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by Steve Berry

Book list At first, readers might wonder why Berry has introduced a new protagonist, disgraced investigative journalist Tom Sagan, for this story that involves a nasty villain and an ancient historical mystery. This seems like prime material for Cotton Malone, Berry's series hero, but we soon see that Malone wouldn't fit here. Sagan, who was stripped of his Pulitzer Prize after an accusation of plagiarism, is approached by a man who has abducted Sagan's daughter. Unless Tom helps him uncover the truth about Christopher Columbus and a lost treasure, Tom's daughter is in mortal danger. The book is full of twists and turns, and it's quite a bit grittier and darker than the Malone novels. We sense real danger here, not the faux danger that puts Malone in seeming jeopardy (although we know nothing bad will actually happen to him), and Zachariah Simon, the man who uses Tom's daughter's life as leverage, is a believable and formidable villain. It's something different for Cotton Malone fans something different and also something very good. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Berry's books have been translated into 40 languages and sold in 51 countries; don't be surprised if his latest sweeps still farther around the globe.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal In his first stand-alone thriller since 2005, Berry (The Jefferson Key) takes advantage of the enigma that was Christopher Columbus to create a fascinating blend of legends, fables, contested historical facts, and imaginative fiction. Tom Sagan, a disgraced journalist of Jewish descent, is about to commit suicide when he is coerced into a plot to decipher secrets hidden in the coffin of his father. Sagan's estranged daughter, Alle, has fallen into the hands of ruthless Zachariah Simon, a wealthy Orthodox Jew in search of a treasure supposedly hidden by Columbus somewhere in Jamaica. Simon has temporarily allied himself with Bene Rowe, a Jamaican Maroon, descendant of runaway slaves, who has his own reasons for finding the treasure. But does it exist and, if so, what exactly is it? Many will risk their lives to learn the truth. VERDICT Thriller readers-from fans of Dan Brown's ciphers to Clive Cussler's fantastic adventures-will savor this intoxicating amalgam of Taino (indigenous) myth, Maroon legend, the history of Jews in Jamaica, the peregrinations of Temple treasures following Titus's sacking of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., and Columbus's mysterious deeds in the West Indies. Sure to be another best seller. [See Prepub Alert, 11/7/11; library marketing.]-Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly This engrossing stand-alone thriller from bestseller Berry (The Third Secret) assumes the premise that Columbus was a Jew, Christoval Arnoldo de Ysassi, forced to convert to Christianity, and that aboard his ships were sacred artifacts rescued from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, including a golden menorah, which he hid on his last voyage to the New World. On the trail of those artifacts and a rumored gold mine are Bene Rowe, a wealthy and powerful Jamaican Maroon, and Zachariah Simon, a Jew intent on returning the artifacts to Jerusalem. The grave of Abiram Sagan, father of disgraced reporter Tom Sagan, may hold the key to finding the treasures. Simon succeeds in reawakening the reporter's dormant investigative skills, prompting a quest that wends through Vienna, Prague, and 500 years of history before culminating in the caves of Jamaica. Berry's imaginative mix of Judaic and Columbus lore as well as Tom's transformation from suicidal flop to heroic everyman should please his many fans. Author tour. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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by John W. Dower

Library Journal Dower's magisterial narrative eloquently tells the story of the postwar occupation of Japan by departing from the usual practice of making the story part of General MacArthur's biography and instead focusing on the citizens. With historical sweep and cultural nuance, and using numerous personal stories of survival, loss, and rededication, he follows the astonishing social transformation of a people. (LJ 4/1/99) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly The writing of history doesn't get much better than this. MIT professor Dower (author of the NBCC Award-winning War Without Mercy) offers a dazzling political and social history of how postwar Japan evolved with stunning speed into a unique hybrid of Western innovation and Japanese tradition. The American occupation of Japan (1945-1952) saw the once fiercely militarist island nation transformed into a democracy constitutionally prohibited from deploying military forces abroad. The occupation was fraught with irony as Americans, motivated by what they saw as their Christian duty to uplift a barbarian race, attempted to impose democracy through autocratic military rule. Dower manages to convey the full extent of both American self-righteousness and visionary idealism. The first years of occupation saw the extension of rights to women, organized labor and other previously excluded groups. Later, the exigencies of the emergent Cold War led to American-backed "anti-Red" purges, pro-business policies and the partial reconstruction of the Japanese military. Dower demonstrates an impressive mastery of voluminous sources, both American and Japanese, and he deftly situates the political story within a rich cultural context. His digressions into Japanese cultureÄhigh and low, elite and popularÄare revealing and extremely well written. The book is most remarkable, however, for the way Dower judiciously explores the complex moral and political issues raised by America's effort to rebuild and refashion a defeated adversaryÄand Japan's ambivalent response to that embrace. Illustrations. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Conventional histories treat the U.S. occupation of Japan (1945-52) as an exercise in which benevolent Americans conferred the blessings of democracy on the defeated feudal fascist foe. The persona of Gen. Douglas MacArthur looms large in such accounts, and the focus is usually on American policies. Dower's approach is very different. He transports us inside Japan to experience this brief but vital period of modern Japanese history in all its richness and complexity. Poignant scenes of trauma, degradation, bewilderment, and poverty alternate with those of hope, initiative, energy, and creativity as Japanese from many walks of life seized the opportunity to regenerate their own society along more egalitarian and democratic lines. In re-creating the American occupation as a Japanese experience, Dower (War Without Mercy, LJ 4/1/86) has produced nothing less than a masterpiece of modern history. Erudition, empathy, accessibility, dry humor, and narrative power combine to make this book an important and beautifully written work that belongs in all libraries.ÄSteven I. Levine, Boulder Run Research, Hillsborough, NC

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list The tension between change and continuity is most sharply drawn in a revolutionary situation. Japan faced one following surrender, knowing that the Americans would up-end Japanese society and government as promised by the Potsdam Declaration. The details were left to the American proconsul, Douglas MacArthur. Would he pin war responsibility on Hirohito? No, a famous photo of the two emphatically symbolized. The details of the decision to protect Hirohito would have been scandalous, Dower notes, had they been publicized at the time. His study of the occupation era capably explains the Americans' imposition of a constitution that was the last, and generally overlooked, great project of liberal New Dealers. Japan's conservative political elite hated the changes, though elsewhere Dower contrasts the populace's more differentiated reaction to the top-down revolution. Dower's theme of acceptance versus resistance to change emerges clearly from his surveys of the postwar cultural and political scene (including an acidic appraisal of the war crimes trials), and his book will enhance most World War II collections. --Gilbert Taylor

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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by Andrew Smith

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Smith takes readers inside the mind of Ryan Dean West, nicknamed Winger for his position on the rugby team of his tony private school. He's brilliant, immature (a 14-year-old junior), and anxious to prove himself to his teammates and especially to his crush, 16-year-old Annie. "You push things too far" advises his best friend and teammate Joey, who is gay and accepted for his honesty about it and his status as team captain. With only Joey, Annie, and the Tao of rugby to guide him, it's no wonder Ryan Dean has more than his share of missteps while trying to reinvent himself. Some are painfully awkward, and some are laugh-out-loud hysterical, especially his sponge bath by a hot nurse. The team's on-field camaraderie deteriorates into simmering hostility off the field, rife with drinking, crudeness, profanity, and constant verbal slurs. Still, readers will be shocked by a climactic violent act against Joey that leaves Ryan Dean changed forever. Smith's understanding of teen males is evident; nuances add depth and authenticity to characters that could have been cliches. However, Annie feels a bit idealized: one wonders what she sees in Ryan Dean. The pace moves quickly and holds readers' interest, punctuated by Bosma's charts and graphic-novel pages that cleverly depict the boy's hilarious inner turmoil. Readers don't need to know anything about rugby to appreciate this moving, funny coming-of-age novel.-M. Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly This brutally honest coming-of-age novel from Smith (Passenger) unfolds through the eyes of Ryan Dean West, a 14-year-old, rugby-playing junior at the exclusive Pine Mountain school. He's two years younger than his classmates, hopelessly in love with his best friend Annie, and stuck in Opportunity Hall, the residence reserved for the worst rule-breakers. As Ryan Dean struggles with football-team bullies, late-night escapades, academic pressures, and girl troubles, he also discovers his own strengths. Like puberty itself, this tale is alternately hilarious and painful, awkward and enlightening; Bosma's occasional comics add another layer of whimsy and emotion, representing Ryan Dean's own artistic bent. The characters and situations are profane and crass, reveling in talk of bodily functions and sexual innuendo, and the story is a cross between the films Lucas and Porky's, with all the charm and gross-out moments that dichotomy suggests. That's what makes the tragedy near the very end all the more shocking and sudden, changing the entire mood and impact of Ryan Dean's journey. The last-minute twist may leave readers confused, angry, and heartbroken, but this remains an excellent, challenging read. Ages 12-up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrew Brown Literary Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list *Starred Review* After he opened a vein in YA lit with The Marbury Lens (2010) and then went completely nutso in Passenger (2012), about the only thing that Smith could do to surprise would be a hornball boarding-school romantic romp. Surprise! Well, sort of. At 14, Ryan Dean West is a couple years younger (and scrawnier) than the rest of the juniors at Pine Mountain. He is a plucky kid despite a tendency to punctuate his every thought with I am such a loser who stars in the rugby team due to his speed and tenacity. The rail ties of his single-track mind, though, are his exploits (or lack thereof) with the opposite sex, particularly his best friend Annie, who thinks he is adorable. In short, Ryan Dean is a slightly pervy but likable teen. He rates the hotness of every female in sight but also drops surprising bombs of personal depth on a friend's homosexuality, the poisonous rivalries that can ruin friendships, and his own highly unstable mix of insecurity and evolving self-confidence. Much of the story seems preoccupied with the base-level joys and torments of being a teenager, content to float along with occasional bursts of levity from some nonessential but fun minicomics by Bosma. But at its heart, it is more in line with Dead Poets Society, and by the end this deceptively lightweight novel packs an unexpectedly ferocious punch.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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