Shelf Life Blog

11/10/2015 - 2:29am
A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

Sara Thomas is brilliant, lovely, and socially awkward. She knows a committed relationship won’t work out for her in the long-term. They never do. So, Sara isn’t looking for romance when she takes a job decrypting an old manuscript. Yet that is what she finds in Susanna Kearsley’s A Desperate Fortune.

11/06/2015 - 10:55am
Where Bear? by Sophy Henn

When a bear cub outgrows his best friend's house, the boy thinks that it is time to find a new home for his friend. He only has one question, "Where Bear?"

The pair start on a home hunt of all the usual places where bears hang out. This includes zoos, caves, the circus, and even toy stores. Wherever they go, bear declares, "No."

11/04/2015 - 2:24am
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

May 1893: The opening of the Chicago’s World Fair. The overall purpose of the celebration was to recognize the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World in 1492. Designed by a group of talented architects, the fair attracted over 27 million people from 46 different countries, constructed over 200 new (but temporary) buildings featuring neoclassical architecture, along with large water pools and lagoons. The exposition became an emerging symbol of American Exceptionalism.

It also became a hunting ground for one of the first documented American serial killers, Doctor Henry Howard Holmes, better known as H.H. Holmes.

11/02/2015 - 9:46am
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper

Hannah is very happy to be moving to London. It’s 1665, and for a young yet just-grown-up girl, it is surely the center of all that is fascinating and bold. She’s to join her sister, Sarah, At the Sign of the Sugar Plum, where she will help craft delicious confections for gentry and commoners alike. Hannah knows she will be working hard to establish the business, and that suits the red-haired young woman perfectly. Indeed, everything suits her down to the ground, including the handsome apothecary’s apprentice.

But there are rumors that the plague is has struck London again this summer. It’s just a few people at first, and the King’s court is still in town, so nobody minds it too much. Then the disease spreads wildly, until thousands each week die in agony. Hannah and Sarah are both frightened, but leaving London and their business would mean giving up their dreams.

10/29/2015 - 8:48am
 Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean

Popular children’s author James Dean brings back his loveable and rocking cat Pete to celebrate a delightful Halloween in his new book, Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins! Using the popular children’s song “Five Little Pumpkins,” Dean takes Pete and his adoring fans on one purrrfect adaptation of the classic rhyme. Will Pete and the galloping gourds make it in time for Trick-or-Treating? Read to find out!

10/27/2015 - 12:19am
The Murder House by James Patterson and John Ellis

No. 7 Ocean Drive is just like any other handsome, well-to-do Hamptons McMansion. With its grand arches, towering peaks, and high windows, No. 7 is every tourist’s dream.

At least, that’s what it looks like from the outside.

10/23/2015 - 9:45am
Jumpy Jack & Googily by Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall

Jumpy Jack & Googily are a real odd couple. One is a giant snail who happens to be dreadfully frightened of monsters. The other is, well, Jack's best friend! Despite Googily's sharp teeth, pointy ears, and appalling style of dress, these two are inseparable.

10/21/2015 - 3:16am
Drink the Harvest: Making and Preserving Juices, Wines, Meads, Teas, and Ciders

Sometimes, there is more in the garden or orchard than you can use up at the dinner table. The same might hold true if you tend to go a little wild at farmers’ markets or on your co-op order. What to do with the oceans of apples, bunches of mint, or the bushels of berries? Sure, there are pies, preserves, and other delightful things that might be made from the bounty, but another possibility is to take at least some of your harvest and bottle it.

10/20/2015 - 3:16am
Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Some people today fear going under the surgeon’s knife. It’s mostly a dread of the unknown. What might happen while they are knocked out, unaware of what is going on around them. They may not realize how fortunate they are. In Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, readers are swept back in time to a period before anesthesia was generally used. A good surgeon was a swift, careful cutter who could make the operation as mercifully short as possible for his wide-awake patient. He might even do some good for the patient in the process.

10/19/2015 - 9:29am
Ask the Dark by Henry Turner

“Scuze my language.” — Billy, Ask the Dark

Billy Zeet has quite a reputation. And he got it the hard way—he earned it. Despite having a heart of gold, Billy’s rap sheet includes more petty crimes than even he can remember. He can silently break into a locked second-story window with one hand tied behind his back. And nobody can slip unseen through the dark like Billy. He’s practically a shadow. Nobody can skip school quite like Billy, either. Being the invisible man at school has put him in the seventh grade for the second time. But he has an expansive vocabulary—of cuss words.

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