• ABCD

    Understanding human relations and intense love

    My Italian Bulldozer: A Novel by Alexander McCall Smith, Pantheon, US $25.95, Pp 240, April 2017, ISBN 978-1101871393

    Paul Stuart is a famous food writer. He suddenly finds himself at loose ends after his longtime girlfriend leaves him for her personal trainer. To get him out of the depressive mood, his editor, Gloria, encourages him to finish his latest cookbook on-site in Tuscany. Gloria seems to think a change of scenery and good food and wine will heal the …

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  • ABC

    The real spy story that is more interesting than a spy novel

    Agent 110: An American Spymaster and the German Resistance in WWII by Scott Miller, Simon & Schuster, US $28.00, PP 368, March 2017, ISBN 978-1451693386

    Allen Dulles is most famous for his service as the head of the US CIA during the height of the Cold War. The failed Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba and numerous US-sponsored coup attempts, from Iran to Indonesia, are part of his legacy from that area. Less known is Dulles’s role during World War …

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  • ABCDE

    Creating contemporary dishes by mixing American and European recipes

    Chiltern Firehouse: The Cookbook by Nuno Mendes, Andre Balazs, Ten Speed Press, US $50.00, Pp 320, April 2017, ISBN 978-1607749929

    When the Chiltern Firehouse became – within a day of its opening – the most talked-about restaurant in London for a decade or more, there were plenty quick to attribute it to Balaz’s address book, plump as it is with the names of so much paparazzo bait, so many movers and shakers — film actors, sporting heroes, and heavyweights of …

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  • AAA

    Food mingled with history

      The Potlikker Papers:  A Food History of the Modern South  by  John T. Edge,  Penguin Press,   US $28.00, pp 384, May 2017, ISBN 978-1594206559

    Once thought retrograde, southern food is now recognized as foundational to American cuisine. Southern cooks who labored in roadside shacks now claim white tablecloth temples where they cook alongside new immigrants. This ongoing accent has been tumultuous. And it has powerfully driven national conversations about cultural identity.

    In The Potlikker Papers, John T. Edge says …

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  • ABC

    Korea: A nation divided

     The New Koreans: The Story of a Nation by Michael Breen, Thomas Dunne Books, US $28.99,  Pp 480, April 2017, ISBN 978-1250065056

    The achievements of the Korean generation born between 1920 and 1955 are remarkable. The key factor in the country’s development was their leadership but the national growth was something the entire generation embraced and contributed to. Their children and grandchildren now look at them as old-fashioned – in the way the men still let the women do all …

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  • ABCDE

    Baseball’s Greatest Character

    Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character by Marty Appe, Doubleday, US $27.95, Pp 432, March 2017, ISBN  978-0385540476

    If Casey Stengel had called it a career in 1948, after winning the Pacific Coast League championship with Oakland, he would have ridden off into the sunset with his beloved wife, Edna, profoundly concluding a thirty-nine-year run in pro baseball. And at fifty-seven year old, he would have faded into that sunset and into baseball oblivion. At that point, despite the minor league …

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  • ABCD

    Reinterpreting Adam and Eve love story

    The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us by Bruce Feiler, Penguin Press, US $28.00, Pp 320, March 2017, ISBN 978-1594206818

    Most people believe that Adam and Eve are irrelevant today. There is no evidence that any of the events in the Garden of Eden — or the rest of Genesis, for that matter – took place. And despite centuries of denial, there is overwhelming evidence that humans evolved in a way contrary to how Genesis describes. But the fact …

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  • ABC

    The spine-chilling war story of children and young men

      I, Who Did Not Die by Zahed Haftlang, Najah Aboud, Meredith May, Regan Arts, US $26.95,   Pp 274, March 2017, ISBN 978-1682450116

    The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988 relied on national and religious ideology to sway civilians and soldiers alike. Its military strategy condensed the most violent tactics of previous wars. Like WWI, it was marked by large-scale trench combat and bayonet charges, and extensive use of chemical weapons, such as mustard gas, against Iranian troops and Kurdish civilians. It combined the …

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  • ABCDE

    Editor’s picks: Short stories

    Mexico: Stories by Josh Barkan, Hogarth (Penguin Random House), January 2017, US $25.00, Pp 256, ISBN 978-1101906293

    Foreign Soil: And Other Stories by Maxine Beneba Clarke, Atria / 37 INK, US $22.00, Pp 272, January 2017, ISBN 978-1501136368

    Mexico is a collection of twelve stories about ordinary people like parents, teachers and artists who are struggling to build their lives in a world where cartel violence and chaos reign. Barkan introduced a cast of characters who found themselves face to …

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  • ABCD

    Dissecting marital relationship

      Small Hours by Jennifer Kitses, Grand Central Publishing, US $26.00, Pp 288, June 2017,   ISBN 978-1455598526

    Small Hours unfolds over the course of less than 24 hours. The story follows a husband and wife who try to outrun the secrets that threaten their marriage. They are going through the same stresses of married life we all experience: career and money problems, child-rearing issues.

    Helen and Tom flee New York to start their lives afresh when they were on the edge …

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