Unfamiliar Fishes is a lovely title, but the book itself feels jumbled. The names and events would be easier to follow if they were presented less as discrete events and the connections between them were more direct. The author jumps back and forth between the historical events and her research of them, which can work as a writing method, but in this case is a little hard to follow. The writing is very clever, which is both funny enough to make you laugh out loud and also distracting. An example is “Loco Moco (a hamburger patty topped with gravy and a fried egg, a dish presumably invented to remedy the hamburger’s most obvious defect–not enough egg).” I don’t even really completely understand this, but it is funny. Humor can be done so that it doesn’t distract from the story, but it wasn’t here.