Shelf Life Magazine – November 2016

2016-11-27-november-shelf-coverEditor’s Notes for Issue #187

No matter how many issues of SHELF LIFE have been created over these past eighteen-plus years, it is always a challenge to present to you the best in books, those titles that are of the most interest to you, the reader. Each time out, we receive books that seem to tower above the rest, but the majority of books are most worthy of your attention.

In this issue, you will discover plenty of top-flight fiction, and non-fiction that will appeal to many as well. The Fall is always a time of anticipation in the book world and will offer a little plug for the upcoming December issue of Shelf Life, which features our annual BOOKS AS HOLIDAY GIFTS BUYING GUIDE. We still believe that pretty well every book in every issue is worthy of purchasing for yourself or for other book lovers. Enjoy!

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

Paul Sutter

Fiction Section
Best Fiction Books for November

Secret Sisters
by Jayne Ann Krentz
(Berkley – $34.95 – 342 pages)
“…continues the uncanny manner in which Krentz tells a most compelling story.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Redemption Road
by John Hart
(Thomas Dunne – $38.99 -417 pages)
“It is a book that will hold your attention from page 1 to page 417.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

by Scott Frank
(Knopf – $34.95 – 340 pages)
“If Shaker is any indication of Scott Frank’s literary talents, we are going to be anticipating many future books in this series.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of November Fiction

End of Watch
by Stephen King
(Scribner – $36.99 – 436 pages)
“We would have expected nothing less from King, who truly saved the best for last.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

You Will Know Me
by Megan Abbott
(Little Brown – $31.50 – 346 pages)
“…is all about parents pushing their children past their limits.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Violent Crimes
by Philip Margolin
(Harper – $33.50 – 292 pages)
“…offers a little something for everyone.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Extreme Prey
by John Sandford
(Putnam – $38.00 – 406 pages)
“Sandford writes all his books with great realism, with few if any over-the-top assaults or antics.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The 14th Colony
by Steve Berry
(Minotaur – $32.50 – 446 pages)
“Berry covers all the bases in terms of action and intricate plotlines.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Ways of the World
by Robert Goodard
(Bantam Press – $23.95 – 404 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“…you’ve got the making of a great novel that delivers power-packed mystery and page-turning drama.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

by Lars Kepler
(McClelland & Stewart – $24.95 – 516 pages)
“…definitely a book that will stalk your mind long after putting the book down.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Murderer’s Daughter
by Jonathan Kellerman
(Ballantine – $35.00 – 364 pages)
“The book, unlike an Alex Deleware novel, is not engrossing reading.”
Rating: 2 1/2 bookmarks

The House of Secrets
by Brad Meltzer & Tod Goldberg
(Grand Central Publishing – $34.00 – 352 pages)
“…makes for a most explosive work, one that people will be talking about for a long time.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Danielle Steel
(Delacorte Press – $35.00 – 322 pages)
“…does have its moments, yet in places the book seems very predictable, making a reader wish there was more happening.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

The Promise
by Robert Crais
(Putnam – $33.95 – 402 pages)
“Robert Crais brings (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike) back, bigger and better than ever.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Double Switch
by T.T. Monday
(Doubleday – $33.95 – 224 pages)
“T.T. Monday steps up to the plate and connects with another great novel.”
Rating: 3 1/2bookmarks


Non-Fiction Section
Best Non-Fiction Books for November

Enter Helen
Brooke Hauser
(Harper – $35.99 – 464 pages)
“Brooke Hauser offers a thorough analysis of her life and times, along with what her vision meant to women’s issues, then and now.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Higher: 100 Years of Boeing
by Russ Banham
(Chronicle – $47.00 – 192 pages)
“…the ideal book for aviation enthusiasts who want a complete history of the company.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of November Non-Fiction

Bond by Design: The Art of James Bond Films
by Meg Simmonds
(DK Books – $55.00 – 316 pages)
“…a different sort of publication, but an important one to lovers and followers of this movie franchise.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Sleep Smarter
by Shawn Stevenson
(Rodale – $31.50 – 262 pages)
“…the information will be so riveting you would never hit dreamland with the book in your hands.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Cured by Nature
by Tara Mackey
(Skyhorse – $38.99 – 310 pages)
“…a book of hope, healing gradually to the point where the true you will emerge and win the battle.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Exquisite Mayhem (The Spectacular and Erotic World of Wrestling)
by Theo Ehret – Edited by Cameron Jamie & Mike Kelly
(Taschen – $49.99US – 512 pages)
“…an affectionate look back at what was high entertainment from the golden age of the sport.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

How To Be A Bad Bitch
by Amber Rose
(Gallery – $36.50 – 242 pages)
“…she gives down-to-earth advice that people can use.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Over the Top and Back: An Autobiography
by Tom Jones
(Blue Rider Press – $33.50 – 424 pages)
“…shows a face that is familiar but decidedly different from what we remember from the sixties and seventies.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Backroads of Ontario 4th Edition Expanded and Updated
by Ron Brown
(Firefly – $29.95 – 236 pages)
“He gives great travel ideas to little known and well-known parts of Ontario.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Labor of Love – The Invention of Dating
by Moira Weigel
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux – $37.00 – 292 pages)
“Weigel offers a book about dating then and now.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Of All the Gin Joints
by Mark Bailey – Illustrated by Edward Hemingway
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill – $28.95 – 324 pages)
“…filled with more than enough amusing anecdotes about the actors, authors, and directors who were part of the silver screen.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Fear and Clothing (Unbuckling American Style)
by Cintra Wilson
(Norton – $33.95 – 322 pages)
“…takes us on a fashion road trip to view what is out there across America.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** 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.

The Flood Girls
by Richard Fifield
(Gallery – $34.00 – 326 pages)
“…as diverse a cast of characters as you would ever wish to see in a book.”

Razor Girl
by Carl Hiassen
(Knopf- $35.95 – 335 pages)
“…marks the return of Carl Hiassen to doing what he does best, creating wild and wicked stores…”

Everyone Pays
by Seth Harwood
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 310 pages)
“…a classic tale of revenge where the bad guys suffer. It reminds one of the Dexter series…”

by Michael and Daniel Palmer
(St. Martin’s Press – $38.99 – 372 pages)
“…the type of book hat will have you sitting up long into the night to finish.”

Dear Mr. M
by Herman Koch
(Hogarth – $35.00 – 402 pages)
“Herman Koch definitely provides novels that are food for thought.”

The Watcher In the Wall
by Owen Laukkanen
(Putnam – $35.00 – 356 pages)
“…will definitely chill you because of the subject matter and also because of the real life problems with teenage suicides.”

Indeh: The Story of the Apache Wars
by Ethan Hawke & Greg Ruth
(Grand Central Publishing – $30.00 – 232 pages)
“It makes for a most interesting history lesson.”

My Father’s Son
by Farley Mowat
(Douglas & McIntyre – $19.95 – 420 pages)
“…the book is a tribute to his father, Angus…the book is filled with the correspondence between father and son.”

Stanley Kubrick and Me: Thirty Years At His Side
by Emilio D’Alessandro with Filippo Ulivieri
(Arcade – $42.99 – 358 pages)
“…talks with great respect and admiration about the man.”

Extreme Transformation (Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 Days)
by Chris and Heid Powell
(Hachette – $32.50 – 304 pages)
“…they show readers the key to losing weight for good…”

The Baseball Whisperer (A Small Town Coach Who Shaped Big League Dreams)
by Michael Tackett
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $34.95 – 255 pages)
“This is really a feel-good baseball book about Merl Eberly, a man who truly found his field of dreams.”

The Busy Brooms
by Carole Gerber – Illustrated by Michael Fleming
(Doubleday – $16.99 – 28 pages)
“The illustrations are all fun and easy for children to follow and understand.”

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.

  • November 9 by Colleen Hoover (Atria – $21.00 – 312 pages)
  • Nod by Adrian Barnes (Titan – $19.50 – 272 pages)
  • Kiss Me That Way by Laura Trentham (St. Martin’s Press – $8.50 – 342 pages)
  • The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne (St. Martin’s Press – $10.99 – 360 pages)