A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Bitter Legacy by Dal Maclean

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dzx3Jv.
I was extremely satisfied and happy by the conclusion of both the mystery and the romantic storyline. Well, actually, the mystery left me a little heartbroken too.
Book description from Google Books:
“London. Detective Sergeant James Henderson’s remarkable gut instincts have put him on a three-year fast track to becoming an inspector. But the advancement of his career has come at a cost. Gay, posh and eager to prove himself in the Metropolitan Police, James has allowed himself few chances for romance. But when the murder of barrister Maria Curzon-Whyte lands in his lap, all that changes. His investigation leads him to a circle of irresistibly charming men. And though he knows better, James finds himself enticed into their company. Soon his desire for photographer Ben Morgan challenges him to find a way into the other man’s lifestyle of one-night stands and carefree promiscuity. At the same time his single murder case multiplies into a cruel pattern of violence and depravity. But as the bodies pile up and shocking secrets come to light, James finds both his tumultuous private life and coveted career threatened by a bitter legacy.”–
The book is rated 4.45/5 at goodreads.com, from 468 ratings. See 181 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2erA5wW.
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An education-reference book recommendation: Avid Reader: A Life

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2eLEKtw.
…at times this book has, perhaps justifiably, a self-congratulatory ring. But this is an indispensable work of American publishing history, thick with instruction and soul and gossip of the higher sort.
Book description from Google Books:
A spirited and revealing memoir by the most celebrated editor of his timeAfter editing The Columbia Review, staging plays at Cambridge, and a stint in the greeting-card department of Macy’s, Robert Gottlieb stumbled into a job at Simon and Schuster. By the time he left to run Alfred A. Knopf a dozen years later, he was the editor in chief, having discovered and edited Catch-22 and The American Way of Death, among other bestsellers. At Knopf, Gottlieb edited an astonishing list of authors, including Toni Morrison, John Cheever, Doris Lessing, John le Carré, Michael Crichton, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Graham, Robert Caro, Nora Ephron, and Bill Clinton–not to mention Bruno Bettelheim and Miss Piggy. In Avid Reader, Gottlieb writes with wit and candor about succeeding William Shawn as the editor of The New Yorker, and the challenges and satisfactions of running America’s preeminent magazine. Sixty years after joining Simon and Schuster, Gottlieb is still at it–editing, anthologizing, and, to his surprise, writing.But this account of a life founded upon reading is about more than the arc of a singular career–one that also includes a lifelong involvement with the world of dance. It’s about transcendent friendships and collaborations, “elective affinities” and family, psychoanalysis and Bakelite purses, the alchemical relationship between writer and editor, the glory days of publishing, and–always–the sheer exhilaration of work.Photograph of Bob Gottlieb © by Jill Krementz
The book is rated 3.70/5 at goodreads.com, from 491 ratings. See 107 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dQGe8h.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sjTRBB.

A crime book recommendation: One or the Other (An Eddie Dougherty Mystery) by John McFetridge

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dzTGNU.
The cover copy calls One or the Other a mystery and in fact Dougherty spends a lot of time investigating a killing. But the book reads more like a sweet love letter to the Montreal of four decades ago.
Book description from Google Books:
“An extremely good crime novel, brimming with historical verisimilitude . . . with a richly detailed protagonist and a seriously compelling mystery.” – Booklist on Black Rock In the weeks before hosting the 1976 Summer Olympics, the Montreal police are tightening security to prevent another catastrophe like the ’72 games in Munich. But it isn’t tight enough to stop nearly three million dollars being stolen in a bold daytime Brink’s truck robbery. As the high-profile heist continues to baffle the police, Constable Eddie Dougherty gets a chance to prove his worth as a detective when he’s assigned to assist the suburban Longueuil force in investigating the deaths of two teenagers returning from a rock concert across the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Were they mugged and thrown from the bridge? Or was it a murder-suicide? With tensions running high in the city and his future career at stake, Dougherty faces the limits of the force and of his own policing, and has to decide when to settle and when justice is the only thing that should be obeyed.
The book is rated 3.89/5 at goodreads.com, from 19 ratings. See 7 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2es7jfC.
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A science book recommendation: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2truUs2.
…it is lively, provocative and sure to be another hit among the pooh-bahs. But readers ought to be prepared: Almost every blithe pronouncement Harari makes (that “the free individual is just a fictional tale concocted by an assembly of biochemical algorithms,” for instance) has been the exclusive subject of far more nuanced books…
Book description from Google Books:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.
The book is rated 4.35/5 at goodreads.com, from 10641 ratings. See 1208 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2fmPMtw.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2truUYL.

An erotic book recommendation: Pain Slut by J.A. Rock

A critic review (source All About Romance) can be read at: http://bit.ly/24qarOv.
Pain Slut is a highly enjoyable read with extremely likeable main characters and a reminder to us all not to judge a book by its cover (or lifestyle).
Book description from Google Books:
Honestly, I’m ready to take a step back from the Subs Club. Making the kink world a safer place for subs is the sort of bandwagon I’d have boarded as an idealist in my early twenties, but now I’m a pragmatist in my late twenties. I prefer to focus on adopting and raising a child.But unexpected factors inevitably derail my plans. Like Drix Seger–attractive and the first genuine sadist I’ve encountered. If I were not in the process of renouncing my masochistic ways and becoming the normal, responsible potential father the adoption agency wants to see, Drix and I might do well together.But he has a foolish name and belongs to a cult of vampyres, and I am quitting kink. So why does Drix’s infatuation with blood and biting make me so hot I can’t think straight? And why, when he looks at me, does he seem to see something beyond a basket case with a stick up my ass?Can I start a new phase in my life without leaving part of myself behind? Please send help.–Miles
The book is rated 3.94/5 at goodreads.com, from 529 ratings. See 136 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1LGIeaD.
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A western book recommendation: West of Eden: An American Place by Jean Stein

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/1TJafXh.
In a book that’s a study of the fleeting nature of worldly power, Stein, now 82, has grabbed for herself the only kind that lasts: She’s the one left standing, who gets to tell the story.
Book description from Google Books:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An epic, mesmerizing oral history of Hollywood and Los Angeles from the author of the contemporary classic EdieJean Stein transformed the art of oral history in her groundbreaking book Edie: American Girl, an indelible portrait of Andy Warhol “superstar” Edie Sedgwick, which was edited with George Plimpton. Now, in West of Eden, she turns to Los Angeles, the city of her childhood. Stein vividly captures a mythic cast of characters: their ambitions and triumphs as well as their desolation and grief. These stories illuminate the bold aspirations of five larger-than-life individuals and their families. West of Eden is a work of history both grand in scale and intimate in detail. At the center of each family is a dreamer who finds fortune and strife in Southern California: Edward Doheny, the Wisconsin-born oil tycoon whose corruption destroyed the reputation of a U.S. president and led to his own son’s violent death; Jack Warner, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who together with his brothers founded one of the world’s most iconic film studios; Jane Garland, the troubled daughter of an aspiring actress who could never escape her mother’s schemes; Jennifer Jones, an actress from Oklahoma who won the Academy Award at twenty-five but struggled with despair amid her fame and glamour. Finally, Stein chronicles the ascent of her own father, Jules Stein, an eye doctor born in Indiana who transformed Hollywood with the creation of an unrivaled agency and studio. In each chapter, Stein paints a portrait of an outsider who pins his or her hopes on the nascent power and promise of Los Angeles. Each individual’s unyielding intensity pushes loved ones, especially children, toward a perilous threshold. West of Eden depicts the city that has projected its own image of America onto the world, in all its idealism and paradox. As she did in Edie, Jean Stein weaves together the personal recollections of an array of individuals to create an astonishing tapestry of a place like no other.Praise for West of Eden“Compulsively readable, capturing not just a vibrant part of the history of Los Angeles—that uniquely ‘American Place’ Stein refers to in her subtitle—but also the real drama of this town . . . It’s like being at an insider’s cocktail party where the most delicious gossip about the rich and powerful is being dished by smart people, such as Gore Vidal, Joan Didion, Arthur Miller and Dennis Hopper. . . . Mesmerizing.”—Los Angeles Times“Perhaps the most surprising thing that emerges from this riveting book is a glimpse of what seems like deep truth. It’s possible that oral history as Stein practices it . . . is as close as we’re going to come to the real story of anything.”—The New York Times Book Review “Enthralling . . . brings some of [L.A.’s] biggest personalities to life . . . As she did for Edie Sedgwick in Edie: American Girl, [Stein] harnesses a gossipy chorus of voices.”—Vogue “Even if you’re a connoisseur of Hollywood tales, you’ve probably never heard these. . . . As ever, gaudy, debauched, merciless Hollywood has the power to enthrall its audience.”—The Wall Street Journal “The tales of jaw-dropping excess, cruelty, and betrayal are the stuff of movies, and the pleasures are immense.”—Vanity Fair“This riveting oral history chronicles the development of Los Angeles, from oil boomtown to Tinseltown.”—Entertainment Weekly (“Must List”)From the Hardcover edition.
The book is rated 3.24/5 at goodreads.com, from 731 ratings. See 139 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1MiOrdf.
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A humour book recommendation: Play All: A Bingewatcher’s Notebook by Clive James

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2dPdUjw.
But don’t let these minor encrustations put you off. “Play All” is a small book but by no means a slight one.
Book description from Google Books:
A world-renowned media and cultural critic offers an insightful analysis of serial TV drama and the modern art of the small screen Television and TV viewing are not what they once were–and that’s a good thing, according to award-winning author and critic Clive James. Since serving as television columnist for the London Observer from 1972 to 1982, James has witnessed a radical change in content, format, and programming, and in the very manner in which TV is watched. Here he examines this unique cultural revolution, providing a brilliant, eminently entertaining analysis of many of the medium’s most notable twenty-first-century accomplishments and their not always subtle impact on modern society–including such acclaimed serial dramas as Breaking Bad, The West Wing, Mad Men, and The Sopranos, as well as the comedy 30 Rock. With intelligence and wit, James explores a television landscape expanded by cable and broadband and profoundly altered by the advent of Netflix, Amazon, and other “cord-cutting” platforms that have helped to usher in a golden age of unabashed binge-watching.
The book is rated 3.63/5 at goodreads.com, from 166 ratings. See 35 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2fjrqkn.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tCBRWY.