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Reviews

Reviews

written by Hisashi Kashiwai, translated by Jesse Kirkwood - Fiction, Mystery

Down a quiet backstreet in Kyoto exists a very special restaurant. Run by Koishi Kamogawa and her father Nagare, the Kamogawa Diner serves up deliciously extravagant meals. But that's not the main reason customers stop by. The father-daughter duo are “food detectives.” Through ingenious investigations, they are able to recreate dishes from a person’s treasured memories --- dishes that may well hold the keys to their forgotten past and future happiness. The restaurant of lost recipes provides a link to vanished moments, creating a present full of possibility.

by Dan Jones - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

1347. Bruised and bloodied by an epic battle at Crécy, six soldiers known as the Essex Dogs pick through the wreckage of the fighting --- and their own lives. Now a new siege is beginning, and the Dogs are sent to attack the soaring walls of Calais. King Edward has vowed no Englishman will leave France until this city falls. To get home, they must survive a merciless winter in a lawless camp deadlier than any battlefield. Obsessed with tracking down the vanished Captain, Loveday struggles to control his own men. Romford is haunted by the reappearance of a horrific figure from his past. And Scotsman is spiraling into a pit of drink, violence and self-pity. The Dogs are being torn apart, but this war is far from over. It won't be long before they lose more of their own.

by Bernard Cornwell with Suzanne Pollak - Adventure, Fiction, Historical Fiction, History, Nonfiction

UHTRED’S FEAST offers rich background on the books of Bernard Cornwell’s Last Kingdom series, presenting a fascinating, detailed view of Anglo-Saxon life in all its splendor, danger and beauty. With his narrative flair, Cornwell explores every aspect of this historical period, from the clothes to weapons to food, offering beautifully crafted recipes of early Anglo-Saxon fare, created by renowned UK chef Suzanne Pollak. In addition, he has written three new stories exclusive to this book that reveal the man behind the shield --- Uhtred as a young boy, as Alfred’s advisor, and as prince.

by Ben Fountain - Fiction

Haiti, 1991. When a violent coup d’état leads to the fall of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, American expat Matt Amaker is forced to abandon his idyllic, beachfront scuba business. With the rise of a brutal military dictatorship and an international embargo threatening to destroy even the country’s most powerful players, some are looking to gain an advantage in the chaos --- and others are just looking to make it through another day. Desperate for money --- and survival --- Matt teams up with his best friend and business partner, Alix Variel. They set their sights on legendary shipwrecks that have been rumored to contain priceless treasures off a remote section of Haiti’s southern coast. However, their ambition and exploration of these disastrous wrecks come with a cascade of ill-fated incidents.

by Julius Taranto - Fiction

Helen is a young physicist on a path to solve high-temperature superconductivity (which could save the planet). When she discovers that her brilliant adviser is involved in a sex scandal, Helen is torn. Should she give up on her work with him? Or should she accompany him to a controversial university, founded by a provocateur billionaire, that hosts academics other schools have thrown out? Helen decides she must go. She brings along her partner, Hew, who is much less sanguine about living on an island where the disgraced and deplorable get to operate with impunity. On campus, Helen finds herself drawn to an iconoclastic older novelist, while Hew stews in an increasingly radical protest movement. Their rift deepens until both confront choices that will reshape their lives --- and maybe the world.

by David Grann - History, Nonfiction, True Crime

On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were 30 emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. Six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they told a very different story. The 30 sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes --- they were mutineers. The first group responded with countercharges of their own. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth.

by Ellen Marie Wiseman - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Sage Winters’ twin sister, Rosemary, died from pneumonia six years ago. Their mother perished in a car crash, and Sage’s stepfather, Alan, resents being burdened by a responsibility he never wanted. Yet, despite living as near strangers in their Staten Island apartment, Sage is stunned to discover that Alan has kept a shocking secret: Rosemary didn’t die. She was committed to Willowbrook State School and has lingered there until just a few days ago, when she went missing. With no idea what to expect, Sage secretly sets out for Willowbrook, determined to find Rosemary. What she learns, once she steps through its doors and is mistakenly believed to be her sister, will change her life in ways she never could have imagined.

by Howard Bryant - Biography, Nonfiction, Sports

Few names in the history of baseball evoke the excellence and dynamism that Rickey Henderson’s does. He holds the record for the most stolen bases in a single game, and he’s scored more runs than any player ever. But perhaps even more than his prowess on the field, Henderson’s is a story of Oakland, California, the town that gave rise to so many legendary athletes like him. And it’s a story of a sea change in sports, when athletes gained celebrity status and Black players finally earned equitable salaries. Now, in the hands of critically acclaimed sportswriter and culture critic Howard Bryant, one of baseball’s greatest and most original stars finally gets his due.

by Candice Millard - History, Nonfiction

For millennia, the location of the Nile River’s headwaters was shrouded in mystery. In the 19th century, there was a frenzy of interest in ancient Egypt. At the same time, European powers sent off waves of explorations intended to map the unknown corners of the globe --- and extend their colonial empires. Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke were sent by the Royal Geographical Society to claim the prize for England. Burton spoke 29 languages and was a decorated soldier. Speke was a young aristocrat and Army officer determined to make his mark. From the start the two men clashed. They would endure tremendous hardships, illness and constant setbacks.

by Phil Keith with Tom Clavin - History, Nonfiction

On June 19, 1864, just off the coast of France, one of the most dramatic naval battles in history took place. On a clear day with windswept skies, the dreaded Confederate raider Alabama faced the Union warship Kearsarge in an all-or-nothing fight to the finish, the outcome of which would effectively end the threat of the Confederacy on the high seas. Authors Phil Keith and Tom Clavin introduce some of the crucial but historically overlooked players, including John Winslow, captain of the USS Kearsarge, as well as Raphael Semmes, captain of the CSS Alabama. Winslow pursued Semmes in a spectacular 14-month chase over international waters, culminating in what would become the climactic sea battle of the Civil War.