Shelf Life Magazine – May 2016

Editor’s Notes for Issue #1812016 05 20 May Shelf Issue Cover

Although this issue is being planned out on April Fool’s Day, there is no joking inside the issue. Shelf Life brings you the best in books with serious reviews of books that are relevant within our lives. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, our reviewers strive to offer comments about the books that will guide you in your book purchases. You want to get the best value for your hard-earned money, and this is where Shelf Life tries to help you select books for you and your family that will amuse, entertain, and hopefully leave a lasting impression. Enjoy the issue and please write us and let us know whether you agree or disagree with our choices.

Write us as at Shelf-Life1@rogers.com. Thanks as always for picking us up, Enjoy the issue.

Paul Sutter
Editor/Publisher


Fiction Section
Best of the May Fiction Shelf

See Me
by Nicholas Sparks
(Grand Central Publishing – $32.50 – 486 pages)
“…a book that must be seen and totally savoured.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Depraved Heart
by Patricia Cornwell
(Harper Collins – $32.99 – 466 pages)
“…a book that packs a knockout mystery punch like few books before in the series.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Hostage Taker
by Stefanie Pintoff
(Bantam – $34.00 – 422 pages)
“…creates major suspense and drama, making it one of the top ten books of the past year.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of Fiction on the Shelf

The Lake House
by Kate Morton
(Atria – $32.00 – 496 pages)
“…provides a most interest generational tale that will keep readers entertained for the entire book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Other Daughter
by Lauren Willig
(St. Martin’s Press – $29.99 – 296 pages)
“…a book that will grip you tightly and hold you, never loosening its hold at any point during the story.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Zodiac Deception
by Gary Kriss
(Forge – $29.99 – 495 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“Almost from the first page, we are swept up in the intrigue and excitement of the story.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Other Son
by Alexander Soderberg
(Crown – $26.00 – 388 pages)
“The book was translated from the Swedish but it is still a great read in any language.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Girl in the Spider’s Web
by David Lagercrantz
(Viking – $34.00 – 400 pages)
“…Lagercrantz has managed to continue the story in the most inventive ways.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Obsession Falls
by Christina Dodd
(St. Martin’s Press – $31.50 – 392 pages)
“A so-so book suddenly turns so-so good.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Crossing
by Michael Connelly
(Little Brown – $34.00 – 392 pages)
“His penchant for creating stellar mystery is as strong as ever.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Unmanned
by Dan Fesperman
(Knopf – $32.00 – 316 pages)
Reviewed by Ron Heimpel
“Besides being a work of fiction, it still works well as a think piece…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Career of Evil
by Robert Galbraith
(Mulholland – $34.00 – 500 pages)
“…we know something big will happen by book’s end.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Vince Flynn The Survivor
by Kyle Mills
(Emily Bestler/Atria – $32.00 – 388 pages)
“Mills has kept the same vision as Flynn did.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Gatefather
by Orson Scott Card
(Tor – $29.99 – 385 pages)
Reviewed by Ron Heimpel
“This is the weakest book in the series, a let-down of sorts from books one and two.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

The Fateful Lightning
by Jeff Shaara
(Ballantine – $34.00 – 615 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…Shaara has been able to use his unique narrative style to bring the characters to life and telsl the story that has all too often, overlooked.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks


Non-Fiction Section
Best of the May Non-Fiction Shelf

Disney Pixar: The Art of the Good Dinosaur
Foreword by John Lasseter
(Chronicle – $55.00 – 172 pages)
“…the reader is given a total overview of the intricate process that goes into creating every aspect of the film.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Hockey Hall of Fame Book of Players Second Edition
Edited by Steve Cameron
(Firefly – $29.95 – 354 pages)
“More than 450 photos comprise this volume, offering a more complete look at the players inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Girl with Nine Wigs
By Sophie Van Der Stap
(St. Martin’s Press – $29.99 – 280 pages)
“The story is as inspirational as they come…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of Non-Fiction on the Shelf

Becoming Beyonce: The Untold Story
by J. Randy Taraborrelli
(Grand Central Publishing – $34.00 – 496 pages)
“…probes into her life with some little known facts before she became a household name.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Napoleonic Wars in Cartoons
by Mark Bryant
(Grub Street – $29.95 – 160 pages)
“…they represent an interesting part of history and deserve to be seen to be appreciated”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Cabin Porn
by Zach Klein
(Little Brown – $36.00 – 330 pages)
“…showcases (surprise, surprise) hundreds of cabins around the world.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Essential Perennials
by Ruth Rogers Clausen & Thomas Christopher – Photographs by Alan L. Detrick & Linda Detrick
(Timber Press – $58.95 – 424 pages)
“…will put you in the mood quite nicely with a mind-boggling number of flowers mentioned throughout the book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Queen Elizabeth II and Her Royal Family
(DK Books – $46.00 – 260 pages)
“…the history of the British monarchy is presented from the 5th century onward.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Happy Healthy Vegan Kitchen
by Kathy Patalsky
(Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt – $33.00 – 352 pages)
“Vegan is more than a fad, it is a lifestyle that more and more people are discovering, thanks to books like this one.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Power Of I Am (Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today)
by Joel Osteen
(Faith Words – $31.50 – 300 pages)
“The book has a simple premise based on two words: ‘I am.’ It may seem simple but in those two words are positives.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks


*** Recommended Books Worth A Look***

In the past SHELF LIFE has received dozens of books for review. In fact, this past Fall, our shelves were filled with more titles than ever before. It would be great if we could offer full reviews for all books but space does not permit. that to happen. That is why in this, our 18th anniversary issue, we are offering an extended section about books worthy of your attention and purchase. The reviews are shorter than the typical reviews found in most issues but suffice to say they are highly recommended. Therefore no bookmarks will be noted at review’s end.

The Novel Habits of Happiness
by Alexander McCall Smith
(Knopf Canada – $29.95 – 260 pages)
“…has something for everyone.”

The Ripper Gene
by Michael Ransom
(Forge – $28.99 – 303 pages)
“You won’t need to file your fingernails while reading the book. You will be chewing them incessantly as you turn the pages non-stop to read the chilling finale.”

The Nature of the Beast
by Louise Penny
(St. Martin’s Press – $32.50 – 376 pages)
“…(has) a distinctive Canadian flavour that readers from any country can enjoy.”

Scandalous Behavior
by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $36.00 – 310 pages)
“…Woods seems to have come on strong here, giving Barrington new life and problems.”

Toward Yesterday
by Paul Anthony Jones
(47 North – $21.95 – 280 pages)
“All the characters are most entertaining…”

The Scarlet Gospels
by Clive Barker
(St. Martin’s Press – $31.50 – 363 pages)
“Yes, the book is graphic to the max and yes, the book really is a no-holds-barred chiller of a finale.”

So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood
by Patrick Modiano
(Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt – $29.95 – 155 pages)
“…tucked into this short but sweet volume is a story that will have you turning pages, frantically, and reading well into the night…”

All Dressed in White
by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
(Simon & Schuster – $32.00 – 272 pages)
“The book is written in a way that no one seems above suspicion and the deeper that Laurie probes, the more in appears the answers are disturbing and surprising.”

Pipsie Nature Detective: The Lunchnapper
by Rick Dedonato – Illustrated by Tracy Bishop
(Two Lions – $26.95 – 32 pages)
“…the perfect book for children who find that being part of nature makes them an even happier part of the world they live in.”

The Ultimate Book of Zombie Warfare and Survival
by Scott Kenemore
(Skyhorse – $28.99 – 276 pages)
“…essential reading if you should ever meet a zombie or two…”

A History of Photography in 50 Cameras
by Michael Pritchard
(Firefly – $29,95 – 223 pages)
“…we owe debts of gratitude to those camera pioneers who made it possible to enjoy what we have today. This book pays tribute to them all.”

You First Journal: Your Way To Your Best Life
by Lea Michele
(Crown Archetype – $23.99 – 240 pages)
“…lets the reader answer honestly and learn more about themselves than they ever imagined.”

True Style (The History and Principles of Classic Menswear)
by G. Bruce Boyer
(Basic Books- $33.99 – 272 pages)
“This book may be more geared to the GQ crowd, but there is no reason why the average male cannot learn a thing or two.”

Arrival of Eagles
by Andy Sanders
(Grub Street – $39.95 – 191 pages)
“…contains a fount of information from the archives of the Second World War.”

Undertaker 25 Years of Destruction
(WWE/DK Books – $29.00 – 208 pages)
“In this tribute book, the highlights of the Undertaker’s quarter-century career are shown from the first matches to more recent ones.”

My Artsy
by Drew Hayden Taykir
(Douglas & McIntyre – $22.95 – 250 pages)
“Reading the book will inspire anyone to seek out the ‘art’ of these talented individuals.”

Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far)
by Sara Bareilles
(Simon & Schuster – $34.99 – 188 pages)
“This is an important book in so many ways and those who have suffered with similar issues will find solace in her words.”

The School of Greatness
by Lewis Howes
(Rodale – $29.99 – 250 pages)
“…reading the book will help tap into your own creative processes and meet every challenge head on.”

First Bite
by Bee Wilson
(Basic Books – $34.99 – 352 pages)
“…the author tells us that how we learn to eat earlier in life, often sets in stone the way our eating habits will affect the rest of our lives.”

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