and Shopping (Impact Publications), you'll learn ways for enjoying the many treasures and pleasures of Bermuda, as researched by authors Ron and Caryl Krannich. With this book, you'll be able to cut costs by flying to Bermuda from three U.S. gateway cities at a low fare; take a five-day cruise for as low as $499; find guest houses, villas, cottages, or apartments for under $150 a night; find the special package deals; get in touch with discounted accommodations on the Internet; save money by taking buses and ferries using discounted one, three, four, or seven-day passes; rent a taxi by the hour for sightseeing by sharing the costs with a group; advice on skipping the expensive 'bottled water' in restaurants, and much, much more.

Available at bookstores for $16.95. For more information, contact Impact Publications, 9104-N Manassas Drive, Manassas Park, VA 20111, or check web site www.impactpublications.com.

The Dog Lover’s Companion to Chicago (Avalon Travel Publishing)

Published by Avalon Travel Publishing in Emeryville, CA., this book is, as the Sierra Club noted, “Indispensable to dog owners, dog lovers, or indulgent onlookers, and vastly entertaining as well.” Author Margaret Littman and her springer spaniel/retriever mix, Natasha, have done a fine job sniffing out the best places to eat, sleep, and have fun throughout Chicago. These 239 pages are filled with tips on where and where not to take your pooch, plus much more.  For example, leashed dogs are permitted in all city parks, but not in Chicago Park District buildings, lagoons, children’s play lots, or city sand bathing beaches during the summer. Parks are ranked on a ‘paws scale;” from one to four, with one paw not too appealing for the dog, and four paws considered terrific -- whereas a fire hydrant symbol indicates a particular place not ‘worth a squat.” Littman explains in detail how to transport your dog around this great city, whether by foot, bus, or cab; where and when to leash it; what to carry for scooping up poop; what special dog items to pack for stays at inns and hotels; and just about everything else you’d want or need to know about traveling with your dog. Chapters also include canine coverage of dog-friendly shops, the lowdown on doggy etiquette, doggy diversions such as baseball games, lake cruises, and pet portraiture, and is complete with detailed maps and directions. The book is well-written, entertaining,  and easy-to-understand. I felt, with its thorough listing and evaluation of restaurants, hotels, parks, and more, this book is perfect for those traveling with a dog -- or even without one!

 Available at book stores for $17.95.

Traveling The Eurail Express (Pelican)

Author Jay Brunhouse brings to life the thrill of traveling European trains in Traveling The Eurail Express (Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, LA). He provides tips for arranging your itinerary, paying for transportation, using European subways or rapid-transit connections, and choosing what to do upon arriving at the destination. Learn how to go train-spotting with Britain’s young crowd, ride Marie Antoinette’s wedding route through Hell’s Valley in Germany, or take the InterCity train in Benelux through the site of the Battle of the Bulge on the back rails of the Ardennes forest. Brunhouse describes scenic routes with views of rivers, lakes, and the Alps.

The 544 page book, complete with 30 maps, is available at book stores for $18.95, or you can order from Pelican at 1-800-843-1724.

The New Zealand Bed & Breakfast Book (Pelican)

I visited New Zealand last year and was happy I read The New Zealand Bed & Breakfast Book (Pelican Publishing Company) before leaving. Edited by James Thomas, this comprehensive travel guide has detailed information on more than 400 private residences, inns, and farms throughout beautiful New Zealand, plus insight into the history, scenery, and personality of each residence. Although listings are written by the hosts, I found the descriptions basically honest and wasn’t disappointed. The book, divided into geographical regions, includes maps making it easy to plan on where to stay and what to see. Accommodations range from cozy (meaning basic), to luxurious, but all offer great hospitality. I found New Zealand’s motels and hotels to be far and few between, so having this guide book proved invaluable--particularly since the hosts normally provide a free, hearty breakfast and lots of information on the surrounding attractions.

Available at book stores or from Pelican at 1-800-843-1724.

Gordon's Guide to Adventure Vacations (Tag Publishing)

If you’re searching for a unique vacation, check out Gordon’s Guide to Adventure Vacations (Tag Publishing, Fresno, CA) . Within these 490 pages, author Timothy E. Gordon details 700 recreation providers, including companies offering whitewater rafting, bicycle touring, houseboat rental, outdoor skills training, northwest charter boat rentals, heli and snowcat skiing, horse packers and outfitters, guest ranches, fishing lodges and guide services, kayaking touring, mountaineering and climbing guides, and much more. It includes a comprehensive hotel/Airline/Car Rental Directory, and an excellent for finding things easily. For those looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure vacation, this book is the answer--whether you want to take off on a horse packing vacation in Montana’s rugged Bitterroot Wilderness; bicycle through vineyards in the Napa Valley, Italy or France; plunge down the majestic Grand Canyon’s Lava Falls; or simply relax padding in Belize.

Available at book stores or from web site http://www.gordonsguide.com for $29.95.

Schmap Guides

Some things in life are still free. For example, Schmap Company has introduced a series of free downloadable digital destination guides. Named Schmap Guides, the series covers cities, islands, and regions throughout Europe and the United States, with useful background information, top picks and suggested tours, reviews, directory listings, photos and maps. Using the company’s beta Schmap Player, a small and easy-to-use piece of freeware, the reader is treated to a new dimension of interactivity, speed and functionality for seamless browsing of maps and travel/local content. Those usingthe Player can check on maps, photos, reviews, and on-line content, thus affording the freedom to explore a chosen destination. If you want to take a lunch break or stretch, you can pause and fast-forward the virtual tour, and bookmark places of interest to tailor a trip to your liking. After, it’s possible to print out your bookmarked places and custom print a full-color guide with maps, photos and reviews. Driving directions are included. This new concept is well worth exploring. 

For more information, contact Schmap Guides  at www/schmap.com.

The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World: How to Get the Most Out of the Best Disney Has to Offer (BookMasters Inc.)

Whether you’re young or old, visiting Walt Disney World is a magical vacation. However, since it has distinct theme parks, most visitors are at a loss as to know where to start. With The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World: How to Get the Most Out of the Best Disney Has to Offer  in hand, deciding which to visit won’t be a problem. Designed for those who wish to tour Walt Disney World in style by staying in the most luxurious resorts, dine at the best restaurants, and enjoy top-drawer entertainment. author Cara Goldsbury has written valuable tips, techniques, and insider information that is sure to guarantee a great vacation. With proper planning, Goldsbury shows readers how they can create a stress-free vacation--including the best time of year to visit Disney--and which resort will be most suitable for their family and lifestyle, how to stay in the finest room possible for the lowest price, and which attractions are most worthwhile given their interests. Each of the Disney theme parks are included--the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, and Animal Kingdom, as well as Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and other nearby theme parks.The book emphasizes that the most successful vacations are those that are carefully planned and researched months ahead of time, and because Disney is so huge with a tremendous number of choices, forethought is a necessity. Goldsbury rates resorts according to price and level of fun, and whether attractions are suitable for adults, children, or both. She also covers the weather, which clothes to pack, what holidays and dates are the busiest at the park, and what times of year visitors are most apt to find things quieter. Phone numbers and web addresses are included for making reservations and getting up-to-the-minute information on events and pricing, plus transportation options. It’s a very good book to have on hand when contemplating a trip to Disney World.

Available at book stores or from BookMasters Inc., 30 Amberwood Parkway, Ashland, OH 44805; 1-800-247-6553.

Driving & Discovering Hawaii: Maui and Molokai

I’ve been to Hawaii thirteen times, have at least a dozen related guide books, but am amazed at the wealth of information contained in the 160-page Driving & Discovering Hawaii: Maui and Molokai. Written by Richard Sullivan, this location guide is truly unique.  In addition to 330 beautiful color photographs and 42 detailed maps, Sullivan describes Maui’s Upcountry and West Maui’s rugged North Shore. The island of Molokai, usually ignored in other guides, is thoroughly detailed, as well as every beach on both islands. Each photo is numbered, corresponding to the same number on an adjacent map--ensuring that visitors can find all of Maui’s and Molokai’s best photogenic sights. Easy-to-read, the book makes it possible for potential visitors to peruse whatever appeals to them before making reservations. Even if you don’t have the time or money to explore the islands now, reading this book will definitely whet your appetite to go in the near future.

Available at bookstores for $19.95.

Kids' Going Places Travel Activities (American Map Corporation)

If you’re tired of hearing your children constantly repeating  “Are we there yet?” or disturbing you while you’re driving, pick up a copy of Kids’ Going Places Travel Activities (American Map Corporation/Langenscheidt Publishing Group). I bought it for my grandchildren and didn’t hear a peep until we arrived at our destination! The large format 38-page book features lots of coloring pages; dot-to-dot and puzzle pages; mapping skills, mazes; travel bingo; questions (with answers on the last page); a road sign scramble, and much, much more. All you’ll have to add is a box of crayons!

Available at most book stores and wherever maps are sold for $3.95. For further information, contact American Map Corporation, 36-36 33rd Street, Long Island City, NY 11106; 800-432-6277 or go on-line at www.americanmap.com.

Insight City Guides (Langenscheidt Publishing Group)

Planning a getaway? Check out Insight City Guides. (Langenscheidt Publishing Group). Each guide in the new series features a compact format with rounded spine, a mini accordion map and a restaurant guide. Initial titles cover popular destinations, including Amsterdam, Las Vegas, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Walt Disney World/Orlando, Singapore, and Sidney. Each must-see site is evaluated with essays written by local writers covering the history, culture, and people. At the front of each City Guide, you’ll find a magazine-style directory to the “Best of” the city with recommended attractions, money-saving tips, special activities, free attractions, web site addresses, and insider advice. The main sites are cross-referenced by number from text to area maps, and have a fully-indexed 8-12 page street atlas that provides the overall picture. Museums and religious buildings cover a two-page spread, complete with captioned photos and floor plans. In addition to the location finder index on the front flaps to help readers quickly locate areas of interest, the travel tips use visual tabs to help in locating a section quickly. Best of all, each City Guide features a ‘take-it-with-you’ mini restaurant guide and city map that’s tucked into a clear sleeve on the back cover flap. This book contains a tremendous amount of good information for travelers to London. 

Insight City Guides -- from 224-256 pages, retailing for $16.95 -- are available at bookstores, travel stores, and on-line outlets where maps and travel products are sold. Check web site www.langenscheidt.com for further information or contact the Langenscheidt Publishing Group, 46-35 54th Road, Maspeth, NY 11378; 800-432-6277.

TimeOut Weekend Breaks from London (Penguin)

The third edition of TimeOut Weekend Breaks from London (Penguin, New York) is chock full of important information and lovely color photos. A team of writers researched 45 various destinations within two hours by road or rail from London, including the best sites, hotels, B&Bs, pubs, cafés, and restaurants -- and put it altogether in this compact 316-page guide. You’ll learn about coastal England--with its stretches of seaside, isolated marshes, and sophisticated resort towns; rural retreats--from the Cotswolds to the New Forest; and towns and cities---from Brighton to historic York and Canterbury. Detailed maps, reviews and listings are presented, and my only complaint is the type used -- it’s way to small for my tired eyes!

Available at book stores or on-line for $16.95. Check web site www.PublishAmerica.com for more information.

24 Great Rail-Trails of New Jersey (New England Cartographics, Inc.)

24 Great Rail-Trails of New Jersey  is a fantastic read for those who appreciate the outdoors. These multi-use trails, converted from abandoned railroad lines as part of the nationwide rails-to-trails movement, are historic as well as scenic and are perfect for hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, and the disabled. Craig Della Penna, a railroad historian and life-long bicycling enthusiast--who serves as the New England Field Representative for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy--has done a fantastic job in describing all you need to know to experience the adventure of rails-trails via maps, specific directions, local contacts, B&Bs, plus fascinating stories of railroad history. Fun and educational, plus a great way to spend a day outdoors, this book is perfect for you or as a gift to a nature loving friend.

Available at book stores or from the New England Cartographics, Inc., PO Box 9369, North Amherst, MA 01059.  

Adventure Guide to the Virgin Islands, (5th edition, Hunter Publications)) --

is a must-read especially if you’re looking for white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and gorgeous scenery. Author Lynne Sullivan describes the major U. S. islands, namely cosmopolitan St. Thomas; rugged and environmentally conscious St. John; and charming St. Croix. Also, in this 307-page book filled with lovely color photographs, is detailed information on the sparsely developed British Virgin Islands. Visitors to the largest and most populated island, Tortola, offers green mountains, sheltered bays and an easygoing lifestyle, and is a ferry or speedboat ride away from other smaller, interesting islands perfect for daytrips. Sullivan gives tips on exploring by car, boat, on foot, in a jeep, as part of a group, or via scuba. Renting a bike and pedaling to a secluded beach is also possible. No matter how little or how much you can afford to spend on a vacation, you’ll find loads of ideas in this book.

This book is available at bookstores or online for $17.95. For more information check Hunter Publishing at web site www.hunterpublishing.com.

TRAVEL DIRECTORIES

Kampgrounds of America Directory

Despite higher gas prices at the pump, approximately 179 million total camper nights were generated in the United States last year, with about 101 million of those nights spent in private campgrounds. I was among those who camped because I’ve discovered that it’s a great way to meet friendly people, see Mother Nature’s best work, and engage in fun activities that relieve everyday stress. If you’d like to go camping, ask for Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA free 248-page directory of its more than 450 campgrounds throughout the United States. With it, it’s easy to plan a close-to-home vacation, a weekend getaway, and exciting recreational vehicle adventures. If you don’t own a tent, pop-up camper, trailer, or motor home, there’s good news -- in addition to more than 30,000 RV and tent sites, numerous KOA campgrounds rent comfortable, spotless Kamping Kabins In addition, all KOA campgrounds have hot showers, laundry facilities, tent sites, clean restrooms, and convenience stores, while most locations include Internet access, swimming pools, 50-amp service, pull-thru sites, and patio sites. The free directory is loaded with camping hints, menus, kids’ puzzles, a full map of the United States, adventure ideas, information on how to apply for a Value Kard good for campground discounts, ways to earn free nights, plus lots more.

The directory is available by contacting Kampgrounds of America, Inc., P.O. Box 30558, Billings, MT 59114; 406f-248-7444 or check web site www.koa.com.

Please note: All information is copyrighted and may not be used without permission

  

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