Shelf Life Magazine – May 2019

ShelfMay2019Now that the last gasps of Winter have officially gone into hibernation for another eight months hopefully, it is always interesting to look back at the season that was. This past Winter have more time to read and review books as for a six week span, I was saddled with dizziness and lightheaded feelings which kept me more indoors than out. I would have preferred other excuses to stay indoors but this was the best I could muster under the circumstances. The result of this was encountering so many more above average books as you discover in this latest issue. Publishers have a knack for representing some of the best authors out there and whether established authors or the proverbial new kids on the block, the reader is the winner in the great authors sweepstakes.

So again for your consideration, a fresh bouquet of Spring offerings, where you cannot go wrong by picking them up and enjoying them as much as the Shelf Life staff has. Let us know whether you agree.

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best May Fiction ***

The Dark Lake
by Sarah Bailey
(Grand Central Publishing – $34.00 – 432 pages)
“The murky atmosphere is the book’s strength, offering one riddle after another.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Dreams of Falling
by Karen White
(Berkley – $35.00 – 404 pages)
“…a book you will fall in love with, thanks to the great characters and interspersing of past and present.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of May Fiction ***

Leverage in Death
by J.D. Robb
(St. Martin’s Press – $37.99 – 386 pages)
“If Robb can continue to create books this suspenseful, there is little reason to bring the series to a crashing halt.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

I Know You Know
by Gilly Macmillan
(Harper Luxe – $24.99 – 466 pages)
“Gilly Macmillan has taken a rather basic story, crafting it into a superior work of mystery fiction.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Her One Mistake 
by Heidi Perks
(Gallery – $24.99 – 312 pages)
“…with a complex plot, keeping us guessing constantly about the outcome.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Daughters of the Lake
by Wendy Webb
(Lake Union – $21.95 – 306 pages)
“…definitely mystery/suspense/supernatural at its best.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Twenty-One Days
by Anne Perry
(Ballantine – $37.00 – 305 pages)
“It gives her fans another reason to sit patiently and await her next classic novel.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Juror #3
by James Patterson & Nancy Allen
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 333 pages)
“…a sort of change-of-pace novel from the James Patterson writing machine.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Careless Love
by Peter Robinson
(McClelland & Stewart – $29.95 – 342 pages)
“(Book twenty-five of the series) is quite an accomplishment for any author.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Give-A-Damn Jones
by Bill Pronzini
(Forge – $33.99 – 256 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“It is a fun read and can even be seen as a fresh take on the genre..”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Night Moves
by Jonathan Kellerman
(Ballantine – $38.99 – 400 pages)
“The series remains murder mystery at its finest.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Lawn Boy
by Jonathan Evison
(Algonquin Books  – $38.95 – 312 pages)
Reviewed by: Tori Levang
“Funny, moving and quietly inspiring…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

House Arrest
by Mike Lawson
(AtlanticMonthly Press – $37.50 – 324 pages)
“…makes for a very arresting and enjoable novel.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Martin Chronicles
by John Fried
(Grand Central – $34.00 – 264 pages)
“John Fried offers a thoroughly enjoyable debut novel.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Pairing a Deception
by Nadine Nettman
(Midnight Ink – $22.95 – 230 pages)
“…the absolute mystery and the suspects that will have you turning the pages…”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Kingdom of the Blind
by Louise Penny
(Minotaur – $35.99 – 386 pages)
“Penny writes the series with such skill and eloquence…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Temp
by Michelle Frances
(Pan – $26.95 – 466 pages)
“The book charges toward a chilling conclusion, and by book’s end you may need to take deep breaths.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best May Non-Fiction ***

Art: The Definitive Visual Guide New Edition
Foreward by Ross King
(DK Books – $65.00 – 612 pages)
“This is more than a coffee table masterpiece. It is a book that is a reference point for all art.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Thanks a Lot Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story
By Roger Daltrey
(Henry Holt – $39.00 – 260 pages)
“What stands out in this book is the honest and sometimes humbling assessment of Roger’s life and career.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of May Non-Fiction ****

Creeping Crawling: Charles Manson and the Many Lives of America’s Most Infamous Family
by Jeffrey Melnick
(Arcade  – $34.99 – 420 pages)
“The book is an interesting look at Manson and his followers, analyzing the past and how it still plays out in modern thought and culture so many years later.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Ingrid Fetell Lee

(Little Brown – $36.50 – 356 pages)
“In the book, she studies common-sense methods of bringing joy to our world.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Obama: An Oral History 2009-2017
by Brian Abrams
(Little A – $22.95 – 510 pages)
“…a comprehensive reassessment from those in the know.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Back to Baking 
by Anna Olson
(Whitecap – $40.00 – 332 pages)
“It will bring you back to everything tasty and totally tempting.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Iron Road West: An Illustrated History of British Columbia Railways
by Derek Hayes
(Harbour  – $44.95 – 242 pages)
“…a book packed with fascinating facts…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Haunt of Fear: The EC Archives Volume 5
by Bill Gaines
(Dark Horse – $53.99 – 160 pages)
“…packed with the typically entertaining stories…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Who Killed Tom Thomson
by John Little
(Skyhorse- $34.99 – 410 pages)
“…a real-life crime, one that puzzled people for decades.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

They Call Me George (The Untold Story of Black Train Porters And the Birth of Modern Canada)
by Cecil Foster
(Biblioasis – $22.95 – 296 pages)
“…offers a comprehensive look at the life and times of the porters, and their fight to be treated with respect..”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Second World Wars (How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won)
by  Victor David Hanson
(Basic Books – $52.00 – 720 pages)
“He has taken a subject we thought we knew all about, finding a new way to retell history…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Bakeland Nordic Treats Inspired by Nature
by Marit Hovland
(Greystone – $35.00 – 208 pages)
“It is the love of nature and love for things created in the kitchen that makes the book so interesting.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

I Know Better Now, My Life Before, During, and After the Ramones
by Richie Ramone with Pete Aaron
(Backbeat/Hal Leonard – $35.95 – 296 pages)
“…very down-to-earth, honest and open.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A River In Darkness, One Man’s Escape from North Korea
by Masaji Ishikawa
(Amazon Crossing – $28.95 – 160 pages)
“…we find a story first-hand of life in htat country from a man who lived a hellish existence.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Baseball Game I’ll Never Forget
by Steve Milton
(Firefly – $24.95 – 192 pages)
“…offers fans a look at fifty greats of the sport and games that defined their lives and career.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Chop Suey Nation
by Ann Hui
(Douglas & McIntyre – $24.95 – 288  pages)
“…a most personal account of the Chinese restaurant, and how it has become such an ingrained part of Canadian culture…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Vegan in th House (Flexible Plant-Based Meals to Please Everyone)
(DK Books – $32.00 – 260  pages)
“So take a walk on the vegan side with a book that will definitely have you trying the recipes again and again.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

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