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Where realism and idealism meet Tony Brasunas, author of Double Happiness

Free Today and Tomorrow!: Celebrate Double Happiness Day with an e-book or paperback

Double Happiness Day is here!

It’s 8/8. If today is a busy day in the office, the offer will stretch into tomorrow, 8/9, as well.

As a gift to celebrate completion of this project:

The E-book is freewww.DoubleHappy.be/kindle
(reg. $4.99)

The paperback only $8.88 – www.DoubleHappy.be/paperback
(reg. $15.95)

Enjoy the journey!

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by Tony Brasunas at 3:34 am on August 8, 2014

Double Happiness for Free on 8/8!

To celebrate the completion and publication of Double Happiness, I am delighted to offer on Double Happiness Day the e-book, normally $4.99, for free to anyone.

A year ago we reached — and exceeded — the Kickstarter goal of $8888, which I described as the Double Happiness number. On 8/8, Double Happiness Day, I wish to share the celebration as widely as possible.

I also wish to express my gratitude to all the people around the planet who helped me explore China and helped me complete this book. None of it could have happened alone. It feels wonderful and fitting to offer the story for free as a way to celebrate.

Tell everyone!

Double Happiness free on
Friday, August 8, 2014

My deepest goal — the reason I wrote Double Happiness — is to share a story of growth, transformation, and hope with as many people as possible.

Tell anyone who would be interested in Double Happiness — an award-winning story of traveling in Asia, a fascinating portrait of life in China, and a tale of coming of age in today’s era of globalization.

Also, for everyone who wants to hold this gorgeous book in their hands and read the story on paper, the paperback will be just $8.88!

Come back to this space on 8/8 for instructions on the giveaway.

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by Tony Brasunas at 10:51 am on August 3, 2014

A Wonderful Day

The midday air is clear, sweet, and warm here in Alameda, California. It’s a gorgeous day for a walk to the beach. The first steps of my walk reminded me of that feeling of freedom I write about at the beginning of Chapter 26, on the bright morning after arriving in Xiahe: “My senses feast on the vibrant colors as if to satiate themselves after all the months and miles of concrete.”

Remember this part of double happiness: We’re nearly always more free than we think we are. We’re free to shape our experiences. If there’s something troubling you or frustrating you, you have the freedom to do something about it — to change the situation in a rational way or to do something totally unexpected to assert and experience your own joy and autonomy in the moment.

Enjoy this blessed day,

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by Tony Brasunas at 7:02 pm on July 27, 2014

Book Reviews Rolling In

For an author, there is no greater pleasure and no greater pain than to be closely read. Book reviews add to this closeness the incomparable spices of exposure, openness, and publicity.

Book reviews have the possibility of not only complimenting an author but of understanding and synthesizing a written work for the benefit of others; a good, perspicacious review can alert thousands of readers who will enjoy and benefit from a book. On the other hand, a bad review, a review that utterly misses the point or wrongly ascertains an author’s underlying motive or message, can bring misery to the author and prevent a book from being discovered by its best or biggest audience.

Double Happiness has so far enjoyed mostly positive reviews, as well as a few that have missed the point. Pleasure and pain, then, for this author!

Here are some reviews of both variety, with excerpts:

    ** Amazon There are already many reviews on Amazon (32 at last count), mostly of the five-star variety. Please feel free to add your own.
    “When I had to (reluctantly) put it down to attend to daily life, returning to it felt like reuniting with an old friend. I found his style of writing to be lyrical and evocative without being pretentious.”

    “If you like travel related reading, this book will make you want to drop everything and travel to China. It is hard to read this book and not contemplate throwing on a backpack and taking to the road.”

    ** GoodReads This enormous worldwide community of readers also features many reviews.
    Excerpts: “Delightful… a striking journey that moves far beyond the usual travelogue or educator’s perspective.”

    “A very engaging read, one of the best books I’ve read in a while… The imagery is great and vivid and I felt like I was right there with him in China… The writing was often funny too — I found myself laughing out loud at several passages.”

    ** The Book Wheel
    “From the first few pages, it will sweep you across the ocean to another land and you will take a journey that will leave you forever changed.”

    ** Paper Breathers
    “The writing style is… like the written version of the music that accompanies a yoga session, and it provides a balance for the conflicts and struggles that are present along his journey. I also really enjoyed Estelle Kim’s illustrations, which map Tony’s routes across the country.”

    ** Readers’ Favorite
    “A page-turner… an absolute delight from the Prologue to the Epilogue.”

    ** All R Media
    “This isn’t just a memoir of a young man learning about himself; this memoir presents lessons in finding the courage to be yourself in a society that expects you to conform to expectations and about appreciating differences and accepting foreign cultures.”

    ** What is that Book About
    “If you have traveled the world, you know there is no greater beauty than experiencing these places first hand. For those who may never get the chance, when you read a book like Double Happiness… you get the opportunity to live vicariously through the author… I was really impressed by the detail of not just the physical aspects of the places he traveled but the in-depth comprehension of the culture, the people, and the history, considering this was his first experience abroad.”

    ** The Steadfast Reader
    “An excellent read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys travelogues, memoirs, or journeys towards enlightenment.”

    ** I’ve Read This
    “There’s a good balance of scenery description, inner reflection, historical reference and plot development in this book, and for that reason I devoured it in two days, eagerly diving back in to follow Brasunas on his adventures while safely nestled in my living room.”

    ** Rosie Writes
    “Part travelogue, part coming-of-age memoir, part poetry and politics, ‘Double Happiness’ offers fascinating insight not only into one man’s personal growth in an alien environment but also into the people, culture and traditions of China.”

    ** Touch of Madness
    “This book is so well written that I could experience the things Tony was [describing]… and I could sense and relate to his confusion, anxiety, frustration, excitement and fear.”

    ** Book Bound
    “His journeys… are exciting and will motivate even the most lazy to want to visit this amazing country.”

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by Tony Brasunas at 4:51 pm on July 11, 2014

All I Want for my Birthday

My birthday is here, as well as the one-year anniversary of the Kickstarter funding. Wow, time has flown. We did it! It’s published!

The book is getting great reviews and winning awards. It feels amazing.

Now, what might I like for my birthday? Here is my only wish, my Double Happiness Birthday Wish, and it won’t cost you a dime. Accompanied by me on guitar:

The links:

Review now:    www.DoubleHappy.be/amazon >>

Review later:  www.DoubleHappy.be/review >>

Please do let me know if you’re still reading the book and plan to review it soon. Click the “review later” link above. I’d love to count you in as a reviewer!

Thank you, and my best birthday wishes to you,

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by Tony Brasunas at 10:20 pm on June 24, 2014

Double Happiness Visits the Northwest!

The book tour now takes me to Oregon and Washington. This is the final leg of the tour, and as I get ready to set off I’m again filled with gratitude to my generous kickstarter backers. If you contributed a year ago and pushed me past my goal, you made this book tour possible. Thank you!

I’ll be in Portland, Seattle, Olympia, and a town called Florence on the Oregon coast. Please come out and see me. The events offer connection to the essence and insights of Double Happiness. They’re also a lot of fun. I’ll read from the book and answer your many questions.

You can also show your support for local bookstores by visiting these indie stores where I’ll be reading!

Most of all, I long to see you in person. It means so much to connect with you and share this life-changing story.

I arrive into Portland next Wednesday, June 11. Here’s the full list of Double Happiness events:

Thursday, June 12 (PORTLAND)
7pm : Reading & Signing
Broadway Books
1714 NE Broadway, Portland

Friday, June 13 (SEATTLE)
6:30pm : Reading & Signing
Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park

Saturday, June 14 (OLYMPIA)
3pm : Reading & Signing
Orca Books
509 E 4th Ave., Olympia

Sunday, June 15 (OREGON COAST)
1pm : Library Reading
Siuslaw Public Library, Main Branch
1460 Ninth Street, Florence

If you don’t live in the Northwest, please forward this to people who do, particularly those who might enjoy a story about China, about teaching English, about rugged backpacking, or about a spiritual coming-of-age tale in a faraway land.

And if you’ve finished the book and enjoyed it, great! Go review it > Your review will help others find Double Happiness.

Best wishes and my thanks,

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by Tony Brasunas at 2:08 pm on June 5, 2014