Science & Technology Reviews | December 15, 2005

By LJ Staff


Condon, Marlene A. Nature-FriendlyGarden: Creating a Backyard Haven for Plants, Wildlife, and People, Too. Stackpole. Mar. 2006. c.160p. photogs. ISBN 0-8117-3261-4. pap. $19.95. GARDENING

 The growing market for books on gardening indicates that many people recognize the emotional and health benefits of this popular pastime. Condon (Landscaping for Wildlife) presents an ecofriendly approach to landscaping, addressing ways to encourage insects, animals, birds, and other wildlife to establish homes within any Amber Jewelry, Tea Sets, Sleeping Bags, Wholesale Tea Sets garden area. When we cease fighting with nature (which the author insists is an exhausting and endless endeavor anyway), we can enjoy living in harmony with many creatures and watch the ‘show’ of nature unfolding in our own backyard haven. In fact, if the natural process is allowed to take over – a main tenet of landscape gardening – many problems should solve themselves owing to a more balanced environment. No matter what shape your landscape is presently in, the author introduces ways to make it more nature-friendly, and many of her suggestions are both easy and inexpensive. Although nature-friendly gardening shares some concepts with organic gardening, they are separate subject areas and should be represented as such in the library. Easy to understand and well illustrated, this book would be useful for public libraries in any region, including those in urban areas.Deborah A. Broocker, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Dunwoody

Groneberg, Tom. One Good Horse: Learning To Train and Trust a Horse. Scribner. Feb. 2006. c.256p. ISBN 0-7432-6517-3 [ISBN 978-0-7432-6517-1]. $24. ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

In his new book, Groneberg (contributor, Men’s Journal, Big Sky Journal, and Sports Afield; The Secret Lives of Cowboys) declares, ‘If I had a good horse, I could give it my life. I could ride it for years. We could grow old together.’ If that statement (and the book’s title) leads you to expect a story of Groneberg’s close relationship with an exceptional horse, you’re in for a disappointment. True, Groneberg recounts how he finds a colt, buys it, and proceeds to train it himself (a first for him). The colt, he tells us, is easy to break and has good conformation. But that’s about all we learn about this animal. Instead, we’re given a distracting account of a cowboy from another era and brief descriptions of Groneberg’s wife and children and of the people he works with. The connection among the various themes in the book is, alas, tenuous. Readers interested in contemporary cowboys and horses would be better served by books such as Mark Spragg’s Where Rivers Change Direction and Thomas McGuane’s Some Horses: Essays.Patsy E. Gray, Huntsville P.L., AL

Sands, David. Cats: 500 Questions Answered. Hamlyn, dist. by Sterling. Dec. 2005. c.256p. photogs. index. ISBN 0-600-61179-5. pap. $17.95.
Siegal, Mordecai. I Just Got a Kitten. What Do I Do?: How To Buy, Train, Understand, and Enjoy Your Kitten. Fireside: S. & S. Feb. 2006. c.224p. photogs. index. ISBN 0-7432-4509-1. pap. $14. PETS

More cat care titles! The difference here is that while Cats focuses mainly on adult cats, Kitten is devoted to young cat care. British veterinarian Sands (Care and Behaviour of the German Shepherd Dog) provides information in a Q&A format arranged in ten sections, including breeds, feeding, health, and fact and fiction. His insights regarding cat behavior are the most interesting. For example, there are more left-pawed cats than left-handed humans; cats don’t like food that’s been kept in the fridge because they prefer food to be ‘kill warm.’ The wonderful color photographs and the British terminology, such as cat flap (door) and cardigan (sweater), contextualized and illustrated to avoid confusing American readers, make this a charming title.

Siegal (Cat Fancier’s Complete Cat Book; Cornell Book of Cat Care) focuses on the challenges of raising a healthy kitten, giving commonsense advice on preparing the home for a kitten and kitten grooming and proper feeding. Step-by-step instructions are given on training the kitten to use the litter box properly and to follow basic commands like coming when called. The information on various cat breeds is useful for those considering a pedigreed cat, but the book suffers from a lack of photographs. Amy D. Shojai’s Kitten Care and Training contains much of the same information in an attractive layout with lots of photographs. Both titles are recommended for public libraries, but if your library already owns Shojai, you need not purchase Siegal.Eva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Clarkston

Health & Medicine

The Essential Massage Book: The Complete Guide to the Primary Hands-On Therapy. Gaia, dist. by Sterling. Dec. 2005. 256p. ed. by Eilean Bentley. photogs. index. ISBN 1-85675-203-8. pap. $17.95.
Kolster, Bernard C., M.D. & Astrid Waskowiak, M.D. The Reflexology Atlas. Healing Arts: Inner Traditions. Dec. 2005. c.256p. tr. from German by Nikolas Win Myint. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 1-59477-066-2. $39.95; pap. ISBN 1-59477-091-3. $24.95. HEALTH

The centuries-old technique of massage, which is said to promote healing, pain relief, and relaxation, has been widely used in many cultures and is exceedingly popular today. In Essential Massage, general editor Bentley (Head, Neck & Shoulder Massage: A Step-by-Step Guide) describes a variety of Eastern and Western massage techniques (e.g., holistic, Chinese, shiatsu, Reiki, aromatherapy massage, reflexology, and head massage) and also features chapters on relaxation, Tantric sexual , and self-massage. Easy-to-follow descriptions of techniques are accompanied by photos and drawings, and advice is given on meditation, distance healing, and visualization. The appendixes include illustrations of chakras (energy nodes in the body), body landmarks, aromatherapy oils, acupoints, and reflexology charts.

In The Reflexology Atlas, German physicians Kolster (Partner Massage) and Waskowiak identify a variety of ailments – e.g., back and joint pain, digestive and urinary disorders, and allergies – that respond well to reflexology, the application of pressure to certain parts of the body to promote relaxation and healing in other parts of the body. The authors give detailed instructions for administering this healing method while also discussing shiatsu, a similar technique that originated in Japan and is used to remove blockages to life energy (chi) throughout the body. Historical information on the origins of reflexology is summarized; techniques for treating specific ailments are described and illustrated in detail. Bentley’s book is similar to Carole McGilvery & others’ Stressbusting Book of Massage, Aromatherapy & Yoga: A Step-by-Step Guide to Spiritual and Physical Well-Being and Lucy Lidell’s The Book of Massage: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Eastern and Western Techniques and would make an excellent acquisition for general and alternative health collections. The narrow focus of The Reflexology Atlas makes it most suitable for large holistic health collections. Alternatives include Ann Gillanders’s The Busy Person’s Guide to Reflexology: Simple Routines for Home, Work, and Travel and Valerie Voner’s The Everything Reflexology Book.Karen McNally Bensing, Benjamin Rose Lib., Cleveland

The Handbook of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Public Health: A Practitioner’s Guide to Service. HarringtonPark: Haworth. Dec. 2005. c.447p. ed. by Michael D. Shankle. index. ISBN 1-56023-495-4 [ISBN 978-1-56023-495-1]. $69.95; pap. ISBN 1-56023-496-2 [ISBN 978-1-56023-496-8]. $39.95. MED

How do you provide appropriate care for a population about whom you may not know much? This book, edited by HIV prevention research specialist Shankle, offers an excellent start for healthcare professionals unsure of how best to serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) clients. It begins with the list of reasons for educating nurses, doctors, social workers, and others about specific health needs, as well as a history of public health in the LGBT community. Chapters contributed by a variety of providers, researchers, policymakers, and activists cover topics that include a synthesis of LGBT public health statistics, specific health challenges for this client base, a discussion of barriers to access, and practical suggestions for disease prevention and treatment. Similar to recent books about multicultural healthcare, Shankle’s handbook challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about the types of services needed by the LGBT community. Because he includes questions at the end of each chapter, it would make a nifty textbook for a specialized public health class and could be extremely useful for students and practitioners. Recommended for academic health/social science libraries.Elizabeth Williams, Washoe Cty. Lib. Syst., Reno

Pratt, Steven, M.D. & Kathy Matthews. SuperFoods HealthStyle: Proven Strategies for Lifelong Health. Morrow. Jan. 2006. c.320p. index. ISBN 0-06-075547-4 [ISBN 978-0-06-075547-8]. $24.95. HEALTH

Pratt and Matthews believe that ‘true health involves the whole you: Body, mind, spirit.’ This follow-up to their earlier Superfoods Rx expands the emphasis to cover not only diet and exercise but also stress reduction and the importance of sleep. The ‘superfoods’ of the earlier book are reexamined and their effects on a wide variety of physical conditions discussed; recipes are included for each. An extensive bibliography lists the various studies and reports cited in the text, although the lack of specific footnotes makes matching the two difficult. However, the primary audience for a book like this one will probably not mind this omission. Overall, this is an excellent lifestyle manual telling how to incorporate healthy eating with the right variety of exercises, stress reduction techniques, and sufficient sleep. The superfoods hook will be a popular draw, so libraries can expect demand.Susan B. Hagloch, formerly with Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia, OH

Reston, James, Jr. Fragile Innocence: A Father’s Memoir of His Daughter’s Courageous Journey. Harmony: Crown. Feb. 2006. c.256p. ISBN 1-4000-8243-9. $23. MED

Reston (senior scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Ctr. for Scholars, Washington, DC; Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors) is a Beltway insider with the ability to get appointments with noted scientists, whose conversations he paraphrases throughout this memoir. Yet for all his credentials, little could be done to help his daughter Hillary, once a bright and delightful toddler who began having a range of terrifying problems – convulsions, loss of speech, and kidney damage. To date, she remains undiagnosed. Reston addresses how his two older children coped at home and in the community with Hillary on a day-to-day basis, the family’s incessant cycles of anger and guilt, the future of stem-cell transplantation, and the ethics of organ transplantation. Although readers may find the occasionally cloying tones grating, there is no doubt of the author’s deep and genuine love for his daughter. This is not a handbook on how to care for a child with insurmountable health issues but one parent’s very personal story. Appropriate for public, high school, and consumer health libraries, especially those whose parental narrative collections are dated.Martha E. Stone, Massachusetts General Hosp. Lib., Boston

Severin, Sanford, M.D. & Todd Severin, M.D. TriEnergetics: Balancing Nutrition, Exercise & Mindfulness for Lasting Wellness. New Harbinger. Jan. 2006. c.239p. illus. ISBN 1-57224-445-3. pap. $15.95. HEALTH

With diabetes and obesity reaching epidemic proportions in the United States, a plan that will help people make lifestyle changes to promote health is welcome. Sanford and Todd Severin, father and son physicians on the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, Berkeley, respectively, offer a holistic program that balances movement, meditation, stress management, and nutrition to promote wellness. After explaining the Taoist roots of their approach, the doctors look at each element of the program and show readers why it is necessary. Exercise; a low-fat diet emphasizing whole grains, beans, and legumes; meditation and deep breathing; and anti-oxidants are all necessary to achieve total wellness. A six-week program of small lifestyle changes that build on one another will have followers exercising, eating well, and managing stress with minimal effort; the diagrams illustrating the exercises and logs for tracking progress will certainly help. That one need not join a health club or take classes is an advantage. With its practical emphasis, this book complements Andrew Weil’s Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being, which has more scientific information. Recommended for public and consumer health library collections.Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., CA

Shealy, C. Norman, M.D. Life Beyond 100: Secrets of the Fountain of Youth. Tarcher: Penguin. Dec. 2005. c.272p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 1-58542-431-5. $24.95. HEALTH

With the increase in human life expectancy, there is a growing interest in books detailing the potential to extend life spans beyond the century mark, e.g., The Okinawa Program: How the World’s Longest-Lived People Achieve Everlasting Health – And How You Can Too and Gary Null’s Power Aging. Here, holistic physician Shealy (founder, American Holistic Medical Assn.; 90 Days to Stress-Free Living) prescribes treatment regimens for common chronic illnesses, utilizing a variety of herbal preparations, supplements, special diets, healing soaks, lotions, autogenic training, and self-administered transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) treatments. All of these, Shealy claims, will correct the biochemical deficiencies and electromagnetic malfunctions that are the root of ill health. The author himself devised several of these remedies (e.g., Biogenics Magnesium Lotion), lending an air of an old-time medicine show to the book, an impression further enhanced by Shealy’s claim to have the ability to ‘see’ etheric, or spiritual, energy surrounding human bodies. Detailed notes and a bibliography refer to a variety of scientific and nonscientific resources. Other than offering dubious cures for chronic illnesses that may or may not shorten the life span, this book supplies no real specifics for increasing longevity. Not recommended.Karen McNally Bensing, Benjamin Rose Lib., Cleveland

Sussman, Lisa. Brazilian Waxes, Lazy Ovaries & Outrageous Orgasms: Embarrassing Questions and Sassy Answers on Women’s Sexual Health. Ulysses. 2005. c.296p. index. ISBN 1-56975-516-7. pap. $12.95. HEALTH

Sussman (Over 100 Things Women Should Know About Men), a contributor to Cosmopolitan magazine and the author of numerous books on sex and relationships, has written an irreverent guide to the workings of the female body. While much of the information here can be found in other books, nowhere else is it presented with Sussman’s verve. From the practical (e.g., how your body works, hints on practicing safe sex) to the passionate (e.g., using sex toys), the writing is frank and easy to read. Boxes highlight pertinent points or facts or offer questionnaires that test a reader’s sexual health knowledge. Each chapter ends with a list of books, web sites, and resource organizations. (For readers curious about the titular Brazilian waxes, this reviewer’s copy has all they need to know on page 147.) While the information here cannot be faulted, the tone may not be to everyone’s liking. Appropriate for collections serving a younger or more venturesome audience.Jodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Fdn. Lib.

Szczeklik, Andrzej. Catharsis: On the Art of Medicine. Univ. of Chicago. Dec. 2005. c.156p. tr. from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. illus. ISBN 0-226-78869-5. $20. MED

This little book is neither a history of medicine, nor is it a philosophical or bioethical textbook – it is all of this and more. Renowned Polish cardiologist Szczeklik ponders the state of medicine from its earliest days through the present. He discusses some of the long-debated philosophical questions: modern man’s quest for eternal youth, the meaning of life, and what constitutes ‘self.’ He also looks at recent medical breakthroughs, such as the mapping of the human genome; the HapMap Project, an international effort to identify and catalog genetic similarities and differences in human beings; and therapeutic cloning. Throughout, he uses classical mythology, literature, and history to put modern medicine into perspective and to demonstrate the power and magic that exists between a doctor and his/her patient. Szczeklik does a convincing job of showing us how, despite modern technology, medicine is still as much an art as it is a science. The general public will enjoy the journey through the mind of this renaissance thinker, and instructors will find plenty of topics for class discussions. A real gem, this book is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib.

Home Economics

Best Food Writing 2005. Marlowe: Avalon, dist. by Publishers Group West. 2005. c.400p. ed. by Holly Hughes. index. ISBN 1-56924-345-X. pap. $15.95. COOKERY

Hughes continues her search for engaging culinary writing in this sixth annual collection dedicated to the art of cooking and eating. The pieces come from a variety of sources, including magazines, books, and newspaper articles and columns, and are divided among ten sections ranging from the business of food to dining out. Readers will encounter everything from Cynthia Zarin’s short but deliciously witty ‘I Married a Restaurant Critic’ to Eugenia Bone’s quietly reflective paean to homegrown produce in ‘Gardens on the Mesa.’ Many of this year’s contributors, such as Rick Bayless, Dorie Greenspan, and Ruth Reichl, are familiar names in the culinary world, but Hughes also includes a few unexpected but inspired choices, such as legendary cookbook editor Judith Jones and novelist Monique Truong. Recommended for public libraries, especially those where the other volumes in the series have proven to be popular.John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ

Brodeur, Mimi. Mushroom Cookbook: Recipes for White and Exotic Varieties. Stackpole. 2005. c.128p. illus. index. ISBN 0-8117-3274-6. $19.95. COOKERY

Whatever your favorite mushroom, this cookbook is sure to deliver an innovative way of serving it, with more than 60 mushroom-inclusive recipes for starters, soups, entrées, sandwiches, and sides as well as a nice assortment of choices for vegetarians. Caterer, instructor, food stylist, and writer Brodeur, a graduate of France’s prestigious École de Cuisine La Varenne, combines her culinary and journalistic experience to give a brief history of mushroom cultivation, instruct readers in the use of dried mushrooms, and provide tips for choosing, storing, and cleaning a wide variety of cultivated and wild mushrooms. Numerous ‘time-saving shortcuts’ provide workarounds for those on a tight schedule. A special section on the preparation of various accompaniments (e.g., polenta, marinades) and components (e.g., stock, broth, sauces, fillings) complete the book. Brodeur makes her topic accessible to cooks at all levels of experience; provides clear, straightforward directions; and suggests recipe ingredients one might reasonably have on hand. Recommended for all public libraries.Courtney Greene, DePaul Univ. Lib., Chicago

Cox, Adam J. Boys of Few Words: Raising Our Sons To Communicate and Connect. Guilford. Feb. 2006. c.319p. bibliog. index. ISBN 1-59385-218-5. $14.95. CHILD REARING

Clinical psychologist Cox has written a thoughtful book exploring how nature and nurture combine with common ‘boy’ issues like shyness, withdrawal, anger, and aggression to discourage the development of broad, deep, and verbally dexterous social and emotional vocabularies. His detailed real-life examples, suggested interventions for specific situations, and ten principles to help parents focus will help parents mold their sons into skilled communicators. As a result, the boys will be better able to cope with conflict, express themselves, manage stress, and sustain long-lasting relationships. Less how-to and more self-help, this work offers much to contemplate. Though readers may tire of exhortations about the consequences of failing to provide for boys’ self-expression, this dense, well-written book will resonate with the same caring, college-educated parents who enjoyed Mark O’Connell’s The Good Father: On Men, Masculinity, and Life in the Family. Recommended for large public libraries and collections serving mental health professionals (especially guidance counselors).Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Hartford

DiSpirito, Rocco with Kris Kurek (text) & Henry Leutwyler (photogs.). Rocco’s 5 Minute Flavor: Fabulous Meals with 5 Ingredients in 5 Minutes. Scribner. Jan. 2006. c.320p. photogs. index. ISBN 0-7432-7384-2[ISBN 978-0-7432-7384-8]. $26.95. COOKERY

Most recently seen as the chef on the now-canceled NBC reality show The Restaurant, DiSpirito has written his third cookbook – and it’s got a twist. He has developed recipes that supposedly can be prepared in five minutes (minus prep time), with five ingredients (minus the staples of a kitchen), and costing less than $5 per person. The recipes rely on a lot of prepared food – deli roast beef, mashed potatoes from the grocery store, canned soups, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The results of these and other ingredients include Turkey, Grilled Onion, and Rice Noodle Soup, Toasted Hot Dog Reuben, Pretty Peach Melba, and the slightly more gourmet Gnocchi with Toasted Garlic, Walnuts, and Bitter Greens. For many of the recipes, the ‘secret’ is high heat, which means five to seven minutes cooking time. The introduction recommends pantry ingredients, short-cut foods, equipment, and menus for a variety of occasions. DiSpirito has been described as a New York version of Emeril and one of People‘s ‘Sexiest Men Alive,’ and this cookbook will be popular simply because it is his. Libraries with limited budgets might want to choose between it and Jeanne Besser and Susan Puckett’s The 5:30 Challenge.Christine Bulson, SUNY at Oneonta

Famularo, Joe. A Cook’s Tour of Italy: More Than 300 Authentic Recipes from the Regions of Italy. HPBks: Berkley. 2005. 282p. bibliog. index. ISBN 1-55788-475-7. pap. $17.95. COOKERY

Famularo, the author of nine other cookbooks (including The Joy of Pasta), here shows his passion for Italian cuisine, offering a sampling of regional menus from all over Italy. For each region, Famularo describes common foods and cooking techniques while teasing the reader with descriptions of the wonderful scenery one might encounter there. Since he grew up Italian American in New York City, Famularo’s knowledge of the cuisine comes naturally. He understands that some of the recipes may be difficult to duplicate here and has adjusted them as necessary to work for American kitchens. Although this is not a beginner’s book, the menus could be duplicated by most cooks. Tips on preparation include advice on what can be made ahead, and an ingredients resource list is also featured. A tasty addition for most public libraries.Ginny Wolter, West Toledo Branch Lib., OH

Giannetti, Charlene C. & Margaret Sagarese. Boy Crazy!: Keeping Your Daughter’s Feet on the Ground When Her Head Is in the Clouds. Broadway. Feb. 2006. c.240p. index. ISBN 0-7679-1976-9. pap. $14. CHILD REARING

Generations of moms have seen weird things happen to their daughters when they reach adolescence – but these days girls are entering the ‘love mode’ at earlier ages and in extreme ways. (Make that very extreme.) Here, Giannetti and Sagarese (Cliques) deal with the whole love-and-friendship thing – boyfriends, girlfriends, romance, abuse, sex, multiracial dating, and same-sex attractions. It’s impossible to talk just about romance and dating with teens anymore; sex is always there, whether the issue is hooking up, AIDS, oral sex, intercourse, or birth control (or lack thereof). This book also deals with the consequences of cell phones, chat rooms, blogs, web sites, and camera phones. There’s not a lot of philosophizing about peer pressure vs. family life here – Giannetti and Sagarese know that kids need honest, open, loving parents. As they show, life has changed radically from a generation ago, but using common sense has not. Excellent references to the best of today’s literature on teenagers are included. Breezy, hopeful, and fun to read, this book is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA

Last, Cynthia G. Help for Worried Kids: How Your Child Can Conquer Anxiety and Fear. Guilford. Jan. 2006. c.266p. index. ISBN 1-59385-219-3. $35; pap. ISBN 1-57230-858-3. $14.95.
Wagner, Aureen Pinto. Worried No More: Help and Hope for Anxious Children. 2d ed. Lighthouse. 2005. c.256p. index. ISBN 0-9677347-9-7 [ISBN 978-0-9677347-9-8]. pap. $24.95. CHILD REARING

These two books build on each other. Written by a clinical psychologist specializing in cognitive-behavioral treatment for anxiety disorders, Help for Worried Kids introduces the topic of childhood anxiety disorders. The text opens with a discussion of the causes of childhood anxiety, its many ‘faces,’ and how to identify an anxious child. The second part is dedicated to the disorders themselves, with each chapter offering an in-depth examination that includes prevention, diagnosis, personal narratives, and advice on helping children gain control over fear and anxiety. A good selection of resources, check lists, and worksheets rounds out the text. This book is geared to concerned parents looking for help in determining whether their child’s uneasiness is reason for concern.

In contrast, Worried No More is geared not only to parents but also to school and healthcare professionals; it reads like a training guide for those with a daily need to understand and help children experiencing serious anxiety. Clinical child psychologist Wagner has a unique approach to making cognitive-behavioral therapy applicable to youngsters. As in the first edition, she begins by identifying normal fears and anxieties and considering when they become problematic. She then addresses the most common anxiety problems and disorders, discussing causes, therapies, and medications and what parents can do to help. Finally, she expands the strategies beyond the family to what schools can do. This book considers challenges and strategies in detail, carefully addressing how a parent can develop a systematic and goal-directed approach with the school to implement an effective action plan for the child there. Though both books are recommended for public libraries, Wagner offers far more tools, practical and well researched, for effectively helping anxious children and is recommended for academic libraries as well.Kari Ramstrom, MLIS, Plymouth, MN

Moskowitz, Isa Chandra (text) & Geoffery Tischman (photogs.). Vegan with a Vengeance: 125 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free, Logo-Free Recipes That Rock. Marlowe: Avalon, dist. by Publishers Group West. Dec. 2005. 272p. photogs. ISBN 1-56924-358-1. pap. $16.95. COOKERY

It’s hip. It’s punk. It’s high energy. And it’s darn fun to read! Cohost of a community-access vegan cooking show called The Post Punk Kitchen, Moskowitz here espouses a philosophy of being kind to both animals and one’s budget and of adopting a do-it-yourself attitude for a fun time in the kitchen. Vegan has a solid repertoire of recipes that will carry readers through the day, the seasons, and the holidays. Even though everything is made from scratch, most of the recipes are neither complicated nor time-consuming. The ingredients are common enough to be found in most large grocery stores or health food stores, and Moskowitz encourages substitution and experimentation. She provides good, basic information about handling tofu and making seitan and includes sidebars, a.k.a. ‘Punk Points,’ with tips ranging from how to purée soup in a blender to how to cook with lemongrass. And who can resist a vegan cookbook with recipes for Hazelnut Scones or Brooklyn Pad Thai that yield excellent results? This book will be a hit with teens and young adults as well as with adults wanting to add more spice to their own kitchen experiments. Highly recommended for all public libraries.Marija Sanderling, Lane Memorial Lib., Hampton, NH

Tung, Jennifer (text) & Tracy Dockray (illus.). In Style Parties: The Complete Guide to Easy, Elegant Entertaining. In Style. 2005. c.192p. photogs. ISBN 1-932994-11-4. $27.95. HOME ECON

Easy entertaining is what this book is all about. Like Christopher Lowell’s The Hassle-Free Host: Super-Simple Tablescapes and Recipes for Stunning Parties and David Tutera’s The Party Planner, this recap of 16 party guides previously published by In Style magazine explores the world of theme parties. Journalist Tung provides suggestions on such topics as deciding on the menu and setting up a bar while also calling on experts like Nigella Lawson and Colin Cowie to contribute their own opinions. Basics such as table settings, lighting, and dressing for the occasion are covered in the first 40 pages, while resources for purchasing readymade menu items, theme elements, and general party supplies are listed at the end. Each party plan begins with a countdown of tasks to keep preparation running smoothly, and an ‘Even Easier’ section suggests no-effort ways of accomplishing the already easy recipes provided. More than 300 lavish photographs of celebrities and party décor complete the book. Unfortunately, neither the menus nor the party themes (e.g., Oscar Night, Super Bowl, Holiday Parties) are original or very interesting, and the wine suggestions are not described in sufficient detail to help readers locate them on a retailer’s shelf. Recommended only where In Style publications are in demand.Ann Weber, Bellarmine Coll. Preparatory Lib., San Jose, CA

Wiseman, Nancy D. Could It Be Autism?: A Parent’s Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps. Broadway. Jan. 2006. c.272p. bibliog. index. ISBN 0-7679-1972-6. $22.95. CHILD REARING

For children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), early intervention programs are critical in lessening the impact of autism. Wiseman, the mother of an autistic child and founder of First Signs (, a group working to identify early signs of ASD, here provides effective and balanced ways for parents to interpret these signs in their own children. Well written and with quotes from parents, her book includes sections on spotting the early signs of ASD, getting the diagnosis, and finding help for both the child and the adult. The section on the diagnostic process is excellent in addressing this difficult time for parents by providing ways for them to help professionals with the assessment. Also useful is the description of other tests that should be sought out, such as a hearing test, to rule out health issues that can have an impact on the child’s development. Because it serves as a tremendous resource for parents confronting the possibility of ASD with their child, this book, complete with examples of children who have benefited from early intervention, is strongly recommended for all public and academic libraries with autism or education collections.Corey Seeman, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor


Adams, Jonathan S. The Future of the Wild: Radical Conservation for a Crowded World. Beacon, dist. by Houghton. Jan. 2006. c.288p. index. ISBN 0-8070-8510-3. $27.95. SCI

A conservation biologist, coauthor of The Myth of Wild Africa: Conservation Without Illusion, and coeditor of Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity, Adams is also a program director with the Nature Conservancy. Going beyond the ‘conserve it and they will come’ mindset, Adams presents an optimistic approach to conservation based on scientific research on the interdependency of an ecosystem, in which the loss of just one component, plant or animal, can be devastating to an entire region. Although pro-environmentalist, he evenhandedly presents the many ‘sides’ of issues involving public lands, ecoregions, and preservation. Adams proposes ways to accommodate preserving everything from ‘genes to species,’ combining the latest insights on biodiversity with community organizing and economic planning, and he reports on successful collaborations involving former adversaries. Visionary, optimistic, doable, and essential, Adams’s approach is a pioneering ‘guidebook to nature.’ Highly recommended for public and academic collections.Margaret F. Dominy, Drexel Univ. Lib., Philadelphia

Bekoff, Marc. Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues: Reflections on Redecorating Nature. TempleUniv. (Animals, Culture, & Society). Dec. 2005. c.344p. index. ISBN 1-59213-348-7. pap. $26.95. NAT HIST

In this collection of essays, Bekoff (ecology & evolutionary biology, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior) addresses various aspects of animal behavior (ethology) and the related treatment of animals. The subtitle reflects the intention of the work: to show that any interference with ecosystems or animal species (‘redecorating’) has undesirable effects on the world. Bekoff attempts to reconcile scientific studies of animals with the animal-rights philosophy of not treating animals as things. This is a unique concept and a difficult task, since such studies have traditionally involved interference in nature. Although primatologist Jane Goodall has written a foreword, the appeal of this book to popular audiences will be limited; about half of the essays come from advanced journals, and the rest are written at a college level. Recommended for academic libraries where there is an interest in ethology and animal rights.John Kistler, Houston, PA

Dech, Stefan & Reinhold Messner. Mountains from Space: Peaks and Ranges of the Seven Continents. Abrams. Dec. 2005. 224p. photogs. bibliog. ISBN 0-8109-5961-5. $50. SCI

This oversized volume (11′ x 11′) is remarkable owing to the sheer number, quality, and range of photographs presented. Working with a team of academics and mountaineers, among them Messner, Dech (remote exploration, Univ. of Würzburg, Germany; German Remote Sensing Data Center DFD) has collected 148 false- and real-color digitally enhanced images of Earth’s continental mountain ranges. Taken by a wide variety of satellite and space platforms, angles, and scales, these digital images, which include a diverse range of mountain environments and environmental themes, encompass all land surfaces, ecological features, landscapes, and geophysical settings. The images are fully referenced at the back of the book and are supplemented by historical notes and regional information. Each chapter section includes a review essay on an ecological issue written by a scientific or mountaineering expert. Throughout, the images and text are beautifully arranged in a format that is entertaining, informative, and simply breathtaking. It should be noted that, though more than a coffee-table book, this work does not lend itself to academic research or scholarship. Academic libraries don’t really need a book of digital photos, as similar images can be found on the Internet. The articles and full-image descriptions are aimed at students and general readers, making the volume a perfect resource for school, public, and general collections.Ian Gordon, Brock Univ. Lib., St. Catharines, Ont.

Dunaway, Finis. Natural Visions: The Power of Images in American Environmental Reform. Univ. of Chicago. 2005. c.272p. illus. index. ISBN 0-226-17325-9. $37. SCI

Dunaway (history, Trent Univ., Canada) traces the powerful use of the camera in the history of the American environmental movement, addressing why American reformers were attracted to the camera, how they hoped photographs would bring people closer to the natural world, and how the movement’s photographers tried to create ‘visual monuments to vanishing places.’ Detailing the changes in image-making, he begins with landscape photographer Herbert Gleason and then devotes the majority of the book to New Deal documentary films and their makers, including Pare Lorentz and Robert Flaherty. The final chapters probe the influence of environmental coffee-table books as first published by the Sierra Club. Analyses of humankind’s place in the world of still and motion pictures unveil religious ideals as well as archetypal suppositions of the romantic sublime and the unsullied frontier myth. The text is embellished with photographs by Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter and stills from New Deal documentaries. What began as a dissertation retains that detailed, analytical quality. A fresh addition to any library’s environmental or photography collection.Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley Coll., Mt. Carmel, IL

Klinkenborg, Verlyn. Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile. Knopf. Feb. 2006. c.192p. ISBN 0-679-40728-6. $16.95. NAT HIST

This is a true story – so states author Klinkenborg (The Rural Life), a member of the New York Times editorial board. That it is told by a female tortoise named Timothy in no way discredits the fact that Gilbert White was indeed an 18th-century curate in the rural English town of Selborne and that a tortoise did reside in his garden. White, considered England’s first ecologist, recorded careful observations of nature that made their way into his The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, a nature-writing classic that has remained in print since its publication in 1789. Timothy offers her own perceptive observations of life in the parish, adding an ironic and sometimes humorous twist to the assumptions humans make about life. For example, White sees the tortoise shell as a prison rather than a house that fits perfectly, while Timothy thinks human houses are extremely out of proportion to their inhabitants. Short, lyrical phrases flow like poetry, and there is much to ponder in this delightful little book. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/05.]Maureen J. Delaney-Lehman, Lake Superior State Univ. Lib., Sault Ste. Marie, MI

National Geographic Complete Birds of North America. National Geographic, dist. by Random. 2005. c.640p. ed. by Jonathan Alderfer. photogs. maps. index. ISBN 0-7922-4175-4. $35. NAT HIST

Birders certainly have their hands full with all the recently published field guides and companion volumes (Tom Wood’s The Birds of North America; Bill Thompson’s Identify Yourself). The latest to take wing is this massive desk reference, a companion to the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America. (An additional companion is the National Geographic Reference Atlas to the Birds of North America.) Edited by birding expert and field guide illustrator Alderfer, it includes the expected: chapters for the more than 80 avian families, with an overview of plumage, behavior, distribution, taxonomy, and conservation. This is followed by descriptions of all 962 species (covering identification, similar species, voice, status, and distribution) and sidebars that address such topics as difficult identifications. This is an admirable work, richly illustrated with 150 color photographs, 4000 art pieces, and 750 maps, but how does it compare with David Sibley’s acclaimed The Sibley Guide to Birds? While both sources offer the information birders desire, National Geographic‘s use of technical terminology may especially attract advanced birders craving detailed, technical descriptions (e.g., Sibley refers to ‘bills’ while National Geographic identifies them as ‘mandibles’). Birders seeking comparative essays may prefer Sibley, while those who crave individual species details will go with National Geographic. Libraries should feather their nests with both volumes. Strongly recommended for all natural history collections.Nancy Moeckel, Brill Science Lib., MiamiUniv., Oxford, OH

Nielsen, John. Condor: To the Brink and Back; The Life and Times of One Giant Bird. HarperCollins. Feb. 2006. c.272p. photogs. ISBN 0-06-008862-1. $25.95. NAT HIST

The story of efforts to save the gigantic California condor from extinction is so dramatic that it justifies a new book every few years, especially since this is still an ongoing process. This thoughtful history by the environmental correspondent for National Public Radio does a fine job of describing the strong personalities and bitter conflicts among the researchers, agencies, and organizations concerned with saving condors from extinction. One camp wanted to leave the condors alone, while others maintained that capture and captive breeding was the only way to save them. Nielsen notes that condor researchers also had to endure grueling field work and the hostility of local landowners. While Noel and Helen Snyder’s excellent The California Condor also offers a detailed and thorough review of the biology, research, and politics concerned with these great birds, Nielsen’s account is more an investigative report written in the nature of a long, very readable essay. A dramatic conservation tale; recommended for academic and larger public library natural history collections.Henry T. Armistead, Free Lib. of Philadelphia

Pavord, Anna. The Naming of Names: The Search for Order in the World of Plants. Bloomsbury, dist. by St. Martin’s. Dec. 2005. 471p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 1-59691-071-2. $45. NAT HIST

With this book, British author Pavord (The Tulip) quashes any notion that the history of plant taxonomy is a dull pursuit. Her story covers 2000 years of the search for order in the plant world, beginning in third-century B.C.E. Greece with Aristotle’s great pupil Theophrastus and ending in late 17th-century England with the man who coined the word botany, John Ray. Her crisp prose is complemented by lavish, full-color illustrations (though strangely lacking is a portrait of one of the author’s heroes, the aforementioned Theophrastus). The Renaissance developments are especially fascinating: the spectacular refinement of plant illustration in herbals, the establishment of botanical gardens, and the flood of new plant discoveries that came with the advent of world navigation. Pavord demonstrates convincingly how, from about the 15th century on, plants came to be an object of interest for their intrinsic value, not just for their medicinal, nutritive, or ritual purposes. There is much here for readers of all sorts, making this book a solid choice for large public collections. It is also highly recommended for special and academic collections, though professional botanists may wince at the short shrift given French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort and Swedish taxonomist Carl Linnaeus.Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont.


Sargent, Ted. The Dance of Molecules: How Nanotechnology Is Changing Our Lives. Thunder’s Mouth: Avalon, dist. by Publishers Group West. Jan. 2006. c.256p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 1-56025-809-8. $25. TECH

Sargent (nanotechnology, MIT & Univ. of Toronto) here gives an overview of recent advances in nanotechnology, the science of engineering materials at the atomic and molecular levels. His tone is optimistic (running counter to the fears exploited in Michael Crichton’s 2002 suspense novel, Prey), but he nevertheless presents a balanced picture, citing current research problems and unknowns along with all the promises that nanotechnology holds. The text focuses on three areas: health applications, e.g., diagnosing and treating diseases or growing artificial organs; environmental uses, e.g., developing improved energy systems or pollution monitoring and remediation; and the use of information technology products for computing, displaying, and relaying information. Sargent’s use of metaphorical language to explain complex, microscopic phenomena is often illuminating for the nonscientist, though these conceits are occasionally carried too far. The bibliography draws largely from Science and Nature, the two premier general science journals, and the endnotes are keyed to text phrases rather than numbered so as not to intrude on the largely casual prose. Recommended for public and undergraduate library collections.Wade M. Lee, Univ. of Toledo Lib.