Reference Reviews: December 2012

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewPagliaro, Michael. The Musical Instrument Desk Reference: A Guide to How Band and Orchestral Instruments Work. Scarecrow. 2012. 198p. illus. index. ISBN 9780810882706. $65. Online: eBooks on EBSCOhost, Overdrive, MyiLibrary, EBL, & Questia REF

At first glance, this relatively short book would appear likely to attract only a small audience, chiefly K–12 music educators who have a need for broad-based knowledge of instruments—in particular, how to maintain and repair them. And certainly they will find this book indispensable. But because, as the author states in his preface, “this manual provides important information for teachers, students, and technicians who work with musical instruments on which they are not accomplished performers,” it will likely appeal to a wide variety of musical practitioners outside of those fortunate few who can make their living on performance. Pagliaro’s (Everything You Should Know About Musical Instruments But Didn’t Have Time To Learn) first chapter contains a layman’s review of the physics of sound. Subsequent chapters cover woodwind, brass, non-fretted string instruments, and percussion. Each section begins with an “Easy Reference Quick Start” that provides illustrated information that may be needed during a lesson. This is followed by in-depth information on each instrument including illustrations and diagrams of its major parts and an analysis of how it produces sound. Also included are basic fingering charts, tuning procedures, and discussions of the various materials used to construct instruments. VERDICT This excellent title will appeal to everyone from amateur enthusiasts to veteran teachers.—Sarah Sutton, Emporia State Univ., KS

Library Journal Reviews starred review Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters: A Historical and Biographical Guide. Baker Academic. 2012. 608p. ed. by Marion Ann Taylor & Agnes Choi. index. ISBN 9780801033568. $44.99. REF

Texts about biblical interpreters are nothing new; what separates this one from others is its focus on women. Taylor (Old Testament, Wycliffe College) and Choi (New Testament, Pacific Lutheran Univ.) have curated a collection of 180 entries written by 130 scholars from the United States, Canada, and Europe. Women interpreters and their work over two millennia are analyzed in concise, well-researched entries that each include a short biography and an examination of the interpreter’s context and methods. The list of entries includes queens, abbesses, and noblewomen alongside teachers, social reformers, and abolitionists. Names include the familiar (Teresa of Avila, Katherine Parr, Sojourner Truth) and the less famous (Maria W. Miller, Mary Sidney Herbert, R. Roberts). Each signed entry concludes with a list of primary and secondary sources and cross references to contemporaries of the subject entry. The text concentrates on women from the Judeo-Christian traditions and includes scripture quotes from various biblical versions. VERDICT This handbook is an important contribution to the field of biblical interpretation. It provides a voice for women who were marginalized, forgotten, or silenced. The material presumes some knowledge of scripture but is otherwise easily accessible for most readers and is especially apt for seminarians, academics, and religious professionals. Highly recommended for academic libraries and seminaries.—­Jacqueline Parascandola, Columbia Univ. Libs., NY

Arnold, Jackie Smith. Kinship: It’s All Relative. Enlarged 2d ed. Genealogical Publishing Co. 2012. 158p. illus. index. ISBN 9780806319537. pap. $14.95. REF

Assigning relationships within a family tree can quickly become complicated. What is a second cousin twice removed, or a third or fourth cousin once removed? Answers to these questions, and to ones concerning many other possible combinations, are found in this enlarged second edition of a 2002 work. In an informal, somewhat folksy tone, Arnold addresses multiple interpretations of kinship and how changing customs and laws affect our understanding of it. Degrees of kinship are explored within contexts such as marriage, adoption, surrogacy, inheritance (both genetic and worldly goods), naming conventions, and more. Explanatory charts and tables, lists of laws by state, record-agency addresses, and other resource lists are mixed with anecdotes and reflections on past, present, and future interpretations of family—and why understanding familial connections is important. With ten short but information-packed chapters, an epilog, and a handy glossary and index, this edition also offers a “kinship update” exploring same-sex marriage (oddly placed in the back of the book). verdict Overall, Arnold makes a dizzying variety of complex kinship connections easy to follow, helping both beginning and experienced family researchers.—Jean Fisher, Tacoma P.L., WA

The following titles are reviewed in the December 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Siracusa, Joseph M. Encyclopedia of the Kennedys: The People and Events that Shaped America. ABC-CLIO. 3 vols. 2012. 1103p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598845389. $294. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Smith, Jessie Carney. Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historical Events. Visible Ink Press. Jan. 2013. 800p. photogs. ISBN 9781578593699. pap. $24.95. REF


Open-Source Technologies for Maximizing the Creation, Deployment, and Use of Digital Resources and Information. Information Science Reference: IGI Global. Jan. 2013. 369p. ed. by Shalin Hai-Jew. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781466622050. $185. Online: Info-Sci Books; Info-Sci Software Technologies; Science, Engineering, and Intelligent Technologies REF


Ashwell, Ken. The Student’s Anatomy of Exercise Manual. Barron’s. 2012. 192p. ISBN 9781438001135. pap. $24.99. REF

Ozer, Yvette Malamud. A Student Guide to Health: Understanding the Facts, Trends, and Challenges. 5 vols. Greenwood. 2012. 1213p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780313393051. $268. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook CollectionREF


Earth’s Surface & History. ed. by David K. Elliot & others. ISBN 9781587659775.

Physics and Chemistry of the Earth. ed. by Joseph L. Spradley & others. ISBN 9781587659737.

ea: 2 vols. Salem. (Earth Science). 2012. c.650p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. $295. Online: Salem Science, eBooks on EBSCOhost, Follett Library Resources, ebrary, Gale Virtual Reference Library, MyiLibrary, OverdriveREF


Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. World Food: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Social Influence from Hunter-Gatherers to the Age of Globalization. M.E. Sharpe. 2012. 800p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780765682789. $249. Online: Sharpe Online Reference REF

Henrietta Verma About Henrietta Verma

Henrietta Verma is Senior Editorial Communications Specialist at NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, Baltimore, and was formerly the reviews editor at Library Journal.