Shelf Life Magazine – October 2019

septoct19coverEveryone has defining moments in their lives, ones that stand out from many others. I guess I had that moment late this past summer when I took my annual train trip to Toronto. It was not only to spend a leisurely day visiting old book stores and the likes. I also went with the purpose of watching a live to air taping of The Social, a popular daytime program. It is Canada’s equivalent of The View, but much more entertaining. Jess Allen, one of the ladies on the panel, arranged to get me a ticket. I had sent her issues of Shelf Life a couple of years ago, and always wanted to see a live show. I happened to get a seat in the front row and was less than thirty feet from the table where the ladies on the pane sit and debate issues of the day. People even told me they saw me on television a few times when the camera panned to the audience. After the show, the ladies come and shake hands and thank the audience for coming out. Jess came my way and shook my hand. I introduced myself and she said she was glad I could come. She also asked if she could give me a hug. First of all, no one has ever asked me that, and secondly I have never hugged anyone famous. It was a day I shall never forget and as noted a defining moment. Thank you Jess and ladies of The Social for such wonderful memories.

We hope this issue offers defining books you will embrace and read. There are more than thirty such titles, all recommended for your Fall book choices. Please let us know which books you liked the most, and what titles you hope to see reviewed in the future. It is always a pleasure drawing such books to your attention.

Paul Sutter
Editor/Publisher

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

She Lies in Wait
by Gytha Lodge
(Random House – $36.00 – 358 pages)
“The story is methodical, giving readers an opportunity to finger the guilty.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Woman in the Dark
by Vanessa Savage
(Grand Central – $35.50 – 348 pages)
“The psychological darkness of the book, is what makes THE WOMAN IN THE DARK such a spectacular debut novel.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of  October Fiction ***

Lady in the Lake
by Laura Lippman
(William Morrow – $33.50 – 352 pages)
“(Lippman’s) latest, LADY IN THE LAKE, is destined for the same greatness as her past efforts.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Me For You
by Lolly Winston
(Gallery – $35.00 – 315 pages)
“…a warm and tender love story of coping with tragedy, overcoming life’s hurdles, and coming out stronger than ever.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Keep This To Yourself
by Tom Ryan
(Albert Whitman & Co. – $23.99 – 310 pages)
“It will not only appeal to the teen crowd, but written so well that an older audience who enjoy a good old-fashioned mystery, will find it appealing as well.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Never Tell
by Lisa Gardner
(Dutton- $36.00 – 404 pages)
“…another great plot where nothing is where it seems.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Long Road to Mercy
by David Baldacci
(Grand Central – $38.00 – 404 pages)
“The author plans out his characters most methodically, realizing what characters will work and why.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Tuscan Child
by Rhys Bowen
(Lake Union – $36.95 – 336 pages)
Reviewed by Tori Levang
“…a thoroughly compelling read for lovers of romance and mystery.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

I Know A Secret
by Tess Gerritsen
(Ballantine – $37.00 – 321 pages)
“This is book twelve of the series, and there is little question it may be the most complex.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Courting Mr. Lincoln
by Louis Bayard
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill  – $39.95 – 379 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…chronicles the courtship between the future president and his future bridge, from both the woman’s point-of-view, as well as that of Lincoln’s close friend.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Is There Still Sex In the City?
by Candace Bushnell
(Anansi – $24.95 – 272 pages)
“Those longing for life after Sex in the City might find the next best thing with this book. ”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Past Tense
by Lee Child
(Delacorte Press – $38.99 – 383 pages)
“PAST TENSE is another Jack Reacher classic, that will definitely keep Lee Child fans happy  until another book hits the store shelves.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Vanishing Box
by Elly Griffiths
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $36.00 – 358 pages)
“…Elly Griffiths (is) proving great writing is no illusion but something very real.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Unto Us A Son Is Given
by Donna Leon
(Atlantic Monthly Press – $38.95 – 262 pages)
“While none of the books are packed with thrill a minute moments, it is the slow and precise pace of Donna Leon that has given the series its charm and longevity.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

First Tracks
by Catherine O’Connell
(Severn House – $38.99 – 250 pages)
“It is a book that gets more intense by the page.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

*** Classic Fiction Revisited***

Inside Man
by Jeff Abbott
(Grand Central – $29.00 – 390 pages)
“…another example of suspense done well, and those who have not read a Sam Capra book previously, should quickly jump on the bandwagon.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks


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

Marvel Encyclopedia New Edition
Introduction by Stan Lee
(DK Books – $52.00 – 450 pages)
“Any true lovers of Marvel must own this book, a first-class reference edition for the Marvel maniacs in all of us.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
by Peter Doggett
(Atria – $37.00 – 360 pages)
“…an excellent read for those who either followed the band or the performers individually.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

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

Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy
by Stephen Moore & Arthur B. Laffer
(All Points Books – $37.99 – 290 pages)
“…outlines the polices that were set in place once Trump became President, along with his attempt to make good on all his campaign promises.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Modern Wedding (Creating a Celebration That Looks & Feels Like You)
by Kelsey McKinnon
(Artisan – $60.00- 386 pages)
“…looks at every fact of the wedding, covering all bases in a most engaging manner.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Adventures in Memory
by Hilde & Ylva Ostby
(Greystone  – $29.95 – 302 pages)
“The book is a brave step in understanding memory. Just don’t forget to read it.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

So Here’s the Thing…Notes on Growing Up, Getting Older, and Trusting Your Gut
by Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler
(Twelve  – $35.00 – 230 pages)
“Time spent in the White House helped hone her skills in taking both light and complex issues, putting them under the magnifying glass.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Misfit: Autistic, Gay, Immigrant, Changemaker – A Memoir
by Andrea Souvaliotis
(Doubleday Canada – $22.95 – 276 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
“She creates recipes that are free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar, offering foods that are good for not only the person creating, but the entire family”
Rating: 3 1/2  bookmarks

The 6 Keys: Unlock Your Genetic Potential for Ageless Strength, Health, and Beauty
by Jillian Michaels with Myatt Murphy
(Little Brown Spark – $36.50 – 300 pages)
“…will steer you in the right direction to give you more vitality.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Guide to the Real World
by Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodal
(Harvard Business Review – $39.99 – 256 pages)
“We are not lying when we state that if you want to read just one business-oriented book this year, NINE LIES ABOUT WORK, should be that book.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing – Ninth Edition
by Harry Mullan, Bob Mee and Matt Bozeat
(Carlton – $59.95 – 260 pages)
“…we get to relive the glory days of pugilism.”
Rating: 4  bookmarks

The Secret Life of the Brain: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Mind
by Alfred David
(Firefly – $24.95 – 192 pages)
“If you are looking for a challenging read, the book is for you.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Two Fisted Tales – The EC Archives Volume 4
by Jack Davis and Colin Dawkins
(Dark Horse – $65.99 – 214 pages)
“Dark Horse has to be commended for their tribute to the classics from the EC Comics lines.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Big Week: The Biggest Air Battle of World War II
by James Holland
(Atlantic Monthly Press – $41.95 – 390 pages)
“James Holland offers a most readable book that focuses on what was known as Big Week.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

*** Classic Non-Fiction Revisited ***

She Always Knew How: Mae West A Personal Biography
by Charlotte Chandler
(Simon & Schuster – $34.00 – 317 pages)
Reviewed by Joan Sutter
“…a classic tribute to a one-of-a-kind woman, thanks to her sex appeal, one liners and style..”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Books for Children ***

The Imperfect Garden 
by Melissa Assaly & April Dela Noche Milne
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $19.95 – 32 pages)
“This is a highly-recommended picture book to show children the value of growing their own fruits and vegetables .”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Moon Watched It All
by Shelly A. Leedahl – Illustrated by Aino Anto
(Red Deer Press – $19.95- 32 pages)
“This is a charming sort of fable, involving an older woman who is alone in the world, and a boy with no name.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

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Shelf Life Magazine – September 2019

Sept2019coverSeptember means many things, including back to school if you have children. It also means back to a normal life as well, including less trips and closing down the cottage if you own one. This signifies more time for reading for many, and with this issue, comes over thirty reasons to read books. With something for every reading taste, we hope you will find a book or books to your liking.

Shelf Life recently lost a long-time reader who was a book lover from way back. Conrad Odegaard ask me to bring him half a dozen copies of each issue sho he could take them to his friends  he had breakfast with every Saturday morning. He gave them to the friends, so they could decide which books to purchase for the coming month. This was a ritual for years and with his passing, this world has lost a great person who accomplished so much during his seventy-five years. I dedicate this issue in his memory. He will be missed.

Paul Sutter
Editor/Publisher

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best September Fiction ***

Redemption
by David Baldacci
(Grand Central – $38.00 – 422 pages)
“(Baldacci) has that knack for taking a story and crafting it into something exceptional.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

After She’s Gone
by Camille Grebe – Translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 380 pages)
“…the story becomes very complex, giving it a personal and more urgent touch”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of  September Fiction ***

The Stone Circle
by Elly Griffiths
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  – $39.00 – 368 pages)
“…Elly Griffiths proves yet again why her books are so popular and irresistible.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Never Look Back
by Alison Gaylin
(William Morrow – $21.00 – 343 pages)
“…a tense thriller that shows the effects of murder on a family and the consequences of those who were part of the crime.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Dead If You Don’t
by Peter James
(Macmillan – $25.99 – 420 pages)

Reviewed by John M. Milner
“If there is one overwhelming theme in DEAD IF YOU DON’T, it’s that nothing is what it seems.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Strong as Steel
by Jon Land
(Forge – $36.50 – 332 pages)
“STRONG AS STEEL keeps the Caitlin mystique as strong as ever, thanks to one action sequence after another.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Wolf and the Watchman
by Niklas Natt Och Dag
(Atria – $23.00 – 373 pages)
“The author has created a very readable historical novel, filled with a bit of everything but mainly great characters and story.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

All the Wrong Places
by Joy Fielding
(Doubleday Canada – $25.00 – 360 pages)
“When it comes to quality mystery and suspense, one can never go wrong with a Joy Fielding book.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Murder Book
by Lissa Marie Redmond
(Midnight Ink – $21.99 – 303 pages)
“This police procedural has the right amount of intrigue and suspense.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Target Alex Cross
by James Patterson
(Little Brown – $38.00 – 432 pages)
“The book goes beyond traditional Alex Cross fare, making it possibly the most complex and heart-stopping of the series.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Wolf Pack
by C.J. Box
(Putnam – $36.00 – 373 pages)
“Box gives readers one thrill after another with nothing in black and white. ”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Night of Miracles
by Elizabeth Berg
(Random House – $35.00 – 268 pages)
“It is a miracle of a book, written in a style that will have readers riveted to the pages…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Every Breath
by Nicholas Sparks
(Grand Central – $36.50 – 306 pages)
“The book may not be as romantically riveting as past novels, but is still recommended for all who enjoy a great love story written from the male perspective.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Of Blood and Bone
by Nora Roberts
(St. Martin’s Press – $35.99 – 454 pages)
“Roberts narrates the tale with such passion, that you visualize every sentence you read.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Trance
by Adam Southward
(Thomas & Mercer – $23.95 – 330  pages)
“The book turns ghoulish and downright creepy at times…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

*** Classic Fiction Revisited***

Touch & Go
by Lisa Gardner
(Dutton – $28.50 – 420 pages)
“…this was the first book that kept me reading after one o’clock in the morning.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best September Non-Fiction ***

Smithsonian Spaceflight: The Complete Story from Sputnik to Curiousity
by Giles Sparrow
(DK Books – $52.00 – 320 pages)
“The book is rich with photos and a thorough overview of space travel.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Treasures of Led Zeppelin
by Chris Welch
(Carlton – $59.95 – 66 pages with slipcover)
“…a must-own by any fan of Led Zeppelin.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of September Non-Fiction ****

The Wisdom of Wonder Woman
by Signe Bergstrom
(Chronicle – $21.50 – 114 pages)
“It is obvious Wonder Woman was ahead of her time, and is little wonder that this character has shown a resurgence not only in the comic world but also was a blockbuster Hollywood movie.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Where You Going With That Gun In Your Hand (The True Crime  Blotter of Rock ‘n’ Roll)
by Keith Elliott Greenberg
(Backbeat – $31.95 – 294 pages)
“…the author studies the tumultuous careers of those in the music word and whose death were murder, accident or suicide.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry
by Alexander Dawkins
(Greystone  – $24.95 – 180 pages)
“…an important book in that it looks at the art, the artists, and traditions for some of the most intricate jewelry ever designed.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Eat Feel Fresh (A Contemporary Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook)
by Sahara Rose Ketabi
(Alpha  – $32.00 – 252 pages)
“…he book will open new avenues in life and health, creating better balance, healing and more.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia
by Christina Thompson
(Harper Collins – $36.99  – 320 pages)

Reviewed by Tori Levang
“The result is a fully-fleshed, truly multi-dimensional and ultimately stunning portrayal of these mysterious islands.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography
by Chris Salewicz
(DaCapo – $39.00 – 520 pages
“The research is impeccable and the telling of Page’s story in entertaining…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Majesty: The Illustrated History of Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal House of Windsor
by Rod Green
(Andre Deutsch- $50.00 – 224 pages)
“…a must-read book for those who are royal watchers and those who love the pageantry of royalty.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Before I Was a Critic I Was a Human Being
by Amy Fung
(Book*Hug – $20.00 – 184 pages)
“…draws the reader into Fung’s take on life, where yo could easily get lost within the pages, easily reading this book in less than a day.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal and the Quest for Earth’s Ultimate Trophy
by Paige Williams
(Hatchette – $36.50 – 374 pages)
“Dinosaurs may be long extinct but great journalism like this is certainly not.”
Rating: 4  bookmarks

Fame: The Hijacking of Reality
by Justine Bateman
(Akashic Books – $40.50 – 208 pages)
“FAME looks at the price many have paid for fame.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

For Single Mothers Working As Train Conductors
by Laura Esther Wolfson
(University of Iowa Press – $25.99 – 182 pages)
“The manner in which she relates all the events make this book a true joy to read.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Talking to Myself
by Daniela Rivera Zacarias
(Skyhorse – $22.95 – 220 pages)
“…there is little question that you will appreciate the wisdom and insight of Daniela Rivera Zacarias.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

*** Classic Non-Fiction Revisited ***

The Opposite of Loneliness – Essays and Stories
by Marina Keegan
(Scribner – $27.00 – 210 pages)
“Each essay seems more profound than the other, and by the time you finish the book, you will feel sadness, but also gratitude…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Books for Children ***

I Didn’t Stand Up
by Lucy Falcone- Illustrated Jacqueline Hudon
(Clockwise Press – $19.95 – 32 pages)
“The book is magical, one that shows tolerance and treating everyone as an equal.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

The Magical Forest
by Theodore Beres – Illustrated by Kristy De Guzman
(Magical Forest Press – $7.99 – 36 pages)
“This is a new series for very young children, all centering around some very friendly bears.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – August 2019

Aug2019Shelfcover.jpgI am often asked how I choose which books I decide to feature each issue. That is a more than valid question. Basically, I try and select books from many genres with regard to fiction and for non-fiction, picking books that have appeal to various reading tastes. Because there is only space for so many books, that results sometimes in leaving some books out of a particular issue with the intention of placing them in the next issue. It usually works that way, but you know what they say about the best laid plans.

You will find in this issue, for example, many subjects selected for non-fiction and from the selection as wide a choice of topics as we can create, from celebrity autobiographies to food, crime, history, health, and much more. If you are hoping to read reviews of a particular book, drop us a line. Chances are we may have it. Of course, we don’t have the space for every book out there, and some publishers limit their review copies on occasion as well. But over the past twenty-two years we have been publishing, hopefully you will agree that we have presented the best in books with probably, as a random guess, more than 5,000 books reviewed within our pages. We thank you as always for being part of this process.

Paul Sutter
Editor/Publisher

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best August Fiction ***

The Hiding Place
by C.J. Tudor
(Doubleday Canada – $24.95 – 278 pages)
“Those who were blown away by C.J. Tudor’s debut novel, CHALK MAN, will definitely be even more impressed by his follow-up.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl
by Jean Thompson
(Simon & Schuster – $35.00 – 320 pages)
“These are women we wish we personally knew, empathizing with their choices for better or worse…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of  August Fiction ***

If We Had Known
by Elise Juska
(Grand Central  – $32.50 – 272 pages)
“The book works as social commentary…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Any Dream Will Do
by Debbie Macomber
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 316 pages)
“While some parts of ANY DREAM WILL DO may be predictable, there are still enough interesting moments to make the book stand out from others.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

In the Night Wood 
by Dale Bailey
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $33.00 – 216 pages)
“…a book floating across several genres. It is a mystery, with a touch of horror, some gothic elements, plus a sense of awakening in the darkest of moments.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Heavens
by Sandra Newman
(Grove Press – $38.95 – 260 pages)
“…a truly heavenly piece of literary excellence.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Dark Tribute
by Iris Johansen
(St. Martin’s Press – $37.99 – 373 pages)
“…picks up where every other book left off, setting the stage for another pure page turner.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

A Sinister Splendor
by Mike Blakely
(Forge – $38.99 – 433 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“…may lack in comparison to other novels in the genre, taken on its own merits, Blakely’s writing is sturdy enough to support the reader’s interest.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Between You And Me
by Allison Winn Scotch
(Lake Union – $20.99 – 352 pages)
Reviewed by: Tori Levang
“This altered timeline and dual perspective style narrative, allows the reader to get into the characters’ heads and sees them grow and develop significantly over time.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Winter Soldier
by Daniel Mason
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 336 pages)
“The book has so much going for it, but the main one is the fat the book is told in such a descriptive manner, it leaves little to the imagination.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Untouchable
by Jayne Ann Krentz
(Berkley – $36.00 – 310 pages)
“…a book that makes for an unbeatable read in suspense fiction ”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Woman 99
by Greer Macallister
(Harper Collins – $24.99 – 352 pages)
“..a most interesting historical novel, as chilling as it is entertaining.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Blood Oath
by Linda Fairstein
(Dutton – $37.00 – 353 pages)
“Linda Fairstein has done an exceptional job of making Cooper a character we care about and want to read about as much as possible.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Cast
by Danielle Steel
(Delacorte Press – $38.99 – 270 pages)
“…THE CAST is still an entertaining book about life, love, family, and loss.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

A Gentlewoman’s Guide to Murder
by Victoria Hamilton
(Midnight Ink – $21.95 – 352 pages)
“…is the first of a new series, that based on book one, will be a series to watch for with future releases.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

*** Classic Fiction Revisited***

The Madonnas of Echo Park
by Brando Skyhorse
(Free Press – $29.99 – 202 pages)
“Skyhorse makes us examine our own lives, as well as those who must live with their conscience for the deeds they have done.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best August Non-Fiction ***

Howard Stern Comes Again
by Howard Stern
(Simon & Schuster – $45.00 – 552 pages)
“…a treat to read about the new and improved Howard Stern rising from the ashes of his offensive past.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Out of the Shadows: A Memoir
by Timea E. Nagy & Shannon Moroney
(Doubleday Canada – $24.95 – 350 pages)
“…one of those books that will definitely move and impress you by the manner in which the author tells the story of her exploitation by those she trusted.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of August Non-Fiction ****

Seizure the Day
by Brian Orend
(Freehand Books – $22.95 – 410 pages)
“Brian decided to look at this from another angle, which was finding positivity and happiness in the face of serious medical issues.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Broken Glory: The Final Years of Robert F. Kennedy
by Ed Sanders & Rick Veitch
(Arcade – $39.99 – 362 pages)
“The book is different in the fact half the pages have illustrations by Rick Veitch.”
Rating: 3 bookmarks

Me, Myself, They: Life Beyond the Binary
by Joshua M. Ferguson
(House of Anansi  – $22.95 – 272 pages)
“….Ferguson talks about a non-binary life and how the struggle for acceptance has not always been smooth, but that things are changing for the positive.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Unexpected President: Chester A. Arthur, His Life and Times
by Scott Greenberger
(DaCapo Press  – $36.50 – 292 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“While this book may be a slim volume, it packs a lot of punch and will certainly enlighten history buffs to one of the lesser known periods of history.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Unsolved Murders: True Crime Cases Uncovered
by Amber Hunt & Emily G. Thompson
(DK Books – $25.99  – 178 pages)
“The authors present evidence, and suspects, allowing us to play amateur detective.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Slowhand: The Life and Music of Eric Clapton
by Philip Norman
(Little Brown  – $39.00 – 432 pages
“…Norman has included so much information about his life and times, omitting very little if everything.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Zero Sugar Cookbook
by David Zinczenko
(Ballantine – $37.00 – 264 pages)
“You will find enough within the pages of this book to be healthy, happy and totally satisfied.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Stray: Memoir of a Runaway
by Tanya Marquardt
(LittleA – $24.95 – 250 pages)
“…a brutally-honest first person story about a teenage girl who wanted to escape her abusive life and world.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Our Shoes, Our Selves: 40 Women, 40 Stories, 40 Pairs of Shoes
by Bridget Moynahan & Amanda Benchley – Photography by Melanie Dunea
(Abrams – $37.99 -230 pages)
“…we find the stories from forty women from all walks of life, and which pairs of shows meant the most to them.”
Rating: 4  bookmarks

Life Will Be The Death of Me…and You Too!
by Chelsea Handler
(Spiegel & Grau – $36.00 – 240 pages)
“This is Chelsea Handler as you have not seen before, making us privileged she has shared her most intimate side with us.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

1,000 Books To Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List
by James Mustich
(Workman – $49.95 – 948 pages)
“…a literary classic, and as the title noes, features “A Life-Changing List.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Algonquin Wild: A Naturalist’s Journey Through the Seasons
by Michael Runtz
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $45.00 – 236 pages)
“It brings into richer perspective just how awe-inspiring the area is…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Top 160 Unusual Things To See In Ontario Sixth Edition
by Ron Brown
(Boston Mills Press – $29.95 – 336 pages)
“You will want to pick many places once you read Ron Brown’s homage to all things great and unusual throughout Ontario.”
Rating:  4 bookmarks

*** Classic Non-Fiction Revisited***

Masters of Fashion
Illustration by David Downton
(Chronicle – $58.00 – 224 pages)
“… a book about the masters of illustrations who bought a rare elegance and sophistication to their craft.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – July 2019

ShelfLifeJuly2019I don’t now what many readers’ happiest memories of summer would be, but when I was out of public school for the two-month vacation, besides going for short holidays with my mother and grandparents, reading was a key activity. My choice of reading material was the Hardy Boys books, of which I read every single title released up until 1968. Another favourite item to read was comic books, of which I had more than a plentiful supply I bought all summer long. Today, of course, my tastes have changed to reading as many varied books as possible, so I can offer Shelf Life readers choices of recommended titles. No matter where your areas of interest lie, I  hope summer does not mean straying from books, because summer is the perfect time to sit back, relax, and no matter where you are, open up a book. With this issue, we hope we have made your task that much easier, with over thirty titles to inform, amuse, and excite. Have a safe and happy summer!

Paul Sutter
Editor/Publisher

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best July Fiction ***

Say You’re Sorry
by Karen Rose
(Berkley – $35.00 – 614 pages)
“(600 pages) does not take away from the fact it is a most engrossing tale.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Paper Ghosts
by Julia Heaberlin
(Ballantine – $35.00 – 350 pages)
“…as dark a psychological thriller as you would ever wish to read.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of  July Fiction ***

The Malta Exchange
by Steve Berry
(St. Martin’s Press – $37.99 – 416 pages)
“In typical Steve Berry style, there are secret rings, palindromes that are secret codes, typical dark and sinister enigmas associated with the church, and much more.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Skin Game
by J.D. Allen
(Midnight Ink – $21.99 – 306 pages)
“Those who enjoyed the first book in the Sin City series, will like SKIN GAME just as much.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Ambush
by James Patterson & James O. Born
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 416 pages)
“AMBUSH is top-notch fiction from Patterson and Born, keeping this series as engaging as it was way back in book one.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Connections in Death
by J.D. Robb
(St. Martin’s Press – $37.99 – 372 pages)
“In books forty-eight, Robb creates another classic murder mystery.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Ballad of Black Bart
by Loren D. Estleman
(Forge – $32.50 – 237 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“…like a novel inside a history book.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Burglar
by Thomas Perry
(Mysterious Press – $38.95 – 288 pages)
“…continues the level of excellence, offering suspense in every sentence.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The Dreamers
by Karen Thompson Walker
(Bond Street/Doubleday Canada – $32.95 – 305 pages)
“…well worth the wait, with a book bordering on science fiction, and fantasy, plus great heart, soul, and haunting moments.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Three Little Lies
by Laura Marshall
(Grand Central – $34.00 – 320 pages)
“…it draws the reader so far into the book, you feel like you are part of the story.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Hunt Them Down
by Simon Gervais
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 333 pages)
“…a thriller to the max.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

My Sister the Serial Killer
by Oyinkan Braithwaite
(Doubleday Canada  – $29.95 – 228 pages)
“It is a book that grows on you the longer you read.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

High Voltage
by Karen Marie Moning
(Delacorte Press – $37.00 – 480 pages)
“Karen Marie Moning can certainly craft a book, holding the interest of the reader no matter how wild, weird, and out there the story becomes.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

The DNA of You and Me
by Andrea Rothman
(William Morrow – $33.50 – 256 pages)
“Write this name down. Andrea Rothman. I say that because you will be hearing a lot from her down the road if her debut novel The DNA OF YOU AND ME is any indication of her amazing literary talents.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Museum of Modern Love
by Heather Rose
(Algonquin Paperback – $23.95 – 288 pages)
“…meant to be savored one page at a time, and by book’s end you will certainly be moved by the manner in which Arky’s story becomes at times, everyone’s story.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Miss Bingley Requests
by Judy McCrosky
(Crooked Lane – $35.95 – 328 pages)
“…a reimagining of (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE) and is told through the eyes and soul of Caroline Bingley
Rating: 3bookmarks

*** Classic Fiction Revisited***

Beginning with this issue, Shelf Life is going to present one older work of fiction and non-fiction in every issue. It is meant to draw your attention to a past work in case you missed it the first time. We hope you will enjoy this new feature.

Turning Angel
by Greg Iles
(Scribner – $25.00 – 600 pages)
“…another strong effort from Iles, who continues to offer some of the best suspense fiction in the writing world.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best July  Non-Fiction ***

Artists: Their Lives and Works
by Ross King
(DK Books – $52.00 – 360 pages)
“…a comprehensive look at the world of art, along with those visionaries who changed the art world, one paint stroke at a time.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

My Dad Yogi, A Memoir of Family and Baseball
by Dale Berra
(Hachette – $34.00 – 256 pages)
“.Any fan of baseball will enjoy this loving look at the baseball legend from someone who knew him inside and out.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of July Non-Fiction ****

The Complete Beatles Song (The Stories Behind Every Track Written by the Fab Four)
by Steve Turner
(Carlton – $50.00 – 352 pages)
“The lyrics are included as well, along with the inspiration for the songs.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry that Shaped Rock’n’Roll
by Ian S. Port
(Scribner – $37.00 – 340 pages)
“Thanks to these two men who wanted to make their mark in music in different ways, the electric guitar became synonymous with sounds that soothed and rocked a generation.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

A History of France
by John Julius Norwich
(Atlantic Monthly Press – $44.95 – 400 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“The author has certainly worked tirelessly to produce a full and complete history of the European country”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Diabetes Code
by Dr. Jason Fung
(Greystone – $24.95  – 252 pages)
“…he takes a common sense approach as he looks at diabetes from many perspectives.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump
by Andrew G. McCabe
(St. Martin’s Press  – $38.99 – 272 pages
“…one of the best books written about life with Trump and those who pulled the strings around him.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Vegan Meal Prep
by Robin Asbell
(Robert Rose – $24.95 – 192 pages)
“The book represents a five-week plan where you can duplicate 125 recipes.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Disney’s The Art of Ralph Breaks the Internet
by Jessica Julius
(Chronicle – $57.00 – 170 pages)
“…shows all the steps that went into the production of the film.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Churchill The Young Warrior – How He Helped Win The First World War
by John Harte
(Skyhorse – $19.99 -375 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner
“…discusses his life and times, with perhaps the most intense and well-rounded spotlight to be shone upon his experiences during the Boer War, and the period leading up to the First World War.”
Rating: 4  bookmarks

A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Hope, Love and Overcoming
by Kerri Rawson
(Thomas Nelson – $22.99 – 322 pages)
“Kerri Rawson is to be commended for offering her story,  as to how the man she looked up to as she grew up, was the BTK Killer.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Let the Good Times Roll: The Autobiography of Kenny Jones
(Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press – $38.99 – 358 pages)
“…in his candid tale, we learn much more about the man and his music.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and The Drug Company That Addicted America
by Beth Macy
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 384 pages)
“…look at the root causes of the present opioid epidemic, with Beth Macy pointing fingers and taking names.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Life and Death in the Sunshine State
by Cutter Wood
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill – $38.95 – 228 pages)
“It is like a work of speculative fiction taken to extremes, though there are still a multitude of questions left unanswered.”
Rating:3 bookmarks

A Life In Movies – Stories from 50 Years in Hollywood
by Irwin Winkler
(Abrams Press – $33.00 – 304 pages)
“…Winkler discusses the movies that meant the most to him, and the ones that were the most challenging bringing to the silver screen.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

*** Classic Non-Fiction Revisited***

The Highway of Heroes
by Kathy Stinson
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside – $21.95 – 32 pages)
“The book though somber is also one of hope, in honor of that soldier.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Shelf Life Magazine – June 2019

Shelf June 2019The month of June is significant for many things. Of course, it heralds the first day of Summer, longest day of the summer, end of the school year, and this year personally it is significant as well. On June 9, I turn 65, and while that represents the age of retirement for many, it makes me even more determined to find various things to keep me active. As Shelf Life has been a part of my life for 21 years, the furthest thing from my mind is closing up shop here. It is my love of books and getting others to read the latest and greatest titles, that has kept my interest at peak levels. I do not see that changing in the foreseeable future.

And as you can see from this issue, there are over thirty reasons to keep reading, as there are more than a wide range of subjects featured for book lovers of fiction and non-fiction.

As always, I thank you for picking up this issue, hopefully enjoying it, and finding books to add to your must-read list. I look forward to your comments.

Paul Sutter
Editor/Publisher

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*** Fiction Section ***
*** Best June Fiction ***

An Anonymous Girl
by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
(St. Martin’s Press – $24.99 – 375 pages)
“…follows the same intense dialogue and plot twists that made book one a must-read.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Something in the Water
by Catherine Steadman
(Ballantine – $36.00 – 343 pages)
“…filled with massive twists, along with a plot that will keep one reading long after you wish to.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

*** Rest of  June Fiction ***

The Library of Lost and Found
by Phaedra Patrick
(Park Row – $31.50 – 352 pages)
“…the reader gets (a happy ending) too, a reward for joining Martha on her journey”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Looker
by Laura Sims
(Scribner – $19.99 – 182 pages)
“Laura Sims’ debut as just the right touch of everything going for it.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Haunted
by James Patterson & James O. Born
(Little Brown – $36.50 – 317 pages)
“It creates an interesting read for those cannot get enough of Michael Bennett.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

A Measure of Darkness
by Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman
(Ballantine – $38.99 – 340 pages)
“…the same quality work that Kellerman has given readers in the past.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Winter Sister
by Megan Collins
(Atria – $35.00 – 328 pages)
“The book will appeal to lovers of psychological mystery.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Wild Justice
by Loren D. Estleman
(Forge – $34.99 – 224 pages)
Reviewed by: John M. Milner
“… an intriguing novel that fans of the Western genre will love.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Autopsy of a Boring Wife
by Marie-Renee Lavoie
(House of Anansi Press – $22.95 – 227 pages)
“…definitely not boring, rather a lively book with plenty of heart and soul.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Killer Collective
by Barry Eisler
(Thomas & Mercer – $35.95 – 440 pages)
“In this case, when it rains, it pours in great writing, especially where John Rain is concerned.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Verses for The Dead
by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
(Grand Central – $36.50 – 350 pages)
“The ending is typical Pendergast with heart-stopping scenes featuring alligators, bullets and an almost impossible escape.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Good Fight
by Danielle Steel
(Delacorte Press  – $38.99 – 292 pages)
“…while far from her best book, is still worthy of your time, for whose who enjoy  a relaxing read with interesting characters and interwoven storylines.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Gale Force
by Owen Laukkanen
(Putnam – $36.00 – 372 pages)
“The intricate detail about the ship and its perils make the book a superior read.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Wolfhunter River
by Rachel Caine
(Thomas & Mercer – $22.95 – 324 pages)
“Rachel Caine once more dazzles us with her tense brand of writing, and a relentless plot you cannot get enough of.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Glovemaker
by Ann Weisgarber
(Mantle – $30.99 – 296 pages)
“…a think piece as well, with moral issues as well as a plot that mesmerizes.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Echo Killing
by Christi Daugherty
(Minotaur – $22.50 – 377 pages)
“She has created a definitive page-turner using her expertise in newspapers covering crime and murder to the fullest.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Nine Perfect Strangers
by Liane Moriarty
(Flatiron – $35.99 – 454 pages)
“Liane Moriarty is known for her dark and somewhat humorous tales, and this one is certainly one that is all that and more at times.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks


*** Non-Fiction Section ***
*** Best June  Non-Fiction ***

For Alison
by Andy Parker with Ben R. Williams
(DK Books – $65.00 – 612 pages)
“…a moving story of a father’s love, and a rallying cry for common sense solutions so events like this are a thing of the past…”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

Apollo: VII-XVII
by Floris Heyne, Joel Meter, Simon Phillipson & Delano Steen Meijer
(teNeuses- $85.00 – 322 pages)
“…an absolutely breathtaking coffee table book of the highest order.”
Rating: 5 bookmarks

**** Rest of June Non-Fiction ****

Bunny Boy and Me
by Nancy Laracy
(Skyhorse – $38.99 – 252 pages)
“This is one of the most enlightening and entertaining stories you will read.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Don Cherry’s Hockey Greats and More
by Don Cherry
(Doubleday Canada – $29.95 – 244 pages)
“While he is not afraid to step on toes with his observations, there is nothing controversial about DON CHERRY’s HOCKEY GREATS AND MORE.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Inside An Honor Killing: A Father and Daughter Tell Their Story
by Lene Wold
(Greystone – $32.95 – 216 pages)
“…a book that is a rallying cry for justice, aski ng the question whether such attitudes can ever change…”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

Untrue 
by Wednesday Martin
(Little Brown Spark – $36.50 – 304 pages)
“Martin does a respectable job of balancing many areas, while relating scientific research with personal observation.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty
by John B. Boles
(Basic Books  – $45.50 – 640 pages)
Reviewed by John M. Milner

“JEFFERSON delves deeply into the President’s career in politics…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Why We Dream: The Transformative Journey
by Alice Robb
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $39.00 – 266 pages)
“…Alice Robb studies that mysterious and often magical world of dreams and what they mean for us.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

History of the World Map by Map
(DK Books – $65.00 – 440 pages)
“The maps have enough information to help paint the perfect picture.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide for Repairing Our Humanity
by Sally Kohn
(Algonquin Books – $38.95 – 262 pages)
“…provides a refreshing perspective on dealing with hate.”
Rating: 4 1/2 bookmarks

The Flash The Silver Age Volume 3
(DK Books – $39.99 – 400 pages)
“…don’t speed read this book, you will want to savour every panel of the story and dialogue.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

The Ending Photographic Stories of Love, Loss, Heartbreak, and Beginning Again
by Caitlin Cronenberg & Jessica Ennis
(Chronicle – $42.95 – 144 pages)
“…a massive project that took over seven years and 50,000 photos, to come up with the finished product.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Buseyisms: Gary Busy’s Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
by Gary Busey with Steffanie Sampson
(St. Martin’s Press – $32.50 – 290 pages)
“Now he returns with his Buseyisms, teaching us no matter what life throws our way, one can fight back and survive.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

Norval Morriseau Man Changing Into Thunderbird
by Armand Garnet Ruffo
(Douglas & McIntyre – $24.95 – 312 pages)
“…there are still countless more positives that brought Norval Morrisseau to such prominence and respect.”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Stanley Cup: The Complete History
by Eric Zweig
(Firefly – $24.95 – 532 pages)
“…traces the history and all the teams fortunate enough to hoist the Cup on their shoulders…”
Rating: 4 bookmarks

Everyone Wins – Cooperative Games & Activities for All Ages Revised and Updated 3rd Edition
by Josette and Ba Luvmour
(New Society – $16.99 – 166  pages)
“…more than 170 games that children of all ages can participate in and have lots of fun.”
Rating: 3 1/2 bookmarks

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
Editor/Publisher

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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

Joyful
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

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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