Shelf Life Magazine – April 2019 – 21st Anniversary Issue

ShelfApr2019cover.jpgWell, here we are again at another Shelf Life Anniversary. This issue signifies our 21st anniversary, and each time out I become redundant when I state, “Where did the time go?” The Spring of 1998 was when this publication was started, and through 215 previoius issues has grown in leaps and bounds to a publication I could not be prouder of. No, we are not as big circulation-wise as some newspapers and magazines, but that was never the intent. I simply want to create a publication that tried to inspire people to pick up books and read them. I wanted readers to find books that interested them and even tried to pique their interest in finding books outside their comfort zone. From the feedback, that has happened a lot, which makes me even happier. Some who had not read a book in years were encouraged to do so, and that too is another plus of Shelf Life. In a wold where reading has taken a backseat at times to texting and video games, diehard book lovers still exist and as long as they do, as long as they continue to pick us up, then this mission is far from over. I continue to thank the amazing publishers who have remained faithful to Shelf Life, sending exceptional books to review and promote. And, of course, thank you to the readers, and last but not least the incredible reviewers past and present, who were just as dedicated to books and getting the message across to read these titles.

Now, on to the books!

Paul Sutter
Editor/Publisher

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best April Fiction ***

The Clockmaker’s Daughter
by Kate Morton
(Atria – $24.99 – 484 pages)
“…it is the telling of the tale from so many perspectives past and present, that truly rivets the reader to the story.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Dream Daughter
by Diane Chamberlain
(St. Martin’s Press – $24.99 – 366 pages)
“…a powerful and riveting tale, one that is truly unforgettable.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Freefall
by Jessica Barry
(Harper – $29.99 – 355 pages)
“…one of those books that once you open it, you will have the toughest time putting it down…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of April Fiction ***

Fairy Tale
by Danielle Steel
(Delacorte – $38.99 – 277 pages)
“…has that Danielle steel magic, thanks in part to one of the most vile villains ever to grace the pages of her books.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

River Bodies
by Karen Katchur
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 292 pages)
“…Karen Katchur begins this series with an explosive and engrossing tale that will inspire readers to return for more.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Tailspin
by Sandra Brown
(Grand Central – $35.50 – 434 pages)
“…a story with conflict, confusion, and attraction.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit
by Amy Stewart
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $37.00 – 310 pages)
“One cannot wait to meet the Kopp sisters again for another enjoyable visit.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Forbidden Door
by Dean Koontz
(Bantam – $37.00 – 434 pages)
“Koontz knows how to keep this series fresh…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Double Blind
by Iris & Roy Johansen
(St. Martin’s Press – $37.99 – 325 pages)
“…the sixth book in the series, containing the same intense plot and mystery…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Red White Blue
by Lea Carpenter
(Knopf – $35.95 – 383 pages)
“…definitely a book that does not follow the rules of narration and tone.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Plum Rains
by Andromeda Romano-Lax
(Soho Press – $31.95 –  389 pages)
Reviewed by: Tori Levang
“Part science fiction, part historical fiction, PLUM RAINS is a unique and enthralling look at the present and our near future.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Cottage by the Sea
by Debbie Macomber
(Ballantine – $36.00 -337 pages)
“…succeeds on all counts, making it one of the most enjoyable books Debbie Macomber has ever written.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

After Nightfall
by A.J. Banner
(Lake Union – $35.95 – 248 pages)
“This is the ideal book if you want a mystery where nothing is in black and white and the puzzle becomes murkier the more you read.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Silhouette Girl
by V.C. Andrews
(Gallery – $19.99 – 360 pages)
“…in the typical style of Andrews and it offers the same sort of plot twists and characters that millions came to love over the tenure of the author.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Into the Night
by Sarah Bailey
(Grand Central – $34.00 – 416 pages)
“Sarah Bailey adds interest and intrigue the further we delve into the book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Probably Claws
by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown
(Bantam – $36.00 – 330 pages)
“…we suspend disbelief and just enjoy them for what that are…This book is far from a ‘cat’astrophe.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Points North
by Howard Frank Mosher
(St. Martin’s Press – $33.99 – 202 pages)
“The ten stories in the book sum up the writing skills of Mosher in ways few could ever duplicate.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best April Non-Fiction ***

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History
by Keith O’Brien
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $40.00 – 338 pages)
“…the ultimate tribute to the first female flyers who looks to the skies for inspiration and challenge.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Led Zeppelin All the Songs The Story Behind Every Track
By Jean-Michael Guesdon & Philippe Margotin
(Black Dog & Leventhal – $65.00 – 612 pages)
“…the authors review every recording they made, giving fans and casual viewers  the story behind every track.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of April Non-Fiction ****

The Vanity Fair Diaries
by Tina Brown
(Picador  – $26.00 – 436 pages)
“….an entertaining but ‘fair’ overview of her Vanity Fair life and times.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

SuperGirl: The Silver Age Volume Two
(DC Comics – $39.99 – 305 pages)
“Anyone who grew up with Action Comics will enjoy seeing the issues again.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Raw: The First 25 Years
by Jake Black, Jon Hill & Dean Miller
(DK Books – $32.00 – 200 pages)
“Fans will be in their glory as they look back at a quarter-century of the heroes and villians who graced the ring.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Godfather: The Official Motion Picture Archives
by Peter Cowie
(Carlton – $40.00 – 164 pages)
“Fans of THE GODFATHER will enjoy this nostalgic tribute to the movie that changes cinema forever.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The American Negro Theatre and the Long Civil Rights Era
by Jonathan Shandell
(University of Iowa Press  – $70.00 – 216 pages)
“The thoroughness of htis book makes it a most enjoyable read…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Where Do We Go From Here (Two Years in the Resistance)
by Bernie Sanders
(St. Martin’s / Thomas Dunne – $36.50 – 270 pages)
“He looks at the world during the past two years of the Trump White House.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Battle of Waterloo
by Peter and Dan Sanow
(Andre Deutsch – $34.95 – 160 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…beautifully illustrated, the pages rich with paintings of the battle and key figures…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

A Star is Born (Judy Garland and the Film That Got Away)
by  Lorna Luft and Jeffrey Vance
(Running Press – $36.50 – 248 pages)
“…the book discusses the making of the film and shaping it into a classic.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Cowkeeper’s Wish: A Genealogical Journey
by  Tracy Kasaboski & Kristen Den Hartog
(Douglas & McIntyre – $32.95 – 448 pages)
“One can only image the amount of time necessary to research this book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Burning Down the Haus
by Tim Mohr
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill – $39.95 – 393 pages)
“The book burns with intensity in so many ways….”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The World According to Tom Hank: A Homage to America’s Dad
by Gavin Edwards
(Grand Central – $34.00 – 345 pages)
“It is nice to read a celebrity profile that is free of negatives or controversy.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Woodstock 1969 (The Lasting Image of the Counter Culture)
Text by Ettagale Blauer & Jason Laure – Photographs by Jason Laurie
(Skyhorse – $38.99 – 140 pages)
“The authors take us back to the rock festival through words and pictures.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Science of Supercars
by Martin Roach, Neil Waterman & John Morrison
(Firefly – $29.95 – 224 pages)
“The book pretty well shows from almost day one the evolution of the car.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Hidden Life of Trees
by Peter Wohlleben
(Greystone/David Suzuki Institute – $29.95 – 272  pages)
“The book is a science lesson in these pages…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Seawee Chronicles: A World at the Water’s Edge
by Susan Hand Shetterly
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill – $24.95US – 272  pages)
“…truly a chronicle at what we find around water’s edge…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – March 2019

Shelf March 2019 coverThere are many reasons to celebrate the month of March. The first day of Spring arrives, daylight savings time is observed. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated, but in the world, it begins for many publishing houses with the new Spring arrivals. While the first three items noted are exciting for many, personally the release of Spring titles are what Shelf Life looks forward to even more. Having seen the catalogues and requesting some of the titles, we can assure you there are many great titles arriving soon from many of the authors you can have grown to love, and anticipate new releases from. So all we can say is stay tuned to upcoming issues. Shelf Life has always promised to offer the best in books for your reading consideration, and that is something we vow to honor we hope you enjoy this latest issue.

Paul Sutter
Editor/Publisher

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best March Fiction ***

A Noise Downstairs
by Linwood Barclay
(Doubleday Canada – $24.95 – 356 pages)
“This is certainly Barclay’s best book, with the reader hooked, not wanting to stop reading.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

When The Lights Go Out
by Mary Kubica
(Park Row – $33.50 – 332 pages)
“…picks up where others have left off, giving readers a thrill ride right to the last sentence.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Watching You
by Lisa Jewell
(Atria – $24.95 – 325 pages)
“…another classic, packed with complex storylines and most interesting characters.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of March Fiction ***

Lady Be Good
by Amber Brock
(Crown – $35.00 – 279 pages)
“…she offers a poignant look at life and social concerns (of the 1950s).”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Waiting Room
by Emily Bleeker
(Lake Union – $21.95 – 262 pages)
“It is a book that grips you from the beginning, and at no point lets you off the proverbial hook.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Vendetta
by Iris Johansen
(St. Martin’s Press – $37.99 -404 pages)
“Iris Johansen brings so much to every book, and VENDETTA is a book that begs to be read.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Watch the Girls
by Jennifer Wolfe
(Grand Central Publishing – $34.00 – 390 pages)
“…strikes the right chord, suspense-wise.”
Rating: 4bookmarks

Crime Scene
by Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman
(Ballantine – $38.99 – 388 pages)
“…Clay is interesting enough to warrant another look in at in a future book.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Desperate Measures
by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $37.00 – 311 pages)
“There is still lots of gas in the literary tank so to speak for Woods, keeping the book’s popularity etched in Stone.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Broken Ground
by Val McDermid
(Atlantic Monthly Press – $38.95 – 432 pages)
“…book five in the popular KAREN PIRIE series. Many call this her best.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Lethal White
by Robert Galbraith
(Mulholland/Little Brown – $38.00 – 650 pages)
“…while not as lethally engaging as the first three books, offers more of the life of Strike and Robin, and how he deals with crimes, life and love.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Dangerous Minds
by Janet Evanovich
(Bantam – $37.00 – 320 pages)
“If you want a light and amusing read, one needs only look at a book cover with the name Janet Evanovich as the author.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Feared
by Lisa Scottoline
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.50 – 386 pages)
“Fear not, for Lisa Scottoline has penned another interesting legal tale…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

American Ghost
by Paul Guernsey
(Talos – $21.99 – 285 pages)
“…the sort of book that is so offbeat you cannot help but find it entertaining and unique.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Jackrabbit Smile
by Joe R. Lansdale
(Mulholland – $34.00 – 256 pages)
“JACKRABBIT SMILE will make you do that, both smile and feel the tension contained in this highly recommended book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

FACE OFF
by David Hagberg
(Forge – $33.99- 336 pages)
“…the typical sort of action thriller you would expect from Hagberg.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Claws for Concern
by Miranda James
(Berkley – $35.00 -280 pages)
“Miranda James has created a most engaging pair with Charlie Harris and his Maine coon cat Diesel.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best March Non-Fiction ***

Becoming
by Michelle Obama
(Crown – $40.00 – 430 pages)
“…it  would be difficult to find any fault with the book and Michelle’s telling of her life story.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Mid-Century Era: The 1950’s and 1960’s Volume 4
Didier Ghez
(Chronicle – $65.00 – 226 pages)
“…any fan of animation or Disney in general, deserves to include this book in their library.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Bert Riggall’s Greater Waterton: A Conservation Legacy
Edited by Beth Towe
(Fifth House – $60.00 – 312 pages)
“For those who enjoy photos of mountains, valleys, wildlife, along with a part of Canada that is nothing short of spectacular…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of March Non-Fiction ****

Six Encounters with Lincoln: A President Confronts Democracy and Its Demons
by Elizabeth Brown Pryor
(Viking  – $47.00 – 480 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…takes a look at Lincoln as President, politician, and person, through a more modern lens…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Woody Allen Film by Film 2nd Edition
by Jason Solomons
(Carlton – $50.00 – 262 pages)
“…a serious look at the films he has made, and often the stories behind many of his films.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Unhinged : An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House 
by Omarosa Manigault Newman
(Gallery – $37.00 -334 pages)
“…adds more intrigue to the life and legacy of Donald Trump from those who knew him extremely well.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
by Candace Savage
(Greystone- $29.95 – 136 pages)
“Savage looks at these creatures from an entirely different perspective, showing us how clever they truly are.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Marvel Avengers The Ultimate Guide New Edition
by Scott Beatty, Alan Cowsill, Alastair Dougall & Melanie Scott
(DK Books – $31.99 – 220 pages)
“In this ultimate guide, key issues are featured, such as Civil War #1…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Robert Bateman Birds
by Robert Bateman
(Firefly – $29.95 – 178 pages)
“…there is an added bonus as the master himself offers his own reflections and reminiscences about the paintings.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Science of Harry Potter
by Mark Brake with Jon Chase
(Racehorse – $22.99 – 202 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“Backed with scientific research and fact, the authors explain the logic-defying, the mythical, and seemingly inexplicable magic of this famous fictional world.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Tutankhamun: Egyptology’s Greatest Discovery
by Jaromir Malek
(Andre Deutsch – $50.00 – 160 pages)
“Lovers of Egyptian history will find much to appreciate…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Medical Symptoms: A Visual Guide
(DK Books – $25.95 – 256 pages)
“The book is thorough in its analysis…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Beautiful Bodies
by Kimberly Rae Miller
(Little A – $21.95 – 226 pages)
“…you will appreciate this book and the ways that Kimberly Rae Mill tells it like it is.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Ever Curious Gardener (Using a Little Natural Science For a Much Better Garden)
by Lee Reich
(New Society – $18.99 – 210 pages)
“…will take the guesswork out of planting and growing, making your garden stand above the crowd.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

**** Books for Younger Readers ****

The Story I’ll Tell
by Nancy Tupper Lee – Illustrations by Jessica Lanan
(Lee & Low Books – $24.99 – 32 pages)
“The author creates most interesting methods of letting the child know how it came into their lives, each one mystical and mythical but filled with much love.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Origin of Day and Night 
by Paula Ikuutaq Rumbolt – Illustrated by Lenny Lischenko
(Inhabit Media – $16.95 – 32 pages)
“…a well-written and illustrated tale, part of Inuit mythology.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks