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New Leaf Nominations for February 2019 • Let's Make a Deal: Trade Secrets
#11  Bookworm_Girl 01-02-2019, 02:57 PM
I nominate the non-fiction book For All the Tea in China: Espionage, Empire and the Secret Formula for the World's Favourite Drink by Sarah Rose. I don't usually nominate books that I have already read, but I really enjoyed this one and it fits the category well. Also it was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and received an AudioFile Earphones Award for author-read audiobook.

It is available in the US, UK, Canada & Australia in ebook format. It is also at Overdrive in both ebook and audiobook format. In addition it is available as an audiobook at Scribd.

From Goodreads:
Quote
Robert Fortune was a Scottish gardener, botanist, plant hunter - and industrial spy. In 1848, the East India Company engaged him to make a clandestine trip into the interior of China - territory forbidden to foreigners - to steal the closely guarded secrets of tea. For centuries, China had been the world's sole tea manufacturer. Britain purchased this fuel for its Empire by trading opium to the Chinese - a poisonous relationship Britain fought two destructive wars to sustain. The East India Company had profited lavishly as the middleman, but now it was sinking, having lost its monopoly to trade tea. Its salvation, it thought, was to establish its own plantations in the Himalayas of British India. There were just two problems: India had no tea plants worth growing, and the company wouldn't have known what to do with them if it had. Hence Robert Fortune's daring trip. The Chinese interior was off-limits and virtually unknown to the West, but that's where the finest tea was grown - the richest oolongs, soochongs and pekoes. And the Emperor aimed to keep it that way.
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#12  Ralph Sir Edward 01-02-2019, 04:54 PM
Quote Bookworm_Girl
I nominate the non-fiction book For All the Tea in China: Espionage, Empire and the Secret Formula for the World's Favourite Drink by Sarah Rose. I don't usually nominate books that I have already read, but I really enjoyed this one and it fits the category well. Also it was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and received an AudioFile Earphones Award for author-read audiobook.

It is available in the US, UK, Canada & Australia in ebook format. It is also at Overdrive in both ebook and audiobook format. In addition it is available as an audiobook at Scribd.

From Goodreads:
I'll second this nomination.
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#13  issybird 01-02-2019, 05:51 PM
I'm going to nominate The Last Grain Race by Eric Newby. I've read other books by him and greatly enjoyed them.

From Amazon (4.4 stars) and Goodreads (4.24 stars):

Every year from 1921 to 1939, the vessels involved in the grain trade would strive to find the shortest, fastest passage home from Australia to Britain – "the grain race" – in the face of turbulent seas, atrocious weather conditions and hard graft.

In 1938 an eighteen-year-old boy signed on for the round trip from Europe to Australia in the last commercial sailing fleet to make that formidable journey. The Last Grain Race is Eric Newby's spell-binding account of his time spent on the Moshulu's last voyage in the Australian grain trade.

As always, Eric Newby's sharp eye for detail captures the hardships, danger, squabbles, companionship and sheer joy of shipboard life - bedbugs, ferocious storms, eccentric Finnish crew and all. By pure chance, Eric witnessed the passing of the era of sail, and his tale is all the more significant for being the last of its kind.

US$9.99, CA$12.99, AU$10.99, UK£7.99, Scribd

288 pp.
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#14  Bookworm_Girl 01-02-2019, 06:56 PM
I will second The Last Grain Race. It’s available at Scribd as an ebook.
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#15  stuartjmz 01-02-2019, 07:09 PM
Quote Bookworm_Girl
I nominate the non-fiction book For All the Tea in China: Espionage, Empire and the Secret Formula for the World's Favourite Drink by Sarah Rose. ..
It is available in the US, UK, Canada & Australia in ebook format.
And in New Zealand too. I'll third this nomination, it sounds fascinating.
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#16  Bookpossum 01-02-2019, 09:15 PM
I third The Last Grain Race. I have read another of Eric Newby's books, but didn't know of this one.
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#17  CRussel 01-03-2019, 02:01 PM
I'll second A Delicate Truth. It's a le Carré I haven't read, and available from the library.
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#18  CRussel 01-03-2019, 04:09 PM
I'm not going to nominate another book right now, but I'd like to suggest a book within this theme for those who enjoy a nice, cozy read where characters matter and the action is relaxed -- Nathan Lowell's Quarter Share, the first of his Solar Clipper series. These are YA, especially the earlier ones, but thoroughly enjoyable by adults. They are inexpensive, available in audio editions (both Audible, and older, free, podcast versions read by the author), and perfect for a cozy winter read around a fire.
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#19  bfisher 01-03-2019, 08:17 PM
I'll third A Delicate Truth.
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#20  bfisher 01-03-2019, 08:18 PM
I'll second Balance of Trade.
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