Shelf Life – June 2015

Editor’s Notes for Issue #1702015Junecover

Although this issue is dated June, these words are being written mid-April. Winter is finally giving up the ghost so to speak, but it took long enough with many false starts to Spring. With longer nights and more free time, hopefully you are spending more time with your favourite books. If you are unsure what books to pick up next, we hope this issue gives you some varied choices. We do our best to let you know the best books out there, ones that the mainstream press does not always alert you to, With space for book pages cut in many newspapers and magazines, Shelf Life has never cut back at all, offering twenty pages an issue, filled with more than thirty books for your reading pleasures. And we intend to keep it that way. Happy reading!

Write us as at Thanks as always for picking us up, Enjoy the issue.

Paul Sutter

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

Where All the Light Tends to Go
by David Joy
(Putnam – $31.00 – 262 pages)
“…a resonating tale of family loyalty and cruelty.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
(Doubleday Canada – $24.95 – 317 pages)
“This is another debut novel that sets the bar high for anything Paula Hawkins may write in the future.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Sweetheart
by Angelina Mirabella
(Simon & Schuster – $29.99 – 342 pages)
“You could call this book chick-lit if you will, but it will also appeal to fans of old-time wrestling.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Escape
by David Baldacci
(Grand Central Publishing – $31.00 – 472 pages)
“…another classic thriller from the master of thrills and suspense.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah
(St. Martin’s Press – $32.50 – 440 pages)
“It is intense book, the sort of story that will stay with you long after finishing.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

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

The Forsaken
by Ace Atkins
(Putnam – $31.00 – 368 pages)
“…the sort of book you could get lost in, putting everything else on hold until you get to the root of the mystery.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Kelley Armstrong
(Random House Canada – $29.95 – 476 pages)
“Armstrong has more than redeemed herself in spades, taking the book to the extreme heights of creepiness, assuring us the sub-par OMENS was just a fluke.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Terminals
by Royce Scott Buckingham
(Thomas Dunne – $21.99 – 5278 pages)
“…another inventive story that teens or anyone else reading will find most entertaining.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Trigger Warning (Short Stories and Disturbances)
by Neil Gaiman
(William Morrow – $33.50 – 310 pages)
“It is impressive how much Gaiman can do with ten or less pages.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Debbie Doesn’t Do It
by Walter Mosley
(Doubleday – $30.00 – 266 pages)
“…is told through her eyes without any sugar-coating.”
Rating:  4 bookmarks

Alien Hunter: Underworld
by Whitley Strieber
(Tor – $29.99 – 303 pages)
“Flynn is an interesting character, and Strieber writes him as a sort of ordinary guy doing extraordinary things.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Lost Key
by Catherine Coulter & J.T. Ellison
(Putnam – $31.00 – 450 pages)
“…a flawless tale with Coulter and Ellison combining to give the reader a thrilling treat.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Gray Mountain
by John Grisham
(Doubleday – $34.00 – 370 pages)
“…another power story, with characters we hope to see again.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Dealer and the Dead
by Gerald Seymour
(Thomas Dunne – $31.00 – 458 pages)
Reviewed by: Ron Heimpel
“There are moments of brilliance in the book but the fact there is too much too little too late, makes the book more of a chore than a pleasure to read.”
Rating: 2 1/2 bookmarks

The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries 
Edited by Otto Penzler
(Vintage Crime/Black Lizard – $29.95 – 944 pages)
“…there is enough here to keep you reading for days (or maybe weeks) on end.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Lisa Scottoline
(St. Martin’s Press – $32.50 – 343 pages)
“…it is worthy of your attention thanks to its unpredictable nature.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

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

Melting Away (A Ten-Year Journey Through Our Endangered Polar Regions)
by Camille Seaman
(Princeton Architectural Press – $68.00 – 160 pages)
“…in a way melts your heart when you view how the beauty of certain areas of the world are being unsurped by technology and ignorance.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Dancing for the Devil
by Annie Donewald with Carrie Gerlach Cecil
(Howard – $25.70 – 364 pages)
“…inspiring and eye-opening.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Play On (Now, Then and Fleetwood Mac)
by Mick Fleetwood and Anthony Bozza
(Little Brown – $33.00 – 344 pages)
“…provides an interesting look back at a legendary band with all the trials and tribulations that defined Mick and friends.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

DC Comics: A Visual History – Updated Edition
(DK Books – $55.00 – 376 pages)
“Any lover of classic comics will be in their glory with this book.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rock Covers
by Robbie Busch, Jonathan Kirby and Julius Wiedemann
(Taschen – $69.99 US – 552 pages)
“…not simply for music fans but for anyone else who ever held an album in their hands and gazed at the cover art.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

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

There Was a Little Girl (The Real Story of My Mother and Me)
by Brooke Shields
(Dutton – $31.00 – 400 pages)
“…honest and emotional…there is still great love and respect for (Brooke’s mother) in the book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Warman’s World War II Collectibles – 3rd Edition
by John Adams-Graf
(Krause – $31.00 – 320 pages)
“…gives advice where to find certain items and also what to be wary of when collecting.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Made in Court – Supreme Court Decisions that Shaped Canada
by Richard W. Pound
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $34.95 – 354 pages)
“Students of law or those curious how many laws came into being will find this a most informative recounting of Supreme Course cases…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Montcalm & Wolfe: Two Men Who Forever Changed the Course of Canadian History
by Roch Carrier – Translated by Donald Winkler
(Harper Collins – $34.99 – 328 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…teaches you a lot, not only about the two men in question but the nations and empires in which they served…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Dancing With Myself
by Billy Idol
(Touchstone – $34.00 – 326 pages)
“…we get to see life through his eyes, and what a most unusual life it as been.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Start Here Diet 
by Tosca Reno with Billy Fitzpatrick
(Appetite – $27.95 – 252 pages)
“…packed with dozens of helpful hints, along with countless recipes that will keep your weight challenges on target.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Canadian Geographic Biggest and Best of Canada
by Aaron Kylie
(Firefly – $24.95 – 256 pages)
“…the perfect book for not only trivia buffs but also for children who want to learn everything imaginable about the country around them.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Top Dog: The Story Of Marine Hero Lucca
by Maria Goodavage
(Dutton – $31.00 – 306 pages)
Reviewed by: Donna Naylor
“…most heart-warming, a tale of man’s best friend…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

U2: The Definitive Biography
by Job Jobling
(Thomas Dunne – $31.50 – 372 pages)
“…a fair assessment of U2, as Jobling researched well.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

But I Could Never Go Vegan
by Kristy Turner
(The Experiment – $31.95 – 308 pages)
“…Turner tells people they can easily live without meat and dairy products like cheese.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

*** 8 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.

Chains of Darkness
by Caris Roane
(St. Martin’s Press – $9.99 – 306 pages)
“The erotic and the forbidden, combine to make for a dark and seductive tale.”

The Revolution Trade
by Charles Stross
(Tor – $20.50 – 558 pages)
“…expect some wild moments and this book has that and more.”

by Kylie Scott
(St. Martin’s Griffin – $16.99 – 288 pages)
“…equally wild and wicked.”

Rain Shadow
by Valerie Sherrard
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $12.95 – 152 pages)
“This is the sort of book that all younger people should be required to read.”

Burning Desire
by Donna Grant
(St. Martin’s – $9.99 – 342 pages)
“The pages do burn with more than desire.”

Fire Pie Trout
by Melanie Mosher – Illustrated by Renee Benoit
(Fifth House – $19.95 – 32 pages)
“…a sweet tale of a young girl Grace and her grandfather.”

Breath Into Me
by Sarah Fawkes
(St. Martin’s Griffin – $16.99 – 288 pages)
“…a story filled with wickedly hot passion and plenty more.”

Charlie’s Dirt Day
by Andrew Larsen – Illustrated by Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli
(Ftizhenry & Whiteside – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“This is a perfect book for younger children to see what they can do t0 help the planet through composting and growing their own seeds.”