A romance book recommendation: First Star I See Tonight: A Novel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dL95em.
The story was very readable and the solution to the mysterious attacks on Cooper surprised me. I was going to give this a B, but seeing as I gave Call Me Irresistible a B , and I’m pretty sure I liked First Star I See Tonight better, I’ll give this one a B as well.
Book description from Google Books:
A no-nonsense sports hero and a feisty female detective go head-to-head in this funny, fresh, seductive novel from the award winning NYT bestselling author known for her unforgettable characters, heartfelt emotion, and laugh out loud humor.               He’s the former quarterback of the Chicago Stars football team.She’s trying to make a success of her very own detective agency.Her first job? Follow him.Let’s just say it’s not going well.Not well at all….Piper Dove is a woman with a dream—to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. The problem? Graham’s spotted her, and he’s not happy.Which is why a great detective needs a first rate imagination. “The fact is . . . I’m your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just . . . mildly unhinged.”Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead, he’s hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop’s life might be in danger, and Piper’s determined to protect him, whether he wants it or not. (Hint: Not!) If only she weren’t also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants to fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding that Piper find her very dead husband.And then there’s Cooper Graham,, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants—even if what he wants just might be an intrepid detective hell bent on proving she’s as tough as he is.From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can’t stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.
The book is rated 4.02/5 at goodreads.com, from 7962 ratings. See 1166 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dLbzcm.
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A romance book recommendation: Fast Connection (Cyberlove) (Volume 2) by Megan Erickson

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dNaLDQ.
Loving parents will frequently be protective to the point of being overprotective of their kids against the world even if they do not need much protection. I am deliberately speaking in generalities because I do not want to spoil the book for you. I really enjoyed the book and have already reread it twice, which to me signifies a memorable read.
Book description from Google Books:
After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic ‘Nicky’ Costigan–the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys. When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again. He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated. *FAST CONNECTION is a standalone, full-length romance novel with no cliffhanger*
The book is rated 4.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 3280 ratings. See 713 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2eHT8D1.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tI4GS8.

A horror book recommendation: The Fireman: A Novel by Joe Hill

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cHEwWe.
But if Mr. Hill’s overarching plot has its problems, he remains a terrifically ingratiating writer when it comes to ambience and spirit.
Book description from Google Books:
From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.The fireman is coming. Stay cool.No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.
The book is rated 3.92/5 at goodreads.com, from 26364 ratings. See 4521 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cVosxt.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ssY1Hp.
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A fiction book recommendation: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis: The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2pIUG6p.
Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis will undoubtedly win Rice new fans and welcome back old ones.
Book description from Google Books:
From Anne Rice, conjurer of the beloved best sellers Interview with the Vampire and Prince Lestat, an ambitious and exhilarating new novel of utopian vision and power   “In my dreams, I saw a city fall into the sea. I heard the cries of thousands. I saw flames that outshone the lamps of heaven. And all the world was shaken . . .” –Anne Rice, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis   At the novel’s center: the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, hero, leader, inspirer, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling (and ultimately reconciling with) a strange otherworldly form that has somehow taken possession of Lestat’s undead body and soul. This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history, and insidious reach of the unknowable Universe. It is through this spirit, previously considered benign for thousands of vampire years and throughout the Vampire Chronicles, that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient × a mysterious heaven on earth situated on a boundless continent–and of how and why, and in what manner and with what far-reaching purpose, this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean. And as we learn of the mighty, far-reaching powers and perfections of this lost kingdom of Atalantaya, the lost realms of Atlantis, we come to understand its secrets, and how and why the vampire Lestat, indeed all the vampires, must reckon so many millennia later with the terrifying force of this ageless, all-powerful Atalantaya spirit.
The book is rated 3.80/5 at goodreads.com, from 3211 ratings. See 530 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2pISjjI.
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An action book recommendation: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I and II (Special Rehearsal Edition) (Library Edition): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production by John Tiffany

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2eteDrk.
The stage play is more than five hours long. The script takes less time to read. “Cursed Child” is a most satisfying and well-done follow-up to “Deathly Hallows.”
Book description from Google Books:
As an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father, Harry Potter struggles with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs while his youngest son, Albus, finds the weight of the family legacy difficult to bear.
The book is rated 3.76/5 at goodreads.com, from 381662 ratings. See 52265 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dAEznr.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: .

A fiction book recommendation: Swing Time by Zadie Smith

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2lm3Fut.
The book relies not on plot or character development but on a series of skillfully rendered passages to propel the story as it swings back and forth through time, though not necessarily with perfect rhythm.
Book description from Google Books:
A New York Times bestseller Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty Two brown girls dream of being dancers–but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either. Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live. But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey–the same twists, the same shakes–and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time.
The book is rated 3.61/5 at goodreads.com, from 17889 ratings. See 2255 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2kAys2F.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tFUY2G.

A literature book recommendation: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2dQTlGH.
Generally speaking, Ann Patchett is a novelist who knows what she’s doing, and to read her is to feel that you’re in good hands. I just wish she’d let those reckless, exhilarated stepsiblings and their irresponsible 1970s parents get away with having fun.
Book description from Google Books:
#1 New York Times BestsellerThe acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives.One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.
The book is rated 3.84/5 at goodreads.com, from 60893 ratings. See 7151 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2eLZhOX.
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A religion book recommendation: Aeneid: Book VI by Seamus Heaney

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2af1Vtw.
With characteristic brilliance, Heaney refuses to let words and images not earn their keep. Some of his felicities he achieves simply by close translation from the Latin…
Book description from Google Books:
In a momentous publication, Seamus Heaney’s translation of Book VI of the Aeneid, Virgil’s epic poem composed sometime between 29 and 19 BC, follows the hero, Aeneas, on his descent into the underworld. In Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O’Driscoll, Heaney acknowledged the importance of the poem to his writing, noting that ‘there’s one Virgilian journey that has indeed been a constant presence, and that is Aeneas’s venture into the underworld. The motifs in Book VI have been in my head for years – the golden bough, Charon’s barge, the quest to meet the shade of the father.’ In this new translation, Heaney employs the same deft handling of the original combined with the immediacy of language and flawless poetic voice as was on show in his translation of Beowulf, a reimagining which, in the words of Bernard O’Donoghue, brought the ancient poem back to life in ‘a miraculous mix of the poem’s original spirit and Heaney’s voice’.
The book is rated 4.45/5 at goodreads.com, from 270 ratings. See 48 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2afWfmA.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tHzzWE.

A parenting-relationships book recommendation: Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations by Ron Fournier

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/29iD7ny.
Affluent parents may be able to afford an extensive road trip to bond with their children, however, the overall message of learning to accept one’s children as gifts will touch all parents, whether they have toddlers or teenagers.
Book description from Google Books:
Tyler and I inch toward the Green Room, in line with blow-dried TV anchors and stuffy columnists. He’s practicing his handshake and hello: “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President.” When the couple in front of us steps forward for their picture, my teenager with sky-blue eyes and a soft heart looks up at me and says, “I hope I don’t let you down, Dad.” What kind of father raises a son to worry about embarrassing his dad? I want to tell Tyler not to worry, that he’d never let me down. That there’s nothing wrong with being different. That I actually am proud of what makes him special. But we are next in line to meet the president of the United States in a room filled with fellow strivers, and all I can think about is the real possibility that Tyler might embarrass himself. Or, God forbid, me. LOVE THAT BOY is a uniquely personal story about the causes and costs of outsized parental expectations. What we want for our children–popularity, normalcy, achievement, genius–and what they truly need–grit, empathy, character–are explored by National Journal’s Ron Fournier, who weaves his extraordinary journey to acceptance around the latest research on childhood development and stories of other loving-but-struggling parents.
The book is rated 3.97/5 at goodreads.com, from 1445 ratings. See 318 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/29Jznd0.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sgD0j6.