Sushi Modoki

By: Iina

 It can be a bit of a challenge if you’re a vegan or vegetarian to know where to turn to when craving some sushi classics.  Recently published, Sushi Modoki, the Japanese Art and Craft of Vegan Sushi, is the first-ever vegan sushi cookbook filled with amazing, all-vegan re-creations of classic rolls that mimic the appearance, flavor, and texture of fish.  Author and vegan innovator iina, a cooking instructor from Japan, shows you how to transform tomatoes into “tuna”, and carrots into “salmon” – with hard-to-believe results showcased in over 100 photographs.  Creating sushi with fruits and vegetables like avocado, tomatoes, and carrots, vegan chef and author iina masters all-natural, plant-based sushi without any artificial sugars, seasonings, or colorings. An independent vegan and vegetarian chef and food creator, iina is also the author of three vegan cookbooks in Japan.  

With its clear step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions for assembling elegant plates bursting with color, crunch, and flavor, Sushi Modoki ($18.95, 128 pgs., The Experiment Publishing Co.) is the ultimate guide to becoming a vegan sushi master.

The Hot Book of Chiles 

By: David Floyd

Featuring 51 recipes for appetizers, dinner entrees, snacks, salsas, soups, sauces, jams, and desserts, The Hot Book of Chilies ($16.99, 160 pgs., Companion House Books Publishing Co) is a sizzling celebration of one of the world’s best-loved plants: capsicum (chilies). This is the perfect book for both timid new-comers and fiery fanatics, featuring a gallery of over 90 varieties, from mild jalepeno and pasilla peppers to the hazardous habanero and ghost peppers.  

UK chili expert and Chile Foundry blogger David Floyd shares his extensive study and unabashed passion for the most popular chili varieties through dozens of recipes using mouth-watering peppers.  As the ultimate resource on all things chili peppers, in The Hot Book of Chilies you’ll find useful information on the degree of hotness, health benefits, medicinal properties, biology, and history of chili peppers.  It’s everything you need to know about this small but mighty crop…and all the ways to enjoy it!

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories 

By Ken Liu

“The Hidden Girl and Other Stories” is a second volume of short stories from award-winning American author Ken Liu. “The Hidden Girl and Other Stories” includes a selection of Liu’s speculative fiction stories from the last five years, and is Liu’s second volume of short stories. The Washington Post has described Liu’s work as “…wondrous tales (that) eloquently explore the place where ordinary and the extraordinary meet.”  Included in Liu’s latest work are fascinating short stories about time-traveling assassins, tales of crypto-currency and Internet trolling, to heart-breaking narratives of parent-child relationships. “The Hidden Girl and Other Stories” also features an excerpt from “The Veiled Throne”, the third book in Liu’s epic fantasy series, the “Dandelion Dynasty”. Liu frequently speaks at universities and conferences on a variety of topics, including futurism, cryptocurrency, the mathematics of origami and others.  You can find Ken at and @kyliu99 on Twitter.

Beginner’s Guide to Japan

By: Pico Iyer 

Having lived in Japan for decades, the widely traveled and erudite, Oxford-born author Pico Iyer created this lovely pocket companion of oddities and insights of Japanese life.  The book is comprised of standalone, paragraph-long entries grouped into loose thematic chapters…such as “On the Streets”, “At the Counter”, and “Behind Closed Doors.”  He engages in thought-provoking stories such as the role anime plays in Japanese life, the appreciation for the beauty of silence, and the seemingly never-ending Japanese pursuit of perfection.  Written in a style that is both provocative and elegant, Iyer’s guide succeeds precisely because it doesn’t attempt to be authoritative.  Drawing on personal reflections and conversations with his wife and other Japanese friends and family, Iyer’s observations act an entree into a culture…hence, the title, Beginner’s Guide to Japan.