Shelf Life Magazine – November 2019

While novdecshelfcoverwe may not offer the same enthusiasm as people opening Christmas gifts on December 25, every issue of Shelf Life strives to offer people the reason to take home a copy with them from wherever they find the issues. And the fact that readers are picking us up in higher numbers than ever, issues are often gone within a week or two of their arrival, says something about the public’s need to read and to discover books worthy of their time.

Each issue out, that is precisely the goal of Shelf Life, and while we could not possibly have space or time to feature every book of interest, one thing we guarantee is variety within our pages. We attempt to review timely titles, along with books that are not always gaining the attention they deserve. That has always been our goal and we will never waver from it.

As I have said before, please keep those emails coming about what you enjoy about the issues and areas we can improve. After 21 issues and 223 issues we are never too old for comments and criticism. Enjoy the issue!

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best November Fiction ***

The Chain
by Adrian McKinty
(Mulholland/Little Brown – $36.50 – 368 pages)
“There is little question how good a book THE CHAIN is.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Invited
by Jennifer McMahon
(Doubleday Canada – $34.00 – 353 pages)
“THE INVITED hearkens back to classic ghost stories of the past.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of  November Fiction ***

Last Summer
by Kerry Lonsdale
(Lake Union – $21.95 – 285 pages)
“LAST SUMMER might be considered a beach read, but don’t let the fact Fall has arrived deter you from picking the book up.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Infinite Blacktop
by Sara Gran
(Atria – $35.00 – 292 pages)
“The book swings like a pendulum from past to present, as the plot becomes much clearer.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Shallows
by Matt Goldman
(Forge – $36.50 – 320 pages)
“…the author evokes memories of classic fiction from the forties and fifties.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Liar Liar 
by James Patterson and Candace Fox
(Little Brown- $36.50 – 375 pages)
“…(leads) to a shocking finale that makes us anticipate the next book all the more.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

February’s Son
by Alan Parks
(Canongate – $32.95 – 355 pages)
“The book is the perfect sequel to the BLOODY JANUARY classic debut.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Last Girl Lied
by L.E. Flynn
(Imprint – $23.50 – 347 pages)
“The book is filled with puzzles and questions without answers, where the more you read, the more determined you are to continue reading to find out what is happening and why.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Woman in the Lake
by Nicola Cornick
(Graydon House – $23.95 – 308 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“Darkly dramatic, thrilling, and full of mystery, the reader quickly becomes enthralled…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Wild Card
by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $37.00 – 311 pages)
“There is intrigue, minor suspense, but in the long-run, it is much of the same as we have come to expect from Woods.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Your Truth or Mine?
by Trisha Sakhlecha
(Macmillan- $33.99 -436 pages)
“…a most intriguing thriller that brings to the literary world the talents of newcomer author Trisha Sakhlecha. ”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Current
by Tim Johnston
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill – $38.95 – 408 pages)
“The book has everything going for it, especially a story quite riveting, with characters that leap right off the page into your lap.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Reckoning
by John Grisham
(Doubleday – $37.00 – 430 pages)
“…ranks right up there with Grisham’s best.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Her Father’s Secret
by Sara Blaedel
(Grand Central – $34.00 – 320 pages)
“There are many plot twists in effect here, making book two, most compelling.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Waiting Hours
by Shandi Mitchell
(Viking – $24.95 – 386 pages)
“It is sure to resonate among those who demand superior fiction.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Last Romantics
by Tara Conklin
(Harper Avenue – $22.99 – 352 pages)
“…shows how the human condition is challenged by tsunamis of a different kind in our lives that challenge us…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Dual Citizens
by Alix Ohlin
(Anansi – $22.95 – 275 pages)
“…a story of love and hope and committing oneself to those we love in our lives.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best November Non-Fiction ***

Haben the Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law
by Haben Girma
(Twelve – $35.50 – 27 pages)
“…you might have a different perspective and believe anything is possible.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

DC Comics: A Year by Year Chronicle New Edition
by Alan Cowsill, Alex Irvine, Matthew K. Manning, Michael McAvennie, Melanie Scott & Daniel Wallace
(DK Books – $65.00 – 365 pages)
“No one could find fault anywhere with such an exceptional comics chronicle.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of November Non-Fiction ****

Unforgettable Canada – 125 Destinations Fourth Edition
by George Fischer & Noel Hudson
(Boston Mills Press – $29.95 – 352 pages)
“The book is as unforgettable as the title.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

NHL The Official Illustrated History
by Arthur Pincus With David Rossner, Len Hochberg, Chris Malcolm & Craig Ellenport
(Thomas Allen – $34.99 – 292 pages)
“It will serve as a reference guide for generations to come.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shotguns and Stagecoaches: The Brave Men Who Rode for Wells Fargo in the Wild West
by John Boessenecker
(Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press  – $38.99 – 348 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…showcases the history of the company through the lives and careers of some of it most famous and heroic employees.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Death of Hitler: The Final Word
by Jean-Christophe Brisard & Lana Parshina
(DaCapo – $38.00 – 330 pages)
“It makes the book read at times more like a classic work of fiction, adding even more intrigue to the story.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Three Woman
by Lisa Taddeo
(Avid Reader Press – $36.00 – 306 pages)
“…an inspiring tale of one man’s dreams, visions and courage, and anyone who reads this work will find their own lives more than changing for the better.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

True Roots
by Kristin Cavallari
(Rodale – $29.99 – 252 pages
“The diverse nature of the trio makes for fascinating reading.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Detective Comics 80 Years of Batman The Deluxe Edition
by Paul Levitz
(DC Comics – $39.99 – 420 pages)
“Fans of Batman will find this edition most thorough and entertaining.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Killer Across The Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators With the FBI’s Original Mindhunter
by John Douglas With Mark Olshaker
(Dey Street – $23.99 – 342 pages)
“…the perfect book for those who enjoy true crime. This one in particular goes a step beyond to probe deeper than most books”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Nature-Based Therapy A Practitioner’s Guide to Working Outdoors With Children, Youth, and Families
by Kevin Harper, Kathryn Rose, & David Segal
(New Society Publishers – $24.99 – 288 pages)
“The information is priceless and timeless, hopefully providing the perfect antidote for certain mental issues.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Sherlock Holmes Museum: The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(Prion – $55.00- 1095 pages)
“With four classic novels and fifty-six short stories, you can savour this book over days, weeks, or months.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Shazam The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal
by Chip Kidd & Geoff Spear
(Abrams Comic Arts – $31.99 – no page count)
“Those who know the Captain Marvel of today owe it to themselves to discover precisely how the original came about.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

A Dark Night in Aurora: Inside James Holmes and the Colorado Mass Shootings
by William H. Reid
(Skyhorse – $34.99 – 272 pages)
“Reid tells in detail what happened that fateful night when twelve people died and dozens were wounded.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Complete Eye Health & Nutrition Guide
by Laurie Capogna
(Robert Rose – $27.95 – 240 pages)
“…wants to give everyone a fighting change in terms of vision.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Luftwaffe Eagle (A WWII German Airman’s Story)
by Erich Sommer
(Grub Street – $35.00 – 222 pages)
“The book’s tone offers a different perspective on War and the rise of the Nazi regime.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Definitive Guide to Horror Movies
by James Marriott & Kim Newman
(Carlton – $39.95 – 368 pages)
“No matter what your tastes in horror are, you will find it here, form the psychological horrors to graphic slasher-style cinema.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

*** Books for Younger Readers ***

Save Your Friends
by Hyewon Kyung
(Greenwillow – $21.00 – 32 pages)
“With some fun facts about sharks,  they will teach children about them and other creatures that dwell beneath the waters.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Cold Little Voice
by Alison Hughes – Illustrated by Jan Dolby
(Clockwise Press – $19.95- 32 pages)
“There is a joy to read and will reinforce positivity in their lives, even in the times of the greatest refusal to believe in themselves.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks