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THE SOCIETY OF MIDLAND AUTHORS

MEMBERS' NEW BOOKS

Michael J. Sheehan    www.verbmall.blogspot.com
More Words to the Wise
Arbutus Press
ISBN: 978-1-933926-18-6
paperback, 194 pages, 6x9
purchase online:   through publisher    amazon.com

Since the year 2001, WTCM-AM 580, a talk radio station in Traverse City, Michigan, has been carrying Sheehan’s radio program. Along with co-host Ron Jolly, he fields questions about the English language. The topics include word and phrase origins, points of grammar and punctuation, pet peeves, pronunciation, funny gaffes in advertising and broadcasting, writing tips, and anything else remotely connected to our living, lissome language.

The questions contained in this volume are real questions asked by real people, some of them confused by our mother tongue, some of them bemused by its jabs and dekes. As in the companion volumes written for Arbutus Press, the questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity, but the essence of the original interchanges has been preserved.

This is not a stuffy grammar book. Entertainment is on a par with instruction when you are in public media, but be assured that the answers are based on twenty-nine years of teaching experience. If you love language, you will find questions in this book that you very well might have asked.


June Skinner Sawyers
The Civilized Shopper's Guide to Edinburgh and Glasgow
The Little Bookroom
ISBN: 978-1-892145-58-1
$16.95, 256 pages, full-color photographs
purchase online

Glasgow is one of the top shopping destinations in the United Kingdom and Edinburgh is one of the most hospitable cities in Europe. This book takes shoppers to the most unique stores in both cities and also includes restaurants, pubs, and cafes and has an entire section devoted to the stunning tearooms of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Sumptuous color photographs throughout.


John Knoerle
A Pure Double Cross
Blue Steel Press

Cleveland, Ohio, 1945. Hal Schroeder returns from a two-year stint behind German lines as an undercover agent for the OSS. The horrors of war have left him bitter and cynical. He is recruited by the FBI to infiltrate a local mob that is pulling bank heists. The feds have concocted a sting operation to capture the head of the gang and they want Hal to execute it. He agrees. But Hal Schroeder is no longer interested in being a hero. Hal Schroeder is interested in a fat payday.


Linda A. Gerdner and Sarah Langford, Illustrated by Stuart Loughridge
Grandfather's Story Cloth
Shen's Books
English/Hmong Bilingual
ISBN-13: 978-1-885008-34-3 * ISBN-10: 1-885008-34-1
8" x 10", 32 pages, full color, Hardcover
Retail price: $16.95, Ages 4-8
purchase online

Synopsis:
Chersheng feels sad and helpless when he learns that Grandfather has Alzheimer's Disease, but then Chersheng's mother presents him with a story cloth stitched by Grandfather, embroidered in the Hmong tradition. Through the story cloth, Grandfather's memories of his life in Laos come alive. And inspired by Grandfather's tales, Chersheng captures his family's new life with his own art project.


Lisa Holton     web site
For Members Only: A History and Guide to Chicago's Oldest Private Clubs
Lake Claremont Press
ISBN-10: 1893121283, ISBN-13: 978-1893121287
$18.95, 350 pp.
Amazon

"A sweeping, 150-year history of the social habits of Chicago's leadership class, For Members Only captures neatly the spirit of ambition and status-seeking of early Chicago, where clubs offered men (and only recently, women) a way to gather with those of similar standing to relax, boost their city, and build their own stature and wealth. Lisa Holton opens the mahogany doors into a private world that up to this day will captivate—and sometimes dismay—the reader."

—James D. Nowlan, author of Glory, Darkness, Light: A History of the Union League Club of Chicago


James L. Merriner     web site
The Man Who Emptied Death Row: Governor George Ryan and the Politics of Crime
Southern Illinois University Press
ISBN: 13:978-0-8093-2865-9
$29.95, 200 pp.

George Ryan, a crooked governor who now sits in federal prison, single-handedly overturned the death penalty in Illinois just before leaving office. Was this action the result of a cynical political ploy or of a heartfelt moral sunburst? "A gripping factual account of real-life crime in government."--former Gov. Dan Walker. "Political junkies from all philosophical and political backgrounds will gobble up [this book]."

—Prof. Paul M. Green


Lori Andrews
Immunity
St. Martins Minotaur
ISBN: 9780312352721
$24.95, 325 pages
Amazon     Barnes and Noble

During a provocative presidential race, geneticist Alexandra Blake and a rogue DEA agent track the killer behind a lethal new biotoxin as the death toll mounts. Publishers Weekly called the novel "exciting," saying “Andrews, a real-life authority on genetics spikes the chills with a talking DNA computer named Sam and insights into hot-button Native American issues."


Michael Williams, Richard Cahan, and Nicholas Osborn
Who We Were: A Snapshot History of America
CityFiles Press
ISBN: 13: 9780978545017
240pp/ Duotone and Color
order online

Since the first snapshots were taken in 1888, Americans have used simple, inexpensive cameras to record their life stories. In the process, they have left behind millions of snapshots that also document the story of America. Now, for the first time, these personal photographs have been gathered together to tell the nation's history. From sod houses in South Dakota to the skyscrapers of New York City, these personal photographs form the first people's photo history of America. The snapshots capture nearly a century of American life-telling our story through our own eyes. The Wright Brothers, the World Wars, Woodstock. They are all here, creating a crazy quilt of steamships and biplanes, migrants and flappers, seal clubbers and suffragettes. This is who we were and who we are. Over 350 photographs in color and duotone.


Bruce Guernsey     www.bruceguernsey.com
New England Primer  
Cherry Grove Collections
ISBN: 978-1934999226
80 pages, $18.00
Amazon    Barnes and Noble

"These wonderful, finely crafted poems are deceptively quiet like the landscapes they lovingly depict and the lives they choose to observe with such deep affection. And yet, there is much here that is very dark, and haunted not only by a nostalgia for a lost, more innocent past, but by what Robert Lowell calls 'the dark downward and vegetating kingdom/of the fish and reptile.' The unconscious is very much alive in these poems, which is to say, they delve into areas of human experience that can sometimes freeze you to the bone like diving into a perfectly calm, New Hampshire pond in early spring."
     —Michael Van Walleghen.

"Bruce Guernsey's truths are important. His very human poems--so often about innocent things like fishing, splitting wood, or simply walking--reveal another world where an owl's eyes become a hangman's, or God, a swaddled, illegitimate child. These discoveries are even more disturbing because they come from words so clean and direct."
     —Paul Zimmer

"New England Primer is the best damn book of poetry I've read in a good long while. "Ice Fishing," "The Owl," "Long Distance," "The Compass"—these are poems like nobody else's."
     —X.J. Kennedy


Ruth Spiro     web site
Lester Fizz, Bubble-Gum Artist  
Dutton Children's Books
ISBN: 13: 978-0-525-47861-4
Hardcover/Picture Book/Fiction
Full-color Illustrations
32 pages • 8 1/4" x 11"
$16.99

Born into a family of artists, Lester Fizz feels he doesn’t fit in… until he discovers his own unique talent in an unexpected medium – bubble gum! Ruth Spiro’s inventive text is bursting with wordplay, tongue-in-cheek humor, and notes about the famous works referenced in Thor Wickstrom’s exuberant illustrations.


Lori Andrews     web site    
THE SILENT ASSASSIN  
St. Martins Minotaur
ISBN: 0-312-95648-1
$6.99, 324pgs.  

As geneticist Alexandra Blake investigates a D.C. homicide, she uncovers a trail of murder leading from the modern White House back to the Vietnam War. Publishers Weekly called the novel "outstanding" in a starred review. The Chicago Tribune said, "Blending elements of forensic-powered mystery, psychological suspense and a Ludlumesque espionage thriller, Andrews' newest is a page-turner…. It's highly recommended."


Donna D. McCreary
Lincoln's Table: A Culinary Journey from Cabin to Cosmopolitan  
Lincoln Presentations
ISBN: 978-0-9795383-1-5
$28.95 - 182 pages  

Despite a common belief that Abraham Lincoln was a fussy eater and had little or no interest in what he ate, research shows that he actually did have many favorite foods. Family stories, observations of his friends, and White House menus indicate those favorites - many of which he had enjoyed since his childhood. Lincoln's Table offers about 130 recipes which will enable the reader to have a true taste of history.
      more information: www.marylincoln.com


Michael J. Sheehan
Word Parts Dictionary: Standard and Reverse Listings of Prefixes, Suffixes, Roots and Combining Forms, 2d ed.  
McFarland & Company
ISBN: 978-0-7864-3564-7
294pp., library binding, $55
order online and more information 

This updated version of the 2000 original is still the only complete resource on the market for finding word parts needed to express a concept. Aside from catering to those who wish to expand their vocabulary, the purpose of this dictionary is to provide convenient word parts to those who may be interested in inventing or deciphering words bearing an established and embedded meaning.

Like the first edition, this work is split into three parts presenting the prefixes, suffixes, combining forms, and roots that fit together to form words in English. Part I, the Dictionary proper, provides an alphabetical listing of nearly 4,700 word parts, each entry including a brief definition and two examples of words using that unit. This section benefits from several additions, the most notable of which are embedded etymologies for each entry. Part II, the Finder, is a reverse dictionary of word parts allowing users to start with a meaning or concept and then find word parts which express that meaning. Still the only reverse dictionary of its kind, Part II is updated with over 1,000 new search terms. Part III collects word parts in another reverse dictionary under 18 convenient categories. Each pre-existing category has been expanded when possible, and three entirely new categories have also been added (Eating, Experts, and Measurement Science).

First edition reviews:
"a treasure trove...recommended"
   —Library Journal
"Unique...clear and well executed"
   —Choice
"Remarkable...a sophisticated, erudite, fascinating dictionary, a true work of reference...recommended"
   —Reference Reviews


Carol Felsenthal     web site
Clinton in Exile: A President Out of the White House
William Morrow
ISBN: 9780061231599
Hardcover; 368 pgs.; $25.95
order online and more information 

Based on more than 150 interviews with the former president's friends, associates, and sometime enemies, Clinton in Exile takes readers from Clinton's last hours in office, through his indulgent personal life and well-publicized humanitarian efforts, to his front-of-camera and behind-the-scenes coordination of his wife's presidential campaign.  

Clinton in Exile is the definitive biography of one of the most towering, intriguing, and deeply controversial figures of our time.


Robert D. Sutherland
THE FARRINGFORD CADENZA
The Pikestaff Press
ISBN: 978-0-936044-08-8
$15.95   (536 pages)

THE FARRINGFORD CADENZA, a suspenseful, humorous mystery, skews generic conventions to continually surprise readers with reversals of their assumptions and expectations. It also explores consequences of self-delusion, and the many faces of deceit. In the words of critic Robert Day, "Underneath the genteel veneer of the classical music world thrive greed, vanity, and lust—the makings of a roaringly funny read."  

Further information available at: www.pikestaffpress.com


Jane Anne Morris
Gaveling Down the Rabble
The APEX Press, publishing arm of the Council on International & Public Affairs
ISBN: 978-1-891843-39-6
200pp.   Price: $18.95   order online

In Gaveling Down the Rabble, author/activist Jane Anne Morris explores a century and a half of efforts by corporations and the courts to undermine local democracy in the United States by using a "free trade" model. It was that very nineteenth-century model that was later adopted globally by corporations to subvert local attempts at protecting the environment and citizen and worker health.

Gaveling Down the Rabble is essential reading for understanding the background of the current struggle for U.S. democracy - local, state and national - against growing corporate power and how we can challenge it.
more information


Eric Bronsky and Neal Samors, Foreword by Joel Daly
Downtown Chicago in Transition
Chicago's Books Press
ISBN: 0979789206
$39.95 (hard cover) Available at bookstores across Chicago, through www.chicagosbooks.com, as well a variety of online sites.    

It is like no other book about Chicago's past and present--exploring the dynamic changes that have continuously shaped the greater Loop district from the late nineteenth century to the present time. Downtown's evolution is vividly portrayed through more than 270 historical duotone and color photographs interlaced with a tapestry of memories, experiences and thoughts related by interviewees.

The book is brimming with a rich variety of subjects in its 256 pages including architecture and urban planning, department stores, restaurants, movie palaces, public transportation, and parks. Unique and obscure subjects are featured together with some of downtown's more familiar and enduring icons. The most alluring images are enhanced to full-page and double page size, while photographs separated by decades invite spirited comparison. A descriptive narrative introduces each section of the book, tying all the elements together.


Michael Williams, Richard Cahan, Bruce Moffat
Foreword by Stuart Dybek
Chicago: City on the Move
CityFiles Press
ISBN: 0978545036
$39.95    more information     order online

There is a city treasure that has never before been seen. For close to 150 years, photographers have documented the construction of Chicago’s public transportation system. They’ve photographed the building of the city’s famous "L" lines. They’ve photographed the streetcars that glided through city streets.

Now, for the first time, these photos are available in Chicago: City on the Move. The book shows Chicago in a new light. It presents a history of the city through mass transportation photographs from the archives of the Chicago Transportation Authority. This is a book for people who love transportation, who love photography and who love Chicago.


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