Shelf Life Magazine – January 2019

jan19coverWelcome to 2019 and Happy New Year to all! Hard to believe another year has passed into the ether as they say, but hopefully this year will be memorable for everyone out there.  A new year also brings a new selection of books, where one again, we fulfill our praise to offer reviews of the best in books. As always, hopefully we inspire you to head to your bookstore and purchase many of the titles. There is little question they are worthy of your attention and hard-earned money. Keep those emails coming with your suggestions and comments about our choices. In the immortal words of the late comedic legend Jackie Gleason, “and away we go!”

Enjoy this issue!

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best January Fiction ***

The Policeman’s Daughter
by Trudy Nan Boyce
(Putnam – $37.00 – 338 pages)
“This is one detective truly worth her Salt!”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

by Rosie Walsh
(Mantle – $24.99 – 344 pages)
“…vastly different from the majority of books on store shelves.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Bad Daughter
by Joy Fielding
(Doubleday Canada – $32.00 – 356 pages)
“…very good, a great mystery both entertaining, and one that becomes a total page turner.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of January Fiction ***

Dark Sacred Night
by Michael Connelly
(Little Brown – $38.00 – 448 pages)
“It is books like DARK SACRED NIGHT that reinforces precisely why we enjoy any book written by Michael Connelly.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Other Lady Vanishes
by Amanda Quick
(Berkley – $36.00 – 342 pages)
“Amanda Quick can take any genre and do wonders with it.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shattered Mirror
by Iris Johansen
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.00 – 339 pages)
“…a tense and powerful reading experience…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

White Rose Black Forest
by Eoin Dempsey
(Lake Union – $19.75 – 258 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“Intense and emotional, and based on true historical events, the book straddles the line between the genres of historical fiction and thriller.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Give Me Your Hand
by Megan Abbott
(Little Brown – $22.99 – 342 pages)
“…will definitely linger in your mind as the story is intense…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

All We Ever Wanted
by Emily Giffin
(Doubleday Canada – $32.00 – 334 pages)
“…the typical superior chick-lit that Emily Giffin is noted for.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Vince Flynn Red War
by Kyle Mills
(Emily Bestler/Atria – $22.00 – 370 pages)
“…continues the quality work of the series…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Under My Skin
by Lisa Unger
(Park Row Books – $22.99 – 365 pages)
“…will definitely get under your skin, but in a positive way…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Darkness Absolute
by Kelley Armstrong
(Random House Canada – $29.95 – 454 pages)
“Armstrong writes the characters with dark elements that add to the chilling nature of the book.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

A Darkness of the Heart
by Gail Bowen
(McClelland & Stewart – $32.00 – 272 pages)
“…shows another side of Bowen’s writing prowess, adding new dynamics to her life and times…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Crooked Staircase
by Dean Koontz
(Bantam – $37.00 – 434 pages)
“…will take the reader further into the world of suspense and intrigue…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Twisted Prey
by John Sandford
(Putnam – $39.00 – 388 pages)
“…Sandford again proves why his books become better each time…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Cat Flap
by Alan S. Cowell
(St. Martin’s Press – $32.50 – 230 pages)
“For those who enjoy books with animals as a main theme, they will definitely enjoy CAT FLAP.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek
by Anthony O’Neill
(Skyhorse – $29.99 -216 pages)
“…it advances the story to areas (Louis) Stevenson may have envisioned if he had penned another book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Sherrilyn Kenyon
(Tor – $36.50 – 660 pages)
“…book twenty-nine in the series that shows no signs of letting up, nor of Kenyon deciding to draw it to a close.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Big Woods
by May Cobb
(Midnight Ink – $21.95 –  300 pages)
“Keep an eye out for future books from this author. She is just getting started.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best January Non-Fiction ***

My Squirrel Days
by Ellie Kemper
(Scribner – $32.99  – 240 pages)
“…so much to savour in this entertaining autobiography.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Full Disclosure
by Stormy Daniels with Kevin Carr O’Leary
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.50 – 270 pages)
“You will be pleasantly surprised at Stormy’s savvy and honesty.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Canoes: A Natural History in North America
by Mark Neuzil & Norman Sims
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $40.00 – 372 pages)
“…the authors provide a scholarly and historical approach to one of the oldest modes of transportation.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of January Non-Fiction ****

Little Shoes: The Sensational Depression-Era Murders That Became My Family’s Secret
by Pamela Everett
(Skyhorse – $37.99 – 232 pages)
“…takes bold steps in reassessing a classic crime.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Season in the Sun: The Rise of Mickey Mantle
by Randy Roberts & Johnny Smith
(Basic Books – $36.50 – 304 pages)
“…should be required reading for children who one day envision themselves as sports stars.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution
by Willard Sterne Randall
(St. Martin’s Press – $41.99 – 452 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…Randall’s brilliant tome does substantially more than simply tackle the subject of the War of 1812.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary New Edition
by James Lucerno, David West Reynolds, Ryder Windham, Jason Fry & Pablo Hidalgo
(DK Books – $35.00 – 352 pages)
“With over 350 pages of the best in Star Wars, the book will entertain, illuminate, and mesmerize every fan of the movies.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Happy Down Below
by Dr. Oliver Gralla
(Greystone – $22.95 – 224 pages)
“It makes HAPPY DOWN BELOW a book to be shared by men and women in terms of sexuality, creating a more fulfilling life and intimate moments.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Kate How To Dress Like a Style Icon
by Caroline Jones
(Carlton Book – $40.00 – 210 pages)
“…you might feel like a queen after learning fashion tricks of the trade.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Silver Age Doom Patrol Volume One
(DC Comics – $39.99 – 380 pages)
“You will feel no doom and gloom reading this book, rather a nostalgic happiness in being reunited with the issues that brought the Doom Patrol to the comic buying public.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Tina Turner: My Love Story
by Tina Turner with Deborah Davis & Dominik Wichmann
(Atria – $34.99 – 262 pages)
“This is quite the autobiography, told from the hear with much heart and soul.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Adele: The Other Side – The Stories Behind Her Songs
by Caroline Sullivan
(Carlton Books – $33.95 – 160 pages)
“Fans of the singer will enjoy the photos and words that relate to her songs and her amazing career.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Science of Cooking (Every Question Answered To Perfect Your Cooking)
by Dr. Stuart Farrimond
(DK Books – $39.00 – 256 pages)
“The book notes how you can take your cooking skills to the next level, transforming the way you cook.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

100 Nature Hot Spots in British Columbia (The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places)
by Lyndsay Fraser and Christina Smuth
(Firefly – $29.95 – 244 pages)
“…this book is your guide to the best British Columbia has to offer.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Going the Distance – The Life and Works of W.P. Kinsella
by William Steele
(Douglas & McIntyre – $34.95 – 293 pages)
“…an honest assessment and retelling of the life of a literary legend.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Beyond Forgetting – Celebrating 100 Years of Al Purdy
Edited by Howard White & Emma Skagen
(Harbour Publishing – $22.95 – 173 pages)
“If Al Purdy were alive today, he would certainly appreciate the comments and the observations of his life and times.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks