Shelf Life Magazine – September 2018

september2018cover.jpgThe world is obsessed with cell phones, that is a given. As someone who does not own a cell phone, I feel a sense of relief that I do not have one that holds me prisoner. People cannot walk or sit with their heads up, as they are too busy looking down at their phones and texting. People almost bump into you walking down the street because their head is buried in the phone. Earlier in the summer when I went for morning walks, I began noticing a young man in his twenties down the block coming towards me, head lowered. I thought “Here comes another cell phone fanatic.” But lo and behold when I was within five feet of him, I saw he was not looking at a cell phone, but he was reading a book while walking. That really was quite the sight. For a month, I noticed him weekday mornings walking and reading. I am sure it was not the same book but at least he had taken the initiative to do the unusual: read a book on his way to wherever he was headed. I thought maybe there is hope for the world and that not everyone is obsessed with cell phone banter. I have not seen him since, as perhaps he is taking a different route. I wish I had stopped him and congratulated him, but he always looked so engrossed in his book. It takes one person to start a revolution, and hopefully others will take up the literary crusade like this gentleman, laying down their cell phones and picking up an actual book. And that is where we come in, hoping to offer inspiration and ideas for your reading choices, no matter where you decide to open the book.

Enjoy this issue!

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best September Fiction ***

The Rule of Stephens
by Timothy Taylor
(Doubleday Canada – $22.95 – 228 pages)
“The book is deeply spiritual and philosophical, that begs to be savored, one glorious page at a time.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Fallen
by David Baldacci
(Grand Central – $38.00 – 432 pages)
“As with most David Baldacci books, the story is as complex as the characters.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Pisces
by Melissa Broder
(Hogarth- $34.00 – 272 pages)
“…most entertaining with dark humor, lots of sex and looks at what happens when someone faces uncertainty…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of September Fiction ***

The Mars Room
by Rachel Kushner
(Scribner – $24.99 – 336 pages)
“The book makes quite the impact, realistic, gritty, and at times difficult to read….”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Everything We Left Behind
by Kerry Lonsdale
(Lake Union – $22.95 – 338 pages)
“The book basically is brother versus brother.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Column of Fire
by Ken Follett
(Viking – $45.00 – 916 pages)
“…There is a bit of everything in the book, which is not surprising for a book of this length.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Killed in Action
by Michael Sloan
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.50 – 324 pages)
“…some might argue there is way too much happening in one book, but it does not distract the reader from plot to plot…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Joseph Knox
(Crown – $36.00 – 337 pages)
“…a book that is definitely dark, but devilishly good.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Robin Cook
(Putnam – $36.00 – 438 pages)
“True to form, Robin Cook gives the reader another medical masterpiece.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Two Girls Down
by Louisa Luna
(Doubleday – $34.95 – 304 pages)
“Louisa Luna makes the book as tense as possible.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Escape Artist
by Brad Meltzer
(Grand Central – $36.50 – 416 pages)
“…a book that is not an escape but rather a headfirst plunge into suspense writing at its finest.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $37.00- 311 pages)
“Believe it or not, this is book forty-five of the popular STONE BARRINGTON series.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Duchess
by Danielle Steel
(Delacorte Press – $38.99 – 338 pages)
“…presents a heroine we cheer for every step of the way.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Trouble With Twelve Grave
by Darynda Jones
(St. Martin’s Press – $29.99 – 289 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“With the trademark sassy, snarky and snappy with from the main characters, you will find little troubling…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Into the Black Nowhere
by Meg Gardiner
(Dutton – $35.00 – 354 pages)
“Meg Gardiner does serial killer stories so well.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Death Messenger
by Mari Hannah
(Pan – $17.99 – 434 pages)
“THE DEATH MESSENGER is serial killer fiction at its finest and most unnerving.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Death Doesn’t Bargain
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
(Tor – $36.50 – 334 pages)
“…with the second book in the DEADMAN’S CROSS series, she once more offers a work with a little bit of everything.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Mrs. Saint and the Detectives
by Julie Lawson Timmer
(Lake Union – $21.95 – 324 pages)
“It makes the book a truly feel-good read, one that will have you smiling and understanding completely the moral tones of this charming tale.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Anatomy of a Scandal
by Sarah Vaughan
(Emily Bestler Books/Atria – $24.99 – 392 pages)
“…has many twist that definitely may have readers taking sides…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best September Non-Fiction ***

Historical Atlas of Early Railways
by Derek Hayes
(Douglas & McIntyre – $49.95 – 320 pages)
“The author has a passion for the past, and it speaks volumes in any book he pens.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Smithsonian Drive: The Definitive History of Driving
by Giles Chapman
(DK Books – $52.00 – 360 pages)
“…a classic and classy coffee table book that traces the evolution of the automobile throughout the ages.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of September Non-Fiction ****

Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Civil War
by David Fisher
(Henry Holt – $49.00 – 362 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…when it comes to chronicling the American Civil War, the book does provide a level of detail not found in many books”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Plantiful Table (Easy from the Earth Recipes for the Whole Family)
by Andrea Duclos
(The Experiment – $36.95 – 322 pages)
“There are more than 125 recipes in the book for choosy kids and hungry adults.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

A Higher Loyalty (Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
by James Comey
(Flatiron – $34.99 – 290 pages)
“…the book is about more than (the Hilary Clinton email scandal), it is also about his life during his FBI tenure and before.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Art of Incredibles 2
Edited by Karen Paik
(Chronicle – $35.00 – 170 pages)
“One can only be impressed how these ‘Art’ books are almost as entertaining as the films themselves.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful
by Sarah Wilson
(Dey Street – $27.959- 312 pages)
“…as compelling as its title, a book filled with wisdom and most of all hope.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

DC Comics Variant Covers: The Complete Visual History
by Daniel Wallace
(Insight – $60.00 – 184 pages)
“…DC Comics in this case, stands for Definitely Creative in terms of covers.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Young Leafs: The Making of A New Hockey History
by Gare Joyce
(Simon & Schuster – $32.00 – 228 pages)
“…a book that will bring hope and faith to all BeLeafers.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Vegan Comfort Classics
by Lauren Toyota
(Penguin – $29.95 – 234 pages)
“…another vegan-based title that certainly deserves the attention of vegan lovers and also those who are considering experimenting with vegan dishes.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Unforgettable Ontario 100 Destinations
by Noel Hudson
(Firefly – $29.95 – 256 pages)
“…a book that is filled with as much wonder as the places the author is hoping you will visit.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Dana Cohen and Gina Bria
(Hachette – $36.50- 304 pages)
“With recipes as well and lots of actual case studies, your thirst for good health will definitely be quenched…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Aerial Geology
by Mary Capterton Morton
(Timber Press – $45.00 – 300 pages)
“With text to accompany all the images and more information about them, the author has given readers a true gift showcasing the best of North America.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Pride of the Yankees (Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper and the Making of a Classic)
by Richard Sandomir
(Hachette – $35.00 – 304 pages)
“The author looks at the film from many sides and how it became a sort of barometer for baseball movies still to come decades later.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

by Caroline Pignat – Illustrated by Francois Thisdale
(Red Deer Press – $19.95 – 32 pages)
“…a poetic and pleasing book showing nature and seasons in a fun light.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks