Short Takes

Florey, Kenneth. Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia: An Illustrated Historical Study. McFarland. 2013. 268p. ISBN 9780786472932. pap. $55; ebk. ISBN 9781476601502. REf

Florey (English, emeritus, Southern Connecticut State Univ.; ­­http://­ argues that women’s suffrage memorabilia offered a way for sympathizers to “ingest the movement…to have it become a part of them in a tangible way that was not otherwise possible through campaign literature and speeches alone.” And there was plenty of it—the author details some 70 categories, from dish cloths to umbrellas, as well as items related to the American and British branches of the movement and for and against the cause. VERDICT An impressive scholarly synthesis for women’s history and collectibles collections.

The Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health. 2 vols. Gale. 2013. 1300p. ed. by Laurie J. Fundukian. illus. index. ISBN 9781414498768. $549; ebk. ISBN 9781414498799. REF

While many authoritative sources on this topic already exist, including Lester Breslow’s Encyclopedia of Public Health, this new reference serves as an up-to-date, reader-friendly guide on enduring and evolving community health concerns. The work includes 257 articles, written by science writers and educators, which outline the various issues (diabetes, obesity, etc.) in layperson’s terms and largely from the U.S. perspective. Each entry also includes a “Questions To Ask Your Doctor” sidebar, plus a listing of sources for more information. VERDICT An accessible health reference for consumers and students.

Garden & Gun Magazine, Eds. The Southerner’s Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life. Harper. Oct. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780062242389. $27.99. REf

In terms of embracing all things Southern, there’s probably no better source right now than the unabashedly titled Garden & Gun (G&G) magazine. The publication has now produced this “guide to living the good life,” providing 75 “instructional essays” covering subjects that include how to fry okra, how to “pull off” seersucker, and, yup, how to shoot a dove. Half of the entries are drawn from the pages of G&G, with additional original content from Southern writers including Matt and Ted Lee, Roy Blount Jr., and Daniel Wallace. VERDICT Distills the spirit, with recipes, of Southern living.

MacLellan, David E. & others. The Home Book: A Complete Guide to Homeowner and Homebuilder Responsibilities. Building Standards Institute. Jan. 2014. 280p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780989489904. pap. $49.95. REf

Don’t walk on your roof! That’s just one tip in this guide developed by the Building Standards Institute, a nonprofit that provides consumer education in the field of residential construction. This reference provides the “performance guidelines” that contractors work with when dealing with homeowners, such as what to look for in that “walk-through” before closing and how you’ll null various warranties (walking on the roof voids the one for roof replacement). Nine chapters delve into the nitty-gritty of foundations, floors, and more. VERDICT If you want the “code” of how to handle your homebuilder, this nails it.

The Manifesto in Literature. 3 vols. St. James. (Literature of Society). 2013. 1200p. ed. by Thomas Riggs. index. ISBN 9781558628663. $418; ebk. ISBN 9781558628809. REF

Covering times in history when rules or beliefs were set forth on the page, this reference describes the publication of The Communist Manifesto in 1848 as a particularly pivotal moment. Riggs (editor, The Literature of War) here collects scholarly essays on works ranging from Horace’s Ars Poetica to material produced by the Occupy Wall Street movement. While each volume covers a specific time period, entries within them are loosely organized, making for somewhat disjointed reading. VERDICT An offbeat yet illuminating addition to social studies and literature collections.

Song, Yuwu. Biographical Dictionary of the People’s Republic of China. McFarland. 2013. 452p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780786435821. pap. $95; ebk. ISBN 9781476602981. REf

Many more people figure into the story of modern China than Chairman Mao. Song, a Chinese studies librarian at the Library of Congress, has compiled biographies, written by him and 18 other contributors, of 588 individuals who contributed “for better or worse” to Chinese life and culture since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Sources are cited at the end of each entry. While this work lacks an introduction, the analyses within entries provide some contextual connections. VERDICT Will add personality to Chinese studies collections.—Judy Quinn, formerly with Library Journal