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A: Try Rebecca Walker's Black White and Jewish — she is the daughter of Alice Walker and has a strong, distinctive voice. And if you haven't already, go out and get yourself a copy of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; it is a classic and an essential piece of work. –Aubrey
Q: I am about to start a trial separation with my wife of almost 23 years. Are there any self-help books out there offering advice to the man trying to make it work when his wife has basically given up? –Bill
Now I know the first two texts are often used in the business world, but I think you will find them to be invaluable tools for talking about "the tough stuff." They provide practical advice for communicating with detachment and compassion. The third selection, When Things Fall Apart, is an especially useful personal guide for staying centered amidst chaos. I hope that these are helpful to you! –Aubrey
Q: Reading China Miéville. I'm about to start The Scar right now and I just finished Kraken and, prior to that, Iron Council... a bit out of order, I suppose. Should I skip The Scar and wait for Perdido Street Station? And would you recommend any other similar titles? –Shawn
A: You should definitely read Perdido Street Station, perhaps not immediately, but it is definitely one of Miéville's strongest works. I also recommend anything by Jeff Vandermeer, including a wonderful anthology he edited with his wife, The Weird.
Q: I'm on a mystery kick and am looking for a couple more to get me through the next few months. I've read all of Tana French's Dublin murder squad books and enjoyed them for the most part. On a recommendation, I'm now reading Benjamin Black's Christine Falls, about a Dublin pathologist. I am enjoying it very much. Apparently Benjamin Black is the pen name of a Booker Prize–winning novelist, so I'd like to get some suggestions for mystery/detective novels that are written in a kind of... literary way. Any suggestions? –Laura
A: I don't know if you're into historical mystery or not, but you may enjoy Tasha Alexander. Start with And Only to Deceive. I also enjoy Andrea Camilleri and his Sicilian-set mystery series. His newest, Treasure Hunt, just came out. Another very enjoyable author is Louise Penny. Start with Still Life. –Tom
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