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BookTrib's Bites: CIA Intrigue, a Love Story, a Loss Story and an Art Master

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The Poison Factory“The Poison Factory”
by Luck Kirk 

If you’ve ever wondered what life as a CIA “operative” would be like, read this book, written by a former CIA operations officer. Decktora Raines (Decky) is on leave from the CIA, doing her best to dodge memories of her first agent, Elena, an asset she recruited and tragically lost, as well as the heartbreaking disappearance of her life partner, Alex.

A surprise contact from a Russian defector she once handled urges her to come to London immediately. She coordinates with Langley Headquarters and the CIA Station Chief in London who is focused on the murder of another Russian defector. The only clues: claw marks and an unidentified white powder. Soon to be a major global TV series. Purchase at

Love Has No Limits“Love Has No Limits”
by Armine Papouchian

At sixteen, Armine fell in love for the first time and lost that love for the first time. She was the youngest daughter of three in Armenia and the only one underage when her parents decided to immigrate to the U.S. She had to leave her beloved Alex behind.

But it wasn’t the end of her story with Alex. Even as life moves on, their lives intersect again and again, and through deaths and divorces, their lives never quite line up. This is Armine’s story of keeping faith in oneself and in love despite heartbreak, betrayal and loss. It reveals the joy available to those who rise and rise again. Purchase at

The Confessional“The Confessional”
by Claudia Ermey

Mirta and Alberto DeSalvo, refugees of the Dirty War of Argentina, owe their lives to wealthy American Julia Parks, who rescued them from the horrors of the junta and offered them a new life. Julia, confronted with a late-in-life pregnancy, asks the DeSalvos to adopt the baby with the condition that they not return to Argentina until she is grown.

A generational story that skillfully illuminates the resilient lives of characters touched by loss and betrayal, loved ones stolen in the night, and the search for a birth mother hiding in plain sight, “The Confessional” is a compelling rendering of how war and love thousands of miles apart create trauma that ripples through two generations and emerges as love, understanding and forgiveness. Purchase at

Hiroshige 53 Stations of the Tokaido Fujikei“Hiroshige 53 Stations of the Tokaido Fujikei
by Cristina Berna and Eric Thomsen

In this series by the last great master of the ukiyo-e tradition in Japan, the viewer is struck by the harmonious palette of blues, grays, peaches and pale yellows, and by the strict composition of each woodblock print — a bijin (or beautiful woman) posing in front of a framed landscape. Each print features a woman wearing a different intricately patterned kimono, a different activity with various props, and a different landscape depicting scenes along the historic Tokaido Road.

Berna and Thomsen take us on a fascinating tour, explaining not only the cultural references in each image, but also the relation of the Fujikei prints to several earlier Hiroshige Tokaido series. The insightful commentary along with full-color images opens a window to the treasures of a bygone Japan. Purchase at

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