Shelf Life Magazine – April 2017

ShelfLifeApril2017coverEditor’s Notes for Issue #192

Anniversaries are always time for celebration. Whether it is a wedding, first date, first time you met someone special, or any other number of reasons, reflecting back on a particular time or day holds special meaning. Shelf Life once more is celebrating something special, and that is the issue you are holding reflects our 19th anniversary issue. It all began in 1998 and has been going strong ever since.
Of course, much has happened during the nearly two decades of our existence, and there have been so many challenges to bring you the best in books, ones that we heartily recommend. Thousands of books have come across our desks and it would be impossible to state an exact number of reviews we featured, but we can imagine well over five thousand reviews minimum have been published.
A lot has happened over these years including the recent passing of my Mother Joan, heart surgeries, and much more, but going forward Shelf Life is determined as ever to keep offering you the best in books. We’re not going anywhere, and we hope you, the faithful reader are not either, coming back to discover which books are the best for yourself or your family. Thanks so much for sticking with us this far. There is still a long way to go.

Paul Sutter

Best April Fiction

Small Great Things
by Jodi Picoult
(Random House Canada – $32.00 – 470 pages)
“The book does not play out as some might expect, with some interesting changes of heart that are powerful and unforgettable.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Woman in Cabin 10
by Ruth Ware
(Simon & Schuster – $24.99 – 339 pages)
“…definitely movie material.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rise the Dark
by Michael Koryta
(Little Brown – $31.50 – 388 pages)
“…one of those books that will captivate you totally, keeping you turning pages.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of April Fiction

The Devourers
by Indra Das
(Del Rey – $35.00 – 308 pages)
“…truly food for thought, certainly a most interesting debut…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

A Climate of Fear
by Fred Vargas
(Harvill Secker – $25.00 – 410 pages)
“This proves that the author can take any story and carefully construct it to the point that it turns into a most memorable literary joy ride.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Linda Howard
(William Morrow – $21.99 – 384 pages)
“…it would have made a good book even better if the romance took a slight backseat to a life in mortal damage.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Wouldn’t It Be Deadly
by D.E. Ireland
(Minotaur – $28.95 – 320 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“The writing is fantastic, and once you get started reading, it is difficult to put the book down.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The City of Mirrors
by Justin Cronin
(Doubleday Canada – $37.00 – 604 pages)
“Many characters are still complex…they all bring the plot together, creating a tale for the ages.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Two by Two
by Nicholas Sparks
(Grand Central Publications – $35.00 – 486 pages)
“…a most engaging story of love, loss, and finding love again.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Jonathan Kellerman
(Ballantine – $37.95 – 350 pages)
“It is the psychological overtones of the book that challenge the reader to try and solve the cases right along with Alex.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Other Side of Silence
by Philip Kerr
(Putnam – $35.00 – 400 pages)
“What makes the book work so well is Kerr’s attention to detail, especially the World War Two acts and actions.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

by Chris Roberson
(Night Shade Books – $32.95 – 350 pages)
“The next book in the series FIREWALKERS continues this most entertaining saga.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Smoke and Mirrors
by Elly Griffiths
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $35.50 – 338 pages)
“…offers another atmospheric and intelligent thriller, one with as surprising a conclusion as found in book one.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks


Non-Fiction Section
Best Non-Fiction on the Shelf

Tippi: A Memoir
by Tippi Hedren with Lindsay Harrison
(William Morrow – $35.99 – 274 pages)
“…a book filled with heart and soul, happiness and sadness…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic
by Elizabeth Vargas
(Grand Central Publishing – $35.00 – 247 pages)
“Elizabeth offers a very intense tale of battling the bottle.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Strangers In A New Land
by J.M. Adovasio and David Pedler
(Firefly – $49.95 – 348 pages)
“..the ideal reference book for those seeking facts about the first Americans.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of April Non-Fiction

The Vegetable Butcher
by Cara Mangini
(Workman – $45.00 – 346 pages)
“…readers will discover the precise way to prepare any vegetable you are craving.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Hustle, Loyalty, Respect: The World of John Cena
(WWE/DK Books – $29.00 – 272 pages)
“…this one is an exceptional treat for those who are serious or casual fans.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Raw. Vegan. Not Gross
by Laura Miller
(Flatiron Books – $36.99 – 236 pages)
“filled with recipes offering the best of all worlds.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

by Sante D’Orazio
(Chronicle – $42.95 – 240 pages)
“The book is all about the Polaroid, that old school camera where pictures developed right before our eyes.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

I Loved Here in the Movies: Working with the Legendary Actresses of Hollywood
by Robert J. Wagner with Scott Eyman
(Viking – $36.00 – 244 pages)
“…it is definitely a who’s who of female Hollywood screen legend. Wagner talks candidly about the greatest actresses of all time.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Faith in the Spotlight
by Megan Alexander
(Howard – $33.99 – 292 pages)
“…focuses less on the glamourous aspect of interacting with famous people, but more on the spiritual side of life…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New American
by T.J. Stiles
(Knopf – $39.00 – 582 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…introduces us, as few authors have before, to Custer the man…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

My Healthy Dish
by My Nguyen
(Skyhorse – $38.99 – 184 pages)
“…one filled with almost one hundred recipes that readers will find tempting and worth duplicating.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Devil’s Diary
by Robert K. Wittman and David Kinney
(Harper – $42.50 – 515 pages)
“By looking into the diary that he left behind, there is even more insight acquired into his mind…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Vegas Diaries
by Holly Madison
(Dey Street – $31.99 – 274 pages)
“…by writing openly about distancing herself from the past, (she) can fully concentrate on her future.”
Rating: 3 1/2 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.

Stories of the Aurora
by Joan Marie Galat – Illustrated by Lorna Bennett
(Whitecap – $16.95 – 72 pages)
“….has made reading fun…”

Chico’s First Trip to the Dentist
by Jen Dafoe – Illustrated by Evan Shoman
(Marquis Books – $12.95 – 36 pages)
“…a children’s book that would help children with their dental fears.”

The Owl and the Lemming
by Roselynn Akulukjuk – Illustrated by Amanda Sandland
(Inhabit – $36.95 – 32 pages)
“…a fun book that will amuse young readers.”

Do You Know Dinosaurs?
by Alain M. Bergeron, Michel Qunintin + Sampar – Illustrations by Sampar
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $9.95 – 66 pages)
“…a book that is filled with all the information you would ever need to know.”

Song Within My Heart
by David Bouchard – Art by Allen Sapp
(Red Deer Press – $24.95 – 32 pages with CD)
“…a classic coming of age tale of a young First Nations boy…”

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.

Redemption by Kate Douglas(St. Martin’s Press – $9.99 – 325 pages)
Intense Pleasure by Lora Leigh (St. Martin’s Press – $10.99 – 312 pages)
Danger Sweetheart by MaryJanice Davidson (Griffin – $15.99 – 318 pages)
Draw Me Close by Nicole Michaels (St. Martin’s Press – $9.99 – 323 pages)
Then He Kissed Me by Laura Trentham (St. Martin’s Press – $8.59 – 308 pages)