Reference Reviews | January 2014

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

theworldatlasofwine013114 Reference Reviews | January 2014Towering figures in wine criticism and writing, Johnson and Robinson have updated their atlas to include coverage of up-and-coming areas around the world. Readers will find expanded information on such disparate locales as the Eastern United States, Turkey, South Africa, and China. More than 200 maps, some of which feature topographic detail and climate zones, illustrate the various geographies. The cartographic materials are supplemented with photographs of vineyards and labels representing noteworthy wines for each geographic region. This rich visual content is paired with a comprehensive overview of each region, briefly highlighting its history, production, and wine-making strengths. The writing is at a level many readers will readily grasp and is enlivened by the authors’ opinions on various wines. VERDICT Both an authoritative work and a genuinely enjoyable volume to browse. Highly recommended for large libraries and those with a collection focus on wine.—Peter ­Hepburn, Coll. of the Canyons Lib., Santa Clarita, CA

criticalsurveyofheroesandheroines013114 Reference Reviews | January 2014Critical Survey of Mythology and Folklore: Heroes & Heroines. Salem. (Critical Survey, Vol. 2). 2013. 516p. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781619251816. $175; ebk. ISBN 9781619251861. REF

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

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

Grant (Masters of Animation) compiles 3,250 movie comprehensiveencyclopediaoffilmnoir013114 Reference Reviews | January 2014entries that touch on the many aspects of film noir. Arranged in alphabetical order by title, they include year; country; running time; main cast, director, producer, screenwriter, and cinematographer; and whether they are in black and white or color. Each entry features a short synopsis (sometimes with plot spoilers) and generally brief commentary. This book extends the parameters of traditional noir (Out of the Past; Double Indemnity) by including films that are usually considered in other genres. Comedies (Hot Fuzz and In Bruges), police procedurals (The French Connection and Se7en), and action films (The Bourne Identity and The Terminator) are examined. The uniting factor is a dark perspective and the idea of fate “which can seem…almost like an extra cast member.” Bertolucci’s Il Conformista (The Conformist), Wenders’s Der Amerikanische Freund, aka The American Friend, based on Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley’s Game) and many other international films are covered. Titles are listed in their original language and then in English. Some older series are featured, such as Dead End Kids, Boston Blackie, and Edgar Wallace Mysteries but oddly, not Sherlock Holmes or Charlie Chan. Hitchcock films, which are suspense thrillers, are along for the ride with Vertigo and Rear Window, among others. The select bibliography offers more opportunities for finding out about the subject. This is a quirky mixed genre bag of noir in its many forms. If you shelve it near the DVDs, it will be helpful for movie advisory. VERDICT A solid current source for quick information.—Barbara Kundanis, Longmont P.L., CO

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

History

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

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

Law & Crime

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

Political Science

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

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

Psychology

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

ISBN 9780470671269. $495. REF

Religion

OrangeReviewStar Reference Reviews | January 2014Isbouts, Jean-Pierre. National Geographic Who’s Who in the Bible: Unforgettable People and Timeless Stories from Genesis to Revelation. National Geographic. 2013. 384p. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9781426211591. $40. REF

OrangeReviewStar Reference Reviews | January 2014The Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation. 2 vols. Oxford Univ. 2013. 1164p. ed. by Steven L. McKenzie. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199832262. $295. REF

Sciences

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

Social Sciences

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

 

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