www.booklistreader.com 34 Booklist December 1, 2015
novel introduces Patrick, a man anguished
by his selfish indiscretions, who seeks for-
giveness through confession at a New York
City church. Upon leaving, he encounters
a despondent-looking old man named Sean
and spontaneously decides to speak to him.
When Patrick realizes Sean plans to commit
suicide, he convinces him to share his story
of woe. The balance of the book rolls back to
the early twentieth century, revealing intense
and haunting details of Sean’s troubled life,
which include his time as a WWI marine,
where he becomes smitten with a nurse and
suffers disaster as a result of rash decisions
that eventually lead to his role in murder.
Through believable characters, the author
skillfully captures the raw emotions of ago-
nizing combat, as well as steamy passages of
lovemaking. Some scenes may stretch cred-
ibility, but most readers will forgive any
such lapses. Overall, Death Poem is a crowd-
pleaser, especially for those who enjoy a
fast-paced, passionate love story interwoven
with the drama of young men at war.
Do I Need It? (And What If I Do?):
Answers to All Your Questions
about Plastic Surgery.
By Francesca Camp.
2014. 167p. Archway, paper, $19.95 (9781480803114). 619.
Camp’s valuable book addresses questions
about plastic surgery—whether it’s time to
consider a procedure and, if so, what it would
entail—in a well-organized,
detailed presentation. The
author, a licensed paramedical aesthetician who served
as director for a top New
York surgeon and worked
as an independent plastic-/
well understands what people want and need to know, and her book
aims to help them make smart decisions,
focusing on preparation, planning, and post-surgery considerations, rather than surgery
itself. Camp first asks readers to clarify why
Behind the Lines: WWI’s Little-
Known Story of German
Band of Yanks Who Helped Save Millions
By Jeffrey B. Miller.
2014. 442p. Milbrown, paper, $16.95 (9780990689300). 940.
Miller explores the history of the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB), a privately
run organization that helped
keep a nation from starving
during WWI. At the war’s
beginning, the Germans
marched into neutral Belgium, leveling cities and
requisitioning supplies. No
new food could reach the
country because the Allies
had blocked the seaways, and the Germans felt
no responsibility to feed the Belgians. Herbert
Hoover ( 15 years before becoming president)
and a group of diplomats and American citizens stepped up, forming the CRB. Miller
outlines the enormous obstacles the group
faced and places this relief effort within the
contexts of a war-ravaged country, a nascent
Belgium resistance, feuding men of power,
and the young idealists who ensured supplies
reached their intended recipients. The author
displays a master’s touch for synecdoche and
shrewd analysis of leaders connected with the
CRB, including his calling out of Herbert
Hoover’s autocratic and manipulative tendencies. The story ends in early 1915, although
the commission continued after the Armistice
of 1918. Miller, however, hints of a sequel,
so readers may look forward to more of this
intriguing and little-known piece of history.
By Richard McClements.
2015. 390p. iUniverse, paper, $22.95 (9781491768266).
This well-structured, unsettling story-
within-a-story unveils a man whose anger at
life’s injustices leads him to vengeful acts. The
they are considering plastic surgery, and lays
out realistic expectations regarding cost. She
then discusses the time involved (it can take
up to 15 months from reparation to full
healing), what happens the day of surgery,
regimens for recovery, and how bad a pa-
tient’s mirror image might be initially. She
also discusses how long it may take before
resuming activities such as tweezing, dental
procedures, hair styling, sun exposure, and
even flying. In short, Camp makes it clear
that plastic surgery is not for the faint of
heart. Her clearly written, straightforward
book should be a go-to title for anyone con-
sidering such elective surgery.
Get Reel: Produce Your Own Life.
By Nancy Mramor Kajuth.
2015. 214p. Balboa, paper, $17.99 (9781504335669).
TV or not TV? That doesn’t have to be the
question, says media expert Kajuth in this
balanced look at how we can consume media
without letting media consume us. Author
of Spiritual Fitness and Top Ten Tips for Lasting Happiness, Kajuth is a psychologist who
frequently appears on television talk shows.
Her book, full of television trivia, humor,
and quotations, is part pop culture and part
cognitive psychology. Written in a chummy
tone, it teaches us how to become more
conscious viewers and make healthier viewing choices. In chapters organized by genre
(game shows, reality shows, dramas, etc.),
the author explains how we can systematically neutralize the negative impacts of TV
shows and ads by observing and challenging
the messages they send. Kajuth offers quick
thought exercises throughout, alongside
television references galore. Some are dated
( The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Ace Ventura), but
others are spot-on hilarious, such as Kajuth’s
imaginary interview with NBC’s Today host
Matt Lauer. Use Kajuth’s own advice to get
the most out of her book: pay attention, decide what to accept or reject, and, above all,
enjoy the experience.
These books are recommended by BlueInk Review, a fee-based review service devoted exclusively to self-published books. Every month, BlueInk will compile a list of their favorites for Booklist, as a service
to librarians hoping to incorporate self-published work into their collections.
BlueInk was founded by Patti Thorn, former book review editor of Denver’s
Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, a literary agent who
represents several best-selling authors. The company delivers professional,
unbiased reviews of self-published books written by critics drawn largely
from major mainstream publications and by editors from prominent publishing houses. Booklist is happy to bring this curated collection of the best in
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