A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes by Judith Flanders

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2pRGVlQ.
So we’ll need other books on the history of “home,” ones that ask questions about why the idea was so firmly promoted, and ones that make use of the new evidence from the earth. But meanwhile, this book has charm and learning.
Book description from Google Books:
The 500-year story of how, and why, our homes have come to be what they are, from the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author of The Invention of Murder and The Victorian City
The book is rated 3.70/5 at goodreads.com, from 349 ratings. See 78 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1jZXkQB.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2pRPcGg.

A cooking 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 11078 ratings. See 1347 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mKHIa1.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2s6nyGu.

A non-fiction book recommendation: Pieces of Soap: Essays by Stanley Elkin

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2mFsWjy.
There’s a tendency to approach a posthumous collection of work by an esteemed “writer’s writer” with respectful courtesy, but Stanley Elkin’s essays demand a rowdier response from readers. They’re weird and spirited, full of literal piss and vinegar.
Book description from Google Books:
These incisive, utterly unique pieces swoop and soar from Hollywood to Fifth Avenue, from show biz to high literature, from first sex to the First Amendment, attacking America’s absurdities with an informed sense of the serious. Elkin offers biting yet humorous essays in the tradition of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth.
The book is rated 3.77/5 at goodreads.com, from 22 ratings. See 3 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mFsl1a.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2pqu35g.

A sport book recommendation: The Notorious John Morrissey: How a Bare-Knuckle Brawler Became a Congressman and Founded Saratoga Race Course by James C. Nicholson

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2al927k.
…it is especially heartening to be reminded of this great original, surely one of the most remarkable figures and great characters in our commercial and political history.
Book description from Google Books:
An Irish immigrant, a collection agent for crime bosses, a professional boxer, and a prodigious gambler, John Morrissey was — if nothing else — an unlikely candidate to become one of the most important figures in the history of Thoroughbred racing. As a young man, he worked as a political heavy in New York before going to San Francisco in search of fortune at the height of the Gold Rush. After returning to the east coast, he was hired by Tammany Hall and was soon locked in a deadly rivalry with William Poole, better known as “Bill the Butcher.”As time went on, Morrissey parlayed his youthful exploits into a remarkably successful career as a businessman and politician. After establishing a gambling house in Saratoga Springs, the hard-nosed entrepreneur organized the first Thoroughbred race meet at what would become Saratoga Race Course in 1863. Morrissey went on to be elected to two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two terms in the New York State Senate.In The Notorious John Morrissey, James C. Nicholson explores the improbable life of the man who brought Thoroughbred racing back to prominence in the United States. Though few of his contemporaries did more to develop the commercialization of sports in America, Morrissey’s colorful background has prevented him from getting the attention he deserves. This entertaining and long-overdue biography finally does justice to his astounding rags-to-riches story while exploring an intriguing chapter in the history of horse racing.
The book is rated 4.80/5 at goodreads.com, from 5 ratings.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uidApI.

A parenting-relationships 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 7703 ratings. See 1320 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.

An erotic book recommendation: Ride Steady (Chaos) by Kristen Ashley

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1g7LwtZ.
A strong, slightly overbearing hero, a heroine whose internal monologue is funny and sweet and a romance that keeps the focus squarely on the couple. Ride Steady gets a B from me and a strong recommendation for fans of relationship focused romances.
Book description from Google Books:
The ride of her life . . . Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy—until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa’s pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.Climb on and hold tight . . . In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he’s the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa’s acting, it’s clear she’s falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker’s secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa—or ride away forever . . .
The book is rated 4.45/5 at goodreads.com, from 19197 ratings. See 2132 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1g7LzpQ.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2stSTDf.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A children book recommendation: The Prince of Two Tribe: Chronicles of the Misplaced Prince Book II by Sean Cullen

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2doHJaL.
This book gets a five out of five star rating, or two big thumbs up. Anyone who loves adventure and fantasy with some romance mixed in — this is the right book for you!
Book description from Google Books:
Brendan figures his troubles are over. Sure, he’s going to have to hide the fact that he’s a Faerie from his human family and his friends at school, but now that he’s been initiated and survived his quest, the hardest part is behind him. Right? Wrong. In The Prince of Two Tribes, Brendan discovers that his troubles are only beginning. He has to prove his worthiness to the Faerie World in a series of difficult tests, and he’s having trouble mastering even the simplest of his talents.
The book is rated 4.12/5 at goodreads.com, from 99 ratings. See 10 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cNWZ3x.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uiCPs2.