Shelf Life – August 2014

aug14coverEditor’s Notes from Issue #160

Summer is in full-swing and almost half-over at this point, so we hope that you have had a memorable time thus far. It goes way too fast (along with life) but always remember it is the quality not quantity that counts. And that goes in the book world as well. You can read dozens of books that are not the greatest, but you only need to read one that enthralls you, leaving a lasting impression on your mind.

We hope that we have provided a good cross-section of books that you will enjoy this season and into the next. We are already getting our Fall book catalogues from the publishers and can promise you, there are top-flight books that you are going to enjoy totally. So relax, enjoy the rest of Summer and as always let us know what you think of our choices. Write us at: Shelf-Life1@rogers.com

Paul Sutter – Editor/Publisher

*** Fiction Section ***
*** Finest 5 of the Fiction Shelf ***

The Blonde
by Anne Godbersen
(Weinstein – $29.00 – 400 pages)
“…most explosive, fun and thrilling.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

NYPD Red 2
by James Patterson & James Karp
(Little Brown – $31.00 – 400 pages)
“…this writing tandem once more hits it out of the ballpark.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Dead Ground
by Claire McGowan
(Headline – $24.95 – 392 pages)
“…a most challenging mystery, one that you will appreciate with every single page.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Takedown Twenty
by Janet Evanovitch
(Bantam – $30.00 – 305 pages)
“This might be one of the most over-the-top books of the series.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Faceoff
Edited by David Baldacci
(Simon & Schuster – $32.50 – 368 pages)
“It is almost as if Christmas came this summer with the release of FACEOFF.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of Fiction on the Shelf ***

Cell
by Robin Cook
(Putnam – $31.00 – 402 pages
“While the ending may be considered ambiguously flat…it is still interesting reading.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

I Can See In The Dark
by Karen Fossum
(Harvill Secker – $22.95 – 250 pages)
“….at times so predictable that you wonder what the point was in writing it.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Covet
by Tracey Garvis Graves
(Dutton – $27.50 – 322 pages)
“…plays out in as gentle a manner as possible.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Skin Collector
by Jeffery Deaver
(Grand Central Publishing – $31.00 – 440 pages)
“You will find a couple of swerves before reading the final lines of the book.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Wrecked
by Tricia Fields
(Minotaur – $29.99 – 306 pages)
Reviewed by: Ron Heimpel
“…complex and filled with characters who stand out from a crowd.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Winners
by Danielle Steel
(Delacorte Press – $31.00 – 334 pages)
“….the sort of book we have come to expect from Danielle Steel.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Hell or Richmond
by Ralph Peters
(Forge – $29.99 – 542 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…produces a terrific narrative, turning historical figures into characters.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Three
by Sarah Lotz
(Little Brown – $29.00 – 464 pages)
“…you thirst for less talk and more action.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

The Flight of the Silvers
by Daniel Price
(Blue Rider Pres – $32.95 – 596 pages)
“The saving grace of the book is the diverse collection of characters who compensate for the lack of action and flow of the book.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

By Its Cover
by Donna Leon
(Atlantic Monthly Press – $32.50 – 238 pages)
“…allows the reader to sit back and savour the paragraphs.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The People’s Will
by Jasper Kent
Reviewed by Ron Heimpel
(Bantam- $21.95 – 442 pages
“…this book gave very little reason to seek out the finale.”
Rating: 2 1/2 bookmarks

Eyes on You
by Kate White
(Harper – $25.99 – 320 pages)
“…will keep the reader guessing until the end.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Omens
by Kelly Armstrong
(Random House Canada – $29.95 – 492 pages)
“…with enough creepy moments to whet our appetites for what is to come.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Finest 5 on the Non-Fiction Shelf ***

Thrive
by Arianna Huffington
(Harmony – $31.00 – 342 pages)
“…deserves to be read and taken to heart.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Kitty Genovese (The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime That Changed America)
By Kevin Cook
(Norton – $28.95 – 242 pages)
“…a sad reminder of apathy at its more tragic level”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Time of My Life
by Bill Medley & Mike Marino
(DaCapo – $30.00 – 288 pages)
“…a story filled with happiness and much pain.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Kill Or Cure: An Illustrated History of Medicine
by Steve Parker
(DK Books – $30.00 – 400 pages)
“…a most impressive work, chronicling the world of medicine from ancient to modern times.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Thinking In Numbers
by Daniel Tammet
(Little Brown – $29.00 – 274 pages)
“…a book that makes you truly think on every single page.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of Non-Fiction on the Shelf ***

One Leg Too Few: The Adventures of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
by William Cook
(Preface- $35.00 – 704 pages)
“…showcases the highs and lows of both men’s lives.”
Rating: 4 1’2 bookmarks

Mad Hungry Cravings
by Lucinda Scala Quinn
(Artisans- $35.95 – 306 pages)
“…filled with 173 recipes for the foods you crave, but you can easily create without the usual guilt.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Come Fly With Me: Michael Buble’s Rise To Stardom: A Memoir
by Beverly Delich With Shelly Fralic
(Douglas & McIntyre – $32.95 – 240 pages)
“…engaging and impressive.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

David Beckham
by David Beckham
(Headlines -$40.00 – 288 pages)
“…a must-read for soccer and David Beckham fans.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Possibility Dogs
by Susannah Charleson
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $33.95 – 260 pages)
Reviewed by Donna Naylor
“….show(s) that al things are possible with animals and humans.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Snowbound
by Richard S. Wheeler
(Forge -$31.00 – 302 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…allows the reader to dive in and just read for the pure enjoyment of it, reading and retaining much more along the way…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Living in Style: Inspiration and Advice for Everyday Glamour
by Rachel Zoe
(Grand Central Life and Style – $31.00 – 2272 pages)
“…will appeal to readers who want change in either their homes or their bodies.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Hollywood in Heels
by Charity Gaye Finnestad
(Skyhorse – $24.95 – 230 pages)
“Finnestad has a way with words, writing with honesty and humour.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Demons: Our Changing Attitudes to Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs
by Virginia Berridge
(Oxford University Press – $29.95US – 292 pages)
“…true food for thought in the debate over vices and how to deal logically with them.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The One:One:One Diet
by Rania Batayneh
(Rodale – $29.95 – 276 pages)
“…different in that it explains how every meal you should eat 1 protein, 1 fat and 1 carb every time out.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Gordie Howe’s Son
by Mark Howe with Jay Greenberg
(Harper Collins – $32.99 – 320 pages)
“…all about Mark’s career and how he always wanted to play hockey.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Standing Up
by Marion Grodin
(Center Street – $25.00 – 306 pages)
“…focuses more on Marion’s life and her witty insights about the world around her.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Listen to the Squawking Chicken
by Elaine Lui
(Random House Canada – $27.95 – 230 pages)
“…Lainey shows a respect and admiration for a woman who plays by her own rules.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Big New Yorker Book of Cats
Forwards by Anthony Lane
(Random House Canada – $46.00)
“…will appeal to any cat lover in the world.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Cat Sense
by John Bradshaw
(Basic Books – $31.00 – 304 pages)
“…a book that will give you even more respect for your furry feline friends.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Standard Catalog of World Paper Money Specialized Issues 12 Edition
Edited by George S. Cuhaj
(Krause – $100.00 – 1296 pages)
“…focuses on ‘Specialized Issues’, featuring more than 27,500 notes of all denominations from all countries.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

*** 6 Books in 75 Words or Less ***

Shelf Life introduces a new section, where we present recommended titles, that because of space cannot offer full reviews for. In 75 Words or less, we give a short review of the book and why you should be reading it. No bookmarks are given but we can assure you the books noted here are all highly recommended.

His To Possess
by Opan Carew
(St. Martin’s Griffin – $16.99 – 247 pages)
“…another three-alarm steamy novel…”

Do You Know Rats
by Alain M. Bergeron & Michael Quinton – Illustrations by Sampar
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $9.95 – 64 pages)
“…interesting facts about such rodents.”

Cold Hands
by John J. Niven
(Vintage – $18.95 – 324 pages)
“A great read.”

Shapeshifted
by Cassie Alexander
(St. Martin’s Press – $9.99 – 310 pages)
“…the clock is ticking…”

Objects in Mirrors
by Tudor Robins
(Red Deer Press – $12.95 – 220 pages)
“…another stellar book for younger readers.”

Dark Heart
by Donna Grant
(St. Martin’s Press – $9.99 – 436 pages)
“…a fantasy-filled adventure that hooks you right from the first chapter.”

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Shelf Life – July 2014

jul14shelfEditor’s Notes from Issue #159

Ah Summer! Those lazy, hazy, crazy days, as they have been called. After this past Winter, which seemed to last forever, regrettably Summer barely lasts two months in some parts of the country. Summer is, of course, the time for backyard and beach reads. Hopefully you will find lots of books in this issue for such reading pleasures. This is the time to enjoy those long nights with a good book. Let us know which books you enjoyed the most and if you sit outside, don’t forget the sunscreen. The sun is hot, but some of the reads in this issue may be even hotter.

Paul Sutter – Editor/Publisher

*** Fiction Section ***
*** Finest 5 of the Fiction Shelf ***

Police
by Joe Nesbo
(Random House Canada – $24.95 – 518 pages)
“The Harry Hole series gets more complex with every book.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Target
by David Baldacci
(Grand Central Publishing – $31.00 – 432 pages)
“You will breathlessly turn the pages…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Concealed in Death
by J.D. Robb
(Putnam – $32.95 – 402 pages)
“…a pleasure to read…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Doing Harm
by Kelly Parsons
(St. Martin’s Press – $29.99 – 352 pages)
“Parsons writes with the skill and confidence of an author who has been around a long time.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Killer
by Jonathan Kellerman
(Ballantine – $32.00 – 340 pages)
“…a killer of a thriller, which will appeal to any reader.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of Fiction on the Shelf ***

Archetype
by M.D. Waters
(Dutton – $31.00 – 374 pages
“…a powerful tale from another literary newcomer.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Stolen Ones
by Richard Montanari
(Mulholland/Little Brown – $29.00 – 406 pages)
“…there are enough creepy moments to chill you to the bone.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Precious Thing
by Colette McBeth
(Minotaur – $24.95US – 288 pages)
“…dazzles the reader quite flawlessly.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Crime of Privilege
by Walter Walker
(Ballantine – $28.00 – 416 pages)
“…it is a book you will be totally engrossed in…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Gods of Guilt
by Michael Connelly
(Little Brown – $31.00 – 390 pages)
“What one likes about this character is the complexity in which he is written…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Killing Season
by Mason Cross
(Orion – $24,95 – 484 pages)
“….before you know it, you are well in to the book, not about to put it down under any circumstances.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Lamentation
by Ken Scholes
(Tor – $27.95 – 366 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…an amazing story of fantasy to be told within the pages of a brilliant new series…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Hyde
by Daniel Levine
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $30.00 – 400 pages)
“…Levine takes the story and molds it into his own.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Last Kiss Goodbye
by Karen Robards
(Ballantine – $30.00 – 320 pages)
“…Karen Robards has mixed in ghosts and the paranormal with the story.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Notorious
by Allison Brennan
(Minotaur – $28.99 – 326 pages)
“…a great mystery, as only Allison Brennan can write them.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Robert B. Parker’s Bull River
by Robert Knott
(Putnam – $31.00 – 342 pages
“…has it all, a completely riveting read, and that is no bull!”
Rating:  4 bookmarks

The String Diaries
by Stephen Lloyd Jones
(Mulholland – $29.00 – 432 pages)
“…a most explosive book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Lovely Way to Burn
by Louise Welsh
(John Murray – $24.99 – 355 pages)
“…this book was most exhaustive and rewarding.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Dead Water
by Ann Cleeves
(Minotaur – $25.99US – 386 pages)
“…should please those who have followed the series from the beginning.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Finest 5 on the Non-Fiction Shelf ***

Iroquois People of the Longhouse
by Michael G. Johnson
(Firefly – $35.00 – 160 pages)
“….a detailed history of Iroquois tribes from their earliest inception to modern-day.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Tales from Beyond the Tap
by Randy Bachman
(Viking – $30.00 – 326 pages)
“…has a little bit of everything.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Closer
by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey
(Little Brown – $31.00 – 280 pages)
“…impressive book on a larger than life baseball star.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Opposite of Loneliness
by Marina Keegan
(Scribner – $27.00 – 210 pages)
“…hard to read because the young author died in 2012, silencing a brilliant voice.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

My Journey
by Elizabeth Chow
(Harper – $29.99 – 328 pages)
“…such a revelation, a book that is a breath of fresh air in the literary world.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of Non-Fiction on the Shelf ***

Ha! (The Science of When We Laugh)
by Scott Weems
(Basic Books – $30.00 – 230 pages)
“…both amusing and enlightening…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Kate Gosselin’s Love Is In the Mix
by Kate Gosselin
(Health Communications Inc. – $28.95 – 292 pages)
“…Kate tries ‘to make meals into memories with family-friendly recipes, tips and traditions.'”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

The Canadian Iroquois and the Seven Years’ War
by D. Peter MacLeod
(Dundurn – $29.99 – 248 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“For the novice, learning about this period in Canadian history is eye-opening.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

WWE  50:  Celebrating 50 Years of Sports Entertainment
by Kevin Sullivan
(DK Books -$26.00 – 224 pages)
“…makes this book a true trip down memory lane.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Straight from the Earth
by Myra & Marea Goodman
(Chronicle – $32.95 – 226 pages)
“They are hearty, healthy, and meals that you and your family should be considering.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Uganda Be Kidding Me
By Chelsea Handler
(Grand Central Publishing -$30.00 – 260 pages)
“…she tells of many unusual encounters in places she visited.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Doc: A Memoir
by Dwight Gooden with Ellis Henican
(New Harvest – $33.95 – 285 pages)
“The book is tough to read in places, how such a big star could totally fall from grace.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Leggy Blonde
by Viva Drescher
(Gallery – $28.99 – 246 pages)
“…all about Aviva and the unusual life she had growing up.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Science of Cheese
by Michael H. Tunick
(Oxford University Press – $34.95 – 281 pages)
“…most technical in places, explaining how the cheese process is done.”
Rating:  4 bookmarks

Mammoths and Mastodons of the Ice Ages
by Adrian Lister
(Firefly – $29.95 – 130 pages)
“…will appeal to those who love history and will be enjoyed by young and old alike.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism
by Thomas Brothers
(Norton – $46.00 -594 pages)
“…talks of the evolution of this major jazz talent, along with the adversities he faced.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Standard Catalog of World Coins 1701-1800 6th Edition
by George S. Cuhaj & Thomas Michael
(Krause – $95.00 – 1450 pages)
“…continues to impress.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Idiot’s Guide to the Tarot
by Aviva Venefica
(Alpha – $30.95 – Complete Deck plus 264 page  book)
“Takes away the tension associated with not knowing precisely what certain cards mean…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

*** 7 Books in 75 Words or Less ***

Shelf Life introduces a new section, where we present recommended titles, that because of space cannot offer full reviews for. In 75 Words or less, we give a short review of the book and why you should be reading it. No bookmarks are given but we can assure you the books noted here are all highly recommended.

Running Scared
by Beverly Terrell-Deutsch
(Red Deer Press – $11.95 – 166 pages)
“It has been difficult for Gregory to forget the fact his father died in a car crash.”

Midnight Promises
by Donna Grant
(St. Martin’s Press – $9.95 – 452 pages)
“…lots of sexy moments and some chilling ones, too.”

The Case of Love Commandos
by Tarquin Hall
(McClelland & Stewart – $22.95 – 310 pages)
“Vish Puri mysteries are a joy to read, and the latest is no exception.”

Finding Melissa
by Cora Taylor
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $12.95 – 184 pages)
“A true to life fiction story for younger readers.”

Death, Taxes and Hot Pink Leg Warmers
by Diane Kelly
(St. Martin’s Press – $29.99 – 322 pages)
“…don’t let the title deter you from enjoying this wild tale.”

The Woman In Black: Angel of Death
by Martyn Waites
(Hammer – $15.99 – 334 pages)
“…gives readers their closure at long last.”

Renegade
by Lora Leigh
(St. Martin’s Griffin – $16.99 – 406 pages)
“Your pulse will skyrocket.”

The Best Gift
by Marsha Porchuk Skrypuch – Illustrated by Elly Mackay
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“…originally released in 1998 and is as important today as then.”