Shelf Life – May 2015

Editor’s Notes for Issue #169


Every issue of SHELF LIFE always presents a challenge to try and create an issue that has something for everyone. From the positive comments, we seem to be doing that on a continual basis. Month after month, we attempt to offer books that will appeal to a wide variety of literary tastes. Of course, we cannot please everyone when it comes to likes and dislikes, but we do our best to reach a happy median as the saying goes.

In this May issue, there are topics of interest to fiction lovers, plus fans of medical issues, sports, antiques, animals and so much more. We continue to encourage to write us and let us know what books you enjoy most. Write us as at Thanks as always for picking us up, Enjoy the issue.

Paul Sutter

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

Blue Labyrinth
by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
(Grand Central Publishing – $30.00 – 410 pages)
“…creating a tension-filled novel that is impossible to put down.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Nine Days
by Minerva Koenig
(Minotaur – $28.99 – 295 pages)
“Koenig has a great style, as if she had been writing for a long time.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

by Kay Hooper
(Berkley – $31.00 – 308 pages)
“…by book’s end you will feel lots of shivers flooding through your flesh.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Distance
by Helen Giltrow
(Random House Canada – $29.95 – 358 pages)
“It is a book that will make you go to the distance, trying to get to the final pages…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

by Harriet Lane
(Little Brown – $29.00 – 272 pages)
“…if you are patient and can get through a few rough spots, then you will be rewarded.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

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

The Furies
by Mark Alpert
(Thomas Dunne – $29.99 – 310 pages
Reviewed by: Ron Heimpel
“The plot and characters work in tandem to give readers a lot to like.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Flesh and Blood
by Patricia Cornwell
(Harper Collins – $32.99 – 369 pages)
“…there is lots to the story, which should pacify those who believe the author’s books are too similar.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Chain of Thunder
by Jeff Shaara
(Ballantine – $34.00 – 562 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“…his characters vividly tell us what it was like to live in those historic days.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Fear City: Repairman Jack – The Early Years
by F. Paul Wilson
(Tor – $29.99 – 366 pages)
“…Jack is once more out to save the world from a terrorist group who wants to blow up the United Nations building.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Forgotten Girls
by Sara Blaedel
(Grand Central Publishing – $29.00 – 312 pages)
“…now North American readers can sample her work, finding out what the rest of the world has known.”
Rating:  4 bookmarks

Nine Lives to Die
by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown
(Bantam – $31.00 – 350 pages)
“There is little danger here and suspense is minimal.”
Rating: 2 bookmarks

Night Play
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
(St. Martin’s Press – $32.50 – 338 pages)
“…playful and erotic, also filled with more than its share of memorable and magical moments.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Carnal Curiosity
by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $31.00 – 310 pages)
“…one of the weaker books of the series. Woods almost seemed to have phoned this one in.”
Rating: 2 1/2 bookmarks

Blood on the Water
by Anne Perry
(Ballantine – $31.00 – 310 pages)
“…the sort of the story that involves the reader in every sense of the word.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Mermaids in Paradise
by Lydia Millet
(Norton – $28.95 – 290 pages)
“…a deliciously amusing tale filled with a bit of everything, all of it good.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Peter Watts
(Tor – $28.99 – 354 pages)
Reviewed by: Ron Heimpel
“The book is complex and deep in philosophy about life, death and even the future.”
Rating: 2 1/2 bookmarks

by Karen Marie Moning
(Delacorte – $32.00 – 474 pages)
“…with so many characters and personality clashes, but this is what make the books in the BURNED series so enticing and appealing.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

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

Smithsonian Great Maps
by Jerry Brotton
(DK Books – $26.00 – 256 pages)
“The book is a most concise look at the most important maps since the beginning of time.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Forgotten Victory
by Mark Zuehlke
(Douglas & McIntyre – $37.95 – 500 pages)
“…essential in reminding us of the atrocities of war and how much Canada contributed to many battles.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The News Sorority
by Sheila Weller
(Penguin Press – $34.95 – 484 pages)
“…shows that no matter what your dreams and aspirations are, you can achieve them by dedication and never.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
by Sam Harris
(Simon & Schuster – $32.00 – 256 pages)
“He writes at a level where anyone can understand his arguments and comments.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Women Healers of the World (The Traditions, History and Geography of Herbal Medicine)
by Holly Bellebuono
(Helios Press – $31.95 – 280 pages)
“…one of the most complete books on the subject, filled with a fount of information.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

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

How Dogs Love Us (A Neuroscientist and his Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain)
by Gregory Berns
(New Harvest – $32.00 – 248 pages)

Reviewed by Donna Naylor
“…highly entertaining to learn so much about animals and their brain behaviors.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Blood and Daring (How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation)
by John Boyko
(Knopf Canada – $35.00 – 356 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…discusses several incidents that show the Canadian perspective from several political and social points of view.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Story of Pain from Prayer to Painkillers
by Joanna Burke
(Oxford University Press – $34.95US – 396 pages)
“…a fascinating look at the subject through centuries past to current times, and how pain was one time viewed.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Jeter Unfiltered
by Derek Jeter with Photographs by Christopher Anderson
(Gallery – $34.00 – 260 pages)
“This is a true collector’s item, a must-have for Jeter fans and baseball lovers in general.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles 2015 Price Guide
by Eric Bradley
(Krause – $25.50 – 800 pages)
“You will discover some interesting collectible all throughout the book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Making Sense of Women’s Health: A Naturopathic Solution 
by Dr. Marita Schauch
(Friesens – $24.95 – 346 pages)
“The book is very thorough and the ones constant in the book are the naturopathic remedies.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The History of the Book in 100 Books
by Roderick Cave and Sara Ayad
(Firefly – $35.00 – 288 pages)
“The authors have taken the printed word from its inception, creating a book that will impress scholars and those who love to read.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Defining Moments: Toronto Maple Leafs
by Mike Leonetti
(Red Deer Press – $22.95 – 352 pages)
“…profiles more than one hundred players who have worn the Maple Leaf.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Soul of All Living Creatures (What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human)
by Vint Virga D.V.M.
(Crown – $28.00 – 224 pages)
Reviewed by Donna Naylor
“…studies how an animal with their presence can bring us more comfort than a fellow human ever could.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Allergy Free Pantry
by Colette Martin
(The Experiment – $25.50 – 314 pages)
“…Martin has created a book for those with food intolerances.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

*** 10 Books in 100 Words or Less ***

Shelf Life introduces a new section, where we present recommended titles, that because of space cannot offer full reviews for. In 100 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.

Fragile Bones Harrison and Anna
by Lorna Schultz Nicholson
(Clockwise Press – $12.95 – 220 pages)
“This is a most exceptional story geared to younger readers, one that tells quite a tale and is unforgettable.”

by Cassie Alexander
(St. Martin’s – $9.99 – 292 pages)
“This is another in the popular EDIE SPENCE series.”

Away from You
by Kay Langdale
(Hodder – $15.99 – 288 pages)
“This is a classic love story, one that will definitely make your eyes a bit moist at times.”

Dark Company
by Natalie Ghent
(Doubleday Canada – $15.95 – 296 pages)
“…a chilling tale of a world filled with the classic confrontation of good versus evil.”

Dead Spots
by Rhiannon Frater
(Tor – $19.50 – 412 pages)
“…certainly a most lively and chilling tale.”

The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles Infinity Coil
by Marty Caan
(Fitzhenry and Whiteside – $12.95 – 264 pages)
“This is classic young adult fiction at its finest, where we can hardly wait for the next adventure to come in 2016.”

Albrecht Durer and Me
by David Zieroth
(Harbour – $18.95 – 80 pages)
“A must read for poetry fans.”

by Caris Roane
(St. Martin’s – $9.99 – 370 pages)
“…another in the vampire and paranormal series that fans of Caris Roane are obsessed over.”