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Shelf Life – Reads, tunes and flicks for readers in the Sacramento region.

06/02/2015 12:57PM ● Published by Sharon Penny



The Wild Heart—Stevie Nicks


Stevie Nicks’ second solo outing, The Wild Heart, went to number five in 1983, and with Fleetwood Mac simultaneously enjoying chart-topping success, Stevie was queen of all she surveyed. Featuring the tidal wave that is “Stand Back,” as well as great tracks like “If Anyone Falls,” and my personal favorite “Nightbird,” this is iconic Stevie at the height of power.


How Big How Blue How Beautiful—Florence and the Machine


How Big How Blue How Beautiful is Florence and the Machine’s first album in three and a half years; Florence describes it as her most personal to date. Where 2011’s Ceremonials was obsessive in its themes of death and water, the new album is, in Florence’s words, about “learning to love in the world, rather than escape it.” (Their producer banned Florence from writing any more songs about water but she managed to sneak in “Ship to Wreck.”)



Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel


I picked up Wolf Hall last year knowing zero about The Tudors except the “I’m Henry The Eighth I Am” song and found the novel and it’s sequel completely engrossing. It was recently adapted into a TV series that aired on PBS. Seek it out if you’re a fan of the book or merely curious. (Spoiler alert: Fans of TV’s The Tudors may be disappointed by the lack of “un-corset-ing.”)


In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume


In The Unlikely Event is Judy Blume’s first adult novel in 16 years. Set in the early ’50s, it’s based on a series of plane crashes in New Jersey that occurred when Blume was a teenager and explores the questions the crashes raised, as well as create her own answers.



The Lego Movie


“Everything is awesome!” Everything you loved about playing Lego is captured brilliantly in this infinitely creative, hilarious animated movie. It’s perfect family viewing but parents be warned: The old addictions will come back full force and you will drag your kids to Target afterwards to buy Lego…guaranteed. 


The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water


I was introduced to SpongeBob SquarePants back in 2002 by my then five-year-old niece (my niece is now 18 and we still both love it); to this day, it sits at the top of my favorite subgenre: “entertainment that kids and adults can genuinely enjoy together.” The newest SpongeBob movie takes SpongeBob out of Bikini Bottom and onto dry land in a hilarious live-action adventure.

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