Shelf Life Blog

12/11/2014 - 3:37pm
The House of Small Shadows by Adam Nevill

In The House of Small Shadows, protagonist Catherine has had a bleak past. After losing her job at a top TV network in London thanks to corporate insecurity, she decides to move on with her life and experience the tedious job of antiquing and auctioning. She welcomes a new challenge assigned by her elderly boss: cataloging and maintaining a massive doll collection owned by the niece of infamous taxidermist M.H. Mason. Catherine finds it thrilling to also examine the strange and sentimental display of stuffed animals, posed and costumed in bloody scenes from the Great War.

12/09/2014 - 8:55am

Want to make a lovely hostess gift or start a delightful family tradition? Gorgeously photographed and utterly useful, Alison Walker’s Handmade Gifts from the Kitchen has recipes that are both elegant and inspired. You can make your own Candy Canes, Marzipan, Baklava, and Cherry & Almond Biscotti. Or, go British with Turkish Delight (shades of C.S. Lewis), Rose Creams, Vanilla Caramels, and Tiffin.

12/08/2014 - 11:40am
Kokopelli's Flute by Will Hobbs

Tepary Jones hiked to the ruins of the ancient city on the night of a total lunar eclipse. He had always felt the magic of the forgotten spaces, but tonight the place seemed especially alive, its pictures of animal and mystic figures telling pieces of stories long forgotten.

07/23/2015 - 12:22pm
To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Doreen Rappaport

To Dare Mighty Things, by Doreen Rappaport, brings Theodore Roosevelt to rough-riding, "Bully!"-shouting life, showing what made America's 26th president such a captivating figure.

12/08/2014 - 4:23pm
The Beats: A Graphic History by Harvey Pekar and Ed Piskor

“...the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” - Jack Kerouac's On the Road 

The Beats: A Graphic History tackles the generation of post-World War II writers who revealed an untold side of America while pushing censors' boundaries with their writing style.

07/22/2015 - 1:12pm
Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg

With a mother who tries to be prim and proper and a daddy who dreams big but has sorrowful, often hilarious runs of bad luck trying to make his way in the world, young Daisy Fay—with a chipped front tooth, brave heart, and clever mind—finds the 1950s a spectacularly exciting time to come of age. As in her other best-selling novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Fannie Flagg’s Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man overlays its sometimes somber situations with such absurdities as to have readers laughing out loud.

07/23/2015 - 12:21pm
King Dork Approximately by Frank Portman

Tom Henderson is back for a new semester at a new school in King Dork Approximately. In the previous book, his father's encoded copy of Catcher in the Rye inadvertently led to a takedown of Hillmont High's creepy principal and earned Tom a severe head injury in the process. 

07/23/2015 - 12:21pm
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

The Book With No Pictures might sound boring to children. I mean, no pictures means no fun, right? Balderdash! B.J. Novak's first children's book may lack illustrations, but it makes up for it by being one of the silliest read-alouds ever.

11/26/2014 - 8:12am
The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell

Looking for a mystery with great characters and a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat? Read The Girl Next Door, by Ruth Rendell.

Six decades after World War II, construction workers uncover a tin box containing two skeletal hands. The ensuing police investigation leads to the reunion of six friends who decades before had lived and played in the neighborhood where the hands were found. Old friends will reunite, a marriage will break up, and a past crime will be solved.

11/25/2014 - 8:54am
This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind by Ivan Doig

Ivan Doig’s This House of Sky is a memoir set in the rugged, sheep-raising terrain of Montana. It was a time when the last of the small-town ranchers were on their way out, pushed along by the Great Depression and rich men buying up failed farms to add to their own.

The author’s people were not of the rich kind. They were scrappy, immigrant stock. Ivan’s grandfather came with family from Scotland. They ran sheep til their luck ran out. Then they worked for the big ranchers.  Ivan’s father was a little guy, but he broke broncos—sometimes breaking his own bones doing it -- rode herd on sheep, bossed the other hands, and fell in love with a 16-year-old girl.

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