Shelf Life Magazine – March 2017

2017 March Shelf CoverEditor’s Notes for Issue #191

Life really is filled with more curves and twists than a pretzel as they say. This issue was to have been started about a week or more ago, but then computer problems which crop up from time to time hijacked that idea. As a result, a new hard drive was necessary, keeping me off the computer for a while. But it did provide more time to read books and as you will find in this issue, there is the usual assortment of amazing titles by the best authors in the writing world and some newcomers to the profession. Whatever your taste may be in reading, hopefully, you will find a book or two or more to your liking.

As noted on the final page, Shelf Life is always seeking out new reviewers to review books. Let us know if it interests you. You get a book to review and keep and offers readers your own perspective on your impressions of the book. Send an email to Hope to hear from your soon.

And before I forget, please pick up the April issue of Shelf Life, as it is our 19th-anniversary issue!

Paul Sutter

Fiction Section

Best March Fiction on the Shelf

Vince Flynn’s Order to Kill
by Kyle Mills
(Emily Bestler/Atria – $34.99 -374 pages)
“…definitely offers the same suspense and thrills that became a trademark under the skillful style of Flynn”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Boy in the Shadows
by Carl-Johan Vallgren
(Quercus – $26.99 – 296 pages)
“…a true classic mystery that is both baffling and mesmerizing for the reader.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
(Little Brown – $34.00 – 368 pages)
“…second only to ALEX CROSS in terms of excitement and read reactions.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of March Fiction on the Shelf

Clockwork Lives
by Kevin J. Anderson & Neil Peart
(ECW Press – $27.95 – 400 pages)
“…even more incredible tale that really makes the series sizzle.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Kid
by Ron Hansen
(Scribner – $35.00 – 301 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…Hansen has developed a narrative of the live, loves and legacy of the outlaw that reads more like the dime store novels that Kid occupied, than a textbook.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Tricky Twenty-Two
by Janet Evanovich
(Bantam – $35.00 – 282 pages)
“…played for laughs and fun.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Danielle Steel
(Delacorte Press – $38.95 – 326 pages)
“…a good book but not as magical as some of her previous works. But that is not to say you won’t find it worthy of reading.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

The Obsidian Chamber
by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
(Grand Central Publishing – $36.50 – 406 pages)
“While the book does not have the same frenzied intensity and torrid pace of many previous novels in the series, it still is competent enough to keep the reader guessing.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Lady Cop Makes Trouble
by Amy Stewart
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $37.00 – 310 pages)
“These books remain a joy to read, and we wait to see what will happen in the next episode of the trials and tribulations of the Kopp sisters.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Off the Grid
by J.C. Box
(Putnam – $35.00 – 373 pages)
“…off the charts when it comes to suspenseful reading.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Strong Cold Dead
by Jon Land
(Forge- $37.99 – 350 pages)
“…the action comes at a steady pace…it builds to a major crescendo, making the final chapters the sort of ones you stay up past your bedtime to finish.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Treachery at Lancaster Gate
by Anne Perry
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 288 pages)
“Perry has this down to a science.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


Non-Fiction Section
Best March Non-Fiction on the Shelf

Last Girl Before Broadway
by Leslie Bennetts
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 420 pages)
“Bennett’s book covers all aspects of Joan River’s life.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The NHL 100 Years in Pictures & Stories
by Bob Duff & Ryan Dixon
(Firefly – $35.00 – 224 pages)
“…as complete as they come, mentioning the most important aspects of hockey during the last century.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

In Such Good Company (Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox)
by Carol Burnet
(Crown-Archetype – $37.00 – 310 pages)
“..Carol talks about the most memorable moments of the show, along with the guest stars who took part in the wild and crazy antics and sketches that created so many laughs.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of March Non-Fiction on the Shelf

David Bowie: Changes – His Life in Pictures 1947-2016
by Chris Welch
(Carlton – $39.95 – 162 pages)
“…it shows Bowie in every stage of life and music.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir
by Lita Ford
(Dey Street – $33.50 – 262 pages)
“It is the telling of her love for family and children that seems the most powerful message of the book. This runaway has truly come home with her memoir.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Mysterious World of Doctor Strange
by Billy Wrecks, Nick Jones & Danny Graydon
(DK Books – $30.99 – 180 pages)
“If you thought you knew all about the man, there is some new revelation in the book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

In the Country We Love
by Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford
(Henry Holt – $37.00 – 259 pages)
“Diane Guerrero speaks volumes of her life, family and her very deep sense of personal loss.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Lincoln in the World
by Kevin Peraino
(Crown – $30.00 – 419 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“While the book does look inwardly at the United States, it also looks externally to discuss how Lincoln was transformed by the events of the day, from a backwoods “bumpkin” to a great national and international leader.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Taylor Swift: This Is Our Song
by Tyler Conroy
(Simon & Schuster – $34.99 – 290 pages)
“It is a must-have for people who cannot get enough of the popular singer.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Bright Particular Stars: Canadian Performers
by Martin Hunter
(Mosaic Press – $59.95 – 516 pages)
“…shows us thirty-eight of the best and brightest stars…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose
by Melanne Verveer & Kim K. Azzarelli
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $35.00 – 244 pages)
“The book offers a blueprint for change and making a major difference in the world of today and tomorrow.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Beasts Werewolves, Serial Killers and Man-Eaters
by Gustavo Sanchez Romeo & S.R. Schwalk
(Skyhorse – $38.99 – 316 pages)
“…the author offers us front-row seats to the madness that held the area hostage for several years.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

They’re Playing Our Song
by Carole Bayer Sager
(Simon & Schuster – $37.00 – 337 pages)
“One thing bout the book is the honesty within the pages about her passions, fears, and what meant the most in life to her.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook (Entertaining For Every Occasion)
by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
(Little Brown – $42.00 – 440 pages)
“…one of her biggest and most ambitious editions, filled with so many recipes that are definitely more than food for thought.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Books for Younger Readers ***

In this section, Shelf Life is including reviews for readers of all ages, from younger children who enjoy picture stories, to teens who are part of the young adult (YA) category. The reviews are much shorter than in previous sections, as we wanted to bring as many books to the attention of parents who might consider some of these books for family members. No books are given as all are recommended.

Reckoning (Book One) Renegade (Book Two) Resurgence (Book Three)
by Kerry Wilkinson
(St. Martin’s Griffin – $21.95)
“The books are all must-reads…”

The Night Children
by Sarah Tsiang – Art by Delphine Bodet
(Annick Press – $19.95 – 32 pages)
“…a beautifully illustrated children’s book.”

The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito
by Tomson Highway – Illustrated by Sue Todd
(Fifth House – $24.95 – 70 pages)
“…the book is a stage play brought to book form with stage directions and a sense of fun and frolic.”

5 Giraffes
by Anne Innis Dagg
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – #24.95 – 64 pages)
“…the book looks at the lives of five such animals and how they are faring in the world.”

Those That Cause Fear
by Neil Christopher – Illustrated by Germaine Arnaktauyok
(Inhabit Media – $16.95 – 32 pages)
“…a most compelling work for children.”

Paperback Picks

Space is limited in this issue, but we wanted to draw to your attention some recent paperback and trade paperback books. There will only be a very short mention of the book as we wanted to list as many as possible for your reading pleasures and possibly as stocking stuffer gifts for friends.

  • Must Love Wieners by Casey Griffin (St. Martin’s Press – $10.99 – 360 pages)
  • Cracked by Barbara Leslie (Titan – $19.50 – 373 pages)
  • Hunters by Whitley Strieber (Tor – $9.99 – 383 pages)
  • Diamonds and Pearl by K’Wan (Griffin – $23.99 – 408 pages)
  • In A Dark Woods by Ruth Ware (Vintage – $16.99 – 342 pages)