Not only is this a very readable book about Japanese sake, but it is written by an American who moved to Japan and entered the closed world of kura-bito (sake brewers) and became one himself. Harper describes the history of sake, how it is made, where to buy it, and what to buy. And what is equally helpful is that it is in a vest-pocket-sized book that you can carry with you when traveling, going to a restaurant or shopping for sake. This book is for the sake connoisseur and novice alike. The process of making sake is more complex than wine (it requires 2 microorganisms, not just yeast). Moreover, through all the variations of rice processing, fermentation, types of clarification, aging, fortification, there is a large array of sake classification, whose terms are all in Japanese. Harper breaks through the fog and clearly lays out the differences among all these. He also describes the different flavor profiles that goes with each one. Other useful sections include a large listing of recommended sakes with their labels reproduced for easier recognition, lists of restaurants in the US and Japan, retailers in the US and Japan, major producers, and web links. All in under 250 pages. This is one of the most useful books on sake you can buy.