Shelf Life Blog
Why would someone who seems to have the perfect family risk everything by having an affair? In Courtney Maum’s debut novel I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, Richard Haddon, a 34-year-old British artist, living in Paris with his French wife Anne and their daughter, has just had his first successful solo art show. Many would think he has the perfect life.
The last time we saw our three heroes, Anthony Lockwood, George and Lucy, they had spent a night in the most haunted house in England and conquered a feisty and persistent ghost at the bottom of the Screaming Staircase. However, six months have passed since the incident made them famous, and Lockwood & Co. are not seeing any progress toward their goal of becoming London’s (and the World’s) most successful modern-day ghost agents. To make matters worse, Fittes Agent Quill Kipps and his team of young bullies are consistently on their backs.
Donna Jo Napoli and Amy Bates’ Hands & Hearts is a sweet picture book for children who might be interested in learning a few ASL signs. It’s a beach day story of a mother and daughter having a wonderful time together. Off to the side of each page is an illustration of how to sign one of the words in the text.
In Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel creates a literary post-apocalyptic novel with a gentle touch.
London Below is a dangerous, magical place. In Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Scotsman Richard Mayhew had just settled in with the upwardly-mobile routines of London Above. He had an office job that might be going places and a stunning if toffee-nosed girlfriend who was perhaps rather too keen on gallery-hopping for his taste. His lovely Jessica had plans for Richard’s life that did not include helping the bloody and broken young lady who lay across their path.
Princesses do not run. They also don’t hide their frilly, pink dresses in a broom closet, slide down secret chutes, or jump over castle walls. And princesses definitely do not wear black. But Princess Magnolia is no ordinary princess… she’s a monster-fighting superhero in disguise, The Princess in Black!
In her first novel, The Murder Farm, Andrea Maria Schenkel presents a fresh, new twist to the mystery genre.
City of Women, by David R. Gillham, is set in 1943, Berlin, which has indeed become a city of women as most of the men have gone off to fight in World War II.
It’s not her fault they call her Bloody Jack. Well, not exactly, though I suppose in her way she earned it. ‘Twasn’t always like that, though. She came from a nice if poor family in London, Mary did, before the pestilence came and took their lives, and horrible Muck came with his wheelbarrow for their bodies to give to the doctors to cut up. Set out on the curb, crying as a small girl will, old Muck tried to cheer Mary by assuring he’d be back for her before too long.
Birds of a feather may flock together in Telephone, by Mac Barnett, but that does not mean they understand each other. Taking place on an actual telephone wire, the story begins with Peter the pigeon's mother asking a friend to tell him to fly home for dinner. Anyone who has played a game of telephone before will know what happens next.