Reviews of Classical Christian Doctrine: Introducing the Essentials of the Ancient Faith, In Harmony: The Poet of Shame and Guilt, and Abstraction, plus a full list of Arts & Humanities titles from the June 1 issue.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) states that since the year 2000 the number of hate groups in the United States has increased by 69 percent. A new report released by the center in March 2013 shows that the number of patriot and militia groups has skyrocketed from 149 in 2009 to an astonishing 1,360 in 2012. The SPLC is an excellent resource for identifying trends in far-right fringe groups (ironically, there is a video on the American Family Association’s website that suggests the SPLC is itself a fringe political group). SPLC is the go-to resource for those looking to get a basic understanding of fringe political movements in the United States.
The world of mystery is ever-popular and ever-evolving. Whether a classic “whodunit,” a cozy, a police procedural, or something in between, crime fiction still draws readers nationwide. In a brief survey of 232 public libraries conducted by LJ, 55% of respondents reported that mystery continues to be the most popular genre in terms of circulation. The survey also found that in print fiction collections, 24.1% of materials are mysteries.
What is new this year is that mystery titles make up over 20% of library ebook collections. And like their print counterparts, the highest circulating subgenres in mystery ebooks are police procedurals and cozies. However, 57% of the survey respondents do not purchase e-original mysteries (perhaps owing to a lack of review coverage and issues of discovery?); chief e-mystery purchase influencers are high-demand titles, user requests, and cost.
There are dozens of the year’s best reference titles, but for sheer labors of love, winners this year are Louisiana Place Names, the entries of which were collected over a lifetime by Clare D’Artois Leeper, who died shortly before this was published by LSU Press, and Flies: The Natural History and Diversity of Diptera from University of Guelph entomologist Stephen A. Marshall, who displays the world’s fly families in 2,200 stunning color photographs from Firefly Books. Find those and many more, including Best Free Reference sources of 2012.