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

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