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Gordon H. Chang

Ghosts of Gold Mountain – The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Gordon H. Chang may have opened the door to a whole new specialty of American history—“the Railroad Chinese” experience. Ghosts of Gold Mountain tells the story, or the beginning of the story, of Chinese immigrants from Guangdong (Canton) province, who left everything they knew to journey to “Gold Mountain” (California) and work building the Central Pacific Railroad from Sacramento to Promontory, Utah and link with the Union Pacific.


Chang laments the lack of evidence—diaries, work records, letters—that might provide a Chinese viewpoint of the story. He painstakingly pulls together the wispy threads to produce an exciting, tantalizingly mysterious chronicle, and concludes by hoping his work will lead to discovery of more material. Yes, please.

– Bruce Collier




John Sandford

Neon Prey

G.P. Putnam’s Sons

I haven’t kept up with Mr. Sandford’s Lucas Davenport series, which is a shame since I enjoyed this one so much. The latest installment finds our hero pursuing a cannibalistic serial killer from New Orleans to Las Vegas, with unexpected snags at just about every turn. And about a dozen or so memorable characters, some of whom I hope will be back for the next go-round.

– Chris Manson


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