Shelf Life Magazine – August 2016

20160724 July cover
Editor’s Notes for Issue #184

For pretty well every introduction to the past 183 issues of SHELF LIFE, I have talked about books. This time, I am going to speak about computers and how great they are when they work. Most of us never anticipate any problems which is why some of us don’t back up data as often as we should.

Although this is the August issue, the July issue was slightly delayed finishing. I had edited up to page 16 one Sunday night. I backed the data up the previous night to page 13. Well, Monday morning, turning on the computer there was only a blank screen. Bottom line: something happening in the registry and files were corrupted. Windows 8 had to be reinstalled meaning I lost everyone on the computer. Since I had only backed up to page 13, I had to go back and retype 3 pages of the issues. Lesson learned. Back up your data every single night no matter what.

That being said, now we can discuss books and the great titles you will find in this issue. They are great reads for a Summer Day or whenever you are inclined to sit down and read them. We are quite enthused about what titles will be released in the Fall, and you can be sure we will be reviewing them as soon as possible. So sit back and enjoy this issue. The bookshelves beckon.

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

Paul Sutter
Editor/Publisher

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Fiction Section
Best Books on the August Fiction Shelf

The Bitter Season
by Tami Hoag
(Dutton – $36.00 – 410 pages)
“…another book you will enjoy from start to finish.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Killing Forest
by Sara Blaedel
(Grand Central Publishing – $31.50 – 320 pages)
“What makes the book work so well is the fact Louise is such a flawed character, fighting trauma from the past as well as seeking out the boy and the killers.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Shadow Play
by Iris Johansen
(St. Martin’s Press – $32.50 – 332 pages)
“The book plays out brilliantly as all Iris Johansen books do.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of August Fiction on the Shelf

After You Die
by Eva Dolan
(Harvill Secker – $27.99 – 380 pages)
“…another classic police procedural, one that makes the reader anxious to see what will come in book four of the series.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

He Will Be My Ruin
by K.A. Tucker
(Atria – $34.00 – 342 pages)
“…the reader will be totally mesmerized by the manner in which the book is skillfully laid out.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Written In Blood
by Stephen Lloyd Jones
(Mulholland- $29.00 – 488 pages)
“…will satisfy those who have read either book and can appreciate a first-rate horror tale that makes the reader crave even more.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

In Bitter Chill
by Sarah Ward
(Minotaur – $29.99 – 314 pages)
Reviewed by Ron Heimpel
“The way (Ward) takes the story and gives you a most gripping realistic ride, will make you believe she has been writing for decades.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Vanishing Games
by Roger Hobbs
(Knopf- $33.95 – 392 pages)
“…opens up future books, pointing to more interactions between Jack and Angela. Don’t let the book vanish off the shelf.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Death Wave
by Ben Bova
(Tor – $29.99 – 411 pages)
Reviewed by Ron Heimpel
“…a great continuation of the original book but that is a given with Ben Bova at the helm.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Blood Defence
by Marcia Clark
(Thomas & Mercer – $35.95 – 389 pages)
“The first book bodes well for the series, making us believe there has to be another one to come.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Fear the Dark
by Kay Hooper
(Berkley – $34.95 – 274 pages)
“…brilliant.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Governor’s Wife
by Michael Harvey
(Knopf – $26.95 – 250 pages)
“…succeeds in giving the reader reason to keep turning pages.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Painting Death
by Tim Parks
(Arcade- $35.99 – 339 pages)
Reviewed by: Ron Heimpel
“…a deep psychological tale, filled with madness and Morris at his most obsessive.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

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Non-Fiction Section
Best Books of the August Non-Fiction Shelf

The Comedians
By Kliph Nesteroff
(Grove Press – $28.00 – 426 pages)
“The book from first page to last is a nostalgic ride to the beginnings of comedy in America.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Before I Forget
by B. Smith & Dan Gasby with Michael Shnayerson
(Harmony – $33.00 – 336 pages)
“…looks at this firsthand through their eyes, heart and soul of Barbara “B.” Smith and her husband Dan Gasby.
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of Non-Fiction on the August Shelf

The B-Side, the Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song
by Ben Yagoda
(Riverhead – $32.95 – 310 pages)
“…an A+ book, a loving look at music and those who made it.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

WWE: The Attitude Era
by Jon Robinson
(DK Books – $27.00 – 208 pages)
“…highlights the world of the WWE and why it still is a guilty pleasure.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Carlin Home Companion – Growing Up With George
by Kelly Carlin
(St. Martin’s Press – $31.50 – 322 pages)
“…the book is still about both her parents, Kelly paying tribute to them.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better
by Monica Heisey
(Red Deer Press – $19.95 – 234 pages)
“Call it off the off-the-wall, irreverent, whimsical, or whatever words you choose.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

My Life On the Road
by Gloria Steinem
(Random House – $36.00 – 276 pages)
“…a must read for not only Ms. readers but anyone who wants an inspiring tale about a life well-lived.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Dear Mr. You
by Mary-Louise Parker
(Scribner – $32.99 – 228 pages)
“She is writing an assortment of letters to people who were part of her life, influencing her in more ways than they could realize.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Reeva: A Mother’s Story
by Reeva Steenkamp
(Sphere – $22.99 – 280 pages)
“…emotional and moving.'”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Saving Face: The Art and History of the Goalie Mask: Revised Edition
by Jim Hynes and Gary Smith
(Sports Publications – $42.99 – 176 pages)
“Those who enjoy a nostalgic look back at hockey and masks will find how masks came to revolutionize the sport, not to mention save lives as well.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

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*** Recommended Books Worth A Look***

In the past year, SHELF LIFE has received dozens of books for review. In fact, this past Winter, 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 we are again 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 Crooked House
by Christopher Kent
(Sphere – $22.99 – 358 pages)
“…a nifty psychological thriller that pretty well blends a little bit of everything into the plot.”

Invisible Dead
by Same Wiebe
(Random House Canada – $24.95 – 310 pages)
“They are calling this the definitive crime novel about Vancouver and all positive comments are with good cause.”

Foreign Affairs
by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $35.95 – 311 pages)
“…the Barrington novels are back and better than ever.”

Alight
by Scot Sigler
(Del Rey – $24.00 – 430 pages)
“It has all the intrigue of the first book which will set the stage for an all-out explosive finale in the coming year.”

River Road
by Carol Goodman
(Touchstone – $34.00 – 276 pages)
“…another quality novel, one that will keep you literally on the edge of your seat.”

Fever City
by Tim Baker
(Europa Editions – $24.00 – 400 pages)
“It has all the feel of classic noire and brings a brand-new voice and a mighty one at that to the world of mystery.”

Love You Dead
by Peter James
(Macmillan – $34.99 – 437 pages)
“…Peter James has made the series as exciting with this one as with the very first.”

An Alien Sky
by Andrew Wiseman with Sean Feast
(Grub Street – $39.95 – 176 pages)
“…another engaging book looking at the life and heroism of Andrew Wiseman.”

Game 7, 1986: Failure and Triumph in the Biggest Game of My Life
by Ron Darling with Daniel Paisner
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.99 – 240 pages)
“Darling’s take on it brings it into even deeper focus and how the man still to this day harbours guilt.”

The Best American Comics 2015
Editor Jonathan Lethem
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $35.95 – 380 pages)
“From the simple to the complex, even controversial and violent, lovers of untraditional comics will find so much to enjoy.”

The Exhaustion Breakthrough
by Holly Phillips MD
(Rodale – $31.50 – 252 pages)
“…she offers advice on how to fight back from fatigue and do so with easy to follow methods.”

Warrior
by Theresa Larson & Alan Eisenstock
(Harper One – $31.99 – 262 pages)
“…a must-read for everyone who wants to find out how the human spirit can triumph over everything.”

The Toughest I Ever Faced
by Steve Milton
(Firefly – $29.95 – 240 pages)
“The toughest players are remembered thought those inducted into the hallowed Hockey Hall of Fame.”

That Sugar Book
by Damon Gameau
(Macmillan- $29.99 – 242 pages)
“…looks at the evils of sugar and how to change your attitudes to it through eating better and watching what you eat.”

Chapter and Verse (New Order, Joy Division and Me)
by Bernard Sumner
(Thomas Dunne – $32.50 – 343 pages)
“He writes well, with honesty and respect for what has happened in his life, no regrets, but looking at the good and the bad of what life tossed his way.”

That Squeak
by Carolyn Beck – Illustrated by Francois Thisdale
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $18.95 – 44 pages)
“It is a book with heart and soul and a message about friendships and things that are taken for granted.”

Top Paperback Picks

In the final section of this issue, Shelf Life is going to list some of the best paperbacks we have received over the past few months. Because of space, we are only going to list title and publisher in an effort to alert you to as many titles as possible. They are all highly recommended reading.

  • Tell No Tales by Eva Dolan (Vintage – $16.99) 382 pages
  • Love Struck by Laurelin McGree (St. Martin’s Press – $9.99) 328 pages
  • Savage Nights by Mia Gabriel (St. Martin’s Press – $9.99) 298 pages
  • Wicked Heart by Leisa Rayven (Griffin – $20.99) 308 pages
  • The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo (Vintage – $16.99) 536 pages
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Shelf Life Magazine – July 2016

2016 07 13 July Shelf CoverEditor’s Notes for Issue #183

Summer is in full swing and that, of course, means that people will be heading to the beach, a cottage or going for a vacation. Of course, many will simply be chilling out at home in the comforts of air conditioning, making it a prime time to enjoy a leisurely read. Hopefully, you will find something in this issue to suit your fancy. With almost forty books to choose from you are bound to find a book that is right up or down your alley so to speak.

If any of you have checked out our website, you will find a smaller version of these issues with all the books noted and a small blurb about each. John Milner does and amazing job of updating each issue and we cannot thank him enough for all the time he puts into this, besides being a terrific book reviewer.

Enjoy the issue and your Summer to come.

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

Paul Sutter
Editor/Publisher

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Fiction Section
Best Books on the July Fiction Shelf

Brush Back
by Sara Paretsky
(Putnam – $35.95 – 460 pages)
“…Warshawski gets into the heart and soul of the matter with every case she tackles.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Girl in the Dark
by Marion Pauw
(William Morrow – $31.99 – 318 pages)
“There is little question the author has a great gift for storytelling…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Playing with Fire
by Tess Gerritsen
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 250 pages)
“…one delightful mystery, a book so entrancing you could almost polish it off in one sitting.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Who Do You Love
by Jennifer Weiner
(Atria – $32.00 – 386 pages)
“Expect no less than quality novels from Jennifer Weiner.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of July Fiction on the Shelf

Rogue Lawyer
by John Grisham
(Doubleday – $35.99 – 344 pages)
“There are several short stories here that connect the book together, as we discover more about Rudd and his eccentric lifestyle.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Naked Eye
by Iris & Roy Johansen
(St. Martin’s Press – $32.50 – 325 pages)
“We once more find out just how tense a plot can get.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Private Paris
by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan
(Little Brown – $34.00 – 448 pages)
“Every time out, the books are more involved and always bring even more readers into the fan fold.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Open Grave
by Kjell Eriksson – Translated from the Swedish by Paul Norlen
(Minotaur – $29.99 – 280 pages)
“…a book mired in lower gear much of the way.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

The End Game
by Catherine Coulter & J.T. Ellison
(Putnam – $34.95 – 460 pages)
“This is the third book in the BRIT IN THE FBI series. It may be the best of the three.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Steel Kiss
by Jeffery Deaver
(Grand Central Publishing – $34.00 – 490 pages)
“Readers of this series more than get their money’s worth with every successive book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shopaholic to the Rescue
by Sophie Kinsella
(Dial Press – $33.00 – 352 pages)
“These books are a light read, for the most part amusing, with characters and situations that are often way over the top.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Exo: A Jumper Novel
by Steven Gould
(Tor – $25.99 – 460 pages)
Reviewed by: Ron Heimpel
“The book is intriguing with the scientific facts and ideas, yet at times the story drags ever so slightly.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Killing Lessons
by Saul Black
(St. Martin’s Press – $29.99 – 392 pages)
“…the sort of book new writers could take lessons from.”
Rating: 4  1/2 bookmarks

Blood on the Snow
by Jo Nesbo
(Random House Canada – $27.95 – 208 pages)
Reviewed by: Ron Heimpel
“…(Nesbo) definitely leaves a lasting impression on the reader.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Man Who Watched Women
by Hjorth & Rosenfeldt
(Century – $27.99 – 522 pages)
“Hopefully, this is not a one-shot book as we deserve to see more of Sebastian and Vanya, as they work out their differences and learn truths about their lives.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

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Non-Fiction Section
Best Books of the July Non-Fiction Shelf

They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age The 1930’s
By Didier Ghez
(Chronicles – $54.95 – 210 pages)
“…a book that belongs in homes of movie lovers no matter what era they grew up in.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Witch of Lime Street (Seance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World)
by David Jaher
(Crown – $36.00 – 437 pages)
“…the real deal…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of Non-Fiction on the July Shelf

The Hormone Secret
by Tami Meraglia, MD
(Atria – $29.99 – 278 pages)
“…not a secret anymore, rather a valid argument for achieving the best health possible.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2016
by Terry & Kim Kovel
(Black Dog & Leventhal – $33.99 – 642 pages)
“…has risen above the rest when it comes to obtaining values for collectibles..”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Another Little Pieces of My Heart (My Life of Rock and Revolution in the ’60s)
by Richard Goldstein
(Bloomsbury – $30.00 – 226 pages)
“…Goldstein discusses events and people that contributed to that historic era.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Weird Science: The EC Archives Volume 4
(Dark Horse – $63.99 – 220 pages)
“…the book will appeal to lovers of classic science fiction EC Comics style.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The League of Outsider Baseball
by Gary Cieradkowski
(Townstone – $29.99 – 234 pages)
“The author illustrates all the players, giving a truly nostalgic feel to the book.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Details Iconic Men’s Accessories
by Josh Sims
(Laurence King – $39.95 – 176 pages)
“The pleasure is in the details of which there are many showcased throughout the book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

It’s All Easy
by Gwyneth Paltrow with Thea Baumann
(Goop Press/Grand Central Lifestyle – $42.00 – 262 pages)
“She says, ‘The book is meant to be a roadmap, a self-help book for the chronically busy cook.'”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink
by Elvis Costello
(Blue Rider Press – $36.00 – 674 pages)
“…Costello talks about some of the biggest names in the business he has performed with.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Desserts
by Caroline Bretherton & Kristan Raines
(DK Books – $40.00 – 304 pages)
“It will appeal to the sweet tooth in all of us…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

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*** Recommended Books Worth A Look***

In the past year,  SHELF LIFE has received dozens of books for review. In fact, this past Winter, 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  we are again 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 Girls She Left Behind
by Sarah Graves
(Bantam – $34.00 – 238 pages)
“…it begs to be read and read right away.”

The Cat Sitter’s Whiskers
by Blaize and John Clement
(Minotaur – $29.99 – 288 pages)
“The series is in good hands as John manages to write with the same passion as his mother.”

Raven Sisters
by Gabi Kreslehner
(Amazon Crossing – $21.95 – 392 pages)
“You will be raving about RAVEN SISTERS for a long time.”

Numero Zero
by Umberton Eco
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $31.95 – 191 pages)
“Numero Zero is a rather short tale, but definitely short and sweet go together.”

A Cure for Madness
by Jodi McIsaac
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 292 pages)
“…a fast-paced book that has something going on continually.”

Before the Fall
by Noah Hawley
(Grand Central Publishing – $28.98 – 390 pages)
“Mysteries like that found in BEFORE THE FALL make for an intriguing read…”

The Paris Secret
by Karen Swan
(Pan – $27.99 – 407 pages)
“It is a classic love story in the style of Danielle Steel…”

Finding the Supermodel in You: The Insider’s Guide to Teen Modelling
by Claudia Mason
(Skyhorse – $30.99 – 188 pages)
“…may help those who are curious about this elite world.”

Nourish
by Nettie Cronish & Cara Rosenbloom
(Whitecap – $29.95 – 224 pages)
“The authors of the book have created designs of recipes that are healthy, diverse and filled with nothing but the good things a body needs.”

100 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario
by Chris Earley and Tracy C. Read
(Firefly – $29.95 – 224 pages)
“If any of you are puzzled about where to go, then quickly pick up a copy of this book.”

What I Told My Daughter
by Nina Tatler with Cynthia Littleton
(Atria – $34.00 – 275 pages)
“…she offers her voice about tomorrow’s generation of empowered women, with words of wisdom from dozens of women from all walks of life…”

Leah’s Mustache Party
by Nadia Mike – Illustrated by Charlene Chua
(Inhabit Media – $16.95 – 32 pages)
“This delightful book is one that children will want to read many times over.”

Turkey Trick or Treat
by Wendy Silvano – Illustrated by Lee Harper
(Two Lions – $23.99 – 36 pages)
“With great illustrations, children will spend hours looking through the book and laughing out loud at the turkey and the antics of all the animals.”

Top Paperback Picks

In the final section of this issue, Shelf Life is going to list some of the best paperbacks we have received over the past few months. Because of space, we are only going to list title and publisher in an effort to alert you to as many titles as possible. They are all highly recommended reading.

  • In Dublin’s Fair City by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur – $22.99) 264 pages – Mystery
  • Heartbreak Cove by Lily Everett (St. Martin’s Press – $9.99) 305 pages – Romance
  • Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton (Corgi – $15.99) 500 pages – Mystery
  • Smoldering Hunger by Donna Grant (St. Martin’s Press Press – $9.99) – Paranormal Humour
  • Some Like It Scot by Suzanne Enoch (St. Martin’s Press – $9.99) – 363 pages – Romance