Shelf Life Magazine – June 2018

2018 05 29 June Shelf coverJune has always been a favourite month personally, one of the reasons being it is my birthday month. But as well, Summer officially arrives on the twenty-first of the month, and we enjoy the longest day of the year. Summer signifies freedom, the ending of the school year and thoughts of vacation. It is also a time when many people read more books, either in the backyard, beach and on vacations. It is a great excuse to read and if you are not inclined to open a book, why not make this a Summer project? You have more than thirty-five books to choose from here, giving you perfect ideas for your reading pleasures.

Shelf Life would like to introduce a new reviewer in our pages. We welcome Tori Levang. She is a current Master of Library and Information Sciences student at Western University in London, Ontario. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Her lifelong passion for books bodes well for Shelf Life, and we are honoured to have her on board.

Thank you for picking up this issue, and we encourage you to send us suggestions via email for future books and those books we have reviewed. Enjoy!

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best June Fiction ***

Love Murder
by Saul Black
(St. Martin Press – $36.99 – 345 pages)
“The pace is frantic and the reasons behind the killings and the suspect gives the reader some shocking twists.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Wolves of Winter
by Tyrell Johnson
(Simon & Schuster – $24.99 – 312 pages)
“Tyrell Johnson makes his literary debut, and what a debut it is, the book grabbing you right from page one.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

by Krysten Ritter
(Crown Archetype – $35.00 – 280 pages)
“…filled with a little bit of everything, definitely keeping readers’ interest at peak levels.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of June Fiction ***

The Last Shootist
by Miles Swarthout
(Forge – $28.99 – 350 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“THE LAST SHOOTIST has an ominous feel to what might otherwise be a tale of adventure”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Scott Turow
(Grand Central Publishing – $38.00 – 484 pages)
“The book blends fact and fiction, bringing the reader a book they will not soon forget.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Curious Minds
by Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton
(Bantam – $37.00 – 330 pages)
“The levity and tension makes for the perfect combination, creating an explosive finale.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Mind Game
by Iris Johansen
(St. Martin’s Press – $38.99 – 374 pages)
“The supernatural twists add more intrigue to the plot, which at time seems overwhelming.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Oracle Year
by Charles Soule
(Harper Perennial – $26.99 – 403 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“Realistic, vivid and timely, Soule’s book provides a chilling, intriguing mediation on the implications and repercussions of the power that comes with predicting the future.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Murder Games
by James Patterson & Howard Roughan
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 350 pages)
“You will be more than satisfied at having wandered through this minefield of exceptional writing.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Silent Corner
by Dean Koontz
(Bantam – $37.00 – 454 pages)
“Jane Hawk is a character with great potential and future books are sure to have the same intensity as THE SILENT CORNER.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Quick and Dirty
by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $37.00 – 323 pages)
“…a fast read and one long-time Stuart Woods fans will appreciate.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Don’t Close Your Eyes
by Holly Seddon
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 326 pages)
“…an eye-opening story of how the past defines us.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Dan Brown
(Doubleday – $38.50 – 462 pages)
“The book has the usual tension found in Dan Brown novels, with an epic quest and Langdon in hot pursuit by the villains.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Look for Me
by Lisa Gardner
(Dutton – $35.00 – 393 pages)
“Chalk up another winner for Lisa Gardner. ”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Grave’s A Fine and Private Place
by Alan Bradley
(Doubleday Canada – $29.95 – 338 pages)
“Alan Bradley is a genius when it comes to creating intoxicating and addictive fiction.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Girlfriend
by Michelle Frances
(Pan – $17.99 – 456 pages)
“The story oozes with malice and unpredictability, making sure you will read the book well into the night.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Elizas
by Sara Shepard
(Atria – $35.00 – 342 pages)
“You won’t be disappointed in a book that has a little bit of everything and is a book that grows on you more the further you get into the story.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Looking Glass
by Andrew Mayne
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 308 pages)
“If you enjoy books about serial killers and the frantic search to bring them to justice, then this book will grab you by the lapel and never let go.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Dark Light Dawn
by Jon Land – Created by Fabrizio Boccardi
(Forge – $36.99 – 4330 pages)
“…definitely a book that is intricately plotted and packed with darkness and light fighting for supremacy.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

19 Souls
by J.D. Allen
(Midnight Ink – $22.95 – 330 pages)
“It will be interesting to see where Allen takes Jim Bean next.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Bleak Landing
by Terrie Wood
(Waterfall Press – $18.95 – 308 pages)
“…far from a bleak work.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best of June Non-Fiction ***

I’ll Be Gone By Dark
by Michelle McNamera
(Harper – $34.99 – 330 pages)
“…certainly is tribute to her determination to close the case once and for all.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Tanks 100 Years of Armoured Warfare
by Robin Cross & David Willey
(Andre Deutsch – $79.95 – 132 pages plus 20 removable documents)
“The book represents the ultimate tank guide, one that shows the evolution of the tank and how it became a warfare weapon of choice and importance.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Smithsonian Journey: An Illustrated History of Travel
by Simon Adams, R.G. Grant & Andrew Humphreys
(DK Books – $65.00 – 440 pages)
“Watching history unfold in the book is mesmerizing…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of June Non-Fiction ****

The New Vegetables, Herbs and Fruits: An Illustrated Encyclopedia
by Matthew Biggs, Jekka McVicar & Bob Flowerdew
(Firefly – $45.00 – 704 pages)
“By the time you finish the book (and that may take a while), you will be an expert in all things gardening.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
by Lydia Kang & Nate Pederson
(Workman – $34.95- 344 pages)
“…a truly fascinating book, one that shows the earliest methods of dealing with medical ailments.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
by Michael Wolff
(Henry Holt – $39.00 – 322 pages)
“…we see even more evidence of the uncertainty and sometimes paranoia that is evident in Trumpland.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Panic: The EC Archives Volume 2
(Dark Jones – $64.95 – 202 pages)
“…a must-read for humor fans.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Walk It Off
by Ruth Marshall
(Simon & Schuster – $29.99 – 260 pages)
“…truly a step in the right direction for reassurance.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Everything All at Once
by Bill Nye
(Rodale – $31.50 – 384 pages)
“…touted as a book to ‘unleash your inner nerd, tap into radical curiosity, and solve any problem.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

H.H. Holmes: The True Story of the White City Devil
by Adam Selzer
(Skyhorse- $41.99 – 430 pages)
“…offers some compelling theories about the man and his criminal mind, with death following in his footsteps.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Crazy Is My Superpower
by AJ Mendez Brooks
(Crown Archetype – $34.00 – 272 pages)
“It makes for an interesting read for those who followed her career or want to see how others cope with adversity in life.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Diana The People’s Princess (A Celebration of Her Life and Legacy 20 Years On)
by Nicholas Owen
(Carlton – $39.95 – 210 pages)
“…Nicholas Owen look back at the life of a true Princess.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Fear Factor
by Abigail Marsh
(Basic Books – $36.50 – 320 pages)
“…speaks volumes about life and challenges. It will open your eyes to reasons behind a vast array of life altering attitudes and reactions.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Go Green for Wellness
by Mary McAlary
(Changing Lives Press – $18.95 – 132 pages)
“…offers healthy options for improving your life and health.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

How to Read Nature
by Tristan Gooley
(The Experimental – $25.95 – 170 pages)
“…gives us the ability to truly read nature just like a book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – May 2018

2018 05 Shelf Life cover.jpgNo matter how long Shelf Life has been in existence (20 years), it always is gratifying to receive comments from people who have picked it up recently for the first time. Of course, we have many readers who have been around since issue one, the faithful who look for us every issue. We are glad they have remained on board, as much as those who have just joined us, and hopefully will be around for many years to come.

With Spring entrenched within nature, and thoughts of Summer vacations likely getting into planning mode, one thing is for sure, the book world never goes on vacation. Books are constantly being published, and for that we are grateful. It gives readers and reviewers something to anticipate.

In this issue, you will find some amazing titles that have come across our desks. There is always something for everyone and hopefully even the most finicky of readers will discover a book working looking into.

As always, keep writing and letting us know what titles you want to see reviewed, and we also welcome comments and criticisms. Thanks again for picking us up.

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best May Fiction ***

The Voice Inside
by Brian Freeman
(Thomas & Mercer – $35.95 – 340 pages)
“…while book one was a page turner, this one exceeds that.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Wife
by Alafair Burke
(Harper – $33.50 – 342 pages)
“THE WIFE adds to her superior writing style”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Burial Society
by Nina Sadowsky
(Ballantine – $35.00 – 322 pages)
“…certainly an intense psychological drama readers will have to be patient to appreciate.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of May Fiction ***

The Fallen
by Eric Van Lustbader
(Forge – $38.99 – 430 pages)
“The book works well for readers who enjoy end of the world plots and conspiracy theory.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

A Map of the Dark
by Karen Ellis
(Mulholland – $34.00 – 304 pages)
“…if A MAP OF THE DARK is any indication of its potential, you will be begging for Book Two.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Winner’s Circle
by Gail Bowen
(McClelland & Stewart – $32.00 – 256 pages)
“The narration and the lives of the families, friends and those shattered by the deaths, add heart and soul to the plot.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Wife Between Us
by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
(St/. Martin’s Press – $34.99 – 346 pages)
“…a devilishly entertaining tale, where you have no idea the direction of the plot.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Immortalists
by Chloe Benjamin
(Putnam – $35.00 – 352 pages)
“It is both a morality and mortality tale, one where we can look inward toward our own lives.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Two Kinds of Truth
by Michael Connelly
(Little Brown – $38.00 – 404 pages)
“…a book for Bosch fans and anyone who enjoys a terrific work of fiction.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Storm King
by Brendan Duffy
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 390 pages)
“He does not disappoint with his second book…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Jo Nesbo
(Hogarth Shakespeare – $27.00 – 505 pages)
“MACBETH does justice to Shakespeare who would certainly be impressed by the manner in which Nesbo creates his own police play.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Every Breath You Take
by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
(Simon & Schuster – $35.99 – 288 pages)
“…a great whodunit, the suspect in doubt until the final pages.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions
by Amy Stewart
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt- $37.00 – 374 pages)
“…Amy Stewart has managed to endear herself to us with this must-read series that gets better by the book.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Girl Who Knew Too Much
by Amanda Quick
(Berkley – $36.00 – 355 pages)
“…set in 1930’s Hollywood. It is atmospheric, packed with mystery at every turn.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Looking to the Woods
by Frederique Molay – Translated by Anne Tager & Le French Book
(Amazon Crossing – $21.95 – 230 pages)
“Molay has truly crafted a most intense book, where there is more to the murders than we realize.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

An Unsuitable Match
by Joanna Trollope
(Mantle- $24.99 – 330 pages)
“Joanna Trollope has created novels that stand out from the crowd.”
Rating: 31/2 bookmarks

Robert B. Parker’s Little White Lies
by Ace Atkins
(Pu tnam- $36.00 – 304 pages)
“…Ace Atkins continues in the grand style and tone that Robert B. Parker set when introducing the characters many decades ago.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Dark Traces
by Martin Steyn
(Lapa/Catalyst – $22.95 – 350 pages)
“It is grisly and graphic and no matter how dark the images are, you are fascinated by the manner in which the story is told.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Woman at 1,000 Degrees
by Hallgrimur Helgason
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill – $41.95 – 393 pages)
“…so powerful a book you will be talking about it for weeks after finishing it.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Fall from Grace
by Danielle Steel
(Delacorte Press – $38.99 – 303 pages)
“…another winner from Danielle Steel.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best of May Non-Fiction ***

Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation
(Disney Editions – $60.00 – 386 pages)
“…a must-have book, filled with plenty of facts, and dozens of illustrations…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Paris Fashion: A Cultural History
by Valerie Steel
(Bloomsbury – $54.00 – 334 pages)
“…ranks right up there with her best.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

200 Women Who Will Change The Way You See the World
by Geoff Blackwell & Ruth Hobday – Photographs by Kiera E. Scott
(Chronicle – $70.00 – 400 pages)
“200 WOMEN will definitely, as the book notes ‘change the way you see the world.’ It is an impressive volume.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of May Non-Fiction ****

Flight: The Complete History of Aviation (Updated and Revised 2nd Edition)
by R. G. Grant
(DK Books – $38.95 – 452 pages)
“…gives an informative overview of the world of flight.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Standing Strong
by Patricia Giudice with Emily Liebert
(Gallery – $55.00 – 218 pages)
“It may change your view of her, showing her as someone with true heart and soul.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Jack the Ripper
by Paul Begg & John Bennett
(Carlton Books – $33.95 – 224 pages)
“…filled with CGI crime scenes that have been reconstructed as if police were handling the case today.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Feeding My Mother
by Jann Arden
(Random House Canada – $35.00 – 210 pages)
“…a powerful book that will be remembered for some time.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Backs to the Wall
by D. Peter Macleod
(Douglas & McIntyre – $34.95 – 253 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…a slim volume, the story and the writing of that story packs a powerful punch, unveiling a chapter of our history that is too often glossed over or forgotten about.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life
by John Le Carre
(Viking – $34.95 – 310 pages)
“…he recounts some of the more memorable times of his life, and perhaps what served as inspiration for some of his classic works.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Timekeepers: How the World Became Obsesses with Time
by Simon Garfield
(Cannongate – $35.99 – 352 pages)
“…will impress and dazzle. Reading TIMEKEEPERS will amount to time well spent.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Theresa May: The Enigmatic Prime Minister
by Rosa Prince
(Biteback Publishing – $39.95 – 402 pages)
“…an interesting and fair assessment of her life and times.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Ultimate Marvel
by Adam Bray, Lorraine Cink, Melanie Scott & Stephen Wiacek
(DK Books – $52.00 – 320 pages)
“The writers of the book cover all the bases.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life
by Jonathan Gould
(Crown Archetype – $40.00 – 534 pages)
“The book is quite the tribute, though it often meanders into other areas.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Grouchy Historians
by Ed Asner with Ed Weinberger
(Simon & Schuster – $35.00 – 336 pages)
“Irreverent and amusing, don’t dismiss this as a celebrity fluff piece.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Vegetarianism: A History
by Colin Spender
(Grub Street – $29.95 – 384 pages)
“The book looks at the spiritual and religious reasons for food choices, along with the psychology of the decisions as well.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity
by Karrie Truman
(Robert Rose – $29.95 – 370 pages)
“For a book that is a bit different, you cannot go wrong with SERIOUSLY GOOD FREEZER MEALS.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks