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

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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

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

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

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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

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

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

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 ***

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

Shelf Life Magazine – February 2019

Ffeb19shelfcoverebruary, being the month of love, hearts and cupids, indirectly relates to what Shelf Life is about. There are no hearts and cupids generally, but when it comes to love, we try and foster the love of books. One thing we strive to encourage most, is to go beyond your comfort level in reading, and look for books of other genres. Those who might love mysteries only, might be hesitant to open a book that has elements of fantasy or horror, but as we often discover from people who write us, they took a chance beyond what they were used to and actually liked it. The same, of course, goes for non-fiction and trying books one might not normally read. You may not like every single book of that nature, but the main thing is seeking knowledge beyond what one normally enjoys. And life, like reading, is keeping yourself open to change and new things. And what is the worst that could happen? You might find a new area for reading enjoyment. We hope that happens.

Enjoy this issue!

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best February Fiction ***

by Stephen King
(Scribner – $24.99 – 146 pages)
“…a departure for King in many ways…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Three Beths
by Jeff Abbott
(Grand Central – $34.00 – 400 pages)
“The book is a tense tale with one twist trumping another…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Believe Me
by J.P. Delaney
(Doubleday Canada – $24.95 – 334 pages)
“There is psychological thriller taken to the tenth degree…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of February Fiction ***

Baby Teeth
by Zoje Stage
(St. Martin’s Press – $34.99 – 304 pages)
“It makes the book a real page-turner.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Pharaoh Key
by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
(Grand Central – $36.50 – 310 pages)
“Fans of the Gideon Crew series will have the chance to see Preston and Child’s latest creation in what appears to be his swan song.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Promise Not to Tell
by Jayne Anne Krentz
(Berkley – $36.00 – 325 pages)
“Krentz writes with great passion, and between the fight for love or death, there are many other elements that make the book a tension-filled thriller.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Savior’s Game
by Sean Chercover
(Thomas & Mercer – $21.95 – 272 pages)
“The conclusion is promising, and brings to an end the unusual trilogy.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

by Carol Kepnes
(Lenny – $36.00 – 370 pages)
“PROVIDENCE is so engrossing, you simply will not be able to stop reading.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Absolute Proof
by Pete James
(MacMillan – $40.99 – 560 pages)
“This departure by James is well worth the read.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

A Spark of Light
by Jodi Picoult
(Random House Canada – $32.00 – 370 pages)
“…the book is told in reverse, a captivating literary device.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Disappeared
by C.J. Box
(Putnam – $36.00 – 390 pages)
“Box as usual offers superior fiction and this book…is as entertaining as any book preceding it.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Forgotten Ones
by Steena Holmse
(Lake Union Publishing – $21.95 – 337 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“…the novel’s unique storytelling provides a realistic and deeply moving experience.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The 17th Suspects
by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
(Little Brown – $38.00 – 354 pages)
“Patterson and Paetro continue with their compelling stories…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Flight Attendant
by Chris Bohjalian
(Doubleday – $35.95 – 357 pages)
“Bohjalian’s book may have some improbable moments, but the frantic age of the plot negates any mediocre twists.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Robert B. Parker’s Old Black Magic
by Ace Atkins
(Putnam – $36.00 – 320 pages)
“…has that same magic that Parker gave us for so many years.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Western Wind
by Samantha Harvey
(Grove Press – $38.95 – 304 pages)
“…she takes her fiction soaring to a new novel with a historic tale of epidemic proportions.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

You Don’t Own Me
by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
(Simon & Schuster – $35.99 -272 pages)
“…certainly one of the best of the series.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Collector’s Apprentice
by B.A. Shapiron
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill – $38.95 – 342 pages)
“…book twenty-nine in the series that shows no signs of letting up, nor of Kenyon deciding to draw it to a close.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best February Non-Fiction ***

by Bob Woodward
(Simon & Schuster – $39.99  – 420 pages)
“The book has become a best seller because people cannot get enough of Trump for better or worse.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

@The Stormpilot
Pictures by Santiago Borja
(teNeues – $60.00 – 164 pages)
“There is nothing routine about these photos, showing cloud formations with such intimacy and depth.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of February Non-Fiction ****

Marvel Studios Visual Dictionary
by Adam Bray
(DK Books  – $39.00 – 200 pages)
“This book is a must-own for Marvel lovers everywhere.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Cowgirl Power: How to Kick! Ass in Business and Life
by Gay Gaddis
(Center Street – $34.00 – 272 pages)
“Power to the cowgirls of the world, who learn that with Gay Gaddis on their side, they are one step closer to success.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Bell Gunness Butcher of Men
by Harold Schechter
(Little A – $35.95 -326 pages)
“…has created an interesting story of her life and times.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography
by Andrea Warner
(Greystone- $36.00 – 300 pages)
“…you will understand her life and times, and contribution to culture and music.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Iconic Magazine Covers
by Ian Birch
(Firefly – $49.95 – 256 pages)
“There have been many magazine covers over the decades both controversial and visual appealing.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Children of Nazis
by Tania Crasnianski (Translated by Molly Grogan)
(Arcade – $35.95 – 238 pages)
“…more chilling than any fiction you might read.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and the Wickedest Town in the American West
by Tom Clavin
(St. Martin’s Press – $41.99 – 384 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…readers get a chance to learn the true history of many of the icons of this particular genre…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

This Will Only Hurt A Little
by Busy Philipps
(Touchstone – $35.99 – 312 pages)
“So it’s time to get busy and seek out this most entertaining and amusing book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Grit and Glory: Celebrating 40 Years of the Edmonton Oilers
by Schultz Nicholson
(Viking – $40.00 – 310 pages)
“…follows the evolution of the team, along with every player who donned an Edmonton jersey.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Desert and the Sea
by Michael Scott Moore
(Harper Wave – $34.99 – 464 pages)
“The book is certainly an eye-opener to the world around us…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy
by Amy Ratcliffe
(Chronicle – $42.95 – 232 pages)
“…paying homage to the women who have been integral parts of the movies, comics, fiction, and basically anything associate with the film.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Fay Weller and Mary Wilson
(New Society Publishers – $17.99 – 200 pages)
“…(offers) a beacon of light and hope in these totally turbulent times. Change begins with opening the pages of this enlightening book.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Hockey Fight in Canada
by David Shoalts
(Douglas & McIntyre – $22.95 – 212 pages)
“…the author looks back at the blockbuster decision for Rogers Media back in 2013 to have exclusive rights to the broadcasts.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The World of the Rock
by Steve Pantaleo
(DK Books – $31.99 – 160 pages)
“This tribute to the Rock, rolls proudly from first page to last.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – January 2019

jan19coverWelcome to 2019 and Happy New Year to all! Hard to believe another year has passed into the ether as they say, but hopefully this year will be memorable for everyone out there.  A new year also brings a new selection of books, where one again, we fulfill our praise to offer reviews of the best in books. As always, hopefully we inspire you to head to your bookstore and purchase many of the titles. There is little question they are worthy of your attention and hard-earned money. Keep those emails coming with your suggestions and comments about our choices. In the immortal words of the late comedic legend Jackie Gleason, “and away we go!”

Enjoy this issue!

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best January Fiction ***

The Policeman’s Daughter
by Trudy Nan Boyce
(Putnam – $37.00 – 338 pages)
“This is one detective truly worth her Salt!”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

by Rosie Walsh
(Mantle – $24.99 – 344 pages)
“…vastly different from the majority of books on store shelves.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Bad Daughter
by Joy Fielding
(Doubleday Canada – $32.00 – 356 pages)
“…very good, a great mystery both entertaining, and one that becomes a total page turner.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of January Fiction ***

Dark Sacred Night
by Michael Connelly
(Little Brown – $38.00 – 448 pages)
“It is books like DARK SACRED NIGHT that reinforces precisely why we enjoy any book written by Michael Connelly.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Other Lady Vanishes
by Amanda Quick
(Berkley – $36.00 – 342 pages)
“Amanda Quick can take any genre and do wonders with it.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shattered Mirror
by Iris Johansen
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.00 – 339 pages)
“…a tense and powerful reading experience…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

White Rose Black Forest
by Eoin Dempsey
(Lake Union – $19.75 – 258 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“Intense and emotional, and based on true historical events, the book straddles the line between the genres of historical fiction and thriller.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Give Me Your Hand
by Megan Abbott
(Little Brown – $22.99 – 342 pages)
“…will definitely linger in your mind as the story is intense…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

All We Ever Wanted
by Emily Giffin
(Doubleday Canada – $32.00 – 334 pages)
“…the typical superior chick-lit that Emily Giffin is noted for.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Vince Flynn Red War
by Kyle Mills
(Emily Bestler/Atria – $22.00 – 370 pages)
“…continues the quality work of the series…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Under My Skin
by Lisa Unger
(Park Row Books – $22.99 – 365 pages)
“…will definitely get under your skin, but in a positive way…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Darkness Absolute
by Kelley Armstrong
(Random House Canada – $29.95 – 454 pages)
“Armstrong writes the characters with dark elements that add to the chilling nature of the book.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

A Darkness of the Heart
by Gail Bowen
(McClelland & Stewart – $32.00 – 272 pages)
“…shows another side of Bowen’s writing prowess, adding new dynamics to her life and times…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Crooked Staircase
by Dean Koontz
(Bantam – $37.00 – 434 pages)
“…will take the reader further into the world of suspense and intrigue…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Twisted Prey
by John Sandford
(Putnam – $39.00 – 388 pages)
“…Sandford again proves why his books become better each time…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Cat Flap
by Alan S. Cowell
(St. Martin’s Press – $32.50 – 230 pages)
“For those who enjoy books with animals as a main theme, they will definitely enjoy CAT FLAP.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek
by Anthony O’Neill
(Skyhorse – $29.99 -216 pages)
“…it advances the story to areas (Louis) Stevenson may have envisioned if he had penned another book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Sherrilyn Kenyon
(Tor – $36.50 – 660 pages)
“…book twenty-nine in the series that shows no signs of letting up, nor of Kenyon deciding to draw it to a close.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Big Woods
by May Cobb
(Midnight Ink – $21.95 –  300 pages)
“Keep an eye out for future books from this author. She is just getting started.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best January Non-Fiction ***

My Squirrel Days
by Ellie Kemper
(Scribner – $32.99  – 240 pages)
“…so much to savour in this entertaining autobiography.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Full Disclosure
by Stormy Daniels with Kevin Carr O’Leary
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.50 – 270 pages)
“You will be pleasantly surprised at Stormy’s savvy and honesty.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Canoes: A Natural History in North America
by Mark Neuzil & Norman Sims
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $40.00 – 372 pages)
“…the authors provide a scholarly and historical approach to one of the oldest modes of transportation.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of January Non-Fiction ****

Little Shoes: The Sensational Depression-Era Murders That Became My Family’s Secret
by Pamela Everett
(Skyhorse – $37.99 – 232 pages)
“…takes bold steps in reassessing a classic crime.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Season in the Sun: The Rise of Mickey Mantle
by Randy Roberts & Johnny Smith
(Basic Books – $36.50 – 304 pages)
“…should be required reading for children who one day envision themselves as sports stars.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution
by Willard Sterne Randall
(St. Martin’s Press – $41.99 – 452 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…Randall’s brilliant tome does substantially more than simply tackle the subject of the War of 1812.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary New Edition
by James Lucerno, David West Reynolds, Ryder Windham, Jason Fry & Pablo Hidalgo
(DK Books – $35.00 – 352 pages)
“With over 350 pages of the best in Star Wars, the book will entertain, illuminate, and mesmerize every fan of the movies.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Happy Down Below
by Dr. Oliver Gralla
(Greystone – $22.95 – 224 pages)
“It makes HAPPY DOWN BELOW a book to be shared by men and women in terms of sexuality, creating a more fulfilling life and intimate moments.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Kate How To Dress Like a Style Icon
by Caroline Jones
(Carlton Book – $40.00 – 210 pages)
“…you might feel like a queen after learning fashion tricks of the trade.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Silver Age Doom Patrol Volume One
(DC Comics – $39.99 – 380 pages)
“You will feel no doom and gloom reading this book, rather a nostalgic happiness in being reunited with the issues that brought the Doom Patrol to the comic buying public.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Tina Turner: My Love Story
by Tina Turner with Deborah Davis & Dominik Wichmann
(Atria – $34.99 – 262 pages)
“This is quite the autobiography, told from the hear with much heart and soul.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Adele: The Other Side – The Stories Behind Her Songs
by Caroline Sullivan
(Carlton Books – $33.95 – 160 pages)
“Fans of the singer will enjoy the photos and words that relate to her songs and her amazing career.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Science of Cooking (Every Question Answered To Perfect Your Cooking)
by Dr. Stuart Farrimond
(DK Books – $39.00 – 256 pages)
“The book notes how you can take your cooking skills to the next level, transforming the way you cook.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

100 Nature Hot Spots in British Columbia (The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places)
by Lyndsay Fraser and Christina Smuth
(Firefly – $29.95 – 244 pages)
“…this book is your guide to the best British Columbia has to offer.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Going the Distance – The Life and Works of W.P. Kinsella
by William Steele
(Douglas & McIntyre – $34.95 – 293 pages)
“…an honest assessment and retelling of the life of a literary legend.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Beyond Forgetting – Celebrating 100 Years of Al Purdy
Edited by Howard White & Emma Skagen
(Harbour Publishing – $22.95 – 173 pages)
“If Al Purdy were alive today, he would certainly appreciate the comments and the observations of his life and times.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – December 2018

december2018coverWelcome to the 13th Annual Books as Holiday Gifts special issue. We’re not superstitious around here, because the books included in the issue are far from unlucky. In fact, reading them will be your lucky day, because all of them are perfect for your own library or for giving to others as holiday gifts. Books make the perfect present, as they are always welcome whether at Christmas, for birthdays, or any other occasion. In fact, you don’t need an excuse to give someone a book. Or you can treat yourself. They are welcome any time of year. In that regard, we offer a cross-section of books for many interests, and hope our choices will end up as your choices as well. As in the case with previous Books as Holiday Gifts special issues, no bookmarks are given as all books are highly recommended.

All of us at Shelf Life wish you, your families and friends, all the best of the holiday season. May the spirit of the season embrace you and remain in your heart year round.

Enjoy this issue!

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***

The President is Missing
by Bill Clinton & James Patterson
(Little Brown/Knopf – $39.00 – 515 pages)
“…(keeps) the reader breezing from one chapter to the next.”

Island of the Mad
by Laurie R. King
(Bantam – $37.00 – 302 pages)
“…has something for everyone, a solid mystery with added touches of vital history.”

The Switch
by Joseph Finder
(Dutton – $37.00 – 390 pages)
“…a finely-tuned and well-crafted tale that will keep your pulse well into the book.”

The Last Night Out
by Catherine O’Connell
(Severn House – $37.95 – 298 pages)
“O’Connell tells the story in mesmerizing style.”

Sometimes I Lie
by Alice Feeney
(Flatiron Books – $34.99 – 262 pages)
“…a dazzling work that contains one puzzle after another, one that begs to be solved as quickly as possible.”

A Stranger In the House
by Shari Lapena
(Doubleday Canada – $24.95 – 305 pages)
“There are even more nifty twists, so don’t be a stranger to this book when looking for a great mystery to read.”

Perfect Remains
by Helen Fields
(Avon – $21.99 – 408 pages)
“If you can get over your squeamishness, you will be rewarded with a very creative tale.”

The Return
by Joseph Helmreich
(St. Martin’s Press – $36.99 – 248 pages)
“THE RETURN’S complex, multi-dimensional characters are relatable to the readers, and the fast pace of the novel keeps readers constantly on the edge of their seats.”

Robert B. Parker’s Revelation
by Robert Knott
(Putnam – $36.00 – 326 pages)
“…a true revelation of a book, superbly illustrating the Wild West days, and the lawlessness that became a trademark of the times.”

The Hot War: Armistice
by Harry Turtledove
(Del Rey – $38.99 – 430 pages)
by John M. Milner
“…takes us along for a thrilling ride to discover just how this war might end, who might survive, and what comes next.”

Red Alert
by James Patterson & Marshal Karp
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 352 pages)
“Of the five books from the series, this may be the best.”

Too Close to Breathe
by Olivia Kiernan
(Dutton – $35.00 – 292 pages)
“…will take your breath away, with superior writing and great pacing.”

by Jenna Jameson & Jamie K. Schmidt
(Skyhorse – $22.99 – 266 pages)
“SPICE is not just a fluff novel, but rather works on many fronts…The honest writing is the perfect spice in this book.”

The Greek Escape
by Karen Swan
(Macmillan – $24.99 – 420 pages)
“…the book is a true escape into a world where love and happiness may be fleeting, but are worth the risk.”

Kings of Broken Things
by Theodore Wheeler
(Little A – $21.95 – 330 pages)
“..tense and written with raw realism…”

By Invitation Only
by Dorothea Benton Frank
(William Morrow – $21.99 – 390 pages)
“I makes for a memorable tale of love, family and hope.”

Artic Gambit
by Larry Bond
(Forge – $36.50 – 333 pages)
“As realistic as it gets, the book is definitely one that will rivet you to the pages.”


*** Non-Fiction Section ***

In Pieces
by Sally Field
(Grand Central Publishing – $38.00 – 406 pages)
“…candid and honest portrayal of her life and times, one that definitely is a must read for all her fans.”

The Beatles: The Band That Changed the World
by Terry Burrows
(Carlton – $49.95 – 186 pages)
“…let this book be one that you hastily add to your library.”

War Against Crime! Volume 1 The EC Archives
(Dark Horse – $65.99 – 210 pages)
“With exceptional artwork and stories, these stories beg to be read once again.”

Live Long and… What I Learned Along the Way
by William Shatner with David Fisher
(Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press – $34.99 – 214 pages)
“Shatner offers serious advice about romance, wealth, and staying debt-free.”

Whiskey in a Teacup (What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love and Baking Bisquits)
by Reese Witherspoon
(Touchstone – $45.00 – 306 pages)
“the book is filled with plenty of recipes that offer definitive Southern comfort.”

Vegan Recipes from Spain
by Gonzalo Baro
(Grub Street – $32.95 – 196 pages)
“…this book will provide a delightful and tasty difference.”

The Story of Food: An Illustrated History of Everything We Eat
by Giles Coren
(DK Books – $45.00 – 360 pages)
“…you will have a deeper appreciation for the sort of foods we take for granted.”

If I Could Tell You Just One Thing
by Richard Reed
(Canongate – $41.95 – 346 pages)
“The strength of the book is in the uniqueness of answers.”

Waterfalls of Ontario Third Edition
by Mark Harris – Photographs by George Fischer
(Firefly – $29.95 – 262 pages)
“… the spectacular photos from George Fisher makes this a go-to nature book.”

Women Who Rock: Beyoncé to Bessie, Girl Groups to Riot Grrl
Edited by Evelyn McDonnell
(Black Dog & Leventhal – $45.50 – 404 pages)
“This book truly rocks in more ways than one.”

by David Itzkoff
(Henry Holt – $39.00 – 530 pages)
“…this first truly comprehensive look at the life and times of comedic genius Robin Williams brings into very sharp perspective what motivated and moved him.”

The Word Detective (Searching for the Meaning of It All At the Oxford English Dictionary)
by John Simpson
(Basic Books – $36.50 – 368 pages)
“In a word, this book is a fascinating work, one that definitely can be described in one word-classic.”

Wilding – The Return of Nature to An English Farm
by Isabela Tree
(Picador – 38.99 – 274 pages)
“The book looks at how letting nature police itself so to speak became the rallying cry for their life.”

The Living Forest: A Visual Journey Into the Heart of the Woods
by Joan Maloof – Photography by Robert Llewellyn
(Timber Press  – $60.00 – 260 pages)
“The photography of Robert Llewellyn is stunning, bringing the subject to life with such intensity that we swear we are sitting in the middle of the forest.”

For You To Two (Dr. Ruth’s Rules for Real Relationships)
by Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer with Pierre A. Lehu
(Amazon Publishing – $21.99 – 150 pages)
“She gets to the heart of the matter, talking about love in this technological era.”

*** Illustrated Books for Younger Readers ***

If you are looking for books for children of younger ages in your life, the following books would make the perfect gifts for them. On a variety of topics, there is something for all ages from four to ten, though other ages might like them, too.

by S.E. Hume – Illustrations by Jessica Bromley Bartram
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $19.95 – 32 pages)
“Charles is a most entertaining story…”
(Ages 4-8)

Hungry for Science – Poems to Crunch On
by Kari Lynn-Winters & Lori Sherrit-Fleming – Pictures by Peggy Collins
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“This is a great way to make children see science in a new light…”
(Ages 4-8)

The Christmas Wind
by Stephanie Simpson McClellen & Brooke Kerrigan
(Red Deer Press – $19.95 – 32 pages)
“…this story will resonate and feel just as important no matter what time of year it is read.”
(Ages 5-10)

The Spirit Trackers
by Jan Bourdeau Waboose – Illustrated by Francois Thisdale
(Fifth House – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“…a most colourful book that the myths and legends of Indigenous people.”
(Ages 5-10)

Here Comes Rhinocerous
by Heinz Janisch & Helga Bansch – Translated by Evan Jones
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $18.95 – 32 pages)
“Reading this book will provide an important lesson…”

Shelf Life Magazine – November 2018

Shelf Life November coverNo matter what profession a person may be in, criticism makes one wiser and more aware of the likes and dislikes aimed at them. Shelf Life has always welcomed criticism and we enjoy receiving both positive and negative, though in honesty the positives do outnumber the negatives. Comments keep us on our toes and don’t think simply because we recently celebrated our twentieth anniversary, that we are simply resting on our laurels. No sure. The reason I noted this is the October 2018 issue generated above-average comments simply because of the front cover and new Shelf Life logo and we felt it was time for a change.  Most people like the new type style. One person even commented they thought it was a new publication because the logo was different. We hope they were not disappointed it was still us. The bottom line is, please continue conversing with us about the books we feature, what you like to see, and anything else on your mind. We thank you for all feedback.  Now on to the books!

Enjoy this issue!

Paul Sutter

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

Exhibit Alexandra
by Natasha Bell
(Crown – $36.00 – 312 pages)
“…like the classic whodunit of mystery novels.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Let Me Lie
by Clare Mackintosh
(Berkley – $35.00 – 386 pages)
“This is a powerful voice in the world of mystery writing, and that is no lie.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

After Anna
by Lisa Scottoline
(St. Martin’s Pres – $36.00 – 390 pages)
“…even the most hard-to-please reader out there would have to admit there is so much to like about the book.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of November Fiction ***

by Daniel Cole
(Ecco – $34.99 – 384 pages)
“Daniel Cole does a superb job of keeping the identity of the killer intact, making the reader guess continually just who might be the murderer.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Accidental Heroes
by Daniel Steel
(Delacorte Press – $38.99 – 255 pages)
“… a different sort of tale, backing off slightly from what is considered a total love story.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Pretty Girls Dancing
by Kylie Brant
(Thomas & Mercer – $35.95 – 356 pages)
“PRETTY GIRLS DANCING has you hanging on every word, as we learn about the killer’s movies and more.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

How It Happened
by Michael Koryta
(Little Brown – $35.00 – 356 pages)
“Michael Koryta writes the sort of mystery that leaves you captivated. It makes HOW IT HAPPENED one of the best books of his stellar writing career.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Closer Than You Know
by Brad Parks
(Dutton – $37.00 – 404 pages)
“…the slower pace gives the reader the opportunity to savor the book all the more.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Dead If You Don’t
by Peter James
(Macmillan – $24.99 – 420 pages)
“This is the sort of sophisticated thriller we have come to expect from Peter James.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Robert B. Parker’s The Hangman’s Sonnet
by Reed Farrel Coleman
(Putnam – $36.00 – 355 pages)
“…Coleman gives the reader a lot to enjoy.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Monster: The Graphic Novel
by Jonathan Kellerman – Art by Michael Gaydos – Adapted by Ande Parks
(Ballantine – $35.00 – 166 pages)
“…Monster seemed to stand out from the crowd. Put in graphic form, it stands out all the more”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

The Undertaker’s Daughter
by Sara Blaedel
(Grand Central – $34.00 – 326 pages)
“The book and characters may take some time getting used to.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

A Darkness of the Heart
by Gail Bowen
(McClelland & Stewart – $32.00 – 272 pages)
“…shows another side of Bowen’s writing prowess, adding new dynamics to her life and times…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

In Her Bones
by Kate Moretti
(Atria – $22.50 – 310 pages)
“The plot swings wildly like a lock pendulum from one twist to another.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Drop by Drop
by Morgan Llywelyn
(Tor – $33.99 – 320 pages)
“It is a definite beginning that the author is sure to flesh out in the next two books of the series.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Amateurs
by Liz Harmer
(Knopf Canada – $32.95 – 330 pages)
“…a thinking person’s novel, a true treat from start to finish.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Junie Coffey
(Lake Union – $21.95 – 262 pages)
“…bound to catch your interest for a light read, with some very diverse characters…”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Baby You’re Gonna Be Mine
by Kevin Wilson
(Ecco – $31.99 – 288 pages)
“… a book for lovers of short stories, but especially ones that are filled with insight and depth.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

On a Beautiful Day
by Lucy Diamond
(Macmillan – $24.99 – 480 pages)
“This creates a story in which we care for each character because of their desire to face life and its hurdles for better or worse.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Blood Highway
by Gina Wohlsdorf
(Algonquin Paperbacks – $21.95 – 310 pages)
“…we find an even more intense tale with a heroine we root for on every page.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks


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

Smithsonian World War I The Definitive Visual History
by R.G. Grant
(DK Books – $52.00 – 372 pages)
“…brings the War to life in ways old school textbooks never could.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion World Tour
by Jake Macdonald
(Greystone – $34.95 – 164 pages)
“…takes us back to that time when Canadians and those in other countries around the world were able to meet one amazing Canadian.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

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

You’re On An Airplane
by Parker Posey
(Blue Rider Press – $37.00 – 312 pages)
“The stories are told most matter-of-factly, as we listen in rapt attention.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

George Michael Freedom: The Ultimate Tribute 1963-2016
by David Nolan
(Carlton – $40.00 – 144 pages)
“…making George Michael stand very tall with this informative and very moving tribute.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

With Hitler and Mussolini Memoirs of  A Nazi Interpreter
by Eugen Dollman
(Skyhorse – $38.99 – 352 pages)
“The author writes with a flair for detail, and it is this detail that makes the book work so well.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Rogues’ Gallery The Rise (and Occasional Fall) of Art Dealers, The Hidden Players in the History of Art
by Philip Hook
(The Experiment – $37.99 – 297 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“The reader is introduced to a variety of colorful individuals involved in trade throughout history.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

I’ve Got This Round – More Tales of Debauchery
by Mamrie Hart
(Plume – $32.00 – 294 pages)
“Mamrie Hart puts heart and soul into this work.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Marvel Black Panther: The Ultimate Guide
by Stephen Win Wiacek
(DK Books – $31.99 – 200 pages)
“DK Books continues their exceptional tribute guides to the best characters from Marvel…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Judgment Detox
by Gabrielle Bernstein
(North Star Way – $34.99 – 230 pages)
“Those who are quick to judge will find positives in the book.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Awesome Ancient Grains and Seeds (A Garden to Kitchen Guide)
by Dan Jensen & Michelle Genest
(Douglas McIntyre – $24.95 – 196 pages)
“There is much to learn in the book about grains and seeds, giving us true grains of wisdom.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

by David Sedaris
(Little Brown – $34.99 – 272 pages)
“…he looks at life in his sixth decade. It is definitely a time for introspection and facing one’s mortality.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Over and Above
by Captain John E. Gurdon
(Grub Street – $29.95 – 182 pages)
“The writing is polished and the description sometimes poetic in nature.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Book of Highs 252 Ways to Alter Your Consciousness Without Drugs
by Edward Rosenfeld
(Workman – $25.95 – 302 pages)
“The book is a curiosity to say the least, one that depending on your consciousness needs may be beneficial.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Complete Guide to Nutrients
by Dr. Michael Sharon
(Carlton Books – $25.95 – 344 pages)
“…gives the reader a complete guide to the best foods for your body.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – October 2018

shelflifeoct2018.jpgOver the years, SHELF LIFE has used different phrases to try and catch the attention of the reader. “Read them and reap, reviews you can use,” and “books worth a look,” are but a few. The latest “Experience the need to read,” came as a result of discussion with a friend. He askes me after publishing and editing Shelf Life for twenty years, why I continued to do so. My response initially was because it is challenging and I love books. Then I said, “I want people to experience the need to read.” He nodded vigorously and said, “I like that.” He even picked up a pen and paper and wrote those words down. Words like this have been my mantra in a manner of speaking. Having been a constant reader since age 10 and now in my sixties, I continue to find joy within the pages of books no matter what the subject. But there is an even greater reason for people to “experience the need to read.” Research has noted that because dementia and Alzheimer’s have become so prominent, we must find ways to keep the brain stimulated. Reading they said was one of those ways. I endorse this heartily. It may not halt the onset of diseases, but anything to give you the fighting chance is paramount and certainly a positive. In this issue are more than thirty reasons to read, and surely there are topics and books that must pique your interest. Hopefully, we are doing our little part to encourage people never to just sit and do nothing. Reading a book is a memorable experience, one that hopefully this publication will encourage people to do for many years to come.

Enjoy this issue!

Paul Sutter

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best October Fiction ***

Bellevue Square
by Michael Redhill
(Doubleday Canada – $32.00 – 262 pages)
“It is a quirky, delightful book that grows on you the more you read.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Cutting Edge
by Jeffrey Deaver
(Grand Central Publishing – $36.50 – 448 pages)
“Deaver offers the usual thrills and suspense that comes quickly and consistently.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of October Fiction ***

Hold Back the Dark
by Kay Hooper
(Berkley – $36.00 – 292 pages)
“It is not your typical thriller because there is so much happening, mainly of the bizarre and unexplained variety.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Chalk Man
by C.J. Tudor
(Doubleday Canada – $24.95 – 278 pages)
“The mystery deepens by the page…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

by Jeff Abbott
(Grand Central Publishing – $34.00 – 375 pages)
“…another classic tale that you won’t want to put down.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

by Jonathan Maberry
(St. Martin’s Press – $34.99 – 338 pages)
“…has elements of horror, along with mystery and suspense.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Shoot First
by Stuart Woods
(Putnam – $37.00 – 360 pages)
“…a book you should read first, and ask questions later.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Outsider
by Stephen King
(Scribner – $39.99 – 563 pages)
“THE OUTSIDER is classic King, a book most mesmerizing.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties
by Camille Pagan
(Lake Union – $21.95 – 246 pages)
“We happily follow (Maggie), along with the other characters as Maggie learns from life and adversity, not letting it define or defeat her.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Rooster Bar
by John Grisham
(Doubleday – $37.00 – 354 pages)
“…focuses on scams and rip offs, making for an interesting read as you cheer for the underdogs …”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Late Show
by Michael Connelly
(Little Brown – $36.50- 408 pages)
“…has a definite winner with Renee Ballard, and we cannot wait to see what happens next to this feisty and lethal lady cop.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Operation Down
by Brad Taylor
(Dutton – $36.00 – 450 pages)
“…the same intensity of all past books, with the usual life-threatening moments tossed in for good measure.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell
by Robert Dugoni
(Lake Union – $21.95 – 430 pages)
“…a book with a message of hope, that something good will eventually come from bad…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Shepherd’s Hut
by Tim Winton
(Picador – $30.99 – 267 pages)
“… a most intense and gritty tale of survival and coming to grips with realities that cannot be changed.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Woman Who Ran
by Sam Baker
(Harper Collins – $21.99 – 406 pages)
“…a book we should definitely not run from, but stay intently reading until we arrive at the moment of truth and beyond.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Evil That Men Do
by Robert Gleason
(Forge – $36.50 – 432 pages)
“It is complex and very well crafted, a book with so many elements playing into the story.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

In the Hush of the Night
by Raymond Benson
(Skyhorse – $37.99 – 316 pages)
“Benson’s writing style (takes) us for an unstoppable ride to the last pages.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Dark Angel
by Elly Griffiths
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $36.00 – 345 pages)
“…has the same elements that have created a strong fan base for the author.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Ruinous Sweep
by Tim Wynne-Jones
(Candlewick Press – $21.00 – 388 pages)
“There is a mystical quality to the passages both in fantasy and reality.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best October Non-Fiction ***

The Official NHL Hockey Treasures – Centennial Edition 1917-2017
by Dan Diamond with Eric Zweig & Craig Ellenport
(Thomas Allen – $34.99 – 100 pages)
“No serious fan of the sport should be without this ultimate tribute to 100 years of incredible hockey history.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Girl, Wash Your Face
by Rachel Hollis
(DK Books – $28.50 -220 pages)
“…will cleanse your body with inspiration and candor.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of October Non-Fiction ****

Paul Simon: The Life
by Robert Hilburn
(Simon & Schuster – $39.99 – 438 pages)
“…everyone a biography should be, filled with heart and soul and what has made Simon one of the greats of the music world.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
by Tricia Barr, Adam Bray, & Cole Horton
(DK Books – $37.00 – 202 pages)
“…another one of those things fans need to add to their collection…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Operation Robot: A Century of Science Fiction, Fact, and Speculation
by Terri Favro
(Skyhorse – $38.99 – 231 pages)
Reviewed by: Tori Levang
“This creates a well-rounded view and examination of robots in general, and what it might mean for humans in the future.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Big Break
by Stephen Dando Collins
(St. Martin’s Press – $38.99 – 252 pages)
“…relating the graphic details, showing triumphs of the heart and spirit…”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

The Man Who Could Be King
by John Ripley Miller
(Little A – $21.95 – 294 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…eventually the knowledge Miller is trying to impart bods down the story he is trying to tell.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Girl, It’s Not You (It’s Definitely Him)
by Megan Edwards and Janet Reynolds
(Self Publishing Agency – $19.95 – 190 pages)
“…offers even more disturbing stories of men who created some of the worst possible dates for the women with them.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Giada’s Italy
by Giada De Laurenitis
(Potter – $47.00 – 290 pages)
“This is certainly a book for lovers of Italian food and the many variations that can be expertly created.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Vault of Horror – The EC Archives Volume 1
(Dark Horse – $65.99 – 220 pages)
“Story after story, we are captivated…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea
by Michael L. Hadley & Anita Hadley
(Douglas & McIntyre – $36.95 – 337 pages)
“…an excellent job of creating a book that is reflective of the expansive waters around us.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Frenchwoman’s Guide to Sex After Sixty
by Marie De Hennezel
(Greystone – $22.95 – 200 pages)
“This is an important book for those entering older years, a starting point for discussions about intimacy and love”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
by Leight Mcadam and Debbie Olsen
(Firely – $29.95 – 224 pages)
“…a book that can serve as a travelogue for anyone wishing to head out to the Prairie provinces.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Honest to Goodness
by Christine Tizzard
(Whitecap – $29.95 – 202 pages)
“…a recipes book filled with tasty classics.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

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