Shelf Life Magazine – December 2018

december2018coverWelcome to the 13th Annual Books as Holiday Gifts special issue. We’re not superstitious around here, because the books included in the issue are far from unlucky. In fact, reading them will be your lucky day, because all of them are perfect for your own library or for giving to others as holiday gifts. Books make the perfect present, as they are always welcome whether at Christmas, for birthdays, or any other occasion. In fact, you don’t need an excuse to give someone a book. Or you can treat yourself. They are welcome any time of year. In that regard, we offer a cross-section of books for many interests, and hope our choices will end up as your choices as well. As in the case with previous Books as Holiday Gifts special issues, no bookmarks are given as all books are highly recommended.

All of us at Shelf Life wish you, your families and friends, all the best of the holiday season. May the spirit of the season embrace you and remain in your heart year round.

Enjoy this issue!

Paul Sutter

Like us on Facebook

*** Fiction Section ***

The President is Missing
by Bill Clinton & James Patterson
(Little Brown/Knopf – $39.00 – 515 pages)
“…(keeps) the reader breezing from one chapter to the next.”

Island of the Mad
by Laurie R. King
(Bantam – $37.00 – 302 pages)
“…has something for everyone, a solid mystery with added touches of vital history.”

The Switch
by Joseph Finder
(Dutton – $37.00 – 390 pages)
“…a finely-tuned and well-crafted tale that will keep your pulse well into the book.”

The Last Night Out
by Catherine O’Connell
(Severn House – $37.95 – 298 pages)
“O’Connell tells the story in mesmerizing style.”

Sometimes I Lie
by Alice Feeney
(Flatiron Books – $34.99 – 262 pages)
“…a dazzling work that contains one puzzle after another, one that begs to be solved as quickly as possible.”

A Stranger In the House
by Shari Lapena
(Doubleday Canada – $24.95 – 305 pages)
“There are even more nifty twists, so don’t be a stranger to this book when looking for a great mystery to read.”

Perfect Remains
by Helen Fields
(Avon – $21.99 – 408 pages)
“If you can get over your squeamishness, you will be rewarded with a very creative tale.”

The Return
by Joseph Helmreich
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.99 – 248 pages)
“THE RETURN’S complex, multi-dimensional characters are relatable to the readers, and the fast pace of the novel keeps readers constantly on the edge of their seats.”

Robert B. Parker’s Revelation
by Robert Knott
(Putnam – $36.00 – 326 pages)
“…a true revelation of a book, superbly illustrating the Wild West days, and the lawlessness that became a trademark of the times.”

The Hot War: Armistice
by Harry Turtledove
(Del Rey – $38.99 – 430 pages)
by John M. Milner
“…takes us along for a thrilling ride to discover just how this war might end, who might survive, and what comes next.”

Red Alert
by James Patterson & Marshal Karp
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 352 pages)
“Of the five books from the series, this may be the best.”

Too Close to Breathe
by Olivia Kiernan
(Dutton – $35.00 – 292 pages)
“…will take your breath away, with superior writing and great pacing.”

by Jenna Jameson & Jamie K. Schmidt
(Skyhorse – $22.99 – 266 pages)
“SPICE is not just a fluff novel, but rather works on many fronts…The honest writing is the perfect spice in this book.”

The Greek Escape
by Karen Swan
(Macmillan – $24.99 – 420 pages)
“…the book is a true escape into a world where love and happiness may be fleeting, but are worth the risk.”

Kings of Broken Things
by Theodore Wheeler
(Little A – $21.95 – 330 pages)
“..tense and written with raw realism…”

By Invitation Only
by Dorothea Benton Frank
(William Morrow – $21.99 – 390 pages)
“I makes for a memorable tale of love, family and hope.”

Artic Gambit
by Larry Bond
(Forge – $36.50 – 333 pages)
“As realistic as it gets, the book is definitely one that will rivet you to the pages.”


*** Non-Fiction Section ***

In Pieces
by Sally Field
(Grand Central Publishing – $38.00 – 406 pages)
“…candid and honest portrayal of her life and times, one that definitely is a must read for all her fans.”

The Beatles: The Band That Changed the World
by Terry Burrows
(Carlton – $49.95 – 186 pages)
“…let this book be one that you hastily add to your library.”

War Against Crime! Volume 1 The EC Archives
(Dark Horse – $65.99 – 210 pages)
“With exceptional artwork and stories, these stories beg to be read once again.”

Live Long and… What I Learned Along the Way
by William Shatner with David Fisher
(Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press – $34.99 – 214 pages)
“Shatner offers serious advice about romance, wealth, and staying debt-free.”

Whiskey in a Teacup (What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love and Baking Bisquits)
by Reese Witherspoon
(Touchstone – $45.00 – 306 pages)
“the book is filled with plenty of recipes that offer definitive Southern comfort.”

Vegan Recipes from Spain
by Gonzalo Baro
(Grub Street – $32.95 – 196 pages)
“…this book will provide a delightful and tasty difference.”

The Story of Food: An Illustrated History of Everything We Eat
by Giles Coren
(DK Books – $45.00 – 360 pages)
“…you will have a deeper appreciation for the sort of foods we take for granted.”

If I Could Tell You Just One Thing
by Richard Reed
(Canongate – $41.95 – 346 pages)
“The strength of the book is in the uniqueness of answers.”

Waterfalls of Ontario Third Edition
by Mark Harris – Photographs by George Fischer
(Firefly – $29.95 – 262 pages)
“… the spectacular photos from George Fisher makes this a go-to nature book.”

Women Who Rock: Beyoncé to Bessie, Girl Groups to Riot Grrl
Edited by Evelyn McDonnell
(Black Dog & Leventhal – $45.50 – 404 pages)
“This book truly rocks in more ways than one.”

by David Itzkoff
(Henry Holt – $39.00 – 530 pages)
“…this first truly comprehensive look at the life and times of comedic genius Robin Williams brings into very sharp perspective what motivated and moved him.”

The Word Detective (Searching for the Meaning of It All At the Oxford English Dictionary)
by John Simpson
(Basic Books – $36.50 – 368 pages)
“In a word, this book is a fascinating work, one that definitely can be described in one word-classic.”

Wilding – The Return of Nature to An English Farm
by Isabela Tree
(Picador – 38.99 – 274 pages)
“The book looks at how letting nature police itself so to speak became the rallying cry for their life.”

The Living Forest: A Visual Journey Into the Heart of the Woods
by Joan Maloof – Photography by Robert Llewellyn
(Timber Press  – $60.00 – 260 pages)
“The photography of Robert Llewellyn is stunning, bringing the subject to life with such intensity that we swear we are sitting in the middle of the forest.”

For You To Two (Dr. Ruth’s Rules for Real Relationships)
by Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer with Pierre A. Lehu
(Amazon Publishing – $21.99 – 150 pages)
“She gets to the heart of the matter, talking about love in this technological era.”

*** Illustrated Books for Younger Readers ***

If you are looking for books for children of younger ages in your life, the following books would make the perfect gifts for them. On a variety of topics, there is something for all ages from four to ten, though other ages might like them, too.

by S.E. Hume – Illustrations by Jessica Bromley Bartram
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $19.95 – 32 pages)
“Charles is a most entertaining story…”
(Ages 4-8)

Hungry for Science – Poems to Crunch On
by Kari Lynn-Winters & Lori Sherrit-Fleming – Pictures by Peggy Collins
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“This is a great way to make children see science in a new light…”
(Ages 4-8)

The Christmas Wind
by Stephanie Simpson McClellen & Brooke Kerrigan
(Red Deer Press – $19.95 – 32 pages)
“…this story will resonate and feel just as important no matter what time of year it is read.”
(Ages 5-10)

The Spirit Trackers
by Jan Bourdeau Waboose – Illustrated by Francois Thisdale
(Fifth House – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“…a most colourful book that the myths and legends of Indigenous people.”
(Ages 5-10)

Here Comes Rhinocerous
by Heinz Janisch & Helga Bansch – Translated by Evan Jones
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“Reading this book will provide an important lesson…”