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Find more Thrifty Reference
Expensive new reference sources, whether print or online, can be out of reach for many libraries in these belt-tightening times, but you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot to freshen up the print reference shelves. Here are some titles that Reference Books Bulletin has reviewed over the past year or so that offer exceptional value.
Animal Life. By Charlotte Uhlenbroek. 2008. DK, $50 (9780756639860).
Authored by a team of expert nature writers in association with the American Museum of Natural History, this volume provides an excellent overview of the animal world.
Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia
. By Carrie Love and Caroline Stamps. 2008. DK, $29.99 (9780756640279).
The stunning layout is the highlight of this thorough introduction to the animal kingdom for young readers.
APA Concise Dictionary of Psychology. By Gary R. VandenBos. 2008. American Psychological Assn., $39.95 (9781433803918).
Abridged from the APA Dictionary of Psychology (2006), these 10,000 entries provide succinct definitions of the most widely used psychological terms.
Baseball Ratings: The All-Time Best Players at Each Position, 1876 to the Present. By Charles F. Faber. 3d ed. 2008. McFarland, paper, $35 (9780786434145).
With ratings updated and commentary expanded from his second edition, Faber has compiled a comprehensive and mainly statistical look at the greatest players in baseball history.
Biblica: The Bible Atlas
. Ed. by Barry J. Beitzel. 2007. Barron’s, $50 (9780764160851).
Full-color maps combined with readable and insightful text and reproductions of more than 600 works of art make this a standout among other Bible atlases currently on the market.
The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Ed. by David R. Henderson. 2007. Liberty Fund, $45 (9780865976658): paper, $28 (9780865976665)
The encyclopedia contains a wealth of information that makes complex economics understandable in straightforward articles written by a variety of knowledgeable authors, ranging from Nobel Prize winners to financial columnists.
Dinosaurs:The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages
. By Thomas R. Holtz. 2007. Random, paper, $37.99 (9780375924194).
Authored by one of the world’s leading paleontologists, this volume delivers a plethora of facts and discoveries along with plenty of illustrations.
Encyclopedia of Native Tribes of North America. 3d ed. By Michael G. Johnson. 2007. Firefly, $49.95 (9781554073078).
Revised and expanded entries for tribes, confederacies, and other groups are matched with high quality illustrations and photographs.
Firefly’s World of Facts. By Russell Ash. 2007. Firefly, $29.95 (9781554073139).
Though described as being for “all ages,” Ash’s eye-catching volume is a perfect quick-reference source for elementary- and middle-school students.
Gems of the World. By Cally Oldershaw. 2008. Firefly, $35 (9781554073672).
Internationally renowned mineralogist Oldershaw has written a wonderful reference guide to the field of gemology.
The Handy Anatomy Answer Book. By Naomi E. Balaban and James Bobick. 2008. Visible Ink, paper, $21.95 (9781578591909).
Two librarians have compiled more than 1,200 brief explanations to many common questions about anatomy, physiology, and pathology.
The New Encyclopedia of Snakes. By Chris Mattison. 2007. Princeton, $35 (9780691132952).
A substantial revision of the highly successful Encyclopedia of Snakes (1995).
The New Food Lover’s Companion. 4th ed. By Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. 2007. Barron’s, paper, $16.99 (9780764135774).
The previous edition of this standard guide was regarded by Bon Appétit magazine as “one of the best reference books” and “a must for every cook’s library.”
One Million Things: A Visual Encyclopedia. 2008. DK, $24.99 (9780756638436).
Young library patrons are drawn to single-volume encyclopedias with engaging layouts that invite browsing, and this one will not disappoint readers.
Our Changing Planet: The View from Space. Ed. by Michael King and others. Parkinson. 2007. Cambridge, $45 (9780521828703).
Exceptional satellite photographs show changes in earth’s atmosphere, land, and water.
The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television. By Thomas S. Hischak. 2008. Oxford, $39.95 (9780195335330).
The author of numerous books on theater, film, and popular music offers an informative look at American musicals as they have been presented on stage, screen, and television.
Planets, Stars, and Galaxies: A Visual Encyclopedia of Our Universe. By David A. Aguilar. 2007. National Geographic, $24.95 (9781426301704).
Readers are taken on a virtual tour of the solar system, with colorful, well-annotated images on every page.
Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America. By Ted Floyd. 2008. HarperCollins, paper, $24.95 (9780061120404).
Libraries with field-guide collections will want to add this one because of the American Birding Association approach to descriptive information and the accompanying birdsong DVD.
Trees: A Visual Guide. By Tony Rodd and Jennifer Stackhouse. 2008. Univ. of California, $29.95 (9780520256507).
This is a beautifully illustrated guide to one of the most important resources of the natural world.
What People Wore When: A Complete Illustrated History of Costume from Ancient Times to the Nineteenth Century for Every Level of Society. Ed. by Melissa Leventon. 2008. St. Martin’s/Griffin, paper, $29.95 (9780312383213).
Combining the studies of two classic nineteenth-century illustrators, this volume allows readers to follow the path of fashion through the centuries or study in detail the contrasting styles of individual clothing and accessories.
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