Shelf Life Magazine – October 2016

Editor’s Notes for Issue #1862016-09-27-october-shelf-cover

I often get questions about how I choose what books will be reviewed in Shelf Life. Why aren’t certain books featured and some others included that are not as popular? Good question. I am sent catalogues from the publishers about five or so months before the new book release season. From them, usually the most interesting books are selected for review. There are so many books that it is really hard to narrow down the selection sometimes. I wish there was more space in these issues and more time to read but alas ihat is not a current luxury. I like to choose not only popular titles but also books that are not receiving the media attention they deserve. First time novelists are always a joy to read because all great writers have to start somewhere. Shelf Life will strive to continue this policy and tradition, of bringing all types of books to your attention. We hope you will be pleased by the diversity of such choices.

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 Fiction Books for October

The Forgotten Soldier
by Brad Taylor
(Dutton – $34.95 – 421 pages)
“…it is the realism that keeps the reader’s adrenalin flowing.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

She’s Not There
by Joy Fielding
(Doubleday Canada – $22.95 -355 pages)
“…suspenseful, but much of it being low-key, the book unravelling at a slower pace.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Obsession
by Nora Roberts
(Berkley – $36.00 – 453 pages)
“…lots of suspense, tension, and romance tossed in for good measure.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of October Fiction

The House of Daniel
by Harry Turtledove
(Tor – $34.99 – 332 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“…in his newest novel, Turtledove seems to run out of steam early on.”
Rating: 2 bookmarks

Poisonous
by Allison Brennan
(Minotaur – $36.95 – 354 pages)
“…nothing is certain and mystery compounds mystery.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Speaking in Bones
by Kathy Reichs
(Simon & Schuster – $34.99 – 300 pages)
“…Reichs has a trick or two or three up her sleeve.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Gone Again
by James Grippando
(Harper – $33.50 – 392 pages)
“…will induce sweaty palms and long nights of reading.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Most Wanted
by Lisa Scottoline
(St. Martin’s Press – $38.99 – 438 pages)
“…it is find out secrets…that propels the book to the end.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Alert
by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
(Little Brown – $34.00 – 368 pages)
“…will keep you very alert as you move from page to page.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

I Take You
by Eliza Kennedy
(Crown – $29.95 – 310 pages)
“…a book you will love or hate and you can definitely take it or leave it…”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Far From True
by Linwood Barclay
(New American Libary – $26.95 – 470 pages)
“Barclay has definitely made book two even more pulse-stopping than the first…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Samaritan
by Mason Cross
(Orion – $22.99 – 407 pages)
Reviewed by: Ron Heimpel
“…a smart mystery with lots of puzzles…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Portrait of A Noble Woman
by Danielle Steel
(Delacorte Press – $37.95 – 336 pages)
“Steel has offered her typical love story, complete with every element necessary to keep readers turning pages.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

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Non-Fiction Section
Best Non-Fiction Books for October

Ingrid Bergman: A Life In Pictures
Edited by Isabella Rossellini & Lothar Schirmer
(Chronicles – $67.95 – 528 pages)
“…we view Bergman again through hundreds of photographs.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated History
Foreword by Elaine Paige
(DK Books – $46.00 – 360 pages)
“…truly music to your eyes.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Paul McCartney: The Life
by Philip Norman
(Little Brown – $38.50 – 853 pages)
“The book is an impressive 853 pages but not once while reading the book would anyone proclaim, ‘enough already?'”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of October Non-Fiction

Petty The Biography
by Warren Zanes
(Henry Holt – $34.50 – 324 pages)
“…a most enjoyable read, one that fans of the man will find interesting and informative.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

That’s Why I’m A Journalist (Top Canadian Reporters Tell Their Most Unforgettable Stories)
by Mark Bulgutch
(Douglas & McIntyre – $32.95 – 326 pages)
“…features Canada’s top television reporters, forty-four in all, offering their opinion on what was the most unforgettable stories they covered during their career.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Helmut Newton – Pages from the Glossies Facsimiles 1956-1998
Edited by June Newton & Walter Keller
(Taschen – $49.99US – 526 pages)
“…a must-have for anyone who has admired a Helmut Newton photograph.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Trashing Sessions
by C. Nathan Hatton
(University of Manitoba Press – $27.95 – 340 pages)
“(Hatton) has extensively researched the subject and then some.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Being Jazz: My Life As A Transgender Teen
by Jazz Jennings
(Crown – $23.99 – 266 pages)
“…this is a quick and enjoyable read showing how to live and love as people see fit.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Monologue (What Makes America Laugh Before Bed)
by Jon Mack
(Blue Rider Press – $28.95 – 228 pages)
“…lets us peek into the mind of a comedic genius, giving us an idea of where he comes up with his amusing material.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Complete Guide to Natural Homemade Beauty Products & Treatments
by Amelia Ruiz
(Robert Rose – $24.95 – 368 pages)
“…175 recipes for a better body, fresher skin and a rejuvenated you.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Golden Girls Forever
by Jim Colucci
(Harper Design – $43.50 – 368 pages)
“…a loving and exhaustive look back at the show and the fourth actresses who were the stars.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Natalie Jill’s 7 Day Jump Start
by Natalie Jill
(DaCapo Life Long – $36.50 – 306 pages)
“…not simply about eating less food but rather mapping out a strategy and sticking to it”
Rating: 3 1/2 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 and Spring, 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. We are positive you will agree with our choices.

Alien Hunter: The White House
by Whitley Strieber
(Tor – $36.99 – 286 pages)
“…Strieber brings it back from the edge of absurdity with some chilling action sequences…”

Star Wars: Bloodline
by Claudia Gray
(Del Rey – $37.00 – 333 pages)
“…a book that will keep Star Wars lovers most content.”

Baggage
by S.G. Redling
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 231 pages)
“It is a book filled with questions that are answered in puzzling terms.”

Walleye Junction
by Karin Salvalaggio
(Minotaur – $37.99 – 321 pages)
“Another brilliant work by Karin Salvalaggio.”

Vengeance
by Zane
(Atria – $34.00 – 276 pages)
“Can Caprice/Wicket find salvation or will her past always weigh down her life?”

Night Shift
by Charlaine Harris
(Ace – $37.00 – 308 pages)
“This is the third book of the trilogy and what a wild and frightening conclusion we find.”

Firsts
by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
(Thomas Dunne – $21.99 – 320 pages)
“First and foremost, the book is enjoyable.”

Daisy in Chains
by Sharon Bolton
(Bantam Press – $26.99 – 346 pages)
“…a most tense tale of murder most foul.”

Margaret Truman’s Internship in Murder
by Donald Bain
(Forge – $29.99 – 364 pages)
“…filled with so much intrigue and suspicion that you will have trouble separating the guilty from the innocent.”

Chicago’s Big Teams
by Lew Freedman
(Firefly – $35.00 – 240 pages)
“The history of each team is noted, with lots of vintage photos…”

Paint the Town Black
by Arthur Black
(Harbour – $22.95 – 222 pages)
“Black gets into the heart and soul of life, with common sense laughs and a style that lovers of real comedy will savour.”

Meathooked
by Marta Zaraska
(Basic Books – $34.99 – 264 pages)
“…much of our psyche revolves around meat being an important staple of diets, but overconsumption is definitely a problem.”

The Anatomy of A Calling
by Lissa Rankin, MD
(Rodale – $28.99 – 268 pages)
“…you will find a variety of chapters for self-assessment where you can view your own life and be a better person for it.”

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.

  • Driving with the Top Down by Beth Harbison (Griffin – $18.50) 365 pages (Romance)
  • Awakened by Kate Douglas (St. Martin’s Press – $10.99) 309 pages (Romance)
  • Oblivion by Arnaldur Indridason (Vintage – $18.99) 345 pages (Mystery)
  • The Pact by Amanda West Lewis (Red Deer Press – $12.95) 352 pages (War/History)
  • Thin Air by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur – $15.99US) 390 pages (Mystery)
  • Lead by Kylie Scott (Griffin – $17.50) 305 pages (Romance)
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Shelf Life Magazine – September 2016

Editor’s Notes for Issue #1852016-09-14-shelf-life-september-cover

Every year it gets harder to believe just how fast time flies. Here it is September once more. Summer passes way too fast as we all know Winter seems to drag on indefinitely. We hope that your Summer went well and that you all go in some quality vacation time.

But with the fading of one season into the next comes more time hopefully for reading the books that interest you the most. As always in our issues, we strive to give you a variety of reading options to help you decide which books you want to dive into, in a manner of speaking This issue is no exception with something we hope for everyone.

As always, we love hearing from you and geting your comments on our reviews and the issues in general.

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 September Fiction

Brown-Eyed Girl
by Lisa Kleypas
(St. Martin’s Press – $29.99 – 292 pages)
“…a love story with a host of interesting characters and amusing moments.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Shutter Man
by Richard Montanari
(Mulholland/Little Brown – $31.50 – 416 pages)
“…certainly not for the faint of heart…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Sleeping Giants
by Sylvain Neuvel
(Del Rey – $35.00 – 306 pages)
“If other books are this good, then Neuvel definitely has created must-read fiction.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of September Fiction on the Shelf

Hidden Bodies
by Caroline Kepnes
(Emily Bestler/Atria – $35.99 – 438 pages)
“…presents a most unusual story that is both amusing and serious, whether intentional or not.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Corrupted
by Lisa Scottoline
(St. Martin’s Press  – $32.50 – 424 pages)
“…another winning story from Lisa Scottoline, the queen of courtroom drama.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Suspicion at Sandition
by Carrie Bebris
(Tor – $27.99 – 344 pages)
Reviewed by Ron Heimpel
“Many interesting characters inhabit the book…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

What Remains of Me
by Alison Gaylin
(William Morrow- $31.99 – 375 pages)
“…a classic mystery, one that is irresistible and hard to put down.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Beyond the Ice Limit
by Preston and Child
(Grand Central Publishing – $32.50 – 384 pages)
“…veers from mystery to thriller to science fiction with some horror tossed in for good measure.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Black Orchid
by Vaughn C. Hardacker
(Skyhorse- $25.99 – 356 pages)
“…one of those tense dramas that keep the reader turning pages…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Find Her
by Lisa Gardner
(Dutton – $35.00 – 403 pages)
“…a book that will stay with you for a long time to come.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

What’s Left Behind
by Gail Bowen
(McClelland & Stewart – $32.00 – 310 pages)
“By book’s end, what is left behind is one terrific book that you will have enjoyed reading.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

And Sometimes I Wonder About You
by Walter Mosley
(Doubleday- $32.00 – 272 pages)
Reviewed by: Ron Heimpel
“The dialogue and situations is what gives the book all its charm and intrigue.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

NYPD Red 4
by James Patterson & Marshall Karp
(Little Brown – $34.00 – 332 pages)
“…there is a definite twist…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

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Non-Fiction Section
Best of September Non-Fiction

Art: A Visual History
By Robert Cumming
(DK Books – $34.00 – 414 pages)
“…the idea reference book, offering a visual history in art of the most impressive kind.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Sinatra The Chairman
by James Kaplan
(Doubleday – $45.00 – 980 pages)
“…it is worth time and effort spent learning about the life of this legend.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of September Non-Fiction on the Shelf

Curbside Modern Street Food from A Vagabond Chef
by Adam Hynam-Smith
(Whitecap – $32.95 – 294 pages)
“…they offer 170-plus recipes that anyone can try at home.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Disney Pixar Funny – Twenty-Five Years of Laughter From the Pixar Story Room
Forward by John Lassiter
(Chronicle- $40.95 – 170 pages)
“Sometimes what did not make the movies are as funny as what came in the final cut.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shock Suspenstories: The EC Archives Volume 3
(Dark Horse – $54.99 – 220 pages)
“The writing here is very slick.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Four Wars of 1812
by D. Peter Macleod
(Douglas & McIntyre – $19.95 – 96 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…it is a very unique look all the more so by its briefness.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Pretty Happy – Healthy Ways to Love Your Body
by Kate Hudson with Billie Fitzpatrick
(Dey Street – $33.50 – 240 pages)
“…filled with positive advice to make your life and world all the more meaningful.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Bench Bosses
by Matthew Dibiase
(Fenn/McClelland & Stewart – $35.00 – 528 pages)
“Hockey purists will enjoy the book, likely getting into lively debates about the choices.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Woody
by David Evanier
(St. Martin’s Press – $32.50 – 384 pages)
“The book is neither a hatchet job or one where Allen wears a halo by book’s end.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Healing Foods Cookbook
by Gary Null Ph.D
(Skyhorse  – $35.99 – 392 pages)
“…definitely blends the best of all worlds with  book that is about vegan recipes…”
Rating: 3 1/2 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 and Spring, 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. We are positive you will agree with our choices.

People Who Knew Me
by Kim Hooper
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.99 – 296 pages)
“Kim Hooper’s debut is a most entertaining read…”

Just Fall
by Nina Sadowsky
(Ballantine – $34.00 – 288 pages)
“The book is all about secrets and how they can become bigger than anyone involved with them.”

Misery Bay
by Chris Angus
(Yucca – $38.99 – 391 pages)
“Tuttle is definitely in over his head and with the help of a most unusual cast of characters ventures into the madness.”

The Woman in Blue
by Elly Griffiths
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $34.95 – 358 pages)
“Elly Griffiths can take any story and craft it into a masterpiece which she routinely does.”

13 Ways of Looking At A Fat Girl
by Mona Awad
(Penguin – $20.00 – 214 pages)
“…one of the most must-read books of the year, definitely bringing a little bit of everything to this imaginative work.”

Fall of Light
by Steve Erikson
(Bantam Press – $27.99 – 838 pages)
“Whatever the author touches in terms of story you know it has to be good, with dark moments, dark characters and more than its share of violence.”

Over Your Dead Body
by Dan Wells
(Tor – $20.99 – 303 pages)
“It is book five of the JOHN CLEAVER series, and with each one, things get more complex and thrilling.”

Hellfire
by Karin Fossum
(Harvill Secker – $25.00 – 276 pages)
“…another classic mystery, thriller, this one packed with nothing but intense chapters.”

Shooting the Sphinx
by Avram Noble Ludwig
(Forge – $37.99 – 317 pages)
“…a great read…”

Birdie’s Happiest Halloween
by Sujean Rim
(Little Brown – $20.49 – 32 pages)
“The book lets children see they can be anything they want to be if they set their mind to it.”

Gabby Wonder Girl
by Joyce Grant – Illustrated by Jan Dolby
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“The book is a great way to get children to spell and seek information based on obvious clues.”

Tales from the New York Rangers Locker Room
by Gilles Villemure and Mike Shalin
(Sports Publishing – $30.99 – 190 pages)
“Dozens of stories many of which were never made public before, form the basis of the book…”

How To Care For Aging Parents 3rd Edition
by Virginia Morris
(Workman – $28.95 – 670 pages)
“…essential reading for anyone with elderly parents no matter their age and whatever their health conditions.”

Cracking the Aging Code
by Josh Mitteldorf & Dorion Sagan
(Flatiron – $38.99 – 326 pages)
“They manage to give the reader much more than food for thought…”

Cats Don’t Bark
by Shane Hipps
(Center Street – $31.50 – 211 pages)
“The book unlocks your potential in this universe and lets you know where you fit in, in your little niche.”

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.

  • Jason’s Why by Beth Goobie (Red Deer Press – $8.95) 80 pages
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve by Diana Lopez (Little Brown – $20.49) 394 pages
  • Sammy and the Headless Horseman by Rona Arato (Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $12.95) 226 pages
  • His Claim by Opal Carew (Griffin – $17.50) 278 pages
  • For the Love of Mike by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur – $18.50) 326 pages