User Profile

Tofu Musubi

Hawaii@bookwyrm.social

Joined 7 months, 1 week ago

Hello Bookwyrm, my name is Rob. I'm a relatively normal person but with a weird accent. I've lived in four countries, at least as many alternative universes, and countless alternative realities. I'm fascinated with all sorts of cultures, languages, music, and foods. Some folks know me as a writer, a lay Buddhist, a rabbit adopter, a vegan, or a photographer. I'm a survivor of childhood abuse, so support children's issues and mental health. Nice to meet you! mastodon.world/@Hawaii

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Tofu Musubi's books

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Annalee Newitz, Annalee Newitz: Autonomous: A Novel (2017, Tor Books) 4 stars

When anything can be owned, how can we be free

Earth, 2144. Jack is an …

A new favorite

5 stars

Hard to believe this book is six years old; the author works a lot of very relatable and still timely concerns into her characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the themes of interconnectedness and corporatism, and the characters' searches for meanings and identities all converging was reminiscent of The Wizard Of Oz. I enjoyed the senses of urgency and purpose, and appreciated how the author described intimacy (always difficult to convey in a pleasing way). This work could make an excellent film, and I hope the author continues to create many similar worlds for us to enjoy.

Barbara Becker: Heartwood (Hardcover, 2021, Flatiron Books) 5 stars

Heartwood is a brief autobiography of a hospice volunteer.

Wonderful!

5 stars

Stories involving those who care for the dying tend to go way overboard on the touchy-feelies and intentional tear-jerkers. Ugghh. Had I seen this on the bookstore shelf I would have looked right past it... which is why I am extremely grateful to have had this book recommended to me. It’s something of a short autobiography of a hospice volunteer, and how living with the dying shifted her perspective and helped solidify her values. This is not specifically a religious book; many religions are briefly mentioned, and the focus here is more on how we live our lives today than on what may or may not happen afterwards. The author, Barbara Becker, writes with great vulnerability and caring, and her words brought a lump to my throat many times. This book was a powerful antidote to the superficiality our society embraces, and I would recommend it to all.

Jamie Ford: The Many Daughters of Afong Moy (Hardcover, 2022, Thorndike Press Large Print) 4 stars

Absolute Gem

5 stars

The theme of this wonderful story was epigenetics - how trauma responses are passed from generation to generation (imagine how a grandparent bit by a snake could lead to a fear of snakes in their children and grandchildren). By necessity then the story involves multiple generations, in this case all descended from a woman named Afong Moy. Each generation faces different struggles in different times and places, and all are so well described that each could be expanded into their own book. I've recommended this book to many and bought copies for others. Once you pick it up you'll find it difficult to put down.

Ryan Lee Wong: Which Side Are You On (2022) 5 stars

Enlightening

4 stars

This is a story of how first- and second-generation immigrants struggle to adapt to racist American society, and how racist American society struggles to open its minds and arms. This sounds like a harsh story, and it is, but it is told in engaging and often humorous ways. The story will leave you with a deeper understanding and a thirst for more. Recommended.

Fang Fang, Berry, Michael: Wuhan Diary (Hardcover, 2020, HarperVia, Harpervia) 5 stars

Excellent perspective shift

5 stars

A respected author living in Wuhan, China wrote lengthy social media posts about daily life in her town as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. These social media posts were widely distributed, but later banned by the Chinese government for being subversive. This book is all of the author's posts, collected in one place as a diary. It is compelling reading, and makes it clear how much Chinese society and government mirror our own. Absolutely recommended.

Ava Glass: Alias Emma (2023, Penguin Books, Limited) 4 stars

Action film in book form

3 stars

This book was entertaining but forgettable, feeling something like a protracted car chase from an action film. Its entire premise is a dangerous trip across town, one in which the characters try to get from Point A to Point B without being attacked by Villains C or shot by Weapons D. I enjoyed some of the characters, but they were not explored in any depth. Light summer read.

Kimberly Unger: The Extractionist (Paperback, 2022, Tachyon Publications) 5 stars

2023 Philip K. Dick Award Winner

In her latest exciting technothriller, acclaimed author Kimberly Unger …

The Matrix Reimagined

4 stars

Thoroughly enjoyable exploration of intrigue in a virtual world. It reminded me a bit of The Matrix films, both in themes and pacing. I'd love to read more about these characters and the places they inhabit.

Grace D. Li: Portrait of a Thief (2022, Penguin Publishing Group) 3 stars

Fun

4 stars

Portrait of a Thief is an entertaining look at recovering stolen cultural treasures. The characters are strongly defined, and though capers are a collective focus it is the characters' relationships that end up defining the book. This left me wanting both a prequel focused on China and a sequel based on further character development. Recommended.

Reb Anderson: Being Upright (Paperback, 2000, Rodmell Press) 4 stars

Practicle

5 stars

This author does a fine job of describing how ancient lessons can be applied to the lives we lead today. Two passages, one describing temple politics and another about finding a gun, seem a bit self-indulgent at first, but in the end are recognized as tools to make the reader ponder and question the lessons. There are certainly other books that do deeper dives into Buddhism's precepts, but this book is an excellent starting place for those curious how to embody the Middle Way.

Helen Czerski: Blue Machine (2023, Norton & Company, Incorporated, W. W., W. W. Norton & Company) 5 stars

A scientist’s exploration of the "ocean engine"—the physics behind the ocean’s systems—and why it matters. …

I've just fifty or so pages into this book and am absolutely loving it. The author's love and excitement for the oceans is palpable, and she explains complex scientific themes in simple terms that even the likes of me can understand and appreciate. Very much looking forward to completing this volume.

Annalee Newitz: The Terraformers (Hardcover, 2023, Tor Books) 4 stars

From science fiction visionary Annalee Newitz comes The Terraformers, a sweeping, uplifting, and illuminating exploration …

Wonderful

4 stars

The Terraformers is a wonderful examination of a world designed more for profit than for life. There are numerous takeaways in this remarkably well researched book, and the author is so imaginative and story line so engaging that it's hard not to read in one sitting. Analogies and metaphors abound, and each reader will perk up at recognizing ones that resonate. I enjoyed the story's strong environmental, anti-corporatist, and interconnectedness themes, and the personification of both sentient and insensate beings was remarkably entertaining. It was disappointing to bond with characters, only to be told in the next chapter that they had died without much explanation, but I have to admit that this may have been necessary given that the story's timeline covers thousands of years. I recognized many Buddhist themes in here too, but that may be just my take as a Buddhist reader. Read this and you'll never think …