Andrés Reséndez, Mariner Books, $28
Conquering the Pacific is a rich historical narrative that tells the story of the last great discovery of the Age of Sail—the vuelta, or the return voyage from Asia to the Americas. Though many attempts had been made, all had ended in failure. Then, in 1564, came an effort by a small fleet including a ship under the command of Lope Martin, a mixed-race man who rose through the ranks to become one of the most qualified pilots of his generation. Martin led his ship to the first successful vuelta, but the Spanish fleet captain who arrived well after him got all the credit. In Conquering the Pacific, historian Andrés Reséndez sets the record straight by telling the true story of Lope Martin’s role in this last great ocean conquest.