Shelf Life Magazine – August 2017

Editor’s Notes for Issue #1962017 07 25 August Shelf cover

Recently I had a comment from a reader asking why I put comedian Kathy Griffin on the cover of the the May issue, concerning the flack she received from her poor choice in judgement, holding the severed head of President Trump in her hands. The issue was created months before the fact and likely if I was finishing the issue when all this was coming to light, she would not have likely been on the cover. Shelf Life though is not out to criticize what people do right or wrong; our job is to critique books for our readers. And that is what we will always do.

In this issue you are holding, there are over thirty books reviewed with a wide range of subjects of interest, we hope, to most readers, Of course, we cannot possibly include every single book out there, and picking and choosing which books to feature is often a difficult task. But over the past nineteen years, I personally believe we have done a respectable job featuring many impressive titles.

Enjoy the issue and by the way, enjoy what is left of the Summer months, Time as does life, goes way too fast.

Paul Sutter

Best August Fiction

The Dry
by Jane Harper
(FlatIron – $36.99 – 330 pages)
“…filled with great characters, suspense and a complex mystery that will have you totally mesmerized.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Dark Room
by Jonathan Moore
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $34.00 – 294 pages)
“…brimming with mystery and intrigue, making it a winner in every sense of the word.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of August Fiction

Thrice The Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d
by Alan Bradley
(Doubleday Canada – $29.95 – 310 pages)
“Bradley writes the character of young Flavia with the wisdom of ages…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Escape Clause
by John Sandford
(Putnam – $39.00 – 392 pages)
“There is plenty happening in the book, which is always the mark of a John Sandford novel.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Devil’s Triangle
by Catherine Coulter & J.T. Ellison
(Gallery – $36.99 – 495 pages)
“…a devilishly good work of  sky-high suspense.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Humans, Bow Down
by James Patterson & Emily Raymond
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 373 pages)
“…a definite departure from the norm.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Trapped Girl
by Robert Dugoni
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 364 pages)
“…the perfect mystery for those who crave something different…”
Rating: 3 1/1 bookmarks

The Chemist
by Stephanie Meyer
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 522 pages)
“…a book that can be enjoyed by all ages.  (Meyer) has a unique style, that no matter what genre she tackles, anyone can appreciate.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Whistler
by John Grisham
(Doubleday – $37.00 – 374 pages)
“When it comes to legal thrillers, you can never go wrong with a John Grisham book.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Robert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay
by Reed Farrel Coleman
(Putnam – $36.00 – 340 pages)
“…keeps the pace frantic and unpredictable, just what mystery lovers crave in a book.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Dead Lands
by Benjamin Percy
(Grand Central – $29.00 – 416 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“As the reader is swept away by the multitude of stories and characters, they begin to realize this is like no story they have read before.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Ice Beneath Her
by Camilla Grebe
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 355 pages)
“Right from page one, you are hooked by the story.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Wedding Cake Murder
by Joanne Fluke
(Kensington – $28.95 – 370 pages)
Reviewed by Ron Heimpel
“The book is filling and yummy just like the ingredients themselves..”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks


Non-Fiction Section
Best August Non-Fiction

The Rolling Stones: All the Songs – The Story Behind Every Track
by Philippe Margotin & Jean-Michel Guesdon
(Black Dog & Leventhal – $65.00 – 704 pages)
“…what way better to celebrate every tune than with this massive coffee table classic.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

by Arnold Zageris
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $75.00 – 337 pages)
“…the reader would have to see the book on their own, to understand and appreciate just how breathtaking it is.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Option B
by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant
(Knopf – $34.00 – 230 pages)
“…talks in detail about life after (her husband’s death) and how the world of Sheryl and her family was forever changed.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of August Non-Fiction

The Year Canadians Lost Their Mind and Found Their Country: The Centennial of 1967
by Tom Hawthorn
(Douglas & McIntyre – $26.95 – 200 pages)
“…takes us back to that time, where from January 1 onward, every province found something unique to add to the celebrations.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Boss Bitch
by Nicole Lapin
(Crown Business – $36.00 – 382 pages)
“There are dozens of tips that are positive and beneficial that anyone reading the book can discover how it pertains to them. ”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

500 Ballparks From Wooden Seats to Retro Classics
by Eric and Wendy Pastore
(Firefly – $35.95 – 400 pages)
“The fact there are more than 1,000 photos and illustrations shows just how thorough the book is.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Letterman The Last Giant of Late Night
by Jason Zinoman
(Harper – $28.95 – 352 pages)
“…offer and in-dept account and analysis of how Letterman ascended to power.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Eric Clapton: The World’s Greatest Living Guitarist
by Chris Welch
(Carlton – $39.95- 96 pages)
“Fans of Clapton will appreciate this look back at the life and times of a guitar god…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior
by Landry Q. Walker
(DK Books – $31.99 – 200 pages)
“The book is a who’s-who of those she has come in contact with, both heroes and villains.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Disney: They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Musical Years: The 1940s Part One
by Dadier Ghez
(Chronicle – $55.95 – 208  pages)
“Those who enjoy Disney animation today, owe it to themselves to read this book, to learn how what you see today began ingeniously many decades ago.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Princess Diarist
by Carrie Fisher
(Blue Rider Press – $35.00 – 258 pages)
“As this is her final work, it makes all the more worthy of reading, learning of her proudest moments and regrets.”
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 ideal if we could offer full reviews for all books, but space does not permit that to happen. This is why we are again offering an extended section of books worthy of your attention and purchase. The reviews are shorter than the typical reviews found in the previous part of the issue, but suffice it 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 Wide Circumference of Love
by Marita Golden
(Arcade – $38.99 – 292 pages)
“…this book really hits home. It is powerful and filled with much love and hope.”

The Stranger Inside
by Jennifer Jaynes
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 272 pages)
“…a complex mystery that has multi-layers of suspense and plot.”

What She Saw
by Gerard Stembridge
(Harper – $19.99 – 320 pages)
“The book will be impossible to put down once you open that first page.”

Last Day on Earth
by Eric Puchner
(Scribner – $34.00 – 226 pages)
“…a skewed look at life and family, with stories so over the top you have to love them.”

Without Mercy
by Colonel David Hunt & R.J. Pineiro
(Forge – $38.99 – 480 pages)
“…an exhaustive and satisfying read.”

Branard’s Case
by Davide Longo
(MacLehose Press – $26.99US -232 pages)
“…a tension-packed murder tale that is relentless and realistic.”

Who I Am
by Charlotee Ramping with Christophe Bataille – Translated by William Hobson
(Icon – $23.95 – 110 pages)
“…an intimate look at her life before films…”

Don’t Eat This If You’re Taking That
by Madelyn & John Fernstrom
(Skyhorse – $27.99 – 214 pages)
“…the reader is given the straight facts, making this an essential book to add to your library.”

Quivering Desserts and Other Puddings
by Marie Hom
(Brub Street – $34.95 – 160 pages)
“…puts the excitement back in deciding what to make for dessert…”

The First Flute
by David Bouchard – Art by Don Oleze
(Red Deer Press – $24.95 – 282 pages)
“It will trigger a sort of rebirth and more positive attitude towards the foods that benefit you.”

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 hopefully ones you will want to add to your must read list.

  • Hisses and Honey by Shannon Meyer (47North – $21.95- 230 pages)
  • Hurricane by Cherry Adair (St. Martin’s – $10.99 – 328 pages)
  • The Streets Have No King by Jaquavis Coleman (Griffin – $22,99  – 260 pages)