Master your Minecraft


Christian Science Monitor


The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy by Sasha Issenberg

Sushi and the Global Economy

A review by Bina Venkataraman

Stories of how food makes it to your dinner table tend to be less than appetizing in this age of free trade and free-range chicken. From Fast Food Nation to The Omnivore's Dilemma, learning about what we eat titillates the mind more often than the tongue. If this can be called a trend, Sasha Issenberg's The Sushi Economy is a notable exception: During the 2-1/2 weeks I spent reading it, I ate sushi six times.

Issenberg traces the rising tsunami that is the sushi trade from tuna fisheries where prize bluefin are caught, to sushi stalls on the Tokyo streets to high-fashion American restaurants. To him sushi is an exceptional manifestation of today's global economy: cross-cultural, unbranded, and with a link to the environment so fresh that it quivers. But even more distinctive, he notes, is the engine that drives this booming economy: personal tastes instead of corporate plans.

"In the sushi economy, power does not flow downward from the boardrooms of multinational corporations...

Previously Reviewed by Christian Science Monitor
Sort: by date | by title | by author

Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron

Colin Thubron, the intrepid, erudite author of numerous travel books, has once again undertaken an odyssey of Homeric proportions. This time he's ventured over 5,000 miles across the entire length and breadth of the Silk Road, through some of the most dangerous territory on the planet -- Xian in...

Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles 1910-1939 by Katie Roiphe

Why are we always so fascinated by other people's marriages? "We flip through magazine articles about celebrity breakups at the dentist's office, or carefully deconstruct the tension between a couple at a dinner party," notes author and cultural commentator Katie Roiphe. What are we looking...

Stalin's Ghost: An Arkady Renko Novel by Martin Cruz Smith

When Russian detective Arkady Renko first appeared in Gorky Park it was 1981. Ronald Reagan was busy writing his "evil empire" speech, the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer was the most anticipated event of the year, and most of us still needed a quarter if we wanted to make a phone...

Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of the Militant Islamic Movement by Zaki Chehab

On April 6, 1994, Yehia Ayyash, one of the more elusive members of the Islamic Resistance Movement known by its Arab acronym Hamas, left an indelible mark on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The man whom former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin called "the Engineer" dispatched a Palestinian...

Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson

Those familiar with Jacqueline Woodson's work know that she doesn't shy away from hard-hitting themes for the middle grade set. In her earlier work Locomotion, for example, Woodson tackled grief, trauma, death, survival, and hope -- all in the brief span of 112 pages. Oh yeah, make that 112 pages...

Prisoner of Tehran: A Memoir by Marina Nemat

Most Americans have some memory of the 444 days the world waited to see if Iranian revolutionaries would release 52 American hostages seized at the American Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979. The bitter feelings from that event are just now beginning to lessen: It was only last month...

FDR by Jean Edward Smith

The New Deal. The Hundred Days. The WPA. Social Security. Lend-Lease. Nothing to fear but fear itself. Freedom from fear. Freedom from want. The shorthand for modern America begins with the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the only man in the nation's history elected to four terms in office....

Falling Man: A Novel by Don DeLillo

Remember those writing assignments where a teacher challenged you to depict boredom without being boring? Well, acclaimed author Don DeLillo, in his eagerly anticipated novel about Sept. 11, has not only captured the fraught numbness that followed the World Trade Center attacks -- he has written a...

A Thousand Splendid Suns: A Novel by Khaled Hosseini

There may be nothing more elusive in publishing than a genuine word-of-mouth phenomenon. Set the book someplace where English isn't the first language, make your main character a coward, and throw in so much suffering that even Oprah might cry "Enough!" and, well, there's pretty much only one...

Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America by Benjamin Woolley

Is America the product of the earnest, reverent, family-values-oriented Pilgrims of 1620 or the adventurers, castoffs, and profiteers of Jamestown, Va., who set foot in the New World 13 years before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock? The Pilgrims have amassed the bulk of history's notice and ...

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver and Camille Kingsolver and Steven L. Hopp

The Yiddish Policemen's Union: A Novel by Michael Chabon

The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring by Richard Preston

What the Dead Know: A Novel by Laura Lippman

Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit, and the Era of Predatory Lenders by James Scurlock

Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan

A Far Country by Daniel Mason

Yellowcake: A Novel by Ann Cummins

Then We Came to the End: A Novel by Joshua Ferris

Finn: A Novel by Jon Clinch

This Human Season by Louise Dean

Lost City Radio: A Novel by Daniel Alarcon

In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar

The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics by James Oakes

War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History: 1500 to Today by Max Boot

Cross-X by Joe Miller

Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear

About Alice by Calvin Trillin

The Scientist as Rebel by Freeman Dyson

American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Work by Susan Cheever

Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man by Dale Peterson

Monkey Portraits by Jill Greenberg

One Potato, Two Potato by Cynthia DeFelice

All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall

Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction by David Kuo

Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate by Alicia C. Shepard

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir by Bill Bryson

Things I Didn't Know: A Memoir by Robert Hughes

The End: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 13 (A Series of Unfortunate Events #13) by Lemony Snicket

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I Feel Bad about My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron

The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton

There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children by Melissa Fay Greene

The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History by Jonathan Franzen

What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat by Louise Richardson

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami

A Woman in Jerusalem: A Novel by A. B. Yehoshua

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution by David Quammen

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

LBJ: Architect of American Ambition by Randall Woods

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate Dicamillo

Cellophane by Marie Arana

Talk Talk by T. C. Boyle

Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend by Bart D. Ehrman

Triangle: A Novel by Katharine Weber

My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme

Inside and Other Short Fiction: Japanese Women by Japanese Women by Cathy Layne

The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood by Sy Montgomery

Red Weather: A Novel by Pauls Toutonghi

Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America by Tom Lutz

This Book Will Save Your Life: A Novel by A. M. Homes

Writings on Art by Mark Rothko

A Writer's Life by Gay Talese

Letters to a Young Mathematician by Ian Stewart

The Woman Who Waited: A Novel by Andrei Makine

Quite Honestly by John Mortimer

The Amalgamation Polka by Stephen Wright

Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan by Ann Jones

A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart

Monkey Town : Summer of the Scopes Trial (06 Edition) by Ronald Kidd

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine

The Good Life: A Novel by Jay McInerney

The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez

Lapham Rising by Roger Rosenblatt

Season in Mecca (06 Edition) by Abdellah Hammoudi

The Tent by Margaret Atwood

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

Arthur and George: A Novel by Julian Barnes

A Wedding in December: A Novel by Anita Shreve

Sex Wars: A Novel of the Turbulent Post-Civil War Period by Marge Piercy

Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard L Bushman

The Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia by Piers Vitebsky

Teacher Man: A Memoir by Frank Mccourt

As I See It by John Loengard

Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets by Jude Morgan

The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton by Jerome Karabel

The Beatles: The Biography by Bob Spitz

Where God Was Born : Journey By Land To the Roots of Religion (05 Edition) by Bruce Feiler

Invisible Listeners: Lyric Intimacy in Herbert, Whitman, & Ashbery by Helen Hennessy Vendler

Two Lives by Vikram Seth

A Perfect Pledge by Rabindranat Maharaj

Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy by Stephen M. Walt

An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas by Diane Wilson

Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley

Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality by Leigh Eric Schmidt

Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud by Peter Watson

Shalimar the Clown: A Novel by Salman Rushdie

The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa by Michael Kimmelman

Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America by Harm J. de Blij

Desertion by Abdulrazak Gurnah

Character Studies: Encounters with the Curiously Obsessed by Mark Singer

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #06) by J. K. Rowling

The Cottonmouth Club by Lance Marcum

The Edwardians by Roy Hattersly

Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence by Carol Berkin

Irresistible Empire: America's Advance Through Twentieth-Century Europe by Victoria De Grazia

A Beginner's Guide to Changing the World: A True Life Adventure Story by Isabel Losada

What Lincoln Believed: The Values and Convictions of America's Greatest President by Michael Lind

The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House by John F Harris

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco

Farmworker's Daughter: Growing Up Mexican in America by Rose Cast Guilbault

Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers by Shyam Selvadurai

The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent by Richard Florida

The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life by Steve Leveen

Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey by Linda Greenhouse

Ogden Nash: The Life and Work of America's Laureate of Light Verse by Douglas M. Parker

Swing: A Mystery by Rupert Holmes

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman

At Risk: A Novel by Stella Rimington

The Poet of Tolstoy Park by Sonny Brewer

Tilting at Windmills: A Novel of Cervantes and the Errant Knight by Julian Branston

The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of the Slave Sally Miller and Her Fight for Freedom by John Bailey

Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare by Philip Short

Pearl by Mary Gordon

My Jim by Nancy Rawles

Pride of Carthage: A Novel of Hannibal by David Anthon Durham

When Jesus Came to Harvard: Making Moral Choices Today by Harvey Cox

Mr. Mkhize's Portrait: And Other Stories from the New South Africa by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

East Side Story by Louis Auchincloss

The Ha-Ha by Dave King

Auguste Rodin by Rainer Maria Rilke

Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson

Spirit and Flesh: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church by James M. Ault Jr.

The Distance Between Us by Masha Hamilton

Human Capital by Stephen Amidon

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

War Trash by Ha Jin

The Darling by Russell Banks

The Plot against America: A Novel by Philip Roth

The Clerkenwell Tales by Peter Ackroyd

The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates

The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Birds Without Wings by Louis De Bernieres

Voyageurs by Margaret Elphinstone

Monumental Propaganda by Vladimir Voinovich

Spice: The History of a Temptation by Jack Turner

To Err Is Divine by Agota Bozai

The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace by Dennis Ross

An Evening of Long Goodbyes by Paul Murray

The Preservationist by David Maine

The Perfect American by Peter Stephan Jungk

An Unfinished Season by Ward Just

1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft & Debs-The Election That Changed the Country by James Chace

Four Souls by Louise Erdrich

Miracle at Sing Sing: How One Man Transformed the Lives of America's Most Dangerous Prisoners by Ralph Blumenthal

The Work of Wolves by Kent Meyers

This Is Not Civilization by Robert Rosenberg

You Remind Me of Me: A Novel by Dan Chaon

Crossing California by Adam Langer

The Master by Colm Tóibín

The State Boys Rebellion by Michael Dantonio

Victorine by Catherine Texier

Prince Edward by Dennis Mcfarland

Eventide by Kent Haruf

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

Links by Nuruddin Farah

Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir by Neely Tucker

American Jezebel: The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman Who Defied the Puritans by Eve Laplante

Heaven Lake by John Dalton

Dew Breaker (04 Edition) by Edwidge Danticat

The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor by Ken Silverstein

But Come Ye Back: A Novel in Stories by Beth Lordan

The Tale of the Scale: An Odyssey of Invention by Solly Angel

Aloft by Chang Rae Lee

Little Children by Tom Perrotta

Waterborne by Bruce Murkoff

The Last Crossing by Guy Vanderhaeghe

The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra

The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer

Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland

The Island Walkers by John Bemrose

Someone to Run With: A Novel by David Grossman

Shooting the Sun by Max Byrd

Diane Arbus: Revelations by Diane Arbus

Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Image and the World by Peter Galassi

"We Are Lincoln Men": Abraham Lincoln and His Friends by David Herbert Donald

Pompeii by Robert Harris

Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity by David Foster Wallace

My Life as a Fake by Peter Carey

Mirror Mirror: A Novel by Gregory Maguire

Our Lady of the Forest by David Guterson

The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard

Waxwings by Jonathan Raban

Brick Lane by Monica Ali

Four Spirits (03 Edition) by Sena Jeter Naslund

The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

Support Any Friend: Kennedy's Middle East and the Making of the U.S.-Israel Alliance (Council on Foreign Relations Book) by Warren Bass

Deafening by Frances Itani

The Known World by Edward P. Jones

The Mammoth Cheese by Sheri Holman

The Clearing by Tim Gautreaux

The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty

The Passion of Reverend Nash by Rachel Basch

Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith

The Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy by Fulvio Melia

A Palestine Affair by Jonathan Wilson

Farewell, My Queen by Chantal Thomas

Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes

Creation by Katherine Govier

Testament by

Mortals by Norman Rush

Holes by Louis Sachar

Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice about Children by Ann Hulbert

Signal & Noise by John Griesemer

All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve

Good Faith by Jane Smiley

Office of Innocence by Thomas Keneally

Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber

The Pearl of Kuwait by Tom Paine

All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki

Living Water by Obery M Hendricks

The Boy on the Bus by Deborah Schupack

Being America: Liberty, Commerce, and Violence in an American World by Jedediah Purdy

Drop City by T.C. Boyle

The Hills at Home by Nancy Clark

The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich

Samaritan Signed 1st Edition by Richard Price

The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers

Michelangelo & the Popes Ceiling by Ross King

I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company: A Novel of Lewis and Clark (Lewis & Clark Expedition) by Brian Hall

That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx

Making Things Better by Anita Brookner

A Whistling Woman by A S Byatt

Seek My Face by John Updike

Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set - Volume I & II: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Photographs by Sarah Greenough

Annie Dunne by Sebastian Barry

Baudolino by Umberto Eco

The Cave by José Saramago

Child of My Heart by Alice McDermott

Bed for the Night Humanitarianism in Cri by David Rieff

Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths by Bruce Feiler

The Navigator of New York by Wayne Johnston

Paradise Alley by Kevin Baker

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith

Letters of a Nation: A Collection of Extraordinary American Letters by Andrew Carroll

The Piano Tuner by Daniel Philippe Mason

The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas L. Friedman

In the Image by Dara Horn

What Went Wrong?: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response by Bernard W. Lewis

Seeing in the Dark: How Backyard Stargazers Are Probing Deep Space, and Guarding Earth from Interplanetary Peril by Timothy Ferris

Coastliners by Joanne Harris

The Metal Shredders by Nancy Zafris

The Good Apprentice by Iris Murdoch

The Secret Agent by Francine Mathews

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Pasadena by David Ebershoff

Getting Out by Gwendolen Gross

Big If by Mark Costello

Prague by Arthur Phillips

The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter

The Weather in Berlin by Ward Just

The Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears

Simon Silber: Works for Solo Piano by Christopher Miller

The Last American Man Signed 1st Edition by Elizabeth Gilbert

Unless by Carol Shields

Lost Nation by Jeffrey Lent

Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins

From Hardtack to Home Fries: An Uncommon History of American Cooks and Meals by Barbara Haber

Sakharov: A Biography by Richard Lourie

Darlington's Fall by Brad Leithauser

Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish by Richard Flanagan

The Translator by John Crowley

Roscoe by William Kennedy

By the Lake by John Mcgahern

Tepper Isn't Going Out by Calvin Trillin

Insect Dreams: The Half Life of Gregor Samsa by Marc Estrin

The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature (Convergences: Inventories of the Present) by Tarif Khalidi

The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #01) by Jasper Fforde

News, Culture, and 21 FREE issues click here to find out more

The Christian Science Monitor offers independent, thoughtful journalism, together with stimulating cultural criticism. This award-winning newspaper is hard to find at newsstands. But you can get the entire paper weekdays in a convenient PDF, with a hyperlinked table of contents. The Monitor Treeless Edition costs only $8 a month, half the cost of a print subscription, and now you can try it free for one month.

Find out more about this special offer.

  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at