Shelf Life Magazine – December 2019

December 2019 Shelf CoverBring on the holidays! I say it again and again; where does the time go and how did Christmas 2019 come so soon? It is here and hopefully it will be the most memorable for everyone one of you. With the holidays comes our annual Books As Holiday Gifts Buying Guide. This is our 14th Annual Issue and it is one of our most popular issues as people decide which books to buy for family and friends. There are books here for all ages, on a variety of subjects that will appeal to the young, old and the young at heart. We offer more than thirty titles for your reading and gift giving pleasures. As with all December issues, no bookmarks are given. Every book noted here is highly recommended.

On behalf of Shelf Life book reviewers, I would like to wish you all a most memorable holiday season. May it be one filled with great love, happiness, and most of all a time for wonderful memories, that bring gladness and joy to your heart not only at this time, but every day of the coming year.

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***

The First Time Lauren Pailing Died
by Alyson Rudd
(HQ – $32.99 -384 pages)
“Alyson Rudd’s debut novel hits all the right spots, with many comparing this book to the Gwyneth Paltrow film SLIDING DOORS.”

Someone We Know
by Shari Lapena
(Doubleday Canada – $24.95 – 380 pages)
“…the book is big on deception and enough lies to confuse and amaze the reader.”

The Van Appel Girls Are Gone
by Felicity McLean
(Algonquin – $23.95 – 300 pages)
“…there are so many levels to the story, one that makes the book so compelling and irresistible.”

Deception Cove
by Owen Laukkanen
(Mulholland/Little Brown – $33.00 – 374 pages)
“…one powerful tale, and don’t be deceived into passing this book by. It deserves to be read.”

The Night Window
by Dean Koontz
(Bantam – $37.00 – 420 pages)
“Jane Hawk was one of the best female protagonists Koontz has ever created.”

Death Blow
by Isabella Maldonado
(Midnight Ink – $21.99 – 330 pages)
“DEATH BLOW is book three of the Veranda Cruz series, possibly the most intense tale of the trio.”

Dead At First Sight
by Peter James
(Macmillan – $44.95 – 436 pages)
“Peter James never skimps on detail in in his book. Nor on interesting plots.”

by Rachel Edwards
(Fourth Estate – $24.95 – 343 pages)
“…a blend of domestic suspense and thriller…”

Under Currents
by Nora Roberts
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.99 -436 pages)
“This is another powerful suspense/love story from one of the best writers of today.”

by Jon Clinch
(Atria – $36.00 – 288 pages)
“Jon Clinch does an exceptional job of reworking the traditional tale.”

Someone Knows
by Lisa Scottoline
(Putnam – $36.00 – 388 pages)
“…a book so good you will want to let everyone know that they should read it.”

Hard Ride
by Elmer Kelton
(Forge- $36.50 – 416 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“No matter what tale you embark on, odds are in your favour that you will come across a story that you will wish not to put down ”

Once Upon A River
by  Diane Setterfield
(Bond Street/Doubleday Canada – $34.00 – 420 pages)
“…a true gem of a work of fiction.”

Ask Again, Yes
by Mary Beth Keane
(Scribner – $24.99 – 390 pages)
“…a book that you will enjoy and savor totally.”

The Stranger Inside
by Laura Benedict
(Mulholland/Little Brown – $35.00 – 352 pages)
“…definitely Laura Benedict’s best book.”

The Time for Murder is Meow
by T.C. Lotempio
(Midnight Ink – $21.99 – 303 pages)
“…will more than have you purring by the time you reach the end of the book.”

The Women in the Blue Cloak
by Deon Meyer – Translated by K.L. Seegers
(Atlantic Monthly Press – $29.95 – 160 pages)
“…short but inside the pages of the slim volume is a riveting tale, where you wish there were dozens more pages.”


*** Non-Fiction Section ***

The Nature of Life and Death Every Body Leaves A Trace
by Patricia Wiltshire
(Putnam – $36.00 -290 pages)
“It brings a most unique form of forensics into the public eye.”

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (The Wild Definitive Sage of Rock’s Greatest Supergroup)
by David Browne
(DaCapo – $39.00 – 464 pages)
“This is a super book for those who could get enough of the original supergroup.”

Inside Out
by Demi Moore
(Harper – $34.99 – 262 pages)
“By the time you finish this most riveting story, you will have a new appreciation and respect for the star.”

The Five: The Lives of Jack the Ripper’s Women
by Hallie Rubenhold
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $39.99 – 352 pages)
“Hallie Rubenhold finally gives them a voice and some long-overdue dignity.”

This One Looks Like a Boy – My Gender Journey to Life As A Man
by Lorimer Shehner
(Greystone  – $32.95 – 292 pages)
“Lorimer looks at life from different directions, and anyone going through similar gender issues will find solace in his words.”

Backroads of Ontario 5th Edition Expanded and Updated
by Ron Brown
(Firefly – $29.95 – 256 pages)
“BACKROADS OF ONTARIO takes us back to basics, savouring unique locations, and offering countless reasons to visit them.”

Lost Transmissions: The Secret History of Science Fiction and Fantasy
by Desirina Boskovich
(Abrams Image – $37.95 – 280 pages)
“This book is a sci-fi/fantasy lover’s dream come true, with so many little known nuggets that will give readers even more to love about the genres.”

50 Years of Fluevog (Unique Soles for Unique Souls)
by John Fluevog
(Life Tree Media – $65.00 – 170 pages
“That shows dedication and great sole, and a truly amazing life.”

The Time Has Come (Why Men Must Join The Gender Equality Revolution)
by Michael Kaufman
(Anansi – $22.95 – 262 pages)
“This is an important book as well for fathers and sons to read and discuss what is expected of them in life. The time has come to read this book and learn the lessons noted inside.”

The First Americans: The Story of the Indigenous North Americans
by Jay Wertz
(Andrew Deutsch- $39.95 – 160 pages)
“It is a first-class reference guide and precise historical tribute to Native peoples.”

Smithsonian Fashion: The Definitive Visual Guide New Edition
(DK Books – $65.00 – 480 pages)
“…one readily sees the long and fascinating journey the fashion world has taken.”

Kitchen Party Effortless Recipes for Every Occasion 
by Mary Berg
(Appetite – $32.00 – 260 pages)
“This is a classic recipe book that takes the stress out of food and entertaining.”

by Laura Clery
(Gallery – $34.00 – 248 pages)
“IDIOT may seem an appropriate title for some, but survivor is now her mantra, as life will not always be a bottomless pit.”

Be With: Letters To A Caregiver
by Mike Barnes
(Biblioasis – $17.95 – 150 pages)
“…reading Mike Barnes’ poignant recounting in dealing with the disease involving his mother Mary will leave one misty-eyes at times.”

British Columbia: A New Historical Atlas
by Derek Hayes
(Douglas & McIntyre – $44.95 – 368 pages)
“It is like holding a part of the world in your fingertips. Turning every page revealing another part of the masterpiece.”

*** Books for Children ***

Summer North Coming
by Dorothy Bentley – Illustrated by Jessica Bartram
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $19.95- 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