Shelf Life Blog
Boynton, Oklahoma: 1917. A stranger comes to town. A nondescript, little man in a bowler hat. Says his name is Nick. Old Nick. He seems drawn to the flaring tempers and anti-foreigner rants that are bubbling up as the United States enters WWI. He can smell the murderous rages and incendiary fear wafting off some of the citizens. For the scared and the angry, he might sidle up behind them and whisper in their ears, "Tell me. Tell me what you want." And then, somehow, their ugly thoughts . . . become reality.
Like many teens her age, Kamala isn't quite sure who she is or who she wants to be. Like others, she chafes at the boundaries her strict parents set. But most teens are not imbued with superpowers and turned into a replica of the legendary Ms. Marvel overnight. All Kamala Khan wanted to do was sneak out to a party and get back in one piece, but on the way back she is caught in a mysterious fog where a vision of The Avengers (her comic-book heroes!) bestow upon her the powers to fight evil villains—or at first, in her case, a guy trying to rob the neighborhood bodega.
Home is a visual exploration of the many dwellings in our world. Each illustration shows the sheer variety of places where we live. Some people make their homes in the country, while others might live in apartments.
The book is not limited to people or even planet Earth. We see beehives, moon colonies, and the old woman who lived in a shoe. Many of the homes we visit are depicted as intricate, double-page spreads, giving the reader much to discover.
Thirty-seven years ago, Stephen King released his first collection of short-story fiction under the title Night Shift. It is with this book that King revealed his inner, darkest demons through his words, forever changing the wicked path of the horror genre.
In 2015, King gives us his next set of sensational short stories, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. At the beginning of each selection, King offers the reader an explanation of how the story came to be and why he included it. Some of his stories have been rewritten for an updated version (such as “Mile 81,” a fast-paced thriller involving a monstrous station wagon), while others were especially written for the short story collection (“The Dune” & “Morality”).
The other day, I picked up a book off the new book display—drawn by the colorful cover and by the title. Mobile Library, by David Whitehouse, has a happy-looking cover, but it is anything but a happy book.
Druthers whisks us to the rainiest of days, where a young girl is bored beyond belief. Her father asks her, "If you had your druthers, what would you do?" The girl has never heard of the term before. Her father explains that druthers are what you would rather do if you could do anything at all.
In a matter of seconds, the girl and her father imagine all sorts of exciting adventures. The pair visit the zoo, ride ponies in the Old West, and sail a fearsome pirate ship to the island of dinosaurs!
When stand-up comedian Aziz Ansari was offered a book deal, he opted against writing the typical humorous memoir. Instead Ansari, best known as Tom Haverford on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, penned Modern Romance, an entertaining look at how relationships and dating have changed over the past few decades.
“Lovecraft. His tales are just fiction...right?”
Daniel Carter used to be a homicide detective. That is, until his previous case—an intense hunt for a serial killer that ended in strange and belittling tragedy. Now, he’s a private investigator, trying to get his once simple life back on track. Forgetting what happened is not so simple, however, and Carter struggles to regain his natural ability for helping others.
And strangeness. Well, let’s just say, it’s not entirely done with him yet.
Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932
Youngest of several sisters and one boy-genius brother, Minnie is excited to have her Texas cousin Willie Faye come live with them. Willie Faye’s parents have died, and their farm is gone with the dust storms, so this dandelion puff of a girl is going to find a place with the Swift family in Kathryn Lasky’s Christmas After All.
He: likes foxhunting on his fine stallion Mephistopheles, whiskey & soda, but above all else, cricket. His form is handsome and athletic. His mind uncluttered with much in the way of philosophy or common sense.
She: enjoys fashion, researching/knowing everything, and breaking men’s hearts. Well, she doesn’t really like it. Simply an occupational hazard when one is such a beautiful breath-sapper. But what this to-the-manor-born brother and sister like most is solving murders. To catch the “coffinators” is their aim.