A fiction book recommendation: Blood of the Dawn by Claudia Salazar Jiménez

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2mZJctT.
Blood of the Dawn is a short novel, and maybe that’s why it’s so effective. Salazar Jiménez and translator Elizabeth Bryer make every word count, and the result is a work of concentrated intensity with no room for the reader to escape the horrors that fill just about every page.
Book description from Google Books:
This novel follows three women whose lives intertwine and are ripped apart during what’s known as “the time of fear” in Peruvian history when the Shining Path militant insurgency was at its peak. The novel rewrites the armed conflict in the voice of women, activating memory through a mixture of politics, desire, and pain in a lucid and brutal prose.
The book is rated 3.73/5 at goodreads.com, from 90 ratings. See 15 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mzbDRO.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2twYYT7.

A comic book recommendation: EC Archives, The: Shock Suspense Stories Volume 1 (Ec Archives: Shock Suspenstories) by Various

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/1WNOXsx.
Part of the secret is the art; EC hired some of the top commercial freelancers of the day. In these pages Wood displays his gift for eloquent faces and clever layouts…
Book description from Google Books:
This beautifully bound hardcover reprints the first six complete issues of the pulp-comic classic Shock SuspenStories! Featuing the titanic artistic talents of Al Feldstein, Jack Kamen, Jack Davis, Joe Orlando, Graham Ingles, and Wally Wood, with a foreword by Steven Spielberg! Includes all the original ads, text pieces, and letters!

Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tyctC5.

An education-reference book recommendation: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

A critic review (source AV Club) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2evdijx.
The material is thick with jokes, landing effortlessly from someone you can easily imagine as your good vulgar friend, filling you in on the mundane and the sordid details of her life.
Book description from Google Books:
#1 New York Times Bestseller “Amy Schumer’s book will make you love her even more. For a comedian of unbridled (and generally hilarious) causticity, Schumer has written a probing, confessional, unguarded, and, yes, majorly humanizing non-memoir, a book that trades less on sarcasm, and more on emotional resonance.” —Vogue “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo is an alternatingly meditative, sexually explicit, side-splittingly hilarious, heart-wrenching, disturbing, passionately political, and always staggeringly authentic ride through the highs and lows of the comedic powerhouse’s life to date.” —Harper’s Bazaar “This is your happy hour with Amy Schumer…It’s Bossypants meets Trainwreck meets your long weekend.” —TheSkimm “Amy’s got your back. She’s in your corner. She’s an honesty bomb. And she’s coming for you.” —Actress Tilda Swinton and Trainwreck co-star The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is—a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh. Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friend—an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. Whether she’s experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor’s secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably—but only because it’s over.
The book is rated 3.77/5 at goodreads.com, from 51113 ratings. See 5614 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2eve7Jm.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sl9UPA.

A self-help book recommendation: The Middlepause: On Turning Fifty by Marina Benjamin (2016-06-09) by Marina Benjamin

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2pGQJis.
The Middlepause is a restrained but wonderful guide to the convulsive changes of 50 and over. Whether it is Benjamin’s observation that it’s “the nouns that go” in post-menopausal word blight or her evocation of the “old fever” of conventional ambition, this is a book that yields valuable insights on almost every page.
Book description from Google Books:
In a society obsessed with living longer and looking younger, what does middle age nowadays mean? How should a fifty-something be in a world ceaselessly redefining ageing, youth, and experience? The Middlepause offers hope, and heart. Cutting through society’s clamorous demands to work longer and stay young, it delivers a clear-eyed account of midlife’s challenges. Spurred by her own brutal propulsion into menopause, Marina Benjamin weighs the losses, joys and opportunities of our middle years, taking inspiration from literature and philosophical example. She uncovers the secret misogynistic history of HRT, and tells us why a dose of Jung is better than a trip to the gym. Attending to ageing parents, the shock of bereavement, parenting a teenager, and her own health woes, she emerges into a new definition of herself as daughter, mother, citizen and woman. Marina Benjamin suggests there’s comfort and guidance in memory, milestones and margins, and offers an inspired and expanded vision of how to be middle-aged happily and harmoniously, without sentiment or delusion, making The Middlepause a companion, and a friend.
The book is rated 3.61/5 at goodreads.com, from 62 ratings. See 16 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2oZgKeZ.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2pGJLtM.

A politics book recommendation: Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2paGIZn.
Much of “Dear Ijeawele” will feel familiar to those who know Adichie’s previous works, but this book is more personal, more urgent. “I want to help create the world my daughter will love, to hasten the coming of true justice. I want the world to be better,” she says.
Book description from Google Books:
New York Times Best SellerA Skimm Reads PickFrom the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists comes a powerful new statement about feminism today–written as a letter to a friend. A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response.     Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions–compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive–for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can “allow” women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.
The book is rated 4.56/5 at goodreads.com, from 7653 ratings. See 1311 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2pLVsC2.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2paAJnk.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A romance book recommendation: The Sun’s Bride by Gillian Bradshaw

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2bozmud.
There are so few books set in ancient Greece—the ones that aren’t far-out erotica with gods and such tend to be 300 style military epics, which just don’t interest me. Your books are also reliably filled with strong-willed and interesting women, with a deft consideration of the minutiae of everyday living.
Book description from Google Books:
Spring, 266 BC. When Isokrates, helmsman of the Rhodian warship Atalanta, encounters a pirate vessel off the Lycian coast, he finds himself caught up in affairs of state more deadly than the naval battles hes accustomed to. Among the pirates victims is a beautiful woman, the mistress of a king, who is fleeing to her lovers enemy with news that will start a war to engulf the whole of the east . .
The book is rated 3.58/5 at goodreads.com, from 137 ratings. See 29 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2blECCk.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tXgGzf.

A travel book recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

A critic review (source Financial Times) can be read at: http://on.ft.com/2mVCZPw.
The thickly bound format is ideally read in bed. This is just the kind of book to shut out the world with a sense of Scandinavian comfort.
Book description from Google Books:
The Sunday Times bestseller The New York Times bestseller The Danish word hygge is one of those beautiful words that doesn’t directly translate into English, but it more or less means comfort, warmth or togetherness. Hygge is the feeling you get when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, in warm knitted socks, in front of the fire, when it is dark, cold and stormy outside. It that feeling when you are sharing good, comfort food with your closest friends, by candle light and exchanging easy conversation. It is those cold, crisp blue sky mornings when the light through your window is just right. Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Meik puts this largely down to them living the hygge way. They focus on the small things that really matter, spend more quality time with friends and family and enjoy the good things in life. The Little Book of Hygge will give you practical steps and tips to become more hygge: how to pick the right lighting, organise a dinner party and even how to dress hygge, all backed up by Meik’s years’ of research at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. This year live more like a Dane, embrace hygge and become happier.
The book is rated 3.73/5 at goodreads.com, from 11025 ratings. See 1342 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mKHIa1.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2s6nyGu.