Shelf Life Magazine – October 2017


Editor’s Notes for Issue #198October 2017 Shelf Cover.jpg

Life is truly full of challenges and with each issue of Shelf Life (and we are approaching issue 200 in December), I take the challenge personally and try to bring you the best issues possible. Although it would be impossible due to time and space to feature every book printed, one of the joys of creating the issues is to pick and choose the books that might be of most interest. Of course, we feature the popular sellers of the day, but we also strive to showcase first time authors and those obscure titles that mainstream media is neglecting. It is sometimes like a balancing act, but based on the constant feedback we are receiving, there has not been a single email that said we are doing this all wrong and need to focus on other titles. In nearly twenty years of creating this, that is most gratifying.

We hope that continues with this issue, which has a little bit of something for everyone. Enjoy and please keep those emails coming to keep us on our toes.

Paul Sutter

Fiction Section

Best October Fiction

The Fix
by David Baldacci
(Grand Central Publishing – $38.00 – 418 pages)
“…startling revelations coming at a frantic pace”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

My Husband’s Wife
by Jane Corry
(Pamela Dorman/Viking – $35.00 – 373 pages)
“This is the type of tale that seasoned authors pen years into their career.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Come Sundown
by Nora Roberts
(St. Martin’s Press – $38.99 – 466 pages)
“…classic Nora Roberts, incorporating every element necessary for a tension-packed thriller.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of October Fiction

Earthly Remains
by Donna Leon
(Atlantic Monthly Press – $32.95 – 310 pages)
“You are never disappointed in these stories, making EARTHLY REMAINS another must-read tale.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

by Sarah Jio
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 272 pages)
“…a highly addictive work of fiction, the sort of book that draws you in, never letting go.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Marcus Sakey
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 310 pages)
“Marcus Sakey has taken fiction to a new level, and the reader totally enjoys this joyride.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Daniel Cole
(Ecco – $34.95 – 374 pages)
“It will be interesting to see how the author portrays Wolf down the road – hero or villain?”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Man Overboard
by J.A. Jance
(Touchstone – $34.99  – 337 pages)
“The ALI REYNOLDS series of books have become some of J.A. Jance’s best mysteries.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

by Chris Bohjalian
(Doubleday Canada – $24.95 – 286 pages)
“This could be the sleeper hit of the year.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

One Perfect Lie
by Lisa Scottoline
(St. Martin’s Press – $38.99 – 355 pages)
“…displays her diversity once more in plot and execution of plot.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

I See You
by Clare Mackintosh
(Berkley – $35.00 – 374 pages)
“There are many creepy moments that will have you glancing over your shoulder after finishing it.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Bart Paul
(Arcade – $38.99 – 299 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“In the end, it is the characters more than the plot that moves this novel.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

My (Not So) Perfect Life
by Sophie Kinsella
(Dial Press – $35.00 – 438 pages)
“By book’s end, you will be rewarded with a great source and lesson learned.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Dancer’s Lament
by Ian C. Esslemont
(Bantam – $26.95  – 401 pages)
Reviewed by Ron Heimpel
“It definitely provides a solid cornerstone for what is to come down the road.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks


Non-Fiction Section
Best October Non-Fiction

The Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club Official Centennial Publication 1917-2017
(McClelland & Stewart – $50.00 – 375 pages)
“It is the most complete book written about the team. It is a book you will enjoy looking through countless times.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Georgian Bay Discovering A Unique North American Ecosystem
by Nick Eyles
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $60.00 – 275 pages)
“It strives to showcase the area and why it is so important to the entire ecosystem.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rest of October Non-Fiction

Psychedelia 101 – Iconic Underground Rock Albums 1966-1970
by Richard Morton Jack
(Sterling – $31.99 – 260 pages)
“…it is…the thoroughness of the contest and comments that also make the book a must-read.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

When You Find Out the World Is Against You and Other Funny Memories About Awful Moments
by Kelly Oxford
(Collins – $29.99 – 310 pages)
“She take slices of life, mentioning the good and the bad. ”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Filthy Rich
by James Patterson, John Connilly and Tim Malloy
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 288 pages)
“…quite the departure because it is non-fiction, a true story that is shocking and unnerving on many levels.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle (The History and Rise of Women’s Wrestling)
by Pat Laprade & Dan Murphy
(ECW Press – $22.95 – 422 pages)
“In this exhaustively researched book, the authors give an intelligent analysis of the roots of female grappling.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Complete Book of Soccer
by Clive Gifford & John Malam
(Firefly – $45.00 – 320 pages)
“…the perfect reference book for the fans who live and breathe the sport.”
Rating:  3 1/2 bookmarks

The Art of Disney Pixar Cars 3
Foreword by John Lassiter
(Chronicle – $57.00 – 168 pages)
“…we get to see firsthand how the film was created.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Marvel Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
by Adam Bray, Lorraine Cink, John Sazaklis & Sven Wilson
(DK Books – $24.99 –  240 pages)
“This book is for both the casual and diehard Marvel maniac.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Television: A Biography
by David Thomson
(Thames & Hudson  – $45.95 – 420 pages)
“…a most thorough look at how television has evolved for better or for worse.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Rowdy: The Roddy Piper Story
by Ariel Teal Toombs & Cold Baird Toombs
(Random House Canada – $34.00 -396 pages)
“Roddy would be most pleased the manner in which two of his children have related his life .”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Fall from Grace
by Tim Hornbaker
(Sports Publications – $38.99 – 263 pages)
“…takes us back to the glory days of baseball, to a kinder, gentler time as the saying goes when the love of the sport took precedence over inflated salaries.”
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.

Unquiet Ghosts
by Glenn Meade
(Howard – $35.00 – 416 pages)
“This is an absolutely chilling and thrilling enthralling read…”

Shadow Man
by Alan Drew
(Random House – $36.00 – 348 pages)
“…a quality book with a superior storyline and narration.”

I’ll Eat When I’m Dead
by Barbara Bourland
(Grand Central Publishing – $33.98 – 336 pages)
“The book has echoes of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA gone to extremes.”

The Love Killings
by Robert Ellis
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 346 pages)
“…a truly classic killer of a novel.”

by Brynn Chancellor
(Harper – $27.99 – 320 pages)
“…it is the author’s debut novel and a masterful one at that.”

Need You Dead
by Peter James
(Macmillan – $35.95 – 425 pages)
“It is a solid police procedural, taking what seemed…like an open and shut case, but creating a very high level of mystery and suspense.”

The Lake
by Lotte & Soren Hammer
(Bloomsbury – $37.00 – 370 pages)
“…deep in mystery and the complexity of the plot makes for a satisfying read.”

Only the Dead Know Brooklyn
by Chris Vola
(Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press – $36.99 – 296 pages)
“For those who love their vampire fiction with a big amount of bite, they will be in their element…”

The Seventh Sun
by Kent Lester
(Forge – $36.99 – 417 pages)
“…a fantasy-style thriller that will have readers demanding another book – and soon.”

Open Heart – A Cardiac Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table
by Stephen Westaby
(Basic Books – $35.00 – 304 pages)
“…a true eye-opener.”

Women Who Work
by Ivanka Trump
(Portfolio – $35.00 – 246 pages)
“…cites examples of those who have succeeded, with the hope you can follow to some degree in their footsteps.”

Better Than New
by Nicole Curtis
(Artisan – $39.95 – 242 pages)
“The photos and descriptions of the projects tell an amazing story…”

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.

  • The Hero by Donna Grant (St. Martin’s Press – $10.99 – 323 pages)
  • I Dared The Duke by Anna Bennett (St. Martin’s Press – $10.99 – 356 pages)
  • Stay Away by Natalie Hyde (Clockwise Press – $12.95 – 144 pages)