Shelf Life Magazine – October 2018

shelflifeoct2018.jpgOver the years, SHELF LIFE has used different phrases to try and catch the attention of the reader. “Read them and reap, reviews you can use,” and “books worth a look,” are but a few. The latest “Experience the need to read,” came as a result of discussion with a friend. He askes me after publishing and editing Shelf Life for twenty years, why I continued to do so. My response initially was because it is challenging and I love books. Then I said, “I want people to experience the need to read.” He nodded vigorously and said “I like that.” He even picked up a pen and paper and wrote those words down. Words like this have been my mantra in a manner of speaking. Having been a constant reader since age 10 and now in my sixties, I continue to find joy within the pages of books no matter what the subject. But there is an even greater reason for people to “experience the need to read.” Research has noted that because dementia and Alzheimer’s have become so prominent, we must find ways to keep the brain stimulated. Reading they said was one of those ways. I endorse this heartily. It may not halt the onset of diseases, but anything to give you the fighting chance is paramaount and certainly a positive. In this issue are more than thirty reasons to read, and surely there are topis and books that must pique your interest. Hopefully, we are dong our little part to encourage people never to just sit and do nothing. Reading a book is a memorable experience, one that hopefully this publication will encourage people to do for many years to come.

Enjoy this issue!

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best October Fiction ***

Bellevue Square
by Michael Redhill
(Doubleday Canada – $32.00 – 262 pages)
“It is a quirky, delightful book that grows on you the more you read.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Cutting Edge
by Jeffrey Deaver
(Grand Central Publishing – $36.50 – 448 pages)
“Deaver offers the usual thrills and suspense that comes quickly and consistently.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of October Fiction ***

Hold Back the Dark
by Kay Hooper
(Berkley – $36.00 – 292 pages)
“It is not your typical thriller because there is so much happening, mainly of the bizarre and unexplained variety.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Chalk Man
by C.J. Tudor
(Doubleday Canada – $24.95 – 278 pages)
“The mystery deepens by the page…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Jeff Abbott
(Grand Central Publishing – $34.00 – 375 pages)
“…another classic tale that you won’t want to put down.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Jonathan Maberry
(St. Martin’s Press – $34.99 – 338 pages)
“…has elements of horror, along with mystery and suspense.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Shoot First
by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $37.00 – 360 pages)
“…a book you should read first, and ask questions later.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Outsider
by Stephen King
(Scribner – $39.99 –  563 pages)
“THE OUTSIDER is classic King, a book most mesmerizing.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties
by Camille Pagan
(Lake Union – $21.95 – 246 pages)
“We happily follow (Maggie), along with the other characters as Maggie learns from life and adversity, not letting it define or defeat her.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Rooster Bar
by John Grisham
(Doubleday – $37.00 – 354 pages)
“…focuses on scams and rip offs, making for an interesting read as you cheer for the underdogs …”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Late Show
by Michael Connelly
(Little Brown – $36.50- 408 pages)
“…has a definite winner with Renee Ballard, and we cannot wait to see what happens next to this feisty and lethal lady cop.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Operation Down
by Brad Taylor
(Dutton – $36.00 – 450 pages)
“…the same intensity of all past books, with the usual life-threatening moments tossed in for good measure.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell
by Robert Dugoni
(Lake Union – $21.95 – 430 pages)
“…a book with a message of hope, that something good will eventually come from bad…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Shepherd’s Hut
by Tim Winton
(Picador – $30.99 – 267 pages)
“… a most intense and gritty tale of survival and coming to grips with realities that cannot be changed.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Woman Who Ran
by Sam Baker
(Harper Collins – $21.99 – 406 pages)
“…a book we should definitely not run from, but stay intently reading until we arrive at the moment of truth and beyond.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Evil That Men Do
by Robert Gleason
(Forge – $36.50 – 432 pages)
“It is complex and very well crafted, a book with so many elements playing into the story.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

In the Hush of the Night
by Raymond Benson
(Skyhorse – $37.99 – 316 pages)
“Benson’s writing style (takes) us for an unstoppable ride to the last pages.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Dark Angel
by Elly Griffiths
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $36.00 – 345 pages)
“…has the same elements that have created a strong fan base for the author.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Ruinous Sweep
by Tim Wynne-Jones
(Candlewick Press – $21.00 – 388 pages)
“There is a mystical quality to the passages both in fantasy and reality.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best October Non-Fiction ***

The Official NHL Hockey Treasures – Centennial Edition 1917-2017
by Dan Diamond with Eric Zweig & Craig Ellenport
(Thomas Allen – $34.99 – 100 pages)
“No serious fan of the sport should be without this ultimate tribute to 100 years of incredible hockey history.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Girl, Wash Your Face
by Rachel Hollis
(DK Books – $28.50 -220 pages)
“…will cleanse your body with inspiration and candor.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of October Non-Fiction ****

Paul Simon: The Life
by Robert Hilburn
(Simon & Schuster – $39.99 – 438 pages)
“…everyone a biography should be, filled with heart and soul and what has made Simon one of the greats of the music world.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
by Tricia Barr, Adam Bray, & Cole Horton
(DK Books – $37.00 – 202 pages)
“…another one of those things fans need to add to their collection…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Operation Robot: A Century of Science Fiction, Fact, and Speculation
by Terri Favro
(Skyhorse – $38.99 – 231 pages)
Reviewed by: Tori Levang
“This creates a well-rounded view and examination of robots in general, and what it might mean for humans in the future.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Big Break
by Stephen Dando Collins
(St. Martin’s Press – $38.99 – 252 pages)
“…relating the graphic details, showing triumphs of the heart and spirit…”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

The Man Who Could Be King
by John Ripley Miller
(Little A – $21.95 – 294 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…eventually the knowledge Miller is trying to impart bods down the story he is trying to tell.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Girl, It’s Not You (It’s Definitely Him)
by Megan Edwards and Janet Reynolds
(Self Publishing Agency – $19.95 – 190 pages)
“…offers even more disturbing stories of men who created some of the worst possible dates for the women with them.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Giada’s Italy
by Giada De Laurenitis
(Potter – $47.00 – 290 pages)
“This is certainly a book for lovers of Italian food and the many variations that can be expertly created.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Vault of Horror – The EC Archives Volume 1
(Dark Horse – $65.99 – 220 pages)
“Story after story, we are captivated…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea
by Michael L. Hadley & Anita Hadley
(Douglas & McIntyre – $36.95 – 337 pages)
“…an excellent job of creating a book that is reflective of the expansive waters around us.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Frenchwoman’s Guide to Sex After Sixty
by Marie De Hennezel
(Greystone – $22.95 – 200 pages)
“This is an important book for those entering older years, a starting point for discussions about intimacy and love”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
by Leight Mcadam and Debbie Olsen
(Firely – $29.95 – 224 pages)
“…a book that can serve as a travelogue for anyone wishing to head out to the Prairie provinces.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Honest to Goodness
by Christine Tizzard
(Whitecap – $29.95 – 202 pages)
“…a recipes book filled with tasty clasics.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


Shelf Life Magazine – September 2018

september2018cover.jpgThe world is obsessed with cell phones, that is a given. As someone who does not own a cell phone, I feel a sense of relief that I do not have one that holds me prisoner. People cannot walk or sit with their heads up, as they are too busy looking down at their phones and texting. People almost bump into you walking down the street because their head is buried in the phone. Earlier in the summer when I went for morning walks, I began noticing a young man in his twenties down the block coming towards me, head lowered. I thought “Here comes another cell phone fanatic.” But lo and behold when I was within five feet of him, I saw he was not looking at a cell phone but he was reading a book while walking. That really was quite the sight. For a month, I noticed him weekday mornings walking and reading. I am sure it was not the same book but at least he had taken the initiative to do the unusual: read a book on his way to wherever he was headed. I thought maybe there is hope for the world and that not everyone is obsessed with cell phone banter. I have not seen him since, as perhaps he is taking a different route. I wish I had stopped him and congratulated him, but he always looked so engrossed in his book. It takes one person to start a revolution, and hopefully others will take up the literary crusade like this gentleman, laying down their cell phones and picking up an actual book. And that is where we come in, hoping to offer inspiration and ideas for your reading choices, no matter where you decide to open the book.

Enjoy this issue!

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best September Fiction ***

The Rule of Stephens
by Timothy Taylor
(Doubleday Canada – $22.95 – 228 pages)
“The book is deeply spiritual and philosophical, that begs to be savored, one glorious page at a time.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Fallen
by David Baldacci
(Grand Central – $38.00 – 432 pages)
“As with most David Baldacci books, the story is as complex as the characters.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Pisces
by Melissa Broder
(Hogarth- $34.00 – 272 pages)
“…most entertaining with dark humor, lots of sex and looks at what happens when someone faces uncertainty…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of September Fiction ***

The Mars Room
by Rachel Kushner
(Scribner – $24.99 – 336 pages)
“The book makes quite the impact, realistic, gritty, and at times difficult to read….”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Everything We Left Behind
by Kerry Lonsdale
(Lake Union – $22.95 – 338 pages)
“The book basically is brother versus brother.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Column of Fire
by Ken Follett
(Viking – $45.00 – 916 pages)
“…There is a bit of everything in the book, which is not surprising for a book of this length.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Killed in Action
by Michael Sloan
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.50 – 324 pages)
“…some might argue there is way too much happening in one book, but it does not distract the reader from plot to plot…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Joseph Knox
(Crown – $36.00 – 337 pages)
“…a book that is definitely dark, but devilishly good.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Robin Cook
(Putnam – $36.00 – 438 pages)
“True to form, Robin Cook gives the reader another medical masterpiece.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Two Girls Down
by Louisa Luna
(Doubleday – $34.95 – 304 pages)
“Louisa Luna makes the book as tense as possible.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Escape Artist
by Brad Meltzer
(Grand Central – $36.50 – 416 pages)
“…a book that is not an escape but rather a headfirst plunge into suspense writing at its finest.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $37.00- 311 pages)
“Believe it or not, this is book forty-five of the popular STONE BARRINGTON series.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Duchess
by Danielle Steel
(Delacorte Press – $38.99 – 338 pages)
“…presents a heroine we cheer for every step of the way.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Trouble With Twelve Grave
by Darynda Jones
(St. Martin’s Press – $29.99 – 289 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“With the trademark sassy, snarky and snappy with from the main characters, you will find little troubling…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Into the Black Nowhere
by Meg Gardiner
(Dutton – $35.00 – 354 pages)
“Meg Gardiner does serial killer stories so well.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Death Messenger
by Mari Hannah
(Pan – $17.99 – 434 pages)
“THE DEATH MESSENGER is serial killer fiction at its finest and most unnerving.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Death Doesn’t Bargain
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
(Tor – $36.50 – 334 pages)
“…with the second book in the DEADMAN’S CROSS series, she once more offers a work with a little bit of everything.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Mrs. Saint and the Detectives
by Julie Lawson Timmer
(Lake Union – $21.95 – 324 pages)
“It makes the book a truly feel-good read, one that will have you smiling and understanding completely the moral tones of this charming tale.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Anatomy of  a Scandal
by Sarah Vaughan
(Emily Bestler Books/Atria – $24.99 – 392 pages)
“…has many twist that definitely may have readers taking sides…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best September Non-Fiction ***

Historical Atlas of Early Railways
by Derek Hayes
(Douglas & McIntyre – $49.95 – 320 pages)
“The author has a passion for the past, and it speaks volumes in any book he pens.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Smithsonian Drive The Definitive History of Driving
by Giles Chapman
(DK Books – $52.00 – 360 pages)
“…a classic and classy coffee table book that traces the evolution of the automobile throughout the ages.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of September Non-Fiction ****

Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Civil War
by David Fisher
(Henry Holt – $49.00 – 362 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…when it comes to chronicling the American Civil War, the book does provide a level of detail not found in many books”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Plantiful Table (Easy from the Earth Recipes for the Whole Family)
by Andrea Duclos
(The Experiment – $36.95 – 322 pages)
“There are more than 125 recipes in the book for choosy kids and hungry adults.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

A Higher Loyalty (Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
by James Comey
(Flatiron – $34.99 – 290 pages)
“…the book is about more than (the Hilary Clinton email scandal), it is also about his life during his FBI tenure and before.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Art of Incredibles 2
Edited by Karen Paik
(Chronicle – $35.00 – 170 pages)
“One can only be impressed how these ‘Art’ books are almost as entertaining as the films themselves.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful
by Sarah Wilson
(Dey Street – $27.959- 312 pages)
“…as compelling as its title, a book filled with wisdom and most of all hope.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

DC Comics Variant Covers The Complete Visual History
by Daniel Wallace
(Insight – $60.00 – 184 pages)
“…DC Comics in this case, stands for Definitely Creative in terms of covers.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Young Leafs: The Making of A New Hockey History
by Gare Joyce
(Simon & Schuster – $32.00 – 228 pages)
“…a book that will bring hope and faith to all BeLeafers.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Vegan Comfort Classics
by Lauren Toyota
(Penguin – $29.95 – 234 pages)
“…another vegan-based title that certainly deserves the attention of vegan lovers and also those who are considering experimenting with vegan dishes.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Unforgettable Ontario 100 Destinations
by Noel Hudson
(Firefly – $29.95 – 256 pages)
“…a book that is filled with as much wonder as the places the author is hoping you will visit.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Dana Cohen and Gina Bria
(Hachette – $36.50- 304 pages)
“With recipes as well and lots of actual case studies, your thirst for good health will definitely be quenched…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Aerial Geology
by Mary Capterton Morton
(Timber Press – $45.00 – 300 pages)
“With text to accompany all the images and more information about them, the author has given readers a true gift showcasing the best of North America.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Pride of the Yankees (Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper and the Making of a Classic)
by Richard Sandomir
(Hachette – $35.00 – 304 pages)
“The author looks at the film from many sides and how it became a sort of barometer for baseball movies still to come decades later.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

by Caroline Pignat – Illustrated by Francois Thisdale
(Red Deer Press – $19.95 – 32 pages)
“…a poetic and pleasing book showing nature and seasons in a fun light.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – August 2018

2018 08 August Shelf Cover.jpgShelf Life would not have succeeded without many factors. They include faithful (and newer) readers, along with our terrific reviewers. But there is another aspect to the publication which, of course, revolves around the publishers of the books themselves. These 208 issues over the past twenty years would not have been possible without the companies who release an impressive amount of books year in and year out. But there is even more, the fact that publicists who publicize the books go out of their way to make sure their books are in our hands. Shelf Life has worked with so many terrific people who have come and gone along the way. One of those publicists is Karen Blair who worked for Penguin Random House Canada. She has been sending books for the two decades Shelf Life has been in operation. But as of May 2018, Karen has decided to retire. She was a publicist for forty-three years, and truly dedicated to books. It goes without saying she will be missed, along with her love and enthusiasm for the books she oversaw. Shelf Life wishes her a long, happy and healthy retirement, and a massive thank you for sending along one great book after another. We remain in debt to every publicist, past and present.

We hope you enjoy this issue, filled with the usual variety of titles that have crossed our desks and we are only too pleased to recommend.

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best August Fiction ***

The Goddesses
by Swan Huntley
(Doubleday – $35.95 – 310 pages)
“The second novel from Swan Huntley is even more impressive than her debut WE COULD BE BEAUTIFUL.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

End Game
by David Baldacci
(Grand Central Publishing – $38.00 – 408 pages)
“Every time David Baldacci pens a book you know you will find a superior read.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of August Fiction ***

The Anthill Murders
by Hans Olav Lahlum  – Translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson
(Mantle – $32.99 – 470 pages)
“The book is a bit long, and some areas do drag slightly, but that is only a slight criticism.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Kill All Angels
by Robert Brockway
(Tor – $38.99 – 315 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“…the characters and the story didn’t have the stamina to maintain the follow-ups.”
Rating: 2 1/2 bookmarks

Dark in Death
by J.D. Robb
(St. Martin’s Press – $35.99 – 373 pages)
“…pays homage to classic films and is like life imitating art.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Hardcore Twenty-Four
by Janet Evanovich
(Putnam – $37.00 – 288 pages)
“There is little not to love about this madcap mystery as only Janet can write.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Bone Music
by Christopher Rice
(Thomas & Mercer – $32.95 – 456 pages)
“The story and character have great potential.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Deep Freeze
by John Sandford
(Putnam – $39.00 – 392 pages)
“Thanks to many twists and turns, DEEP FREEZE is truly a book you can warm up to.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Wild Inside
by Jamey Bradbury
(William Morrow – $31.99 – 290 pages)
Reviewed by: Tori Levang
“…the novel is, from its beginning, deeply mysterious and utterly enthralling.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Home Sweet Home
by April Smith
(Knopf – $35.95 – 356 pages)
“…takes its sweet time dispensing answers, but we are still entertained by the narration and story itself.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Heartbreak Hotel
by Jonathan Kellerman
(Ballantine – $38.99 – 353 pages)
“…another tale from the master of psychological mystery”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Pretty Little Killers
by Rita Herron
(Montlake Romance – $22.95 – 325 pages)
“…definitely a keeper in every sense of the word. It blends just the perfect amount of suspense, mystery and plot twists.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Down the River Unto the Sea
by Walter Mosley
(Mulholland/Little Brown – $35.00 – 336 pages)
“…one of the great modern day mystery writers out there has just upped his game to a new level.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Cold Day In Hell
by Lissa Marie Redmond
(Midnight Ink – $22.95 – 374 pages)
“The wow factor increases by the page, with one plot twist morphing into another.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Whistle in the Dark
by Emma Healey
(Knopf Canada – $24.95 – 330 pages)
“…a deeply psychological tale that is like a Christmas present. Bits of the book are unwrapped at a methodical pace…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Keep Her Safe
by K.A. Tucker
(Atria – $22.00 – 436 pages)
“…a book that reels the reader in right from the beginning and holds us there from every point onward.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Flash Points
by David Hagberg
(Forge – $33.99 – 318 pages)
“Heavy on political drama, this one takes us right into the office of the Presidency and mirrors a little bit of what is being experienced in Washington today.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

True Fiction
by Lee Goldberg
(Thomas & Mercer – $32.95 – 242 pages)
“…another must-read novel, book one of a new series featuring Ian Ludlow.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales
by P.D. James
(Knopf Canada – $27.95 – 172 pages)
“Each tale has its own unique twist, written in the way that only P.D. James can tell the tale.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best August Non-Fiction ***

I Will Find You: Solving Killer Cases from My Life Fighting Crime
by Lt. Joe Kenda
(Center Street – $35.00 – 274 pages)
“…an excellent look at police work from a detective who lived it, experiencing moments he can never forget.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Cinderella Campaign
by Mark Zuehlke
(Douglas & McIntyre – $37.95 – 472 pages)
“The book is definitely one that will move and impress the reader, showing the utter brutality of war along with seemingly insurmountable odds at times.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of August Non-Fiction ****

Culinary Treasures From Around the World – Authentic Recipes from Diplomats Posted in Canada
(Klorofil – $39.95- 216 pages)
“It is an interesting publication…It brings the idea of multiculturalism to greater levels…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Elvis: The Legend – The Authorized Book From the Graceland Archives
by Gillian G. Gaar
(Carlton – $49.95 – 196 pages)
“The book, which was authorized by his estate, has just the right amount of information and pictures.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Blessed Life
by Kim Fields with Todd Gold
(Faith Works – $26.50 – 240 pages)
“Her book is honest and open, revealing past and present with optimism and hope.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Cook, Nourish, Glow
by Amelia Freer
(Appetite – $35.00 – 338 pages)
“With so many healthy choices, the book will encourage people to change the way they think about creating their own meals at home.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived – The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes
by Adam Rutherford
(The Experiment – $38.95 – 401 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“He considers the human genome historically and anthropologically, telling the riveting story of humanity’s development.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirtates
by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeager
(Sentinel – $35.95 – 238 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“Authors Kilmeade and Yeager have done a magnificent job shedding light on an unknown chapter of American history.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy: The Ultimate Guide to the Cosmic Outlaws
(DK Books – $30.99 – 200 pages)
“…every facet of them is presented.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Single State of Mind
by Andi Dorfman
(Gallery – $34.00 – 282 pages)
“…a book that shows no matter who you are, looks and popularity wise, love does not come easy.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Trained to Kill: The Inside Story of the CIA Plots Against Castro, Kennedy and Che
by Antonio Veciana with Carlos Harrison
(Skyhorse – $36.99 – 212 pages)
“…an interesting take on life and conspiracy.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

The Golden Age: Batman Volume Four
(DC Comics – $39.99 – 384 pages)
“Any lover of comics from their purest form should add this to their collection, not only for the nostalgia factor but also for the creativity and enjoyment that it brought to millions.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Boston Bruins Greatest Moments and Players
by Stan Fischler
(Sports Publications – $8.99 – 3456 pages)
“Reading the stories of the great…makes the book truly come alive.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Top 60 Canoe Routes of Ontario
by Kevin Callan
(Firefly – $29.95 – 384 pages)
“The book is as complete as they come…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Love, Africa
by Jeffrey Gettleman
(Harper – $34.99 – 352 pages)
“This is a classic love story where the author finds courage amidst everything that happened in life…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – July 2018

2018 07 15 July Shelf cover.jpgIf you grew up in the 1970s, you should be familiar with the Alice Cooper song “School’s Out.” Now that July is upon us, school is definitely out for children, meaning travel time with them if they are young enough to be at home. Whether you have children or not, though, Summer signifies more leisure time, which is often where reading comes into the picture. Whether you enjoy fiction or non-fiction, the July issue is filled with great books that we recommend for your reading pleasures. Maybe you would like to step outside your reading comfort zone and pick up a book you might not usually consider. Why not? Be daring. You might be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy this issue and most of all enjoy Summer because we all know it goes way too quickly.

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best July Fiction ***

by Laura Lippman
(William Morrow – $33.50 – 292 pages)
“The suspense gets more sizzling by the second.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Last Thing She Ever Did
by Greg Olsen
(Thomas & Mercer – $21.95 – 375 pages)
“…a story that grabs you from page one.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

City of Endless Night
by Douglass Preston & Lincoln Child
(Grand Central – $36.50 – 368 pages)
“Preston and Child have done a superb job of keeping Pendergrast as one of the most unique characters in the world of mystery.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of July Fiction ***

The Whispering Room
by Dean Koontz
(Bantam – $37.00 – 515 pages)
“Those who read the first book of the Jane Hawk series will heave a sigh of relief now that the seeming conclusion is at hand.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Life or Death
by Michael Robotham
(Sphere – $22.99 – 464 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“Once you start reading, you will be hard-pressed to put this thriller down, until the very last page.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Then She Was Gone
by Lisa Jewell
(Atria – $35.00 – 354 pages)
“…intense from the first pages, sweeping the reader along in the chilling drama.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Right Time
by Danielle Steel
(Delacarte Press – $38.99 – 328 pages)
“Score another winner for the queen of romance.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Great Alone
by Kristin Hannah
(St. Martin’s Press – $34.99 – 448 pages)
“…a memorable story of family life and crisis.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Wanted
by Robert Crais
(Putnam – $37.00 – 322 pages)
“Robert Crais always does what he is best at, creating entertaining novels.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Mad Hatters and March Hares
Edited by Ellen Datlow
(Tor – $20.99 – 332 pages)
Reviewed by: Tori Levang
“If you were a fan of Alice in Wonderland, then you will certainly enjoy this retelling of the tale through the eyes of a host of noted writers.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Kelley Armstrong
(Random House – $29.95 – 421 pages)
“The strength of the books is in the characters, and the slow but steady pacing of the story.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Midnight Line
by Lee Child
(Delacarte – $38.99 – 374 pages)
“It is a welcome return to the present though this tale does not have the traditional heart-thumping style we are accustomed to.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The People vs. Alex Cross
by James Patterson
(Little Brown – $38.00 – 432 pages)
“…(Patterson’s) typical masterful style and short chapters, that make us breeze through the book without wanting to put it down.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Some King of Hero
by Suzanne Brockmann
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 342 pages)
“Although the plot is basic, it still engages the reader, who cares about all the characters.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Temptation of Forgiveness
by Donna Leon
(Atlantic Monthly Press – $26.00US – 320 pages)
“…the pace Brunetti works at may be methodical, but he always gets the job done in the end.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

by Chris Roberson
(Night Shade – $21.95 – 292 pages)
“Quirky, and definitely unusual, the latest picks up where the first tale left off.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Margaret Truman’s Allied In Danger
by Donald Bain
(Forge – $33.99 – 383 pages)
“…a danger-filled masterpiece, a tribute to the authors whose names appear together on the cover.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Acts of Vanishing
by Frederik T. Olsson
(Little Brown – $35.00 – 464 pages)
“Swedish screenwriter Frederik T. Olsson has really created a barnburner of a novel…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Sleepover: An Oral History of the Apocalypse
by H.G. Bells
(Talos – $21.95 – 373 pages)
“…makes us think of things we take for granted. Once deprived of them,we and the world around us change, but not for the better.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best July Non-Fiction ***

The Silver Age Batman & Superman World’s Finest Volume 2
(D.C. Comics – $33.99 – 394 pages)
“For those who grew up with these comics, they are a welcome trip back down memory lane, giving readers a golden taste of silver age magic.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Phantom Unmasked: America’s First Superhero
by Kevin Patrick
(University of Iowa Press – $25.00US – 248 pages)
“…a look at an underrated hero, from earliest times to more modern day.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of July Non-Fiction ****

Treasures of Bob Dylan Updated Edition
by Brian Southall
(Carlton – $50.00 – 68 pages)
“This book is a keep-sake honoring one of the best”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

I Am Nobody: Confronting the Sexually Abusive Coach Who Stole My Life
by Greg Gilhooly
(Greystone – $22.95 – 276 pages)
“This book is open, emotional, and may give readers an uneasy feeling as well it should.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

At My Table
by Nigella Lawson
(Appetite – $45.00 – 294 pages)
“…find out how rewarding home cooking Nigella-style can be.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Every Day I’m Hustling
by Vivica A. Fox with Kevin Carr
(St. Martin’s Press – $34.99 – 274 pages)
“…offers a most inspiring account of her life…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Growing Up With the Hits (Reliving the Best Time of Your Life 1955-1989)
by Nevin Gran
(Manor House – $24.95 – 288 pages)
“For a true trip down memory lane, GROWING UP WITH THE HITS is a music and entertainment lover’s dream come true.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Confucius and the World He Created
by Michael Schuman
(Basic Books – $32.00 – 270 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“….Schuman introduces the modern world to not only Confucius the man, but his endearing legacy as well.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Encyclopedia of Sports Entertainment: The Definitive Guide
by Kevin Sullivan, Steve Pantaleo & Keith Elliot Greenberg
(DK Books – $56.00 – 416 pages)
“…the best book yet, one that packs heck of a body slam.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The 48 Year Old Vegan
by Sandra and Susan Sellani
(Skyhorse – $36.99 – 288 pages)
“…a great starting point for the vegan curious. It may send your food preferences to a whole new level.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Pretty Intense (The 90 Day Mind, Body and Food Plan That Will Absolutely Change Your Life)
by Danica Patrick
(Avery – $40.00 – 304 pages)
“The book offers a 90-day body makeover and a change of life.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

110 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario (The Best Parks, Conservation Area and Wild Places)
by Chris Earley and Tracy C. Read
(Firefly- $29.95 – 250 pages)
“…will definitely help with any vacation planning, offering parks, conservation places and other areas that will provide a most memorable day drip to or a longer stay if possible.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Classic Style (Hand It Down, Dress It Up, Wear It Out)
by Kate Schelter
(Grand Central Life & Style – $32.50 – 256 pages)
“You don’t need to spend a fortune to get the look that turns heads.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

I’m Right And You’re An Idiot
by James Hoggan with Grania Litwin
(New Society Publishers – $19.95 – 250 pages)
“…deep and quite psychological in many places, a welcome change of pace from similar books…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

**** Books for Younger Readers ****

The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain
by Carolyn Huizinga Mills & Brooke Kerrigan
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“..a most entertaining book for children who often feel neglected..”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Lucky Me
by Lora Rozler – Illustrations by Jan Dolby
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“The author has compiled things to be thankful for from children around the world.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Song on the Wind
by Caroline Everson – Illustrated by Anne Marie Bourgeois
(Fifth House – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“This is a rather sweet and soothing picture book that will lull children to sleep…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

2018 07 15 July Shelf cover.jpg

Shelf Life Magazine – June 2018

2018 05 29 June Shelf coverJune has always been a favourite month personally, one of the reasons being it is my birthday month. But as well, Summer officially arrives on the twenty-first of the month, and we enjoy the longest day of the year. Summer signifies freedom, the ending of the school year and thoughts of vacation. It is also a time when many people read more books, either in the backyard, beach and on vacations. It is a great excuse to read and if you are not inclined to open a book, why not make this a Summer project? You have more than thirty-five books to choose from here, giving you perfect ideas for your reading pleasures.

Shelf Life would like to introduce a new reviewer in our pages. We welcome Tori Levang, She is a current Master of Library and Information Sciences student at Western University in London, Ontario. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Her lifelong passion for books bodes well for Shelf Life, and we are honoured to have her on board.

Thank you for picking up this issue, and encourage you to send us suggestions via email for future books and those books we have reviewed. Enjoy!

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best June Fiction ***

Love Murder
by Saul Black
(St. Martin Press – $36.99 – 345 pages)
“The pace is frantic and the reasons behind the killings and the suspect gives the reader some shocking twists.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Wolves of Winter
by Tyrell Johnson
(Simon & Schuster – $24.99 – 312 pages)
“Tyrell Johnson makes his literary debut, and what a debut it is, the book grabbing you right from page one.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

by Krysten Ritter
(Crown Archetype – $35.00 – 280 pages)
“…filled with a little bit of everything, definitely keeping readers’ interest at peak levels.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of June Fiction ***

The Last Shootist
by Miles Swarthout
(Forge – $28.99 – 350 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“THE LAST SHOOTIST has an ominous feel to what might otherwise be a tale of adventure”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Scott Turow
(Grand Central Publishing – $38.00 – 484 pages)
“The book blends fact and fiction, bringing the reader a book they will not soon forget.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Curious Minds
by Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton
(Bantam – $37.00 – 330 pages)
“The levity and tension makes for the perfect combination, creating an explosive finale.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Mind Game
by Iris Johansen
(St. Martin’s Press – $38.99 – 374 pages)
“The supernatural twists add more intrigue to the plot, which at time seems overwhelming.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Oracle Year
by Charles Soule
(Harper Perennial – $26.99 – 403 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“Realistic, vivid and timely, Soule’s book provides a chilling, intriguing mediation on the implications and repercussions of the power that comes with predicting the future.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Murder Games
by James Patterson & Howard Roughan
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 350 pages)
“You will be more than satisfied at having wandered through this minefield of exceptional writing.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Silent Corner
by Dean Koontz
(Bantam – $37.00 – 454 pages)
“Jane Hawk is a character with great potential and future books are sure to have the same intensity as THE SILENT CORNER.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Quick and Dirty
by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $37.00 – 323 pages)
“…a fast read and one long-time Stuart Woods fans will appreciate.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Don’t Close Your Eyes
by Holly Seddon
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 326 pages)
“…an eye-opening story of how the past defines us.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Dan Brown
(Doubleday – $38.50 – 462 pages)
“The book has the usual tension found in Dan Brown novels, with an epic quest and Langdon in hot pursuit by the villains.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Look for Me
by Lisa Gardner
(Dutton – $35.00 – 393 pages)
“Chalk up another winner for Lisa Gardner. ”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Grave’s A Fine and Private Place
by Alan Bradley
(Doubleday Canada – $29.95 – 338 pages)
“Alan Bradley is a genius when it comes to creating intoxicating and addictive fiction.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Girlfriend
by Michelle Frances
(Pan – $17.99 – 456 pages)
“The story oozes with malice and unpredictability, making sure you will read the book well into the night.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Elizas
by Sara Shepard
(Atria – $35.00 – 342 pages)
“You won’t be disappointed in a book that has a little bit of everything and is a book that grows on you more the further you get into the story.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Looking Glass
by Andrew Mayne
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 308 pages)
“If you enjoy books about serial killers and the frantic search to bring them to justice, then this book will grab you by the lapel and never let go.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Dark Light Dawn
by Jon Land – Created by Fabrizio Boccardi
(Forge – $36.99 – 4330 pages)
“…definitely a book that is intricately plotted and packed with darkness and light fighting for supremacy.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

19 Souls
by J.D. Allen
(Midnight Ink – $22.95 – 330 pages)
“It will be interesting to see where Allen takes Jim Bean next.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Bleak Landing
by Terrie Wood
(Waterfall Press – $18.95 – 308 pages)
“…far from a bleak work.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best of June Non-Fiction ***

I’ll Be Gone By Dark
by Michelle McNamera

(Harper – $34.99 – 330 pages)
“…certainly is tribute to her determination to close the case once and for all.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Tanks 100 Years of Armoured Warfare
by Robin Cross & David Willey
(Andre Deutsch – $79.95 – 132 pages plus 20 removable documents)
“The book represents the ultimate tank guide, one that shows the evolution of the tank and how it became a warfare weapon of choice and importance.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Smithsonian Journey: An Illustrated History of Travel
by Simon Adams, R.G. Grant & Andrew Humphreys
(DK Books – $65.00  – 440 pages)
“Watching history unfold in the book is mesmerizing…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of June Non-Fiction ****

The New Vegetables, Herbs and Fruits: An Illustrated Encyclopedi
by Matthew Biggs, Jekka McVicar & Bob Flowerdew
(Firefly – $45.00 – 704 pages)
“By the time you finish the book (and that may take a while), you will be an expert in all things gardening.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
by Lydia Kang & Nate Pederson
(Workman – $34.95- 344 pages)
“…a truly fascinating book, one that shows the earliest methods of dealing with medical ailments.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
by Michael Wolff
(Henry Holt – $39.00 – 322 pages)
“…we see even more evidence of the uncertainty and sometimes paranoia that is evident in Trumpland.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Panic: The EC Archives Volume 2
(Dark Jones – $64.95 – 202 pages)
“…a must-read for humor fans.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Walk It Off
by Ruth Marshall
(Simon & Schuster – $29.99 – 260 pages)
“…truly a step in the right direction for reassurance.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Everything All at Once
by Bill Nye
(Rodale – $31.50 – 384 pages)
“…touted as a book to ‘unleash your inner nerd, tap into radical curiosity, and solve any problem.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

H.H. Holmes: The True Story of the White City Devil
by Adam Selzer
(Skyhorse- $41.99 – 430 pages)
“…offers some compelling theories about the man and his criminal mind, with death following in his footsteps.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Crazy Is My Superpower
by AJ Mendez Brooks
(Crown Archetype – $34.00 – 272 pages)
“It makes for an interesting read for those who followed her career or want to see how others cope with adversity in life.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Diana The People’s Princess (A Celebration of Her Life and Legacy 20 Years On)
by Nicholas Owen
(Carlton – $39.95 – 210 pages)
“…Nicholas Owen look back at the life of a true Princess.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Fear Factor
by Abigail Marsh
(Basic Books – $36.50 – 320 pages)
“…speaks volumes about life and challenges. It will open your eyes to reasons behind a vast array of life altering attitudes and reactions.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Go Green for Wellness
by Mary McAlary
(Changing Lives Press – $18.95 – 132 pages)
“…offers healthy options for improving your life and health.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

How to Read Nature
by Tristan Gooley
(The Experimental – $25.95 – 170 pages)
“ us the ability to truly read nature just like a bok.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – May 2018

2018 05 Shelf Life cover.jpgNo matter how long Shelf Life has been in existence (20 years), it always is gratifying to receive comments from people who have picked it up recently for the first time. Of course, we have many readers who have been around since issue one, the faithful who look for us every issue. We are glad they have remained on board, as much as those who have just joined us, and hopefully will be around for many years to come.

With Spring entrenched within nature, and thoughts of Summer vacations likely getting into planning mode, one thing is for sure, the book world never goes on vacation. Books are constantly being published, and for that we are grateful. It gives readers and reviewers something to anticipate.

In this issue, you will find some amazing titles that have come across our desks. There is always something for everyone and hopefully even the most finicky of readers will discover a book working looking into.

As always, keep writing and letting us know what titles you want to see reviewed, and we also welcome comments and criticisms. Thanks again for picking us up.

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best May Fiction ***

The Voice Inside
by Brian Freeman
(Thomas & Mercer – $35.95 – 340 pages)
“…while book one was a page turner, this one exceed that.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Wife
by Alafair Burke
(Harper – $33.50 – 342 pages)
“THE WIFE adds to her superior writing style”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Burial Society
by Nina Sadowsky
(Ballantine – $35.00 – 322 pages)
“…certainly an intense psychological drama readers will have to be patient to appreciate.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of May Fiction ***

The Fallen
by Eric Van Lustbader
(Forge – $38.99 – 430 pages)
“The book works well for readers who enjoy end of the world plots and conspiracy theory.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

A Map of the Dark
by Karen Ellis
(Mulholland – $34.00 – 304 pages)
“…if A MAP OF THE DARK is any indication of its potential, you will be begging for Book Two.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Winner’s Circle
by Gail Bowen
(McClelland & Stewart – $32.00 – 256 pages)
“The narration and the lives of the families, friends and those shattered by the deaths, add heart and soul to the plot.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Wife Between Us
by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
(St/. Martin’s Press – $34.99 – 346 pages)
“…a devilishly entertaining tale, where you have no idea the direction of the plot.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Immortalists
by Chloe Benjamin
(Putnam – $35.00 – 352 pages)
“It is both a morality and mortality tale, one where we can look inward toward our own lives.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Two Kinds of Truth
by Michael Connelly
(Little Brown – $38.00 – 404 pages)
“…a book for Bosch fans and anyone who enjoys a terrific work of fiction.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Storm King
by Brendan Duffy
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 390 pages)
“He does not disappoint with his second book…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Jo Nesbo
(Hogarth Shakespeare – $27.00 – 505 pages)
“MACBETH does justice to Shakespeare who would certainly be impressed by the manner in which Nesbo creates his own police play.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Every Breath You Take
by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
(Simon & Schuster – $35.99 – 288 pages)
“…a great whodunit, the suspect in doubt until the final pages.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions
by Amy Stewart
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt- $37.00 – 374 pages)
“…Amy Stewart has managed to endear herself to us with this must-read series that gets better by the book.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Girl Who Knew Too Much
by Amanda Quick
(Berkley – $36.00 – 355 pages)
“…set in 1930’s Hollywood. It is atmospheric, packed with mystery at every turn.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Looking to the Woods
by Frederique Molay – Translated by Anne Tager & Le French Book
(Amazon Crossing  – $21.95 – 230 pages)
“Molay has truly crafted a most intense book, where there is more to the murders than we realize.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

An Unsuitable Match
by  Joanna Trollope
(Mantle- $24.99 – 330 pages)
“Joanna Trollope has created novels that stand out from the crowd.”
Rating: 31/2 bookmarks

Robert B. Parker’s Little White Lies
by Ace Atkins
(Pu tnam- $36.00 – 304 pages)
“…Ace Atkins continues in the grand style and tone that Robert B. Parker set when introducing the characters many decades ago.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Dark Traces
by Martin Steyn
(Lapa/Catalyst – $22.95 – 350 pages)
“It is grisly and graphic and no matter how dark the images are, you are fascinated by the manner in which the story is told.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Woman at 1,000 Degrees
by Hallgrimur Helgason
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill – $41.95 – 393 pages)
“…so powerful a book you will be talking about it for weeks after finishing it.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Fall from Grace
by Danielle Steel
(Delacorte Press – $38.99 – 303 pages)
“…another winner from Danielle Steel.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best of May Non-Fiction ***

Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation
(Disney Editions – $60.00 – 386 pages)
“…a must-have book, filled with plenty of facts, and dozens of illustrations…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Paris Fashion: A Cultural History
by Valerie Steel
(Bloomsbury – $54.00 – 334 pages)
“…ranks right up there with her best.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

200 Women Who Will Change The Way You See the World
by Geoff Blackwell & Ruth Hobday – Photographs by Kiera E. Scott
(Chronicle – $70.00  – 400 pages)
“200 WOMEN will definitely, as the book notes ‘change the way you see the world.’ It is an impressive volume.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of May Non-Fiction ****

Flight: The Complete History of Aviation (Updated and Revised 2nd Edition)
by R. G. Grant
(DK Books – $38.95 – 452 pages)
“…gives an informative overview of the world of flight.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Standing Strong
by Patricia Giudice with Emily Liebert
(Gallery – $55.00 – 218 pages)
“It ma change your view of her, showing her as someone with true heart and soul.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Jack the Ripper
by Paul Begg & John Bennett
(Carlton Books  – $33.95 – 224 pages)
“…filled with CGI crime scenes that have been reconstructed as if police were handling the case today.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Feeding My Mother
by Jann Arden
(Random House Canada – $35.00 – 210 pages)
“…a powerful book that will be remembered for some time.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Backs to the Wall
by D. Peter Macleod
(Douglas & McIntyre – $34.95 – 253 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…a slim volume, the story and the writing of that story packs a powerful punch, unveiling a chapter of our history that is too often glossed over or forgotten about.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life
by John Le Carre
(Viking – $34.95 – 310 pages)
“…he recounts some of the more memorable times of his life, and perhaps what served as inspiration for some of his classic works.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Timekeepers: How the World Became Obsesses with Time
by Simon Garfield
(Cannongate – $35.99 – 352 pages)
“…will impress and dazzle. Reading TIMEKEEPERS will amount to time well spent.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Theresa May: The Enigmatic Prime Minister
by Rosa Prince
(Biteback Publishing – $39.95 – 402 pages)
“…an interesting and fair assessment of her life and times.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Ultimate Marvel
by Adam Bray, Lorraine Cink, Melanie Scott & Stephen Wiacek
(DK Books – $52.00 – 320 pages)
“The writers of the book cover all the bases.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life
by Jonathan Gould
(Crown Archetype – $40.00 – 534 pages)
“The book is quite the tribute, though it often meanders into other areas.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Grouchy Historians
by Ed Asner with Ed Weinberger
(Simon & Schuster – $35.00 – 336 pages)
“Irreverent and amusing, don’t dismiss this as a celebrity fluff piece.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Vegetarianism: A History
by Colin Spender
(Grub Street – $29.95 – 384 pages)
“The book looks at the spiritual and religious reasons for food choices, along with the psychology of the decisions as well.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity
by Karrie Truman
(Robert Rose – $29.95 – 370 pages)
“For a book that is a bit different, you cannot go wrong with SERIOUSLY GOOD FREEZER MEALS.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – April 2018 – 20th Anniversary Issue

2018AprilShelfcover.jpgWelcome one and all to our 20th Anniversary issue. Time does go by quickly when you are having fun, as they say. Creating and publishing Shelf Life has been more than fun, it has been an honor to bring faithful readers the best in books. A lot has happened in the past twenty years and life can be more than defined in two decades. Medical issues, loss of a parent an other events have happened, but through it all, life truly goes on As does Shelf Life.

There are so many people to thank over the years such as Shelf Life’s amazing reviewers, readers who keep encouraging us, but most of all the publishers, who continue to supply Shelf Life with totally incredible titles. I could not have done this with them. I thank them for such faith in Shelf Life and what we are trying to do, stimulate reading interests and showcasing noteworthy titles.

Readership has increased and there is a Facebook page that we urge you to look at, and life it you are so inclined. Recently a Swedish author whose book we reviewed a few months back, contacted us about our review. The Internet truly brings those thousands of miles away much closer to use all.

Once again, thanks so much to everyone who is part of this literary labor of love. We will continue presenting books that hopefully will broaden your joy in reading.

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best April Fiction ***

Parting Shot
by Linwood Barclay
(Doubleday Canada – $32.00 – 448 pages)
“…the plot can change in a heartbeat, taking the reader in unpredictable directions.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

A Simple Favour
by Darcey Bell
(Harper – $25.99 – 304 pages)
“…Darcy Bell has amazing potential with a page-turning classic.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Trick
by Emanuel Bergmann
(Atria – $35.00 – 377  pages)
“…Bergmann in his debut novel has created something wonderful.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of April Fiction ***

The Black Book
by James Patterson & David Ellis
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 430 pages)
“…one of his most complex must-read books in years.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Shimmering Road
by Hester Young
(Putnam – $35.00 – 406 pages)
“…another tale blending mystery with the unexplained.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Year One
by Nora Roberts
( St. Martin’s Press – $36.00 – 420 pages)
“It has the potential to blossom into something most unique.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Thirst
by Jo Nesbo
(Random House Canada – $34.00 – 464 pages)
“…with THE THIRST, book eleven of the HARRY HOLE series, the popularity of the character is greater than ever.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Lying Game
by Ruth Ware
(Simon & Schuster – $24.99 – 375 pages)
“As the truth emerges, we feel chills running along our spine.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Sleeping in the Ground
by Peter Robinson
(McClelland & Stewart – $29.95 – 374 pages)
“Nothing is black and white in this story, causing you potentially sleepless nights until you finish the novel.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Heather, The Totality
by Matthew Weiner
(Little Brown – $32.50 – 138 pages)
“A book this short has twists coming at a faster pace.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Chalk Pit
by Elly Griffiths
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $38.95 – 360 pages)
“The actions in this book will play out nicely in future books to come.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Fast & Loose
by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $37.50 – 357 pages)
“…a typical Stone Barrington tale, with lots of danger and even more romance.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Insidious Intent
by Val McDermid
(Atlantic Monthly Press – $37.50 – 424 pages)
“…a character-driven book that is heavy on psychology and motive.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

If Not For You
by Debbie Macomber
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 370 pages)
“…vintage Macomber, a book where we cheer for the characters every step of the way..”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Ezekiel Boone
(Random House Canada – $24.95 – 330 pages)
“Perhaps what makes the book all the more chilling are the shorter chapters that encompass the world with point of view narrations from each country.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Only the Rain
by  Randall Silvis
(Thomas & Mercer – $27.95 – 180 pages)
“…a most compelling story, short in length but long in heart and soul.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Nothing Stays Buried
by P.J. Tracy
(Putnam – $36.00 – 310 pages)
“The action gets tense as we get inside the warped mind of the killer, who thinks he is invincible.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Bill Pronzini
(Forge – $34.99 – 254 pages)
“Both plots are imaginative and beg the reader to solve the case along with Nameless and Jake.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Lost in Arcadia
by Sean Gandert
(47North – $22.95 – 404 pages)
“…begs to be read by those who want everything bigger and better.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Bridge Troll Murders
by Sheldon Russell
(Roadrunner Press – $35.95 – 274 pages)
“…a joy to read from first page to last.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best April Non-Fiction ***

by Rose McGowan
(Harper One – $29.99 – 250 pages)
“This book is truly brave, a rallying cry for change in the work place and everywhere esle.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Sculpture in Canada: A History
by Maria Tippett
(Douglas & McIntyre – $39.95 – 372 pages)
“Those who enjoy visual art not on canvas, will find this a great reference book.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

They  Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age The 1940’s Part Two
by Didier Ghez
(Chronicle – $64.00  – 250 pages)
“…introduces another stellar stable of talents, taking animation to yet another level.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of April Non-Fiction ****

The Authorized Roy Orbison
by Roy Jr, Wesley and Alex Orbison with Jeff Slate
(Center Street – $39.00 – 254 pages)
“…it sets the record straight about one of music’s true endearing legends.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Good Grief
by Theresa Caputo with Kristina Grish
(Atria – $34.99 – 210 pages)
“…Caputa is certainly caring, wanting to bridge the gap between life and death in the most soothing ways possible.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Sovereign People: The Crises of the 1790’s and the Birth of American Nationalism
by Carol Berkin
(Basic Books  – $39.00 – 336 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…another interesting look at the people and events that helped shape the country and led it toward the nation the United States is today.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Smithsonian Animal The Definitive Visual Guide 3rd Edition Updated and Revised
Edited by David Burnie & Don E. Wilson
(DK Books – $65.00 – 634 pages)
“…the second the name SMITHSONIAN is added to any book title, you can be assured of an above-quality product.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince
by Mayte Garcia
(Machette – $35.00 – 296 pages)
“It brings life and its tragedies into deeper perspective.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore Approved Vegan Recipes
by Candice Hutchings
(Robert Rose – $32.95 – 288 pages)
“Vegan lovers will be in their glory, which is not to say non-vegans may not be curious to try some recipes.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

1967 The Year of Fire and Ice
by Victor Brooks
(Skyhorse – $38.99 – 212 pages)
“Victor Brooks has done an exceptional job, creating a book that reviews and analyzes the high spots and low spots from five decades ago.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Two’s Company
by Suzanne Somers
Harmony – $31.00 – 286 pages)
“Readers will find inspiration in their story”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Hank & Jim: The Fifty Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart
by Scott Eyman
(Simon & Schuster – $39.00 – 370 pages)
“It is essential reading for lovers of great films and great actors.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Super Clean Super Foods
by Fiona Hunter & Caroline Bretherton
(DK Books – $27.99 – 224 pages)
“…filled with health ideas and you can follow their rules or experiment on your own.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Tales from the Boston Bruins Locker Room
by Kerry Keene
(Sports Publishing – $30.99 – 156 pages)
“…we find lots of interesting, never been told tales of many Boston Bruins players.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Lou Reed: A Life
by Anthony DeCurtis
(Little Brown – $42.00 – 508 pages)
“…captures the essence of the singer’s life throughout the pages of his biography.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

What Is It All But Luminous Notes From An Underground Man
by Art Garfunkel
(Knopf – $36.95 – 242 pages)
“The book is in many ways more a personal observation of life and times than memoir…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Canada’s Culinary Heritage 100 Recipes 100 Celebrities 1867-2017
(Klorifil- $39.95 – 230 pages)
“The 100 recipes in the book offer a cross-section of tasty dishes that are simple and easy to make.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks


Children’s Books in Brief

The following is a list of some children’s picture books that have crossed our desks. Because of limited space, only titles and authors are listed. We urge you to check them out if you are looking for interesting books for younger children.

  • Tuniit Mysterious Fold of the Arctic by Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley – Illustrated by Sean Bigham (Inhabit-$16.95)
  • A Walk on the Shoreline by Rebecca Hainni – Illustrated by Qin Leng (Inhabit – $16.95)
  • Lesson for the Wolf by Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley (Inhabit-$16.95)
  • Nala’s Magical Mitsiaq: A Story of Inuit Adoption by Jennifer Noah – Illustrated by Qin Leng (Inhabit – $10.95)
  • The Fabulous World of Mr. Fred by Lili Chartland – Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard (Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $10.95)

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